"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest one of all? (She laughs) Of course! We know! It’s me! They all want me. Who are they anyway? Of course, they didn’t a few months ago ‘cause I was fat again. I almost weighed 200 pounds! I was a hunk a hunk of burning love! I practically had to starve myself to death to get here to look like this, but look at me now. Diet pills! Someone gave me a prescription called "black beauty" once, but it made me feel really funny. I couldn’t get any more of those, so I had to buy over the counter diet- pills. I was almost able to starve myself to death to look like this. I look good driving around in my red convertible." (She is smiling very big and admiring herself.)
The curtain rises on a coffin which is surrounded by fog for an eerie feeling. There is silence for a moment giving the audience time to grapple with its implications. Footsteps are heard in the distance as the light rises on a man who is well dressed and articulate in his speech. He is like a Rod Serling type of fellow.
Good evening. (Drawls it out slow and firm) Welcome, one and all, large and small, big and tall, fat and thin. (He gestures to the audience to excuse him for a moment as a cell phone is heard ringing. Man is clearly saying some wrong things and is being corrected. He clears his throat and says) “Uh, yes, sir.” (He continues a little embarrassed and apologizes to the audience) Excuse me. I meant no offense. (He is holding a big black book marked Destiny. He opens the book slowly)
Now, where was I? Oh, yes. (As if a little shaken by the voice on the other end of the phone) Welcome, e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e no matter who you are! Tonight, we will examine one life that was doomed to failure. (He now gazes upon the open book and begins to tell a story) Once upon a time and long, long ago, (There is an unknown female voice heard saying, “Not that long ago!”) and far, far away, (Again the strange female voice says, "Not that far away! Come on give me a break!” ) there lived a little girl who wanted to grow up and be like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, or Rapunzel. (Clears throat) You get the picture. No? Well, you know what they say. A picture is worth 1000 words. Let me show you. (He gestures with his hand. At this moment, a screen appears from out of nowhere. The Man reaches into his pocket to retrieve a remote control device. He turns to the audience. This clicker will soon be known to the audience as an ability to access time past.)
I love visual aids. I find them much more accurate! You cannot embellish the truth. (He clicks the remote, and the slide show begins)
SIX YEARS OLD
A little girl, about six years old, is lying on the floor, kicking her legs. She is clearly in a happy state. She is in front of a stereo listening to The Platters “Great Pretender.”
Twinkle, twinkle little star, I wish I may, I wish I might have the love I wish tonight! I just can’t wait to grow up and get married. I’ll be just like the girls in the Elvis movies. I’ll be so happy! And I want one of those little red convertibles I see the girls driving.
The man clicks remote as the picture on the screen freezes
But then something happened she wasn’t prepared for. (He clicks the remote once again to reveal little girl sitting Indian style)
I went to my best friend's house to play, and she wasn't home. Her brother lied to me and told me to come inside and wait in the side room for her. He said she would be just a little while. He came in and trapped me. I don't like him anymore. Why did he have to touch me like that? He pulled his pants down. I got so scared. I pretended to do something, and then I ran out of the house. I escaped! I'm so scared. My stomach hurts all the time. My mommy took me to get an X-ray, but nothing was wrong. My tummy still hurts. (She’s holding her stomach) I’m so scared.
I don’t want to go to school. I want to stay at home. Please don’t make me go! (Pause button is hit on the remote)
As time went on, she became more withdrawn. Fear gripped her. She turned to food, especially sweets. They were very comforting to her. Her thoughts became very dark and sexual. She wanted to be like the other girls, but something changed after that incident. She was never the same again.
The man clicks remote. “Heart and Soul” is overheard, plucked out note-by-note on the piano.
There appears an 11-year-old girl sitting at a table with a great big chocolate cake and a great big gallon of ice cream. A bottle of soda is there as well. She is wearing a big oversized sweatshirt and a ball cap.
I dream of cake and icing all the time, and how about a blob of ice cream on the side? And don't forget a soda pop to wash it down! I know I'm getting hefty. Don't tie me up
and throw me out! I'm not the trash! I'm the green-eyed monster, or so my daddy says. I like to beat up all the boys in the neighborhood. Nobody likes me! They all call me fatty! I’m not very happy. Soooooo…(Very sheepishly) could you give me another piece of cake? And don’t forget lots of icing! And a soda pop to wash it down!
The man clicks remote, and the picture is frozen.
