The Bug: A Play in two (short) Acts
Large Roach (to be played by himself)
scene: Garden Apartment kitchen, complete with steel security door. Roommate 1 is standing by the stove, making macaroni. Roommate 2 is leaning against the counter. Roommate 3 is offstage, presumably in her room. Enter Large Roach, unnoticed on the ceiling, crossing from stage right to stage left.
R2: There’s a lot of cheese in this packet.
R1: Yeah. I was thinking about not using all of it.
R2: When I was little, I called this fake macaroni. It was only “real” macaroni if you grated your own cheese.
R1: I did the same thing. It was real if my mom made it.
R2: How—sees LR and cuts off
R1: How what? follows R1’s gaze and sees LR, now crossing above stove top. R2 quickly covers pot of noodles.
R2: Quick…we need a broom or something! This exclamation is followed by a short moment of desperation as R1 and R2 realize there is not, in fact, a broom in the apartment. Someone get a shoe!
R3 enters downstage right holding a flip-flop R3: Oh no! How did it get in here?
R1: I guess it got in under the door. All stare dramatically at the door, as if expecting an army of roaches to force their way in.
R2: Here, give me the shoe. I’ll see if I can get him.
R1: Don’t knock him into the food!
R2 makes several unsuccessful attempts to hit Large Roach. She stops. R2: I can’t hit it. I’m too short.
R1: Let me try. Takes flip-flop and tries to hit LR, equally unsuccessful. Crosses downstage and grabs a stool. Standing on stool, she hits LR. LR falls onto top of cabinets. R1 climbs on counter to look for him. I can’t see him!
R2: There’s a squish mark on the ceiling. He’s probably fatally wounded.
R3: I agree.
R1: Well, that was exciting.
R2 and R3: Sure was!
R3 exits. R1 and R2 resume original positions, and continue discussion on “real” versus “fake” macaroni. Unbeknownst to them, however, Large Roach, has rolled himself back onto his (now) 5 legs.
scene: Garden Apartment kitchen, complete with steel security door. Roommate 1 is standing by the stove, making macaroni. Roommate 2 is leaning against the counter. Roommate 3 is offstage, presumably in her room. Unnoticed, Large Roach climbs up the wall behind the cabinets and precedes to cross the ceiling from stage left to stage right
R1: What kind of cheese do you use when you make macaroni?
R2: Cheddar. But at home we—uh-oh. R2 once again breaks off to stare at LR on the ceiling
R1: Oh no, not again! Is that the same one?
R2: I think so. He’s missing a leg.
enter R3, downstage right R3: What’s wrong?
R1: I think we’re going to need your shoe again.
R3 exits. R1 and R2 continue to stare at LR, transfixed by the horror of it all. R3 returns with same flip-flop. R3: I guess I’ll try to get this time.
R1: Try to get it at an angle so it doesn’t fall on you.
R3 shudders at the thought, but resolutely grips the flip-flop
R3: Okay, here it goes! R3 takes a step back and throws flip-flop at LR. LR is hit, and all three yell and jump back as he loses his grip on the ceiling. LR, however, is very determined, and, hanging only by one leg, manages to pull his other (4) legs back up.
R1: You got him!
R2: Try again!
R3 throws flip-flop a second time. Once again, LR is hit, but still manages to tenaciously hold onto the ceiling. All three yell and jump back (again.)
R1: That was really close.
R3: Okay- one more time. R3 throws flip-flop. LR is hit. Exhausted from the previous attacks, he loses his grip and falls, landing on his back. He desperately waves his 5 legs around. All three yell and jump back (at least there was a good reason to this time).
R1: Well, he’s off the ceiling now.
R3: I’m not squishing it.
All three stare at LR, who continues to wave his legs in the air. R1 and R3 look up after a moment and stare at R2. R2 notices their stares and sighs. R2: Fine. Give me the shoe. R2 raises the shoe and brings it down on LR with a rather anti-climatic “squish”.
R1 and R3: Ewww.
R2: looking at shoe I’m not cleaning this. Hands shoe to R3, who holds it tentatively between her thumb and forefinger. This is followed by a moment of silence as all three regard the now dead LR with mixed emotions.
R1: Someone needs to clean this up.
R3: Not me!
R1 and R3 stare at R2. Wordlessly, R2 crosses downstage and retrieves a paper towel. She crosses back and lays the paper towel over LR. Careful not to get roach guts on her hand, R2 scoops up LR’s remains and deposits them in the trashcan located at stage right. All three give relieved sighs