Wednesday, May 6, 2015

This Afternoon at the RnR Bar, Radio Redux
Radioplay Number 1
Narrator:  Welcome to Kodiak, greatest fishing port in the world, located on the stormy Eastern edge of the Gulf of Alaska. And here in the corner of the boat harbor we find the RnR Bar, refuge of the weary mariner. Let’s step inside, and listen…
BIRDIE: Here’s your beer Crazy Mike. That’ll be five bucks.
CRAZY MIKE: Birdie can we please change the channel?
BIRDIE: No, Crazy Mike, we can’t. That’ll be five bucks.
CRAZY MIKE: Birdie, can I ask you a question?
BIRDIE: The answer is five bucks.Plus a generous tip.
CRAZY MIKE:  Birdie, who watches the news in a bar? Who Birdie? Nobody! That’s who! Bar TVs are reserved for the watching of sports, or maybe a game show. Never the news. Never.
BIRDIE: Why not?
CRAZY MIKE: Because the bar is where you come to escape. To get away from the fearful things in the outside world.
DAVE: Like your Ex girlfriend?
CRAZY MIKE:  Yes, Dave. I come here to escape terrible things like Mindy. And would you please back me up on this one? The news is all about airplanes crashing and global warming and machine gunners in running wild in the streets. You can’t show news in a bar, Birdie. It’s cruel.  Back me up on this one Dave. You can’t give people alcohol and make them watch the news.  It’s doubling down on the depressants. Put on something good, like Bulwinkle or Judge Judy.  Right , Dave?  Right? Dave!
DAVE: No.No, no leave it on.  I like the news. Its not depressing. It makes you feel good.  Watching victims suffer makes you feel like you don’t have it so bad. I was
CRAZY MIKE: But it’s spooky.  I don’t want to be spooked while I’m trying to relax.
DAVE: Yes you do. That’s the fun part.  OK? Alright? You want to be scared.  OK? You need it. Alright? Also also also- yoru’re just reacting to the subliminal subtext. OK? They use repeating flash images. Its subliminal, alright? OK? Pictures you can barely even  see. Flash flash flash.  They tickle your brain with fear.  And you like it. Scary things.  Like a beardy terrorist holding a knife or, or, or…  you know calfing glaciers and stuff. Your brain is not even aware of it. You know? But you like it. Alright? You Like it. Because the average person doesn’t have enough excitement in his life.  That’s why. That’ how they get you. You can’t stop watching.  Then the Ron Burgundy on the TV tells you that everyone else is driving a Tesla and they have two perfect kids in the back holding up trophies and they’re all laughing at you because you don’t have any of that stuff and then a commercial comes on to tell you about a cologne you can put on that will make everybody forget what a loser you are . You see how it works?  You see? You’re afraid not to buy it. Also, have you ever noticed how much darker President Obama is lately? He's darker now. They made him darker.
BIG MIKE:. What are you talking about? (Pauses) Nobody wears cologne anymore.
BIRDIE: What do you call that cloud of stink you spray all over yourself before you come in here?
BIG MIKE:  That is my signature aroma. Its called Hatchet.
DAVE: Its  making my eyes water..
BIRDIE: Its frizzing my hair.
CRAZY MIKE: Big Mike you are a three hundred pound man with your own atmosphere. You could be declared a planet.
DAVE: You should be declared a terrorist. That stuff is having a jihad on my nervous system.
BIRDIE: I like Hatchet better than the way you guys normally smell. And the  part of the news I hate is the disparaging between rich and poor.
CRAZY MIKE: The what?
BIRDIE: You know the disparaging between rich and poor. Like the rich are all: “Those lazy poor people are wasting my money with their Welfare.” And the Poor go: “Those rich guys are trickling down on my head and taking away my guns and Christmas.”
BIG MIKE: That can’t be right.
DAVE: No, that’s pretty accurate.
CRAZY MIKE: Now hang on, Wait a minute. How do they make Obama darker? That’s ridiculous.
DAVE:  That's so easy. Oh that's so easy. They use a dark filter on the camera lens. A dark filter. Same shot six years ago Obama looks like Arthur Ashe. Now he looks like Wesley Snipes. Everyone around him is darker, too. The Caucasians all look like Latinos, and, and  the Chinese Americans turn into Cambodians, and the Pakistani Americans all look like African Americans. And you know why? You know why?  That’s because their target audience is scared old immobilized white people.  All Grandpa Reclinerchair sees is this army of minorities coming out of the tellyvisionset, you know, like these caramelized zombies, you know, lurching toward them out of the screen, grabbing at their jobs and applying for resident status and thirsty for the flesh of their pale young granddaughters. It’s the reason old people vote.
