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Happy Birthday, Wanda June Movie Script

Writer(s) : Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Genres : Comedy

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               HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WANDA JUNE

                           by

                     Kurt Vonnegut




                           ACT ONE

SCENE ONE

SILENCE.  Pitch blackness.  Animal eyes begin to glow in the
darkness.  Sounds of the jungle climax in animals fighting.
A SINGER is heard singing the first bars of "All God's
Chillun Got Shoes."  HAROLD, LOOSELEAF, PENELOPE, and WOODLY
stand in a row in the darkness, facing the audience.  They
are motionless.  A city skyline in the early evening
materializes outside the windows.

The lights come up on the living room of a rich man's
apartment, which is densely furnished with trophies of hunts
and wars.  There is a front door, a door to the master
bedroom suite, and a corridor leading to other bedrooms, the
kitchen and so on.

                         PENELOPE
            How do you do.  My name is Penelope
            Ryan.  This is a simple-minded play
            about men who enjoy killing--and
            those who don't.

                         HAROLD
            I am Harold Ryan, her husband.  I
            have killed perhaps two hundred men
            in wars of various sorts--as a
            professional soldier.  I have
            killed thousands of other animals
            as well--for sport.

                         WOODLY
            I am Dr. Norbert Woodly--a
            physician, a healer.  I find it
            disgusting and frightening that a
            killer should be a respected member
            of society.  Gentleness must
            replace violence everywhere, or we
            are doomed.

                         PENELOPE
                   (to LOOSELEAF)
            Would you like to say something
            about killing, Colonel?

                         LOOSELEAF
                   (embarrassed)
            Jesus--I dunno.  You know.  What
            the heck.  Who knows?

                         PENELOPE
            Colonel Harper, retired now,
            dropped an atom bomb on Nagasaki
            during the Second World War,
            killing seventy-four thousand
            people in a flash.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I dunno, boy.

                         PENELOPE
            You don't know?

                         LOOSELEAF
            It was a bitch.

                         PENELOPE
            Thank you.
                   (to all)
            You can leave now.  We'll begin.

                         WOODLY
                   (to the audience,
                   making a peace sign)
            Peace!

All but PENELOPE exit.

                         PENELOPE
                   (to the audience)
            This is a tragedy.  When it's done,
            my face will be as white as the
            snows of Kilimanjaro.
                   (hyena laughs)
            My husband, who kills so much, has
            been missing for eight years.  He
            disappeared in a light plane over
            the Amazon Rain Forest, where he
            hoped to find diamonds as big as
            cantaloupes.  His pilot was Colonel
            Looseleaf Harper, who dropped the
            bomb on Nagasaki.
                   (hyena laughs)
            I should explain the doorbells in
            this apartment.  They were built by
            Abercrombie and Fitch.  They are
            actual recordings of animal cries.
            The back doorbell is a hyena, which
            you've just heard.  The front
            doorbell is a lion's roar.
                   (to the wings)
            Would you let them hear it please?
                   (lion roars)
            Thank you.

PAUL, her twelve-year-old son, enters from corridor, a
sensitive, neatly dressed little rich boys.

                         PENELOPE
            And this is my son, Paul.  He was
            only four years old when his father
            disappeared.

                         PAUL
                   (radiantly, sappily)
            He's coming back, Mom!  He's the
            bravest, most wonderful man who
            ever lived.

                         PENELOPE
                   (to audience)
            I told you this was a simple-minded
            play.

                         PAUL
            Maybe he'll come back tonight!
            It's his birthday.

                         PENELOPE
            I know.

                         PAUL
            Stay home tonight!

                         PENELOPE
                   (ruefully, for they
                   have been over this before)
            Oh, Paul--

                         PAUL
            You're married!  You've already got
            a husband!

                         PENELOPE
            He's a ghost!

                         PAUL
            He's alive!

                         PENELOPE
            Not even Mutual of Omaha thinks so
            anymore.

                         PAUL
            If you have to go out with some
            guy--can't he be more like Dad?
                   (sick)
            Herb Shuttle and Norbert Woodly--
            can't you do better than those two
            freaks?

                         PENELOPE
                   (resentfully)
            Thank you, kind sir.

                         PAUL
            A vacuum cleaner salesman and a
            fairy doctor.

                         PENELOPE
            A what kind of doctor?

                         PAUL
            A fairy--a queer.  Everybody in the
            building knows he's a queer.

                         PENELOPE
                   (knowing better)
            That's an interesting piece of news.

                         PAUL
            You're the only woman he ever took
            out.

                         PENELOPE
            Not true.

                         PAUL
            Still lives with his mother.

                         PENELOPE
            You know she has no feet!  You want
            him to abandon his mother, who has
            no husband, who has no money of her
            own, who has no feet?

                         PAUL
            How did she lose her feet?

                         PENELOPE
            In a railroad accident many years ago.

                         PAUL
            I was afraid to ask.

                         PENELOPE
            Norbert was just beginning practice.
            A real man would have sold her to a
            catfood company, I suppose.  As far
            as that goes, J. Edgar Hoover still
            lives with his mother.

                         PAUL
            I didn't know that.

                         PENELOPE
            A lot of people don't.

                         PAUL
            J. Edgar Hoover plays sports.

                         PENELOPE
            I don't really know.

                         PAUL
            To only exercise Dr. Woodly ever
            gets is playing the violin and
            making that stupid peace sign.
                   (makes the peace sign
                   and says the word effeminately)
            Peace.  Peace.  Peace, everybody.

Lion doorbell roars.

                         PENELOPE
                   (cringing)
            I hate that thing.

                         PAUL
            It's beautiful.

He goes to door, admits WOODLY, whom he loathes openly.

                         WOODLY
                   (wearing street
                   clothes, carrying a
                   rolled-up poster
                   under his arm)
            Peace, everybody--Paul, Penelope.

                         PAUL
            You're taking Mom out tonight?

                         WOODLY
                   (to PENELOPE)
            You're going out?

                         PENELOPE
            Herb Shuttle is taking me to a fight.

                         WOODLY
            Take plenty of cigars.

                         PENELOPE
                   (an apology, secret
                   from PAUL)
            We made the date three months ago.

                         WOODLY
            I must take you to an emergency
            ward sometime--on a Saturday night.
            That's also fun.  I came to see
            Selma, as a matter of fact.

                         PENELOPE
            She quit this afternoon.

                         PAUL
            We don't have a maid any more.

                         WOODLY
            Oh?

                         PENELOPE
            The animals made her sneeze and cry
            too much.

                         WOODLY
            I'm glad somebody finally cried.
            Every time I come in here and see
            all this unnecessary death, I want
            to cry.
                   (winking at PAUL,
                   acknowledging PAUL's
                   low opinion of him)
            I don't cry, of course.  Not manly,
            you know.  Did she try antihistamines?

                         PENELOPE
            They made her so sleepy she
            couldn't work.

                         WOODLY
            Throw out all this junk.  Burn it!
            This room crawls with tropical
            disease.

                         PAUL
            Everything stays as it is!

                         WOODLY
            A monument to a man who thought
            that what the world needed most was
            more rhinoceros meat.

                         PAUL
                   (hotly)
            My father!

                         WOODLY
            I apologize.  But you didn't know
            him, and neither did I.  How's your
            asthma?

                         PAUL
            Don't worry about it.

                         WOODLY
            How's the fungus around your
            thumbnail?

                         PAUL
                   (concealing the thumb)
            It's fine!

                         WOODLY
            It's jungle rot!  This room is
            making everybody sick!  This is
            your family doctor speaking now.
                   (unrolling the poster)
            Here--I brought you something else
            to hang on your wall, for the sake
            of variety.

                         PENELOPE
                   (reading)
            "War is not healthy for children
            and other living things." How lovely.

                         WOODLY
            No doubt Paul thinks it stinks.

Lion doorbell roars.

                         WOODLY
            I hate that thing.

                         PAUL
                   (going to the door)
            Keeps fairies away!

He admits HERB SHUTTLE, who carries an Electrolux vacuum
cleaner.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (to PAUL
                   affectionately,
                   touching him)
            Hi kid.
                   (seeing WOODLY)
            Would you look what the car dragged
            in.

                         WOODLY
            I'm glad you brought your vacuum
            cleaner.

                         SHUTTLE
            Is that a fact?

                         WOODLY
            That maid just quit.  The place is
            a mess.  You can start in the
            master bedroom.

                         PENELOPE
            Please--

                         SHUTTLE
            He's not anybody to tell somebody
            else what to do in a master bedroom.

                         PENELOPE
            I'll get ready, Herb.  I didn't
            expect you this soon.
                   (to all)
            Please--won't everybody be nice to
            everybody else while I'm gone?

All freeze, except for PENELOPE, who comes forward to
address the audience.  Lights on set fade as spotlight comes
on.

                         PENELOPE
            Most men shunned me--even when I
            nearly swooned for want of love.  I
            might as well have been girdled in
            a chastity belt.  My chastity belt
            was not made of iron and chains and
            chickenwire, but of Harold's lethal
            reputation.

SHUTTLE comes into the spotlight.

                         SHUTTLE
            I keep having this nightmare--that
            he catches us.

                         PENELOPE
            Doing what?

                         SHUTTLE
            He'd kill me.  He'd be right to
            kill me, too--the kind of guy he is.

                         PENELOPE
            Or was.  We haven't done anything
            wrong, you know.

                         SHUTTLE
            He'd assume we had.

                         PENELOPE
            That's something I suppose.

                         SHUTTLE
            All through the day I'm so
            confident.  That's why I'm such a
            good salesman, you know?  I have
            confidence, and I look like I have
            confidence, and that gives other
            people confidence.  People laugh
            sometimes when they find out I'm a
            vacuum cleaner salesman.  They stop
            laughing, though, when they find
            out I made forty-three thousand
            dollars last year.  I've got six
            other salesmen working under me,
            and what they all plug into is my
            confidence.  That's what charges
            them up.

                         PENELOPE
            I'm glad.

                         SHUTTLE
            I was captain of the wrestling team
            at Lehigh University.

                         PENELOPE
            I know.

                         SHUTTLE
            If you want to wrestle, you got
            Lehigh.  If you want to play
            tennis, you go to Vanderbilt.

                         PENELOPE
            I don't want to go to Vanderbilt.

                         SHUTTLE
            You don't wrestle if you don't have
            supreme confidence, and I wrestled.
            But when I get with you, and I say
            to myself, "My God--here I am with
            the wife of Harold Ryan, one of the
            great heroes of all time--"

Pause.

                         PENELOPE
            Yes?

                         SHUTTLE
            Something happens to my confidence.

                         PENELOPE
                   (to the audience)
            This conversation took place,
            incidentally, about three months
            before Harold was declared legally
            dead.

                         SHUTTLE
            When Harold is definitely out of
            the picture, Penelope, when I don't
            have to worry about doing him wrong
            or you wrong or Paul wrong.  I'm
            going to ask you to be my wife.

                         PENELOPE
            I'm touched.

                         SHUTTLE
            That's when I'll get my confidence
            back.

                         PENELOPE
            I see.

                         SHUTTLE
            If you'll pardon the expression,
            that's when you'll see the fur and
            feathers fly.  Good night.

                         PENELOPE
            Good night.

Blackout.

SCENE TWO

SHUTTLE and WOODLY argue in pitch darkness, with PAUL
listening, and lights come up gradually to full on the
living room the same evening.

                         SHUTTLE
            You've got to fight from time to time.

                         WOODLY
            Not true.

                         SHUTTLE
            Or get eaten alive.

                         WOODLY
            That's not true either--or needn't
            be, unless we make it true.

                         SHUTTLE
            Phooey.

                         WOODLY
            Which we do.  But we can stop doing
            that.

The lights are full.  SHUTTLE and WOODLY are bored with each
other, WOODLY looks out the window, speaks to an imaginary
listener who has more brains than SHUTTLE.  PAUL hates them
both, but prefers SHUTTLE's noisy manliness.

                         WOODLY
            We simply stop doing that--dropping
            things on each other, eating each
            other alive.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (calling)
            Penelope!  We're late!

                         PENELOPE
                   (off, in master
                   bedroom suite)
            Coming.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (to PAUL)
            Women are always late.  You'll find
            out.

                         WOODLY
                   (thoughtfully)
            The late Mrs. Harold Ryan.

                         SHUTTLE
            I'm sick of this argument.  I just
            have one more thing to say: If you
            elect a President, you support him,
            no matter what he does.  That's the
            only way you can have a country!

                         WOODLY
            It's the planet that's in ghastly
            trouble now and all our brothers
            and sisters thereon.

                         SHUTTLE
            None of my relatives are Chinese
            Communists.  Speak for yourself.

                         WOODLY
            Chinese maniacs and Russian maniacs
            and American maniacs and French
            maniacs and British maniacs have
            turned this lovely, moist,
            nourishing blue-green ball into a
            doomsday device.  Let a radar set
            and a computer mistake a hawk or a
            meteor for a missile, and that's
            the end of mankind.

                         SHUTTLE
            You can believe that if you want.
            I talk to guys like you, and I want
            to commit suicide.
                   (to PAUL)
            You get that weight-lifting set I
            sent you?

                         PAUL
            It came yesterday.  I haven't
            opened it yet.

                         WOODLY
                   (musingly, attempting
                   to find the idea
                   acceptable, even
                   funny, in a way)
            Maybe it's supposed to end now.
            Maybe God wouldn't have it any
            other way.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (to PAUL)
            Start with the smallest weights.
            Every week add a pound or two.

                         WOODLY
            Maybe God has let everybody who
            ever lived be reborn--so he or she
            can see how it ends.  Even
            Pithecanthropus erectus and
            Australopithecus and Sinanthropus
            pekensis and the Neanderthalers are
            back on Earth--to see how it ends.
            They're all on Times Square--making
            change for peepshows.  Or recruiting
            Marines.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (to PAUL)
            You ever hear the story about the
            boy who carried a calf around the
            barn every day?

                         WOODLY
            He died of a massive rupture.

                         SHUTTLE
            You think you're so funny.  You're
            not even funny.
                   (to PAUL)
            Right?  Right?  You don't hurt
            yourself if you start out slow.

                         WOODLY
            You're preparing him for a career
            in the slaughterhouses of Dubuque?
                   (to PAUL)
            Take care of your body, yes!  But
            don't become a bender of horseshoes
            and railroad spikes.  Don't become
            obsessed by your musculature.  Any
            one of these poor, dead animals
            here was a thousand times the
            athlete you can ever hope to be.
            Their magic was in their muscles.
            Your magic is in your brains!

PENELOPE enters from the bedroom, dressed for the fight.
She wears barbaric jewelry HAROLD gave her years ago, a
jaguar-skin coat over her shoulders.

                         PENELOPE
                   (brightly)
            Gentlemen!  Is this right for a
            fight?  It's been so long.

                         SHUTTLE
            Beautiful!  I've never seen that coat.

                         PENELOPE
            Seven jaguars' skins, I'm told.
            Harold shot every one.  Shall we go?

                         WOODLY
                   (sick about the slain jaguars)
            Oh no!  Wear a coat of cotton--wear
            a coat of wool.

                         PENELOPE
            What?

                         WOODLY
            Wear a coat of domestic mink.  For
            the love of God, though, Penelope,
            don't lightheartedly advertise that
            the last of the jaguars died for you.

                         SHUTTLE
            She's my date tonight.  What do you
            want her to do--bring the poor old
            jaguars back to life with a bicycle
            pump?  Bugger off!  Ask Paul what
            he thinks.
                   (to PAUL)
            Your mother looks beautiful--right?
                   (PAUL pointedly
                   declines to answer)
            Kid?
                   (PAUL walks away from him)
            Doesn't your mother look nice?
                   (he goes to PAUL,
                   wondering what is wrong)
            Paul?

                         PAUL
                   (smolderingly)
            I don't care what she wears.

                         SHUTTLE
            Something's made you sore.

                         PAUL
            Don't worry about it.

                         SHUTTLE
            You bet I'll worry about it.  I
            said something wrong?

                         PAUL
                   (close to angry tears)
            It's my father's birthday--that's
            all.
                   (facing everybody,
                   raising his voice)
            That's all.  Who cares about that?

                         SHUTTLE
                   (horrified, raising
                   his hand to swear an oath)
            I had not the slightest inkling.
                   (to PENELOPE, feeling betrayed)
            Why didn't you say so?

                         PAUL
                   (bitterly)
            She doesn't care!  She's not
            married any more!  She's going to
            have fun!
                   (to PENELOPE)
            I hope you have so much fun you can
            hardly stand it.
                   (to WOODLY)
            Dr. Woodly--I hope you make up even
            better jokes about my father than
            the ones you've said so far.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (reaching out for PAUL)
            Kid--kid--

                         PAUL
                   (to SHUTTLE)
            And I wish you'd quit touching me
            all the time.  It drives me nuts!

