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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Todd Dills

Eve of the Revolution declaration, I am the Candidate.


CAND -- Candidate for the position of Assistant to the Assistant Managing Editor -- a man of perhaps 28 years, shaggy-haired and short, wearing a pressed business outfit.

ASS -- Assistant to the Managing Editor -- a woman of perhaps 40, perhaps 25...a woman of indeterminate age in a pressed gray pantsuit.

MAN -- Managing Editor -- a woman of, perhaps, 60, but more likely 70 or 80 years, wrinkles deeply set along her law line and brow, allowing for a gaze of interminable consternation, in a gray pantsuit near idential to that of her apparent protegé.

CAND: Hello.

ASS: Hello.

MAN: Yes, well, Hello Mr. Cheek, is it?

CAND: Uh-huh.

ASS: Okay.

CAND: Yep.

MAN: Tell me, Mr. Cheek, have you read Melville's 'Bartleby the Scrivener,' the short story.

CAND: Many times, Ma'am. I have read much and often, in my time. I can't remember most of it, but this I can.

MAN: Call me asshole, please.

CAND: Yes, Asshole, well. My pleasure. I have preferred many times in the past to read Melville's fine short story entitled, 'Bartleby the Scrivener.'

MAN: And have you read the famous Rubaiyat?

CAND: I have, Asshole, but would prefer not to have to...

MAN: No matter, it is none at all...

ASS: Mr. Cheek, what I believe the Asshole means to say is that the position of Assistant to the Assistant to the Managing Editor, the Managing Editor being of course our Asshole here and her Assistant being me, and do please not hesitate to call me by my given name, Ludy.

CAND: Thank you, Ludy, but your point was?..

ASS: Yes.

MAN: [clears throat for a full minute as CAND and ASS look on in horror and at the terminus:] Do please forgive the interruption.

CAND: Certainly, Asshole.

ASS: Do continue, please, if you must...

MAN: [another round of throat clearing followed by a brief fainting spell, MAN's heading lolling back, her eyes twitching up into her head so that only the whites show, at which point ASS and CAND begin to exchange certain pregnant glances, raised eyebrows, until MAN revives and says:] The position, Mr. Breech, is very much akin to that of Bartleby, e.g. that of a Scrivener, a copyist, if you will. I will have to refer you to Ludy for the details.

CAND: Thank you, Asshole.

ASS: Yes, well, you basically will operate a Xerox machine.

CAND: I've done that before, certainly.

MAN: And a very important operation it is! Without the... [another fit, this time of coughing and a fainting spell, prolonged, at which point ASS's hand moves abruptly to CAND's crotch, but quickly pulls away, as MAN revives...] Excuse me, Mr. Quick.

Man exits stage left.

[makeout session, near slapstick, with CAND slapping the ass of ASS and ASS howling...at the terminus:]


ASS: You don't really want the job, do you?

CAND: Of course not.

ASS: Because you won't get it.

CAND: I don't want it.