CRAZY MIKE: So it’s alcohol and fear? Is that better?
DAVE: Yeah man, delicious fear. It’s our version of bungee jumping. Its like slasher movies and roller coasters and lutefisk- once you get a taste for it you keep coming back for the thrill of the chill. . They sell delicious fear, man, and people are buying it like crazy.
BIG MIKE : You know… why do we call him Crazy Mike? You ain't exactly Sane Dave.
CRAZY MIKE:  Hey you’re  right. Why do I have to be Crazy Mike? You know it would be so cool if someday somebody would just call me Mike. Just  Mike. My friends used to call me Mike. My Mom used to call me Mike. Now its "Good Morning Crazy Mike. Here's your beer, Crazy Mike..."
BIRDIE: Yeah I still need five bucks for that beer Crazy Mike
BIG MIKE: Your Mom calls you Crazy Mike?
CRAZY MIKE: Yeah I’m pretty sure she’s the one who started it.  (There is a sympathetic murmur) Well from now on I want to be plain old Mike. You know how hard it is to meet women when everyone introduces you as Crazy Mike?
BIRDIE: Yeah but all the women in this town already know who you are.
BIG MIKE: It’s too late dude.
DAVE: The jig is up.
BIG MIKE: You should be at the dock when the ferry comes in so you can catch the new ones.
DAVE: Yeah Introduce yourself as “Not Crazy Mike”
BIG MIKE: Huh! Might as well introduce yourself as “Handsome Mike” the misapprehension will last about the same length of time. (There is agreement)
CRAZY MIKE: I don’t want to be any kind of Mike!
BIG MIKE: That’s what your mom said.
DAVE: We can’t man, no way.  Look, it's just practicality. There are just way too many Mikes in the Kodiak fishing fleet. And we live on an island, so there's no way for all the Mikes to spread around. You're all concentrated up.  So all the Mikes have to have a title. Like... there’s Irish Mike over there playing pool and he's Big Mike and you're Crazy Mike. That’s three Mikes just in this bar right now.  And think of all other the Mikes we know-there's uh, that guy from Florida, Minnesota Mike,  and there’s  Stupid Mike- he teaches out at the college, and Lucky Mike, although he’s in prison now.  And then there’s Three Finger Mike, who worked at the sawmill for a while, and then of course the Mikes you identify by boat, like Predator Mike…
BIG MIKE: I’ll bet he doesn’t call himself that down south.
 DAVE:  and, uh, Spicy Lady Mike…
CRAZY MIKE: Him neither.
CRAZY MIKE: Yeah well, I still don't see why I have to be Crazy Mike ... I should be Normal Mike.
BIG MIKE:  Not what your Mom said.
BIRDIE: Look Whoever Mike, I need five bucks for that beer you’re drinking. And a big tip, at this point.
CRAZY MIKE: Aw, just put it on my tab, Birdie!
BIRDIE: You don't have a tab. Nobody has a tab no more. No more tabs. Nope, not gonna do it.
CRAZY MIKE: What? Since when?
BIRDIE: Since you guys don't pay. Also no more personal loans and no more mail that smells funny and no more free coffee in the morning.
 CRAZY MIKE: Whaaaaat? We just started the fishing season, Birdie. Most of the fleet hasn't paid out a single settlement yet. And now no more tabs? Now?  You know what this place means to us. This is the fisherman's home. Its right across the street from the boat harbor. Why, the steady tramp of the thirsty, hardworking fisherman in and out of here, why its  the very life's blood of this fine fine institution.. It always has been, Birdie. Always has been. For nearly a hundred years, now. Who are you to spit in the face of history? Whalers came to this bar, Birdie! Whalers! Think what they musta smelled like! And now you're going to tell a poor tired old deckhand with a dry mouth that he can't slake his hot thirst today and repay when he get paid, and a big fat check it’s gonna be too, it’ll be coming in oh I'd say tomorrow, or maybe at the latest the next day?
BIG MIKE: Dude, that was a poem
BIRDIE: Yeah, well five bucks, Longfellow Mike
CRAZY MIKE: Wait a minute… Hold onto your tie line- here comes Carcass! Carcass! How was the fishing out in Dutch?
