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Monsieur Felix Fox Fly


© by John Arnold


For Bliss

FELIX (To the audience) It was a lovely summer morning in 1967 and Monsieur Felix Fox Fly looked into the mirror. He saw himself as a boulevadier; debonair, come il faut, très élégante, full of espirt, grace – modèle – and – (kisses his fingers) that je ne sais quoi.

After years of suffering the indignities of a career as a bureaucrat, he found himself a comfortably retired former civil servant.

He lived in a comfortable flat in a comfortable neighborhood in Paris.

Every morning he would rise at 6:30 and, as was his custom, fastidiously follow his morning toilette. Every tooth was brushed, every hair was pomaded and combed – including his pencil-thin moustache.

His shirt was pressed, his tie was tied, his shoes were shined, and his suit was brushed.

He felt he cut a dashing figure as he walked down the street and imagined he caught the eye of various madames and mademoiselles.

“There goes Monsieur Fox Fly,” he imagined them saying to each other with fluttering eyelashes and hearts, “He is so debonair – so – comme il faut!”

And we would buy Le Monde from the vendor on the corner and settle into his table at the Café du Chat for his morning coffee and croissant.

Felix Fox Fly was a man at peace with himself and the world, or so he thought.

BETTY (To the audience) Betty Henderson had just graduated from high school. She had always been popular, from grade school on. In her senior year, she missed being named “Most Popular” by only two votes. It was high school politics. She had been robbed. She knew it. But she moved on. She had been on the pep squad, the student newspaper and yearbook committees, and active in student government. Unlike her best friend Pam Paddock, who said the only degree she wanted was a M – R – S, “missus”, Betty really wanted to go to college and really did study, although her major was always rather vague. As a graduation present, her parents gave her a roundtrip ticket to London and a Eurail Pass. This was her chance to See The World before she had to buckle down to the reality of college.

PAM             (To the audience) Reluctantly, Pam’s parents gave her the same gift and the two girls set off together for adventure. Pam wasn’t as pretty as Betty. She didn’t have Betty’s sunny, outgoing personality. And she wasn’t nominated for ANY category in high school, let alone miss “Most Popular” by only two votes. BUT Pam was smart. Cagey. And she was smart enough to know that she could meet boys just by hanging around Betty.

BETTY (Writing a post card) “Dear Mom and Dad. London is fun. Saw lots of museums and famous places. On to Paris! Lots of love, Betty.”

PAM             (Putting coins in a phone) Damn it! These phones are impossible to use! DAMN IT!

BETTY            Wait for the pip-pip-pip. Did you hear the pip-pip-pip?

PAM            I didn’t hear any damn pip-pip-pip… Oh! Mom! Is that you? Hi! Oh! I’m sorry! (To BETTY) It’s two o’clock in the morning. (To MOM) No, I don’t want to give you a heart attack. Or Daddy, either, for that matter. I just got the time all mixed up. And the money. And these damn phones. DARN phones. I’m sorry. Yes, we’re having lots of fun. Look, I don’t know how much time I have because I just threw a bunch of coins in the phone, but can you send some money to American Express in Paris? Why? Why, because I need it. (Exasperated) No, I am not squandering my money. Things are just so expensive here! No, I am NOT squandering my money. Honest! Oh! Damn! There’s that pip-pip-pip! (Shouts) JUST SEND THE MONEY TO AMERICAN EXPRESS IN PARIS, OK? LOVE YOU! AND DADDY, TOO! (Hangs up.) Damn!

BETTY What did she say?

PAM            I couldn’t tell. Daddy was yelling. Oh, Daddy’s always yelling. I hope the phones are better in France. (To the audience.) The phones were not better in France and the money from her parents was not forthcoming. (To BETTY) Damn.

BETTY (To the audience.) So they saw the Louvre, flirted with other students, rode the Metro…

PAM:            (To the audience) And ate hotdogs every day for lunch to save money.

FELIX            One particularly sunny summer morning while Felix sipped his coffee and looked at Le Monde, he peered over the paper and saw two American girls at a table nearby.

BETTY (Waves her hand.) Everybody smokes here.

PAM            It’s part of their culture. (Waves offstage) Oh, garcon! Garcon! Deux tasse de Coke, si’l vous plait! (Eyes FELIX) That man is looking at us.

BETTY            He is!

PAM            What should we do?

BETTY            Ignore him. Dad warned me about French men. He won’t even let me GO to Italy!

PAM            We don’t have time to go to Italy. Our Eurail Pass doesn’t last long enough.

BETTY            Even so. Oh! He’s looking again.

PAM            (Looks off.) What do you have to do to get a Coke here? Where is that guy? This is ridiculous! You can never get any service and, then, when you do, you can never get your bill!

BETTY            It’s part of the culture. He’s looking again!

PAM            Oh, hell. (Turns around and waves.) Bonjour.

FELIX                        Bonjour. (To BETTY) Bonjour.

BETTY            Bonjour.

PAM            Now that we’ve got that taken care of… (FELIX saunters towards the table) Oh damn.

FELIX                        It is such a pleasure to meet such charming American ladies.

PAM                         How did you know we were American?

FELIX                        (Smiles) Because you are so charming. I would be enchanted to buy you a Coca-cola or other refreshments.

PAM            Well, how nice.

BETTY            Well, we couldn’t…

PAM            Yes, we could.

FELIX            Oh, I am so sorry! Where are my manner? Mon Dieu! I am Felix Fox Fly. And you are – ?

PAM:            Pam Paddock.

BETTY            Betty Henderson.

FELIX                        Betty and Pam. How charming! You are such charming American ladies! How delightful to meet you this beautiful summer morning in Paris.

BETTY            Well, yes.

PAM            Your English is so good.

FELIX            No, it is not so good, but you are very kind to say so.

PAM            Do you want to sit down? (Indicates a chair.)

FELIX             You American girls are so charming! (Sits) And where in America are you from?

BETTY & PAM            California.

FELIX:            California! Mon Dieu! I should have known it! Everyone from California is beautiful- and rich! It is a fact.

PAM            Have you ever been to California?

FELIX            I am sorry to say, no.

PAM            Then that explains it.

BETTY            You’re in for a big surprise.

FELIX                        I would love to visit your country, but, alas, it was not possible. But I love your American movies – and television. I am a big – what is it? – FAN – of your “westerns”. I love your Wild West. Where do you live in California?

BETTY & PAM            Sacramento.

FELIX:            Sacramento? Sacramento?

BETTY            It’s between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.

PAM:            It’s the state capitol. Sutter’s Fort is there.

FELIX                        How marvelous to have a fort in your city.

BETTY            People come from all over to see it.

FELIX                        But, of course. I’m sure it is very unusual.

PAM            It is.

BETTY            But you live in Paris! EVERYONE wants to go to Paris – and here we are!

FELIX                        Yes, here you are. And how marvelous to have you here!

BETTY            Oh, you!

PAM            (To BETTY) Oh, YOU.

