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Miss Pudding Doesn't Work Here Anymore
LISA MOROVIC-KIMBALL

Characters

Lori, female, twenties.

Pete, male, forties.

 

Time

Present.

 

Place

An apartment.

 

LORI stands in a dominatrix outfit, whip in hand.

PETE enters in underwear and socks.

 

LORI

Did you shower? (circles around him) No game if you didn't shower.

 

PETE

(nervously) I showered. I showered.

 

LORI

Then get down. (cracks her whip)

 

      LORI (CONT'D)                                               PETE

                          Get down. All fours.                                            (sits) Okay. Okay.

 

LORI

Down. Down. All the way down.

 

PETE

(goes on all fours) Woof. Woof.

 

LORI slips a rope leash around PETE’S neck. She leads him around the room.

 

PETE

You should have carpeting. This hurts my knees.

 

LORI

No talking.

 

PETE

It’s just that-

 

LORI

T’ll have to use the whip.

 

PETE

A rolled-up newspaper would be more believable.

 

LORI

Listen, I’m the master and you’re the dog, so when I say shut up, you shut up.

 

PETE

Okay. Yes.

 

LORI

(tightening the lead) Understand?

 

PETE

Ah... ah... Too much. Too much. (Lori loosens the lead, he rolls onto his back) Woof.

 

LORI

What the hell are you doing?

 

PETE

I have fleas.

 

LORI

I didn't say you had fleas. I have to be the one to say it.

 

PETE

You can still scratch them.

 

LORI

(kicking Pete) Back on fours.

 

                          LORI (CONT'D)                                               PETE

                          Now.                                                                        Woof, woof.

 

LORI

(pressing her heel into his back) I'm not your bitch.

 

PETE

Biscuit!!!

 

LORI

(releases her foot) Oh, come on. I wasn’t even hurting you.

 

PETE

Where’s Miss Pudding?

 

LORI

She doesn’t work here anymore.

 

PETE

Why?

 

LORI

I don’t know. Probably wants more from her life. You got me. If you don’t like me-

 

                          LORI (CONT'D)                                               PETE

                           Too bad.                                                                 No, no, I like you.

 

LORI

Then take off your socks. ..Are you deaf?-

 

PETE

End the demand with my name. Say, ‘Take off your socks right now, Pete.’ Miss

Pudding said it like that and I’d cooperate.

 

LORI

(not assertive) Take off your socks right now, Pete. Okay, why are you staring at me? I

said your name. I said your damn name! So, why are you staring at me?! That’s it!

 

LORI pulls PETE to the closet.

 

                          LORI (CONT'D)                                               PETE

                          You won’t listen.                                                  Wait. Ow.

 

LORI

In your crate-

 

PETE

Please, no.

 

LORI

Stu’s showing up real soon.-

 

PETE

No, no, not Stu... Who’s Stu?

 

She pushes him in the closet, closes the door.

 

LORI

He’s from animal control and he’s going to gas your ass away because you’re acting so

stupid.

 

PETE

(puppy whimpers) My life is so awful. (more whimpers) Oh, god, I’m so stuck.

 

LORI

I so don't need this shit.

 

PETE

There’s no point. There’s just no point.

 

LORI

I can’t create like this.

 

PETE

You have to let me out.

 

LORI

I’ve been telling you to do stuff-

 

                          LORI (CONT'D)                                               PETE

                          I don’t think you really want to play.              Please.

 

PETE

This is the end. (painful whimpers)

 

LORI

You sound like you’re dying or something,

 

PETE

I think this is my very last day on earth. So, let me out. Please. I’m sorry. (whimpering)

 

LORI

Stop it. This is really pathetic.

 

PETE

I have to cry like this. Can't cry as a human, too painful. Much easier to be a dog, a little

puppy. People care about puppies, not men that are losing their hair. (intense whimpers)

 

LORI

All right, shut up, stop, just stop. I'll let you out. But you have to stop the dog crap.

 

PETE

I can do that. Thank you.

 

LORI

(opening the door) We’re done.

 

PETE

 

Yes, I understand.

 

LORI sits. PETE pulls a chair right next to her.

 

LORI

(points) Over there. Too close.

 

PETE

Sure, no problem. (moves the chair) It would help me to fully understand what went

wrong.