                         SHUTTLE
                   (reaching out again)
            What's this?

                         PAUL
                   (recoiling)
            Don't!

                         SHUTTLE
                   (aghast)
            You sure misunderstood something--
            and we'd better get it straight.

                         PAUL
            Explain it to them.  I'm bugging
            out of here.

He grabs a jacket from a chair.  SHUTTLE is in his way.

                         PAUL
            Don't touch me.  Get out of the way.

                         SHUTTLE
            Men can touch other men, and it
            doesn't mean a thing.  Haven't you
            ever seen football players after
            they've won the Superbowl?

                         PENELOPE
                   (to PAUL)
            Where will you be?

                         PAUL
            Anywhere but here.  I'd just sit
            here and cry about the way my
            father's been forgotten.

                         SHUTTLE
            I worship your father.  That
            stuffed alligator your mother gave
            me--the one he shot?  It's the
            proudest thing in my apartment.

                         PAUL
                   (at the door)
            Everybody talks about how rotten
            kids act.  Grownups can be pretty
            rotten, too.

He exits through front door, slams it.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (heartbroken)
            Kid--kid--

                         WOODLY
            It's good.  Let him go.

                         SHUTTLE
            If he'd just come out for the
            Little League, the way I asked him,
            he'd find out we touch all the
            time--shove each other, slug each
            other, and just horse around.  I'm
            going to go get him--

                         WOODLY
            Don't!  Let him have all the
            privacy he wants.  Let him grieve,
            let him rage.  There has never been
            a funeral for his father.

                         PENELOPE
            I never knew when to hold it--or
            who to ask, or what to say.

                         WOODLY
            Tonight's the night.

                         SHUTTLE
            If he'd just get into scouting, and
            camp out some, and see how
            everybody roughhouses around the
            fire--

                         WOODLY
            What a beautiful demonstration this
            is of the utter necessity of rites
            of passage.

                         SHUTTLE
            I feel like I've been double-
            crossed.
                   (to PENELOPE, peevishly)
            If you'd just told me it was
            Harold's birthday--

                         PENELOPE
            What then?

                         SHUTTLE
            We could have had some kind of
            birthday party for him.  We could
            have taken Paul to the fight with us.

                         WOODLY
            Minors aren't allowed at fights.

                         SHUTTLE
            Then we'd stay home and eat venison
            or something, and look through the
            scrapbooks.  I've got a friend who
            has a whole freezer full of striped
            bass and caribou meat.
                   (going to the front door)
            I'm going to bring that boy back.

He exits through front door.

                         WOODLY
                   (going to PENELOPE)
            This is very good for us.

                         PENELOPE
            It is?

                         WOODLY
            The wilder Paul is tonight, the
            calmer he'll be tomorrow.

                         PENELOPE
            As long as he keeps out of the park.

                         WOODLY
            After this explosion, I think,
            he'll be able to accept the fact
            that his mother is going to marry
            again.

                         PENELOPE
            The only thing I ever told him
            about life was, "Keep out of the
            park after the sun goes down."

                         WOODLY
            We've got to dump Shuttle.
                   (pointing to the
                   vacuum cleaner)
            He brings his vacuum cleaner on dates?

                         PENELOPE
            That's the XKE.

                         WOODLY
            The what?

                         PENELOPE
            It's an experimental model.  He
            doesn't dare leave it in his car,
            for fear it will fall into the
            hands of competition.

                         WOODLY
            What kind of a life is that?

                         PENELOPE
            He told me one time what the
            proudest moment of his life was.
            He made Eagle Scout when he was
            twenty-nine years old.
                   (clinging to him suddenly)
            Oh, Norbert--promise me that Paul
            has not gone into the park!

                         WOODLY
                   (pause)
            If you warned him against it as
            much as you say, it's almost a
            certainty.

                         PENELOPE
                   (petrified)
            No!  Oh no!  Three people murdered
            in there in the last six weeks!
            The police won't even go in there
            any more.

                         WOODLY
            I wish Paul luck.

                         PENELOPE
            It's suicide!

                         WOODLY
            I'd be dead by now if that were the
            case.

                         PENELOPE
            Meaning?

                         WOODLY
            Every night, Penelope, for the past
            two years, I've made it a point to
            walk through the park at midnight.

                         PENELOPE
            Why would you do that?

                         WOODLY
            To show myself how brave I am.  The
            issue's in doubt, you know--since
            I'm always for peace--

                         PENELOPE
            I'm amazed.

                         WOODLY
            Me, too.  I know something not even
            the police know--what's in the park
            at midnight.  Nothing.  Or, when
            I'm in there, there's me in there.
            Fear and nobody and me.

                         PENELOPE
            And maybe Paul.  What about the
            murderers?  They're in there!

                         WOODLY
            They didn't murder me.

                         PENELOPE
            Paul's only twelve years old.

                         WOODLY
            He can make the sound of human
            footsteps--which is a terrifying
            sound.

                         PENELOPE
            We've got to rescue him.

                         WOODLY
            If he is in the park, luck is all
            that can save him now, and there's
            plenty of that.

                         PENELOPE
            He's not your son.

                         WOODLY
            No.  But he's going to be.  If he
            is in the park and he comes out
            safely on the other side, I can say
            to him, "You and I are the only men
            with balls enough to walk through
            the park at midnight."
                   (pause)
            On that we can build.

                         PENELOPE
            It's a jungle out there.

                         WOODLY
            That's been said before.

                         PENELOPE
            He'd go to a movie.  I think that's
            what he'd do.  If I were sure he
            was in a movie, I could stop
            worrying.  We could have him paged.

Lion doorbell roars.

                         WOODLY
            I hate that thing.

He opens the door, admits SHUTTLE, who carries a bakery box.

                         PENELOPE
            Did you see him?

                         SHUTTLE
            Yeah.

                         PENELOPE
            Is he all right?

                         SHUTTLE
            Far as I know.

                         PENELOPE
            Is he coming home?

                         SHUTTLE
            He ditched me.  He started running,
            and I started running, then he lost
            me in the park.

                         PENELOPE
            The park!

                         SHUTTLE
            It's dark in there.
                         PENELOPE
            And that's where he is!

                         SHUTTLE
            I figure he ducked in one place and
            ducked out another.

                         PENELOPE
                   (disgusted with him)
            You figure!

                         SHUTTLE
            Then I saw this bakery store that
            was still open, so I bought a
            birthday cake.

                         PENELOPE
            A what?

                         SHUTTLE
            For Harold.  When Paul comes home,
            we can have some birthday cake.

                         PENELOPE
            How nice.

                         SHUTTLE
            They had this cake somebody else
            hadn't picked up.  It says, "Happy
            Birthday, Somebody Else."

                         WOODLY
            "Happy Birthday, Wanda June!"

                         SHUTTLE
            We can take off the "Wanda June"
            with a butter knife.

                         PENELOPE
            Did you talk to Paul?

                         SHUTTLE
            Before he started to run.  He said
            his father carried a key to this
            apartment around his neck--and
            someday we'd all hear the sound of
            that key in the door.

                         PENELOPE
            We've got to find him.
                   (preparing to exit
                   through front door)
            I want you to show me exactly where
            you saw him last.
                   (to WOODLY)
            And you stay here, Norbert, in case
            he comes home.
                   (to SHUTTLE)
            That's all he said--the thing about
            the key?

                         SHUTTLE
            He said one other thing.  It wasn't
            very nice.

                         PENELOPE
            What was it?

                         SHUTTLE
            He told me to take a flying fuck at
            the moon.

Blackout.

SCENE THREE

DARKNESS.  Lights come up on living room.  WOODLY is alone,
asleep on the couch.

HAROLD lets himself and LOOSELEAF in through the front
door--quietly.  HAROLD has a full beard and a paunch.
LOOSELEAF is skinnier.  He has a handlebar moustache.  Both
wear new sports clothes and smoke expensive cigars.  HAROLD
is calm.  LOOSELEAF is nervous, confused.  They prowl the
room cautiously, checking this and that.  HAROLD awakens
WOODLY by playing with his feet.

                         WOODLY
                   (startled)
            Ooops.

                         HAROLD
                   (to LOOSELEAF, very amused)
            Ooops.

                         WOODLY
            Can I--uh--help you gentlemen?

                         HAROLD
                   (moving downstage,
                   feeling at home)
            Gentlemen--that's nice.

                         WOODLY
                   (to LOOSELEAF)
            You startled me.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Yeah.  We just got here.

                         WOODLY
            I thought you might be burglars--
            but you're not, I hope.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Nope.
                   (idiotically,
                   incapable of deception)
            I got a lot of stuff.

                         WOODLY
                   (looking at him closely)
            You do?

                         HAROLD
            The door ws unlocked.  Is it always
            unlocked?

                         WOODLY
            It's always locked.

                         HAROLD
            But here you are inside, aren't you?

                         WOODLY
            You're--you're old friends of
            Harold Ryan?

                         HAROLD
            We tried to be.  We tried to be.

                         WOODLY
            He's dead, you know.

                         HAROLD
            Dead!  Such a final word.  Dead!
                   (to LOOSELEAF)
            Did you hear that?

                         LOOSELEAF
            Yup.

Telephone rings.  WOODLY answers, keeping his eyes on the
bizarre guests.

                         WOODLY
            Hello?  Oh--hello, Mother.

                         HAROLD
                   (to LOOSELEAF)
            Hello, Mother.

                         WOODLY
            ...Who?... Did she say how far
            apart the pains were?... When was
            that?... Oh dear.

                         HAROLD
            Oh dear.

                         WOODLY
            Call her back--tell her to head for
            the hospital.  Tell the hospital to
            expect her.  I'll leave right now.

He hangs up, faces the intruders.

                         WOODLY
            Look--I'm sorry--I have to go.

                         HAROLD
            We'll miss you so.

                         WOODLY
            Look--this isn't my apartment, and
            there isn't anybody else here.  Mrs.
            Ryan won't be home for a while.

                         HAROLD
            Oh, oh, oh--I thought it was your
            apartment.  You seemed at home here.

                         WOODLY
            I'm a neighbor.  I have the
            apartment across the hall.  I have
            to go to the hospital now.  An
            emergency.

HAROLD is unstirred.

                         WOODLY
            I mean--I can't leave you here.
            You'll have to go.  I'll tell Mrs.
            Ryan you were here.  You can come
            back later.

                         HAROLD
            Ahh--then she's still alive.

                         WOODLY
            She's fine.  Please--

                         HAROLD
            And still Mrs. Harold Ryan?

                         WOODLY
            Will you please go?  An emergency!

                         HAROLD
            She still has just the one child--
            the boy?

He moves slowly toward the front door, with WOODLY trying to
hustle him and LOOSELEAF out.

                         WOODLY
            Yes!  Yes!  The boy!  One boy!

                         HAROLD
                   (stopping)
            And what, exactly, is your
            relationship to Mrs. Ryan?

                         WOODLY
            Neighbor!  Doctor!  I live across
            the hall.

                         HAROLD
            And you come into Mrs. Ryan's
            apartment as often as you please,
            looking into various health matters?

                         WOODLY
            Yes!  Please!  You've got to get
            out right now!

HAROLD moves a little more, stops again.

                         HAROLD
            Just her neighbor and doctor?
            That's all?

                         WOODLY
                   (at the end of his
                   patience, blurting)
            And her fianc�!

                         HAROLD
                   (delighted)
            And her fianc�!  How nice.  I hope
            you'll be very happy--or is that
            what one says to the woman?

                         WOODLY
            I've got to run!

He turns out the overhead light.

                         HAROLD
            You wish the woman good luck, and
            you tell the man how fortunate he
            is.  That's how it goes.

                         WOODLY
                   (holding open the
                   front door)
            I've literally got to run!

                         HAROLD
            I won't try to keep up with you.
            I'm not as fast on my feet as I
            once was.

All three exit.  A moment later, HAROLD lets himself and
LOOSELEAF in again with a key.  He turns on the light again,
roams the room, reacquainting himself with his beloved
trophies.  LOOSELEAF is jangled by the adventure.  HAROLD
chucks a lioness under her chin.

                         HAROLD
            Miss me, baby?

                         LOOSELEAF
            I dunno, boy.

                         HAROLD
            Hm?

                         LOOSELEAF
            It's a bitch.

                         HAROLD
                   (quietly)
            A bitch.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Didn't recognize you.

                         HAROLD
            We've never met.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I wonder who'll recognize us first?
            They'll wet their pants.

                         HAROLD
            I hope the men do.  I would rather
            the women didn't.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I'm gonna wet my pants.

He laughs idiotically.

                         HAROLD
                   (looking around himself)
            Home, sweet home.

                         LOOSELEAF
            One thing, anyway--at least
            Penelope didn't throw out all your
            crap.  I bet Alice threw out all my
            crap after I'd been gone a week.

                         HAROLD
            We'll see.

HAROLD, who wants to savor the early moments of his
homecoming alone, now tries to get the very jumpy LOOSELEAF
out of the apartment.

                         HAROLD
            It appears that we're going to have
            to wait awhile for any more action
            here, Colonel.  Why don't you run
            on home while the evening's young.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Home.  Jesus.
                   (makes his hands tremble)
            I'm like this.  Home!

                         HAROLD
            Home is important to a man.

                         LOOSELEAF
            You know what gets me?

                         HAROLD
                   (absently)
            No.

                         LOOSELEAF
            How all the magazines show tits today.

                         HAROLD
            Um.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Used to be against the law, didn't it?

                         HAROLD
                   (fed up with LOOSELEAF)
            I suppose.

                         LOOSELEAF
                   (making no move to leave)
            Must have changed that law.

Silence, while HAROLD attempts to be alone, even though
LOOSELEAF is still present.

                         HAROLD
                   (thoughtfully hefting
                   a broadsword,
                   admiring its balance
                   and strength)
            Home.

                         LOOSELEAF
            You know what gets me?

HAROLD does not respond.

                         LOOSELEAF
            You know what gets me?

                         HAROLD
                   (to himself)
            Oh, shit.

                         LOOSELEAF
                   (finding enough
                   encouragement in this)
            How everybody says "fuck" and
            "shit" all the time.  I used to be
            scared shitless I'd say "fuck" or
            "shit" in public, by accident.  Now
            everybody says "fuck" and "shit,"
            "fuck" and "shit" all the time.
            Something very big must have
            happened while we were out of the
            country.

                         HAROLD
                   (flatly)
            Looseleaf--will you get the hell home?

                         LOOSELEAF
            At least we found the diamonds.

                         HAROLD
            At least!

                         LOOSELEAF
            I'd really feel stupid if we didn't
            bring anything back home.

                         HAROLD
            It's enough that you've brought
            yourself home!

                         LOOSELEAF
            I wish you'd tell Alice that.  And
            that Goddamn Mrs. Wheeler.

                         HAROLD
                   (hotly)
            Tell them yourself!

                         LOOSELEAF
            You don't know my mother-in-law, boy.

                         HAROLD
            After eight years in the jungle
            with you, I know Mrs. Wheeler
            better than I know anybody in the
            universe!

                         LOOSELEAF
            I didn't tell you everything.

                         HAROLD
            The time we were in a tree for
            fourteen days, you certainly tried
            to tell me everything about Mrs.
            Wheeler.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I didn't even scratch the surface.
            You're lucky, boy.  You come home,
            and nobody's here.  When I go home,
            everybody's going to be there.

                         HAROLD
            This room is full of ghosts.

                         LOOSELEAF
            You're lucky, boy.  My house is
            gonna be filled with people.

HAROLD ignores this, attempts to savor the ghosts in the room.

                         LOOSELEAF
            You know what gets me?

                         HAROLD
            Go home!

                         LOOSELEAF
            Thank God we found the fucking
            diamonds!

                         HAROLD
            The hell with the diamonds!

                         LOOSELEAF
            You were rich before.  This is the
            first time I was ever rich.

                         HAROLD
            Go home!  Show them how rich you
            are for a change!

                         LOOSELEAF
            Can I have the Cadillac?

                         HAROLD
            Take the Cadillac and drive it off
            a cliff, for all I care.

                         LOOSELEAF
            What'll you do for transportation?

                         HAROLD
            I'll buy a hundred more Cadillacs.
            Go home!

                         LOOSELEAF
            You know what gets me about that
            Cadillac?

                         HAROLD
            Go home!

                         LOOSELEAF
            When I drive it, I feel like I'm in
            the middle of a great big wad of
            bubblegum.  I don't hear anything,
            I don't feel anything.  I figure
            somebody else is driving.  It's a
            bitch.

                         HAROLD
            Go home.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I'm liable to find anything!

                         HAROLD
            That's the point!  Walk in there
            and find whatever there is to
            find--before Alice can cover it up.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I know, I know.  I dunno.  At least
            she's in the same house.  Sure was
            spooky, looking in the window
            there, and there she was.

