The Disposal Guy by Henry Gravelle


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


      Fade Up to an industrial type office with cardboard tubes, diagrams,
      blueprints and maps scattered about.

      A closed-door is center rear, a coat stand by the door holds a single
      coat and fedora.

      BORIS KURPESKI, a middle-aged man, sits behind a table. A telephone
      holds down blueprints spread along the tabletop. File folders are
      piled high. 

      STANLEY MARCHELLE, a slightly younger man, ENTERS excitedly removing
      his coat and fedora at the coat stand. 

      STANLEY: Guess who the boss is today and win a cupie doll! I just
      heard from one of the girls on the switchboard that Turcotte called
      in, and I quote, taking a much-needed vacation.

      BORIS: (disappointed.) Damn it. Again?  Boy, it’s pretty sad when the
      city engineer just ups and decides to take off with so much work
      dumped on his department. I always thought he was whacky.

      STANLEY: (Steps to the table.) Well, senior assistant Boris Kurpeski
      looks like you’re the boss again.

      BORIS: Great. Sadly Boss enough to take crap from City Hall but not
      enough to can Turcotte.

      STANLEY: Why not mention it to City Hall? He was appointed by the
      Mayor so the Mayor can remove him.

      BORIS: Turcotte’s a pal of Hizzoner. You donít believe is going to
      shit-can Turcotte on a whim from me do you?   

      STANLEY: The Mayor may only need one more excuse to fire him. Maybe
      he’s already thinking how this clown is hurting Hizzonner’s image and
      considering replacing him… with you!

      BORIS: Have a coffee, Stan and wake up. You’re dreaming. You and I are
      fix it twits. Turcotte’s Make me look good guys. Not much of a future

      STANLEY: Well, as far as today goes, its all on you.

      BORIS: Nothing we can do now, so let’s get to it. You tackle the
      paving on Thirty-fourth. I’ll go over some of these proposals that
      schmuck Turcotte let pile up.

      STANLEY: Okay, Boss.

      BORIS: No, Stan, not Boss. I’m an assistant engineer, like you. 

      STANLEY: You have seniority by three months and, what six, seven years
      in age? Boss kinda defines your position at the public works

      BORIS: Eleven years in the age category but still, no Boss, okay? 

      STANLEY: Sure thing… Skipper.

      BORIS: Skipper? Okay, that’s doable.

      Silence for a beat then Boris slaps his hand on the table.

      BORIS: (Discouraged.) Damn, I am tired of all this. Turcotte never
      showing up but getting paid for work he’s not doing! These
      never-ending plans, proposals, contracts, improvements, schedules…!
      Jesus, I thought I’d grow in this job but seems I’m still waiting for
      my ship to come in.

      STANLEY: On the bright side, now all the big developers and builders
      come to you with their problems. Even the Mayor!

      BORIS: That’s just it! I’m the designated fix-it man for their
      projects, busting my brain to find a solution to their problems! I
      want to be known for something besides a Make me look good guy.

      STANLEY: I guess we’re lucky we have jobs. That soup kitchen down the
      street doesn’t look very appetizing. Besides, with your luck, you’ll
      be at Curtis Field waiting for a flight when your ship finally docks.

      BORIS: I suppose so… times are tough.

      The phone rings. Stanley answers it.

      STANLEY: City engineers office. Yeah, just a sec. (Holds the phone
      up.) Mayors office on the horn.

      BORIS: (Takes the phone.) Hello? Yes, this is Boris Kurpeski. Yeah,
      I’ll hold. (Places hand over the receiver.) Mayor has to have someone
      dial for him. Lazy son of a—- (Back into the telephone.) Morning,
      Your Honor. Yes, the Queens water tunnel proj—- Yes, I know it’s…
      No, no, I think if—- Okay, yes, I understand. Yes, very good, I will.

      Boris hangs up.

      STANLEY: Problem, Skipper?

      BORIS: Another one for the Make me look good guy.

      Stanley remembers and retrieves two tickets from his pocket.

      STANLEY: Oh, I almost forgot. Guess what I snagged?

      Boris remains scanning a diagram uncaringly.

      BORIS: I dunno, Stanley. What is it?

      STANLEY: Go on, guess. You’ll never get it. (Pause.) Come on, three

      BORIS: (Studying diagram.) I’m not Houdini. I have no idea.

      STANLEY: Okay, here’s a hint. The most sought after show in the entire

      Boris remains engrossed with the diagram.

      BORIS: (Discouraged.) Can you believe this contractor on the Second
      Ave repaving project ran out of asphalt? Five blocks detoured! Jesus,
      what kind of twit is he?

      STANLEY: (Coyly.) Okay, I’ll tell you… just two very sought after
      tickets to watch Jean Harlow! Yeah, the Hollywood hottie, dancing
      naked… nothing on! The blonde bombshell herself wearing nothing but
      her birthday suit! And we’re front row… tonight!

