Blowin’ Off Steam by Charles DeLong


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AT RISE:                         

THE SIX MEN are in various places around the steam room
                                 
CLAYTON is pacing with his cell phone in hand

MARIO is looking at his pro-wrestling magazine

JONATHAN is reading the WALL STREET JOURNAL

ALLEN shaves

DANIEL is reading Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE

CRAIG is asleep


      CLAYTON:(holding his cell phone; gets up abruptly)Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!!!

      MARIO: I would, but it’s a public place.  Dey frown on dat sort of ting.

      JONATHAN: (to Clayton)  What the hell is wrong with you now?

      ALLEN: He’s got pre-wedding jitters.  It’s like a virus.  A jitter-BUG.

      DANIEL: (holding up his book, clearly quoting Stephen Covey;
      condescendingly)  “When you show deep empathy toward others, their
      defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s
      when you can get more creative in solving problems.”

      JONATHAN: (mocking Daniel’s response and speech rhythm; moves his
      hand like a quacking duck) Bleh bleh bleh bleh bleh. Bleh bleh. Bleh
      bleh bleh. Bleh.

      CLAYTON: Linda just texted me.  She keeps making all these fuckin’
      demands!  Everything has got to be the way SHE wants it! It’s not
      like I’m gettin’ married too or anything!  (keeps texting back and
      forth with Linda)

      ALLEN: Welcome to the wedding process.

      MARIO: Remind me. Who’s Linda?

      JONATHAN: His fiancée, numb nuts.  Try to keep up.

      MARIO: I been in dis fuckin’ steam room for two hours.  Your nuts
      would be numb, too.

      ALLEN: Clayton, my boy.  You know what I told you.  Give ‘em an
      inch…they’ll ask for nine more. 

      JONATHAN: And trust me, Clay.  You ain’t got that much to give.

      DANIEL: “If you want small changes in your life, work on your
      attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your
      paradigm.”

      CLAYTON: My fuckin’ paradigm’s plenty big, jackasses!  Yours, on
      the other hand, barely make it past the pubic hairs.

      DANIEL and JONATHAN: Hummpph! (quickly cover their penises with their
      towels and raise their reading material back up over their faces)

      CLAYTON: (not in earnest)  Oh, my bad!  Sorry, guys.  That was unfair.
      I know both of you trim your pubes.

      DANIEL: (after a moment, lowers his book again)“Inevitably, anytime
      we are too vulnerable we feel the need to protect ourselves from
      further wounds. So we resort to sarcasm, cutting humor, criticism —
      anything that will keep from exposing the tenderness within.”

      MARIO: Is dis guy for real?

      JONATHAN: I’ve been wondering the same thing about you, cousin Vinny.

      ALLEN: I’ve given you my advice, Clay.  Call the whole thing off.
      It’s only going to end up like this anyhow. Walking down the divorce
      court aisle.  Your Linda’s making demands up front.  That means that
      just like my bitch she’s gonna be making demands at the back end
      too.  Kind of like a rectal probe.

      DANIEL: Divorce sucks.

      ALLEN: Nah.  Divorce is fine…more or less.  Marriage sucks.  I can
      honestly say that I have enjoyed my three, soon to be four, divorces
      much more than the marriages that preceded them.  With each one, I
      became a little wiser.  A little poorer, but a little wiser.

      JONATHAN: After four divorces, you’d think you’d be King Solomon
      by now.

      MARIO: When you gonna introduce me to your wife?  Sounds like she’s
      comin’ into some money soon.  What was her name?

      ALLEN: Audrey.  But feel free to refer to her as the succubus.  I
      often do.

      MARIO: Sucks de best, huh? (gives two thumbs up)  Cool.  She got a sister?

      ALLEN: Audrey’ll drain you dry all right.  Just not in the good way.

      CLAYTON: Knock it off, guys! I am so sick of hearing what a crapshoot
      marriage is.  I get it from my parents, I get it from my neighbor, I
      get it from my brother…

      ALLEN: And what do those people all have in common? They’re…divorced.

      DANIEL: “The most important ingredient we put into any relationship
      is not what we say or what we do, but what we are.”

      JONATHAN: Does anyone know how to shut him up?

      ALLEN: Maybe we could turn up the heat a little.  Steam his naked ass
      out of here.

      MARIO: Oh, yeah sure.  Like my nuts aren’t numb enough already.
      You’ll have ‘em draggin’ across de floor.

      CLAYTON: Just ignore him.  Daniel’s been talking like that ever
      since he got addicted to all those books by Stephen Covey. 

      DANIEL: May he rest in peace.

      JONATHAN: You’re right.  Could be worse.  Remember when he was
      reading FIFTY SHADES OF GREY?  I’ve never felt so submissive.

      CLAYTON: (looking at his phone, responding to yet another text.)
      Ohhhh, shit!  Now Linda wants to come to my bachelor party!

      ALLEN: I didn’t know Linda was a stripper – slash – hooker.

      CLAYTON: She says it will further cement our bond going into our
      nuptial day.

      ALLEN: Cement is right.  Like an overcoat.

