[Ben enters with ukulele. Paul paces angrily off left.]
BEN: Hello, I’m Ben Laurance. After much prodding and pleading, I’ve finally agreed to join Paul Gude here for his monthly slots at Spin the Bottle, as I’ve got many talents I’m thrilled to showcase. So, to begin our collaboration, Paul is going to read a poem he wrote.
PAUL: I paint with words!
BEN: The poem he will be reading is one he submitted for the “Poetry on Busses” contest. Sadly, however, it wasn’t selected.
PAUL: We don’t know that for sure!
BEN: We’re pretty sure. And as we’ve already established, Paul is performing tonight in his Angry Poet mode. Let’s see if he’s ready.
PAUL: Keats is a hack!
BEN: I see we’ve jumped straight to Failed Poet mode.
PAUL: Nobody gets me!
BEN: Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Paul Gude.
[Paul moves center stage. Ben plays softly.]
PAUL: On the 23rd day I found your radio tumors inside me.
Their voices mingle with the Mars Climate Orbiter.
For the past year, I’ve wanted to sew your picture into my jacket and leave it at the Salvation Army.
Instead, I’m using rumored disasters to silence you.
You are lost in a suspected Indian earthquake.
[Ben picks up the tempo as Paul runs in circles.]
Bees! Bees! Bees! Bees! Bees! Bees!
[Paul stops running. Ben plays quietly]
I’ll snap my fingers right in your face.
You just lost five minutes.