Real Men Watch Birds
Scene by Sean Nitchmann
Dave – Bird enthusiast, kind of nerdy.
Glenda – Invited by Dave to go bird watching, having second thoughts.
Brad – Another bird enthusiast, trying to out-enthuse Dave.
Medium to bright, takes place outdoors in daylight.
>>> Lights up
[Dave is looking through his binoculars at a bird in a tree]
See it … the Passerina cyanea or Indigo Bunting. My God! That’s a beautiful bird!
Yeah, nice. It’s a … nice bird.
You betcha! Hey, I’m really glad you agreed to come out here with me Glenda. You know, bird watching is just about my most favorite thing to do. You probably gathered that from the pictures I have hanging in my cubical at work. Did you see the picture of the Piranga olivacea? We are standing right smack dab in its migratory path. Someone in the chat room last night claimed to see one about fifty miles north of here. Man, what I wouldn’t give to feast my eyes on that little beauty.
What bird is that? Pir…anga…what?
Piranga olivacea … you know, the Scarlet Tanager. The male grows a dashing scarlet plumage during breeding season. Quite a sight to behold. If we catch a glimpse of one, I’m going to be in birder heaven! I’d be so excited I’d probably molt right here in front of you!
[Brad walks on stage]
Hey, Dave. I knew you’d be perched out here.
Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?
No, I’m not. Why don’t you flock off.
Brad [gloatingly to Glenda]
Dave’s a little perturbed at me. You see, I was the first to spot a Yellow-billed Cuckoo around here. We both belong to the “Friends Of A Feather” birding club and one of my pictures of the Cuckoo won first prize in the photo contest this year. Brad has dominated the photo competition for years and my winning has got his beak all in a knot.
Oh? Dave, I didn’t know you were a photographer.
I’m not really. It’s ... it’s just that I want to be able to capture the beauty of these magnificent creatures. When I’m out here, I’m so totally awed by the gracefulness and wonder of these feathered gifts from God, these winged angels that inhabit the tree heavens, looking down on us, warbling their siren songs, calling to us … [whistles] come to me …[whistles] love me as I love you …[whistles] if only we were of the same species…
Um… wow…you really have a thing for birds.
He sure does. You should see his apartment. He’s got photos all over the walls, tons of books and he plays these weird birdcall CD’s.
Those CD’s are the official Audubon song library of indigenous North American birds. I play them so that I can learn to recognize their voices when I’m out here, Brad. I’m not interested in just tromping through the woods clicking away at anything I happen frighten into flight.
Well, I’ve got news for you Dave, I’m no nestling myself when it comes to the knowledge of birds. [to Brenda] Besides winning the photo competition, I also placed first in the mating dance talent show at the Birders Convention.
Ha! That chicken strut! I thought you’re rendition of the Sitta carolinensis … [aside to Brenda] the White-breasted Nuthatch… was a vulgar display of an ill-informed amateur. Let me show you where you went wrong.
[Dave acts out the motions as he speaks]
First of all, it’s sidestep, hop, dip… sidestep, hop, dip…
Brad [Acting out the motions]
No, I’m sorry, it’s sidestep, dip, strut… see… strut… watch and learn my friend.
And you completely forgot about your plumage, DO NOT FORGET YOUR PLUMAGE! [Dave shakes his tail feathers]
[70’s porn music begins playing. Dave and Brad take turns showing each other their mating dances in slow motion. Glenda moves in front of them and addresses the audience. The slow motion action between Dave and Brad continues throughout Glenda’s monologue, ending when the music stops.]
I have to admit; I was a little intrigued at first. There was something about their movements that … well… they really weren’t that bad. The way Dave shook his tail feathers…
[Slight pause while Dave shakes his feathers in slow motion]
The way Brad did his thrusting strut…
[Slight pause while Brad struts in slow motion]
I was starting to feel like this was all for me, that these two guys were vying for my attentions with their little ritual dances. Was it me motivating them to prance themselves into a frenzy? I felt a little flutter of excitement… a little thrill… but then…
[Glenda goes back into character and joins Dave and Brad]
Dave [Looking through binoculars]
Look at that! It’s a Centurus carolinus the Red-bellied Woodpecker!
No it’s not! It’s a pigeon! They’re all pigeons! We’re in a park in the middle of the city! What is wrong with you guys?
[Dave and Brad are shocked]
I… I… just wanted to roost in your nest.
No… that is not going to happen. I’m going back to work, lunch is over!
[Glenda walks offstage, Dave and Brad watch her go.]
Hey, you want to come over tonight and watch the Discovery channel?
[Dave and Brad walk offstage]
"Real Men Watch Birds" debuted September 20, 2002, performed by Sean Nitchmann, Brandon Allison and Leanne Heslin.