Boy Wonders by Derek Weatherdon


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

  Lights up on a hotel room. There is a small couch, a table with
      chairs, and a stand with an old timey radio on it. A door opens. KIRBY
      enters and starts preparing the room for guests.

      RADIO (v.o.):  “...the big news today is the meeting of some of the
      country’s greatest mystery heroes. The ballroom of the Legrand Hotel
      in New York City will be the setting as such heroic legends as Diamond
      Man, Super Ghost, The Concrete Kid, Professor Impossiblo, Marksman,
      and Katy Starr, Rodeo Queen come together to announce the formation of
      a Super Heroic League, dedicated to fighting for justice all across
      the country. Yessir, everyone who is anyone will be at the Legrand
      tonight! And now, back to the music, with this number from Bing
      Crosby. I’m Fred Allen, and you’re listening to WINS Radio New

      KIRBY notices something off stage and rushes over, speaking.

      KIRBY:  Here you go! Best room in the house. The National Suite. I
      think you and your friends are going to have a wonderful time

      DASH enters. Looking around

      DASH:  My friends?

      KIRBY:  I was told there would be others. (laughs) You certainly
      wouldn’t need all this on your own.

      DASH:  No. No I suppose not. (beat) How many others?

      KIRBY:  Say what?

      DASH:  How. Many. Others?

      KIRBY:  A few. You don’t worry about a thing. I’m taking care of
      everything. You’re paid in advance and all.

      DASH:  To share this room?

      KIRBY:  That’s what I was told.

      DASH:  Perfect strangers, all sharing a room. Isn’t that odd?

      KIRBY:  Well, when the reservation was made, it was made for 6. It’s
      not like we just took any old 6 people and jammed ‘em all in here.
      Haw haw haw! It’d be like that scene in that 3 Stooges movie.

      DASH:  Marx Brothers.

      KIRBY:  Say what?

      DASH:  Marx Brothers. It was a Marx Brothers film. Not the 3 Stooges.

      KIRBY:  Pretty sure it was the 3 Stooges.

      DASH:  You’re incorrect. You’ll pardon me for saying so.

      KIRBY:  I mean the scene on the boat. When everyone crams in. And
      eventually someone opens the door and they…

      DASH:  All fall out. Yes I know. Marx Brothers.

      KIRBY:  Huh. Anyway, Curly’s my favourite.

      DASH:  Of course.

      KIRBY:  I mean, Harpo’s ok, but…

      DASH:  It’s fine.

      KIRBY:  You a Harpo fan?

      DASH:  Not especially.

      They stand together until the silence becomes uncomfortable.

      KIRBY:  Are you sure it was…

      WILLIAM enters.

      WILLIAM:  Just let myself in then, shall I? This is the National
      Suite, yeh?

      KIRBY:  Uhhh… yes. Yessir! Come on in. Sorry about that. I should
      have come down and met you.

      WILLIAM:  No problem. I’m kinda used to findin’ my way around.
      Carryin’ my own bags and all.

      DASH:  And how has that been going for you?

      WILLIAM:  Huh?

      DASH:  Well, you don’t have a bag.

      WILLIAM:  It’s a figger of speech, kid. (WILLIAM makes himself at
      home) Nice digs. Real swanky. Hey, can we get some room service up

      KIRBY:  Of course, sir. Food will be brought up once everyone

      WILLIAM:  No… a bottle.

      KIRBY:  No alcohol sir, naturally. If there will be nothing else,

      WILLIAM:  (disappointed) Nah. Kid?

      DASH:  (to KIRBY) What is your name?

      KIRBY:  Kirby, sir.

      DASH:  That will be all, Kirby. (hands Kirby money. Kirby pockets it
      and leaves.)

      WILLIAM:  Was that a twenty? You gave that guy a twenty?

      DASH:  It’s what one does. You take care of the working class, and
      they, in turn, take care of you. It’s the way of things.

      WILLIAM:  Huh. You don’t say. Anyway, uh, I guess we’re here
      together. I’m William. Kane.

      WILLIAM instinctively wipes his hand on his pants before offering it
      to shake.

      DASH:  Dash. Dash Dawson.

      WILLIAM:  Keen name. Sounds fast.

      DASH:  It’s short for Dashiell.

      WILLIAM:  Yeah. Great. (Goes to radio and fiddles with it) I wonder if
      we can get a game on this thing. You know if the Rangers are playing

      DASH:  For Dashiell Hammett. The writer?

      WILLIAM:  Yeah, yeah. Gotcha.

      DASH:  Crime fiction? Detective stories?

