April 15 & 16: Valerie Laub

April 15 & 16: Only One Earth

Valerie Laub

Actor 1
Actor 2
Actor 3, a duck covered in oil

Only One Earth

Three Actors. The third is a duck covered in oil.

1: (Pacing) Damn.

3 coughs.

1:(Pause.) Double damn.

3 coughs and coughs.

1: It wasn’t supposed to happen here.

2: (Pause.) Where was it supposed to happen?

1 gives 2 a dirty look. 3 coughs.

2: (Pause.) China? Should it have happened in China?

1 glares at 2. 2 smiles sheepishly and shrugs.

(3 coughs.)

2: (To 3:) Are you okay? (3 coughs more) You don’t look good. Maybe you should take a bath? Try and get some of the oil off. It can’t be good for you.

1: Leave the stupid duck alone.

2: He’s sick.

1: Well get him out of here. I got important things to think about.

2: He might have some concerns.

1: He’s a DUCK for chrissakes!

2: (To 3:) Maybe it would be best if you just….

3: (Coughs and sputters:) How are they going to remove the boom from the ship without spilling the oil it contains?

2: Good question. “How are they going to remove the boom from the ship without spilling the oil it contains?”

1: That’s no problem. Stupid duck…..

The Duck approaches 1 with two glasses of oil. The Duck hands the glasses to 2, turns 1’s palms up and then takes the glasses and places one in each palm, rendering 1 helpless.

1: What the….?

2: (Tentatively:) I don’t necessarily think the DUCK is stupid.


3 coughs.

1: Here, take these…. (2 takes the glasses and puts them down on the floor.)

3 coughs and coughs.

1: SHUDDUP! SHUDDUP! Thing is we’ve got egg on our faces.

2: Where? (Takes out a hankie, spits on it and prepares to wipe 1’S face.) I don’t see any egg. A little oil perhaps.

1: Get away from me!

2: Sorry.

3 coughs and coughs and coughs.

1: What is wrong with that duck?

2: Oil. It’s covered in oil.

1: Well get it out of here! (Waves his hand in front of his face.) Those fumes are toxic.

2: It’s sick. We can’t just …. (Takes hankie out and spits on it.) Here little duckie…

3 coughs and scoots away.

2: Come on, I won’t hurt you….

1: The only good thing about this whole affair is that we own shares in two major oil spill response companies in Canada. So at least we make money when there is a spill.

2: Well then, what’s the problem? (Starts to sing and dance: “Always look on the Bright Side of Life”.)


2: Some people like my singing. (Pause.) What about India? We regularly kill people in India with asbestos and whacking apart old ships and….

1 gives a strangled scream.

2: Africa? They got so many problems they wouldn’t even notice a little oil slick….

1 starts to chase 2 with hands extended to strangle 2. 2 runs.

3: (Cough. To 2:) The problem is- (Cough. Cough.) there is only one Earth. (Coughs and coughs and coughs and expires.)

2: (Still running from 1.) Right…. (To 1:) The problem is there is only one Earth.

1 trips over and spills a glass of oil then slips and falls down on the ground. Starts banging his head.

2: (To 3:) I don’t think he wants to know. (Noticing the duck is dead:) Oh… oh… oh poor little duckie. (Cradles the duck in his/her arms.) What have we done?