She became older, and things on the outside appeared (enunciates) to be getting better, but emotionally the inside grew progressively worse. I will take you to a scene where she was fifteen years old. She had become thin and was very pretty. She was the most popular girl in school. But on the inside, life was quite different. (He clicks remote)
PIANO SCENE FIFTEEN YEARS OLD
The girl is at the piano. She is playing the theme song to Romeo and Juliet. She is thin, pretty, and has on a beautiful blouse with colossal bell sleeves that hang just right as she raises her hands up and down to play. She turns around to the audience to speak.
I lost all that weight. Don’t I look great? It just kind of fell off one day. I fell in love! (She grabs her heart) What a great way to lose weight! (She continues to play a few more bars and then stops again to speak) I am playing “Romeo and Juliet” in the school talent show. I was so afraid to get up in front of the whole school that I took a swig of my mom’s green nerve medicine. But (she cups her hand to her mouth to whisper as if someone will hear) don’t tell my mom, she would kill me! It really helped calm me down.
She turns to play a few more bars then stops to speak to the audience.
Everyone loved me! They thought that I was grand.
Everyone loved me! They wanted me to play Paul McCartney’s
“Let It Be” in the school rock band. Little did they know “Romeo and Juliet” is (She cups her hand to her mouth and whispers so no one else will hear) the only thing that I do know! Fooled them, fooled them! But I wouldn’t tell them so. (She smirks) I'll just let them think that I am great, that I can play any 'ole thing. What they don't know won't hurt them as long as I look good, and they think that I'm okay.
She again turns to play a few more bars then stops to speak to the audience.
I am going with the most popular boy in school, but I think
I have just fallen in love with my brother’s best friend,
….an older man! He is three years older than me. I want to
marry him. I told my mom we could live on love. My mom
said we have to be able to live on something other than
love. (Slowly)You know moms! What does she know? She's
older! She’s a mom!
Pauses to play a note or two then drops a bomb
Oh, my gosh! I just fell in love with a guy at my high school. I dumped “the older man!”
Continues with her story
Oh, and by the way, my dad just left home. (Pause) I feel like the Jolly Green Giant socked me in the stomach. What’s gonna happen to my mom, sister, and me now? Well, (Thinking as if trying to figure this out) everybody says I’m just like my dad. I guess I’ll just have to take care of us somehow, but I don’t want to. I hate him for leaving me. One day, though, when I get married, I’ll never get divorced. I’ll never do this to my children. I hate him. I’ve started hitting myself. I get so angry! Why can’t everybody just be happy? They are in the Elvis movies! I hate my life.
She turns back around to play a few more bars, and then she is frozen. The man clicks remote to end the slideshow
The life this girl lived was one of descending doom. Whatever she put her hand to failed. She had moments of relief and happiness, but something inside was very wrong. Evil forces shut every door that opened for her to walk through. She learned to pretend her way through life because of these disappointments and setbacks. She could not change her circumstances to suit herself, so she started focusing on her looks, thinking she was in control. She started manipulating and conniving others any way she could into doing what she wanted. If anyone could have sung Elvis Presley's song, "I Did It My Way” (He starts to sing this then clears his throat and stops), she could have. Excuse me. I do get carried away sometimes!
Man walks off stage. The Girl appears in person, not on a screen from this moment.
End of Scene I
MAKE-UP TABLE SCENE
A young girl around 22 is sitting at a make-up table looking at her reflection in the mirror and is seemingly very pleased. She leans into the audience to draw them into her world.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest one of all? (She laughs) Of course! We know! It’s me! They all want me. Who are they anyway? Of course, no one wanted me a few months ago cause I was fat again. I almost weighed 200 pounds! I was a “hunk a hunk of burning love!” I practically had to starve myself to death, but look at me now. Diet pills! Someone gave me a prescription pill called "black beauty" one time, but it made me feel funny. I wasn’t able to get any more of those, so I had to buy over the counter diet pills. With them, I lost my appetite. I almost starved myself to be able to look like this. I look good driving around in my red convertible that my Dad bought me. Of course, I have to make all the payments! He said something about responsibility. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever! I got what I wanted, didn't I?
She is smiling and admiring herselfwhile continuing to put on make-up while she speaks.
It took a significant life crisis to get me to lose weight. “I got all shook up.” (She tells the story)A few months ago, my boyfriend and I went out to eat lunch at a fast-food restaurant. (Sarcastically) He takes me to all the fine places. You know, two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion on a sesame seed bun. Whew! Load up on that special sauce please! (She pretends to lick her lips)I ordered a Big Chef, a large fry and a large chocolate milkshake. I just love chocolate, don’t you? Mmmmm.