FELIX                        You must let me invite you to dinner! (Holds out his hand) I insist. If I may ask, where are you staying?

BETTY            The Hotel Alfa.

FELIX                        (Pondering) The Hotel Alfa… The Hotel Alfa… I am not familiar with it.

PAM            It’s a dump. It’s in the Marais District. That means “swamp,” doesn’t it?

FELIX                        Actually, yes.

PAM            How apropos.

FELIX                        Well, you ladies should not be staying in a “swamp.” I invite you to stay with me.

BETTY            Oh, my –

FELIX                        (Holds out his hand) I insist.   Pas un mot!

(PAM looks at BETTY and raises her eyebrows. BETTY shrugs. There is a moment of uneasy silence.)

FELIX                        I assure you. My intentions are entirely honorable. Isn’t that the saying?

PAM            It sure is.

BETTY            Well, it’s very kind of you…

FELIX                        Not at all.

PAM            Well, we ARE broke. And it would extend our trip.

FELIX                        You would have your own room and key. You could come and go as you please.

PAM            OK!

BETTY            My parents would kill me.

PAM            What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

BETTY            Easy for you to say.

PAM            Think of the money we’ll save!

FELIX                        Precisely. Then it is settled.

BETTY            I don’t know…

FELIX                        (Holds up his cup) A toast to the two charming American ladies.

PAM            So Betty and Pam drank their Cokes – when the finally arrived – and picked up their backpacks [which they do] to follow Felix home, which was on the third floor of a centuries- old apartment building that had once been a private home, school for girls, and a brothel.

BETTY            (To the audience.) Betty was sure that it hadn’t been cleaned in a century. (She looks around then drops her backpack.) Wow.

PAM            (Drops backpack.) It’s very ornate. If these walls could talk! Wow. (Raises her eyebrows)

BETTY            This was your idea.

PAM            It was not. You agreed. Does the door lock?

FELIX                        (Enter with towels.) Ladies, here are some towels. Please, please, make yourselves at home. It is such a pleasure to have you here. Please refresh yourselves and I will prepare dinner.

BETTY            Oh, you don’t have to…

FELIX                        (Holds out his hand) But I insist! I am going to make coq au van avec haricourt verts et potatos aux gratin. You are not végétariennes?

PAM            No. Sounds great!

FELIX                        A bientot! (Starts to exit, then turns:) Oh! And soufflé! (Exits.)

BETTY            What’s for dinner?

PAM            Soufflé and something. They speak too fast around here.

BETTY            We should have told him we were vegetarians. At least then we wouldn’t be eating anything weird.

PAM            Well, it’s better than the Hotel Alfa. And a hell of a lot cheaper.

BETTY            That guy’s a little creepy.

PAM            He is not. He reminds me of Mr. What’s-His-Name, the science teacher.

BETTY            Oh, yeah. He does. Well, he’s creepy.

PAM            I’m going to take a shower. (Picks up a towel.) I want to get some of this road rust off of me…

BETTY            OK.

PAM            No telling what the shower’s going to be like…

BETTY            At least it won’t have snails crawling up the walls like at the Hotel Alfa…

PAM            Don’t count on it! ‘Bye. (Exits.)

BETTY            (Goes through her backpack, looks for a clean blouse, then starts to unbutton the one she’s wearing. She senses something and turns around to find FELIX looking at her. She screams.) !!!

FELIX            (Placating) Betty! Betty! Betty! I am so sorry! I am so sorry!

BETTY            (Holding her blouse tightly) Don’t they knock in France? My goodness!

FELIX                        I am so sorry, Betty. Please forgive me. I was just going to ask you if you would prefer salad nicoise or tomato salad….

BETTY            My goodness!

FELIX                        (Smiles weakly) Nicoise or tomato?

BETTY            Tomato.   …S’il vous plait…

FELIX                        Merci. Merci bien. (Exits)

A beat. PAM enters, hair wet, carrying the towel.

PAM            Do you know what that guy just did?

BETTY            “Nicoise or tomato?”

PAM            Yeah. While I was in the SHOWER.

BETTY:            I said “tomato.”

PAM            I said, “Get the hell out…”

BETTY            Creepy.

PAM            Well, yeah, a little.

BETTY            Maybe we should go back to the Hotel Alfa. Maybe he’s another Bluebeard or Jack the Ripper…

PAM            That skinny guy? Nah! (Looks around the room) Here’s the deal. After dinner, when we go to bed, we’ll move that armoire against the door.

BETTY            It looks like an antique.

PAM            It looks like a HEAVY antique, but it’ll keep that door shut. We were going to take the train to Amsterdam tomorrow anyway – think of the money we’ll save…

BETTY            You’re always getting us into trouble…

PAM            I am not. I’m just being practical. My money’s running out, yours isn’t.

BETTY            My parents would kill me if they knew I was staying in a strange man’s apartment.

PAM            So would mine. But it’s not like we’re going to let him get within ten feet of us, for Pete’s sake. Right?   RIGHT?

BETTY            Right.

PAM            OK, then.


Betty and Pam hung out in their room looking at guides to Amsterdam while Felix Fox Fly slaved away in his kitchen.


Felix wanted this meal to be very special for his American guests. It was so very rare that he had guests that he was quite giddy with the excitement and had to fortify himself with the table wine.

PAM            Finally, there was a knock on the door.


BETTY            He knocked.

PAM            And Felix announced.

FELIX            Dinner is served.

BETTY            It was really quite a nice dinner with faded elegance. The china was chipped, the silverware was dull, and the linen was a threadbare.

PAM            But the food was pretty good.

FELIX            (Holds a wine bottle) …Please?

BETTY            Oh, no, thank you. I’m not used to drinking wine with dinner.

PAM            Me, neither. The only kind of wine I’m used to is the kind you unscrew. You know, like Thunderbird. Dinner was real good, thank you.

BETTY            Yes, thank you. Delicious.

FELIX            You are so charming to be so kind.

PAM            No, it was really pretty good.

FELIX                        I was wondering…ladies…if you would be so kind as to let me escort you to a café nearby – a charming little café where they have jazz, American jazz…

BETTY            (Looks at PAM, who looks back at her in surprise) Tonight?

FELIX                        Yes, of course, tonight.

PAM            Gee, it’s kind of late…

FELIX                        But you are on holiday…on vacation.

PAM            Yeah, but…

FELIX                        It is a most amusing boite de nuit – the most unusual people go there…

PAM            I’ll bet!

FELIX                        I would be so pleased to take you there. You, see, ladies, not that very long ago I was quite a frequenter of nightclubs. Oh, yes. I would be there to see and to be seen. Definitely. And the young ladies I would escort would always be surprised when the door man and the waiters and the bar men would always say, “Bon soir, Monsieur Fox Fly… A bientot, Monsieur Fox Fly…” In this little world I was as well known as, well, Charles De Gaulle! Bien sur. And when the band would play a meringue, a samba or a foxtrot, I would be there with my young lady and every eye would be on us. We would spin and glide and never lose our cheek to cheek. (Sighs) But, alas, things are not what they used to be. The music has changed and people don’t dance cheek to cheek so much anymore. (Sighs)

BETTY            Gee. That’s kind of sad.

