3MT Presents: Espionage at the Softee Wash!


Crusader Rabbit

Scene opens at clean, brightly lit laundromat. It is 4:38 AM. A ballerina is doing her wash. She is wearing leotards, pink pullover sweater, tiara and ballet slippers.

NOTE: characters never comment or otherwise react to each other's attire. Enter astronaut, wearing orange spacejumpsuit and propeller beanie. He approaches ballerina.

ASTRONAUT: Got enough fabric softener?
BALLERINA: Plenty.
ASTRO: Coat hangers?
BALL: Of course.
ASTRO: Throat lozenges?
BALL: Get lost Rocket Man.

Astronaut moves down a row, starts sorting his laundry into 3 machines. He is approached by Change Lady. She is 90+, wears a housedress, cardigan and jellies.

CHANGE LADY: Need some quarters?
ASTRO: No thanks.
CLADY (to Ballerina): Need quarters?
BALL: I'm covered.

Enter Nurse in uniform and cap. She selects some machines next to Astronaut.

NURSE: Kinda late.
ASTRO: Or early.
NURSE: Depends on your point of view.
ASTRO: You a poet?
NURSE: Only by day.
CLADY: Need quarters?
NURSE: Thank you. No. Granny.
CLADY: I'm not your grandmother.
NURSE: It was a figure of speech.
CLADY: Fuck off, caregiver.
NURSE: You may be a tribal elder but I needn't take your abuse.

Change Lady waves her off, finding a corner in the Softee Wash and lighting a smoke. A Fireman and a Nun enter. The Fireman takes the last machine next to the Astronaut.

Nun takes seat next to some Goths at the front of the Softee-Wash.

FIREMAN (to Astronaut): Are you with the Nurse?
ASTRO: Fuck no.
FIREMAN: Circled the globe?
ASTRO: Maybe the moon.
FIREMAN: Dark side?
ASTRO: And back.
FIREMAN: You family?
ASTRO: Maybe. Quenched some infernos?
FIREMAN: Set a few.

Nun and Goths are playing 3-Card Monte.

NUN: Who's next?
GOTH1: I'm tapped.
NUN: Excuse me?
GOTH2 (without animosity): you took all our money, Sister Bitch.
GOTH3: I think it's "Ignatius-Germaine".
NUN: That's cool. I prefer "Sister Bitch."
GOTH1: You're a "Bride of Christ" and shit. How about cab fare?
NUN: Shit. Christ don't gimme no mad money. (Pause) Okay. Half back to you. Half to Ethiopia.

The Astronaut and Fireman have an epiphany.

FIREMAN: Will we fit?
ASTRO: Sure. The sign says, "Industrial Load." (Pause.) Wait a minute.
FIREMAN: What?
ASTRO: Got enough fabric softener?
FIREMAN: A dog will howl at a quarter moon.
ASTRO: Red jewels look best on black satin.
FIREMAN: Close the window, darlin, Mamie's got the flu.
ASTRO: You may own this town, Duncan Winslow, but you don't own me.
FIREMAN: The crops are saved.

The Astronaut slowly extracts a manila envelope hidden under some boxer shorts, surreptitiously hands it to Fireman. Stops when he hears revolver cock. Astronaut and Fireman are surrounded by Nurse, Nun, Change Lady, Ballerina, Goths, all pointing guns.

NURSE: I'll take that envelope, Rocket Man.
ASTRO: I hate being called "Rocket Man".
CLADY: Hard cheese.
NUN: "Rocket Man. Rocket Man. Rocket Man."
ASTRO: Shut up. Shut up.

From on high speaks a booming voice.

VOICE: BROADWAY---RHY--THM--IT'S GOT ME....
ENTIRE CAST: .....EVERYBODY DANCE!!!

Trumpet music plays: Waaah-wah-wah.....etc

Nun, Nurse, Ballerina, Goths, Change Lady, Fireman, Astronaut all break into dance.

CURTAIN