May 5 & 6: Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda
Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda
Two characters, gender not-specified, putting together something mechanical on a table. They are arguing about something non-specific over the course of the discussion but it is not until the end that the audience sees that it is a bomb. What they are doing with their hands is being projected up onto large screens around them, like a demonstration at a cooking show. They start in silence.
A: I’m not sure…
B: Well I am.
A: I’m not sure that I want to do this.
B: There’s no choice.
A: Of course there’s a choice.
B: No. No choice.
A: Come on. There’s always a choice.
A: No, I mean, really, really?
B: Ok there are choices but they are so awful.. so I’m back to there’s really no choice.
A: But there’s still a choice.
B: A bad choice is not a choice.
A: You just said it was.
B: Well it shouldn’t be.
A: But it is.
A: It is.
A: No it really is.
A: Nooooo. Is.
A: So. Is. Right?
B: Yes, Yes right. But there shouldn’t be.
A: Shouldn’t isn’t an answer. It’s not relevant.
B: It is relevant. Shoulds are relevant.
A: No it’s like you should exercise and be nice to old people and puppies. It’s like an opinion.
B: Shoulds are…
A: Not to this discussion, they aren’t . To this, for lack of a better word, reality. Shoulds really don’t matter because it doesn’t make people act with more.. .
A: Besides if bad choices were being monitored…
A: I mean think of the cigarettes you inhale…
B: Hey I’m trying to quit…
A: Or the fast food you eat. Or the assholes I’ve slept with…
B: Not your fault. I keep telling you not your fault.
B: You’re welcome.
B: I’ve really switched over to the whole 100 mile diet.
A: Except when you can’t.
B: Except then, yes ok except then.
A: Which is a lot.
B: Less than before.
A: Yes, but still a lot.
B: I don’t think of it as a choice.
A: I know.
B: It bugs me that you think it’s a choice.
A: I didn’t say…
B: ‘Cause really what else can we do except make this choice?
B: No what I mean is once you see it, how can you unsee it?
B: The answer is you can’t.
B: You can’t can you?
B: Should you?
A: Probably not. Most probably not. But that doesn’t make everyone bad or intrinsically monster-like.
B: No. I… no.
B: What does it make them?
A: … I don’t know.
B: I guess that I should really quit smoking.
A: Uh huh.
B: And eat better – more, like, ethically.
B: Shouldn’t I?
They step back from the table and a bomb is revealed and flip a switch and a ticking sound starts.