PAM            Yeah, but we’re too tired. (Nudges BETTY)

BETTY            Oh, yes.

FELIX                        (Sadly) Yes. I understand. Perhaps I am a little bit tired myself.

BETTY            (Rises) Let us help you with the dishes.

FELIX                        No, no. Please. I insist you rest. It has been my pleasure to enjoy your charming American company. My pleasure indeed.

BETTY            Well, thank you for your hospitality.

PAM            Yeah. (Long pause) Maybe we’d better hit the sack.

BETTY            Yes.

FELIX                        But it is not late…

BETTY            We’re so tired…

PAM                        Yeah.

FELIX                        Well, in that case, I will say bon soir. (He kisses their hands. They squirm a bit.)

BETTY            Bon soir.

PAM                        Yeah. (To the audience) So, the girls went up to their room, pushed the big, heavy armoire against the door and got ready for bed. (To BETTY) That guy is really creepy.

BETTY            He is creepy. But he’s kind of sweet, too.

PAM                        Yeah. Sweet – and creepy.

BETTY            He’s just lonely.

PAM                        Yeah. BUT…

BETTY            OK. Good night.

PAM                        Good night. (To the audience.) And, in the morning, they made a rope out of the old bedspreads and sheets and climbed from the balcony to the street.

BETTY            (To the audience.) They took the Metro to the Gare du Nord and took the train to Amsterdam where they met two other students who took them to a discotheque.

FELIX                        (In his bathrobe, knocks at the door to their bedroom) Betty? Betty? (Listens at the door) Mademoiselle Pam? Mademoiselle Betty? (Pause. Then: to the audience.) And Monsieur Felix Fox Fly went back to his routine. He pomaded his hair and brushed his suit. (Throws off the bathrobe.) And began the day.


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The Sacramento Street Sluts / Downton Sluts parody

Preface: About the Sluts:

The Sacramento Street Sluts are four beautiful, talented and eternally youthful women who, through perseverance and influential friends, have become living legends. One of their biographers has noted that they are recognized as “national treasures and international figures of renown.”

Despite scurrilous rumors that they were once part of the adult film industry, the noun “Sluts” actually is an acronym for Sacramento Liaisons for Undercover Training and Service, stemming from their heroic work for a top-secret government agency after they were recruited from their jobs as cocktail waitresses at the South Sacramento Holiday Inn. A leaked government report suggests that they were instrumental in ending the Cold War but they have remained mum on the subject. Their work eventually brought them recognition and fame. Now they are primarily known for their philanthropic and humanitarian work. And for guest appearances wherever celebrities are likely to be noticed. They have been on the cover of every major magazine and newspaper.

Slut Mary, a.k.a. #1 Slut, is, like her home city New York, classy and fashionable.

Slut Diane, a.k.a. The Windy City Slut, is like her city Chicago – bold and outspoken.

Slut Barb, a.k.a. The Marin Slut, is like her favorite place in the world, Marin County, “with it,” organic and sustainable.

Slut Mike, a.k.a., The Pie Slut, is like her Island Paradise Hawaii, breezy and warm.

Alfredo Lasagne, who was once purported to be a “no good pimp,” is actually the Sluts’ C.E.O. and protector. He is Slut Mary’s Main Man.

The Slut Announcer handles all the Sluts’ media voice-over duties. He is Slut Diane’s Main Squeeze.

Captain John is Slut Mike’s cruise ship captain and sweetheart.

LaContessa is the Sluts’ dearest and most influential friend. She is the unofficial empress of Puerto Feo, the beautiful tropical beach town in Mexico where she holds court. She is protected and loved by her admirers the Mountain Men. And she is benefactress of the Blind Children of Puerto Feo, who frequently serenade her.

Armando is her handsome mischievous young protégé.

Dueña Isabelita is LaContessa’s devoted confidante and lady’s maid.

Father Ramón is LaContessa’s personal confessor and Armando’s tutor and disciplinarian.

Johnny A is the Sluts’ hard working publicist.

Jonny F is the Sluts’ even harder working attorney.

The Sluts reside in New York City, home of the opulent Slut Building near the Broadway theater district, and San Francisco, home of the Slut Foundation, once site of the San Francisco Mint and a recent gift to the Sluts from the people of the United States.


Downton Sluts


BARB is watching TV. The end credits theme for “Downton Abbey” plays. BARB throws a pillow at the TV.


BARB         They can’t do that! How can they kill off my favorite character! That’s not right! I’m going to call the head of PBS tomorrow and give them a piece of my mind! (She yawns) I’m so sleepy all of a sudden….  (She falls asleep) Z-z-z-z-z-z-z…


ANNOUNCER         …And, now, MasterSlut Theater is proud to present another exciting episode of the incredibly popular TV series Downton Sluts…. Downstairs at Slut Abbey. MRS. DUENA ISABELITA is hard at work in the kitchen. ARMANDO, wearing a butler’s outfit, enters.


ARMANDO                  Hey, ole lady, them bitches upstairs want their tea and they want it now…


MRS. DUENA ISABELITA         (She grabs a carving knife and shakes it at ARMANDO) Dog! How dare you talk about those fine ladies that way!


ARMANDO                  Damn! Chill, bitch!


MRS. DUENA ISABELITA         I’ll chill your huevos, dog! Now, take that tea tray upstairs, pendejo!


ARMANDO wearily picks up the tea try and mutters as he leaves the kitchen.


ARMANDO                  Damn! How come I always have to do all the work around this funky place…


Upstairs, LADY MARY, LADY DIANE, LADY BARBARA and LADY MIKALEE are in the sitting room wearing their finery.


LADY MARY         I understand the Duke of Borracho is in town and wants us to dine with him.


LADY DIANE         Oh, he’s a most unpleasant sort!


LADY BARBARA                  But we must be nice to him. He’s an intimate friend of the Dowager LaContessa.


LADY MIKALEE         Must we? He’s so tiresome!


LADY MARY         Yes, we must. The Dowager LaContessa was kind enough to loan us her butler Armando while our Thomas is away on holiday in West Hollywood.


LADY DIANE         Yes, that was most kind of her.


LADY BARBARA                  Although I must say, this Armando chap is quite…


LADY MARY puts her finger up to her mouth to shush LADY BARBARA as ARMANDO walks into the room.


ARMANDO                  Tea is served, bitches! Damn! These pants are too tight! Yeow!


LADY MARY         That will be quite enough, Armando. I will serve the tea.


ARMANDO                  OK with me. (Mutters) Damn, I wish I was back in Puerto Feo with my bros at the beach! Bet Renato and Chiquiles are really fucked up about now!


ARMANDO tugs at the crotch his pants as he leaves the room.


