Anything But Black by Fred Rohan-Vargas

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent

A man named Lloyd is sitting in a sofa chair reading the papers in a cigar shop.

A friend of his named Marty enters the stage and checks out a few cigars on the wall.

When Lloyd looks up, he notices his friend holding a department store shopping bag.

LLOYD: Marty?

Marty turns around and is surprised to see his friend Lloyd.

MARTY: Lloyd!
LLOYD: Where’ve you been hiding, man?
MARTY; Casework piled up to the ceiling. You know how it is.
LLOYD: Riiiight! I think you were just too embarrassed to come clean about your dying team. Incidentally, it says here that Dallas made further changes in the offense.
MARTY: So what. Any good team, worth its weight, has to shake things up a little.
LLOYD: Ha, ha...Keep believing that Cowboy horse shit. You really think they’ll win the division?
MARTY: You shittin’ me?! Check the stats. We’re going all the way. LLOYD: That’s what Rutgers’ thought when they took us on. MARTY: We’re talking pro here.
LLOYD: Oh, I see. I’m just a piss ass college coach. What the hell do I know? Let me ask you this question, counselor. Where do you think they recruit? Scouts have been checking out my players since preseason. And you know why? Because we’re an athletically superior, smart team. Which is more than I could say about your Cowboys.
MARTY: You gotta be--
LLOYD: Just a minute! Let me make a few points. The Cowboys tend to be a prepared team, and LUCK does favor the prepared, so despite their inferior athleticism and emotional decision-making, maybe, just maybe, through good fortune and some miracle from the gods, the Cowgirls
MARTY: (demanding respect) Yo!
LLOYD: Excuse me. I meant boys may be fortunate enough to have the HONOR of taking on the Philadelphia Eagles for the division championship. Amen

Page 2

MARTY: (with a smug look) You’re really psyched for that? It’s not gonna happen. LLOYD: This season’s ours, man. Eagles ten to one!
MARTY: Seasons tickets say they choke!
LLOYD: You still owe me a bottle of scotch from the last bet we made.
MARTY: You really want to talk about who owes who? Alright. Let’s see. Who was the only one who backed you when you went after the School Board for mishandling funds?
LLOYD: Aaah, man. Must I hear this again?
MARTY: Again?!...Again?! See if I hold your hand next time you need me.
LLOYD: Single malt. Macallan’s 25. And bring it Sunday, or else you’re not invited to watch the Eagles kick ass on my mega screen.
MARTY: Yeah, yeah...How’s Maria doing?
LLOYD: Just like a lawyer, redirect. She’s alright, man. Thanks for asking.
Lloyd sees Marty’s shopping bag with the dark skin doll he and his wife gave to Marty’s daughter.
LLOYD: Bev, gotcha hoppin’ today, huh?
MARTY: I know what you mean. So what’s with Nicole’s Hanukkah gift?
MARTY: Uh?... Oh, man, you wouldn’t believe this, but we’ve been having problems with it.
LLOYD: Really? Ah, man, I’m -
MARTY: No need to apologize. It happens.
LLOYD: Yeah, but you know what? Nowadays, too often, quality doesn’t mean anything like it used to.
MARTY: Amen to that. I gotta hit the john. I’ll be right back.

Marty leaves. Lloyd begins to look desperately for his doll. For some strange reason, he doesn’t remember where he left it in the lounge.

He finally gets on his knees, searching around the floor until Marty reenters, holding up a gift bag.

Page 3

MARTY: Look what I found.
LLOYD: (feigning innocence) Oh, shit! Did I leave it in the bathroom?
MARTY: Under the sink. Is this the doll me and Bev gave Ashley for Christmas?
LLOYD: Yeah, that’s it.
Lloyd tries to fluff it off.
LLOYD: Ha, ha... So happens we found a defect too. You know that little button on the lower part of her back?
MARTY: Yeah?
LLOYD: Well, it’s not working. Somehow, they screwed up on the mechanism. These fools
got her voice talking out of her ass.
MARTY: No, shit!
LLOYD: Now, that’s what’s coming out of her mouth.
They both chuckle.
LLOYD: Don’t tell me. You got the same problem.
MARTY: No.! No, I can’t say I do.
LLOYD: (still smiling) Oh, no?
MARTY: Look, Lloyd. To be honest. You know how both our little girls usually want the same thing, especially when it comes to toys?
LLOYD: (pointing to his doll) Like this filthy mouth?
MARTY: Yeah, well, Nicole wants what we gave Ashley. You know how kids are. One day they’re ecstatic about a new toy, and the next day they want something else.
LLOYD: (develops an attitude) Yeah, well...What can you do?
MARTY: Yeah...Yeah, what can you do? How’s Maria?
LLOYD: You asked me that already.
MARTY: Hey, you know what really gets me ticked off about the Cow--?

Page 4

LLOYD: It’s getting late.
Lloyd begins to place his doll back into his shopping bag.
MARTY: Okay, man. What’s up?
MARTY: Yeah, somethin’s pissin’ you off, and I wanna know what.
LLOYD: I’m thinking of switching political parties.
LLOYD: Too many white liberals.
MARTY: It’s about the doll, isn’t it?
LLOYD: Look, if a white doll is what Nicole wants, well, then get it for her. Make your daughter happy.
MARTY: So you’re cool with it?
LLOYD: It doesn’t matter. It’s what she likes that matters. MARTY: You sure you’re not upset?
LLOYD: No! Why should I be?
MARTY: Alright, then. I’ll catch you later.
LLOYD: Yeah, whatever.
MARTY: What do you mean, whatever?
LLOYD: You‘re the lawyer. Figure it out.
MARTY: Why should I? Just say what’s on your mind.
LLOYD: Okay, I will. All my sisters ever got were blue-eyed Barbie dolls. Neither one of them thought about the color of her skin. Yet when Maria and I give your daughter a Black doll, suddenly she wants a white one? What’s up with that?
MARTY: I told you she--

page 5

LLOYD: Nah, nah! She was persuaded to change her mind, wasn’t she?! MARTY: Hey, I resent that! Bev said nothing to Nicole.
LLOYD: You heard me say, Bev? You know, I thought you were all about multiculturalism, but I guess that was just rhetorical bullshit?
MARTY: Now, that’s bullshit!
LLOYD: Is it? Then how come you didn’t try to teach her that color’s not important,
character, friendship, and love are what counts?
MARTY: Our daughters are only seven years old, Lloyd. Do you think they’re ready to take in all that p.c.?
LLOYD: P.C., huh? Fine! Why don’t you tell me what the right age is?
MARTY: I guess that’s a judgment call. But looks who’s talking! Didn’t you once say we all should get into our heritage and be proud of showing it? So, I’m doing just that. I’ve decided to get her this Jewish doll.
LLOYD: Jewish doll?!
MARTY: (defensively) Yeah, Jewish doll.
LLOYD: Marty. How the hell can you tell me this doll is Jewish?
MARTY: Take a look at the label. What does it say?
LLOYD: “Made in Israel.” So what?
MARTY: So what?! Can’t you see this doll’s homegrown, right from the sands of Abraham?
LLOYD: Now, that doesn’t make any kind of sense.
MARTY: Oh, no? And I suppose the doll you gave my daughter is the singular representation of Black people.
LLOYD: Come again?
MARTY: You heard me. For all you know, this doll could represent a myriad of ethnic groups. LLOYD: And I could be Dutch!
MARTY: Well, yeah, if someone in your family’s an Afrikaner. Care to talk about it?

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