Back in the day, when I was a wee child, I tended to make questionable decisions. Not on a consistent basis, per se, but on a basis where someone might notice and say, “That child makes questionable decisions.”
By questionable, I don’t mean anything mean, life-endangering, or for that matter, world-changing. Just decisions I made back in the day that later make me think, “Huh. That was questionable.” Here are three of them – not necessarily the most questionable, but three of the ones I remember most.
1. My paper full of obscenities
It was 5th grade. I saw that blank piece of paper lying on the kitchen table, calling to me, begging me to write on it. So I crossed to that paper, picked up my #2 pencil and looked at it. What to write, I asked myself quietly. And in that moment . . . I knew.
Naturally, I filled the page with a bunch of obscenities. Now, I never actually cursed as a 5th grader, probably not even until I was in college, but on that fateful day . . . my pencil cursed. A lot. And then, as all brilliant 5th graders would do, I left the paper on the table. My mom found it and I told her that my best friend Kevin had done it, because he “wrote curse words on paper all the time.”
Here it gets a little foggy as to what happened next. Either my mom saw through me and took away my desserts for week, or she called Kevin’s mom and he got in trouble, or she sent me to a Turkish prison where I still reside to this day. They’re all equally likely.
2. Uttering the phrase “Well, as long it’s not a VCR game”
My brother Chris gave me a VCR game one Christmas when I was around . . . I don’t know . . . let’s say 13. It was about the Winter Olympics or something. We played it once and never again. I don’t believe we even finished that game.
The next Christmas rolled around, and Chris and I were talking about what we were going to get for each other. I was probably thinking about buying him a tie because that’s all I gave him back then, and he mentioned that he had already gotten me a gift. Thinking back, I should have said something like “Awesome!” or “Can’t wait.”
I didn’t say either of those things. I said “Well, as long as it’s not another VCR game.” I realized instantly that I’d said the wrong thing. His face turned red, and he yelled “Well, you’re going to like this one!” and then stormed out.
We never ended up playing the new VCR game. It was based on the Summer Olympics.
3. Taking off Luke Skywalker’s hand
I got a Luke Skywalker figure when I was around 8 or so. I wasn’t a huge fan of the series until Empire Strikes Back came out and I decided that Lando Calrissian was someone I could pattern my entire life after.
Anyway, I got Luke, and like most kids of that age, I decided to take all of his clothes off. (Not right at the beginning, though. I got to know him first. And to be fair, it’s not like I had another Star Wars figure to play with.)
Then, at some point, I bit off his hand. Not all at once, though. It was a gradual thing. I would like to say that I was recreating The Empire Strikes Back . . . but I wasn’t. This was the Luke from Star Wars: A New Hope.
Also, I don’t recall Darth Vader taking Luke’s clothes off.
Like all children, I used to make some questionable decisions. Now, if you’ll excuse me, this paper full of obscenities isn’t going to write itself.
They had been casting furtive glances at each other all night. Except when they weren’t.
One is a dim-witted farm girl (or is she dim-witted…?). The other is a butler whose name may, in fact, be Butler. What started off as a fun murder mystery weekend has quickly turned into a murder mystery weekend . . . of DOOM. But can it also end up a love story? Daisy and . . . (is his name Butler? I honestly can’t remember), our potential love birds, now find themselves on the grounds of Natasha Winter’s mansion searching for a murderer with only flashlights lighting their way. Will this night end as they find true love? Or will it end as they find true . . . death by projectile objects? (Spoiler alert: It’s the latter.)
The scene below is from my farcical murder mystery Murder Mystery Weekend of Doom: A Love Story, available here from Norman Maine Plays. This 90-minute play is perfect for high school, college, community, or senior center theatre. If you’re looking for a fun, fast-paced play with 12 eccentric characters (2 M, 9 F, 1 M/F) who almost all die in bizarre fashions . . . then this is the play for you. If you’re not, you should still read this one scene. It’s rather moving while not being moving at all.
SETTING: Outside, night. The stage is bare except for a bench. The lights are very low. Wind is heard.
AT RISE: BUTLER is sitting on a bench moving his flashlight around looking for things. DAISY enters and BUTLER looks at her.
BUTLER: You were gone a long time.
DAISY: I couldn’t find my coat.
BUTLER: Did you find it? (DAISY stares at BUTLER quizzically.)
DAISY: I’m wearing it now.
BUTLER: Then you found it. That’s good. (Pause.) We should keep looking for Loomis. (Gets up and starts walking off.)
DAISY: Yeah. (They walk on a little in silence. Then DAISY stops and turns to BUTLER.) Butler?
DAISY: May I ask you a question?
BUTLER: As long as it’s not about my time in the service. That brings back bad memories.
DAISY: You were in the service?
BUTLER: I asked you not to ask about that.
DAISY: I’m sorry. What I really wanted to know is . . . what’s your real name? (BUTLER stops and looks at her. Then turns away.)
BUTLER: You don’t want to know. No one does.