      BORIS: How the heck do they run out of asphalt? Didn’t they plan
      ahead? Five damn blocks! 

      STANLEY: (Leans over the table.) Did you hear what I said, Skipper?

      BORIS: Hear what? What’s the matter?

      STANLEY: The buildings on fire! We have’ta skedaddle!

      BORIS: By God, let’s go! Clear the office!

      STANLEY: (Laughing.) There’s no fire. Relax.

      BORIS: Not funny, Stan. 

      STANLEY: You weren’t listening to a thing I said!

      BORIS: I heard fire.

      STANLEY: Did you hear about the tickets?

      BORIS: Something about a birthday party, front row?

      STANLEY: No! Two tickets for that sold-out show at the Alhambra
      Theater on Fortysixth! Everyone’s clamoring to see it! They aren’t
      front row, actually almost last row, but in the theater all the same!

      BORIS: I hope it’s not important, Stan. I need you to figure out this
      repaving snafu and get a new schedule written up. I’ll get on the
      problem with the Mayor’s water tunnel project in Queen’s. He’s hot
      under the collar about a new snafu over there.

      STANLEY: But Skipper, I—

      BORIS: (Interrupting.) I still don’t know what show you’re so excited

      STANLEY: The Eighth Wonder of the World!

      BORIS: There’s eight now?

      STANLEY: The butter and egg man is a movie guy named Carl Denham. He’s
      bankrolling the whole production.

      BORIS: (Studying diagram.) Boy, oh boy, what a pain in the patootie
      this damn water tunnel is. Sure is a nightmare gumming up the works.
      Stan, the Mayor expects his engineers to handle these problems. The
      only way we can are working on them, tonight.

      STANLEY: Aw, hell. These tickets cost me ten bucks… each!

      BORIS: Stan, there’s a lot of pressure on me. On us! To find
      solutions. I can’t just take off like Turcotte. (Pause.) This
      unbelievable show is tonight? You’re not trying to sway me for time
      off just to tell me tomorrow you made a mistake, the show is next
      week, then we start this all over again?

      STANLEY: (Reads from a ticket.) Saturday, October fourteenth, nineteen
      thirty-three! That’s tonight. I hear the whole theater is like a
      jungle! Natives, drums, the works! Got a big monkey on stage too.
      Doing what, I can’t imagine?

      BORIS: The zoo has monkeys you can go see for a lot less than ten

      STANLEY: This one is supposed to be big. It’s gonna be great and we
      got tickets!

      BORIS: No, Stan, I’m sorry. We have to stay until we figure these out.

      Both return to their tables and begin scanning blueprints.

      BORIS: For Chrissake, they think we’re magicians! Poof! Problem

      Stanley continues to work not responding.

      BORIS: Why the hell didn’t they shore up the sewage trench on Astoria
      as specified! Now they’re scratching their heads wondering why the
      sidewalk is sinking? Morons. 

      Stanley remains aloof.

      BORIS: So, Mister Broadway, how’d you get the tickets?

      STANLEY: (Depressingly, not looking up.) Doesn’t matter… does it?

      BORIS: I’d like to get out of here too, Stan. (Pause.) Okay, be

      STANLEY: (Interrupting, not looking up.) I was having a drink at
      Benny’s and overheard a guy talking about tickets he busted his ass to
      get to impress a girlfriend.

      BORIS: And…?

      STANLEY: (Not looking up.) He found her in bed with some louse.

      BORIS: Oh. I guess that would end that.

      STANLEY: (Not looking up.) I offered to buy them, thinking I’d be

      BORIS: Once again Stan, I’m sorry.

      STANLEY: (Not looking up.) Ten bucks, each!

      BORIS: I’ll make it up to you, soon as we catch up.

      STANLEY: (Finally looks at Boris.) An atta boy, Stan, might be nice.
      Thanks for giving up your time, Stan. Thanks for going above and
      beyond, again, Stan! Thanks for—

      Both look to the window (audience) as a loud drone passes outside.

      Stanley steps to center stage front looking out at the audience.

      STANLEY: What the…? Air Corp planes. Real low… rooftop!

      Boris joins Stanley. Both look up and to right, following the movement
      of the aircraft.

      BORIS: Really low. Wonder why?

      The telephone rings. Boris answers.

      BORIS: City engineer…Whoa, calm down, I can’t understand… what! 

      STANLEY: What’s the matter, Skipper?

      BORIS: (In phone.) On Sixth? Injuries? Christ, that many? Where’s it

      Boris hangs up.

      BORIS: Your Eighth wonder escaped. Smashed an elevated train on Sixth!

      STANLEY: Holy crap! How big is that monkey anyway?

      BORIS: I dunno but City Hall says it’s on a rampage. It climbed to the
      top of the Empire State building carrying some dame! This is nuts! We
      gotta get down there! 

      STANLEY: Down where?

      BORIS: Those planes shot it off the building. It dropped onto
      Thirty-Fourth. That’s where!

[End of Extract]