As The Stomach Belches.

Here’s another early work and one influenced by watching too many soap operas on TV.

SCENE. Restaurant. MASON and KATE.

KATE: Are you having a nice time here?

MASON: I sure am. I can’t wait until after dinner, because that’s where our romance begins.

KATE: Romance!

MASON: Yeah. I mean, who can take love more seriously as contained in one fine romance?

KATE: (leans forward) Do you know something? I think you will have a romance without me, and with someone else.

MASON: K-Kate! What are you talking about?

KATE: Don’t sound surprised, Mason. You surely know what’s going on inside you. You are dating Sharon.

MASON: Who told you that?

KATE: At a time like this, who’s interested? (gets up and leaves)

HOSPITAL. GARY and SUE.

GARY: I had to do this. I know you are a nurse here, but this is a private hospital. The only way I can get in here is if I have a bad problem.

SUE: That’s bad. (enter DOCTOR) Oh-oh.

GARY: You’re late, Henry, but better late than never! Pull up a chair! Sit down! Yes, Sire! It looks like it’s gonna be one of those days, but it should be fun! A challenge! AVAT!

DOCTOR: Mr. Gilbert, from now on, I’m going to be overlooking your therapy and treatment.

GARY: Well, doctor, if you don’t mind, then we had better consider the consequences. I would not mean to be exaggerant, but I would perish as an Englishman!

DOCTOR: An ENGLISHMAN?

GARY: Yeah, back when we celebrated the third century of the Magna Carta, I was the well recognized descendant of King John, eh doctor? And I must say the firecrackers were absolutely top drawer!

DOCTOR: I think you’ve got one of the rarer cases this hospital’s ever seen!

GARY: Rare? Why, we Roosevelts hardly use that word. Everything is as abundant as it is.

DOCTOR: I’ve never seen such subtle symptoms!

GARY: Indeed, my man, you are quite some kind of man who would not quit in life, who would go on and – ho! The Sire awaits! (stands)

DOCTOR: Maybe I’ll intensify your treatment some way. (exit)

SUE: What will we do now?

GARY: I don’t know. I’m getting nervous, and may even fall victim to these fake symptoms.

SCENE. Office. KEN and ATTORNEY.

KEN: I am telling you I did not hit Suzie!

ATTORNEY: I heard that already.

KEN: I just want to clarify that statement. I’m getting nervous. Really nervous.

ATTORNEY: Don’t worry. Leave it to me. As your attorney, I have the power to regulate the law. Relax. You’ll pass through just fine. I promise. (pause) According to this book, the attorney can control the judiciary society! See! (hands book to KEN.)

KEN: Ah! But – what’s this paper? “Kenneth Slaughterly abused Suzanne Charleston. I saw it all. Period. Signed, Dan Slaughterly.” That’s my dad! (pause) I thought you were going to help me! Will you please tell me what’s going on? Really, are you trying to throw me or WHAT!

ATTORNEY: Relax, Ken!

KEN: NO! (pause) it looks as if we’ll have another case in the works.

ATTORNEY: What case?

KEN: Me versus you! (leaves)

RESTAURANT. MASON, sitting by himself.

MASON: What did I do to deserve this? Couldn’t I just have two romances at the same time, and control them? Sharon and Kate are such lovely women, and I can balance romances and – (sighs) Oh! Why did I have to get into this in the first place?

(enter STOMACH, a stomach-shaped creature with legs, and sits)

Can you help me?

STOMACH: BELCH! BLAAACCCHHH!

(enter KATE and SHARON, running)

KATE: I’m sorry, Mason!

SHARON: What shall we do tonight?

KATE: It’s all up to you, Mason. It’s all up to you.

HOSPITAL. GARY and SUE.

SUE: What was it you wanted to tell me?

GARY: That a new neighbor moved into the empty house next door. Real handsome guy. About 23 years old.

SUE: Wow…

(enter DOCTOR)

DOCTOR: Gary, we shall begin with an injection of hormones that will control your speech.

GARY: Oh! Hail, doctor! I don’t take injections.

DOCTOR: You must, Gary, you MUST!

(enter STOMACH, running)

STOMACH: BELCH! BLAAAAACHH! (exit)

DOCTOR: Good heavens! (tosses needle, needle explodes. DOCTOR flees, screaming. GARY and SUE embrace.)

OFFICE. KEN and ATTORNEY.

ATTORNEY: You will not start a new case! Period!

KEN: I have power, too, you know! I declare you a TRAITOR!

ATTORNEY: (gasps) Then I will have you promptly arrested.

(STOMACH runs across background, burping)

STOMACH: BELCH! BLACCHH!!

ATTORNEY: Now listen, young man. You have no right to do this. (begins inflating, swelling and becoming fatter) As a man in the lower level of society, you cannot even touch me as a working system. I’m in it, and you are out. Period. Now, Ken, would you mind telling me what’s do funny? (explodes. KEN flees)

ANNOUNCER: Tune in next week for AS THE ANUS FARTS. Good night.

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