CARCASS: I am rich for a day my brothers! Drinks! Drinks! Drinks for all my friends! (His voice is raspy, like he gargles with battery acid..) Glory! Glory to us my friends for I have been paid, and today I am rich! Drinks for alllllllll my friends!
CRAZY MIKE: Now we’re talking. I'll take another Liquid Sunshine, Birdie.
BIRDIE: Carcass is payin' for the one you just drank.
CRAZY MIKE: Aw, c'mon Birdie. (Turning to Carcass) Carcass, I already drank the beer you just bought me.
CARCASS: Another beer for my friend Crazy Mike!
CRAZY MIKE: Hah!  Ah hah! Thank you my good friend, you are a scholar and a gentleman. A liquid Sunshine and a shot of Chivas please, Bernie.
BERDIE: He didn't say anything about a shot.
CARCASS: Shots for everyone! (There is general acclamation.)
BIRDIE: Hey um don't look now you guys but here comes your skipper, Mr Clean. (They mutter unhappily.)
 MR. CLEAN: Guys, guys, guys...what's going on here? Its four o'clock in the afternoon! Four o’clock.  I come down to the boat, and nobody is there! I didn't know what to think. I didn’t know. Was there an emergency? Did someone get hurt? I didn’t know.  I got the parts in right my hand, all the parts for the pump; you know the one we are supposed to be rebuilding. I look all around but no crew, and no note… and well it’s just lucky I looked in here, that's all.
CRAZY MIKE: That was lucky.
BIG MIKE: Yeah lucky guess, finding us here.
DAVE: Well you might as well have a beer now that you’re here.
CARCASS: A beer and a shot for Mr. Clean! (There is a clamor of agreement..)
MR. CLEAN: No more drinking!, I got some egg mcmuffins and coffees down on the boat. Come on Leeeeet’s go.
CRAZY MIKE: (Excitedly) Hey leggo my Eggo, Mr. Clean! You’re brought us Mc breakfast??  You left to get those parts six and a half hours ago! The hydraulic shop is across the street! How many lattes have you had since then?  You skippers all flock up at the top of the ramp like a bunch of seagulls cluckin and struttin and lyin to each other… Wasn’t so bad before all that fancy strong coffee. Well forget about it! Times up! We're off the clock! Birdie give me another beer! And a shot!
MR. CLEAN: You know what you are Crazy Mike? You’re a rabble rouser. You’re a trouble maker. You spread the seeds of discontent. Your Mom warned me about you. I never should have hired you and you are this close to getting fired right now. This close!  And if you make me to fire you now, in the middle of the season, when I need you the most- You will never work in this town again. Your name will be dirt! 
BIG MIKE: Hey there you go! How about Dirty Mike? That works too, right?
MR CLEAN: He’s going to be Jobless Mike.
CRAZY MIKE: Hah! Listen here Billy White Shoes Skipperton. You don't scare me. I've been blackballed outta the fleet more times than I've been 86'd outta this bar!
BIRDIE: Here are your drinks, Mr. Clean.
MR. CLEAN: I don't want any drinks and don't call me Mr. Clean. Why does everyone call me that? BIRDIE: You are literally the cleanest person who's ever come into this bar.
BIG MIKE: You are way too clean.
CRAZY MIKE: It’s like a fetish. It’s not normal for a fisherman. Fishermen are filthy beasts.
DAVE: Fishermen are salty. And a little sticky.
BIRDIE: Yeah. You guys are like the dredge of society.
DAVE: The what?
BIRDIE: You know, the Dredge of Society. You just drag along the bottom, you know, just scraping along in the mud getting all dirty and scummy…But sometime there’s money in your pocket
CRAZY MIKE:  I’m pretty sure that’s not right.
BIRDIE: You’re tellin me. No money in your pocket.
MR. CLEAN: Well all the other skippers are calling me Mr. Clean now.  I’m not even bald. It’s not cool.
BIG MIKE: What is your real name, anyway?
MR. CLEAN: It’s Mike.
BIRDIE: Well here’s your beer, Clean Mike.
MR. CLEAN: Yeah. What? No. I don't want...(There is a clamor for him to drink.) Look guys I have the parts now...we cannot hang around the bar all afternoon. We need to get to work right now!
BIG MIKE: All right Skipper.  Tell you what. Tell you what. Make you a deal. If you can drink that beer faster than Dave here, we will go down to that boat right now and rebuild that pump. But if he wins we're done for the day.
