The Lobster

(Scene opens in a restaurant with jocular decorations. There is an array of small tables present and seated at one are two young men, Zander and Roy, while another sits empty. Additional tables have other anonymous characters seated at them; all wearing ostentatious hats. Roy is wearing a papier-mâché hat with an ostrich feather and Zander is wearing a Viking helmet. A sign proclaims: “Hats Required.” Elevator music plays softly in the background.)

Roy: (Gazing at a menu) They say they have Tijuana Taxis here.

Zander: They say a lot of things.

Roy: I think I’ll get one.

Zander: It’s one in the afternoon. You shouldn’t be drinking.

Roy: You’re drinking.

Zander: (Pulls out a bottle of beer and takes a swig) I’ve got cancer, I’m allowed to drink at one in the afternoon.

Roy: You don’t have cancer. You have a wart on your thumb.

Zander: We think it’s a wart. It could be anything.

Roy: It’s a wart. And you’re getting it frozen off on Thursday.

Zander: I can’t believe you. You’re best friend is dying of cancer and you won’t even acknowledge it. That is selfish and cruel.

Roy: (Meaningful pause) My father was selfish and cruel.

Zander: (Longer pause) Well that sounds like a personal problem to me.

Roy: (Even longer pause) I’m getting one.

Zander: What, a life or a Tijuana Taxi?

Roy: Your mother.

(Enter the Lobster, a man dressed in a crustacean costume with a bowler tied around the head. Enter Waiter in a Stetson who hurries over to greet the Lobster and sit him down at the empty table. Roy looks up at the Lobster, jumps in his seat, and quickly turns back.)

Roy: Shit!

Zander: What?

Roy: It’s that damn lobster. You remember, the one I told you about on Saint’s Patrick’s Day? He’s still following me.

Zander: (Pulls out a pistol) You want me to do something about?

Roy: Put that away, you want to get arrested? We need an escape plan.

Zander: This is an escape plan.

Roy: Just put the gun away! Take a look at him.

Zander: (Turns his head without discretion, eyes the Lobster and turns back) I don’t think I have enough bullets.

Roy: Exactly. Where are the explosives?

Zander: (Scoffs) Be serious. I’m not carrying that kind of firepower around with me. It’s just not safe.

Roy: Hell of a time. We need to get out of here.

Zander: Just calm down, I think I have a plan.

(The waiter walks over to the Lobster’s table with a large cocktail and sets it down in front of him. The Lobster gestures widely and the waiter makes a statement of gratefulness. Enter Waitress who approaches Zander and Roy.)

Waitress: Hi guys, have you decided yet?

Zander: Not in the slightest. What’s the lobster’s having?

Waitress: Oh him? He has a Singapore Sling. It’s really good if you like gin and cherries.

Zander: Can I have it on fire?

Waitress: I suppose.

Zander: Excellent, I’m getting one. Roy?

Roy: (With great disdain) Oh I don’t know, I think I’ll get a turkey club and some nerve gas?

Zander: (Kicks Roy underneath the table) What he meant was, do you have any malachite green or copper sulfate?

Waitress: What are you’re getting at?

Zander: Well, do you have any?

Waitress: Look, I don’t—

Zander: Ok, ok, just tell me where the nearest aquarium store is.

Waitress: (Disconcerted) There’s one down the street.

Zander: Great. I want a Singapore Sling, on fire, along with a baked potato, and he wants the turkey club. Today?

(Exit Waitress. Zander stands up quickly, putting some money on the table.)

Roy: What the fuck are you doing?

Zander: Here’s a twenty just in case. I’ll be back soon.

Roy: Tell me the plan dammit; I don’t know what’s going on.

Zander: (Points at the lobster) Don’t make eye contact and don’t touch my drink. I’ll be right back. If he starts coming over, go into the bathroom.

Roy: This whole plan sucks.

Zander: Just trust me.

(Exit Zander. The Lobster stares after him and then twists around to look at Roy. Enter Man Without Hat. Everyone stops to stare at him. He looks over at the hat sign, back at the patrons, and then exits slowly. Enter Waitress who sets a flaming drink on Roy’s table, exiting promptly. The Lobster goes back to staring at Roy and emits a series of gurgles before getting up and strutting past, heading offstage where a sign reads “Restrooms,” ruffling Roy’s helmet in passing. Exit Lobster. Moments later, Zander enters, rushing in with a bag of green powder.)

Roy: Where have you been?

Zander: (Slightly out of breath) Good, my drink’s here. Where’s the lobster?

Roy: He’s in the toilet.

Zander: (Opens up the bag) Excellent.

Roy: If you had just not ordered we could have left together.

Zander: What, and let him follow us again? That’s ridiculous.

(Zander runs over to the Lobster’s table and drops the powder into his drink. He quickly stirs it and bolts back to his chair, reaching it just as the Lobster reenters. The Lobster strides past their table, ruffles Roy’s helmet again, and sits down. After making a few more gurgling sounds and gestures at Roy, he picks up his drink and takes a sip. He stops and then suddenly starts to squeal, clutching at his feeders and thorax. Enter Waiter who attempts to console him, to which the Lobster falls onto the floor, twitches, and dies. The elevator music ceases.)

Waiter: Someone call an ambulance! (Exit Waiter)

Roy: (To Zander) What was that?

Zander: (Sips his drink) Unrequited love and black treachery, my friend. That’s what it was.

(Enter Paramedics who drag the Lobster offstage. Music resumes.)

Roy: Well, I’m glad that’s done with.

Zander: Yeah. Where the hell is that waitress?

(Lights go off. End scene.)


Editor’s Corner

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