 

LORI

Back more.

 

PETE

Yes, of course. (moves chair further and sits) I don’t think I should have been a dog.

 

LORI

Look, I was asking for simple things. I start with simple, then I make it more challenging. The more you rise to the challenge and submit to the unknown, the better this all feels.

 

PETE

I just don’t like taking off my socks.

 

LORI

If you’re anal about taking off your socks, then, I don’t know. I can’t help you.

 

PETE

Are you new at this?

 

LORI

It’s time for you to go.

 

PETE

No, please, please. I have...I’m a...I’m a porn addict.


 

LORI

Really?

 

PETE

It’s because of the internet. The free porn made it worse. Before I had to go out to rent a movie. Now I just sit in front of the computer. I can’t get out of my house.

 

LORI

You got yourself here .

 

PETE

Well, because- I was seeing a therapist, a specialist, a sexual disorder specialist. But I

couldn’t- I’d have an appointment and I just wouldn’t show up. And you know, she’d

bill me anyway. Wasn’t even there. Three hundred dollars a shot.

 

LORI

Wow.

 

PETE

Never even called to see if I was okay. And when I was there, we’d never start on time. A two o’clock appointment, she’d walk in the room at two fifteen, and then she’d end the session at 2:45.

 

LORI

You should have said something to her -

 

PETE

How could I be all confrontational when I wanted help? I had my own business, I was a

dog groomer, but it all went. I messed up on a poodle, Crumpet. The owner belonged to a poodle club, she told everyone, ruined me. Now I’m living on cash advances, and-

 

LORI

Everyone's life sucks in some way. You’re not getting your money back.

 

LORI grabs her summer dress, and puts it over her outfit. PETE crumples into a ball, cries.

 

LORI

Hey, stop. Today just didn’t work out, it’s not a big deal.

 

PETE

My life is over.

 

LORI

No, just your session. Listen, my boyfriend is picking me up-

 

PETE

(sobs) I’m going to go home and hang myself.

 

LORI

Hang yourself?

 

PETE

I have nothing, Nothing.

 

LORI

 

That is some really serious shit you're saying to me, really screwed up shit.

 

PETE

I can’t live like this.

 

LORI

So you dump on me?

 

PETE

This isn’t about you.

 

LORI

 

But I’m standing right here. I am right here in front of you. What do you think your

killing yourself would do to me?

 

PETE

I'm sorry.

 

LORI

No you’re not. You come here, you’re supposed to be a dog, and then you don’t do what

you're told, and then you go home and hang yourself? How do you think that would

make me feel, my customer hangs himself?

 

PETE

It’s just all too hard.

 

LORI

You, you were the one who didn't show up for your therapy appointments. Did you call

them and tell them you weren’t coming? Did you cancel?

 

PETE

No.

 

LORI

I hate no shows. Why didn't you call and tell them you weren't coming?

 

PETE

I don't know... I don’t know exactly why. If you know, I’d appreciate you telling me.

 

LORI

That’s it. Right there.

 

PETE

What?

 

LORI

You’re lazy. That’s what your problem is. And I don’t have to be a fancy sex therapist to

see that. You think, Me, Miss Pudding, the therapist, we’re all supposed to do the work

for you, figure it all out, cause you’re the man and the world is supposed to be yours. It’s not. And no one can really fix you anyway. Everyone has to fix their own broken.

 

PETE

That was pretty good how you strung that all together.

 

LORI

Psychology minor, theater major.

 

PETE

You don’t like doing this, do you?

 

LORI

(a beat) My boyfriend's thing. He bought me all the outfits, and, yeah, I liked it, with him I liked it, but he likes watching me do this to other men. (PETE looks around.) He’s not here. I told him today I’m doing this on my own. Pissed him off. We fought. It’s what we do. Fight, break up. I try not to go back to him, but I always do.

 

PETE

That’s really depressing, and it doesn't make me want to live.

 

LORI

Asshole Hang yourself, see if I care.

 

                          LORI (CONT'D)                                               PETE

                          Never should have told you shit.                      I was surprised.

 

PETE

I’m just surprised. Thought you were different, like a free spirit totally in control.

 

LORI

I am.

 

PETE

But the boyfriends telling you what to do.

