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Posted:|| September 25, 2019 Views: 64|
Ken waits for Godot
"The Adventures of Ken Harris - 5"
by Mark Valentine
The Adventures of Ken Harris: Fictional Time Traveler. Episode 5.
Each week, Ken Harris magically travels into a famous work of fiction to warn characters of impending danger. This week, Ken visits Samuel Beckett’s, Waiting for Godot.
THE SCENE: A small theater. A very bored audience looks at the stage. On the stage the set depicts a tree alongside a country road. Two men, Estragon and Vladimir, sit beside the tree.
ESTRAGON: Let’s go.
VLADIMIR: We can’t.
ESTRAGON: Why not?
VLADIMIR: We’re waiting for Godot.
ESTRAGON: Ah! You’re sure it was here?
ESTRAGON: That we were to wait.
VLADIMIR: He said by the tree. (They look at the tree) Do you see any others?
ESTRAGON: What is it?
VLADIMIR: I don’t know. A willow.
ESTRAGON: Where are the leaves?
VLADIMIR: It must be dead.
ESTRAGON: No more weeping.
VLADIMIR: Or perhaps it’s not the season.
ESTRAGON: Looks to me more like a bush.
VLADIMIR: A shrub.
ESTRAGON: A bush.
VLADIMIR: A – What are you insinuating. That we’ve come to the wrong place?
ESTRAGON: He should be here.
VLADIMIR: He didn’t say for sure he’d come.
ESTRAGON: And if he doesn’t come?
VLADIMIR: We’ll come back tomorrow.
ESTRAGON: And then the day after tomorrow.
ESTRAGON: And so on.
VLADIMIR: The point is ---
ESTRAGON: Until he comes.
VLADIMIR: You’re merciless.
ESTRAGON: We came here yesterday.
VLADIMIR: Ah no, there you’re mistaken.
ESTRAGON: What did we do yesterday?
VLADIMIR: What did we do yesterday?
VLADIMIR: Why…(angrily) Nothing is certain when you’re about.
ESTRAGON: In my opinion we were here.
(Ken Harris enters from stage right)
KEN HARRIS: Whatcha guys doing?
KEN HARRIS: How long you been doing that?
VLADIMIR: Can’t say for sure.
ESTRAGON: Every day.
VLADIMIR: A long time.
ESTRAGON: I lost my boots.
VLADIMIR: I ate a carrot.
KEN HARRIS: Doesn’t sound very interesting.
VLADIMIR: Why should it be interesting?
KEN HARRIS: Well, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but you guys are characters in a play, and all these nice people out here (Ken points to the audience) have paid to watch you. And watching guys wait, especially when their conversation is, for lack of a better word, inane, is not what most people want when they go to the theater.
VLADIMIR: Probably not.
ESTRAGON: Maybe we could all look for my boots. It would be like trying to solve a mystery.
KEN HARRIS: Let’s stick a pin in that and come back to it. Also, your boots are right there. (Ken points to the boots which are lying by the tree) So, you guys are waiting for…?
VLADIMIR: Are you him?
KEN HARRIS: Are you “he”?
VLADIMIR: Am I who?
KEN HARRIS: No, I was just correcting your grammar. You should have asked, ‘Are you he?’
VLADIMIR: Am I who?
KEN HARRIS: Never mind. So you guys just come here every day and wait?
ESTRAGON: I don’t think those are my boots. Mine are brown.
VLADIMIR: Sometimes we think about hanging ourselves.
KEN HARRIS: Interesting. Do you know who else thinks about hanging themselves?
KEN HARRIS: EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE! You guys are mind-bogglingly boring.
ESTRAGON: Or maybe those ARE my boots?
KEN HARRIS: (Talking over Estragon) Boooooring! People are paying money to see this.
VLADIMIR: But we have to wait for Godot.
KEN HARRIS: Spoiler alert – I’ve read the whole thing – Godot’s not coming! Go home!
ESTRAGON: Maybe we should wait some more.
KEN HARRIS: Let’s call that ‘Plan B’. Plan A is to put your boots on and go home.
KEN HARRIS: Because I just told you he’s not coming! Not today! Not ever! There’s no point in your staying.
ESTRAGON: Maybe that’s the point.
KEN HARRIS: Say what?
ESTRAGON: Maybe the point is that by waiting, we demonstrate, at an existential level, that it is absurd to wait for something that’s not coming. Something that may not, in fact, exist.
KEN HARRIS: That’s stupid. If he’s not coming, couldn’t you just wait for him not to come from the comfort of your living room, and stop wasting these people’s time? (Ken points to the audience) Because of your conversation, all of these people are going to leave the theater a little bit stupider than when they entered.
VLADIMIR: We’re stimulating them.
KEN HARRIS: No, you’re really not. Look at them. Do they seem stimulated?
ESTRAGON: No, not on the surface, but at some level, maybe we’re causing them to reconsider the whole concept of any a priori meaning to life in this post-modern world. Maybe they’re starting to realize that any meaning to existence has to be self-generated.
KEN HARRIS: And, maybe, (Ken uses air quotes) ‘at some level’, the song “Revolution # 9” from the White Album is a brilliant comment on John Lennon’s struggle with artistic integrity in an increasingly materialistic world, but, at what we like to call (Ken again uses air quotes) ‘the real world level’, that is, the level at which paying customers attempt to derive some modicum of pleasure out of life by spending whatever sliver of expendable income is left to them after they’ve paid their bills on entertainment, IT SUCKS! It’s a bunch of unintelligible noise with John repeating “number nine” over and over again like some demented parrot. And I’m a Beatles fan! Do you see my point?
VLADIMIR: Who are the beetles?
ESTRAGON: Who’s John Lennon?
VLADIMIR: Are you him?
KEN HARRIS: Are you ‘he’?
VLADIMIR: Am I who?
ESTRAGON: Or, did I even have boots?
KEN HARRIS: (Exasperated) So, you say you’ve been thinking about hanging yourselves? (Ken pulls some rope out of a bag and tosses it to them, and exits stage right).
VLADIMIR: (turning to Estragon) So, we’ll keep waiting, then?
ESTRAGON: Works for me. Have you seen my boots?
As with the others in the series, the language before ken enters is taken from the original work.
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