LADY BARBARA                  That is quite unacceptable!


LARY MARY         (Sighs) But what can we do?


LADY MIKALEE         Lord Captain John would have him horsewhipped for his sauciness!


LADY DIANE         (Changing the subject) I am so sorry that Lord Captain John was unable to be here.


LADY  MIKALEE                  Yes, he’s been at sea with the Royal Navy. But he will return quite soon.


LADY BARBARA                  He’s so brave!


LADY DIANE         Yes, and I’m so sorry that the Lord Announcer was unable to be here, too. He’s at the Slut Foundation at Buckingham Palace.


LADY MARY         What a coincidence! The Duke of Lasagne is at the Slut Foundation at Buckingham Palace as well!


LADY BARBARA                  What on earth could they both be doing at the Palace at the same time?


LADY MIKALEE                  Who knows! As long as they are back in time for dinner! And, speaking of dinner, what are we having tonight?


LADY MARY         (Rings a bell) Let me check with Mrs. Duena Isabelita.


MRS. DUENA ISABELITA wearily enters the room.


MRS. DUENA ISABELITA         You rang, Lady Mary?


LADY MARY         Yes, I did. Mrs. Duena Isabelita, what are you preparing for dinner tonight?


MRS. DUENA ISABELITA         (Thinks) Cucharrones, enchiladas de grillos, tacos de vegas and strawberry trifle.


LADY MIKALEE                  (Disappointed) Oh. I was hoping we were having lilikoi pie!


LADY MARY         Could you please make lilikoi pie?


MRS. DUENA ISABELITA         (Crosses herself and mutters) Ay, Dios mio! Estas damas son locas!


LADY MARY         Thank you, Mrs. Duena Isabelita. That will be all.


MRS. DUENA ISABELITA wearily leaves the room.


LADY DIANA         Will Father Ramon be joining us at dinner?


LADY MARY         Yes. Thank God he has switched to the Church of England!


LADY MIKALEE                  Well, that’s a mercy.


ARMANDO enters fidgeting with his crotch.


ARMANDO                  Lady Mary, there’s a phone call for you. And it’s collect. Damn!


LADY MARY         Thank you, Armando. You may bring the phone over.


ARMANDO hands her the phone, almost dropping it.


ARMANDO                  Shit!  (He exits tugging at his crotch.)


LADY MARY glares at him, then speaks into the phone.


LADY MARY         Hello? (To LADY DIANE, LADY BARBARA and LADY MIKALEE) It’s the Dowager LaContessa! (Into the phone) What a pleasant surprise! And an over-seas call, at that! (To LADY DIANE, LADY BARBARA and LADY MIKALEE) I hope she’s not calling collect!


ARMANDO sticks his head in the doorway.


ARMANDO                  I tole you it was collect!


LADY MARY         (Into the phone) It sounds as if you were in the next room! How are things in Barbados? Splendid!


ANNOUNCER:         Meanwhile, downstairs…


ARMANDO enters, still tugging at his crotch.


ARMANDO                  Damn! Can’t they buy me some roomier pants! I can’t breathe!


MRS. DUENA ISABELITA         (Brandishes a knife) I will make room in those pants for you, dog!


ARMANDO                  Bitch, get that knife away from me! You crazy!


MRS. DUENA ISABELITA         Get over there and peel those potatoes, cavron!


ANNOUNCER: Meanwhile, the Lord Slut Announcer, Alfredo Duke of Lasagne and Lord Captain John are taking the train from London to Slut Abbey…


LORD CAPTAIN JOHN         I say! What a jolly good time we had at the Hellrakers’ Club!


ALFREDO DUKE OF LASAGNE         Paisan! Remember, discretion is the better part of valor, man! We don’t want the ladies to know we were at that club!


LORD SLUT ANNOUNCER         Quite right! Even though the Duke of Windsor invited us, it’s just between us guys!


LORD CAPTAIN JOHN         But won’t the ladies be pleased that we won all this money!


AFREDO DUKE OF LASAGNE         Paisan, you don’t get it! It’s those nasty wenches at the Hellrakers’ Club that they’re not gonna like!




LORD SLUT ANNOUNCER         Hey, it was all clean fun! That’s what the Duke of Windsor said!


LORD CAPTAIN JOHN            Oh! Jolly good!


ANNOUNCER:         Later than night – dinner at Slut Abbey…


FATHER RAMON         Another delicious dinner, ladies! As I was saying to the Archbishop of Canterbury…


LADY MIKALEE         (Interrupts him) This lilikoi pie is quite good, but not as good as mine.


LADY DIANE         Yes, I thought the dinner wasn’t quite up to snuff as well.


LADY MARY         Mrs. Duena Isabelita has been out of sorts lately. I’m afraid I just don’t know what to do. (Changes the subject) Duke Alfredo?


ALFREDO DUKE OF LASAGNE         Si, belisima?


LADY MARY         You haven’t told us what you gentlemen were up to?


LADY MIKALEE         Yes, that was quite a coincidence that you all managed to meet up like that.




LORD SLUT ANNOUNCER         Yes, it was just a coincidence…


ARMANDO enters with cigars and wine. He stops and stares at the gentlemen.


ARMANDO                  Hey! Weren’t you guys at the Hellrakers’ Club last night?!




THE LADIES         WHAT!!!


THE GENTLEMEN         Uh, uh…


ARMANDO                  Yeah, my bro Chato works there and he tole me he saw you dudes acting wild… Man, you musta been really fucked up!


Tension is in the air – when…


ANNOUNCER         We interrupt this episode of Downtown Sluts to bring you this Special Slut Press Conference from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Sluts Mary, Diane, Barb and Mike are on the dais accompanied by Alfredo Lasagne, Captain John, Armando, Duena Isabelita and yours truly, the Slut Announcer. It might interest you viewers to know that Early French Voyageurs used the name les trois tétons (the three breasts) for these majestic mountains…

Slut Mary is walking to the microphone accompanied by the head of the National Park Service and several park rangers.




SLUT MARY         Thank you, thank you. Thank you so much. We are honored that President Obama has once again chosen us for national recognition by turning these beautiful Grant Teton mountains behind us into the Slut National Monument. Like Mount Rushmore, well, actually, better, selected famous artists will soon turn these mountain peaks into likenesses of the Sluts so that generations to come will remember us and our contribution to Modern American Culture.


SLUT DI         Yes, and I’m happy to say that Wieboldts is a proud sponsor of this effort…


SLUT BARB                  …And Circle K! LeRoy, I hope you’re out there updating our website!


SLUT MIKE         I was sorry that the President didn’t choose Waimea Canyon, but this is OK.


ALFREDO          And I gotta say this is a big, big deal. If only Michelangelo was here to do them justice!


SLUT ANNOUNCER         …And those artists better make my doll baby look as good as she does in person!


CAPTAIN JOHN            How come they’re not going to put our faces up there?


ARMANDO                  Right on, bro! Dig it, they can put my ass up there!


