December 2 & 3: Sean Devine

December 2 & 3: Heads in the Sand, Warm and Dry

Sean Devine

CHARACTERS:

RCMP OFFICER
PROTESTER
VOICES

The symbol / represents the place where one character’s speech is interrupted by the next speaker.

Heads in the Sand, Warm and Dry

Inside an RCMP police car, parked. In the front seat, a male RCMP OFFICER sits behind the wheel. In the rear, a female PROTESTER sits handcuffed.

Outside, a loud and boisterous group of protestors, police and media each play their respective roles in the dance of civilization atop a small mountain in Burnaby, British Columbia.

It is raining. Heavy.

The RCMP OFFICER and the PROTESTER sit in silence for a while, watching the proceedings outside, listening to the rain and police radio.

RADIO: 719, what’s your location? (Pause) 719, what’s your location? 
(Pause) 719, this is Eagle, what’s your location?

OFFICER: Could be worse.

PROTESTER: Yeah.

OFFICER: It could be snowing. It could be freezing cold. You could be out there, freezing.

PROTESTER: I’d rather be.

OFFICER: You’d rather be.

PROTESTER: Yeah.

OFFICER: You’d rather be / freezing cold…

PROTESTER: Yes, I would.

OFFICER: …than inside the car. Where it’s warm. Where you’re dry. Instead of getting soaked like all of your idiot friends.

PROTESTER: (BEAT) You think they’re idiots.

OFFICER: I’m just / saying –

PROTESTER: Can I quote you on that?

OFFICER: Listen –

PROTESTER: Can I quote you / to the cameras?

OFFICER: That’s not what I meant.

PROTESTER: Cause I think the media would run / with that story.

OFFICER: Would you shut up and let me think.

PROTESTER: “RCMP officer calls protesters idiots, after arresting protester for staring.” I’m sure your superiors would love to hear that.

OFFICER: Then I’m not letting you out of the car.

PROTESTER: Is that so?

OFFICER: If that’s how you’re going to be.

PROTESTER: Am I under arrest?

OFFICER: You’re under my watchful eye. Until I figure this out.

PROTESTER: Am I under arrest?

OFFICER: You’re being detained.

PROTESTER: I’m in handcuffs.

OFFICER: It’s for your own protection.

PROTESTER: From what? We’re inside a car. From you?

OFFICER: Would you shut up and let me think?

The radio squawks again.

RADIO: 719, this is Eagle, what is your location? Are you under duress? Have you been injured? If you don’t report your location we’re going to have to send in the emergency –

The OFFICER picks up the radio.

OFFICER: Eagle, this is 719. I’m fine. I repeat, I’m fine.

RADIO: 719, this is Eagle. What is your location?

OFFICER: I’m on top of the mountain. I’m about 50 yards south from the main group. I’m secure. I don’t think the main group can see me.

RADIO: Do you have Ostrich in custody?

OFFICER: (BEAT) Yes.

RADIO: Please confirm that. Do you have –

OFFICER: Yes, I have Ostrich. In custody. That’s affirmative. I have her. Ostrich is in custody. The main group is not aware that I’ve got her. She’s in my custody and separated from the main group.

RADIO: Can you bring her in?

OFFICER: That’s a negative. It’s a pretty tight road. I’m kind of tucked behind some downed trees right now. The road out of here is in front of me, but that’s where the main group of protesters are. I don’t think I can safely drive through the crowd right at the moment to bring her in without bumping into the rest of the group. But she’s with me in my car. She’s safe. She’s warm. She’s dry.

Pause.

RADIO: Did you say that she’s warm and dry?

PROTESTER: Did you just call me Ostrich?

OFFICER: Yes. To both of you. Yes.

PROTESTER: Ostrich?

RADIO: 719, I’m less concerned about the warmth and relative humidity factor of Ostrich. Is she detained, and are you keeping her away from the cameras?

OFFICER: That’s affirmative.

RADIO: Copy that. Stand by for instructions.

PROTESTER: Ostrich.

OFFICER: Copy that.

The radio goes silent.

PROTESTER: That’s why I was arrested so quickly. You told them I was here. You knew I was coming, and you told them. You alerted them about me. Cause I’m such a dangerous radical environmental terrorist who cuts off babies heads.

OFFICER: Listen –

PROTESTER: The police don’t want me on camera, so they sent you in to scoop me out of the crowd.

OFFICER: It’s for your own safety –

PROTESTER: Just wait until I tell Mom & Dad / about this.

OFFICER: You are not telling Mom & Dad about this.

PROTESTER: You’re damn / right I am.

OFFICER: No, you’re not.

PROTESTER: Try and stop me.

OFFICER: I’ll stop you / alright.

PROTESTER: As if you could .

OFFICER: You want to try me? Cause this is The Law you’re talking to. I am The Law. You got that, little sister? The Law. So you better shut up about telling Mom & Dad about your little stunt here, or else…

PROTESTER: Or else what?

OFFICER: Or else…

PROTESTER: Or else you’ll tighten my handcuffs?

OFFICER: Or else…The Law.

PROTESTER: Or else you’ll make me disappear like a Mexican student?

