copyright © 2005 by Adam Hahn

Voice Mail
by Adam Hahn

1 is on stage. The others are or are not. Each of them should individually decide whether to remain on stage through the piece, enter and exit as needed, or deliver lines from the audience. Actors may decide to speak into cell phones or to address the audience directly.


1: Something happened with my friend Anna's cell phone last week. She turned her phone on after a movie, and she had forty new voice mails.
A few of these were actually new messages for her. A few were old messages she had deleted months before. Most of them were never intended for her; they were apparently random messages from other people's voice mail.
The two of us spent about an hour listening to messages, and I transcribed my favorites: found art.

2: Dude!
Call me.

3: Are you still mad at me?
I'm sorry, okay, I never should have said that about you. Anyway, I don't even care if it's true.
We're friends either way, okay? If what I said is true, it doesn't affect the way I think of you.
It doesn't matter to me at all whether you are or you aren't, so I don't know why you're even upset.
My point is, with that haircut, whom are you trying to fool?

1: Hey, it's me.
This weird thing keeps happening at work, and I wanted to talk to you about it.
I'm pretty good at my job. Not that it's especially difficult or anything, but I work hard to get all the sandwiches right and serve them quickly.
One part of my job that I'm not particularly good at is making small talk with the customers. No one else seems to have trouble with this, but I feel so awkward talking to strangers about the weather that we end up standing there saying nothing as they wait for their food.
The weird thing is that whenever the customer is a man and I start to think he's gay, I don't have this problem.
I'm not sure exactly what makes me think someone might be gay. Maybe it's his haircut or a brightly colored t-shirt, but the moment I suspect homosexuality it's like we're best friends: we have things to talk about, I get him laughing, and then after he has his food he hangs around for a minute to finish our conversation.
This never happens with kids, this never happens with old people, and this certainly never happens with women.
Do you think this means anything?

4: Mom, this is Sarah.
There are a couple of things I need to say.
You won't ever get this message--you were always so bad at checking your voice mail--but here goes.
Mom, you were right about David. You told me he was only after one thing, you told me that he really only wanted that one thing from Kendra, and I didn't believe you.
It turns out he is a total loser, and you were right about everything.

2: Dude!
Call me.

1: Sometimes, and this is very rare, the same thing happens with a man I would assume to be heterosexual.
We get a few contractors and construction workers on their lunch breaks. These guys are always tan, and a few of them look so strong--not like guys who lift weights in a gym, more like lumberjacks, like rock-hard sun-baked lumberjacks.


I have to go.

4: I'm sorry I yelled at you that last time we talked.
We got in that stupid fight about wearing my seat belt, and you were even right about that. I'm sorry I got mad, and I'm sorry I didn't talk to you for three weeks.
I'm sorry I told you I hated you and I hoped you would die in car accident. I didn't mean it.
I need you to know that I didn't mean it, and even if I did want you to die a little bit, it didn't last very long.
Mom, I love you.
I wish you were still here.

5: (starting angry, will build to a yell) What the F, Melissa?
The movie is about to start. Where are you?
You do this to me every time. You tell me you'll be here, and I buy your F-ing ticket, then I'm left standing around outside the theatre while you don't show up.
Whatever you're doing, you could have F-ing called to tell me you wouldn't be here. At the very least, you turn your phone on so I could get a hold of you.
This is the last F-ing time, Missy!
I'm tired of being treated like this.
F-you, Melissa!
I hate you, and you're not even that pretty. Everyone just says you are because it means so much to you. No one even likes you. Boys only talk to you because you'll make out with anyone who gives you the time of day.
I hope I never see you again. You are an ugly slut, and I hope you are alone and dead.

suddenly very happy

Missy! There you are--you're just in time for the movie!
Um, don't listen to this message.

2: Dude!
Why didn't you call me?


Voice Mail 2
by Adam Hahn

1 is on stage. The others are or are not. Each of them should individually decide whether to remain on stage through the piece, enter and exit as needed, or deliver lines from the audience. Actors may decide to speak into cell phones or to address the audience directly.


1:These are real messages my friend Anna found in her voice mail. Some were intended for her. Others were not.

3: (playfully) RAWR!
I am a monster!

1: Oh, god.
I just asked her out--I asked if I could buy her dinner.
Then things got weird, like she didn't want to look me in the eye, and she started playing with her fingers.
She was playing with her rings: she's fucking married!
I've known her for six weeks: how did I not notice her wedding ring or her diamond engagement ring?
Now she has to think I'm a total moron--oh, god, what if she thinks I knew she was married and asked her on a date anyway?
I am so fucking stupid.

3: Woof!
Baby, give your top dog a call.

5: You would not believe the sale at the Baby GAP!
Do you know the gender of your twins yet?
I know your due date is still a long way off, but omigod these footy pajamas are adorable!

4: Meee-OW!
This is your Miss Kitty, and this cat (gesturing at her crotch) is hun-gray!

1: I'm calling because we had talked about catching a movie later.
(proudly) I wanted to let you know that I won't be able to join you, because:
(singing, dancing if onstage) I have a date tonight,
A date tonight,
A date tonight.
I have a date tonight,
And it's with a girl!

3: Um--hi.
I had a great time last night.
I'm embarrassed to even ask this question, and I don't want to sound like I'm accusing you of anything.
Did you, maybe, accidentally, steal my wallet?
I'm not mad, and I don't want to involve the police, because I really like you.

2: Stop telling people that I am pregnant!
I am not pregnant, but people I don't even know keep asking me if I am. Your lies are ruining my life!
Please, you are confusing my friends, and sooner or later my parents are going to hear about this and freak out.
If you don't stop, I will be forced to retaliate.
I can generate slander just as well as you can. I am a seventeen-year-old girl, and your employers will fire you if I tell them the right story.

4: Hi.
I know we haven't talked in a month, and we didn't leave things very well, but you need to call me.
Have you noticed anything like a rash, or maybe a burning sensation when you pee?
Call me.

1: I haven't asked her out yet, but I will.
The more I think about this, the more I start to have doubts.
Maybe I don't even want to go out with her.
Maybe I just want to sleep with her, and I've lost the ability to tell the difference.
What would we even do on our first date? And what would we talk about? It seems like she likes me now, but she's barely spoken to me. If we actually spent time together, she would not have a good time.
I'm too flaky for her.
I don't know about music or TV or other things that people like to talk about.
I'm too self-centered to date anyone.
I'm too boring.
I don't even know what I want from her or who I want her to be. If it goes well, I won't even notice. I'll get distracted by her taste in movies or the jokes she doesn't get, and I'll go home hating myself for ever being interested in her.
I said I would ask her today, and I still plan on it.

5: I'm confused about this: are you pregnant or not?
You keep saying you're not, but that guy keeps saying you are. I see him once a week, and every week he swears that you are pregnant.
Why would he say something like that if it weren't true? If this were a joke, he wouldn't keep it going this long, would he?
That wouldn't be funny at all.
That would just be creepy, wouldn't it? Maybe even pathological?
And if you are pregnant, then why can't you just admit it?
What's wrong with you?


For Future Performances

Feel free to rearrange lines from these two pieces as you see fit. They could be broken into several shorter blocks or combined into one longer work. The pregnancy references built on jokes told in Iowa City in the spring of 2005 and probably won't be as entertaining elsewhere.

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