SCENE: Intensive Outpatient Program
PLAYERS: Room full of addicts, yours truly included
TIME: 10:15 AM
SCENARIO: The PLAYERS are about to watch a circa 1984 VHS educational video about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. This is the third video the PLAYERS have had to watch in three days. Suspect of the ADMINISTRATION’s inability to run a dialogue based group, the PLAYERS are groaning in agony in their chairs at the thought of watching yet another hopelessly out of date video.
VIDEO: TRACKING TRACKING TRACKING.
VIDEO: Enter SAUL, the lecturer. SAUL has a HAND PUPPET.
PLAYERS: The fuck?
SAUL: Hi, I’m SAUL, and I’m here to talk to you all about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
PLAYER 1 whispers to MISS BANSHEE: What’s with the fucking puppet?
MISS B whispers to PLAYER 1: I’ve seen this one a thousand times. The puppet’s name is SLICK. I wish I was making this up.
PLAYER 1 raises hand: I need to go to the bathroom.
ADMINISTRATOR: No leaving during the video.
PLAYER 1: Fuck.
SAUL: This is my friend SLICK. He is the voice in our heads that keep us drinking and drugging. Say hello, SLICK.
SLICK, in a terrible Curly from The Three Stooges voice: Hey SAUL! It’s a-great to be heah today!
PLAYER 1, whispering to MISS B: Are they kidding?
MISS B: I wish.
SLICK: Hey SAUL! Ya know what would be great right now? A DRINK. Ya want that, doncha, SAUL? You’ve worked hard, you deserve it! How ’bout we get a drink!
SAUL: Oh, SLICK, I shouldn’t. I’m in recovery.
SLICK: Oh, SAUL. You don’t have a problem! It’s other people that have problems!
PLAYER 1: I have a fucking problem. I fucking hate hand puppets.
PLAYERS: giggling and writhing in our seats
MISS BANSHEE scans the room. Half are asleep, the other half bent over in pain because we’re not allowed to leave to go to the bathroom. The VIDEO drones on. PLAYER 1 is getting more and more agitated. MISS B is trying to think of ways this VIDEO can vanish discreetly and begins making PLANS to KIDNAP the video in order to DESTROY it.
PLAYER 1, PLAYER 2, PLAYER 3, in unison: I have to PISS!
ADMINISTRATOR: Listen to SAUL, goddammit.
ADMINISTRATOR 2 quietly leaves room because she too, hates SAUL and SLICK.
MISS BANSHEE smiles and crosses her LEGS. Her BLADDER groans.
SAUL: Now what you have to do to stay sober is not listen to SLICK, because addiction only wants to kill you.
SLICK: Listen to me, pal! So ya stopped drinkin’. But no one said anything about a little COCAINE. Anyway, you don’t have a PROBLEM!
PLAYER 1 whispers to MISS B: I’m going to burn this building down.
MISS B whispers to PLAYER 1: You can use my lighter.
SAUL: Now when we listen to SLICK, we relapse. Remember not to listen to SLICK.
SLICK: Listen to me! You don’t have a problem!
PLAYER 2: I have to leave.
PLAYER 3: Me too.
PLAYER 1: I’m getting triggered for violence. Can I go see my therapist?
MISS B thinks: I wonder if Saul has a rap sheet. I’ll Google him when I get home.
TIME PASSES. The VIDEO finally ends with SAUL saying goodbye to SLICK. He is, if we are to believe this monstrosity, CURED of his addiction.
ADMINISTRATOR: Any comments about the video?
ENTIRE ROOM FULL OF PLAYERS: We have to go to the BATHROOM.
ADMINISTRATOR: Be back at noon. That’s break.
PLAYERS flee from room to pee and smoke. No one burns the building down. Everyone is in on MISS B’s plan to destroy the tape like in THE RING.
think this was all made up? I only wish. Let me introduce you to Saul and Slick.
HEY SAUL! I’MMA EAT YOUR SOUL!