      CLAYTON: All right!  That’s it!  I’m calling the wedding off!

      ALLEN: My work here is done.

      CLAYTON: I can’t have her coming to my bachelor party!  What if I
      want to get jiggy with the stripper?!  What if I want
      to…“jipper”?! I can’t jipper with the stripper while
      Lipper’s there.  I mean while…Linda’s there! She’s a major
      buzzkill!

      JONATHAN: Such loyalty, such love, such respect.  I can see why the
      two of you are getting married.

      DANIEL: You don’t get a lot of “jiggy” any more.  Or
      “buzzkill” for that matter.  I miss them.

      ALLEN: So Clayton’s not allowed to have a little fun on his last
      night alive?  Before he walks the green mile?

      JONATHAN: Clayton, don’t take marriage advice from this serial adulterer!

      ALLEN: I have one goddam affair, and all of a sudden I’m an
      dulterer!  You sound just like my wife!

      DANIEL: Which…wife?  Honest question.

      JONATHAN: One affair?!

      ALLEN: All right.  Two.  Two affairs.  But that’s it.  (a pause) 
      Three.  I had three affairs.  (another pause)  Maybe four.  Ok.  Five. 
      Five.  I had five affairs. 

      CLAYTON: (after a pregnant pause) Are you done?

      DANIEL: These five affairs, spread out over all four of the wives?  Or
      just during this last one?  Another honest question.

      ALLEN: I can’t be expected to remember all my indiscretions!  Some
      of them overlapped!

      DANIEL: Clayton, this is for your benefit.  “The more people
      rationalize cheating, the more it becomes a culture of dishonesty. And
      that can become a vicious, downward cycle. Because suddenly, if
      everyone else is cheating, you feel a need to cheat, too.”

      CLAYTON: (tongue-in-cheek; not earnestly) I’m not planning on
      cheating after the wedding.  Only that one night beforehand.  You make
      it sound like it’s immoral.

      JONATHAN: Allen, I really regret that I’m your stockbroker and not
      your divorce attorney.  I’d be a very wealthy man.

      ALLEN: StockBROKER is right.  With the emphasis on the latter.  Thanks
      to you and my four wives, I’m BROKER than I’ve ever been in my life! 

      JONATHAN: You’re welcome.

      ALLEN: I don’t expect you to do any insider trading for me.  But at
      least…occasionally…do some intelligent OUTsider trading. Here’s
      a concept!  Invest in bulls, not bears!

      JONATHAN: That should be easy.  I’ve invested in your bull for years.

      ALLEN: Yeah?  Is that right?  You think I’m bullshit?  Ok, big man.
      You want to take this outside?

      MARIO: Oh, cool!  Now you’re talkin’ my language!  Let’s get ready to
      rumbllllleeeee!!!

      DANIEL: “Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming
      opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character
      muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.”

      ALLEN: You want a piece of me, too?  I’ll take on both of you.

      JONATHAN: We’re not exactly dressed properly for a street fight.

      CLAYTON: You would be if we were in San Francisco.(a pause) 
      Oh, crap!

      JONATHAN: What now, whiney boy?

      CLAYTON: My cell phone just died.

      ALLEN: By the way, Clayton.  Since we’re on the subject.  I didn’t
      want to be the one to bring this up, but you do realize that bringing
      your cell phone in here…into a steam room…is probably going to
      completely destroy it.

      CLAYTON: Nah, no worries.  I’ve got a case covering it.

      ALLEN: Oh.  Well, good.  As long as you’ve got a case.  It’ll be
      like a coffin you can bury your cell phone in.

      DANIEL: “The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it
      instantly, correct and learn from it.”

      ALLEN: (sarcastically)  Thank you, Daniel, for your ever-sage advice.
      One more, and I’m going to take that book and shove it down your
      throat.  But only after I first shove it up your ass.

      DANIEL: “The pain is such that I refuse to acknowledge it. I feel numb.”

      MARIO: Just like my nuts.

      DANIEL: (glaring at Mario for having interrupted him, then
      emphatically)  “I have somehow escaped from my body and am now a
      casual observer to this unfolding tragedy…but alas, I have a sore ass”

      ALLEN: Stephen Covey said that?

      DANIEL: Noooo.  E. L. James from FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.  What are you,
      illiterate?

      JONATHAN: Clayton, I’ve got an old extra phone I can give you.  It
      doesn’t have all the bells and whistles.  It’s very old…practically antiquated. 
      I bought it new over three months ago.

      CLAYTON: Thanks, Jonathan.  If Linda has been texting or calling me,
      and I haven’t been responding, I’m never going to hear the end of it.

      ALLEN: What’s it matter?  I thought you were calling the wedding off.

      CLAYTON: You didn’t take me seriously, did you?  I’m not like you,
      Allen.  I actually love all the women I marry.

      ALLEN: I love the women I marry.  For a while.  Till I love someone
      else.  Then I marry her.

      CLAYTON: As soon as I can get in touch with Linda, I’m going to tell
      her that she’s welcome to attend my bachelor party.  And anything
      she wants for the wedding, it’s hers.

