copyright © 2004 by Hayden Taylor

But in the Summer Itís Beautiful

By Hayden Taylor



(ROSY sits at her station. Three people are in line some distance away.)


Rosy: Next please!


(WALLACE steps up to the counter. He has brown hair.)


Wallace: Hi.

Rosy: Hi.

Wallace (after pause): Hi.

Rosy: Yeah, you said that already.

Wallace: Oh, sorry.

Rosy (flat, irritated): Name please.

Wallace: Um, Wallace. Wallace Flahpioop.


(Rosy laughs impolitely for a few seconds.)


Rosy: OkayÖFlahpioop, Wallace Flahpioop it is then.


(She types his name into the computer.)


Rosy: Age?

Wallace: Thirty four.

Rosy: Really?

Wallace: YeahÖ

Rosy: Rough life, huh.


(Rosy enters information.)


Rosy: Eye colorÖ


(She leans forward a little to get a look at his eyes.)


Rosy: Öhazel.


(Wallace looks tense. Rosy senses it.)


Rosy: Is that correct? (pause) Hazel.

Wallace: Actually, could you just make that ďgreen?Ē

Rosy (not understanding): Iím sorry?

Wallace: You see, my eyes arenít really hazel. Cause hazel indicates like a greenish or light brown. And if you look closely youíll see that my eyes arenít really hazel, see, theyíre really green with brilliant streaks of orange radiating from the pupil. See that? The green and orange are totally distinct. So, while they may appear brown initially, they are truly made up of two colors neither of which is brown. You might call it a luminescent green, donít you think?

Rosy: You want me to print, ďluminescent greenĒ on your card here?

Wallace: Well, just, you knowÖtheyíre not brown.


(Rosy just stares at him.)


Wallace: Iím sorry Iím not so convenient for you to label. You bureaucrats just love to label donít you? Thatís all you do. Well, Iím not going to be a victim of the system. I have a right to make my own identity.

Rosy: Okay, green, whatever you say. Height?

Wallace: 5í10

Rosy: Okay. Weight?

Wallace: 148.

Rosy: Okay, about 150 then.

Wallace: What?

Rosy: We round by fives.

Wallace: Oh, well, I certainly donít think itís a fair statement to say that I weigh 150. I mean, if you write 150, people will just round it up to 200 pounds in their heads, and Iím definitely not 200 pounds.

Rosy: Okay, well, we have to round by fives.

Wallace: In that case, I think Iím more of a 145 than a 150. If you had to just look at me, I mean. Iím not a guy who weighs more than something in the 140s; thatís just ridiculous. Iím sorry, but Iím asserting my identity. Even though you make it hard. I am strong enough.

Rosy: Okay, whatever, 145. Hair color. Can I say ďbrown?Ē Is that fair? A fair assessment that youíre nice and comfortable with?


(Wallace looks uncomfortable, trying to resist urge to object.)


Wallace (reluctantly giving in): I guess, maybeÖmaybe itís brown now. I can see how you would say that. So, go ahead and write it.


Rosy enters this and clicks to a new screen. She reads it over and is about to read from it, taking a big, pre-speak breath (but not of hesitation, just pause.)


Wallace: Cause you seeÖWell, itís just that, when I was younger my hair was totally blonde, you know, really light. And gradually, it got a little darker every year. You know, sandy blonde, dishwater blonde, as they say, or ďdirtyĒ blondeóand Iím not even going to get into thatóthen I guess light brown youíd call it.

Rosy: Uh huh.

Line person 1 (raising voice to be heard by Wallace): You know what? My hair used to be blonde, too! I feel you, man.

Wallace: Thanks. You know, in the summer, you wouldnít believe how it lightens. It just really streaks all out. But I didnít really get much sun this summer, you know, so itís different.

Line person 2 (to LP 1): Thatís like me too. When I was younger I had the most radiant sun-kissed curls. Iím proud of him for standing up to that old bag.

Line person 1: Yeah, me too. In fact, when I get up there, Iím going to tell her to mark me down as blonde.

Line person 2: Yeah! And look at my eyes, people say they are blue, but look. See those subtle inflections of violet?

Line person 1: Oh, yes. Tell her to write down ďviolet.Ē

Line person 2: I will. All thanks to the trailblazing of this fine young man.

Wallace (Chuckling to self): Even now, just look here at the lighter hair around the edge of my scalp, see. Itís a lot lighter, really kind of stunning. Anyway, itís a stretch, but I suppose I can see how youíd call my hair dark.




Rosy (with matter-of-fact attitude): SoÖbrown.

Wallace (a little embarrassed pause of realization)ÖYeah.


(Rosy enters some information into the computer.)


Wallace: No, stop. Iím sorry, I just have to assert myself again. My inner identity is blonde. Iím strong enough to see that, so Iím putting it out there. And you have to respect that, okay?

Rosy: Alright, alright! Jesus. You want to be blonde? Fine, youíre blonde.

Wallace: Thank you.

Rosy: Now I need your address. Say whatever you darn well please; Iíll write down anything.


(UNKNOWN MAN enters, hangs at edge of stage.)


Wallace: Itís 483 North Lakeside Drive, Apartment 9.

Rosy: Isnít that the Forrest View complex?

Wallace: Yes.

Rosy: Isnít that a retirement home?

Wallace (pause the embarrassment): Yes.

Rosy: Okay, that should be all the informationÖ

Unknown man: Freeze, sir. Youíre under arrest.


(Wallace freezes and is cuffed by the cop/unknown man)


Rosy: What did he do?

Cop: This man told you his name was Wallace Flahpioop, but itís not. The man you see before you is none other than the infamous Al Capone!

Rosy (frightened): Al Capone!

Cop: Yes, none other than the infamous Al Capone. Letís go, buddy.

Rosy: Were you really blonde as a child?

Al Capone: Of course I was! Everyone was blonde as a child. Who cares? I obviously have brown hair now. Being strong enough to assert my inner self? What a bunch of bullshit! I was just preparing this card for my new identity, hoping to lie low for a while. But I guess Iím too late.

Cop: No more fraternizing, Capone. Weíre hitting the road in a blue streak.


(Cop hauls Capone offstage.)


Rosy: Next!


(Line Person 1 steps up.)


Rosy: Name.

LP1: Mary Jones.

Rosy: Hair color?

Mary: Um, brown.




[Back to Library] Home