ARMANDO is pushed off stage.


DUENA ISABELITA         (Teary-eyed) What a wonderful tribute to these fine ladies…


SLUT MARY         (Interrupts her) …And I want to thank Jonny F, the Slut Attorney, for cutting through all the red tape.


SLUT DIANE         …And a shout-out to Johnny A for the publicity…


SLUT BARB                  And love to all our fans!


SLUT MIKE         …On the mainland and Hawaii and Alaska and around the world!


ARMANDO pushes his way back on stage.


ARMANDO                  …Hey, man! I want to give a shout-out to my bros at the beach in Puerto Feo! Peace out, bros!


ARMANDO is again pushed off stage.


SLUT MARY         …And so, again, we want to thank the President and the grateful people of America for this great honor.


SLUT DI         We can barely wait until it’s finished!


SLUT MIKE         I know they will be working 24/7 to get it done ASAP.


SLUT BARB         In the meantime, you can order numbered reproductions of the artists’ rendition on Slut.com.


The Sluts blow kisses to their fans.


THE SLUTS         We love you!!!


ANNOUNCER         …And, now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…


Suddenly, SLUT BARB wakes up.


SLUT BARB         What the…!  Wow! What a dream! It must have been that gluten free pizza I ate!


The phone rings.


SLUT BARB         I wonder who that could be? (Picks up the phone)


It’s a conference call, SLUT MARY, SLUT DI and SLUT MIKALEE are on the other end.


SLUT MARY, SLUT DI and SLUT MIKE                  Hi, Barb!


SLUT BARB         Hi, guys! What’s up?


SLUT MARY         Are you sitting down?

SLUT BARB         Yes.


SLUT DI                  You’re not going to believe what’s happened!


SLUT BARB         Yeah?

SLUT MIKE         It’s unbelievable.


SLUT BARB         Tell me!


SLUT MARY         ….President Obama has just renamed Grand Teton National Park Slut National Park and they’re going to carve our likenesses into the mountains!


SLUT DI         Isn’t that great?!


SLUT MIKE         I’m so excited!


SLUT BARB         I must be psychic!


SLUT MARY         What?


SLUT BARB         I just had a dream about this!


SLUT DI         No way!


SLUT MIKE         This is amazing!


SLUT BARB         I always thought I had psychic abilities but this proves it!


SLUT MARY         Well, whatever. So, everybody get a wine glass and let’s toast: To the Sluts!


SLUTS         To the Sluts!






















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“Autobiography of a Duck” available on Amazon.com

Available on Amazon.com

Available on Amazon.com

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One Act: La Superviseur

La Superviseur

A one-act © by John Arnold


LAUREL – in her 20s

ETIENNE – in his 50s

Scene: adjoining cubicles in a French government office.

LAUREL enters and takes off her coat. ETIENNE is intent on his computer and is listening to his iPod.


LAUREL         (Kissing him) Bon jour.


ETIENNE         Gently! Gently! Bon jour.


LAUREL         What’s the matter?


ETIENNE         I drank too much at Marcel’s retirement party last night.


LAUREL         Good for you. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it. I hope you gave him my present.


ETIENNE         Of course I gave him your present. What do you think I did? Return it and keep the money? (LAUREL shoots him a look.)


LAUREL         (Points to her computer) Did you put this post-it on my computer?

ETIENNE         (Listening to his iPod) No. What does it say?


LAUREL         “Let me check to see if she is in.”


ETIENNE         What?


LAUREL         It’s from La Superviseur.


ETIENNE         What? 


LAUREL         It’s from La Superviseur.


ETIENNE         Oh.


LAUREL         Did you get one?


ETIENNE         No.


LAUREL         (Throws down her purse) Now she’s correcting me on the way I answer the phone!


ETIENNE         What?


LAUREL         Take off that iPod!


ETIENNE         (Takes it off) Don’t take it out on me!


LAUREL         She’s driving me crazy!


ETIENNE         Why do you think I wear the iPod?


LAUREL         She’s going to give you a post-it for that, too, you know.


ETIENNE         I don’t care.


LAUREL         Of course you don’t care, you can retire!


ETIENNE         Not until my financial advisor says so.


LAUREL         Well, if he says so you’d better let me know in advance. Don’t leave without telling anybody like some people have done.


ETIENNE         I don’t want a party.


LAUREL         Who says I’m going to throw you a party?


ETIENNE         Just don’t do it.


LAUREL         And, speaking of parties, you still owe me money for the baby shower.


ETIENNE         I drove you to buy the gifts. That’s enough.


LAUREL         It is not.  I had to plan the party for La Superviseur, invite everybody, and buy the presents. You’re not the only one who owes me money. You owe me twenty Euros, and you know it.


ETIENNE          I worked on the party and you know it. I still think we should have dressed like the Three Kings of the Magi and brought gold, frankincense and myrrh.


LAUREL No, we should have done that when she brought the kid into the conference room for the “showing.” Thank God Le Directeur shouted “TWO HOURS!” when he saw her memo. Two hours to show off that kid!


ETIENNE         Well, at least she thanked you for the party. When she gave her “thank you speech,” she managed to thank you and Jacques. No mention of me.


LAUREL         Maybe it slipped her mind.


ETIENNE         It may slip your mind if you have ten or twenty employees, but she only has the three of us. If it slipped her mind, it was a hell of a Freudian slip!


LAUREL         This is so impossible!


ETIENNE         “Let me check to see if she is in.”  (Laughs)


LAUREL         It’s not funny.


ETIENNE         Maybe she’ll get pregnant again. Of course, she’ll probably still come back early like she did last time. Remember that e-mail – “I can’t wait to get to work.” So much for motherly feelings!


LAUREL         And that poor nanny.


ETIENNE         You couldn’t pay me to do that.


LAUREL         I’m going to get another job.


ETIENNE         There are no jobs.


LAUREL         Well, at least she’s afraid of you.


ETIENNE         What!


LAUREL         She is uncomfortable with gay people and she’s afraid of you.


ETIENNE         That’s crazy!  What does she think I’m going to do?!


LAUREL         Well, you should use it.


ETIENNE         No, she’s out to get me. She wants me out of here.


LAUREL         No…


ETIENNE         Look, she hired you. She was stuck with me when she got here.


LAUREL         Well, she acts like she’s stuck with me, too.


ETIENNE         (Looks at the computer screen.)  Did you see the memo she cc’d us? I love the way she refers to us as “her team”. Her is the operative word.


LAUREL         I’m going to go mad. We’re going to have to put together another lottery pool. I’m that desperate.


ETIENNE         Maybe it’s time to turn my retirement papers in. And if anybody asks me why, I’ll be glad to tell them it’s because of HER.


The phone rings.


LAUREL         Oh-oh. (Picks up the phone) Yes, m’am. (Makes a face) Yes. Yes. (Makes a face at ETIENNE) Yes. Yes. Yes. (Hangs up the phone) Oh! That woman!