                         HAROLD
            So long, Colonel.

                         LOOSELEAF
            You know what gets me?

                         HAROLD
                   (taking hold of
                   LOOSELEAF and
                   steering him to the
                   front door)
            Let's talk about it some other time.

                         LOOSELEAF
            How short the skirts are.

                         HAROLD
                   (opening the door)
            Good night, Colonel.  It's been
            beautiful.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Something very important about sex
            must have happened while we were gone.

HAROLD shoves him out of the apartment and shuts the door.
HAROLD starts to roam the room again, but the lion doorbell
roars.

                         HAROLD
                   (going to the door)
            Hell!

HAROLD opens the door.  LOOSELEAF comes in.

                         LOOSELEAF
            You know what gets me?  Those guys
            who went to the moon!  To the moon,
            boy!

                         HAROLD
            Leave me alone!  After eight years
            of horrendously close association,
            the time has come to part!  I crave
            solitude and time for reflection--
            and then a reunion in privacy with
            my own flesh and blood.  You and I
            may not meet again for months!

                         LOOSELEAF
            Months?

                         HAROLD
            I'm certainly not going to come
            horning back into your life
            tomorrow, and I will not welcome
            your horning back into mine.  A
            chapter has ended.  We are old
            comrades--at a parting of the ways.

                         LOOSELEAF
                   (bleakly, shrugging)
            I'm lonesome already.

He exits.

                         HAROLD
                   (roaming the room again)
            The moon.  The new heroism--put a
            village idiot into a pressure
            cooker, seal it up tight, and shoot
            him at the moon.
                   (to his portrait)
            Hello there, young man.  In case
            you're wondering, I could beat the
            shit out of you.  And any woman
            choosing between us--sorry, kid,
            she'd choose me.
                   (pleased with the room)
            I must say, this room is very much
            as I left it.
                   (sees the cake)
            What's this?  A cake? "Happy
            Birthday, Wanda June"?  Who the
            hell is Wanda June?

Blackout.

SCENE FOUR

MUSIC indicates happiness, innocence, and weightlessness.
Spotlight comes up on WANDA JUNE, a lisping eight-year-old
in a starched party dress.  She is as cute as Shirley Temple.

                         WANDA JUNE
            Hello.  I am Wanda June.  Today was
            going to be my birthday, but I was
            hit by an ice-cream truck before I
            could have my party.  I am dead now.
            I am in Heaven.  That is why my
            parents did not pick up the cake at
            the bakery.  I am not mad at the
            ice-cream truck driver, even though
            he was drunk when he hit me.  It didn't
            hurt much.  It wasn't even as bad as the
            sting of a bumblebee.  I am really
            happy here!  It's so much fun.  I
            am glad the driver was drunk.  If
            he hadn't been, I might not have
            got to Heaven for years and years
            and years.  I would have had to go
            to high school first, and then
            beauty college.  I would have had
            to get married and have babies and
            everything.  Now I can just play
            and play and play.  Any time I want
            any pink cotton candy I can have
            some.  Everybody up here is happy--
            the animals and the dead soldiers
            and people who went to the electric
            chair and everything.  They're all
            glad for whatever sent them here.
            Nobody is mad.  We're all too busy
            playing shuffleboard.  So if you
            think of killing somebody, don't
            worry about it.  Just go ahead and
            do it.  Whoever you do it to should
            kiss you for doing it.  The
            soldiers up here just love the
            shrapnel and the tanks and the
            bayonets and the dum dums that let
            them play shuffleboard all the
            time--and drink beer.

Spotlight begins to dim and carnival music on a steam
calliope begins to intrude, until, at the end of the speech,
WANDA JUNE is drowned out and the stage is black.

                         WANDA JUNE
            We have merry-go-rounds that don't
            cost anything to ride on.  We have
            Ferris wheels.  We have Little
            League and girls' basketball.
            There's a drum and bugle corps
            anybody can join.  For people who
            like golf, there is a par-three
            golf course and a driving range,
            with never any waiting.  If you
            just want to sit and loaf, why
            that's all right, too.  Gourmet
            specialties are cooked to your
            order and served at any time of
            night or day...

Sudden silence.

                         WOODY WOODPECKER VOICE
            Ha ha ha ha ha!
                   (pistol shot)
            You got me, pal.

Silence.

Spotlight comes up on LOOSELEAF HARPER, who wears the
clothes he will wear in the next scene--new sports clothes,
a shirt open at the neck.  As always, he is friendly and
embarrassed.

                         LOOSELEAF
            When Penelope asked me to say
            something about dropping the bomb
            on Nagasaki, I didn't give a very
            good answer, I guess.  It's a very
            complicated question.  Jesus--you
            know?  You have to explain what
            it's like to be in the Air Force
            and how they give you your orders
            and all that.  What it feels like
            to be in a plane, what the world
            looks like down there.  After I got
            home from the war, the minister of
            my church asked me if I would speak
            to a scout troop that met in the
            church basement.  So I did.  They
            met on Thursday nights.  I used to
            belong to that troop.  I never made
            Eagle Scout.  But you know
            something?  It's a very strange
            kind of kid that makes Eagle Scout.
            They always seem so lonesome, like
            they'd worked real hard to get a
            job nobody else cares about.  They
            get a whole bunch of merit badges.
            That's how you get to be an Eagle
            Scout.  I don't think I had over
            five or six merit badges.  The only
            one I remember is Public Health.
            That was a bitch.  The Boy Scout
            Manual said I was supposed to find
            out what my town did about sewage.
            Jesus, they just dumped it all in
            Sugar Creek.
                   (laughs idiotically)
            Sugar Creek!  That was a long time
            ago, but it's all coming back to me
            now.  There was another merit badge
            you could get for roller skating.
            There used to be a roller rink at a
            bend in Sugar Creek, up above where
            the sewage went in.  I got in a
            fight there one time.  I had on
            roller skates, and the guy I was
            fighting had on basketball shoes.
            He had a tremendous advantage over
            me.  He was a little guy, but he
            beat the shit out of me.  I had to
            laugh like hell.  Don't ever fight
            a guy when you've got on roller
            skates.
                   (silence)
            Jesus--I remember my mother used to
            make me chew bananas for a full
            minute before I swallowed--so I
            wouldn't get sick.  Makes you
            wonder what else your parents told
            you that wasn't true.

Blackout.

SCENE FIVE

SPOTLIGHT comes up on HAROLD.  He sits on the front seat of
an imaginary car.  The seat is covered with zebra skin.

                         HAROLD
            The night I met Penelope, I had no
            beard--so imagine me, if you can,
            without a beard.  Actually, I
            wasn't as good-looking then as I am
            now.  And, if anything, me health
            has improved.  At any rate--I had
            just come home from Kenya--to
            discover that my third wife,
            Mildred, like the two before her,
            had become a drunken bum.  In my
            experience, alcoholism is far more
            prevalent among women than men.  So
            I got into my automobile--

He pantomimes turning the ignition key.  The sound of a
starter and a powerful engine responds.  He pantomimes
putting the car in gear and driving away from the curb.
Appropriate sounds are heard.

                         HAROLD
            I drive through the night, until I
            was attracted by a sign which said--

Spotlight comes up on PENELOPE, who wears a skimpy carhop
outfit she has had on under her coat in the previous scene.

                         HAROLD
            "Hamburger Heaven."

                         PENELOPE
            Heaven.

HAROLD pantomimes swerving into Hamburger Heaven.  Tires
squeal.  He pantomimes a stop, kills the engine.  He blows
his imaginary horn.  A real horn blows the bugle call for
"charge." PENELOPE crosses to HAROLD.

                         PENELOPE
            Can I help you, sir?

                         HAROLD
            I think so, daughter.  How old are
            you?

                         PENELOPE
            Eighteen--
                   (pause)
            and a half.

                         HAROLD
            A springbok, an oryx, a gemsbok--a
            gazelle.

                         PENELOPE
            Sir?

                         HAROLD
            Raw hamburger, please--and a whole
            onion.  I want to eat the onion
            like an apple.  Do you understand?

                         PENELOPE
            Yes, sir.
                   (to the audience)
            It was a very unusual automobile.
            It was a Cadillac, but it had water
            buffalo horns where the bumpers
            should be.
                   (to HAROLD)
            And what to drink?

                         HAROLD
            What time do you get off work, my
            child?

                         PENELOPE
            I'm sorry, sir, I'm engaged to be
            married.  My boyfriend would be mad
            if I went out with another man.

                         HAROLD
            Did you ever daydream that you
            would one day meet a friendly
            millionaire?

                         PENELOPE
            I'm engaged.

                         HAROLD
            Daughter--I love you very much.

                         PENELOPE
            You don't even know me.

                         HAROLD
            You are woman.  I know woman well.

                         PENELOPE
            This is crazy.

                         HAROLD
            Destiny often seems that way.
            You're going to marry me.

                         PENELOPE
            What do you do for a living?

                         HAROLD
            My parents died in an automobile
            accident when I was sixteen years
            old.  They left me a brewery and a
            baseball team--and other things.  I
            live for a living.  I've just come
            back from Kenya--in Africa.  I've
            been hunting Mau Mau there.

                         PENELOPE
            Some kind of animal?

                         HAROLD
            The pelt is black.  It's a kind of
            man.

Blackout.

SCENE SIX

CURTAIN rises on empty living room.  PAUL lets himself in
with a key.

                         PAUL
            Mom?
                   (silence)
            Herb?
                   (silence)
            Dr. Woodly?
                   (advances into room uneasily)
            Hello?
                   (sees the cake)
            A cake?  Who's Wanda June?

HAROLD enters quietly from the kitchen, holding a can of beer.

                         PAUL
            Anybody home?

                         HAROLD
            As a matter of fact--

                         PAUL
                   (nearly jumping out
                   of his skin)
            Sir?

                         HAROLD
            As a matter of fact--I am home.

                         PAUL
                   (thinking HAROLD may
                   be a burglar)
            Hello.

                         HAROLD
                   (simply)
            Hello.

                         PAUL
            Are you--

His voice fails him.

                         HAROLD
                   (hoping to be recognized)
            You were about to ask a question?

                         PAUL
            Are you--do you--

                         HAROLD
            Ask it!

                         PAUL
                   (blurting)
            Do you know who Wanda June is?

                         HAROLD
            Life has denied me that thrill.

                         PAUL
            Do you mind if I ask who you are?

                         HAROLD
            Mind?
                   (aside)
            God, yes, I mind.
                   (to PAUL)
            I'm your father's friend.  A man
            claiming to be the family physician
            let me in a while ago.

                         PAUL
            Dr. Woodly.

                         HAROLD
            Dr. Woodly.  I should make a little
            list.

                         PAUL
            Is anybody besides you here now?

                         HAROLD
            The doctor was called away on an
            emergency.  I think it was birth.

                         PAUL
            Where's Mom?

                         HAROLD
            You don't know where your mother is?
            Does she put on a short skirt and
            go drinking all night?

                         PAUL
            She went to the fight with Herb
            Shuttle, I guess.

                         HAROLD
            You think you could find me a
            pencil and paper?

                         PAUL
            I'll see.

He rummages through a drawer.

                         HAROLD
            And you've been roaming the streets
            while your mother is God-knows-where?

                         PAUL
            I was going to a funny movie, but I
            changed my mind.  If you're
            depressed, laughing doesn't help
            much.
                   (gives HAROLD pencil
                   and paper)
            When did you know my father?

                         HAROLD
            Man and boy.

                         PAUL
            Everybody says he was so brave.

                         HAROLD
            Even this--"Herb Shuttle", you said?

                         PAUL
            He worships Father.

                         HAROLD
                   (pleased)
            Ah!  And what sort of man is this
            worshiper?

                         PAUL
            He's a vacuum cleaner salesman.

                         HAROLD
                   (deflated)
            I see.
                   (recovering)
            And he came into the apartment one
            day, to demonstrate his wares, and
            your mother, as it happened, was
            charmingly en deshabille--

                         PAUL
            She met him at college.

                         HAROLD
                   (startled)
            College!

                         PAUL
            They were in the same creative
            writing class.

                         HAROLD
            College?

                         PAUL
            She has a master's degree in
            English literature.

                         HAROLD
            What a pity!  Educating a beautiful
            woman is like pouring honey into a
            fine Swiss watch.  Everything stops.
                   (pause)
            And the doctor?  He worships your
            father, too?

                         PAUL
            He insults him all the time.

                         HAROLD
                   (delighted)
            Excellent!

                         PAUL
            What's good about that?

                         HAROLD
            It makes life spicy.

                         PAUL
            He doesn't do it in front of me,
            but he does it with Mother.
                   (indicating HAROLD's portrait)
            You know what he called Father one
            time?

                         HAROLD
            No.

                         PAUL
            "Harold, the Patron Saint of
            Taxidermy."

                         HAROLD
                   (measuring his opponent)
            What does he do--of an athletic
            nature?

                         PAUL
            Nothing.  He plays a violin in a
            doctors' quartet.

                         HAROLD
            Aha!  He has a brilliant military
            record, I'm sure.

                         PAUL
            He was a stretcher-bearer in the
            Korean War.
                   (pause)
            Were you in a war with Father?

                         HAROLD
            Big ones, little ones, teeny-weeny
            ones--just and otherwise.

                         PAUL
            Tell me some true stories about Dad.

                         HAROLD
                   (unused to the word)
            "Dad?"
                   (accepting it)
            Dad.
                   (to himself)
            The boy wants tales of derring-do.
            Name a country.

                         PAUL
            England?

                         HAROLD
                   (disgusted)
            Oh hell.

                         PAUL
            Dad was never in England?

                         HAROLD
            Behind a desk for a little while.
                   (contemptuously)
            A desk!  They had him planning air
            raids.  A city can't flee like a
            coward or fight like a man, and the
            choice between fleeing and fighting
            was at the core of the life of
            Harold Ryan.  There was only one
            thing he enjoyed more than watching
            someone make that choice, and that
            was making the choice himself.  Ask
            about Spain, where he was the
            youngest soldier in the Abraham
            Lincoln Brigade.  He was a famous
            sniper.  They called him "La
            Picadura"--"the sting."

                         PAUL
                   (echoing wonderingly)
            "The sting."

                         HAROLD
            As in "Death, where is thy sting?"
            He killed at least fifty men,
            wounded hundreds more.

                         PAUL
                   (slightly dismayed at
                   such murderousness)
            "The sting."

                         HAROLD
            Ask about the time he and I were
            parachuted into Yugoslavia to join
            a guerrilla band--in the war
            against the Nazis.

                         PAUL
            Tell me that.

                         HAROLD
            I saw your father fight Major
            Siegfried von Konigswald, the Beast
            of Yugoslavia, hand to hand.

                         PAUL
                   (his excitement rising)
            Tell me that!  Tell me that!

                         HAROLD
            Hid by day--fought by night.  At
            sunset one day, your father and I,
            peering through field glasses, saw
            a black Mercedes draw up to a
            village inn.  It was escorted by
            two motorcyclists and an armored
            car.  Out of the Mercedes stepped
            one of the most hateful men in all
            of history--the Beast of Yugoslavia.

                         PAUL
            Wow.

                         HAROLD
            We blacked our hands and faces.  At
            midnight we crept out of the forest
            and into the village.  The name of
            the village was Mhravitch.
            Remember that name!

                         PAUL
            Mhravitch.

                         HAROLD
            We came up behind a sentry, and
            your father slit his throat before
            he could utter a sound.

                         PAUL
                   (involuntarily)
            Uck.

                         HAROLD
            Don't care for cold steel?  A knife
            is worse than a bullet?

                         PAUL
            I don't know.

                         HAROLD
            The story gets hairier.  Should I
            stop?

                         PAUL
            Go on.

                         HAROLD
            We caught another Kraut alone in a
            back lane.  Your father choked him
            to death with a length of piano
            wire.  Your father was quite a
            virtuoso with piano wire.  That's
            nicer than a knife, isn't it--as
            long as you don't look at the face
            afterwards.  The face turns a
            curious shade of avocado.  I must
            ask the doctor why that is.  At any
            rate, we stole into the back of the
            inn, and, with the permission of
            the management, we poisoned the
            wine of six Krauts who were
            carousing there.

                         PAUL
            Where did you get the poison?

                         HAROLD
            We carried cyanide capsules.  We
            were supposed to swallow them in
            case we were captured.  It was your
            father's opinion that the Krauts
            needed them more than we did at the
            time.

                         PAUL
            And one of them was the Beast of
            Yugoslavia?
                         HAROLD
            The Beast was upstairs, and he came
            running downstairs, for his men
            were making loud farewells and last
            wills and testaments--editorializing
            about the hospitality they had
            received.  And your father said to
            him in perfect German, which he had
            learned in the Spanish Civil War,
            "Major, something tragic seems to
            have happened to your bodyguard.  I
            am Harold Ryan, of the United
            States of America.  You, I believe,
            are the Beast of Yugoslavia."

