3 Guys in Drag Selling Their Stuff by Edward Crosby Wells


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    ACT ONE
     
      Handcuffs, vibrators, chains and whips mixed in with Tupperware,
      silver trays, crystal figurines, objets d’art and an endless assortment
      of odds and ends are piled into a child’s red wagon

    . There are mannequins and dress forms covered with wigs, beads,
      feathers and fabrics

      A card table holds yet more items for sale as well as a bowl of punch
      and a tray of glasses. There are pillars of marble and plaster supporting
      statues, busts and Chinese vases

      There is more “stuff” scattered around DIVA’S front yard.

      There is a sign that reads “YARD SALE” and another that reads “FREE
      PUNCH”
     
      DIVA and LILLIAN are busy sorting through their sale items, marking
      prices, polishing and admiring. TINK is in a wheelchair with her back
      to the audience.     
     
      DIVA: (Looks up quickly as if someone had just yelled something out
      to her. Directly to audience – to someone in particular.) What!?
      What are you? Crazy? Can’t you read, you silly shit? Punch! Punch!
      There’s no such thing as a free lunch! Unless, you want Jesus along
      with your soup. Anyway, that’s somewhere else. Another part of town.
      Certainly not in this neighborhood. No, I am not knocking Jesus. Don’t
      get yourself all puffed up. I was referring to those good Christian
      missions somewhere down by the railroad tracks. Sir . . . sir, please.
      Please. Put your finger away. I don’t like to be pointed at. . . . Oh
      . . . well, it looks like a finger. Dear me. . . . Really? With that?
      I can’t imagine it being of much use to anyone. . . . A name? What’s
      that? Pokey? How quaint. . . . It is? You do? With that little. . . ?
      You want me to what? Sir, the prizes in Cracker Jacks are bigger than
      that. Sir, please put it away while it’s still amusing. . . . Goodbye.
      Have a nice day. (She waves and we can see her eyes following this
      unseen man as he retreats down the street.)
     
      LILLIAN: Oh, my! I hardly know what to say.
     
      DIVA: Then stop drooling, Lillian! When one doesn’t know what to say
      it is best to say nothing. It has always been a deterrent to hoof in
      mouth disease. (She shakes her leg frantically.)
     
      LILLIAN: (Observing DIVA shaking her leg.) Looks more like mad cow
      disease, Diva.
     
      DIVA: Phone.
     
      LILLIAN: Foam in mouth disease?
     
      DIVA: (Still shaking her leg.) Telephone! (Reaches up under her skirt
      to retrieve her cell phone from under her garter.) I have it on
      vibrate. (Answering her cell phone.) Diva Hollingsworth here and who
      might you be? Oh, hello, Carlotta. (To LILLIAN.) Carlotta Bean.
      (LILLIAN sneers. DIVA speaks into phone.) Back from Greece so soon? .
      . . Well, we must get together so you can tell me all about it. The
      splendor. The wine. The food. The . . . what? You did what? A tourist
      guide at the Acropolis? He what? Behind a pillar? Oh, no, dear. I
      wouldn’t call that discreet at all. Some might, but most wouldn’t –
      certainly not I. Fairly brazen, if the truth be known. . . . What do
      you mean he doesn’t speak English? When did you learn to speak Greek?
      . . . Oh. Well, a word or two does not a sentence make, now does it,
      Carlotta? He is? (To LILLIAN.) She brought home some stud she picked
      up off the streets in Athens. She put him up in the Paisley Room and
      he’s teaching her a little Greek in exchange for rent. (Into phone.) I
      was sharing the good news with Lillian. Right next to me. We’re having
      a yard sale. (To LILLIAN.) Carlotta says hello. (LILLIAN sneers.)
      Hello right back at you. I had a little Greek once –a sailor from
      Crete. A Cretan Greek . . . and a royal pain in the ass, as I recall.
      Yes. Well, I’m sure this one is the personification of perfection,
      dear heart. . . . You don’t say. Do tell. He’s not? He is? In the
      kitchen? Doing what in the what? Well, you run right along. Yes, yes
      hurry. Don’t let me detain you. One mustn’t keep a naked Greek alone
      for too long with a pound of feta and a dozen grape leaves. . . . I
      love you, too. Ciao. (Turns off the phone and puts it back under her
      garter.) She is such a slut!
     
      LILLIAN: I never could stand the bitch.
     
      DIVA: Me either. (Calling out to some passing cars.) Free punch! Free
      punch over here! (To LILLIAN.) Is it time to turn Tink?
     
      LILLIAN: (Takes a look at TINK.) She’s napping. Maybe we ought to let
      her be. You know how she likes her beauty rest. Although, at her age,
      beauty isn’t really a major concern, is it?
     
      DIVA: How would I know? And, since I cannot project myself that far
      into the future, it will – for the time being – remain one of
      life’s many unsolved mysteries.
     