ETIENNE         We’re always talking about how we should talk to Le Directeur about her. Maybe we should.


LAUREL         He won’t do anything. He thinks of her as a daughter. One of her kids is named after him!


ETIENNE         Besides, he was in the French Foreign Legion. He doesn’t like insubordination.


LAUREL         Well, maybe we could talk to someone in the Human Resources Office….


ETIENNE         Ho! That’s the last place I’d go if I had a problem! And besides, no one would believe us. She looks like Catherine Deneuve but acts like Catherine d’Medi.


LAUREL         So…?


ETIENNE         We are stuck.


LAUREL         Well. Not everywhere is that bad.


ETIENNE         You are so naïve         !


LAUREL         It’s not just her – it’s just all this bureaucratic bullshit – it’s going to make my head explode.


ETIENNE         It’s like No Exit.


LAUREL         What?


ETIENNE         It’s a play. By Sartre. Didn’t they teach you anything in school?


LAUREL         I don’t think it was on Sister Marguerite’s list. What’s it about?


ETIENNE         It’s about these people stuck in a room forever – it’s hell.


LAUREL         Like here!


ETIENNE         Exactly.


The phone rings.


LAUREL         What now! (Picks up the phone) Yes? Yes, yes, yes. Yes, I will. (Hangs up.) Doesn’t she have anything better to do than torture me?


ETIENNE         Yes. She can torture me.


LAUREL         Yes, but I’m her “personal assistant”/slave.  You’re just a factotum. See, Sister Marguerite taught me something.


ETIENNE         If I’m a factotum – you are, too.


LAUREL         Yes, but you’re an old factotum. I’m a young one.


ETIENNE         Give it time. In twenty years you’ll be sitting there saying the same thing to someone young.


LAUREL         God forbid!


ETIENNE         You’ll be surprised how fast time flies as your mind goes numb with all this bureaucratic bullshit.


LAUREL         It’s numb already.


They stare at each other for a moment, then go back to work.

ETIENNE’s phone rings.


ETIENNE         Yes? (Looks at LAUREL and makes a face) Of course. As soon as possible. Yes. Immediately. (Hangs up) My turn.


LAUREL         What does she want immediately?


ETIENNE         (Shrugs) Everything.


LAUREL         Of course she wants everything immediately. Oh, God, just shoot me and put me out of my misery!


ETIENNE pretends to fire an imaginary pistol and LAUREL falls over in her chair.


LAUREL         Just bury me here and put on my tombstone “Let me check to see if she is in.”


They laugh


ETIENNE         (Goes through some paperwork) Shit.


LAUREL         What?


ETIENNE         You know, she sits on my reports until they’re overdue and then she makes these stupid changes.


LAUREL         What!


ETIENNE         (Holds up paper) See?


LAUREL         Shit!


ETIENNE         Well, she does the same thing to you, so I guess it’s equal opportunity.


LAUREL         Oh, that woman!


ETIENNE         Do you think she talks this way about us?


LAUREL         No. I don’t think she thinks about us at all. Well, maybe you. (Laughs) Do you think she realizes she’s lucky to have us?


ETIENNE         No.


LAUREL         We smooth over her mistakes, fix her faux-pas…


ETIENNE         There are a lot of people out of work.


LAUREL         Even so.


ETIENNE         Even so.


LAUREL         Thank you for saving me thousands of dollars on a therapist.


ETIENNE         The same to you, my friend.


They go back to work.


LAUREL         (Points to her computer screen) Hey, she’s going to be gone on Tuesdays for the next four weeks.


ETIENNE         What for?


LAUREL         (Looks at the screen) She never gives any details. She never even writes “personal business.”


ETIENNE         Humph.


LAUREL         Does it matter? Let’s call it our “Oasis Day!”


ETIENNE         All right!


LAUREL         Just think of it – every Tuesday, no more clock watching…


ETIENNE         A day without memos…


LAUREL         A day without her.


ETIENNE         We can actually take a real lunch hour!


LAUREL         I’m going to go home and take a nap.


ETIENNE         I’m going to actually have a real lunch.


LAUREL         I’m not going to sign in or out.


ETIENNE         She never signs in or out.


LAUREL         I know.


ETIENNE         You know, I’m not one to hold a grudge…


LAUREL         Ho!


ETIENNE         …But the time she chewed me out is engraved on my brain. She came stomping in from her office, eyes ablaze, nostrils flared, telling me never to question her authority – she was red in the face – (sighs) – that wasn’t good for my nerves.


LAUREL         Well, at least she’s never turned down your vacation requests.


ETIENNE         That’s because you’re “essential.” Oh, and “incredible.” Isn’t that what she put on your performance review?


LAUREL         Well, you’re “capable.”


ETIENNE         I’m going to put that on a T-shirt.


LAUREL         At least she’s afraid of you.


ETIENNE         She is not.


LAUREL         She just knows she’ll never get anyone as stupid as I am to put up with all her nonsense.


ETIENNE         She should count her blessings she has you to mop up after her. Do you think she appreciates it at all?


LAUREL         No.


They laugh.


ETIENNE         You don’t think she’s looking for another job?


LAUREL         Not when she has it so good here. Le Directeur lets her get away with murder.


ETIENNE         You’re right. She comes and goes as she pleases. She has us to boss around. It’s a perfect set-up.


They go back to work.


LAUREL         You don’t suppose these Tuesdays she’s taking off could be looking for another job?


ETIENNE         No. (Pause) Could it? (Pause) No.


LAUREL         It’s not impossible.


ETIENNE          Who would hire her?


LAUREL         Le Directeur did.


They go back to work.


ETIENNE         On the other hand, I guess we could get somebody worse.


LAUREL         (Stares at him) Not possible.


ETIENNE         No.  (Stares at her)  No?


They stare at each other – then they go back to work.






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One Act: In Front of St. Malachy’s

Photo by Chinche

In Front of St. Malachy’s

a one-act © by John Arnold

Castlewellan, Ireland

THOMAS is waiting in front of the church. He is obviously a tourist – camera in hand, tour guide in his pocket.

EILEEN enters hurriedly.

EILEEN         Are you the Yank looking for his granddad?

THOMAS         I am. Actually, it’s my great grandfather.

EILEEN         (Holds out her hand) I’m Eileen from the Church Store.

THOMAS         (Shakes) I’m Thomas Hamilton from the United States.

EILEEN         Oh, that’s a grand Irish name!

THOMAS         I’m named after my great grandfather – Thomas Hamilton.

EILEEN         And you’re looking for him, so.

THOMAS         The driver said this might be a good place to look.

EILEEN         Well, it might be. Was he from Castlewellan?

THOMAS         We think so. We found his census papers on Ancestry.com and all it said was County Down.

EILEEN         Well, that’s a start! You’re in County Down, so.

THOMAS         I’m hoping he may have lived here.

EILEEN         And well he might! If there’s one person would know it’s Mary Brennan, the church secretary. She’s at mass now, but it will be over soon and we’ll ask her. So, whereabouts in America are you from?

