Scene for two men

David Ethan Kennerly. 5 November 2002.


Cast of Characters

Officer Pilbox: US Army Lieutenant at recruiting center, 26.

Sergeant Balzuc: US Army Staff Sergeant at recruiting center, 32.



[US Army recruiting center.  Boxy desks.  Posters with smiling, uniform-wearing soldiers with rifles and gas masks waving cover a backstage wall.  Text of a poster reads “One billion served!”  Officer’s desk has box of donuts on it and coffee.  Sergeant’s desk has picture of little league player on it.  Both desks have matching military placards, phones, insignia, name card trays, pen holders, Army letterhead.  Both members are dressed in Class “B” US Army regulation uniforms, which are light green short-sleeve shirts, with black clip-on ties, dark olive pants, and glossy black shoes.  Various candy-sized awards decorate the breast.  Rank insignia appears on the collar’s lapel, and matches the corresponding desk insignia.]

[Phone rings.  Officer puts down his donut.]

Officer: 441st Recruiting Office of California, US Army. Lieutenant Pilbox.  How may I delegate your call?  (Talking.)  This is Lieutenant Pilbox.  Speak up and state your business!  (Yelling.) Oh.  No I didn't know-- (Yelling.) Forty-percent?  Well, we were busy with the new posters and-- (Yelling.) Uh.  Uh.  No, excuse.  Yes-sir! One-hundred percent patriotic!  Yes sir!  Day and night!  Right away, Colonel! (Yelling.) By Friday? (Yelling.) No, Sir. I mean-Yes Sir.  Friday! Friday! Friday!  Forty-percent up and at'em. No, sir!  No sweat.  Piece o' cake, Colonel! (Yelling!) No, sir! I'm taking it seriously.  I'll have military strength reinforced by forty-percent by the end of the week. 

[Sergeant looks up from his desk and mouths "O shit."]

[Officer hangs up phone]

Officer: Sergeant Balzuc.

Sergeant: Yup. 

Officer: Our branch of the recruiting is down forty-percent!  What do you have to say for yourself?

Sergeant: Whoa, there, sir.  Lay off coffee.  Breath mint? 

Officer: Sergeant!  You will have military personnel strength up to strength by the end of the week.  Do I make myself clear?

Sergeant: Well, I'll do my best.

Officer: You will not leave this office until you do!

Sergeant: But I got my son's baseball...

Officer: You have your orders!

[Officer storms out]

Sergeant: ... game. (sighs)

Sergeant: How the hell am I going to pull this out of my ass?  Hmm. (Goes over to Officer's desk and picks up phone book.  Eats the rest of his donut.)  Hmm.  Heh. (Dials number on phone) (Talking) This is Seargant Balzuc, at 441st Recruitng. Do you realize the threat we're facing?  The entire fate of the world is at stake.  It's time for every person to do his patriotic duty.  (Talking.) I'd hate to have to call up and ... you know.  (Talking) You know... Times are not looking good.  But if you join now, I can at least guarantee you a safe job.  You know?  Why be exposed to combat when you can do... greater things.  Like planning?  Logistics, perfect for you.   (Talking) Uh... well, it's, uh, (He reads.) The distribution and transportation of equipment and ... (Talking) Or, here's one for you: Morse Code Interceptor.  Don't worry about that.  It's guaranteed.  Anywhere you want.  Sure.  (Talking) Then I'll see you at 4 a.m. sharp. (Yelling)  It's for national security.  What did you say your name was again? (Talking) Pilbox?  (Talking) No relation to a Lieutenant Pilbox?


[Fade to black.]

[Curtain falls.]