Blackout.

SCENE SEVEN

SILENCE.  Pitch blackness.  The sounds of a Nazi rally come
up slowly: "Sieg Heil!  Sieg Heil!  Sieg Heil!"  Spotlight
comes up on MAJOR SIEGFRIED VON KONIGSWALD, and officer in
the dreaded SS.  He is in full ceremonial uniform.  The
sounds fade.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
                   (sadly, resignedly, remembering)
            Ja ja.  Ja ja.
                   (pause)
            I am Major Siegfried von Konigswald.
            They used to call me "The Beast of
            Yugoslavia," on account of all the
            people I had tortured and shot--and
            hanged.  We'd bop 'em on the head.
            We'd hook 'em up to the electricity.
            We'd stick 'em with hypodermic
            syringes full of all kinds of stuff.
            One time we killed a guy with
            orange juice.  There was a train
            wreck, and two of the freight cars
            were loaded with oranges, so we had
            oceans of orange juice.  It was a
            joke--how much orange juice we had.
            And we were interrogating a guy one
            day, and he wouldn't talk, and the
            next thing I know--somebody's
            filling up this big syringe with
            orange juice.
                   (pause)
            There was a guerrilla war going on.
            You couldn't tell who was a
            guerrilla and who wasn't.
            Even if you got one, it was still a
            civilian you got.  Telling
            Americans what a guerrilla war is
            like--that's coals to Newcastle.
            How do you like that for idiomatic
            English? "Coals to Newcastle."
                   (laughs)
            That Harold Ryan--he says he spoke
            to me in perfect German?  He talks
            German like my ass chews gum.  I'm
            glad to hear the wonderful thing he
            said before he killed me.  I sure
            didn't understand it the first time
            around.  I figured he was a
            Lithuanian or something, which will
            give you an idea of how wrong you
            can be.  All I knew was he was very
            proud about something, and he had a
            machine pistol, and it was aimed at
            me.  The woods were full of all
            kinds of nuts who were proud of
            some damn thing or other, and they
            all had guns.  They were always
            looking for revenge.  You find a
            way to bottle revenge--that's the
            end of Schnapps und Coca-Cola.
                   (pause)
            Harold Ryan said he killed maybe
            two hundred guys.  I killed a
            hundred times that many, I bet.
            That's still peanuts, of course,
            compared to what that crazy
            Looseleaf did.  Harold and me--we
            was doing it the hard way.  I hope
            the record books will show that.
            There should be a little star or
            something by the names of the guys
            who did it the hard way.
                   (pause)
            I'm up in Heaven now, like that
            little Wanda June kid.  I wasn't
            hit by no ice-cream truck.  Harold
            Ryan killed me with his bare hands.
            He was good.  My eyes popped out.
            My tongue stuck out like a red
            banana.  I shit in my pants.  It
            was a mess.
                   (pause)
            When I got up on the day I died, I
            said, "What a beautiful day this is.
            What a beautiful part of the
            world." The whole planet was
            beautiful.  Up here I meet guys
            from other planets.
                   (laughs)
            We got some really crazy-looking
            guys up here.  Their planets
            weren't anywhere near as nice as
            Earth.  They had clouds all the
            time.  They never saw a clear blue
            sky.  They never saw snow.  They
            never saw an ocean.  They had some
            little lakes, but you couldn't go
            swimming in them.  The lakes were
            acid.  You go swimming, you
            dissolve.  We got some guys up here
            who got shoved in them lakes.  They
            dissolved.
                   (pause)
            Harold Ryan stopped talking German
            to me there in Yugoslavia.  He
            switched to English, so I finally
            got some kind of idea what he was
            so burned up about.  He wanted
            revenge for the guy we killed with
            orange juice.  I don't know how he
            ever found out about it.  There was
            just three of us there when we did
            it--me and two regular military
            doctors.  Somebody who cleaned up
            afterwards must have squealed.  If
            I'd lived through the war, and they
            tried me for war crimes and all
            that, I'd have to tell the court, I
            guess, "I was only following
            orders, as a good soldier should.
            Hitler told me to kill this guy
            with orange juice."

Blackout.

SCENE EIGHT

DARKNESS.  Lights come up on living room.  HAROLD has just
finished telling his true war story to PAUL.

                         HAROLD
            Mhravitch.  Remember that name.

                         PAUL
            Mhravitch.

                         HAROLD
            The name will live forever.  It was
            there that Harold Ryan slew the
            Beast of Yugoslavia.  Mhravitch.

                         PAUL
            When I grow up, I'm going to go to
            Mhravitch.

                         HAROLD
            It's rather a disappointment these
            days.  It isn't there any more.

                         PAUL
            Sir?

                         HAROLD
            The Germans shot everybody who
            lived there, then leveled it,
            plowed it, planted turnips and
            cabbages in the fertile ground.
            They wished revenge for the slaying
            of the Beast of Yugoslavia.  To
            their twisted way of thinking, your
            father had butchered an Eagle Scout.
                   (abruptly)
            Play lots of contact sports?

                         PAUL
            I wanted to go out for football,
            but Mom was afraid I'd get hurt.

                         HAROLD
            You're supposed to get hurt!

                         PAUL
            Dr. Woodly says he's seen hundreds
            of children permanently injured by
            football.  He says that when
            there's a war, everybody goes but
            football players.

                         HAROLD
            Does it bother you to have your
            mother engaged to a man like that?

                         PAUL
            They're not engaged.

                         HAROLD
            He seems to think they are.  He
            told me that were.

                         PAUL
            Oh no, no, no, no, no.  It can't be.
            How embarrassing.

                         HAROLD
                   (unexpectedly moved)
            You're a very good boy to respond
            that way.

                         PAUL
            No, no, no, no, no.

                         HAROLD
            I'd like to use the sanitary
            facilities, if I may.

                         PAUL
            Go ahead.
                   (as HAROLD exits)
            No, no, no, no.

PENELOPE and SHUTTLE enter through front door.  They are
tremendously relieved to see PAUL.

                         PAUL
            Thank God!

                         SHUTTLE
            What a relief!

                         PENELOPE
                   (going to PAUL)
            My baby's safe!

PAUL angrily avoids her touch.

                         PENELOPE
            What's the matter now?

                         SHUTTLE
            We got a birthday cake, kid.  Did
            you see the cake?

                         PAUL
            Are you and Dr. Woodly engaged?

                         PENELOPE
                   (stunned)
            Who have you been talking to?

                         PAUL
            What difference does that make?  Is
            Dr. Woodly going to be my father now?

Pause.

                         PENELOPE
            Yes, he is.

                         PAUL
                   (a stifled, gargling cry)
            Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

                         SHUTTLE
                   (sick)
            That goes double for me.

                         PAUL
            I don't want to live any more.

                         SHUTTLE
            I feel like I want to yell my head
            off--just yell anything.
                   (yelling)
            Bulllllllllllllll-dickey!

                         PAUL
            I'll kill myself.

                         SHUTTLE
            The wife of Harold Ryan is going to
            marry a pansy next?  This is the
            end of Western Civilization as far
            as I'm concerned.  You must be
            crazy as a fruitcake.

                         PENELOPE
            Possibly.

                         SHUTTLE
            How long has this been going on?

                         PENELOPE
            A week.  We were waiting for the
            right time to--

                         SHUTTLE
            I feel as though I had been made a
            perfect chump of.

                         PENELOPE
            I'm sorry.

                         SHUTTLE
            Marry me instead.

                         PENELOPE
            Thank you, Herb.  You're a
            wonderful man.  You really are.
            Everybody respects you for what
            you've done for scouting and the
            Little League.

                         SHUTTLE
            You're saying no.

                         PENELOPE
            I'm saying no--and thank you.

                         SHUTTLE
            I didn't make my move fast enough.
            That's it, isn't it?  I was too
            respectful.

                         PENELOPE
            You were wonderful.

                         SHUTTLE
            What's so wonderful if I lost the
            sale?
                   (turning to PAUL)
            You poor kid.

                         PAUL
            Don't touch me.

                         SHUTTLE
            Wouldn't you rather have your
            mother marry me than him?

                         PAUL
            No.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (moving dazedly
                   toward the front door)
            All my dreams have suddenly
            collapsed.
                   (pause)
            We did have a lot of laughs
            together, Penelope.

                         PENELOPE
            It's true.

                         SHUTTLE
            Well--it was nice while it lasted.
            Thanks for the memories.

He exits.

Silence.  A toilet flushes loudly and complicatedly.

                         PENELOPE
            Is Norbert still here?

                         PAUL
            No.

                         PENELOPE
            Then who flushed the toilet?

                         PAUL
            Father's friend.

                         PENELOPE
            What's his name?

                         PAUL
            Don't know.

                         PENELOPE
            For Heaven's sakes!

HAROLD enters, still adjusting his trousers.

                         PENELOPE
            How do you do?

                         HAROLD
            How do you do, Mrs. Ryan?  I'd
            heard you were beautiful, and so
            you are.  Am I intruding here?

                         PENELOPE
            Not at all.

                         HAROLD
            I couldn't help overhearing that
            you were about to get married again.

PENELOPE has now recognized him, but attempts to protect
herself from shock by pretending that she has not.

                         PENELOPE
            Our family physician has asked me
            to marry him.  Paul needs the
            guidance and companionship that
            only a man can give.  He isn't at
            all like Harold.  But then again,
            I'm not the woman I was eight years
            ago.

She slumps into a chair, buries her face in her hands.

                         PAUL
            Mom?

                         PENELOPE
                   (pointing weakly)
            That man is your father.

                         PAUL
            What?

                         PENELOPE
            There stands the loins from which
            you've sprung.

                         PAUL
            I don't get it.

                         PENELOPE
            It is you, isn't it, Harold?

                         HAROLD
                   (enjoying the drama hugely)
            Yes, wife, it is.
                   (to PAUL)
            Come here, boy.  Your father is home.

                         PAUL
            Sir?

                         PENELOPE
            Go to him.

PAUL goes to HAROLD dazedly.  They embrace clumsily.

           HAROLD                         PAUL
  Son, son, son...               Father, father, father...

They part, unsatisfied and confused.  HAROLD goes to
PENELOPE, his arms outstretched.

                         HAROLD
            Wife, wife, wife...

PENELOPE struggles to her feet, her face blank.  HAROLD
embraces her, finds himself wrestling with a rigid,
unresponsive object.

                         HAROLD
            Wife, wife, wife...

HAROLD lets go, backs away from her.

                         HAROLD
            What's the matter?

                         PENELOPE
                   (tearful)
            Give us time.

                         HAROLD
            Like hugging a lamp post.

                         PENELOPE
            Give us time, Harold--to adjust to
            your being alive.

                         HAROLD
            You were well adjusted to my being
            dead?

                         PENELOPE
            We adjust to what there is to
            adjust to.  Perhaps Paul, being
            young, can adjust to joy or grief
            immediately.  I hope he can.  I
            will take a little longer.  I'll be
            as quick as I can.

                         HAROLD
            What sort of time period do you
            have in mind?  Half an hour?  An hour?

                         PENELOPE
            I don't know.  This is a new
            disease to me.

                         HAROLD
            Disease?

                         PENELOPE
            Situation.

                         HAROLD
            This reunion isn't what I imagined
            it would be.

                         PENELOPE
            A telegram--a phone call might have
            helped.

                         HAROLD
            Seemed the most honest way to begin
            life together again--natural,
            unrehearsed.

                         PENELOPE
            Well--enjoy the natural, honest,
            unrehearsed result--surgical shock.

                         HAROLD
            You feel that you're behaving as a
            woman should?

                         PENELOPE
            Every fuse in my nervous system has
            been blown.

Lion doorbell roars.

                         PENELOPE
            Who's that?  Teddy Roosevelt?

PAUL answers the door, admits WOODLY.

                         WOODLY
                   (to PAUL)
            Safe and sound, I see.
                   (to HAROLD)
            Oh--you came back.

                         HAROLD
            I came back.

                         PENELOPE
            You know each other?

                         WOODLY
            We met here earlier this evening.

                         PENELOPE
            How neat.  How keen.

                         HAROLD
            How was the emergency, Doctor?
            Profitable, I hope.

                         WOODLY
            A policeman delivered the baby in a
            taxicab.

                         HAROLD
            Tough luck.  You'll have to split
            the fee.

                         WOODLY
                   (puzzled by PENELOPE's
                   mood)
            Are--are you crying, Penelope?

                         HAROLD
            She's crying because she's so happy.

                         PENELOPE
            That's why I'm crying.

                         PAUL
            Dr. Woodly?
                   (indicating HAROLD)
            You know who this is?

                         WOODLY
            I didn't get his name.  A friend of
            your father?

                         PAUL
            He isn't any friend of Father.

                         WOODLY
            He isn't?

                         PAUL
            He is my father.

                         WOODLY
            No!

                         PENELOPE
            Eeeeeeeeeeee-yup.  Dr. Woodly--I
            would like you to meet Harold, my
            husband.  Harold, this is Dr.
            Woodly, my fianc�.

She crosses to the door of the master bedroom, kissing each
male lightly as she passes.

                         PENELOPE
            Good night, dear.  Good night, dear.

She stands in the doorway.

                         PENELOPE
            Stay or go, talk or sulk, laugh or
            cry--as you wish.  Do whatever
            seems called for.  My mind is gone.
            Good night.

She exits into bedroom, closes the door firmly, locks it
audibly.

                         WOODLY
                   (dazedly)
            I feel the same way.  What next?

                         HAROLD
            What next?  You leave promptly, of
            course.  There is no question as to
            whose home this is--

                         WOODLY
            None.

                         HAROLD
            Whose son this is, whose wife that
            is.  A fianc� is the most ridiculous
            appurtenance this household could
            have at this time.  Good night.

                         WOODLY
                   (crushed, without any
                   possible comeback)
            Good night.

He exits through the front door.  HAROLD goes at once to
PENELOPE's door, tries it, finds it locked.

                         HAROLD
            Penelope!  God damn it!  Penelope!

He considers kicking down the door, thinks better of this,
turns away.

                         HAROLD
            Wants to fix up her makeup, no doubt.

                         PAUL
            Is Looseleaf Harper alive?

                         HAROLD
            Alive and hale.  He's throwing a
            little surprise party for his own
            family.  Is your mother often this
            unstable?
                   (not waiting for an
                   answer, calling again)
            Penelope!

                         PAUL
            She's a real heavy sleeper sometimes.

                         HAROLD
            Why don't you go to bed--son.

                         PAUL
            I can't take my eyes off you.

                         HAROLD
            Tomorrow's another day.
                         PAUL
            You know what my English literature
            teacher said about you?

                         HAROLD
            Can't it keep till morning?

                         PAUL
            She said you were legendary.  I
            wrote a theme about you, and she
            said, "Your father is a legendary
            hero out of the Golden Age of
            Heroes."

                         HAROLD
            That's nice.  You thank her for me.
            Go to bed and get lots of sleep,
            and then you thank her in the morning.

                         PAUL
            Tomorrow's Saturday.  Anyway, she's
            dead.

                         HAROLD
            Penelope!

                         PAUL
            She was killed in the park two
            months ago--in the daytime.

                         HAROLD
            Penelope!

                         PAUL
            She was on her way home from a
            meeting of the African Violet
            Society, and they got her.

                         HAROLD
                   (sharply)
            Will you go to bed?

                         PAUL
                   (stung)
            Yes sir.  If you can't wake Mom up,
            I've got double-decker bunks.

                         HAROLD
                   (stamping his foot)
            Scat!

PAUL exits hastily down the corridor to his room.  HAROLD
goes to PENELOPE's door, attempts to woo her through it.

                         HAROLD
            Penelope--darling--can you hear me?
            Wife--you know what kept me alive
            all these fevered, swampy,
            nightmare years?  Your heavenly
            face, Penelope, my wife--shimmering
            before me, coaxing me up from my
            knees, begging me to stagger one
            step closer to home.  Has love ever
            reached so far?  Has love ever
            overcome more hardships than mine?
                   (silence)
            Has love ever asked more manliness
            of a man, more womanliness of a
            woman?  Has ever a man done more
            for a woman's reward?

The bedroom door opens, revealing PENELOPE.

                         PENELOPE
                   (hollowly, to the
                   world at large)
            There is no one in here of any
            earthly use to anyone tonight.
            Tomorrow is another day.

She closes the door and locks it.

                         HAROLD
                   (to audience)
            End of Act One.

Blackout.

                           ACT TWO

SCENE ONE

DARKNESS.  PAUL, alone in the living room, hammers on his
mother's door.  He wears pajamas.

                         PAUL
            Mom!  Mother!  Mom!

Toilet flushes.  Lights come up on the living room.  It is
morning.