THOMAS         Los Angeles.

EILEEN         Oh! Do you know any movie stars there?

THOMAS         No.

EILEEN         That’s a shame. I thought everyone in Los Angeles knows a movie star or two. I would love to meet Matthew McConaughey. Now there’s a good Irish name.

THOMAS         No, I haven’t run into him.

EILEEN         Well, keep an eye out. And if you do meet him, tell him Eileen O’Brien would like a date! (They laugh. She indicates the church behind them) Do you know anything about St. Malachy’s? It’s over a hundred years old. And it was named for the first Irish saint to be canonized by the Pope. He did miracles and had visions. He even named the last 122 Popes! But Mary can tell you more. She knows everything and everybody. She probably even knew him! (Laughs, then serious) Are you a church goer?

THOMAS         Well…

EILEEN         (Slaps him on the arm) We’ll make a practicing Catholic out of you! (Turns) Oh, mass is over. (Waves) Mary! Mary Brennan!

EILEEN         (Loudly) Mary, this is Thomas Hamilton. He’s from America. (Winks) He’s a friend of the movie star Matthew McConaughey.

MARY         Who?

EILEEN         Matthew McConaughey. He’s a movie star.

MARY         Never heard of him.

EILEEN         He’s from Los Angeles.

MARY         Who is?

EILEEN         Thomas Hamilton here and Matthew McConaughey. He’s going to get me a date with him.

MARY         What?

EILEEN         Perhaps you can take a look in the church records and see if you can find his great grandfather Thomas Hamilton. (Turns to THOMAS)

Mary Brannan is better than any Ancestry-dot-com and that’s for sure.

MARY         I’m what?

EILEEN         He was looking for his great granddad on Ancestry.com

MARY         Whatever it is I’ll bet it’s no good.

EILEEN         Not good as Mary Brennan, that’s for sure.

MARY         Do you know your great grandfather’s date of birth?

THOMAS         1814.

EILEEN         Well, there’s a start.

MARY         I’ll have to ask the Father first.

EILEEN         Oh, he’ll say yes for sure.

THOMAS         I don’t want to put you to any trouble.

EILEEN         Oh, no trouble at all. Mary does it all the time.

MARY         If he’s from around here I’ll find him.

EILEEN         She can find a needle in a haystack, that one.

MARY         (Modestly) Oh, now…

EILEEN         No, it’s true. Maybe you should be getting a website yourself like Ancestry.com.

MARY         (Waves it off as nonsense) Oh, now…

THOMAS         I really appreciate it. We found his census papers and his immigration papers, but all we know he was from County Down.

EILEEN         And lucky he was. This is a beautiful county.

MARY         It is indeed. Have you been to the Mourne Mountains?

THOMAS         No.

EILEEN         Oh, you have to go to the Mourne Mountains.

MARY         They’re beautiful.

EILEEN         People come from all over to see the Mourne Mountains.

MARY         And what about Slievenaslat?

EILEEN         Oh, that’s lovely, too.

THOMAS         I’ll bet the driver will cover that.

EILEEN         Well, he’d better, wouldn’t you say, Mary?

MARY         I would.

EILEEN         You should see all the Germans walking all over the Mourne Mountains! With their walkin’ sticks! We have Germans all over the place this summer, don’t we, Mary?

MARY         Indeed we do.

EILEEN         Don’t know why the Germans like the Mourne Mountains so. Do you Mary?

MARY         No I do not.

EILEEN         Maybe it’s because it reminds them of Hawaii.

MARY         Hawaii!!

EILEEN         They’re so green and low with the clouds hanging over them…

MARY         What would you know about Hawaii, Eileen O’Brien?

EILEEN         I watch Hawaii 5-0, I do, and the mountains they show remind me of the Mourne Mountains. Indeed they do.

MARY         (Shakes her head incredulously)

EILEEN         Not many Yanks this year, though.

MARY         No. Not so many.

EILEEN         So you are most welcome.

THOMAS         Thank you.

EILEEN         And I hope you will see the Saint Patrick’s Center in Downpatrick. That had better be on your itinerary, too, I’d say, wouldn’t you, Mary?

MARY         I would.

EILEEN         It’s a lovely place. A trip to the St. Patrick’s Center will make a practicing Catholic of you! (Laughs)

MARY does not laugh and stares at THOMAS.

EILEEN         St. Patrick did much more than you think.

MARY         He did.

EILEEN         He did practically everything but invent the wheel, he did!

MARY         (Disapproving) Now, then…

EILEEN         Some say he was an Englishman but I don’t believe it, do you, Mary?

MARY         I do not.

EILEEN         No, he was an Irishman. Everyone knows that.

MARY         Indeed they do and indeed he was.

EILEEN         And while you’re in Downpatrick you can pay your respects at his grave. Or where they think he’s laid to rest. It’s next to an Anglican Church, but we won’t speak of that, will we, Mary?

MARY         We will not.

EILEEN         Oh, Downpatrick is a lovely place, but not quite so lovely as Castlewellan. (Looks around) It’s a shame you don’t have time to go explorin’ here.

MARY         Maybe next trip.

EILEEN         Yes, maybe next trip.

MARY         Do you know what your granddad did for a livin’?

THOMAS         It said he was a policeman and a justice of the peace.

MARY and EILEEN give each other a look.

EILEEN         Well, then.

MARY         Well, then. All bits of information can help now, can’t they?

EILEEN         Do you want me to be writing this down for you, Mary?

MARY         Certainly not. I still have my memory.

EILEEN         Indeed she does. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast!

MARY         Do you have a photo of your granddad?

THOMAS         No, I’m sorry, it’s back at the hotel.

MARY         (Frowns) Well, that’s all right.

EILEEN         You might visit the Down County Museum while you’re in Downpatrick. Don’t you think Mary?

MARY         You might.

EILEEN         You never know – they might have a photo of your granddad up on the wall! Maybe he did something of notoriety!

THOMAS         I’ll keep an eye out.

EILEEN         You never know where a relation may pop up!

THOMAS         Oh – I was going to ask you – can I get a Castlewellan t-shirt around here?

EILEEN         (Looks at MARY) A Castlewellan t-shirt?

MARY looks at EILEEN.

EILEEN         Now, there’s an idea. We should do that for the church and make a bit of money. (Turns to THOMAS) Would you wear a St. Malachy’s t-shirt?

THOMAS         I would.

EILEEN         (To MARY) You should ask the Father.

MARY         (Purses her lips) I don’t know…

EILEEN         I bet those Germans would buy them. (To THOMAS) Thanks for the idea. On your next trip through we’ll have some t-shirts for you to buy! (Pause) So, do you like Irish music, then?

THOMAS          Of course.

EILEEN         That’s the right answer! You should hear Mary sing. She sings like an angel…

MARY         Well, I used to…

EILEEN         No, you still do. You still sing like an angel. Sing “Danny Boy” for the lad. The Yanks all like “Danny Boy” so.

