© 2003 by Sherwood Ross
Doctor Google, psychiatrist
Max Miller, his patient
Sets: Doctor Google's office and funeral parlor
Come in, Mister Miller, and congratulations on your eighty-first birthday.
Would you like to lie down on the couch today or sit in the chair?
Neither. No more sessions. I'm only here to say goodbye. (Beat) So, goodbye!
Goodbye? You're not quitting therapy, are you?
That's exactly what I am doing. Three times a week for twenty-two years is enough.
You can't quit now. We're just starting to make progress.
Wrong. Anybody who pays to see a shrink for twenty-two years is hopelessly nuts.
But pretty soon we'll have all your problems solved.
You already solved my problems. I used to get back pains raking my lawn. Since I sold my house to pay your bills, I don't have that problem.
You didn't need that house any more. Your children grew up.
I used to get speeding tickets. Since I sold my car to pay your bills, no more traffic court.
See how therapy works! Doesn't it feel good to be on the right side of the law? And didn't I get you out of that homeless shelter three years ago by letting you sleep on a fuoton in my garage?
Yeah, so you could cash my Social Security checks.
Well, I have to collect something before the system becomes insolvent.
Solvent or not, I ain't paying you another buck.
You can't not pay me. Sigmund Freud said
Voice of Sigmund Freud
(Booming from above.) Paying your therapist is vital to the recovery process.
(Looking up) That's right. The government sends me money and he recovers it. (To Google) Look, I can't pay because I've got terminal leukemia. I'm dying. Finished! The end! Kaput! Get it?
You can't die on me now when you still owe me for sixty back sessions plus interest. I won't hear of it.
So clean out your ears. I'm on my way to the undertaker right now to pick out my coffin. I seen a fine mahogany job for only sixteen thousand bucks.
Don't you dare spend all that money on a coffin before you pay off your arrears!
As for my arrears, you can kiss my ass!
Mister Miller! You don't want to die on the outs with Sigmund Freud!
Is Freud gonna meet me at the Pearly Gates? With what, a portable couch? What's he gonna tell me, Lie down over there, shmuck! We've been expecting you. I'm dancing to the undertaker. (Miller starts for the door, Google after him.)
I won't let you die! (Miller runs out door, Google runs out after him. Brief blackout. Scene shifts to street outside funeral parlor at far right, interior of parlor, with coffins, at left. Miller is reaching for the door with Google behind him.)
Stop him! Somebody! Police! Arrest that man! He wants to kill himself before he's paid his bill!
(Miller enters the room filled with polished coffins. Google is right behind him, struggling to catch his breath, doubled over, hands on knees, panting.)
There's the one I like! Hooray! I'm gonna have a really long session in there, free of charge!
(Miller climbs into the coffin and lies back, hands behind head, with a huge sigh of relief. Google straightens up, goes over to coffin, and tries to pull Miller out by one arm.)
Get out of there, you dead beat! I'm gonna call every credit agency and knock your credit rating to hell!
Good! I'll feel right at home there when I get there.
(Still tugging unsuccessfully at Miller's arm.) I'll see to it the Devil sticks you with his pitchfork!
So what? That was coming next, under the Patriot Act!
(Miller shuts lid of coffin over himself but Google pulls it back open. Miller closes it again but Google pries it open again!)
Will you let me die in peace, already?
(Holding lid open with a great effort.) Tell you what I am gonna do for you. Just pay half your bill and I'll let you go straight to hell.
Strike me living if I will!
(Miller closes the lid; Google reopens it.)
Okay, just gimme twenty five cents on the dollar.
Not a dime! And if you don't like it, I hope you come after me for the money!
(Miller jumps out of the coffin, as though looking for something. Google grabs Miller's shirt, which tears and begins to chase him around the room.)
Ten cents on the dollar. Not a penny less.
(Miller sees a hammer and nails on a shelf, grabs them, and hops back into the coffin, slamming the lid after him. We hear the sound of hammering from inside the coffin. Google is trying to open it but cannot. Enter the Undertaker from right.)
What's all the racket? (Assessing Google.) Sir, you're all red in the face!
I'm a psychiatrist. A patient of mine is in there trying to hammer himself in.
Wonderful! That's the part of my job I always hated!
But he's still alive! Stop him, for God sakes, stop him!
(The hammering continues. Google starts to jump up and down.) I won't stand for it! He owes me a fortune!
Voice of Doctor Freud
(Booming) Let one of your patients get away with it and pretty soon you can kiss your sister-in-law goodbye!
Sir, you're turning purple! (Google suddenly grabs his chest with both hands, collapses dead on the floor from a coronary. The hammering stops. A moment of silence.)
(Popping open coffin lid, gleefully.) Is he dead?
I dunno, Max. I don't usually get fresh meat. (Beat) Well, you said this is what it would take to kill the bastard.
The nerve of the man! Did you hear him threatening my credit rating? How low can any human being sink?
He'll find out Sunday when we bury him. We'll dig down an extra six feet.
(Suddenly remorseful) Oh, God, what have I done? My closest friend for twenty-two years, the man I gave all my money to so I wouldn't squander it on loose women!
(Patting the coffin. ) Say, if you need a place to sleep tonight, you can feel free to sack out here.
(Suddenly cheerful) No thanks. I'm sleeping in his bed tonight. This is the first night in three years his wife won't have to visit me in the garage!
BlackoutTHIS SCRIPT IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR
Performed by Sherwood Ross, Seth Silverman, and Trent Westbrook. Stage directions read by Ursula Hull.