                         PAUL
            Dad's got jungle fever, Mom.
            What'll I do?  Mom!

                         HAROLD
                   (a moment of exhaustion)
            Damn.

                         PAUL
            Mom?

Door to the master bedroom suite opens.  PENELOPE appears in
the doorway.  She has decided during an almost sleepless
night that she owes it to PAUL and to her own self-respect
to explore the possibility of beginning her life with HAROLD
anew.  She is terrified of him.  She hopes that if she can
keep calm and open, her fears will diminish.  Perhaps she
can love him again.

                         PENELOPE
                   (attempting to behave
                   mechanically as a
                   good wife should)
            What are his symptoms?

                         PAUL
            Shivers and sweats and groans.  His
            teeth chatter.  What'll we do?

                         PENELOPE
            What does he say to do?

                         PAUL
            He can hardly talk.

                         HAROLD
                   (responding to a last
                   twinge of nausea)
            Bluh.

                         PENELOPE
            You'd better get Dr. Woodly.

                         PAUL
            Really?

                         PENELOPE
            It is an emergency, isn't it?

                         PAUL
                   (uncertainly)
            Yeah.

                         PENELOPE
            Then get him.

                         PAUL
                   (thinking she has
                   made a mistake)
            Okay.

He exits through front door, leaves door open.  We hear him
knocking on a door in the hallway.

                         PAUL
            Dr. Woodly?

HAROLD enters, drained but recovering.  He chews on a root.
He has slept in the shirt and trousers he wore the night
before.  He is barefoot.  PAUL knocks again.

                         PAUL
            Dr. Woodly?

There is the sound of WOODLY's door opening.  WOODLY and
PAUL speak unintelligibly, WOODLY evidently inviting PAUL in
for a moment.  WOODLY's door closes.

                         HAROLD
            What's that all about?

                         PENELOPE
            We thought a doctor might help.

                         HAROLD
            Your old beau?

                         PENELOPE
            We thought it was an emergency.

                         HAROLD
            I don't want that chancre mechanic
            in here.

                         PENELOPE
            He's a very decent man, Harold.

                         HAROLD
            We all are.

                         PENELOPE
            Shouldn't you lie down?

                         HAROLD
            When I'm dead--
                   (throwing it away)
            or fucking.

                         PENELOPE
            Paul said you were awfully sick.

                         HAROLD
            I was, I was.  It never lasts long.

He hears WOODLY's door open, is alert to WOODLY's approach,
continues to speak to PENELOPE absently.

                         HAROLD
            The Indians call it "Zamba-
            keetya"--the little cloudburst.

WOODLY and PAUL enter.  WOODLY is correctly professional and
carries a little black bag.

                         WOODLY
            Ah!  You're ambulatory!

                         HAROLD
            What a brilliant diagnosis!

                         PENELOPE
            You know what I want?
                   (all look at her)
            I want you both to be friends.  I
            know you both, respect you both.
            You should be friends.

                         HAROLD
            Nothing would please me more.

                         PENELOPE
                   (believing him)
            Thank God!

                         WOODLY
                   (pleased but careful)
            Well now--what seems to be the
            trouble with the patient today?  A
            touch of malaria, perhaps?

                         HAROLD
            I know malaria.  Malaria isn't
            caused by the bites of bats.

                         WOODLY
            You've been bitten by bats?

                         HAROLD
            Colonel Harper and I once shared a
            treetop with a family of bats.
            There was a flash flood.  There
            were piranha fish in the water.
            That's how Colonel Harper lost his
            little toe.

                         WOODLY
            You have chills?

                         HAROLD
            Chills, fevers, sweats.  You can
            describe it and name it after
            yourself: "the Woodly galloping
            crud."

WOODLY enjoys the joke and the blooming friendship.

                         HAROLD
            You can also describe its cure.
            I'm eating its cure.

                         WOODLY
            I was going to ask.

                         HAROLD
            Pacqualinincheewa root.

                         WOODLY
            Would you say that again?

                         HAROLD
            Pacqualinincheewa root.  Means
            "cougar fang." Cures anything but a
            yellow streak down the back.

                         WOODLY
            I've never heard of it.

                         HAROLD
            Congratulations.  By crossing
            twenty-eight feet of cockroach-
            infested carpet, you've become the
            third white man ever to hear of it.

                         WOODLY
                   (fascinated)
            Are you've seen it work cures?

                         HAROLD
            Hundreds.

                         PENELOPE
            I'm so glad you like each other.  I
            was so scared, so scared.

                         HAROLD
                   (breaking off a
                   piece, offering it)
            Have some.

                         WOODLY
            Thank you.  Thank you very much.

                         PENELOPE
            I believe in miracles now.

                         HAROLD
            Wasn't that sweet of me?

                         WOODLY
            More and more we find ourselves
            laying aside false pride and
            looking into the pharmacopoeias of
            primitive people.  Curare,
            ephedrine--we've found some amazing
            things.

                         HAROLD
            We have, have we?

                         WOODLY
            That's an editorial we, of course.
            I haven't turned up anything
            personally.

                         HAROLD
            Everything about you is the
            editorial we.  Take that away from
            you, and you'd disappear.

                         PENELOPE
            Harold!

                         HAROLD
            I could carve a better man out of a
            banana!

                         PENELOPE
            Please--

                         HAROLD
            You and your damned bedside manner
            and your damned little black bag
            full of miracles.  You know who
            filled that bag for you?  Not
            Alice-sit-by-the-fires like
            yourself.  Men with guts filled it,
            by God--men with guts enough to pay
            the price for miracles--suffering,
            ingratitude, loneliness, death--

                         WOODLY
                   (off balance)
            Good Lord.

                         HAROLD
            I can just hear the editorial wee-
            wee-weeing when Looseleaf and I
            start flying in pacqualinincheewa
            root.  I can hear the Alice-sit-by-
            the-fires now: "We discovered it in
            the Amazon Rain Forest.  Now we
            cure you with it.  Now we lower our
            eyes with becoming modesty as we
            receive heartfelt thanks."

HAROLD suddenly goes to WOODLY, takes his hand and pretends
abject gratitude.

                         HAROLD
            Oh, bless you, Doctor, bless you--
            oh healer, oh protector, oh giver
            of life.

WOODLY withdraws his hand, examines it as though it were
diseased.

                         PENELOPE
            He doesn't deserve this!  You don't
            know him.  It isn't fair!

                         HAROLD
            He thought he could take my place.
            It is now my privilege to give an
            unambiguous account of why I don't
            think he's man enough to do that.

                         WOODLY
            I thought she was a widow.

                         HAROLD
            You were wrong, you quack!

                         PENELOPE
            Awful.
                   (approaching WOODLY,
                   but not getting too close)
            I can't tell you how sorry I am.

                         HAROLD
            Say hello to your mother.

                         PENELOPE
                   (fervently)
            Do say hello to your mother.

                         WOODLY
            I'm taking her to the airport a few
            minutes from now.  She's going to
            East St. Louis--to visit an aunt.

                         PENELOPE
            Tell her to have a nice trip.

                         WOODLY
                   (moving towards the
                   front door)
            Thanks.

HAROLD laughs.  This stings WOODLY to a cold, peace-loving
anger.

                         WOODLY
            I'm going to have to report you to
            the Department of Health.

                         HAROLD
            What for?

                         WOODLY
            Quarantine, possibly.  You may be
            suffering from a loathsome disease
            which the American people could do
            without.  Goodbye.

He exits instantly.

                         HAROLD
            Now that's what I call fun.

                         PENELOPE
            Ghastly, cruel, unnecessary.

                         HAROLD
            You'll get so you enjoy twitting
            weaklings again.  You used to eat
            it up.

                         PENELOPE
            I did?

                         HAROLD
            We were one hell of a pair--and
            we'll be one again.  What we need
            is a honeymoon.  Let's start right
            now.

                         PENELOPE
            A trip, you mean?

                         HAROLD
            I had a trip.  We'll honeymoon here.
                   (to PAUL)
            Go out and play.

                         PAUL
            Play?

                         HAROLD
            Your mother and I do not wish to be
            disturbed for three full hours.

                         PENELOPE
            He hasn't had breakfast yet.

                         HAROLD
            Buy yourself breakfast.
                   (takes his billfold
                   from his hip pocket,
                   hands PAUL a $100 bill)
            There we go.

                         PAUL
            A hundred dollars!

                         HAROLD
            The smallest thing I've got.

                         PAUL
            Can I get dressed first?

                         HAROLD
            Make it fast.

PAUL exits to his bedroom.  HAROLD turns to PENELOPE.

                         HAROLD
            Honeymoon!  Honeymoon!  Say it:
            Honeymoon!

                         PENELOPE
            It's so--so stark.

                         HAROLD
            You used to like it stark!

                         PENELOPE
            Just--bang--we have a honeymoon.

                         HAROLD
                   (beginning to stalk
                   her cunningly)
            I'm not going to strike you.  I am
            going to be as gentle as pie--as
            lemon meringue pie.  You mustn't
            run away now.  This is your loving
            husband approaching.  I'm your
            husband.  Society approves!

PENELOPE wants to run, but doesn't.

                         HAROLD
            Good!  You held your ground.

HAROLD is very close now, but not touching her.

                         HAROLD
            Now--turn around, if you would.

                         PENELOPE
            Turn around?

                         HAROLD
                   (laughing)
            I'm not about to introduce to you a
            jungle novelty.  What I have in
            mind is massage--a perfectly decent
            massage.  Turn around, turn around.

PENELOPE obeys.

                         HAROLD
            I'm going to touch your shoulders
            very gently now.  You mustn't
            scream.
                   (touches her
                   shoulders gently, expertly)
            So tense, so tense.

                         PENELOPE
            You shouldn't have talked to
            Norbert that way.

                         HAROLD
            You're thinking with your brain
            instead of your body.  That's why
            you're so tense!  Forget Norbert.
            Relax.  It's body time.

                         PENELOPE
            I have a brain.

                         HAROLD
            We all do.  But now it's body time.
            Relax.  Ideally, the body of a
            woman should feel like a hot water
            bottle filled with Devonshire cream.
            You feel like a paper bag crammed
            with curtain rods.  Think of your
            muscles one by one.  Let them go
            slack.  Relax.  Let the brain go
            blank.  Relax.  That's the idea--
            that's my girl.  Now the small of
            the back.  Let those knots over
            those kidneys unsnarl.

                         PAUL
                   (entering, dressed to
                   go out and play)
            Dad--

                         HAROLD
                   (hanging on to
                   PENELOPE, but knowing
                   the mood has been broken)
            Couldn't you have vanished quietly
            out the back door?

                         PAUL
            A hundred dollars for breakfast?

                         HAROLD
            Leave a tip.

                         PENELOPE
                   (suddenly twisting
                   away, having been
                   nearly hypnotized)
            I have some change!

                         HAROLD
            Ram it up your ass!

He realizes at once that his violent side has severely
damaged the side of him which is the great seducer.
PENELOPE and PAUL are straight as ramrods.

                         HAROLD
            I do beg your pardon.
                   (sincerely)
            Those words were illy chosen.
            There is tension in all of us here.
            Something you must both understand,
            however, is that the head of this
            household is home, and he is Harold
            Ryan, and people do what he says
            when he says it.  That's the way
            this particular clock is constructed.

Lion doorbell roars.

                         HAROLD
            Sometimes even I hate that thing.

PAUL goes reeling to the door in terror, admits LOOSELEAF,
who has also been sleeping in his clothes.

                         LOOSELEAF
                   (walking right in)
            I've been looking at motorcycles.

                         HAROLD
            Go home!

                         LOOSELEAF
            You ever own a motorcycle?

                         HAROLD
                   (to PENELOPE)
            You're right!  We'll take a trip.
            A trip is what we'll take.
                   (to LOOSELEAF)
            I don't want to talk about
            motorcycles.  I don't want to talk
            about tits.  Go home!

                         LOOSELEAF
            Haven't got one.

                         PENELOPE
                   (to LOOSELEAF)
            And you went home unannounced, too?

                         LOOSELEAF
            I dunno.  Yeah!  Yeah!  Yeah!  I did.

                         HAROLD
            And how were things?

                         LOOSELEAF
            Let's talk about something else.

                         PENELOPE
                   (to HAROLD)
            Alice got married again.

                         LOOSELEAF
            She did?

                         PENELOPE
            You didn't even find that out?

                         LOOSELEAF
            There was so much going on.

                         PENELOPE
            She married an accountant named
            Stanley Kestenbaum.

                         LOOSELEAF
            So that's it! "Kestenbaum,
            Kestenbaum." Everybody was yelling
            "Kestenbaum, Kestenbaum." I thought
            it was some foreign language.

                         HAROLD
            Otherwise, how are things?

                         LOOSELEAF
            I sure didn't expect her to drop dead.

                         PENELOPE
            Dead!

                         LOOSELEAF
            Jesus.

                         PENELOPE
                   (sick)
            Alice is dead?

                         LOOSELEAF
            No, no--shit no.
                   (stops short)
            Excuse me, Penelope.

                         PENELOPE
            For what?

                         LOOSELEAF
            For saying "shit." Or is that okay
            now?

                         PENELOPE
                   (shrilly)
            Who's dead?

                         LOOSELEAF
            My mother-in-law.  Fire engines,
            pulmotors, doctors, cops, coroners--

                         PENELOPE
            What happened?

                         LOOSELEAF
            Well--I walked up to the front door.
            I was still alive.  Big surprise.
            I rang the doorbell, and old Mrs.
            Wheeler answered.  She had her
            Goddamn knitting.  I said, "Guess
            who?" She conked right out.

                         PENELOPE
            How horrible.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Yeah--cripes.  I never did get any
            sense out of Alice.  She found me
            holding up the old lady, dead as a
            mackerel.  It was a bitch.  You
            know--maybe Mrs. Wheeler was going
            to die then and there anyway, even
            if I'd been the paper boy.  Maybe
            not.  I dunno, boy.  That's
            civilian life for you.  Who knows
            what kills anybody?

                         HAROLD
            Could have happened to anybody.

                         LOOSELEAF
            First Nagasaki--now this.

                         HAROLD
            How about breakfast, wife?

                         PENELOPE
            Breakfast?

                         HAROLD
                   (as though to a waitress)
            Scrambled eggs, kippered herring,
            fried potatoes--and a whole onion.
            I want to eat the onion like an
            apple.  Do you understand?

PENELOPE turns away.

                         HAROLD
            And lots of orange juice--oceans of
            orange juice.

                         PENELOPE
            Mrs. Wheeler is dead.

                         HAROLD
            All right--bring me a side order of
            Mrs. Wheeler.
                   (regarding LOOSELEAF,
                   resigning himself to
                   being stuck with his
                   company for a little
                   while longer)
            Oh, hell--sit down, Colonel.
            Penelope will bring you some chow.

                         PENELOPE
            That is the most heartless
            statement I ever heard pass between
            human lips.

                         HAROLD
                   (honestly mystified)
            Which one?

                         PENELOPE
                   (chokingly)
            "Bring me a side order of Mrs.
            Wheeler."

                         HAROLD
            She's up in Heaven now.  She didn't
            hear.  She is experiencing nothing
            but pure happiness.  There's
            nothing nicer than that.
                   (suddenly, angrily,
                   slamming a table with
                   his fist)
            Chow!  Harold Ryan wants chow!

                         PENELOPE
            What a honeymoon.

                         HAROLD
            Honeymoon temporarily canceled.
                   (catching sight of
                   PAUL, whose physical
                   appearance really
                   offends him)
            The boy should still go out and
            exercise.  I have the impression he
            never gets any exercise.  He simply
            bloats himself with Fig Newtons and
            bakes his brains over steam radiators.

                         PENELOPE
            You're wrong.

                         HAROLD
            Then let me see him go out and get
            some exercise.
                   (explosively)
            Right now!

PAUL goes reeling in terror to the front door, opens it.

                         PAUL
                   (to HAROLD, abjectly)
            What kind of exercise?

                         HAROLD
            Beat the shit out of someone who
            hates you.

PAUL exits.  HAROLD pounds on a table.

                         HAROLD
            Chow, chow, chow!  God damn it--
            nutriment!

                         PENELOPE
            We're all going to have to go out
            for breakfast.  The cook quit
            yesterday.

                         HAROLD
            You're a woman, aren't you?

PENELOPE nods.

                         HAROLD
            Then we have a cook.

PENELOPE hesitates.

                         HAROLD
            Cook, by God!  Cook!  You're the
            nigger now.

                         PENELOPE
            People don't use that word any more.

                         HAROLD
            Don't lecture me on race relations.
            I don't have a molecule of
            prejudice.  I've been in battle
            with every kind of man there is.
            I've been in bed with every kind of
            woman there is--from a Laplander to
            a Tierra del Fuegian.
            If I'd ever been to the South Pole,
            there'd be a hell of a lot of
            penguins who looked like me.  Cook!

