exorcising the dog : part iii
Excorcising the Dog
an unusually short play
by yours truly
The Players : Madison Cartwright: Madison speaks with a Southern drawl. Her bawdy attire, slow colloquial speech, and winsome smile mask an acute perception. She’s about twenty-nine.
Phillip Smith: Phillip is a rookie attorney dressed appropriately in a suit and tie. He considers Madison a bawdy con-artist and treats her accordingly. Madison is brighter than he is, something he’s vaguely aware of, but unwilling to acknowledge — this makes him prone to outbursts, which he attempts to control for George’s benefit.
George Davies: George is also an attorney, albeit an older, wiser attorney. Somewhat stocky, and very calm, he takes the ensuing conversation in stride — investigations are a matter of form for him. Unlike Phillip, George is careful.
The Set : The players sit at a wooden conference table. They may have cups of coffee or tea. A tape recorder sits on the table, recording the conversation for the attorneys’ benefit.
part iii : my dogs have all their shots
George: Who explained to you that Fred exorcised — performed an exorcism, on the woman in the park?
Madison: That would have been the Senator.
George: The Senator.
Madison: The lady’s husband. You know. Senator —
George: Yes, I know the Senator.
Madison: So you see, I didn’t say Fred had exorcised anybody. I just said this sick lady in the park started floating around, and Fred barked at her a few times, and she came down.
Phillip: And word just leaked out?
Madison: Well I guess it must have, because the calls started coming. First there was that lady with the little kid — the one with the long tongue. Then there was that man in San Francisco.
George: What seemed to be wrong with the man in San Francisco?
Madison: Well, I don’t rightly know, but the people on the phone were all fired up, so Fred and I went on out. We took Booker, of course —
Madison: That’s my other dog. Booker.
Phillip: Does Booker perform exorcisms as well?
Madison: Certainly not. Why Booker took one look at that woman in the park and wanted nothing to do with her. Booker is a very fastidious dog. He doesn’t like to get dirty.
George: Was there any particular reason you took Booker with you?
Madison: Well what do you expect me to do? Leave Booker all alone at home while Fred and I go off to San Francisco? Of course we took Booker.
George: What does Booker do, while you and Fred are performing exorcisms?
Madison: Now look, I never said I perform exorcisms. Fred just barks at people. Once in a while he licks them — usually the children.
George: What does Booker do while Fred is barking at people and licking children?
Madison: He just waits downstairs with whoever called — usually the family, but sometimes it’s just friends wanting to help out. Booker is a very outgoing dog. He likes people — but he doesn’t much care for people who fly and spit green stuff.
George: How many dogs do you have, Miss Cartwright?
Madison: Just Booker and Fred.
George: Would you say they’re ordinary dogs?
Madison: I love my dogs Mr. Davies. I wouldn’t call them ordinary.
George: But would you say there is anything unusual about your dogs?
Madison: Nothing strange, if that’s what you mean. Four feet, a tail, all the right stuff if you’re a dog.
Phillip: Are your dogs licensed, Miss Cartwright?
Madison: Well, I used to be kind of lax about that. But when all this hoopla started, I took them right down and got them registered.
Phillip: And when was that?
Madison: Right about the time you folks started nosing around. [Staring hard at Phillip.] They’ve got all their shots too.
to be continued….