A Show I’m Particularly Proud Of

I enjoyed this show so much that when I got home I had to write what happened down.  Improv loses a lot on video, so I don’t imagine that this write up will be worth a damn for anyone, but, screw it, this one’s for me.

This was a two person show with Nick Leveski, a recent transplant from Chicago to Richmond.  We wanted to do a show where our emotional reactions were “the story.”  Engaging scenes with endowments is what excites us both about improv and so we developed the “Excuse me; I think we switched bags” Opening that allowed us to pimp endowments onto each other and to establish the location of the scenes to follow.  Focused on our “Bag” opening we set about thinking up names for our show.  “This is my bag, baby” ala Austin Powers led to “Baggins-s” Golum-style led to “12 Inch Purple Bilbo.” But we ultimate landed on “Pack” – combination of Patrick and Nick, synonym for “bag” and referential to the group required to improv.

And this was our show…trust me it was all made up…

“To start all we need is a suggestion of a type of ‘bag’. Not a douche bag or a dime bag.  But a carried conveyance.”

SUGGESTION: Canvas Tote Bag

We turned our backs to each other and inspected our respective bags.  Then we turned to face each other and I said, “Excuse me; I think we switched bags.”
“You got a lot of celery in there.”
“Yeah, it’s the main of two ingredients in this stew I make.”
“And the other one is…(looking in bag)…vegan sausage?!”
“Faux real meat. You buy a lot of baby wipes.”
“Yeah, we’re expecting so I’m stocking up. They’re perfectly biodegradable.”
“And toxic.”
“What? No. What’s toxic? They dissolve while you’re wiping your baby.”
“Yeah, and those particles go right into that thin butt skin.”
“The particles go into the air where they have carbon monoxide fighting power.”
“I don’t know where your education comes from – ”
“Yale.”
” – but this stuff – ”
“Yale, Yale, Yale, Yale, Yale, Yale.”
” – it’s really bad for your baby.”
“I went to Yale.”
“I went to community college.”
“Well…whatever our respective pedigrees, we’re both smart enough to bring our own bags to the supermarket.”
“Yeah, I guess I’m the dumb one who grabbed the wrong bag.”
“I’m not a snob.”
“Right.”
“I drive a Civic.”
“I drive a Prius. It’s great. So efficient I think it runs on sunlight.”

– edit –

Patrick is stocking shelves with a stoned expression and posture. Nick saunters up beside him.
“Did you hear about Chet?”
“Did I hear about shit?”
“Yeah. There’s shit going down.”
“Shit. What shit?”
“Shit, man. Bad shit. Tom and Sandra are in the back office with the door closed shit.”
“Shit, dude.”
“I think it’s my shit.”
“You been up to shit?”
“Lots of shit.”
“I’ve been up to some shit, too.”
“Maybe it’s your shit.”
“Shit. Here (reaches into apron); hold on to this for me.”
“Heroin?”
“Yeah, heroin. How do you get through a shift without heroin? Don’t shoot any. I know how much is there. I weighed it, uh, before I gave it to you.”
“Let’s shoot some now.”
“Dude, there is shit going down.”
“If we shoot heroin we’ll be super confident about our story.”
“Not like Aaron the Stoner who, like, when Tom asked, ‘Do you know about the shit?’ was, like, ‘I ate a peach.'”
“Let’s do it, man. Ah, yeah. We’re so innocent.”
(to imagined customer while shooting up) “Crackers? Yeah, you want aisle 5.”

– edit –

“You’re so dumb.”
(laughs) “You’re so right.”
“You did it to yourself.”
“I didn’t even want this job. So I filled out the application with a fake name. Now here I am. And they think my name is ‘Uoop Yurs.’ Probably get fired. But, hey, now I can get paid.”
“Upside.”
“You have another smoke? I don’t want to go in yet.”
(opens trench coat) “Yeah, I got lights, methanols, some Indian shit.”
“What’s that around back there?”
“Iroquois.”
“Thanks. Mmmmm, is that bark?”
“You know what the Iroquois say, ‘Serenity is in the spirit.'”
“I heard that. On NPR?”
“Yeah. I know a dude who was in deep with the Iroquois. Had two Iroquois wives.”
“Bet he was ‘in deep’ with them, too. Eh? Right? That’s an Orig.”
“How many is that for you now?”
“Let’s check.” (goes to sheet on wall) “Six to five, me.”
“Ugh. I struggle to come up with Origs.”
“Your Origs? Man, I’m totes toot…heck, there’s one of yours.”
“Totes toot. Yeah, but it’s been a while. I get in my head about them.”
“Don’t be in your head. Be in the moment. You weren’t in your head when you came up with ‘totes toot.’ It was so natural. We were there and I farted and you were all ‘totes toot.'”
“Yeah. I’m sorry I’m being negative. Things are just real tough for me right now. I just learned that I’m bankrupt.”
“Oh, man. That sucks. Chapter 11 or 13?”
“I think it’s the whole book.”

– edit –

Patrick is scrutinizing two cans. Nick is sitting in a chair on the far end of stage.
“You having trouble reading the labels?”
“I’m having trouble believing the labels.”
“Can’t go wrong here. Everything here’s the best there is.”
“Except everything these days comes from a conglomerate. I don’t want to pay money to a company owned by a company owned by Phillip Morris.”
“My family was killed by Phillip Morris.”
“Oh my god, so sorry. Your family had lung cancer?”
“No. They were literally killed by Phillip Morris. The man.”
“Oh my god! … What did he look like? I picture him all in white.”
“He’s a tall man. Evil man. All in black. Leather.”
“Not what I pictured.”
“It was terrible. He slaughtered my family one by one. Mercilessly. But I’m over it.”
“Over it?! But that’s terrible.”
“I have his coat from the crime scene. The police couldn’t do anything. So, yeah, I’m over it.”
“You are a roller coaster I am trying desperately to ride! Maybe stealing evidence from the crime scene wasn’t the best way to help the police.”
“Forget that. It’s all about this store now.”
“You’re the Grover in Grover’s Grocers?”
“Yes. I built my convoluted life around building a store where no money would ever go back to Phillip Morris.”
“Oh…my. Well. I’m conflicted. On the one hand, you are an awful man. On the other, you have a terrible past and a terrific burden. And, well, I do absolutely adore your coffee here.”
“It’s Iroquois.”
“You know what they say?”
“‘Serenity is in the spirit.'”
“That Ira Glass is really something special. I’m single.”
“Oh?”
“Widowed. With millions.”
“I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. I killed him.”
“You’re a murderer?”
“Shit…thought we were in a safe space.”
“I’ll kill you!”
“Don’t see how. You don’t know my name and you’re in a wheelchair.”

– lights –

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