                         PENELOPE
            You leave me so--so without--
            without dignity.

                         HAROLD
            People now have dignity when frying
            eggs?

                         PENELOPE
            They don't have to feel like slaves.

                         HAROLD
                   (grandly)
            Then go now--and fry with dignity--
            sunnyside up.

PENELOPE attempts to respond to this, but is too enraged.
She exits, making a tiny mosquito-like hum.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I dunno, boy.

                         HAROLD
            The educational process.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I guess.  You're lucky you don't
            have any old people around here.

                         HAROLD
            She was about to get married again.
            She locked me out of the bedroom
            last night.

LOOSELEAF starts to laugh.  HAROLD shuts him up.

                         HAROLD
            What's funny about that?

                         LOOSELEAF
                   (apologetically)
            You know me, boy.

PENELOPE enters from the kitchen with a question on her lips.
                         HAROLD
            I should have torn that door off
            its hinges.  Should have scrogged
            her ears off.  Should have broken
            the bed.
                   (seeing PENELOPE)
            What do you want?
                   (words fail her)
            Well?

                         PENELOPE
            I--I was wondering--is there
            anything you shouldn't eat--because
            of jungle fever?

                         HAROLD
            I could eat a raw baby crocodile.
                   (turning to LOOSELEAF crassly)
            The way to get your wife back is in
            bed.  Do such a job on her that
            she'll be lucky if she can crawl
            around on all fours.
                   (to PENELOPE)
            We're starving.  Do you mind?

PENELOPE exits dumbly, detesting the word "scrog," which she
has never heard before.

                         HAROLD
            She had two lovers, by the way.

LOOSELEAF starts to laugh again, stops the laugh as HAROLD
glowers.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Excuse me.

                         HAROLD
            One of them is the doctor, whose
            weapons are compassion,
            unselfishness, peacefulness--
            maudlin concern.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Huh.

                         HAROLD
            He and his love are like a
            retiarius.  Do you know what a
            retiarius is?

                         LOOSELEAF
            He's a kind of gladiator who fights
            with a knife and a net and doesn't
            wear anything but a jockstrap.

                         HAROLD
                   (amazed)
            How do you know that?

                         LOOSELEAF
            You told me.

                         HAROLD
            When?

                         LOOSELEAF
            When we were up in the tree so
            long--with the bats.

                         HAROLD
            Oh.  I'd forgotten.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Fourteen times you told me.  I
            counted.

                         HAROLD
            Really?

                         LOOSELEAF
            You'd get this funny look in your
            eyes, and I'd say to myself, "Oh,
            Jesus--he's going to tell me what a
            retiarius is again."

                         HAROLD
                   (acknowledging a flaw
                   in a manly way)
            Sorry.

PENELOPE enters, is about to speak.  HAROLD stops her with a
raised finger.

                         HAROLD
            Let me guess--breakfast is served?

                         PENELOPE
            No.

                         HAROLD
            What then?

                         PENELOPE
            I do not wish to be scrogged--ever.
            I never heard that word, but when I
            heard it, I knew it was one thing I
            never wanted to have happen to me.

                         HAROLD
            That's what you're supposed to say.

                         PENELOPE
            This is not a coy deception.  I do
            not want to be scrogged.  I want
            love.  I want tenderness.

                         HAROLD
            You don't know you want.  That's
            the way God built you!

                         PENELOPE
            I will not be scrogged.  I remember
            one time I saw you wrench a hook
            from the throat of a fish with a
            pair of pliers, and you promised me
            that the fish couldn't feel.

                         HAROLD
            It couldn't!

                         PENELOPE
            I'd like to have the expert opinion
            of the fish--along with yours.

                         HAROLD
                   (shaking his head)
            Fish can't feel.

                         PENELOPE
            Well, I can.  Some injuries,
            spiritual or physical, can be
            excruciating to me.  I'm not a
            silly carhop any more.
                   (an unexpected, minor insight)
            Maybe you're right about fish.
            When I was a carhop, I didn't feel
            much more than a fish would.  But
            I've been sensitized.  I have ideas
            now--and solid information.  I know
            a lot more now--and a lot of it has
            to do with you.

                         HAROLD
                   (sensing danger)
            Such as?...

                         PENELOPE
            The whole concept of heroism--and
            its sexual roots.

                         HAROLD
            Tell me about its sexual roots.

                         PENELOPE
            It's complicated and I don't want
            to go into it now, because it's
            bound to sound insulting--even
            though nobody means for anybody to
            be insulted.  It's just the truth.

                         HAROLD
            I like the truth.  I wouldn't be
            alive today if I weren't one of the
            biggest fans truth ever had.

                         PENELOPE
            Well--part of it is that heroes
            basically hate home and never stay
            there very long, and make awful
            messes while they're there.

                         HAROLD
            Go on.

                         PENELOPE
                   (blurting)
            And they have very mixed feelings
            about women.  They hate them in a
            way.  One reason they like war so
            much is that they can capture enemy
            women and not have to make love to
            them slowly and gently.  They can
            scrog them, as you say--
                   (pause)
            for revenge.

                         HAROLD
            You learned this in some college
            course?

                         PENELOPE
            I learned a lot of things in
            college.  Actually--it was Norbert
            who told me that.

                         HAROLD
                   (darkly)
            The doctor.

                         PENELOPE
            Yes.

                         HAROLD
            And what is his most cherished
            possession?

                         PENELOPE
                   (not sensing the
                   drift of the conversation)
            His most cherished possession?  His
            violin, I guess.

                         HAROLD
            And he keeps it in his apartment?

                         PENELOPE
                   (still at sea)
            Yes.

                         HAROLD
            And no one's there now?

                         PENELOPE
            I don't think so.

                         HAROLD
            That's too bad.  I would rather
            have him at home--to see what I'm
            going to do.

                         PENELOPE
                   (suddenly catching
                   on, sick with fear)
            What are you going to do?

                         HAROLD
            He did his best to destroy my most
            precious possession, which is the
            high opinion women have of me.  I'm
            now going to even that score.  I'm
            going to break in his door and I'm
            going to smash his violin.

                         PENELOPE
            No you're not!

                         HAROLD
            Why not?

                         PENELOPE
            Because if you do--I'll leave you.
                         HAROLD
                   (promptly and emotionlessly)
            Goodbye.

Blackout.

SCENE TWO

SPOTLIGHT comes up on VON KONIGSWALD and WANDA JUNE, dressed
as before.  They have become close friends.

                         WANDA JUNE
            We have this new club up here in
            Heaven.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            Yes, we do.

                         WANDA JUNE
            We only have two members so far,
            but it's growing all the time.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            We have enough for a shuffleboard
            team.  In Heaven, shuffleboard is
            everything.  Hitler plays
            shuffleboard.

                         WANDA JUNE
            Albert Einstein plays shuffleboard.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            Mozart plays shuffleboard.

                         WANDA JUNE
            Lewis Carroll, who wrote Alice in
            Wonderland, plays shuffleboard.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard.

                         WANDA JUNE
            Walt Disney, who gave us Snow White
            and the Seven Dwarfs, plays
            shuffleboard.  Jesus Christ plays
            shuffleboard.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            It was almost worth the trip--to
            find out that Jesus Christ in
            Heaven was just another guy,
            playing shuffleboard.  I like his
            sense of humor, though--you know?
            He's got a blue-and-gold warm-up
            jacket he wears.  You know what it
            says on the back? "Pontius Pilate
            Athletic Club." Most people don't
            get it.  Most people think there
            really is a Pontius Pilate Athletic
            Club.

                         WANDA JUNE
            We're going to have jackets, aren't
            we?

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            You bet! "The Harold Ryan Fan
            Club." Pink, eh?  With a yellow
            streak up the back.
                   (both laugh)
            We got very good tailor shops up
            here.  They'll make you any kind of
            uniform, any kind of sweatsuit you
            want.  Judas Iscariot--he's got
            this black jacket with a skull and
            crossbones over the heart.  He
            walks around all hunched over, and
            he never looks anybody in the eye,
            and written on the back of his
            jacket are the words, "Go take a
            flying--

WANDA JUNE punches him in the ribs.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            leap at the moon."

MILDRED, HAROLD's third wife, enters.  She is voluptuous,
blowzy, tough--about forty-five.  She has trouble with
alcohol.  VON KONIGSWALD is expecting her.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            Aha!  Hello!  You're Mildred, right?

                         MILDRED
            I heard you were looking for me.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            You were Harold Ryan's third wife.
            Right?

                         MILDRED
            Yes.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            You want to join the Harold Ryan
            Fan Club?  Wear a pink jacket with
            a yellow streak up the back?

                         MILDRED
            Do I have to?  Who's the little girl?

                         WANDA JUNE
            Mr. Ryan just borrowed my birthday
            cake.  I don't really know him.

                         MILDRED
            Thought you were another wife, maybe.

                         WANDA JUNE
            I'm only ten years old.

                         MILDRED
            That's what he wanted--a ten-year-
            old wife.  He'd come home from a
            war or a safari, and he'd wind up
            talking to the little kids.

                         WANDA JUNE
            Won't you please join our club?
            Please?

                         MILDRED
            Honey--Alcoholics Anonymous takes
            all the time I've got--and Harold
            Ryan is an individual I would
            rather forget.  He drove me to
            drink.  He drove his first two
            wives to drink.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            Because he was cruel?

                         MILDRED
                   (covering WANDA
                   JUNE's little ears)
            Premature ejaculation.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            Ach soooooooooo.
                         MILDRED
            No grown woman is a fan of
            premature ejaculation.  Harold
            would come home trumpeting and
            roaring.  He would the kick the
            furniture with his boots, spit into
            corners and the fireplace.  He
            would make me presents of stuffed
            fish and helmets with holes in them.
            He would tell me that he had now
            earned the reward that only a woman
            could give him, and he'd tear off
            my clothes.  He would carry me into
            the bedroom, telling me to scream
            and kick my feet.  That was very
            important to him.  I did it.  I
            tried to be a good wife.  He told
            me to imagine a herd of stampeding
            water buffalo.  I couldn't do that,
            but I pretended I did.  It was all
            over--ten seconds after he'd said
            the word "buffalo." Then he'd zip
            up his pants, and go outside, and
            tell true war stories to the little
            kids.  Any little kids.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            That is sad.

                         MILDRED
                   (blankly)
            Is it?
                   (pause)
            I have this theory about why men
            kill each other and break things.

                         VON KONIGSWALD
            Ja?

                         MILDRED
            Never mind.  It's a dumb theory.  I
            was going to say it was all
            sexual..but everything is
            sexual...but alcohol.
                   (making peace sign)
            Peace.

           VON KONIGSWALD                 WANDA JUNE
      (making peace sign)            (making peace sign)
  Peace.                         Peace.

Blackout.
SCENE THREE

SILENCE.  Darkness.

                         WOODY WOODPECKER VOICE
            Ha ha ha ha ha!
                   (pistol shot)
            You got me, pal.

Silence.  A baby cries.  Silence.  The lights come up.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Go to the funeral?

                         HAROLD
            Of course!  Not only go to it but
            go to it in full uniform!  Rent a
            uniform!

                         LOOSELEAF
            That's against the law, isn't it?
            I can't wear a uniform anymore.

                         HAROLD
            Wear your uniform and every
            decoration, and let them despise
            you, if they dare.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Alice would be absolutely tear-ass.

                         HAROLD
            When I was a naive young recruit in
            Spain, I used to wonder why
            soldiers bayoneted oil paintings,
            shot the noses off of statues and
            defecated into grand pianos.  I now
            understand: It was to teach
            civilians the deepest sort of
            respect for men in uniform--
            uncontrollable fear.
                   (raises his glass)
            To our women.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I didn't know we had any women left.

                         HAROLD
            The world is teeming with women--
            ours to enjoy.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Every time I start thinking like
            that I get the clap.

Lion doorbell roars.

                         HAROLD
                   (going to the door)
            This could be my next wife.

He admits HERB SHUTTLE, who carries a bouquet of roses.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (puzzled by HAROLD)
            Hello.

                         HAROLD
            How are you, honeybunch?

                         SHUTTLE
            Is Penelope in?

                         HAROLD
            The posies are for her?

                         SHUTTLE
            I wanted to apologize.

                         HAROLD
            You've come to the right man.

                         SHUTTLE
            I forgot my vacuum cleaner.

                         HAROLD
            I forget mine for years on end.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (suddenly realizing
                   who HAROLD is)
            Oh my God--
                   (pause; points)
            And you are Looseleaf Harper.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Hi.

SHUTTLE faints.

                         HAROLD
                   (crowing)
            It's what I've dreamed of all my
            life, Looseleaf!  To have a grown
            man realize who I was--and faint!
                   (to audience)
            End of Act Two.

Blackout.

                          ACT THREE

SCENE ONE

MILDRED enters drunkenly up aisle, sits precariously on
apron of stage and speaks to audience.

                         MILDRED
            Two days later.  The afternoon of
            the day of Looseleaf Harper's
            mother-in-law's funeral.  You got
            it?  Two days later.
                   (pause)
            You know what happened in Heaven
            today?  There was a tornado.  I'm
            not kidding you--there was a
            Goddamn tornado.  Tore up fifty-six
            houses, a dance pavilion and a
            Ferris wheel.  Drove a shuffleboard
            stick clear through a telephone
            pole.  Nobody got killed.  Nobody
            ever gets killed.  They just bounce
            around a lot.  Then they get up--
            and start playing shuffleboard.
                   (pause)
            I never saw a tornado when I was
            alive, and I grew up in Oklahoma.
            There's this big, black, funnel-
            shaped cloud.  Sounds like a
            railroad train without the whistle.
            I had to come to Heaven to see a
            thing like that.  A lot of people
            got photographs.
                   (pause)
            After the tornado was over, a man
            had some film left and he wanted to
            take pictures of me--to use up the
            roll.  I don't like people who go
            around taking pictures of everything.
            Nothing's real to some people
            unless they've got photographs.
                   (pause)
            Two days later--right?

She exits clumsily, the way she came.  Silence.  Lights come
up on the living room, which has become a pigpen.  LOOSELEAF,
HAROLD, SHUTTLE and PAUL sit around a dinner of nearly raw
beefsteak set on the coffee table.  LOOSELEAF wears an ill-
fitting uniform, which he has rented.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I told you the uniform wouldn't help.

                         HAROLD
            It helped more than you know.  Down
            deep, people were deeply affected.

                         LOOSELEAF
            You keep on saying "deep" and
            "deeply." I wish something good
            would happen on the surface sometime.

                         SHUTTLE
            I can't get over how you guys are
            my friends.  Harold Ryan and
            Looseleaf Harper are my friends.

                         HAROLD
            Our pleasure.

                         SHUTTLE
            Eight years you guys were together--
            through thick and thin.

                         HAROLD
            For seven and a half of those years
            we were heavily drugged--or we
            would have been home long before
            now, believe me.  We were saved
            from starvation by the Lupi-Loopo
            Indians, who fed us a strange blue
            soup.

                         SHUTTLE
            Blue soup.

                         HAROLD
            It sapped our will--made us
            peaceful and unenterprising.  It
            was a form of chemical castration.
            We became two more sleepy Indians.

                         LOOSELEAF
                   (to PAUL)
            So, kid--how they hanging?  Or
            don't you say that to a little kid?

                         HAROLD
            He's a man.
                   (to PAUL)
            Tell him you're a man.

                         PAUL
            I'm a man.

                         HAROLD
            We've got to do something to make
            this boy's voice change.  I wonder
            if we couldn't get bull balls
            somewhere, and fry 'em up.
                   (to PAUL)
            Still miss your mother?

                         PAUL
                   (weakly)
            No.

                         HAROLD
            You're free to go to her, if you
            want.  If you'd rather be a woman
            and run with the women, just say
            the word.

                         SHUTTLE
            Are we really going to find out
            where the elephants go to die?

                         HAROLD
            I'd rather go to Viet Nam.

                         SHUTTLE
            Would somebody please pass me the
            catsup?

                         HAROLD
            What you say is, "Pass the fucking
            catsup."

                         SHUTTLE
            Pass the fucking catsup.

LOOSELEAF gives it to him.  SHUTTLE dumps catsup on his steak.

                         SHUTTLE
            I keep thinking about Africa--and
            the elephants.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I don't think I'll go.

                         HAROLD
            Of course you'll go!  You're going
            to fly the helicopter.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I dunno.

                         HAROLD
            You're so low!  Look at that
            beautiful red meat.  You haven't
            touched it.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Sorry.  At least you've got a place
            to come back to.  I don't have a
            place to come back to anymore.

                         HAROLD
            All the more reason to go to Africa.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I dunno. You know.
                   (pause)
            I used to really love that Alice.
            Do you know that?

                         HAROLD
            You know her for what she is now--
            garbage.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I dunno.