      LILLIAN: I meant, that when you reach her age, just continuing to
      breathe must pretty much occupy one’s mind. All those little synapses
      pulsating in out, in out, in out. . . .
     
      DIVA: Would you spare us the gory details!
     
      LILLIAN: We’ll turn Tink when the sun moves along a bit.
     
      DIVA: Good idea. (Looking at building across the street.) That’s
      where I’ve decided to put her, Lillian.
     
      LILLIAN: Who? Where?
     
      DIVA: Mother. There. (Points.) She’s become too much of a burden.
      Last night she urinated on Uncle Sam.
     
      LILLIAN: I beg your pardon?
     
      DIVA: She wrapped her legs around him and took a whiz.
     
      LILLIAN: On purpose?
     
      DIVA: Does it matter?
     
      LILLIAN: One would like to think so. How did he take it?
     
      DIVA: Well, he wasn’t happy, if that is what you mean. I dropped him
      off at the groomers first thing this morning. They’ll fluff him up
      good as new.
     
      LILLIAN: Poor Uncle Sam.
     
      DIVA: Well, she’s going in that home over there. I’ve already begun
      making arrangements. I will not have my mother urinating on whomever
      or whatever strikes her fancy. (Waving downstage to an unseen
      customer.) Oh, hello there. See anything you like? . . . Well, of
      course you can browse. Browse all you want. After all, life’s just one
      big yard sale, isn’t it? . . . Well, it can be. . . . I guess it’s all
      in how one looks at it, if you look at it that way. . . . No. I
      suppose one doesn’t have to look at it that way. No one is going to
      force you to. Unless, you live in China. . . . Of course you don’t. .
      . . Of course this isn’t China. I was simply making a figure of
      speech. (To LILLIAN.) Honestly! Dense and literal. Where, pray tell,
      do people like her come from?
     
      LILLIAN: Just a few blocks over, Diva.
     
      DIVA: She’s not quite together, if you ask me. Missing some essential
      parts, no doubt. (To customer.) Just call me if you want anything,
      dear. . . . Diva. Diva will do just fine. (To LILLIAN.) I hope she
      doesn’t die in that condition.
     
      LILLIAN: What condition is that?
     
      DIVA: A total eclipse.
      LILLIAN: I don’t understand.
     
      DIVA: Of course you don’t. And that’s because you’ve been doing too
      much left brain thinking for your own good.
     
      LILLIAN: How can you tell?
     
      DIVA: How can I tell what?
     
      LILLIAN: Left from right.
     
      DIVA: Simple. All I have to do is remember which hand I use for
      administering my douche.
     
      LILLIAN: No . . . I meant. . . .
     
      DIVA: Oh, I know perfectly well what you meant. . . but, you’re
      becoming quite tedious. (To customer.) What did you say, dear? . . .
      No. I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to Lillian here. I was
      telling her that it was she who was becoming quite tedious. Too much
      red meat. Whether you are or are not remains to be determined. (To
      LILLIAN, referring to customer.) The hearing of a bull elephant. The
      visage of one, too. (To customer.) What’s that, dear? . . . No.
      Certainly not! My bathroom is off limits. . . . Weak kidneys or not,
      I’m afraid you’ll have to devise some other plan for your bladder. (To
      LILLIAN.) The nerve of that woman. Who does she think she is?
     
      LILLIAN: Oh, that’s Mrs. Something-or-other. You know the one who
      headed that concerned citizens’ group for a better something or other
      . . . or maybe they were the ones who boycotted grapes. I just can’t
      seem to remember. (To customer.) If you see something you like –
      anything you can’t live without – don’t be afraid to haggle. I’m
      sure we can come to some agreement. . . . Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
      We buried our husbands, too. . . . Well, I did. Diva keeps hers in a
      jar. An old pickle jar, I think. That’s why we’re having this yard
      sale. So we can move him out of the pickle jar.
     
      DIVA: And into a proper resting place.
     
      LILLIAN: An egg. We’re raising money to put Horace’s ashes into a
      great big egg.
     
      DIVA: By Faberge. Severely expensive. It would be in very bad taste
      were I to say exactly how much.
     
      LILLIAN: Gauche.
      DIVA: Oui. Tres gauche. Suffice to say that it is a great deal more
      than the annual budget of some third world countries. However, due to
      my wealth and position, only an unremarkable sum in addition to what
      I’ve already accumulated is needed. I shouldn’t want to dip into my
      retirement funds, now should I? Of course not. You understand.
     
      LILLIAN: (To customer.) What? No! Why would we joke about a thing
      like that? He died in his sleep. . . . No, mine did. Diva’s husband
      was doing something else altogether.
     
