Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Out of Juice

Out of Juice
By Stephen Freeto

OOJ 1-(Dazed and Confused)
OOJ2-(No Dialogue-Just mumbles)
OOJ3- (The “woke” one)
Juicer 1 (Also plays Juicer 2 and Juicer 3 with minor costume changes)

In a dystopian near future, electricity is scarce yet everyone is still addicted to their cell phones. Only the privileged (Juicers) have access to electricity for charging phones and portable devices. Electricity rations are available once a month for the downtrodden (OOJ-out of juicers).  Cell phone technology allows for sharing of a charge by placing phones back to back (concept/patent pending). Few OOJ make it through the month with “juice”; many beg and borrow the juice from others.
On busy street corners, the OOJ approach Juicers to “bum some juice”
A street corner by a parking garage with foot traffic on a side walk. An extension cord power strip with tattered iphone cords is plugged into a “dead” wall outlet. Outlets are randomly activated each month to provide some “juice” to those who do not pay for full access to electricity. 

OOJ1 and OOJ2 sit/lay on the ground with their cell phone in hand. Both are slightly trembling or shaking. Aware but not quite alert.
OOJ3 standing and pacing around the street sign waiting for a Juicer to approach. Even though their phone doesn’t have juice, they keep looking at the screen.

OOJ 3 (looking at phone)
Dead Again? This can’t be true. What did I do to deserve this? FML

OOJ2 (Disturbed and awakened by OOJ3)
(Mumbling incoherently)

OOJ1 (awakened and in a state of confusion)
Momma don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys

OOJ3 (annoyed by the presence of the bums)
Shut your mouths. Go back to sleep mode, assholes.

OOJ1 (Confused)
You’re the asshole? No, I’m the asshole.

OOJ3 (noticing Juicer 3 approaching. Brushing dirt dust off shoulders, tucking in shirt)
Ok, Ok, Ok.

Juicer 3 (approaching OOJ3 and walking swiftly to avoid an interaction and continues walking through the stage to switch costumes into OOJ2. Waves hand in front of OOJ3)

OOJ3 (attempting to be polite, proper, and persuasive-in a fake English accent)
Excuse me king sir. Would you happen to have a little juice I can have…(Juicer 3 passes by without looking up). Thank you for your consideration. May god bless your phone…Hope you die.

OOJ2 (continuing to lay around)
(Mumbling incoherently)

OOJ1 (Sitting straight up)
Steve Jobs did 9-11! Why do I need iOS125? So many bugs…(goes back to sleep)

OOJ3 (motioning to the wall outlet and power strip)
If it wasn’t for the chance that fucking thing would turn back on, I would be gone. You zeroes.

OOJ2 bends down to fiddle with the powerstrip and misses Juicer 2 walk by

Juicer 2 (approaching and startled by the pile of OOJ’s)
Before you even ask, I’m at 42% and I won’t make it the rest of the month. Sorry (continues walking)

OOJ1 (holding up a copy of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)
42? That’s the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.

OOJ3 (missing the chance to ask for juice and kicks at OOJ1)
Damn it. That was my chance to get a little juice. I coulda totally gotten some. If you two can just let me handle the interactions, I swear to you that I will split the juice with you. Let me do my thing. I really need this, it’s a life or death situation. Nothing is more important.

OOJ2 (covers up under a blanket)
(Mumbling incoherently)

OOJ1 (deciding to comply and also gets under a blanket)
I’ll be Sonny and you better be Cher.

OOJ3 (noticing Juicer 1 approaching)
Alright, alright. (taking a deep breath)

Juicer 1 (walking straight up to OOJ3)
Before you even say anything. I have worked hard to earn and keep my juice.

OOJ3 (humble)
I just need a little bit. It’s a life or death situation. I need some juice to...
Juicer 1 (holding his phone out and giving up some juice)
Today is your lucky day. I’ve learned that life isn’t about success, money, juice, and materialism. Life is about building each other up, offering a helping hand, sharing kindness, and creating a circle of support. Take a little juice, share it with your family (pointing at the lumps under the blankets).

OOJ3 (surprised. Quickly grabbing his phone and mating it with Juice 1)
Wow. Thank you so much. You don’t know how important this is to me. I appreciate your kindness and will remember this moment the rest of my days. You have given me life.

The mating of the phone and the juice sharing is quick process.

Juicer 1 (taking his phone back. Feeling proud to have helped save a life)
What was this life or death situation?

OOJ3 (getting his phone turned on and pushing buttons)
Oh, I need to poke my friends on facebook.