I was wearing a Moo Moo that day. You allknow what a Moo Moo is, don't you? (Cowbell is heard ringing) Well, it is a great big dress for a great big body! So, we sat down, and I started unwrapping my food. Come to mama! My boyfriend looked at me with “the look.” I already knew what he was going to say before he said it. He said, “When are you going to lose some of that weight?” I couldn’t believe what my two big ears had heard. (She goes into this quip about her ears) When I was little, I thought I had huge ears. The girls in the movies didn't. I got this bright idea that somehow, I needed to pin my ears down to my head to make them flat. I put tape behind them. It worked pretty well for a while, but because of my body heat, they kept popping back up, so I gave up on that idea. I decided that when I got older and had the money, I would get them pinned down to my head permanently. But when I grew my hair long, I discovered that I could hide them! Anyway, that special sauce was just going to have to wait! I calmly wrapped it back up, headed for the trashcan and threw it all away, chocolate shake and all. Do you know how much strength it took for me to do that? Iabruptly said, "Take me home." We broke up! But just look at me now. Breakups are a great way to lose weight.
She blows a kiss to herself while gazing into the mirror while a few bars of“Great Pretender” is overheard.
During the time I was broken up with Mr. Burger Chef, I went back to my hometown in West Virginia. My mom moved us away from there after I graduated high school. She thought it would be better for us to be close to my dad where his business was in Richmond. I just wanted to be near his wallet!
While I was back in my hometown, I happened to run into my high school sweetheart. We thought we still had feelings for each other. We were a couple of years older now, so trying to carry on a long-distance romance didn't seem so impossible. He arranged to come to Virginia for the summer to work. I was so excited. It looked like things in my life were finally going to start to work out the way I wanted. (Somber)He called me one Friday night while I was at work. He was on winter break from college and said he had found a ride to Virginia and would stay for the weekend. (She pauses) I said, why don’t you just let me fly in there?” He replied, “No.” He said, “I love you and will see you about 2:00 in the morning.” I said, “I love you, too.” Those were the last words we ever spoke to each other.
There were four boys in the car that night as they left Marshall University celebrating the end of the fall semester. Their car ran head-on into a truck on the West Virginia Turnpike. My high-school sweetheart was in the front passenger’s seat and was the only one killed. That night, I felt that my life died.
The lights fade on her, and they rise on a singer who sings a song to be determined.
Lights go down on singer and up again on Girl.
I weigh 117 pounds. Guess who showed up at my door the other day? (She hums this hum she always does) Mr. “Two All Beef Patties” himself! I’m not ready to go back with him yet.I am having too much fun having all the guys fawn over me.
She pauses, unsure whether or not to say next statement, but she rambles on like usual with herbig mouth.
I went to a party the other night. I smoked some weed and got blind drunk. I don't care anymore. You know how it gets when you drink so much that you feel like booze is oozing out of every pore in your body? I was ready to go to bed so I decided I was going to drive myself home. I wasn’t 500 yards down the road driving with one eye closed (gestures with one eye closed), when I ran right into somebody’s yard, knocked down their fence and ran into a ditch. Somehow, I got out of the car and ran back to the party. I lied to everyone about blacking out. I didn’t. I shouldn’t have been driving. I just don’t care anymore, but I never get hurt. (She freezes at the make-up table)
Blue light rises as a handsome devil appears from the waist up singing a few bars of a song. Then he disappears, and snickering is heard.
She gets up from the make-up table and walks to the audience to speak
So far, I'm 22, and I feel like I've lived enough for two other people. I drink like a fish. I smoke like a chimney. If my family only knew. I stopped smoking weed cause it only makes me paranoid. I've had more sex than I care to think about. I've already had three abortions. I'm lost, that's clear, but I don't know how to get out of here. Do you? (Long pause) So I just keep going. I keep pretending everything’s okay. (She stops to ponder) I'll get out of this, I'm sure. I'm smart. I just got promoted to Branch Manager at the bank. I'm getting ready to get married. Remember the guy at Burger Chef? I mean, well, my high school sweetheart is dead. (She is trying toconvince herself of this) I just want to get married, and then I’ll be okay. I’ll be happy then….when I’m settled (Elvis song is heard, ”It’s Now or Never”).
Lights rise on Man
Man is sitting at a table with poker chips, cards, etc. He has a cowboy hat on. He shuffles the cards a few times then stops to look at the audience with a somber face. He doesn’t sing this.
You got to know when to fold’em, know when to hold’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.
Lights fade on Man
End of Scene II
What til you see what happens next!