      DIVA: (To customer.) In the garden . . . doing sit-ups in the
      cucumber patch. Just keeled over. . . . No. I haven’t done any
      pickling since. . . . You do? That’s nice. Bread and butter or dill?
     
      LILLIAN: (Ibid.) They do? Try a half-teaspoon of cloves next time.
      Oh, yes. That’ll brighten them right up. . . . Well, you’re very
      welcome. . . . You, too.
     
      BOTH: (Watching customer leave.) Have a nice day.
     
      DIVA: (Pouring a glass of punch for herself and for LILLIAN.)
      Cheapskate! Who did she think she was?
     
      LILLIAN: Is that rhetorical? Or do you actually want me to go ahead
      and take a guess.
     
      DIVA: Don’t guess, Lillian. The odds are not in your favor.
     
      LILLIAN: Neither are the planets.
     
      DIVA: What?
     
      LILLIAN: The planets. According to my horoscope this morning, the
      planets are not in my favor.
     
      DIVA: What a shame.
     
      LILLIAN: It sure is, Diva. Something terrible will happen if I
      venture forth into love or business today.
     
      DIVA: Then don’t venture forth, dear. Besides, the last time you
      ventured forth into love Johnny Mathis was on the Victrola and you
      were on your knees. Anyway, that’s a lot of superstitious nonsense and
      I wouldn’t worry about it were I you. You really ought to watch that
      left brain thinking, Lillian.
      LILLIAN: (After a pause to sip punch.) So, who do you think she was?
     
      DIVA: Who what was?
     
      LILLIAN: She was.
     
      DIVA: Who she?
     
      LILLIAN: The woman who wanted to use your bathroom. The cheapskate.
      Who do you think she was?
     
      DIVA: Someone who is directly responsible for the ruination of the
      American economy.
     
      LILLIAN: Really?
     
      DIVA: Most certainly! One cannot go through life browsing without
      stopping to buy a thing or two. Do you know what makes our system
      work?
     
      LILLIAN: I can’t say that I do, Diva.
     
      DIVA: Buying! Buying makes our system work. If people don’t buy –
      people can’t sell. And if people can’t sell, guess what?
     
      LILLIAN: What?
     
      DIVA: Hello Tokyo! Some concerned citizen she is! She probably drove
      her husband to his grave.
     
      LILLIAN: Oh, no. He shot himself in the foot, as I recall.
     
      DIVA: You don’t die from shooting yourself in the foot, Lillian.
     
      LILLIAN: You do if you’re being attacked by a bear in heat.
     
      DIVA: (After an incredulous pause.) Do you make this stuff up as we
      go along?
     
      LILLIAN (After a pause to earnestly think.) No. Not all the time.
      Only some of the time. I seem to recall there being some truth to this
      one though. Yes. It was a hot day in the Catskills and. . . .
     
      DIVA: Lillian! Stop it! I no longer have a reliable sense for
      reality. I don’t know if I am coming or if I am going. The woman in
      the mirror has abducted what was left of an extremely attractive
      youth. I am losing what little faith I once felt I had in God – and,
      I am sure He doesn’t pay me the attention I feel He ought to be paying
      one so dearly in need of Him as I. And, furthermore, eighty milligrams
      of Prozac, daily, has ceased to do its magic! So, please. . . . Don’t
      complicate my life anymore than need be.
     
      LILLIAN: (After a pause to assimilate.) That hardly has anything to
      do with me, Diva.
     
      DIVA: It has everything to do with you, Lillian.
     
      LILLIAN: Yeah? Well, I beg to differ.
     
      DIVA: Don’t you get it, Lillian? You’re beginning to make sense to me
      and everybody we know knows you don’t make one bit of sense to anybody
      about anything at anytime! So, where does that leave me? Huh?
     
      LILLIAN: I don’t know. I thought you were my best friend.
     
      DIVA: I am your best friend.
     
      LILLIAN: Then, what’s the problem?
     
      DIVA: Why am I your best friend?
     
      LILLIAN: Rhetorical?
     
      DIVA: Absolutely. I am your best friend because . . . because. . . .
     
      LILLIAN: I’m the only one who puts up with your shit?
     
      DIVA: Well, yes. But, not only that. Because. . . .
     
      LILLIAN: Because I know that under that reptilian exterior is a
      fragile little girl?
     
      DIVA: I shall take comfort and interpret that as your unique little
      way of expressing affection.
     
      LILLIAN: Whatever floats your boat, sister.
     
      DIVA: That was totally uncalled for! You know how I hate popular
      vernacular! I’m suffering anxiety and you’re dishing out nautical
      clichι.
     
      LILLIAN: I was just getting in practice for our next meeting with
      Carlotta Bean. Sorry. Take deep breaths. That’ll make you feel right
      as rain. In through your nose . . . out through your mouth.
     
      DIVA: (Deep breathing.) Ah. . . .
     