      WILLIAM:  (annoyed) So? What? You some kinda detective? Like you
      deduce things? Oh…oh…you can read me like a book? Oh, man kid.

      DASH:  (studies him) You’re not from here. Mid-west I should say,
      based on what’s left of your accent. Dust bowl wiped you out, I
      imagine, but…you don’t seem much the farmer type. More
      mechanically inclined. You are used to having dirty hands, but you
      understand social graces and manners. You came to the big city,
      looking to make a buck, got a job… a good enough job, judging by the
      quality of your shoe leather. You work with the wealthy but *you’re*
      not wealthy. Not yet. But you have, as they say, big plans. In short,
      you’re the American Dream. A self-educated, self-made man, who
      hovers around, but not within, the higher rings of society. How’m I

      WILLIAM:  (genuinely blown away) Not bad. (beat) How’d you…

      DASH:  Groundskeeper at an estate?

      WILLIAM:  Chauffeur.

      DASH:  Chauffeur!! I was thinking that, but second guessed

      WILLIAM:  They say you shouldn’t do that.

      DASH:  Do they? (beat) You’re also quite comfortable conversing with
      someone much younger than yourself. I wonder what that means?

      WILLIAM:  So… about the Rangers?

      DASH:  No game tonight.

      WILLIAM:  It figgers.

      Jim and Betty enter.

      JIM:  I think this is the place. National Room?

      BETTY:  Suite.

      JIM:  (Looking around) It is pretty sweet. (To DASH). Uh, hi.
      I’m Jim. Wentworth. This is Betty.

      BETTY:  Benson.

      DASH:  Ah, another alliterative! Dash Dawson. This is… William. The

      JIM:  Yours?

      DASH:  Not as such, no.

      WILLIAM:      My… um… boss… is downstairs. He sent me here for the
      evening. To relax, he said, and to get to know some… people like

      JIM:  Like you…?

      BETTY:  I can’t imagine what the four of *us* would have in

      JIM:  Same.

      DASH:  Can you not? Really?

      BETTY:  (flatly) No.

      DASH:  Oh, please. Don’t be coy. It’s obvious why we are here.
      What’s less obvious is… who we are.

      JIM:  Oh, but I’ve already told you…

      WILLIAM:  Knock it off, Slugger. The kid is right. We might as well
      get properly acquainted. (deep sigh) Anyway, my uh…work name…is
      The Mixer.

      DASH:  Shiny. (they shake hands)

      BETTY:  So, we’re *all* here… because of the… meeting? The
      meeting downstairs?

      DASH:  If you are referring to the monumental formation of the grand
      super team, currently happening in the ballroom, then yes.

      BETTY:  (realizing) Then you’re…

      JIM:  (realizing) We’re all…

      DASH:  Sidekicks.

      The three look at each other, and then as one, over to WILLIAM. He
      waves sarcastically.

      WILLIAM:  I guess no matter how old you get, you still get stuck at
      the kid’s table on holidays…

      DASH:  Quite.(laughs) So, might I propose we better acquaint
      ourselves? We’re already unmasked so to speak, and we know each
      other’s real names.

      JIM:  Yeah, isn’t that kind of backwards? Aren’t we supposed to
      meet in costume, fight, then become all palsy?

      BETTY:  I’m happier it’s like this. I’m not much of a fighter.

      WILLIAM:  A lotta help you must be on the job. Being able to “mix it
      up” is practically the entire job description. Well, that and
      causing a distraction I guess.

      BETTY:  That’s more my thing. I’m not really up for charging into
      harm’s way.

      JIM:  Then you’re lucky. That’s all I have to say about that.

      BETTY:  How so?

      JIM:  That’s practically ALL I do. If you’ve never had to run
      into a room filled with guns pointed at you and a big bullseye on your
      chest, consider yourself lucky!

      DASH:  A bullseye on your… metaphorically, surely.

      JIM:  Not hardly. Target Boy, at your service. Sidekick to The
      Marksman, Sharpshooter Supreme!

      BETTY:  Target Boy? Isn’t that a little… on the nose?

      WILLIAM:      No kidding. Geez, kid. I mean, the hero game is a rough
      business and all, but… what… your gimmick is basically you draw

      JIM:  More or less.

      WILLIAM:  So everyone shoots at you. (JIM nods) *Instead* of Marksman?
      (JIM nods) Your costume is a big target and everyone shoots at you?

      JIM:    Yeah, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. I basically never
      have to fistfight, so I don’t get punched all that much.

      DASH:  So no bruises. No awkward questions with even more awkward

      BETTY:  You can only walk into so many doors.