                         HAROLD
            She was always a rotten wife!  She
            was against everything manly you
            ever wanted to do.
                   (to SHUTTLE)
            He was the most daring test pilot
            in the country at one time, and his
            wife made him quit.  She made him
            become a life insurance salesman
            instead.

                         SHUTTLE
            I'd think any woman worth her salt
            would be proud to be married to a
            test pilot.  I know I would.

                         LOOSELEAF
            She tried to like it.  She was a
            very nervous woman.

                         SHUTTLE
            I could tell that at the funeral.
                   (to PAUL)
            Would you please pass the fucking
            catsup again?  Was it dangerous
            testing planes?

                         LOOSELEAF
            I dunno.  Who knows?  You know--
            you're up there, and you're in some
            plane nobody ever flew before.  You
            put her into a dive, and everything
            starts screaming and shaking, and
            maybe some pipe breaks and squirts
            oil or gasoline or hydraulic fluid
            in your face.  You wonder how the
            hell you ever got in such a mess,
            and then you pull back on the
            controls, and you black out for a
            couple of seconds.  When you come
            to, everything's usually fairly
            okay--except maybe you threw up all
            over yourself.  It's just another
            job, but you try and tell Alice that.

                         HAROLD
            Insurance!

                         SHUTTLE
            You actually sold insurance!

                         LOOSELEAF
            I tried.
                   (indicating HAROLD)
            I sold him some.  That was the only
            insurance I ever sold.

Hyena doorbell laughs.

                         SHUTTLE
            What an awful sound!

                         HAROLD
            Get used to it.
                   (to PAUL)
            Back door, Paul.

PAUL exits to the kitchen.

                         HAROLD
                   (to SHUTTLE)
            It's possible, of course, that
            you'll die in Africa.

                         SHUTTLE
            I've considered that.

                         HAROLD
            Selling vacuum cleaners isn't the
            best preparation you could have.

                         SHUTTLE
            I just want one true adventure
            before I die.

                         HAROLD
            That can be arranged.

PAUL appears at the mouth of the doorway.  He has something
amazing to announce.

                         PAUL
            Dad?

                         HAROLD
            Who was it?

                         PAUL
            It's Mom.

He steps aside.  PENELOPE appears.  HAROLD and SHUTTLE
stand, HAROLD angrily.

                         LOOSELEAF
                   (openly, cheerfully)
            Hi, Penelope.

                         HAROLD
                   (to LOOSELEAF)
            Shut up, you ninny!
                   (to PENELOPE)
            You were never to come here again--
            for any reason whatsoever!

                         PENELOPE
            I came for my clothes.

                         HAROLD
            Sneaking in the back door.

                         PENELOPE
            I rang.  It seemed like the proper
            door for a servile, worthless
            organism to use.

                         HAROLD
            Your clothes are at the city dump
            by now.  Perhaps you can get a map
            from the Department of Sanitation.

                         PENELOPE
            I came for Paul as well.

                         HAROLD
            If he wants to go.

                         PENELOPE
            You took him to the funeral, I hear.

                         HAROLD
            He'd never seen a corpse.  He's
            seen a dozen now.

                         PENELOPE
            A dozen?

                         HAROLD
            It's a big and busy funeral home.

                         PENELOPE
                   (to PAUL)
            Did you like it, dear?

                         HAROLD
            It isn't a matter of liking.  It's
            a matter of getting used to death--
            as a perfectly natural thing.
            Would you mind leaving?  No woman
            ever walks out on Harold Ryan, and
            then comes back--for anything.

                         PENELOPE
            Unless she has nerve.

                         HAROLD
            More nerve than the doctor, I must
            admit.  He hasn't been home for two
            days.  Has he suddenly lost
            interest in sleep and color
            television--and the violin?

                         PENELOPE
            He knows you shattered his violin.

                         HAROLD
            I'm dying to hear of his reaction.
            The thrill of smashing something
            isn't in the smashing, but in the
            owner's reactions.

                         PENELOPE
            He cried.

                         HAROLD
            About a broomstick and a cigar
            box--and the attenuated intestines
            of an alley cat.

                         PENELOPE
            Two hundred years old.

                         HAROLD
            He feels awful loss--which was
            precisely my intention.

                         PENELOPE
                   (moving toward the
                   violin, and,
                   incidentally, placing
                   herself much closer
                   to SHUTTLE)
            He had hoped that someone would be
            playing it still--two hundred years
            from now.

                         HAROLD
                   (echoing, expressing
                   the futility of such
                   long-term expectations)
            Hope.

He spots the vacuum cleaner, probes it with his toe, asks
SHUTTLE with seriousness.

                         HAROLD
            Do you hope with all your heart
            that someone will be using this
            vacuum cleaner two hundred years
            from now?

SHUTTLE starts to answer, but stops, supposing that he is
being made sport of.

                         HAROLD
            Fifty years?

                         SHUTTLE
            You're making a joke.

                         HAROLD
                   (not joking)
            I'm interested in long-term
            expectations.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (flatly, protecting
                   his dignity)
            It's engineered to last about
            fifteen years.

                         HAROLD
                   (downstage center,
                   addressing the
                   civilized world)
            Things.  Oh--you silly people and
            your things.  Things, things, things.

                         PENELOPE
                   (to SHUTTLE, as
                   HAROLD reflects
                   majestically on the
                   emptiness of materialism)
            You and Harold are friends?

                         SHUTTLE
                   (revealing how mixed
                   and worried his
                   feelings are)
            He's the most wonderful guy I ever
            met, Penelope.  He's the most
            complicated guy I ever met.  I
            can't believe it, but he's going to
            take me to Africa with him.

                         HAROLD
            Things.

                         PENELOPE
            You feel I've done a dreadful
            thing--leaving him?

                         SHUTTLE
                   (almost hypnotized)
            If I were married to him, I sure
            wouldn't walk out.

                         HAROLD
                   (directly to the audience)
            Never mind the condition of your
            body and your spirit!  Look after
            your things, your things!

                         PENELOPE
                   (to LOOSELEAF)
            And you, Colonel?  Let me guess:
            You don't know.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I dunno.

                         HAROLD
                   (to the audience)
            Go live in a safe-deposit box--with
            your things.
                         LOOSELEAF
            Jesus--I wouldn't want to be
            married to him.  You know?

                         HAROLD
            What's this?

                         LOOSELEAF
            I wouldn't want to be married to me.
            We're too crazy.  You know?

                         HAROLD
            In what way, pray tell?

                         LOOSELEAF
            I didn't like that violin thing.
            That was sad.

                         HAROLD
            Tit for tat--as simple as that.

                         LOOSELEAF
            You never played a violin.

                         HAROLD
            You did?

                         LOOSELEAF
            Yeah.  I practically forgot.  But
            after you busted that thing, I got
            to thinking, "Jesus--maybe I'll
            start the violin again." That
            didn't just belong to Woodly.  That
            belonged to everybody.  Maybe he
            would have sold it to me, and I
            could have some fun.  After you
            busted the violin, boy, and
            Penelope walked out, I thought to
            myself, "Jesus--who could blame her?"

                         HAROLD
            Maybe it's time you got out.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Me?

                         HAROLD
            You.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Okay.
                   (pause)
            Okay.

                         HAROLD
            You're an imbecile.

                         LOOSELEAF
            I know you think that.

                         HAROLD
            Everybody thinks that.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Anybody who'd drop an atom bomb on
            a city has to be pretty dumb.

                         HAROLD
            The one direct, decisive,
            intelligent act of your life!

                         LOOSELEAF
                   (shaking his head)
            I don't think so.
                   (pause)
            It could have been.

                         HAROLD
            If what?

                         LOOSELEAF
            If I hadn't done it.  If I'd said
            to myself, "Screw it.  I'm going to
            let all those people down there
            live."

                         HAROLD
            They were enemies.  We were at war.

                         LOOSELEAF
            Yeah, Jesus--but wars would be a
            lot better, I think, if guys would
            say to themselves sometimes,
            "Jesus--I'm not going to do that to
            the enemy.  That's too much." You
            could have been the manufacturer of
            that violin there, even though you
            don't know how to make a violin,
            just by not busting it up.  I could
            have been the father of all those
            people in Nagasaki, and the mother,
            too, just by not dropping the bomb.
                   (pause)
            I sent 'em to Heaven instead--and I
            don't think there is one.

                         HAROLD
            Goodbye, Looseleaf.

LOOSELEAF walks around and gathers his things.

                         LOOSELEAF
            So long, you guys.

                         PENELOPE
            What will you do, Colonel?

                         LOOSELEAF
            I dunno.  Marry the first whore
            who's nice to me, I guess.  Get a
            job in a motorcycle shop.  So long,
            you guys.

PENELOPE kisses LOOSELEAF.  Everybody but HAROLD acknowledges
his departure is some way.  HAROLD turns his back.  LOOSELEAF
exits, closes door.  Silence.

                         SHUTTLE
            Who's going to fly our helicopter now?

                         HAROLD
                   (blackly, tautly)
            What?

                         SHUTTLE
            We got to get another pilot.

                         HAROLD
            For what?

                         SHUTTLE
            For Africa.

                         HAROLD
            Do you really think that Harold
            Ryan would go to Africa with a
            vacuum cleaner salesman?

                         SHUTTLE
            You invited me.

                         HAROLD
            To make an ass of yourself.

                         SHUTTLE
            What went wrong?

                         HAROLD
            We're ahead of schedule, that's all.
            You're finding out here what you
            would have found out in Africa--
            that you are a rabbit, born to be
            eaten alive.

                         SHUTTLE
            Gee whiz--

                         HAROLD
            It would have been fun to see you
            drop your rifle and run the first
            time an elephant charged us.

                         SHUTTLE
            I wouldn't drop my gun.

                         HAROLD
            You're hollow, like a woman.

                         SHUTTLE
            I'm smarter than Looseleaf.

                         HAROLD
            He can shoot!  He can hold his
            ground!  He can attack!  You're in
            your proper profession right now--
            sucking up dirt for frumpish
            housewives, closet drunkards every
            one.

                         SHUTTLE
                   (close to tears)
            How do you know how I'd act in Africa?

                         HAROLD
            Look how you're acting now!  This
            is a moment of truth, and you're
            almost crying.  Slug me!

                         SHUTTLE
            You're my buddy.

                         HAROLD
            Out!  Out!

                         SHUTTLE
            No matter what you say to me, I
            still think you're the greatest guy
            I ever knew.

                         HAROLD
            Out!

                         SHUTTLE
            You--you aren't going to have any
            friends left, if you don't watch out.

                         HAROLD
            Thank God!

He propels SHUTTLE out the door and slams it.  He faces
PENELOPE and PAUL, speaks with malicious calm.

                         HAROLD
            Well--what have we here?  A family.

                         PENELOPE
            Almost a Christmas scene.

                         HAROLD
            Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.

                         PENELOPE
            Just one favor.

                         HAROLD
            Money?  There's plenty of that.
            Mildred got the brewery.  You'll
            probably get the baseball team.

                         PENELOPE
            I want you to tell me that you
            loved me once.

HAROLD is about to dismiss this request majestically, but
PENELOPE cuts him off with a sharp, dangerous warning.

                         PENELOPE
            I mean it!  I must have that, and
            so must Paul.  Tell him that he was
            conceived in love, even though you
            hate me now.  Tell both of us that
            somewhere is our lives was love.

HAROLD experiments inwardly with responses of various kinds,
obviously saying them to himself, directing himself with his
hands.  Nothing quite satisfies him.

                         HAROLD
            Testimonials of that sort are--are
            beyond my range.  I don't do them
            well.
                   (sincerely, not
                   liking to fail in any way)
            That's a failing, I know.

                         PENELOPE
                   (accepting this ruefully)
            I see.

                         PAUL
            I don't care.  I don't care if
            there was love or not.  That's all
            right.  I'm going to go to my room
            and close the door.  I don't want
            to hear any more.

PAUL exits wretchedly to his room.

                         HAROLD
            See how you've upset him.  He was
            so merry and hale before you came
            home.

                         PENELOPE
            How unhappy he's going to be--alone
            in his room.

                         HAROLD
            He'll play with his rifle, I expect.
            That will cheer him up.

                         PENELOPE
            Rifle?

                         HAROLD
            I bought him a twenty-two
            yesterday--on the way home from
            Hamburger Heaven.  And where is the
            good doctor?  Have you two
            feathered a love nest somewhere?

                         PENELOPE
            He's in East St. Louis with his
            mother--visiting an aunt.

                         HAROLD
            Last I heard, his mother was going
            alone.

                         PENELOPE
            He's afraid of you, Harold.  He
            knew you'd want to fight him.  He
            doesn't know anything about
            fighting.  He hates pain.

                         HAROLD
            And you, a supposedly healthy
            woman, do not detest him for his
            cowardice?

                         PENELOPE
            It seems highly intelligent to me.

                         HAROLD
            What kind of a country has this
            become?  The men wear beads and
            refuse to fight--and the woman
            adore them.  America's days of
            greatness are over.  It has drunk
            the blue soup.

                         PENELOPE
            Blue soup?

                         HAROLD
            An Indian narcotic we were forced
            to drink.  It put us in a haze--a
            honey-colored haze which was
            lavender around the edge.  We
            laughed, we sang, we snoozed.  When
            a bird called, we answered back.
            Every living thing was our brother
            or our sister, we thought.
            Looseleaf stepped on a cockroach
            six inches long, and we cried.  We
            had a funeral that went on for five
            days--for the cockroach!  I sang
            "Oh Promise Me." Can you imagine?
            Where the hell did I ever learn the
            words to "Oh Promise Me"?  Looseleaf
            delivered a lecture on maintenance
            procedures for the hydraulic system
            of a B-36.  All the time we were
            drinking more blue soup, more blue
            soup!  Never stopped drinking blue
            soup.  Blue soup all the time.
            We'd go out after food in that
            honey-colored haze, and everything
            that was edible had a penumbra of
            lavender.

                         PENELOPE
            Sounds quite beautiful.

                         HAROLD
                   (angered)
            Beautiful, you say?  It wasn't
            life, it wasn't death--it wasn't
            anything!
                   (anger still mounting)
            Beautiful?  Seven years gone--
                   (snapping his fingers)
            like that, like that!  Seven years
            of silliness and random dreams!
            Seven years of nothingness, when
            there could have been so much!

                         PENELOPE
            Like what?

                         HAROLD
                   (becoming dangerously
                   physical, seizing a
                   battle-ax)
            Action!  Interaction!  Give and
            take!  Challenge and response!

He splits a coffee table with the ax.

                         PAUL
                   (rushing in with his
                   .22 rifle at a high
                   port arms)
            Mom?

                         HAROLD
            What's this?

PAUL wilts instantly, attempts to make his rifle
inconspicuous, harmless, meaningless.

                         HAROLD
            What's this?

                         PAUL
            Nothing.

                         HAROLD
            That's a rifle you have?

                         PAUL
            No.

                         HAROLD
            Of course it is.  Is it loaded?

                         PAUL
            No.

                         HAROLD
            Open the bolt!

PAUL obeys.  A cartridge pops out.

                         HAROLD
            That's a cartridge, if I'm not
            mistaken.  Gunpowder, bullet,
            cartridge case, and fulminate of
            mercury percussion cap--all set to go.
                         PAUL
            I was cleaning it.

                         HAROLD
            Pick up that cartridge and slip it
            back into the chamber--where it
            belongs.

                         PAUL
            Gee whiz, Dad--

                         HAROLD
            Welcome to manhood, you little
            sparrowfart!  Load that gun!

                         PAUL
                   (bleatingly)
            Dad--

                         HAROLD
            Too late!  It's man to man now.
            Protecting your mother from me, are
            you?  Protect her!`

                         PENELOPE
            He's a child!

                         HAROLD
            With an iron penis three feet long.
            Load it, boy.

                         PENELOPE
            You're begging him to kill you?

                         HAROLD
            If he thinks he's man enough.

                         PENELOPE
                   (amazed by sudden insight)
            That's really what you want.  You
            become furious when people won't
            make you dead.

                         HAROLD
            I'm teaching my son to be a man.

                         PENELOPE
            So he can kill you.  You hate your
            own life that much.  You beg for a
            hero to kill you.

                         HAROLD
            I plan to live one hundred years!

                         PENELOPE
            No you don't.

                         HAROLD
            If that's the case--what's to
            prevent my killing myself?

                         PENELOPE
            Honor, I suppose.

                         HAROLD
            What a handsome word.

                         PENELOPE
                   (wonderingly)
            But it's all balled up in your head
            with death.  The highest honor is
            death.  When you talk of these
            animals, one by one, you don't just
            talk of killing them.  You honored
            them with death.  Harold--it is not
            honor to be killed.