      LILLIAN: Better?
     
      DIVA: Much. (Hugs LILLIAN.) Thank you. You’re such a treasure.
     
      BOTH: (Calling to passing cars.) Free punch! Free punch! Get your
      free punch here!     
     
      (Slowly, the wheelchair turns and we see that TINK is in some sort of
      distress.)     
     
      TINK: (Struggles desperately to speak.) Ja . . . ja . . . ja. . . .
     
      LILLIAN: Oh, hello, Tink. Did you have a nice nappy-wappy?
     
      TINK: Ja . . . ja . . . ja. . . .
     
      LILLIAN: Japanese? Are you trying to say Japanese?
     
      DIVA: Why on earth would she be trying to say Japanese?
     
      LILLIAN: Well, how do I know, Diva? Everywhere you look you see
      something Japanese. Maybe she wants her hibachi – I don’t know.
     
      TINK: Ja . . . ja . . . ja . . . oow . . . ja . . . oow. . . .
     
      DIVA: Zsa Zsa! No, Raul! Oh, Raul. Do you remember Raul, Lillian?
     
      LILLIAN: Who?
     
      DIVA: Raul. Tink’s gardener. The one with the giant bushwhacker.
     
      LILLIAN: Ooh . . . ah . . . oh, yes. He was something, wasn’t he?
      Whatever happened to him . . . and his bushwhacker?
     
      DIVA: They cremated him and it with him.
     
      LILLIAN: He died?
     
      DIVA: Requisite for cremation, Lillian. Of course he died!
     
      LILLIAN: That’s too bad. How sad. I think I’m going to cry.
     
      DIVA: Lillian, what is wrong with you? Did you leave home without
      your head today?
     
      LILLIAN: No. I don’t think so.
     
      TINK: Ja . . . ja . . . ja. . . .
     
      DIVA: Now, don’t get yourself excited, Tink. Raul’s no longer with
      us. In fact, he hasn’t been with us since Reagan left office. (To
      LILLIAN.) Now, that was a man after my own heart.
     
      LILLIAN: Reagan?
     
      DIVA: Sure. Why not? He could put his shoes under my bed any day.
      Besides, what did Nancy have that I don’t?
     
      LILLIAN: A red dress?
     
      DIVA: I’ve got a red dress.
     
      LILLIAN: Size two?
     
      DIVA: I hate you!
     
      LILLIAN: (Ignoring the last.) Besides, I never understood a word he
      said. In fact, I don’t really think old Ronnie actually ever said
      anything . . . just a string of words designed to put you to sleep.
      Heaven knows he put himself to sleep often enough. Poor thing,
      couldn’t remember himself from one minute to the next.  Bless his
      departed soul.
     
      DIVA: You never liked any of my men, did you?
     
      LILLIAN: Well, let me see. How many of your men did I have?
     
      DIVA: Don’t get smart!
     
      LILLIAN: Diva, I hardly think Ronald Reagan qualifies as one of your
      men. More like an imaginary playmate, I should think. (DIVA
      “humphs.”)
     
      TINK: Sa . . . sa . . . sa. . . .
     
      LILLIAN: Salt! She wants salt!
     
      DIVA: I don’t think so, Lillian. Has she had her insulin today?
     
      LILLIAN: Of course. While I was waiting to pick her up, Margie was
      giving her the injection.
     
      DIVA: Who’s Margie?
     
      LILLIAN: The new nurse the agency sent over. She’s a bit of a bull,
      but I guess if she’s with the agency she knows what she’s doing. She
      says she’s really a lady wrestler.
     
      DIVA: What are you talking about? Who’s really a lady wrestler?
     
      LILLIAN: Nurse Margie the bull.  She said she was between gigs –
      or, something like that. Her husband’s also a lady wrestler. He’s
      between gigs, too. So, he stays home and cooks.
     
      DIVA: How very perverse.
     
      TINK: Ja . . . ja . . . ja . . . oow . . . sa.  Ja . . . oow . . .
      sa.
     
      LILLIAN: Joust! She wants to see a joust. Now, if you wanted to see a
      joust, Diva, where would you go?
     
      DIVA: (Exasperated.) For God’s sake, Lillian!
     
      TINK: (Obviously in a panic.) Jaoowsa! Jaoowsa!
     
      DIVA: JUICE! She needs juice. Quick! Get her some punch! (LILLIAN
      goes for the punch.) Quick, quick, quick! Before she goes into shock!
      Hurry! Her eyes are beginning to roll back! (Takes glass of punch from
      LILLIAN.) Here you go, Tink. Drink up. (TINK drinks.) That a girl.
      Drink it all down.
     
      TINK: Mo . . . mo . . . mo. . . .
     
      DIVA: (Hands empty glass to LILLIAN.) Here, Lillian. Get her some more.

[end of extract]


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