MARY         I am not singing in the car park.

EILEEN         Why not!

MARY         No…

EILEEN          Then sing “Seven Drunken Nights”…

MARY         Certainly not!

EILEEN         When Mary has a few drinks in her she sings “Seven Drunken Nights”!

MARY         I do not!

EILEEN         And she does it well, believe you me.

MARY         I’ll not be singing and let’s drop it.

EILEEN         All right.

A van horn honks.

THOMAS         Looks like I have to go. The van’s ready to leave.

EILEEN         Oh, that’s too bad.

MARY         (To THOMAS) I will do my best to find your granddad. I know he would be very pleased to know you are looking for him.

EILEEN         Yes, it’s a lovely thing when people look for their family roots. But you never know what you may find!

MARY         I’m sure Thomas Hamilton was an upstanding and lovely man.

EILEEN         Oh, I’m sure he was, indeed.

THOMAS         (Hands them each a business card) Here’s my contact information.

EILEEN and MARY stare at the card.

MARY         (Holds out her hand) Well, then, a safe journey to you.

MARY shakes hands with THOMAS.

EILEEN         (Shakes hands with THOMAS) And if you run into Matthew McConaughey tell him you know a fine Irish woman who wants a date.

THOMAS         I will. ‘Bye! (Exits)

EILEEN and MARY wave.

EILEEN and MARY begin to walk off.

EILEEN         Come on, Mary, let’s get you a cup of tea in the social hall.

MARY         All right.

EILEEN         These Yanks be so sentimental about their Irish relations!

MARY         They are, indeed.

EILEEN         Do you suppose he’ll ever run into Matthew McConaughey?

MARY         Who?

EILEEN         And I do like the idea of the t-shirts.

MARY waves her hand dismissively.

EILEEN         Why don’t you ask the Father.

MARY         Now I’m not asking the Father about any t-shirts…

EILEEN         Why not!

MARY         I need me tea.

They exit.


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How Daisy Lost Her Quack and Got It Back

How Daisy Lost Her Quack and Got It Back

by John Arnold

Daisy woke up when a ray from the sun hit her right in the face.

“How rude,” she thought.

Some birds in the trees around her started to laugh.

“How rude,” she thought again. Those birds are always annoying.

She waddled over to her water dish and took a drink.

That always set thing straight.

She looked over at the house and hoped that the people who lived there would hurry up and deliver her grain pellets

She was hungry and was in no mood for a long wait.

A bird from a nearby tree flew into her pen and sat on the side of the water dish.

“Hey, Daisy.”

It was her friend Monique La Fleur, the blue bird.

Daisy opened her bill to quack but nothing came out.


As hard as she tried no sound came out.

What the!

Just then  Nikolai Araña, the spider, moved over on his web.

“What’s wrong with her?” he asked.

“She can’t quack!” said Monique.

“What!” said Nikolai.

“And I don’t know what to do,” said Monique, “I chirp!”

“And I don’t know what to do,” said Nikolai, “I vibrate!”

“Let’s go see Reb Barvaz,” chirped Monique. “He’s a very wise old duck. Maybe he’ll know what to do.”

“It can’t hurt,” said Nikolai.

So the three friends went to visit the wise old duck, Reb Barvaz. They told him about Daisy’s problem and he thought for a moment. Then he said, “Sometimes when you lose your voice it’s Nature’s way of letting you know you have nothing to say.”

Daisy shot him a look and Monique and Nikolai looked at each other.

“I don’t think that’s the case, Reb Barvaz,” said Monique.

“Daisy always has something to say,” said Nikolai.

“I think Daisy has something to say but she just can’t do it, ” Monique continued.

“Well, what are we going to do now?” asked Nikolai.

Daisy looked sad.

“Don’t be sad, Daisy,” said Monique. “We’ll figure something out.”

“Why don’t you ask Pablo Pato?” suggested Reb Barvaz. “He always has good suggestions.”

“OK,” said Monique.

“It’s worth a try,” said Nikolai.

Daisy shook her head, yes, and the friends moved on to see Pablo Pato.

When Pablo heard that Daisy had lost her quack he shook his head.

“I am very sorry to hear that you lost your quack, Daisy. I will be glad to help you find it.”

The friends looked at each other. “It’s not like finding your house key.”

“The girl can’t quack!” said Nikolai

“I see,” said Pablo. “Maybe she should go see Caroline Canard.”

“Who’s that!” asked Monique and Nikolai in unison.

“She’s a licensed hypnotherapist,” said Pablo. “It’s worth a try.”

“What do you think, Daisy?” Monique and Nikolai asked Daisy.

She shrugged her wings.

“Let’s try it,” said, Nikolai.

“OK,” said Monique.

Pablo cried, “Good luck!” as the friends went to visit Caroline Canard.

When they told Caroline what was wrong she thought for a moment and then said, “All right. It’s worth a shot. Now, Daisy, I want you to close your eyes. You are going to get very, very sleepy…”

Daisy did close her eyes and she really did feel sleepy…

Was it a dream? Daisy looked overhead and saw all these birds flying together and calling out to her, “Come on! Come with us! It’s time to go south!”

But Daisy couldn’t fly. She had big, powerful wings, but she was too big to fly. “I can’t!” she called out to the flying birds, “I’m too big to fly!”

“Come with us!” they called out. “Come south with us!”

“Oh! I want to go!” Daisy wished so hard.

“Come with us!”

“I can’t!”

Then Daisy woke up and quacked “I can’t!”

Caroline looked at the other animals.

“I think something is happening,” she said. All the other animals stared at Daisy.

“You just quacked, ” said Caroline.

“Sort of,” added Nikolai.

Daisy opened her bill and once again nothing came out.

Caroline shook her head, thought for a moment, and said, “Maybe you should take her to a speech pathologist. Felix Eichhörnchen is very good.”

Nikolai said, “Who’s that?”

Caroline explained, “He’s the squirrel in the tree over there. He may be able to help.”

Monique shot Nikolai a look. They thanked Caroline and took Daisy to the nearby tree.

“It’s worth a try,” said Caroline.

“And we got nothing better to do, ” said Nikolai.

Felix Eichhörnchen looked down from his office high in the treetop and asked, “May I help you?”

“I sure hope so,” said Caroline.

“Our friend Daisy here has lost her quack and needs to get it back,” explained Nikolai.

Felix looked down and went “Hmm…”

“Well,  can you help?” asked Caroline.

“You’ve come very  highly recommended,” added Nikolai.

Daisy just sadly chewed on some grass.

“Hmm,” went Felix again. “I like a challenge. Let’s see what we can do…” And, with that, he scampered down the tree and stood in front of Daisy.

“Stick out your tongue,” he said.

Daisy did.

“Hmm,” thought Felix. “Maybe you can’t quack because you have nothing to say.”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” said Nikolai. “A lot of creatures keep making noises even though they have nothing to say. They just do it out of habit.”


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