MR. CLEAN: (Smiling) Nobody can drink a beer faster than I can. Nobody. I'm the fastest in the State.
BIG MIKE: So you have claimed.
CRAZY MIKE: Idle boasting around the wheelhouse. That's all I know about.
CARCASS: Only one way to know for sure.
MR. CLEAN: (Still smiling) Alright, OK then, c'mon big boy. You're on! (Beers clink)
CARCASS: One two three-drink! (They both drink. Mr. Clean clearly wins.)
MR. CLEAN: Allllll-right boyos, I win, let's go. Let's jump on the pump. (He is already noticeably looser.)
BIG MIKE: Two out of three.
CRAZY MIKE: C'mon, two out of three!
MR. CLEAN: No way. Let's go.
BIG MIKE: Two out of three and if you win we stay up all night remeasuring those buoy lines.
MR. CLEAN: Nooo…wait. Why? What's wrong with them? Are they too long? No no no. Too short, right? Too short!
BIG MIKE: No, no they’re fine, I mean I don't know.. I'm just saying.
MR. CLEAN: I knew it! I knew there was something funny about the buoy lines! I've been watching you guys when you're setting them. You're always looking up at the wheelhouse at me and pointing and laughing! Why are you guys always laughing?
BIRDIE: I wonder.
BIG MIKE: (Loudly) All I'm saying's an awful deep ocean, that's all.
MR. CLEAN: Alright, alright, you're on! You're on! You guys are gonna be rebuilding and remeasuring  all night long! (Birdie sets two more in front of them.
CARCASS: One two three- drink!
MR. CLEAN:I win again, I win again!  Lez go now, lez go! Lez go you smelly fellers. Let's measure that pump.
BIG MIKE: No no, its two out of three, you have to drink three.
CARCASS: Its two out of three. You gotta drink three. You're not a cheater are ya?
MR. CLEAN: Ahm notta cheater! OK OK alright. Set em up, hurry up, gotta start pumping. (Birdie sets up two more.)
CARCASS: One two three- drink! 
MR CLEAN: I win I win I win agin.
BIG MIKE: And the shot.
CARCASS: Don't forget the shot. You're not a cheater, are you?
MR. CLEAN: Nodda cheader! Gimme the shot (Clunk of empty shot glass) Lez go, bro, lez go! I got the pump!(There is the sound of MR CLEAN hitting the ground.)
MR. CLEAN: Whoa Nelly. I have fallen nan nigh cand getup. Where's my foot? Helb me yup fellas!
BIG MIKE: Fastest drinker in the state, and the biggest lightweight in the nation. Up we go Mr Cleanio! Lets get you back on that stool.
CRAZY MIKE: Best thing is he always forgets. Forgets everything. He drinks fast, he blacks out, he wakes up around the crack of noon the next day--complete mind erase.
CARCASS:  I know. And he's always so embarrassed he never asks you what happened. He just plays it off like he spent the evening playing billiards with the Earl of Sandwich.
BIG MIKE: Whoa whoa let's get you back up here Mr. Cleanio. Hey didn't you just order another round? I don't think Birdie heard you.
MR. CLEAN: Nother round, Birdie. I'm the winner!
BIRDIE: Yes, you are. But I think you’ve already had enough, amazingly.
CRAZY MIKE: Never seen a man get through a day so fast.
MR. CLEAN: Ahhhhhh...Yah ok Birdie.Gimme a Doctor. Pepper. I’m a Pepper.
CRAZY MIKE: (Aside) And shots for everyone else!
MR CLEAN: Yeah an shots fer ev'rybody!(There is acclamation)  Expecting for that guy shot fer Crazy Mike. (He pronounces this with drunken gravity) Because he gets too drunk when he's all weird like that.
CRAZY MIKE: What? You slobbering ingrate! And after I helped you up off the floor?
CARCASS: No, he's right, dude. You get weird.
DAVE: You get Charles Manson weird.
BIG MIKE: You get all googly eyed. Always happens with the shots.
DAVE: Stick to the beer, dude.
CRAZY MIKE: Shut up Dave. Beer is the cake. Shots are the frosting.
BIG MIKE: You get too frosted.
DAVE: Stick to the cake, dude.
BIG MIKE: You should stick to bread.
DAVE: You should stick to pilot bread.
CARCASS:  Every time you do shots you do something freaky.
CRAZY MIKE: Every time I do shots you guys start this every time I do shots thing. It's a myth! An urban legend! A fabrication of your diseased minds!
