This was the best-received piece I have done for No Shame. In order to achieve the five-minute time limit, the part in brackets and italics was cut about seven minutes before show time.

Gary, Indiana, my Own Hometown
Why I Got Culture Shock in Iowa

By James D. Wolf, Jr.
Performed: April 25, 1997

Murph: James D. Wolf, Jr.
Joey: Ben Zolno
Body: Medoka

[Lights up. Two guys enter from stage left mid-conversation. Head towards body on floor just right of center stage]

Murph: . . .So the nun starts yelling at me -- like it's my fault the kid made a pass at his teacher.

[Two stop at body, look at each other]

Joey: Uh-oh.

Murph: Looks like somebody fucked up.

[Joey goes to other side of body and two give cursory once-over]

Joey: Anybody you know?

Murph: No, how about you?

Joey: Nah.

Murph: I don't see any weapons.

Joey: No wounds, no blood, no dent on the skull.

Murph: [picks up arm] No bruises, no needle marks, no pipes, no bottle. Wow.

Joey: Y'know, I don't think this was natural causes.

Murph: Could be, could be. [Pokes] Well, at least they're still breathing.

Joey: You want to get involved?

Murph: Are you kidding? I just got done arguing with a nun for half an hour. I gotta do something to take time off in Purgatory. Tell you what. I stay here; you go call 911.

Joey: Don't have to. [pulls out cellular phone] I'll dial from here.

Murph: Where'd you get that?

Joey: I've been trying to tell you. I'm going into business for myself. . .

Murph: No, don't even tell me. I'm your friend. I don't want to know.

Joey: Man, it's not that kind of -- Hello? Yeah, 911? Huh? Oh, the nature of my emergency is someone face down on the sidewalk. No, I don't know why. No, we don't know who. We just found them here. No, I don't think it's a seizure -- they're lying real still. No there's no tall buildings or anything -- I don't think they fell far or anything.

Murph: [deliberate] "There's no sign of foul play."

Joey: [into phone] "There's no sign of foul play."

Murph: I saw that on TV or something.

Joey: [to Murph] Hey, Murph. "Is the victim having trouble breathing"?

Murph: Depends on how much of her face is towards the sidewalk.

Joey: [to phone] Depends on . . . [shoots Murph a dirty look] Not really. [to Murph] Do we have any idea what's wrong?

Murph: No, we ditched that day in medical school. It's ruined my whole career. Look, are they gonna send an ambulance or not.

Joey: I think you'd better send an ambulance. Broadway and Ridge. Across the street from the old drive-in. Hey, Murph, why do you think the place closed, anyway?

Murph: [points to body] The food was killing people. Can we keep our mind on this?

Joey: [into phone] Does the victim have any pre-existing medical conditi. . .? Well, maybe she's allergic to stupid questions. I know they irritate me. How would we know? What? Hey Murph, is there a medic alert bracelet?

Murph: I don't see anything.

Joey: [phone] No. [Murph] How about any kind of card or anything.

Murph: She has a wallet [pulls it out]. Bank card, drivers license, credit cards, Nah, nothing like that.

Joey: [phone] We can't find anything. [Murph] Hey, what does it say about her on the driver's license? They might have a record or something.

Murph: Well, it's a bad picture. [hands to Joey]

Joey: [into phone] Let's see. "Kyoto Musashi," female, age 23, 5-foot-3, 96 pounds, lives in the Miller Beach area. . .

Murph: She must have money.

Joey: [into phone] Look, is the ambulance coming? Oh, cool. Her condition?

Murph: "Stable."

Joey: Stable. Murph: But she's still bad.

Joey: She still needs an ambulance. Yeah, I can hold while you check. [looking through wallet] Hey, look! Prom pictures!

Murph: [peers over then looks at girl] Wow. She's kind of pretty when she's not comatose.

Joey: Yeah, but look at the clod she's with.

Murph: Maybe he's got a nice personality.

Joey: Right. Nobody has that good of a personality.

Murph: [shrugs] Maybe he's got money.

Joey: Maybe he's hung like a horse.

Murph: [as Mr. Ed] Wiilllbbbuuurr.

[both snigger]

Joey: [into phone] What? Yeah, I'm still here; how about you? The victim?

Murph: The same.

Joey: She's the same. [to Murph] She can do better than that.

Murph: Yeah, who? You?

Joey: Why not?

Murph: Sure, you've got her address in your hand now. Show up one day, "Hi, I'm Joey Podnar, one of the guys who saved your life. You want to go to a movie or something"? [Is she even Catholic?

Joey: How could I tell?

Murph: My mother carries a card that says "I'm Catholic. In case of emergency, call a priest" and some prayer cards.

Joey: [Looks through wallet] Nope. Besides, what does it matter?

Murph: Look, it's just as easy to love a Catholic girl as a non-Catholic. Learn from my mistakes. That way you're not in front of a nun years later trying to explain that the reason your kid is acting up is NOT because you married a Protestant girl.

Joey: Why does your wife think he's acting up?

Murph: I'm a bad influence.

Joey: She knew that when she married you.

Murph: Hell, that's why she married me.


Joey: [puts away phone and writes down address] C'mon, let's get out of here.

Murph: Why. If we wait, we might get in the paper.

Joey: [throws wallet to Murph] Yeah, but I don't want to deal with the cops.

Murph: It's that phone business. . .

Joey: Look, I'm not doing anything illegal. I just don't. . .

Murph: [taking money out of the wallet] Don't tell me. I don't want to know. Let's see. That's ten for you. Ten for me.

Joey: What are you doing?

Murph: Hey, we've been good boys. We deserve some kind of reward.

Joey: Yeah, but there's a lot more in there.

Murph: She's going into the hospital. She's going to need that. Geez, are you cold!


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Use by others without permission prohibited.

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