Mark Spitzer >

Waiting for Osama
      
 
CHARACTERS
Osama bin Laden
(tall, skinny, w/long beard)
Saddam Hussein
(short, squat, with mustache)
First Weapons Inspector
(with the head of a duck)
Second Weapons Inspector
(with the head of a duck)
Jesse Jackson
(looks like the Reverend Jesse Jackson)
Hula Girl
(grass skirt, the Hawaiian look)
Echo
(occasionally booms from somewhere offstage
like the voice of God)
 








ACT 1
          
The curtain rises. The stage is empty.Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein enter with dumbbells. They
disrobe, revealing two, lean, half-naked bodies. Techno music starts up and they vigorously start 
working out in homoerotic symbiosis. The music stops and so do they.

       
OSAMA
 Boy, Saddam, that sure was a keen work out.

SADDAM
You bet, Osama. These days, people in our profession need to keep fit, eat right, and release our chakras is positive, healthy ways.

OSAMA
 That's for sure. Gatorade?

SADDAM
Hot dog!

Osama takes two bright lime Gatorades out of his robes on the floor, hands one to Saddam, and they toast.
Both lean way back and take a slug, letting the liquid dribble across their chests. New Age music starts up. 

 OSAMA (affectionately)
You sly little vixen, you.

SADDAM (blushing)

Shucks.

Two veiled women shuffle in, pushing massage tables in front of them. They stop and wait.


SADDAM
Now, my friend, you just chill off on that one over there, and I'll do the same over here, and we'll attune our energies to Allah.

OSAMA
 Yeah, alla in the name of re-lax-ation!

They both laugh too enthusiastically, then lie down on the massage tables on their bellies. Dreamcatchers
and crystals descend from above and wind chime sounds start up as the women massage the men.

SADDAM
 Loosen up, bro. Loosen up. You're so tense. Don't tell me you're still stressed out by recent events?

OSAMA
 Well, you know how it is. I'm persecuted, and people just don't understand the good work I've been doing.

SADDAM
I hear ya. But put that all behind you. The past is the past.

OSAMA
You're right, chum. I've got a new life now, here in Iran... so far away.

SADDAM (laughing)
Stop it, you're killing me. But this is Iraq, silly boy.

      
OSAMA
Yep, and I've got it good here. No more caves, no more rubble, no more dust in my mutton, but the good life.
The American dream!
 Both men laugh again.

SADDAM

You said it! My fridge is your fridge, my oil is your oil. There's more than enough for both of us. If only mules ran on gasoline.


OSAMA
 And that's not all you have.

SADDAM
Right-O! We've got all the moral support you'll ever need, right outside the palace doors. We also have a
sparkling sense of national pride, rosey cheeks, and all the weapons of mass destruction you could ever use.

FIRST WOMAN
 Quack!

The music stops. Saddam and Osama look at each other in astonishment. Then they turn and look at the
women, who rip off their veils, revealing that each has the head of a duck.

SADDAM
Weapons inspectors!

OSAMA
Let's jet!

      

The Arabs jump up and run away as the women waddle after. Everyone leaves the stage. Then they all
come running back. This time, though, Saddam and Osama are chasing the quacking inspectors with
nets. The lights dim.


      
 

      
ACT 2
 The curtain rises. The Weapons Inspectors are shackled to a crumbling wall.

FIRST INSPECTOR
Brecht.
SECOND INSPECTOR
Genet.

FIRST INSPECTOR
 Brecht!

SECOND INSPECTOR
 Genet!

Enter Jesse Jackson wearing a suit.

JESSE JACKSON
Amiri Baraka!

FIRST and SECOND INSPECTOR
Say what?

JESSE JACKSON

Say Leroi Jones.

FIRST and SECOND INSPECTOR

Ohhhhh...

A long, uncomfortable silence.

JESSE JACKSON
Or Tennessee Williams.

An equally long silence, and then they all agree, nodding and quacking emphatically.

FIRST INSPECTOR
But seriously, Jesse Jackson, what are you doing here?