      ALLEN: (makes the sound of a whip cracking)  If you want to go through
      your whole life being pussy-whipped, that’s your choice.

      CLAYTON: I know this is hard for you to understand, but I truly love
      Linda.  She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.  And
      yeah, I talk big, but I don’t want to get “jiggy” with the
      stripper.  I just said that because I thought it was what you guys
      were expecting me to say. I’ve got to stop following Allen’s lead.
      I don’t even want a stripper…or a hooker…at my bachelor party.

      MARIO: Can I have ‘em den?

      CLAYTON: I’m not even a hundred percent sure I know what
      “gettin’ jiggy” means.  As crazy as it sounds, after getting
      over the initial surprise, I realized that I do want Linda there.
      I’m not going to be doing anything that I wouldn’t want her to
      know about.  We trust each other.  I want to keep it that way.

      DANIEL: “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential
      ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational
      principle that holds all relationships.”

      ALLEN: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY?

      DANIEL: No, I’m back to Covey again.

      ALLEN: Because, just like my indiscretions, it seemed like there was a
      little bit of overlap.

      JONATHAN: I agree.  Can you start citing your quotations, so we at
      least know the source?

      ALLEN: You know…technically speaking…THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY
      EFFECTIVE PEOPLE could easily be a subtitle to FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.

      DANIEL: Don’t mock the Covey-man.  He was a guru…a genius.  He was
      my spiritual mentor.

      ALLEN: I can relate.  I understand.  E. L. James has always been mine.
      Especially in the follow-up – FIFTY SHADES DARKER.  That really
      helped me find my essence…the core of my being.

      JONATHAN: No wonder all your wives end up hating you.

      ALLEN: Yeah.  That and the fact that I’m a two-timing schmuck.

      JONATHAN: Now I will not allow you to talk that way. (a pause)
      You’re giving schmucks a bad name.

      MARIO: Hey, Jonathan.  You done with de newspaper?  I’ll trade ya my
      wrasslin’ mag for it.

      JONATHAN: I was so hoping we could swap. (They trade off their
      publications.)

      MARIO: Ok.  But don’t mess it up.  Dere’s some pictures in dere I
      wanna stick up on my refrigerator.

    JONATHAN: And you’re still single, why?

      MARIO: Well, it’s kind of a long story, but here goes…

      CLAYTON: Great going, Jonathan.  Thanks!

      JONATHAN: That was a rhetorical question.

      ALLEN:  If you have to do this, then –please- the Readers’ Digest version. 

      MARIO:  All right.  In a nutshell.  Long story short…when I was
      growin’ up, my ma used to always tell my younger sisters “Men
      don’t buy de cow if dey can get de milk for free.” 

      JONATHAN: And your point is?

      MARIO: Well, I don’t like cows.  And I really don’t want to clean
      up cow poop from my yard.  And I can usually get all de free milk I
      want.  Even if I sometimes have to go to a prostitute and pay for it.
      So dat, my friends, is why I’m still single.

    JONATHAN: I have no doubt.

      MARIO: It wouldn’t be fair to de woman.  I’ve been told dat wives
      don’t like it when deir husbands go to prostitutes.  Aldough I could
      never figure out why.  It gives dem a break for a while.  You’d
      think dey’d be happy for de time off.

      ALLEN: Women are never satisfied.  Remember that, Clayton.

      MARIO: De women I’m with always are.  Especially de hookers.  Every
      time I have sex with a prostitute, dey’re completely satisfied.  Dey
      always have one of dem…organisms.  Never fails.  I’m dat good.

      CLAYTON: Just keep praying you don’t pick up one of those organisms
      someday.

      JONATHAN: So Mario, tell me.  You don’t think there’s at least a
      small chance that these “ladies” are all faking it?

      MARIO: Dey better not be.  Not for de money I’m payin’.

      CLAYTON: But deep down under, don’t you want to find a nice Italian
      Catholic girl?  Someone you can settle down with.  Someone you can
      raise a family with.  Someone who’s less likely to have herpes and
      chlamydia.

    JONATHAN: And no, he doesn’t mean one of your own sisters.

    DANIEL: Jonathan!

    JONATHAN: I’m just being pre-emptive.  It’s Mario.  Anything is possible.

    ALLEN: Why are you guys all bum rushing him?
    MARIO: Yeah, I hate it when people rush my bum.

    ALLEN: Mario’s probably the smartest one of us here.  He’s not
      taken in by all that marriage propaganda.

    MARIO: I did think about gettin’ married once.

    CLAYTON: Good for you.

    MARIO: Den I saw how much Allen sucked at marriage.

    ALLEN: Hey! (quick pause of realization) Oh, all right.

    MARIO: It kinda scared me off.  I didn’t want to turn into a huge
    jerk like Allen.

    ALLEN: That’s the last time I come to your defense.

    JONATHAN: Yes, Allen’s always been quite the role model.  For what
    NOT to do.

    DANIEL: As Stephen Covey once wrote—-

    ALLEN: A book shoved up your ass is worth two shoved down your throat.
    Gotta love that Covey.


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