      JIM:  Right! Not a problem for me at all. I’ve been punched,
      Oh… twice? Three times, tops!

      DASH and BETTY are impressed.

      WILLIAM:  And how many times have you been shot?

      JIM:  Ten. (Everyone gasps) But most of those were just flesh wounds.

      BETTY:  (horrified) And the others?

      JIM:  Wellll…Two were pretty bad. Gut shot with a .38 once.
      That was bad. I was bawling… oh man… Da-…uh…Marksman was *not*
      impressed. Felt like a truck had driven right through my stomach. The
      other one went in here. Shattered my hip.

      DASH:  I noticed the limp when you came in. It’s slight.

      JIM:  Yeah, funny thing is, it’s screwed up how I walk a bit.
      But I run just fine. Faster than most actually.

      BETTY:  I suppose that’s good!

      DANA:  If you’re going to get shot at that much, yeah, being able to
      run would be pretty good.

      Everyone turns and looks at DANA, who has been listening to them for
      some time. No one had any idea that DANA was there.

      WILLIAM:  Ummmm…(points in direction DANA came from)

      DANA:  (looks off in the direction WILLIAM is pointing) Oh. Right.
      I’ve been here for hours. Checked in this morning. It figured to be
      a long night, so I thought a nap would be useful.

      JIM:    That’s a little far-fetched.

      DANA:  Sigh. Fine. I came in through the window. How’s that?

      JIM:    Much more believable!

      BETTY:  Yeah! Is that a grapple gun?

      DANA:  Gas-powered. Doesn’t have great range, actually. But it does
      the job.

      WILLIAM:  (to DASH). Didn’t deduce that, didja Sherlock?

      DASH:  It never occurred to me someone was on the terrace,
      no. You got me there. (To DANA). So, clearly, you are… one of us?
      Did you overhear much, or do we need to repeat the whole spiel?

      DANA:  No. Thank you. I don’t think I could listen to all of that
      twice. You’re the other ‘kicks?

      WILLIAM:  I’m Mixer. This is Shiny.

      DANA:  The Glimmer Boy, n’est-ce pas? A pleasure. (they shake hands)
      You and Diamond Man did some good work on the Moldoff kidnapping

      WILLIAM:  And this is Target Boy.

      BETTY:  And I’m Boo.

      DANA:  (To JIM, dismissively) Yeah? I’ve heard of you. And…
      Wait… Boo’s a girl?

      JIM:  Well, obviously.

      BETTY:  It’s an honest mistake. It’s hard to tell with the
      costume and all.

      DANA:  (smirking) The bedsheet, you mean. It’d be pretty charitable
      to call it a costume.

      BETTY:  It’s a uniform! A perfectly good uniform!

      DANA:  It’s linen. It belongs on a bed, at best. A closet at

      BETTY:  Well, I never…

      DASH:  Might I assume you have a point, Miss…?

      DANA:  My point, fashion commentary aside… is that I’ve *met* Boo.
      Live. In person. In “uniform”. And I was pretty sure the Boo that
      *I* met was not only shorter, but burlier, and a lot more male.

      DASH:  According to you.

      DANA:  That’s right.

      JIM:  And we just take your word for this?

      DANA:  I would. I’m never wrong.

      WILLIAM:  (To DASH) And here I thought that was *your* gimmick, kid.

      DASH:  “never… wrong…” Why is that so familiar? (look of
      recognition at DANA) oh wow.

      JIM:  And who are you exactly?

      DASH:  (slight pause) You’re Dana McQueen.

      JIM and BOO’s jaws both drop. They stare dumbfounded at DANA.

      WILLIAM:  What, am I supposed to be impressed? I’ve never heard of

      BETTY:  Then you’re the only one. There isn’t a kid in America who
      doesn’t know who Dana McQueen is.

      JIM:  The girl genius. You’ve met the president!

      DASH:  Met him? You consulted with him. And you helped design the
      Palomar Telescope! It was in all the papers!

      BETTY:  You graduated from Harvard. At 10!

      DANA:  Nine, actually. But it was only an undergrad degree, so…

      BETTY:  I can’t believe this. *You’re* a sidekick? Like us?

      DANA:  (Scoffing) I’m not much like you. No offense, really. But
      I’m not.

      WILLIAM:  Who are ya, then? “Professionally”, I mean.

      DANA:  (hesitating). Test Tube. (everyone lets that sink in for a
      moment, then breaks into laughter) It’s a horrible name. I hate it.
      It wasn’t my idea, I can tell you that.

      JIM:  Right. You ‘kick for Professor Impossible.

[End of Extract]