                         HAROLD
            If you've lived a good life, fought
            well--

                         PENELOPE
            It's still just death, the absence
            of life--no honor at all.  It's
            worse than the blue soup by far--
            that nothingness.  To you, though,
            it's the honor that crowns them all.

                         HAROLD
            May I continue with the rearing of
            my son?
                   (to PAUL)
            Load that gun!

PAUL shakes his head.

                         HAROLD
            Load it!

PAUL refuses.

                         HAROLD
            Then speak, by God!  Can you fight
            with words?

                         PAUL
            I don't want to fight you.

                         HAROLD
            Get mad!  Tell me you don't like
            the way I treat your mother!  Tell
            me you wish I'd never come home!

                         PAUL
                   (weakly)
            It's your house, Dad.

                         HAROLD
                   (throwing up his hands)
            Everybody simply evaporates!
                   (including the
                   audience, inviting it
                   to share his indignation)
            There are guest issues to be fought
            out here--or to be argued, at least.
            The enemy, the champion of all who
            oppose me, is in East St. Louis
            with his mother and his aunt!  I
            have so far done battle with a
            woman and a child and a violin.

                         PENELOPE
            The old heroes are going to have to
            get used to this, Harold--the new
            heroes who refuse to fight.
            They're trying to save the planet.
            There's no time for battle, no
            point to battle anymore.

                         HAROLD
            I feel mocked, insulted, with no
            sort of satisfaction in prospect.
            We don't have to fight with steel.
            I can fight with words.  I'm not an
            inarticulate ape, you know, who
            grabs a rock for want of a
            vocabulary.  Call him up in East St.
            Louis, Penelope.  Tell him to come
            here.

                         PENELOPE
            No.

                         HAROLD
                   (emptily, turning away)
            No.

Pause.  He contemplates PAUL.

                         HAROLD
            And my son, the only son of Harold
            Ryan--he's going to grow up to be a
            vanisher, too?

                         PENELOPE
            I don't know.  I hope he never
            hunts.  I hope he never kills
            another human being.

                         HAROLD
                   (to PAUL, quietly)
            You hope this, too?

                         PAUL
            I don't know what I hope.  But I
            don't think you care what I hope,
            anyway.  You don't know me.
                   (indicating PENELOPE)
            You don't know her, either.  I
            don't think you know anybody.  You
            talk to everybody just the same.

                         HAROLD
            I'm talking to you gently now.

                         PAUL
            Yeah.  But it's going to get loud
            again.

                         PENELOPE
            He's right, Harold.  To you, we're
            simply pieces in a game--this one
            labeled "woman," that one labeled
            "son." There is no piece labeled
            "enemy" and you are confused.

Lion doorbell roars.  PAUL goes to answer it.

                         HAROLD
            There won't be anybody out there.
            That's the new style: nobody anywhere.

PAUL, aghast, admits NORBERT WOODLY.  WOODLY is high as a
kite on his own adrenaline.

                         PENELOPE
                   (aghast, chokingly)
            Get out of here.

                         WOODLY
            It's really that bad?

He comes farther into the room, bravely.

                         PENELOPE
            You fool, you fool.

                         WOODLY
            Oh--look at the poor, crucified
            violin, would you?

                         HAROLD
            It died for your sins.

                         WOODLY
            This little corpse is intended as a
            lesson?

                         HAROLD
            There's a certain amount of
            information there.

                         WOODLY
            Lest we forget how cruel you are.

                         PENELOPE
                   (moving to the telephone)
            I'm going to call the police.

                         HAROLD
                   (frighteningly)
            Don't!

                         WOODLY
            I agree.

WOODLY closes the door.  PENELOPE backs away from the phone,
drifts toward PAUL, who still holds his rifle.

                         HAROLD
            This is man to man.

                         WOODLY
            It's healer to killer.  Is that the
            same thing?

                         HAROLD
            What brought you back?

                         WOODLY
            The same hairy, humorless old gods
            who move you from hither to yon.
            "Honor, " if you like.

                         HAROLD
                   (to PENELOPE)
            He's a champion after all.
                         WOODLY
            Of the corpses and cripples you
            create for our instruction--when
            all we can learn from them is this:
            how cruel you are.

                         PENELOPE
            This is suicide.
                   (to PAUL)
            Go get the police.

                         HAROLD
            Stop!

PAUL stops.

                         HAROLD
            There's going to be no bloodshed
            here.  I know how he'll fight--the
            only way he can fight: with words.
            The truth.
                   (to WOODLY)
            Am I correct?

                         WOODLY
            Yes.

                         HAROLD
            I can defeat him with anything from
            flavored toothpicks to siege
            howitzers.  But he got it into his
            little head that he could come here
            and demolish Harold Ryan with words.
            The truth!  Correct?

                         WOODLY
            Correct.

                         HAROLD
            What an hallucination!
                   (laughs)
            Oh, dear, dear, dear, dear.  Oh
            dearie me.

                         WOODLY
            You haven't heard me yet.

                         HAROLD
            You intend to crack my eardrums
            with your voice?  Will I bleed from
            my every orifice?  Who will clean
            up this awful mess?

                         WOODLY
            We'll find out now, won't we?

                         PENELOPE
            No, we won't.  No matter how it
            begins, it will end in death.
            Because it always does.  Isn't that
            always how it ends, Harold--in death?

                         HAROLD
            There has to be a threat of some
            sort, nobility of some sort,
            glamour of some sort, sport of some
            sort.  These elements are lacking.

                         WOODLY
            You're a filthy, rotten bastard.

                         HAROLD
                   (pretending to be wounded)
            Oooooo.  That hurt.

                         WOODLY
            You're old--so old.

                         HAROLD
            Now who's being cruel?

                         WOODLY
            A living fossil!  Like the
            cockroaches and the horseshoe crabs.

                         HAROLD
            We do survive, don't we?  You're
            going to have to apologize, of
            course, for calling me a bastard.
            That's a matter of form--not
            allowing you or anybody to call me
            a bastard.  No rush about that.
            Just remember to apologize sometime
            soon.

PENELOPE takes the rifle from PAUL.

                         WOODLY
            You're a son of a bitch.

                         HAROLD
            Yes--well--uh--that's another one
            of those statements which more or
            less automatically requires an
            apology.  Whenever you feel like it.
            It's sort of like turning off an
            alarm clock that's ringing loudly.
            Your apology turns off the alarm.

                         PENELOPE
                   (leveling the gun)
            I'm turning off the alarm.  I'm
            turning off everything.

                         HAROLD
            Ah!  The lady is armed.

                         PENELOPE
            I want you to get out of here,
            Norbert.  Harold--I want you to sit
            down in the chair, and not lift a
            finger until Norbert is gone.

                         HAROLD
                   (to WOODLY)
            Whoever has the gun, you see, gets
            to tell everybody else exactly what
            to do.  It's the American way.

                         PENELOPE
            I mean it!

                         HAROLD
            Then you'd better fix your bayonet,
            because there aren't any bullets in
            the gun.

                         PENELOPE
                   (to PAUL)
            Where's the bullet?

PAUL makes no move to help.

                         HAROLD
            Help your mother find the bullet.

                         PENELOPE
                   (to PAUL, pointing to
                   the floor)
            There it is.  Give it to me.

PAUL obeys.

                         PENELOPE
            How do I load?

                         HAROLD
                   (to PAUL)
            Load it for her.

PAUL shakily obeys.

                         HAROLD
            Cock it, too.

PAUL obeys.

                         HAROLD
            Give it to her.

PAUL obeys.

                         PENELOPE
            All right!  Am I exceedingly
            dangerous now?

                         HAROLD
            The National Safety Council would
            be appalled.

                         PENELOPE
            Then listen to me.
                   (angrily)
            You're both disgusting--with your
            pride, your pride.
                   (to WOODLY)
            I hate you for coming here--like a
            federal marshal in a western film.
            I loved you when you stayed away.
            But here you are now--high noon in
            the Superbowl!  You fool, you fool.

                         WOODLY
            Everything's going to be beautiful.

                         PENELOPE
            You fake!  You're no better than
            the dumbest general in the Pentagon.
                   (pause)
            You're not going to beat Harold.
            You're not going to beat anybody.
            You're not going to stay here,
            either--yammering and taunting
            until you're most gloriously killed.
            Go home!

                         HAROLD
            She's right, Norbert--go home.
                         WOODLY
            I haven't said all I have to say.

                         PENELOPE
            Out!

                         WOODLY
            I haven't told you, Harold, how
            comical I think you are.

                         HAROLD
                   (hit squarely,
                   absolutely unable to forgive)
            Comical?

                         PENELOPE
                   (to HAROLD)
            Sit down or I'll shoot!

HAROLD goes over to her, easily takes the gun away)

                         HAROLD
            Give me that Goddamn thing!  Now
            get out of here, or I might kill
            you.  Who knows?

                         PENELOPE
                   (terrified)
            You've killed women?

                         HAROLD
            Seventeen of them--eleven by
            accident.  March!  Move!
                   (to PAUL)
            You, too!

PENELOPE and PAUL move toward the front door.

                         PENELOPE
            Norbert--you come, too.
                   (to HAROLD)
            Let him go, Harold.  Let him go.

                         HAROLD
            Of course he can go--if he'll just
            go down on his hands and knees for
            a moment--and promise me that he
            does not find me comical in the
            least degree.

                         PENELOPE
            Do it, Norbert.

                         WOODLY
            Hands and knees, you say?

                         HAROLD
            And terror, if you don't mind.

                         PENELOPE
            Do it!

                         WOODLY
                   (to PENELOPE, simply,
                   decisively, unafraid)
            Goodbye.

                         HAROLD
                   (before she can
                   protest any more)
            Goodbye!  Goodbye!

He bellies and bullies PENELOPE and PAUL out the front door.

                         HAROLD
            Get the police!  No time to lose!

He slams the door, turns to WOODLY.

                         HAROLD
            You're in one hell of a jam.  You
            realize that?

                         WOODLY
            I'm high as a kite.

                         HAROLD
            Glands.  You're supposed to be
            happy when you die.  Call me
            comical again.

                         WOODLY
            You're a clown.  You're a clown who
            kills--but you're a clown.

                         HAROLD
            I love you!  Have a cigar!

                         WOODLY
                   (ignoring the cigar)
            Evolution has made you a clown--
            with a cigar.  Simple butchers like
            you are obsolete!

                         HAROLD
            I'm to be left behind--in primordial
            ooze?

                         WOODLY
            If you're at home in the ooze, and
            nowhere else.

                         HAROLD
            This is going to become very
            physical.  Are you prepared for that?

                         WOODLY
            You're not such a creature of the
            ooze that you'd hurt an unarmed man.

                         HAROLD
            I'm an honorable clown?

                         WOODLY
            King Arthur.

                         HAROLD
            You hope.

                         WOODLY
            In any event, I will not beg for
            mercy.

                         HAROLD
            No quarter asked.
                   (taking a sword)
            No quarter given.

                         WOODLY
            Don't you laugh even inwardly at
            the heroic balderdash you spew?

                         HAROLD
                   (offering sword)
            Cut me open.  Find out.

                         WOODLY
            I've struck my blow.

                         HAROLD
            With spittle?

                         WOODLY
            I've poisoned you.
                         HAROLD
                   (pointing at WOODLY
                   in horror)
            Lucretia Borgia?
                   (looking around frantically)
            Something I drank or touched?
                   (understanding)
            You refused a cigar.  That's it!
            Potassium cyanide in the humidor!
            Treacherous lover of peace!

                         WOODLY
            I put a poisoned thought in your
            head.  Even now that poison is
            seeping into every lobe of your
            mind.  It's saying, "Obsolete,
            obsolete, obsolete," and, "Clown,
            clown, clown."

                         HAROLD
            Poison.

                         WOODLY
            You have a very good mind, or I
            wouldn't have come back.  That mind
            is now asking itself, cleverly and
            fairly, "Is Harold Ryan really a
            clown?" And the answer is, "Yes."

                         HAROLD
                   (touching his
                   forehead experimentally)
            I--I really must congratulate you.
            Something is happening in there.

                         WOODLY
            You can never take yourself
            seriously again!  Look at all the
            creatures you've protected us from!
            Did you shoot them on the elevator,
            as they were on their way up here
            to eat us alive?

                         HAROLD
                   (blankly, as though
                   in a dream)
            No.
                         WOODLY
            The magic root you gave me--I had
            it analyzed.  It was discovered by
            a Harvard botanist in 1893!  He
            explored your famous jungle for
            five years, armed with nothing but
            kindness, a talent for languages,
            and a pocketknife.

                         HAROLD
                   (blankly)
            I see.

                         WOODLY
            You aren't going to hurt me.  You
            aren't going to hurt anybody any
            more.  Any violent gesture will
            seem ridiculous--to yourself!

                         HAROLD
                   (quietly)
            Don Quixote.

                         WOODLY
            My violin is avenged!

                         HAROLD
            Something seems to have happened to
            my self-respect.

                         WOODLY
            And the hell with it.  It was so
            tragically irrelevant, so
            preposterously misinformed.

                         HAROLD
            The new hero is you.

                         WOODLY
            I hate crowds, and I have no
            charisma--

                         HAROLD
            You're too modest.

                         WOODLY
            But the new hero will be a man of
            science and of peace--like me.
            He'll disarm you, of course.  No
            more guns, no more guns.

                         HAROLD
            Was I ever of use?

                         WOODLY
            Never.  For when you began to kill
            for the fun of it, you became the
            chief source of agony of mankind.

HAROLD picks up the rifle, considers it, offers it to WOODLY.

                         HAROLD
            Here.  Finish the job.

                         WOODLY
            I'm utterly satisfied.

                         HAROLD
            You're making a mistake.  Obsolete
            old carnivores like me are most
            dangerous when wounded.  You've
            wounded me.

                         WOODLY
            More clowning!  Don't you see?

                         HAROLD
            We never quit fighting until we're
            dead.

                         WOODLY
            You'd be killing a friend.  Don't
            you know how much I like you?

                         HAROLD
            I'm going to shoot you now.

                         WOODLY
            No!

                         HAROLD
            My self-respect is gone--and my
            soldier's honor with it.  It is now
            very easy for me to shoot an
            unarmed man.

                         WOODLY
            New dignity can be yours--as a
            merciful man.  You can change!

                         HAROLD
            Like the saber-toothed tiger.

                         WOODLY
                   (sickened)
            Oh God--you're really going to kill
            me.
                         HAROLD
            It won't hurt as much as the sting
            of a bumblebee.  Heaven is very
            much like Paradise, they say.
            You'll like it there.

                         WOODLY
            Can I beg for mercy--on my knees?

                         HAROLD
            If you want to be found that way.

                         WOODLY
            What is this thing that kills me?

                         HAROLD
            Man, as man was meant to be--a
            vengeful ape who murders.  He will
            soon be extinct.  It's time, it's
            time.

                         WOODLY
            Don't shoot.

                         HAROLD
            I've enjoyed being man.

He aims the rifle tentatively.

                         WOODLY
            No.
                   (goes down on his knees)
            No.

                         HAROLD
            Get up.

                         WOODLY
            No.

                         HAROLD
            Have it your way.  We'd both be
            better off dead now.

HAROLD begins to squeeze the trigger, falters, lowers the
rifle.

                         HAROLD
            Can't do it.

                         WOODLY
            Thank God.
                         HAROLD
            Crawl home.

He turns his back on WOODLY, who stands shakily.

                         WOODLY
            Thank you--for my life.

                         HAROLD
            It's trash now, like mine.

                         WOODLY
            New lives begin!

                         HAROLD
            Somewhere in this city.  Not here,
            not here.  Tell Penelope I loved
            her--in my clownish way.  And Paul.
            Tell him to be a healer, by all means.

                         WOODLY
            What are you going to do?

                         HAROLD
            Use the sanitary facilities, if I may.

                         WOODLY
            Leave the rifle here.

                         HAROLD
            I'll put it in Paul's room, where
            it belongs.

                         WOODLY
            Give me your word of honor that
            that's all you're going to do.

                         HAROLD
            For what it's worth now, Harold
            Ryan, the clown, gives his sacred
            word.

HAROLD exits into corridor.  WOODLY looks after him
helplessly, apprehensively.  Silence.

                         WOODLY
            Harold?

VON KONIGSWALD, MILDRED, and WANDA JUNE enter from the side
stealthily.  VON KONIGSWALD, pantomimes that his companions
are to be quiet and to listen for something wonderful.  All
ghosts cup their hands to their ears.

                         WOODLY
            Harold?

There is a shot offstage.  VON KONIGSWALD is delighted.
MILDRED is sickened.  WANDA JUNE is dazed.  WOODLY collapses
in grief.  HAROLD enters from the corridor, shaking his head.

                         HAROLD
            I missed.

VON KONIGSWALD expresses disappointment.  MILDRED covers her
face.  WANDA JUNE sucks her thumb.

                         HAROLD
            The end.

Curtain.