Play # 35: The Last Bee

The play is set in the not very distant future
when the world’s bee population has been decimated
by disease, neglect and greed (which, after all, are the same thing).  The memory of the bee in the recently buzz-free world is now enshrined—if at all—within the world of art and design. 

But so much weepy, impure nostalgia for the bee has now somehow animated enough failing bee-energy to have resulted in the mysterious appearance of one gigantic Final Bee—as big as an airliner but as empty and diaphanous as a cloud. 

So insubstantial is this chimera-like Final Bee that, huge as it is, some people can see it and some cannot.  It is often thought that to be able to see the Bee is the privilege—and punishment—of those who bear the most responsibility for demise of bee-culture

Characters—or presences—in the play:

1)  The Final Bee
2)  The late fashion designer Alexander McQueen
3)   Winnie-the Pooh

Scene:  A city street, late-morning.

Pooh:  It’s time for a little something, but the something I like is gone forever.  How dearly I long for a full pot of creamy golden honey!

McQueen (imitating nostalgia):  Don’t we all!

Pooh: How can you say that?  All YOUR bees are dead!  They’re made of gold and silver and you find them in the meadow of a model’s throat, or studded on a choker around her pipestem neck.

McQueen: The bee is better off as art than as hopeless hunger!

There is a faint rustling in the sky.  Both Winnie-the-Pooh and Alexander McQueen look up, only to find themselves staring at a floating gigantic bee, as big as a cruise ship but imprecise with emptiness.  The behemothic creature is simultaneously menacing and poignant.

Final Bee (speaking in an ear-shattering voice that is still, oddly, no more than a whisper):  Why do you both want what you want when your desires are so different?  Do you not see that it’s too late for you both?

Pooh and McQueen:  But we LOVE you in our way!!

Final Bee: You cannot.  I am a sweet cloud of unknowing.  You never knew anything about Beeworld.  You thought it was (looking at Pooh) free confection, or (looking at Alexander McQueen) easy d├ęcor.  In fact, it was an adjacent planet of brilliant aliens who were small and who lived among you.

McQueen:  What are you?

Final Bee:  I am an angel and an airship.

Pooh:  What is your mission?

Final Bee:  I am transporting a billion bee-souls
to another planet, a planet called Honeydorado that once, the domain only of cows, ran copiously with rivers of milk, but which, shortly, when the bees are revived, will gush with adjacent well-springs of honey. 

McQueen:  Do you need a designer?

Final Bee:  You both had your chance.  So now you may keep your dead jewelry, and your childish memories of honey-candy, and forget there ever were bees.

Pooh:  Take me with you!!

But the Final Bee was gone.

Gary Michael Dault's Brief Plays Theatre will
re-open on Friday, April 26

Short Play # 35: Ice

The play can be set in any small Eastern Ontario town—like Napanee, for example—early in the morning of Friday, April 12, 2013.  There has been freezing rain all night long,
and now, just after dawn, there is a glistening shell of ice
over everything.  Shrubs and bushes glitter like diamonds.  Tree limbs ache with the unaccustomed weight of the ice.  Drivers nudge their cars carefully along the streets, fearful of skids and spins. 
The odd thing is that, despite the elaborate caution with which the fall of ice has visited the world, the garbage collectors—who normally grasp at any excuse not to pick up the trash—are today out in force, breezy and efficient.

There are two characters in the play: a garbage collector and an icebound homeowner.

Homeowner (greatly surprised at the sudden appearance, in this monotonal iceworld, of a great creamy beige garbage truck looming up before the house):  You!!

Garbage Collector (amused):  You were expecting maybe Admiral Peary? Or Samuel Hearne?  Henry Hudson?

H:  I really wasn’t expecting anyone at all!

GC:  Why not?  It takes more than a few pellets of ice to discourage the Sanitation Department!

H:  But that’s simply not true.  I’ve known you refuse to come out during a warm rain or a gust or two of wind!

 GC:  Sir, you slander us.  Nothing keeps us from our appointed rounds!

H:  Well, it’s too cold to stand here and argue the point.

GC: Yes, please don’t.  It’s wounding.  We love ice.  Ice is jut frozen water.  Two gasses suddenly, miraculously, grown hard as glass.  Party ice!  Ice is nature’s costume jewelry.   Ice is petrified drama: ice unknitteth the finished sleeve of care!

H: What was that last statement?

GC: Shakespeare.  Hamlet.   

H: Oh it was not!

GC: Yes it was.  We sanitation engineers know the classics!

H:  It’s cold and I’m going back in now [there is a long pause].  Well, aren’t you going to load my garbage bags onto your truck?

GC:  Not just like that, not right in front of you.  It’s a bit awkward.  You see, we’re very delicate about this sort of thing.  We don’t like to be observed.  You should go back in the house, and THEN we’ll load up your garbage.

H: I don’t understand.

GC:  Neither do we, entirely.  It’s a certain abashment within us.  A diffidence.  It’s just our way.  Surely you can honour that?

H:  I suppose.

GC:  Thank you, shivering homeowner, for your understanding.

H: You’re welcome.

GC: We know it.  We know we are.  We are as welcome as birds in the Spring.  Well, goodbye now. And thank you for your thoughtful contribution to the town’s garbage stocks.

H (turning to go back inside): It was nothing.

GC: Oh, please don’t ever say that!   


Play # 34: The Key

The play is set in the apartment of an average man—that is to say, a part-time philosopher.  There are bookshelves, tables, comfortable chairs.  Just before the play begins, this Average Man has a friend come to call—another part-time philosopher.

Average Man 1 (the host):  You must excuse me, I’m very agitated at the moment

Average Man 2 (the visitor):  About what?

Host:  About (he holds up an ornate key) this key!

Visitor (cheerfully):  Well, you don’t appear to have lost it!

Host (ruefully):  No.  No, but I can’t make it open what it’s supposed to open.

Visitor:  And what’s that?

Host (patiently):  You don’t understand.  This (he holds it up) is the Key to Everything! 

Visitor (impressed):  So go ahead and open something.  A door maybe?  A drawer? Or wind one of your clocks!

Host (suddenly despondent): You don’t see what I mean.

Visitor: Then explain it to me.

Host: This is the Key to Everything, not just to anything.

Visitor (impressed):  So it unlocks the meaning of all meaning, of
all property, all probity, all conundra ? It makes splicable the inexplicable? It looses the bonds of the goddess of transcendence and sees her shining robes fall thinly to the ground?

Host (impatient): Yes, yes.

Visitor:  So what’s the problem?

Host (enraged):  I don’t know where the goddam keyhole is!!