CARCASS: Remember what you did in the bilge? In Dutch Harbor?
CRAZY MIKE: OK that was bad, but that was just the one time. And that doesn't count. It was after an intense drinking contest. I was representing the vessel, man.
BIG MIKE: Yeah, but it was against a girl.
CRAZY MIKE: (Dreamily) Yeah. Yeah. Just couldn't keep up with that girl. Tiny little thing. Maybe weighed a hundred and ten pounds.  Name was Juanita, I believe. I fell in love with her while we pounded shots of Jaeger. (Reflectively) Nice looking girl, I think. Yeah real attractive girl I'm pretty sure. She could put away the Jagermeister, I remember that much. In fact my last clear memory of that night was of her red shoes surrounded by a whole bunch of brown rubber boots. Yeah, nice girl though, nice girl.
BIG MIKE: Well I'm glad you have a nice foggy memory. The bilge smelled like corned beef for the rest of the season.
DAVE: And what about that time in Akutan? Did you ever find your pants?
CRAZY MIKE: (In a low voice)No.
BIG MIKE: And that time in the Mecca with Jimmy Buffet.
CARCASS: And the flare.
 DAVE: And that poor parrot. Why would anyone do that to an innocent bird?
CRAZY MIKE: That was never proved. Another scurrilous rumor, as far as I can remember.
CARCASS: Spread by the parrot?
CRAZY MIKE: Well I can tell you that parrot was far from innocent in any case.
BIG MIKE: I can attest to that.
CRAZY MIKE: Anyway I am a completely different person now.
CARCASS: Who are you now?
BIG MIKE: Dirty Mike, remember?
CRAZY MIKE: No I mean scientifically.
BIG MIKE: Oh don't do it it, man. Its a scam. They want you to worship Tom Cruise
CRAZY MIKE: Not Scientology you nit, science! Your whole body recopies itself every nine months. Its a scientific fact. Your self is made out of cells. But cells don't live very long. So all the cells in your body are making copies of themselves to take their own place when they die. By the time nine months goes by all the cells in your whole body have been replaced by the copies.  Its the reason we get old. You are actually a copy of yourself. It’s like using the Xerox to make a copy out of a copy out of a copy. The next copy is never as good. Eventually the image just fades out and gets weak and gray and wrinkly until you can hardly see it anymore.
CARCASS: Is that true?
DAVE:  This is just sad. You saying that every year that goes by I am a just a more faded version of me?
CRAZY MIKE: Every nine months.
BIG MIKE: I don't know. That just sounds wrong somehow. And anyway it doesn’t help your argument. You're just a wimpier version of the same guy who can't do shots.
CRAZY MIKE: No but my point is how do you know? If I have all new cells then I am a completely new person. These cells might literally be a new person. How could I tell? The guy I used to be nine months ago is gone. He’s gone! I could be a completely different person with a different personality, different needs and wants and abilities. How would I know?
BIG MIKE: You're the same, all right. You're proving it right now.
CRAZY MIKE: Yeah but how would you know? You're a completely different person too.
CARCASS: I kind of like this idea.
DAVE: Naw man that can't be true because all of us are just entities of consciousness anyways.
CRAZY MIKE: Shut up Dave. What?
DAVE: Entities of consciousness. The universe only contains a limited amount of consciousnesseses (He struggles pronouncing this.). Yours consciousness is just stuck in your body for now.  After you die it might float around and be a ghost or it might make a camp inside a newborn baby.  Or sometimes it can be a dog.
BIG MIKE: Shut up Dave.
CRAZY MIKE: Oh yeah. I'm the crazy one.
CARCASS: Hang on. I am intrigued by Dave's mythology. What about before there were people? Where did the personalities camp out at then?
DAVE: We used to live in minds of the ants. They had a great civilization once, long long ago.
CARCASS: Cool. Ants. What about dinosaurs?
DAVE: Dinosaurs are a myth!
BIRDIE: Shut up Dave. So who gets a shot?
BIG MIKE: Everybody. Let's test Crazy Mike's theory. Hey Mr. Clean! Ready to buy another round?
MR CLEAN: Hab anudder round of shots Birdie! I’m a winner!
(There is general Acclamation)
NARRATOR: As the sun sets on the RNR Bar, our intrepid mariners continue to plumb the deep issues of the day. Tune in again

1 comment:

Zachary Davies said...

This is priceless! Love these bar-bound exchanges. Keep 'em coming.