A Monster Christmas
Clinton A. Johnston
No Shame Theater CVille
The Mad Dr. Otto Offenbachensturm a broad, stereotypic teutonic/Slavic mad scientist
Igor his broad, stereotypic hunchback henchperson
The Monster their latest creation
(Note: Feel free to give both the Doctor and Igor the most ridiculous accents you can do.)
(Also: Line readings are suggestions for people doing this piece with little or no preparation. Feel free to make different choices as you see fit.)
[Text Note: A pause is longer than a beat. An ellipses ( ) is a brief beat. An m-dash at the end of the line (like this) means the next line interrupts.]
December 25, in the doctors castle, somewhere in lower Midwestern Eastern Europe
[In the darkness, Bachs "Toccata & Fugue in D minor" starts to play. Lights up. The music starts to fade as soon as the doctor speaks and fades completely out when Igor enters.]
[The scene opens with The Monster asleep and standing straight up against the backstage wall. The Doctor is fiddling with his screwdriver on the back of the Monsters neck, making last minute changes. The monster stands motionless with eyes closed until the end of the entire scene.]
[Talking to himself.]
Lets see integrate the differentiating integral differentiate the integrating differential give it my signature twist [does weird twist pattern] one, two, three one, two, three twist! There!
[Steps back. A beat to admire his work proudly.]
[Yells from out of nowhere.]
[Back to admiring his work.]
Hmm maybe I should have made you look more like Rock Hudson.
[To The Monster]
What if I graft dermal plating to your skin? Would you like that, hmm?
Where is that poor excuse for a biped?[To the Monster] You know, maybe your first act should be strangling that little pest by the neck. What do you think, hmm? Time to clean the dead wood and get a new assistant?
IGOR, WE ARE RUNNING BEHIND SCHEDULE!
[Enter Igor with concealed present, best if its in his hump.]
Yes, master. Sorry, master.
Ah, there you are, you pestilent worm! Again with your endless dawdling! Didnt you hear me? Where were you? Down in that cellar again, I bet! Always with the cellar recently! You know the dampness wreaks havoc with your sinuses! Pretty soon, youll have one of your attacks and then what use will you be to me!?!
A thousand apologies master. I was taking a shower.
Taking a shower!?! Ridiculous! Odiferous lackey, you havent taken a shower in thirty years! Bah! We have no time for your pathetic attempts at mendacity! Do you have the brain for my latest creation?
Yes, master. Its already inside of it.
Oaf! Did I not say that I tire of your lying! Bring me the brain at once!
But Im not lying, master. Look for yourself!
[The Doctor looks in the monsters ear.]
Why, so it is. When did you do this?
This morning, while you were still asleep, between exercising the bats and cleaning the werewolf droppings from the lawn. Its all there, master, correctly done.
Correctly done? But the chemical balances, the attaching of the nerve fibers
All done, all completed, master.
But how did you learn to do such a complicated procedure?
Ive watched you, master and I found a correspondence course on the Web, through Yahoo.
[Unbelieving, then sarcastic]
A correspondence course? Well, that should do the trick.
[Ding! Puts 2 + 2 together. Hes a sharp one!]
But, if this was all done this morning, what took you so long just now?
I was working on this! [Pulls out present.] Merry Christmas, master!
[Takes present, a little shocked, a little puzzled]
I dont understand.
Its Christmas, master, so I got you a Christmas present. Open it, master. Open it.
[The Doctor opens it and looks at the magazine, Popular Mechanics.]
What is this?
Its an issue of Popular Mechanics. I got you a subscription.
A subscription!?! To Popular Mechanics, a subscription!?! This is your present a subscription to this useless rag-magazine!?! Igor, I am a genius! I have devoted my life and my family fortune to cracking open the very secrets of God and His creation like an overripe walnut! What makes you think the childish ramblings of these half-wit dilettantes mean anything to me?
But master, Count Rudiga gets ideas from Popular Mechanics all the time.
[Disgusted at the name. Spits.]
Count Rudiga! Ptooi! Ptooi!
But thats how he developed his Mask of Death and his Gibbering Plague and his Terrible Sub-zero Death Beam.
The Death Beam? No!
Yes! From an article in the Home Improvement section on "Understanding Your Refrigerator". My mothers cousins brothers second nephew does henchwork for Count Rudiga, and she told me all about it. But look, master! Look on the cover!
[Reads the cover]
"Reanimation of Dead Tissure: Not Just Mad Science But Insane Art". Thats my work! The swine have stolen my paper! Quick! Wake up the Monster. We shall lay waste to their puny offices!
No, master! Look closer.
[Reading cover again]
"A new article by Dr. Otto Offenbachensturm."
I sent it in for you, and they published it After I kidnapped the editors 14 year old daughter and held her for ransom.
Is that what youve been keeping in the cellar?
Yes, for three weeks.
Is she still there?
No, I sent her back, but not before I switched her brain with the brain of the mad Queen Beatrice. Thats the girls brain in the new monster.[Suddenly conspiratorial] Although, quite frankly, I dont think her father will notice the switch. She was a most unpleasant little girl. I did not like her. I did like her music though. [Begins to sing a dance his Igor dance.] "Im a ooo, ooo slave for you!"
[Pause. Igor stops dancing.]
I still dont understand. Why why have you done all this?
Master, you you give me a place to sleep, food, a job that I enjoy, where I feel needed. And you always yell at me whenever I do something stupid. Ive never had anyone care that much about what I did before. You order me around all day, master. I just wanted to do something nice for you that you didnt ask for.
Igor I I dont know what to say[switching to happy] except can you imagine Rudigas face when he sees me on the cover of Popular Mechanics? Ha ha ha! [Pats Igor on his hump] Igor, this is the best Christmas present Ive ever had! Its also the only Christmas present Ive ever had, but one fact does not contradict the other.
[The monster wakes up, moves and starts making monster sounds and moving about.]
Look! Its alive! Its alive! Ha ha ha ha!
[The monster goes for Igor and starts to strangle him. The Doctor rushes to hold him back.]
No! No! No! Stop!
[On "Stop!" the trio freezes with the Monster still strangling Igor and the Doctor trying to pull the Monster off.]
Never Igor. You never hurt Igor. We would be lost without him.
[The Monster in dim understanding lets go of Igor. Both Igor and the Doctor look in pride at the new monster. Igor rushes over to a console and hits a button. "Im a Slave 4 U" begins to play. The trio start to dance to it.]
Issue of Popular Mechanics wrapped up as a present
White lab coat
Pillow for hump
Portable CD player
Bachs "Toccata & Fugue in D minor"
Britney Spearss "Im a Slave 4 U" off of Britney"A Monster Christmas" IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR
"A Monster Christmas" debuted December 27, 2002, performed by Leo Arico, Todd Ristau, and Clinton Johnston.