JESSE JACKSON
Well, you're hostages, so I'm negotiating for your release.

SECOND INSPECTOR
And how goes it?

JESSE JACKSON
Okay, I spose.

 Another long, awkward silence.

FIRST INSPECTOR
 So what are you offering them? Drugs, weapons, medicine?

JESSE JACKSON
Chalk.

      
 FIRST and SECOND INSPECTOR
Chalk?

JESSE JACKSON
Is there an echo here?

ECHO
Is There An Echo Here?

FIRST INSPECTOR
How much chalk?

JESSE JACKSON
Three tons, six tons, whatever it takes.

SECOND INSPECTOR
That's a lot of chalk.

JESSE JACKSON
Yeah, but you're worth it.

Jesse Jackson leaves the stage. The lights dim as the Inspectors hum "Old Man River."


        
 

        
ACT 3
Jesse Jackson and Saddam Hussein are working out with dumbbells. Their bodies glisten with perspiration.

SADDAM
Three tons? Three tons? Are you serious?
JESSE JACKSON
Serious as a heart attack.
SADDAM
Then you insult me. I will not be mocked!

ECHO
 I Will Not Be Mocked!
       
Saddam pulls out a machine-gun and fires toward the sky. A death cry is heard, and then a ham drops on stage.

JESSE JACKSON (picking up the ham
   and offering it to Saddam)
Three tons of chalk and one ham.

SADDAM
I spit on your ham!

He spits on the ham.

JESSE JACKSON
Were you raised in a barn?

SADDAM (addressing audience)
Yes, I was raised in a barn, on the outskirts of a tiny village in France. My father was a shepherd and my
mother was a whore. I wrote little poems and sold them for peanuts to the zoo. But then when I was twelve,
the elephant died, so the demand for peanuts went down. That's how I ended up here.

 JESSE JACKSON
Okay, look, you wanna play hardball? Well, two can play at that game, see. So here's the skinny: I'll give
you this ham, plus six tons of chalk, but only under one condition.

 SADDAM
Six tons!? Have you gone cuckoo?

JESSE JACKSON
And I must insist that this condition be met!

SADDAM (sarcastically)
Ooooo, you're keeping me in such suspense. All right, hotshot, what's your condition?

JESSE JACKSON
I give you one ham...

SADDAM
Uh huh...

JESSE JACKSON
And six tons of chalk...

SADDAM
Gotchya...

JESSE JACKSON
And you give me...

SADDAM
 Keep talking...

JESSE JACKSON
The hostages...

SADDAM
And...

JESSE JACKSON
Osama.

SADDAM (guffawing)
Osama?

JESSE JACKSON
Osama!

SADDAM
Yo momma!

JESSE JACKSON
Should I take that as a "no"?

SADDAM
Duh.

      
JESSE JACKSON
Then we'll blow all your sand to dust!

Saddam thinks about it for a few seconds, then accepts the ham.

SADDAM
Deal!

They shake hands and go back to pumping iron. Lights dim.


      
 

      
 ACT 4
The Weapons Inspectors are still shackled to the wall.

FIRST INSPECTOR
This is ridiculous. Nobody can have any sympathy for us.

SECOND INSPECTOR
Not true. Our situation does not require conventional connections in order to provoke an understanding of our plight.

FIRST INSPECTOR
We don't need support from those who are easily amused. We need support from the opposite.

SECOND INSPECTOR
That's right, if we want to get out of this pickle. Which doesn't exist, but does.

FIRST INSPECTOR
I never should've become a weapons inspector, but I was born into the job.

SECOND INSPECTOR
Oh when will Osama ever be found?
FIRST INSPECTOR
I'll dance a jig the day they free us from our rusty chains.
       
SECOND INSPECTOR (looking to the left)
Hey, maybe that's him now.

Enter Hula Girl, dancing tropically.
HULA GIRL
Osama bin Laden has flown the coup
When they catch his ass
We'll make a fine soup.

FIRST INSPECTOR
She speaks in riddles.

