An Unprintably Unfunny one-act play
(based on a true story)
1st Italian essay
2nd Italian essay
Scene 1 (a small room, a wooden desk, the laptop is on the desk, and the printer is smirking smugly form a shelf directly above the desk. The student is finishing the 1st Italian essay.)
Student. Well how nice! I’m finally done with this Italian essay…(tries to hum cheerfully and ends up in a coughing fit)…hmm…I should probably print it before its meaning starts to become clear….(turns on printer).
Printer. hem hurumph ehem hem…har-
Student. yes, yes, finish up with the hemming and hawing already..(presses print)
Printer. (in a ghastly, superior sort of voice) Aha!!!! You think to fool me you base scoundrel? but I see all, tell me, WHERE IS THE MAGENTA???? Do you seriously suppose I can discharge my sacred duty without magenta? Do you suppose even for a moment that the sun can rise without magenta? Hm? No, the very flowers wilt without the noble color, the very--
Student. oh stop being silly for once! imagine what my teacher would say if I brought in the essay all in magenta, and stop being a fool. I don’t need your magenta, just roll out the black ink, (of which you have enough to reel out the whole divine comedy), and get going!…this essay needs only a few drops, you know that-
Printer. Foul, loathsome wretch!! And you have the nerve to suggest that! Fie! For shame! To print without magenta is to trample on all that is holy, to obliterate all that--
Student. (in a bored sort of voice) oh but never mind…I’ll print it out in the library..
1st Italian essay.(in a whisper, to the student) Good lord, what’s gotten into him?
Scene 2.( setting is the same).
2nd Italian essay.(to the student) I heard what happened last time from the 1st Italian essay, maybe you should leave him alone?
Student. Nah, I’ll try again, he should have sobered up by now…(turns on printer)
Printer. (Makes the usual uncouth noises)
Student. Now mind your manners, printer (presses print)
Printer. Aha! You again, and you dare to call me “printer“!! I’ll teach you! I am the honorable lord Epson Stylus, and I WILL NOT PRINT!!!!! (foaming with rage) not only is there no magenta but can you believe it, there is no cyan, NO CYAN I TELL YOU!!!
Wretch! Low worm! Blithering, skulking--
2nd Italian essay. Gahhhh!!!!!!!!
Student. Oh, stop it both of you!…(to the 2ND Italian essay) to the library again then….
Scene 3.(Setting is the same. The desk is covered with cardboard packaging and plastic wrappings that all say, “ink cartridge for Epson stylus C82, 84, 87...”. the student, although pleased, is also slightly exasperated. The Italian article is sitting on the computer screen.)
Student. But who do they take me for! Just look at these instructions, (reads) “ replacing your ink cartridges for the all new Epson stylus model is easy and fun! You will need: ink cartridges, (approved for Epson stylus C84), a lot of spare time, a long, (preferably exiting) book, and enough stupidity to think that these instructions were written by someone who knew what they were up to. Just follow the following steps, its as easy as one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, ………200, 201, ….well, you get the idea.
Step 1: press the ink button
Step 2: press the ink button
Step 3: press the ink button
Step 4: press the ink button
Step 5: press the ink button
Step 6: press the ink button
Step 7: press the ink button
Step 8: press the ink button
Step 9: press the ink button
Step 10: press the ink button
Step 11: are you getting bored yet?
Step 12: wait. read your book. (a few chapters should do it)” oh dear….this might take a while…
Scene 4 (setting is the same)
Student. Finally! Now the stupid thing has no excuse not to print the Italian article. I replaced all the ink--
Italian article. How exiting!! Do you know, student, I have never been printed before, this will be the first time!
Student. (absently) why is that?
Italian article. Well, I am such a boring and badly written article no-one has ever bothered before. I expect they thought it would be a waste of paper..
Italian article. Do you think the pretty photograph here will come out nicely?
Student. I don’t see why not…
Italian article. And all the colorful ads?
Student. We’ll see…(presses print)
Printer. Bloody hell!!! Someone is trying to poison me!!!! I should have known, you scurvy rascal!! But you will not get the better of the lord Epson stylus! No, I reject your ink cartridges!!! They are foreign, insidious, despicable, I SCORN THEM!!! You hear me, do not even think that I will print while you are after my blood--
Student.(annoyed) Listen, you idiot, this is too much. I just spent a good long time replacing the ink, (which time, I might add, could have been infinitely better spent), and you sit here spitting at me! Just print already and stop finding excuses!!
Printer. Infamy!!!!! Treachery!!!! Perdition take you all!!!! May the--
Italian article. Save us!!!!!!
Student. (staring at wall) not again….this is starting to become monotonous….
Scene 5. (setting is the same. The Italian article, having minimized itself, is hiding at the bottom of the screen. The student is reading a book. It is quite dark outside)
Printer. (thinking out loud) but then again, that is to say, in as much as the consequential result is expurgated, whereof the transmogrification of the--
Student. What are you mumbling now? Is it too much to expect that you are having twinges of conscience? Eh?
Printer. ehem, hurumph, well you see, I was just reflecting, that is to say, resolving an inner doubt, a tormenting --
Student. Will you get to the point or not?
Printer. Yes, yes, momentarily, that is, inadvertently, or was that the wrong word?
Italian article. (de-minimizes itself and begins to listen hopefully)
Printer. Cutting a short story sideways, I think there is in fact nothing wrong with the ink cartridges you replaced, it was just my gut reaction--
Student. You have no gut…
Printer. Merely a figure of speech! (laughs nervously) it was, as I was saying, a natural reaction since I expected only the worst form you, hence, I was convinced you were trying to poison me, and so I--
Student. Are you going to print the article or not?
Printer. I daresay I might, what will be the harm after all? that is to say in a metaphysical sense--
Italian article. Oooooh!!! How spiffing!!!
Student. (presses print. And miraculously, after a great deal of huffing and puffing the printer prints the Italian article.)
Italian article. (sputtering in shock after having come out of the printer) but…but…look at me! Look at the colors!! They are all mixed up! Oh dear, this person’s face is green!!! I look like a bloody post-modern, mixed media, deconstructionist, avant-garde---
Printer. (indignant) well, after all of the trauma I’ve been through, you surely were not expecting a Rafael Madonna--
Italian article. (furious) Rafael Madonna!! You foul blister, how dare you laugh at me!
Printer. (enraged, rumbles down from the shelf and begins to chase the Italian article around the room)
Italian article.(screaming) help!! For pity’s sake!!
Printer. You ungrateful wretch!!
Student. But really…
Wall. Good lord!
Student. Gahhh!!!!!!!!!!! The wall is talking!!!!!!