Monday, June 2, 2008

Excerpt from the play ANOTHER DUMB GHOST STORY

ICKLES is a ghost, who, at various times, appears to MARY as; a Scottish bagpiper, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and – at this moment – a Mexican bandit. ANOTHER DUMB GHOST STORY has crisscrossed the United States so many times that the logo is registered.

MARY: Are you really a ghost?

ICKLES: WHY does everybody always ask that question?

MARY: Why don’t you wear a sheet and go around clanking chains, like you’re supposed to?

ICKLES: I like that. You meet one ghost, and already you’re telling him how to dress.

MARY: I didn’t mean anything personal.

ICKLES: Would you take off all your clothes and run around the neighborhood with only a sheet wrapped around you?

MARY: I guess not.

ICKLES: I guess not indeed.

MARY: I’m sorry.

ICKLES: I accept your apology. We won’t mention it ever again.

MARY: Well, it’s been fun talking to you, Mr. …

ICKLES: Ickles. Just Ickles.

MARY: Pardon me, but …


MARY: Don’t you have someplace you can go?

ICKLES: Not really. Do you?

MARY: I’m there!

ICKLES: Me too. Isn’t it nice?

MARY: You can’t stay here.

ICKLES: Why not?

MARY: Because I’m tired and I want to go to bed.

ICKLES: A good place to go when you’re tired.

MARY: Look, Ickles. I’ve had a rotten day, a long drive, and – thanks to you – a fight with my landlady. I may be evicted in the morning! I ache, I’m tired, and I’ve reached the end of my rope! If you don’t leave – now – I’m going to start throwing things! Do you read me, mister?!

ICKLES: Loud and clear, SIR!

MARY: Then you’ll leave?


MARY: A-a-a-h!

ICKLES: Don’t get mad at me. It’s your fault. You’re the one who brought me here. You’re the only one who can send me back.

MARY: I did not, by any stretch of the imagination, bring you here.

ICKLES: I beg to differ with you, but you did.

MARY: I did not.

ICKLES: Yes you did.

MARY: I didn’t.

ICKLES: You did.

MARY: Didn’t.

ICKLES: Did. I win!

MARY: Alright, if I can send you away, I order you to go. Be gone. Scat. Poof!

ICKLES: Am I gone?


ICKLES: You must be doing something wrong.

MARY: Oh, you noticed that?

ICKLES: Do you know any magic words?

MARY: What magic words?

ICKLES: You know. Magic words.

MARY: You don’t mean abracadabra, and things like that?

ICKLES: I don’t?

MARY: That’s silly.

ICKLES: Okay. Which side of the bed do you want? Personally, I like the side toward the bathroom …

MARY: I didn’t say I wouldn’t do it. I just think it’s silly.

ICKLES: It’s worth a try. Hey, I’m as anxious to get this over with as you are. I certainly have no desire to stay where I’m not wanted.

MARY: Okay. But promise me you won’t laugh. What am I saying? I’m trying to think up words I don’t know, to get rid of somebody who isn’t even here. Why am I doing this?

ICKLES: When you figure it out, wake me.

MARY: Abracadabra! Alacazam-shazam! Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! By the shores of Gitchee-Goomie.

ICKLES: Mary! Something’s happening …

MARY: What?

ICKLES: I don’t know. I have this strange feeling in the small of my back.

MARY: You’re sitting on your spurs.

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