OFFICER: Hey!

PROTESTER: Is that what The Law does now?

OFFICER: No fair!

PROTESTER: No fair?! My brother The Law just threw me to the ground, handcuffed me, and chucked me into a squad car all because I was staring at him at a peaceful protest.

OFFICER: Staring is assault.

PROTESTER: Then go arrest everyone else.

OFFICER: I’m keeping you dry from the rain.

Pause.

PROTESTER: An ostrich is best known as an ugly, flightless bird who keeps her head buried under the sand. Is that what you think of me?

OFFICER: I’m not talking to you.

PROTESTER: Did you come up with that code word? Is that the result of your creative imagination?

OFFICER: I wish my squad car had one of those partition windows.

PROTESTER: Sure, I can’t fly, but do you really think I’m ugly? That’s harsh.

OFFICER: I’m not talking to you.

PROTESTER: I mean I’m no Becky Waslow, but who is?

OFFICER: Would you mind growing up a little, please?

PROTESTER: Oh, I think I’ve grown up just fine. I think I’m doing just fine when it comes to being a responsible, aware, conscientious and kind grown-up human being who does not, in fact, bury her head in the sand like some ostrich big brother I know who likes to pretend that he’s on the straight and narrow path to moral perfection but in reality has pathetically signed his life away / to serve corporate interests.

OFFICER: Are you kidding / me?

PROTESTER: Hey, what’s going on up in front there?

OFFICER: Are you kidding me? You think you’re on the straight and narrow path?

PROTESTER: You might want to –

OFFICER: Putting yourself in front of a camera any time the evil, maniacal corporations do so much as pull a leaf off a tree?

PROTESTER: I think you got a crowd heading over.

The officer looks out front.

OFFICER: Oh, shit.

The radio squawks.

RADIO: 719.

PROTESTER: I’d say my fellow radical environmentalist jihadists are aware of my presence here.

OFFICER: Oh, shit.

RADIO: 719. Respond.

PROTESTER: Looks like you’re going to have to pull your head out of the sand.

OFFICER: Shut up.

The group of protesters surround the car. It gets loud.

OFFICER: Lock your door.

PROTESTER: I’m in handcuffs.

The OFFICER locks all the doors. The car starts to rock.

PROTESTER: If you let me out, they’ll leave you alone.

OFFICER: I’m not afraid of them.

PROTESTER: Right. Because you’re The Law.

OFFICER: Damn right I’m The Law. I’m The Freaking Law.

RADIO: 719! Respond!

The OFFICER answers the radio.

OFFICER: This is 719. I’m the Freaking Goddamn Law!

RADIO: (BEAT) 719, please repeat that.

OFFICER: Copy that. This is 719.

RADIO: 719, we’ve got intel that the main group of protesters is headed in your direction.

OFFICER: (as the car is rocked) Yeah, I’m definitely aware of that, but thanks for letting me know.

RADIO: 719, can you confirm if there are members of the media approaching you?

A bright camera light is shone into the squad car.

OFFICER:That’s an affirmative.

RADIO: 719, it is imperative that Ostrich is not permitted to speak to the media. Do you copy?

OFFICER: Oh, shit.

RADIO: 719.

OFFICER: We’re kind of surrounded by cameras right now.

RADIO: Can you proceed through the crowd?

OFFICER: (BEAT) In my car?

RADIO: Affirmative. Can you proceed through the crowd immediately. We cannot allow Ostrich to be seen on camera. Ostrich is a high-value target and she cannot / be seen in police custody.

PROTESTER: I’m a target?

OFFICER: Shh.

RADIO: Move your vehicle through / the crowd.

PROTESTER: I’m a high-value target?

OFFICER: Eagle, it’s not exactly safe to move my vehicle at this moment.

PROTESTER: Wait until Mom & Dad hear about this.

OFFICER: Shut up!

RADIO: (BEAT) 719, did you just tell me to shut up?

OFFICER: I’m sorry, Eagle. I was speaking to Ostrich.

RADIO: Do you have your partition window up?

OFFICER: My car doesn’t have a partition window.

PROTESTER: (yelling through the window) Hello, I’m in here. Yes, it’s me. Hello.

OFFICER: Shut up!

RADIO: I beg your pardon, 719?

OFFICER: (into radio) I wasn’t talking to you.

PROTESTER: Do you want me on camera? Can you hear me? Hello!

RADIO: 719, is that Ostrich attempting to speak to the media?

OFFICER: That’s an affirmative, but the windows are closed.

RADIO: 719, move your vehicle right now.

OFFICER: It’s not exactly safe at the moment. I’m kind of surrounded by the main group of protesters.

RADIO: 719, you move your vehicle right now. Put the car in gear. Turn on your sirens and emergency lights and you move that vehicle down off that hill right now. If anyone is in your way they are endangering the safety of an officer of The Law and you are not responsible for what happens. Do you understand me?

The car gets rocked further.

RADIO: 719, do you understand me? (PAUSE) 719.

The OFFICER turns off the police radio and turns on the car radio. Dean Martin’s “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You” plays.

END.