DAISY: I do.
BUTLER: (Turns to her.) Really?
DAISY: Yes. (BUTLER continues looking at her, then decides to tell her.)
BUTLER: (Looking away.) Charlie. My real name is Charlie.
DAISY: Really? Then why does everyone call you--
BUTLER: Butler? I guess because they never cared enough to know my real name. (Silence.) I’ve been working for Ms. Winters 15 years now and she still thinks my name is Butler.
DAISY: Well, I don’t anymore. Charlie . . . I like that. It’s a good name.
BUTLER: Thanks. (They continue walking. BUTLER starts to shiver.) It’s getting really cold out here. I wish I had a coat.
DAISY: Why didn’t you get yours?
BUTLER: I was afraid.
DAISY: Afraid of what?
BUTLER: Many things.
DAISY: But which one kept you from getting your coat? Was it the fear of the murderer that is running around . . . murdering people?
BUTLER: No, I was afraid that if I wasn’t here when you got back then you would think I was the murderer and I just couldn’t bear the thought of you thinking that. (Pause.) Now that I think about it . . . I’ve probably should’ve have gotten my coat.
DAISY: Here, take mine. (She takes off her coat and hands it to him. He puts it on and then looks at her.)
BUTLER: That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for me. Thank you. I feel so much warmer.
DAISY: It’s the coat. That’s what it does. Makes you warmer.
BUTLER: Thank you again. (They are quiet for a while. Then BUTLER stops moving and looks at DAISY, who now looks cold.) If I had an extra coat, I would give you one.
DAISY: That’s very sweet. (They continue on in silence.) What if Loomis isn’t the real killer? (BUTLER stops and looks at her.)
BUTLER: Of course she is. I mean, she is the only criminal here that we know of. Besides Grayson, who’s dead.
DAISY: I’m just saying . . . the killer could be any of us. It could be me. (BUTLER looks at her suspiciously.) It’s not, but it could be. (Silence. Starts to laugh.) No, I know who the killer is.
DAISY: The butler.
BUTLER: (Offended) What?
DAISY: (Notices that he’s offended.) You know, like that old saying.
BUTLER: What old saying?
DAISY: “The butler did it.”
BUTLER: (Shocked) But I’m the butler!
DAISY: I know.
BUTLER: You think I committed the murders?
DAISY: No . . . I didn’t say that.
BUTLER: (Getting upset.) You said, “The butler did it.” I’m the butler; therefore you think I did it.
DAISY: Look, I know for a fact that you didn’t commit any of the murders.
BUTLER: Is it . . . because you trust me?
DAISY: Wh . . . I . . . sure. It’s because I trust you.
BUTLER: And that trust you have in me . . . it’s because you love me . . . isn’t it?
DAISY: I-- (BUTLER walks closer to her and places his fingers on her mouth.)
BUTLER: Shhhhh! There’s no need to say it. I knew you loved me from the moment you saw me. Of course, that happens a lot, but never (Looks off.) . . . never to me. As a matter of fact, I doubt if anyone’s ever really liked me, much less loved me. I’m sure there were those who tolerated me, like Bridget, but I never had that magical moment that I’ve always longed for. Until tonight. Until . . . you.
DAISY: But I-- (BUTLER’S fingers return to her mouth.)
BUTLER: Shhhh! Words still aren’t needed. All that is needed is for you . . . to kiss me.
DAISY: Um . . . okay. (They move in for the kiss but before they can, BUTLER begins getting hit by a barrage of acorns.)
BUTLER: I was just hit in the head with some type of projectile. (Gets hit again.) There it is . . . OW!!! What are those things? (DAISY bends down and picks one up.)
DAISY: It’s these. They seem to be--
BUTLER: AHHHHH! (Falls)
DAISY: Charlie! (She kneels beside him.)
BUTLER: Daisy? Is that you?
DAISY: Yes, it’s me, Charlie.
BUTLER: Daisy, it appears that I’m dying.
DAISY: (Looks at him.) You are, Charlie.
BUTLER: Don’t mourn for me.
DAISY: I . . . I won’t.
BUTLER: Just remember me as you knew me . . . tonight.
DAISY: That’s all I did know you for, Charlie . . . tonight.
BUTLER: Yes . . . but . . . we . . . could’ve have had so much more.
DAISY: Like tomorrow?
BUTLER: Yes, like tomorrow and all of tomorrow’s tomorrows.
DAISY: That’s beautiful, Charlie. (Silence.)
BUTLER: Daisy, why weren’t you hit by anything? I mean, I was hit by so many and you weren’t hit--
DAISY: I did get hit a few times, but you saved me. You used yourself as my shield.
BUTLER: That’s not in my character. Besides, I don’t even recall you getting thrown at. As soon as I fell . . . all the throwing stopped.
DAISY: You’re talking crazy now. You should go ahead and . . . and die.
BUTLER: I know. But before I do . . .
Here it is. Steven's blog, where his thoughts about things are revealed. Good luck.