Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Play

In honor of the Purim season in general and Rosh Chodesh in specific, I have decided to post a couple of my favorite scenes from the much-described play. I actually wanted to post the whole thing, but Miri very properly pointed out that it is rather long and might have potential theoretical copyright issues if anybody is ever interested in doing anything with it. So I picked a couple of the most fun ones and will post them over the next couple weeks. For good, clean fun, play spot the allusions. Extra points if you spot some we didn't intend. If people are entertained and interested in reading more and promise that they won't steal the whole thing and sell it to their pseudo-Bais Yaakov high school first, they can e-mail me and it could possibly be arranged.

Scene 5

Night time. Bigsan enters, strolling thoughtfully. A few seconds later, Seresh runs up and then nonchalantly falls into step beside him. Quite possibly on the pocket.

S: What are we doing tonight, Bigsan?
B: Same thing we do every night, Seresh...waiting on the king.
S: Well, the waiting, I don't mind. It's the running to get him things-
B: -and then running to put them back-
S: -and then running to get them again-
B: -because now that he thinks about it, he really does think that maybe he wants a drink over water after all-
S: (all in one breath and getting so carried away that he forgets where they were going with this)-but actually maybe not, because it's true that he's thirsty, but does he really want to drink in bed, and actually Bigsan, I think he's really better off if he doesn't, because every time I try drinking in bed I get it all over my chin and usually down my neck too and then sometimes it goes down the wrong pipe and you start choking and then it's really just not worth it, but then again, if you'd just sit up to drink, you know, it wouldn't happen, but then of course, you get all woken up and then there was this one time when I-
B: (hurriedly) Precisely. (insinuatingly)...gets pretty annoying, doesn't it?
S: Well, yeah, because then you're all wet and your shirt-
B: I mean about the king.
S: Oh. Right. Yeah. That too.
B: are you pondering what I'm pondering, Seresh?
S: Um....I think so, Bigsan, but won't uniforms made entirely out of cotton candy get sort of sticky in the summertime?
B: (sort of stunned for a second or two, opens his mouth to say something, then shakes his head and moves on in an “Anyway...” sort of way) Um, no....I was pondering the idea that it's about time that we (lowers voice dramatically) did something about the king.
S: You mean like ignore him?
B: (still more dramatically) I mean like...kill him
T: Kill the king?
B: Precisely.
T: What, our sovereign king?
B: Indeed.
T: For making us run errands?
B: Exactly.
T: Yeah, sure. I'm in.
B: Well, as it just so happens, I've got a cunning plan...
Exeunt, Bigsan's arm over Teresh's shoulder and whispering conspiratorially. Mordechai either emerges from some nook or cranny or the spotlight highlights where he has been hiding in shadows.
Throne room. King on throne. Bigsan and Teresh are lead in by Charvonah and Guard 1.
Ach: (trying to look stern and cunning and stuff)
Gentlemen- if I may call you that-
The time has come we had a chat.
Tell me, how do you enjoy your work?
Are the hours long? Do you like the perks?
Teresh: Well, actually, I was just saying to Bigsan the other day that the dental plan was a bit-
Bigsan: (speaking over him) By which he means to say that we are completely satisfied with our jobs, your most excellency.
Ach: And against myself- you've no complaints?
No qualms, no wrath, however faint?
Bigsan: (groveling really quite pathetically at this point) Oh, no, sire, your most wise and unfailingly pleasant highness. Who could dare to have any hint of thought of inclination of lack of complete satisfaction in your greatness's employ?
Ach: Such thoughts are sweet, if they are meant...
Now. You two claim that you're content
But I put this to you instead:
You hate my guts and want me dead!
Bigsan: My lord! The very notion! I assure you, the idea is the furthest thing from my mind. In fact the very mention fills me with such sorrow and horror that-
Ach: Indeed? A reliable source has told the Queen
Some Marduke? More-duck? Meredach I mean-
Or was it- bother, never mind-
Now, is it true that you are so inclined?
Bigsan: Oh most gracious source of all wisdom, if I could be so daring as to suggest that you could possibly be in error-
Ach: We've heard enough from you today-
Let's hear what your sidekick has to say.
Teresh: (quite probably not faking his forgetfulness) What, me? Well, you's hard to say, know how things are....I'm sorry, but I've forgotten the question... was it something about mushrooms?
Ach: Just one tiny piece of information:
Are you plotting my assassination?
Teresh: (nervous glance at Bigsan) Oh, sire, please. What a ridiculous idea! I can tell you, your majesty, sire, sir, with really complete confidence, that my friend here is not planning to kill you even just a little and that the only reason that he might possibly maybe just happen to have a vial of poison in his pocket is for some entirely legitimate reason, like he's planning to build up a resistance over the course of years, so that someday, if he is ever is challenged to a battle of wits-
By this time the guards, who are quite a bit sharper than Achashveirosh (who is just standing there sort of stunned by the flow of words) have gone through Bigsan's pockets and found the vial.
Ach: Good gracious! Jeepers! Oh my! And wow!

I'll punish you villains- by hanging, I vow
And the story- including the name of that guy-
Shall be writ in the records of Paras and Madai.


e-kvetcher said...

pass the iocane!

Yosef said...

please, consistency!
is it Teresh or Seresh?

Yoni said...



(and while I recognize most of the references, I couldn't tell you were they're from, save the pinky and the brain one, which is beautiful.) :)

(now I've got the animaniacs jingles running through my head, curse thee thou villianous fiend!)

Tobie said...

Hah. The Teresh/Seresh story, is that what you want? Of course not, but it's entertaining, so here goes: At the beginning, the characters were Bigtan and Teresh, as per my new Israeli pronunciation. Of course, once it was submitted to various editting committees, it was pointed out that they ought to be Bigsan and Seresh, as per Bais Yaakov convention. To which I responded that I was willing to cede Bigsan, but Teresh was proper even according to Bais Yaakov standards, as it was a case of בגד כפת at the beginning of a word, which receives a dagesh according to anyone, being 'seresh' in the megilla only because it appears as 'v'seresh'. To which they replied that is as it may be, but the character still has to be Seresh. To which I replied 'It's a grammar thing, not a Zionism thing!' To which they kind of chuckled. End of the story: I went back and changed the character to Seresh because I didn't have the energy to fight this one. However, halfway through actually performing the 'correction', I was overcome with disgust at the whole thing and decided that if they wanted it done so bad, they could do it themselves.


Yosef said...

You're mostly right about בגד כפת letters -- they don't have the dagesh lene (dagesh qal) when preceded by a vowel sound. Therefore, when you have waw + vocal shewa as a prefix, the dagesh drops out.

Tobie said...

True, but I think that the name, when unattached, transliterated, or used in general conversation, ought to be Teresh.

Anonymous said...

That was good, the kind of thing Woody Allen would write if he knew the purim story.

(Thumbs up for the PATB bit)