SECOND INSPECTOR
No, she doesn't. You know that.

  HULA GIRL
You swell guys are in a jam
Cuz Osama bin Laden's on the lam.

  FIRST INSPECTOR (to Hula Girl)
Why don't you tell us something we don't know? 

SECOND INSPECTOR
Why I oughta give her a knuckle sandwich.

HULA GIRL
Or a ham!
ECHO
 A Ham!

The three of them look up as a ham comes swinging down on a rope. It hits the Hula Girl and knocks her off the stage.

FIRST INSPECTOR
Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle.

Slowly, the ham starts to rise. Enter Saddam and Jesse Jackson. Saddam is holding the other end of the ham-rope.
Jesse Jackson is curling dumbbells.

SADDAM (to Jesse Jackson)
We'll dig a hole and put a rug over it, and when Osama jumps up to get the ham, he'll land in our trap.

 JESSE JACKSON
It's all good.

As Jesse Jackson and Saddam leave the stage, Osama peeks from behind the wall. He rubs his palms sneakily,
then slinks back down as the ham rises and the lights dim.


      
 

      
ACT 5
Osama, dressed in a bright Hawaiian shirt, is kicking back on a lawn chair, drinking a fancy umbrella-drink out of a 
coconut. The Hula Girl dances in front of him as he admires her backside.

HULA GIRL
Your reward's now up
To twenty tons of chalk
And five whole hams
But no one's gonna talk.
OSAMA
What? Only five measly hams? That's the kind of price you pay for amateurs like Hitler. I'm sure.

HULA GIRL
It's in the news
It's all over town
Those sitting ducks
Are going down.

OSAMA
They don't exist, anyhow. There's not enough chuckles going round to make them what they aren't.

HULA GIRL
Nobody cares, nobody cares
There's not enough ham
For their lives to be spared.

OSAMA
They'll just have to wait until they're forgotten. Which won't take long.

HULA GIRL
Twenty minutes? Twenty years?
OSAMA
Something like that.

Jesse Jackson is suddenly lowered by the ham-line. He dangles in front of Osama.

JESSE JACKSON
Osama, you scoundrel! I'm here to swing a deal.

OSAMA
I didn't know you were a swinger.

JESSE JACKSON
Very funny, ha ha ha. Last time I heard that I fell off my pet dinosaur.

HULA GIRL
What was its name?

JESSE JACKSON
Lenny.

  HULA GIRL
My cousin Lenny is sick.
Too many times I tell him he's a retard.
I say "You and your red hair.
You're not my cousin no more."
He eats pigtails for dinner
My cousin Lenny is sick.

Nobody reacts. A long pause.

OSAMA (to Jesse Jackson)
So what's your deal then? Let's talk turkey.

JESSE JACKSON
Ten hams!
OSAMA
Ten hams for my life? Have you gone loony tunes? What use would I have for ten hams if I wasn't even around to
enjoy them?

JESSE
You could give them to the poor.

OSAMA
Nope, doesn't cut it. I'll tell you what, though. You give me ten hams, ten tons of chalk, and that turncoat Saddam, and I'll
think about it.

Jesse Jackson lowers his head in defeat. He is hoisted up. Osama rises and walks to the edge of the stage. The Hula Girl
goes into the audience and dances up and down the aisle.

OSAMA (addressing audience)
So you see, my good people, you will always wait. And even if you do catch me, I will always be free and giggling amidst
you. Anyway, it's not me you really want, it's what you can't have back. And all the ham in the world can't buy that, for I
hold the coconut of love!

ECHO
The Coconut of Love!

Osama raises the coconut up high as five hams fall from the sky behind him. Saddam, the Hula Girl, Jesse Jackson and
the Inspectors scramble up on stage and grab a ham. Then stepping to the edge of the stage, they stand beside Osama
and raise their hams high.
ECHO
Bravo! Encore! A Splendid Performance!

The roar of sports fans erupts from the wings, melding with the self-congratulatory cheering of the cast.

CURTAIN.