 

LORI

He's not here now.

 

PETE

Maybe, but, yeah. Your boyfriend is still the boss. He gets you to do these things, and if

you don’t, he makes you feel bad. That is exactly why I want to kill myself.

 

LORI

That doesn’t make any sense what you’re saying.

 

PETE

It doesn’t make any sense what you’re doing.

 

LORI

At least I’m not going to hang myself just because everything isn’t the way I want it.

 

PETE

So you would say you’re happy, even if you're with someone that controls you? Are you

happy? Is everything in your life manageable, tolerable, going the way you want it? Well?

 

LORI

Being alive, there's chances, and risk- I’m figuring it out. I'm not killing myself.

 

PETE

But you're not leaving your boyfriend. You keep going back to him.

 

LORI

It's not perfect right now, but I'm not you. You’re a coward. You know why? Cause

cowards give up. You're giving up. I'm not. That’s the difference here.

 

PETE

You’re right.

 

LORI

I am right. I am so right.... Are you just saying that?

 

PETE

No. I’m not.

 

LORI

So... If, if there’s nothing else. I mean, is there anything else?

 

                          LORI (CONT'D)                                                PETE

                          Then I think-                                                          Say that again.

 

PETE

Say that again, what you just said. Is there anything else?

 

PETE and LORI stare at each other.

 

PETE

Roast Coast. Roast Coast coffee house. You worked there.

 

LORI

A little whip cream, with ah, a dash of cinnamon, with a straw? Right? That was you?

 

PETE

Yes.

 

LORI

This is wild. That was a long time ago.

 

PETE

You had brownish hair then.

 

LORI

It's a wig.

 

PETE

It looks real. I wasn't sure.

 

LORI

Stu thinks my real hair is mousy and weak. He thinks the platinum hair is more

dominating, you know, with the dark makeup and everything, contrast.

 

PETE

I like the platinum, I like brown. You’re really pretty. I mean, your face and everything is pretty, but the insides are really real and beautiful. You don’t hold back. You’re not afraid to say what you think. Stu doesn’t deserve you. I’m sorry, but he sounds like a jerk. I’m really sorry. I’m a jerk too, so I know when another guy is being a jerk.

A beat.

 

LORI

Why do you drink hot coffee with a soda straw?

 

PETE

It's safer. You can slowly sip it and test how hot it is without swallowing it. I hate

burning my tongue. I hate taking off my socks and burning my tongue.

 

Buzzer rings.

 

LORI

You need to go.

 

PETE

Your boyfriend?

 

LORI

You have to take the stairs down-

 

PETE

I’m glad you didn't let him watch. I'm glad that it was just us.

 

LORI

Please, don’t take the elevator.

 

PETE

I don’t want to go.

 

LORI

Seriously, you have to go before I buzz him in.

 

PETE

I want to do my session over again.

 

LORI

Stu gets weird about me talking to guys-

 

PETE

What would happen if we don’t let him in?

 

LORI

He’s a really big guy.

 

PETE

We can be afraid together. We can ignore that Stu’s an asshole. How about that? And

then I’ll.... I can take off my socks for you.... I can take off my socks for you.

 

PETE sits, peels off his socks. They stare at each other. LORI turns away from Pete. She pauses, staring at the door.

 

A beat.

LORI pulls off her wig, drops it to the ground.

 

LORI

Okay boy, get down. Sit your ass down.

 

PETE

(sits, then on all fours) Woof, woof.

 

LORI

Down, down, stay down.

 

LORI presses her heel into PETE'S back.

 

LORI (CONT'D)

I'm not your bitch.

Lisa Morovic-Kimball was born in New York City, studied theater at Kingsborough Community College, HB Studios, The Barrow and has been produced by New Jersey Reparatory Theater, Axial Theater, Love Creek Productions, The Know Theater, Candy Shoppe Theater, Rhinebeck Performing Arts Center, Half Moon Theater, Midtown International Theater and The Tank. Publications include Smith and Kraus, The Rip Rap Literary Journal and Clockhouse. Her full length, The Terror of Tulle, was featured in The Dramatist Guild Footlights series and was a finalist in The American Bard Theatre in NYC. Her work can be found on New Play Exchange. 

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