Grandpa Bill
(October 17, 1997)

SUSIE. Grandpa Bill, you’re wearing leather shoes! Don’t you know that leather comes from killing cows? Cows are nice! You shouldn’t kill them.

GRANDPA. Well, little Susie, you’re right. Cows are nice…very nice. But sometimes in life we need to kill things that are nice to make things that are even nicer. Take this couch we’re sitting on, for example.

SUSIE. Grandpa Bill…the couch is vinyl.

GRANDPA. Well, what do you think happens to balloon animals when they grow up?

SUSIE(horrified). WHAT?!

GRANDPA. Yup. When balloon animals get older, they get sent to a ranch where the balloon farmers feed them crude oil and helium and they get nice and fat, until their skin gets nice and thick.

SUSIE(on the verge of tears). What happens then, Grandpa Bill?

GRANDPA. Well, the farmer sticks them with a yard-long pin, and they just kinda deflate. Psssshhhhh…(as Grandpa mimes the collapse of the noble inflatable beast, Susie starts to cry) Then the farmer cuts them right up–snip snip snip–and it gets made into a couch just like this.

SUSIE. Just (sniff) like (sniff) this one?

GRANDPA. Yup. In fact, I think this one was once…ehhh…a cute little balloon doggie. (Susie leaps off the couch and starts bawling. Enter Troy, Susie’s older brother.)

TROY. Hi everyone…Susie, what’s wrong?

SUSIE. Grandpa Bill says (hiccup) that our couch is a dead (hiccup) balloon doggie!

TROY. What?

SUSIE. Yeah, cause the (hiccup) farmer feeds them helium and they (hiccup) get all big and (hiccup) psssssshhhhhhhh….. (bursts out crying)

TROY. Grandpa! Stop telling Susie things that aren’t true and make her upset!! This is just like that time when I was five and you told me the Tooth Fairy had a quota to make and if she didn’t get enough she broke out the pliers! I couldn’t sleep for months, you sadistic old fart!

SUSIE. Grandpa Bill?

GRANDPA. Now, don’t worry, Susie. Troy’s just saying that cause he doesn’t want you to think about what happens to balloon doggies.

SUSIE. Why would he want that?

GRANDPA. Cause every time he goes out with Mary Beth he puts a dead baby balloon animal on his peepee. Go look in his drawer. They’re in little foil packages.

TROY. Wait, Susie! (Susie is out of the room) That was unnecessary.

(Susie screams offstage. Troy covers his face. Grandpa cackles. Enter Susie, hands full of condoms.)

SUSIE. I’m going to go bury them!

TROY. No, Susie, wait! (Doorbell rings.) Oh, great. I had a date with Mary Beth tonight, Grandpa Bill, and I bet you’ve ruined everything. (Enter Mary Beth.)

MARY BETH. Troy, where’s Susie going so fast?

TROY. Well, Grandpa Bill here told Susie that I had several balloon animal corpses in foil packages in my drawer, so she went to bury them.

MARY BETH. She buried your…condoms?

TROY. Um…yeah?

MARY BETH. I’m sorry, Troy. We can’t go out tonight…or ever. Not without the condoms.

TROY. What? I…is it a disease thing? What’s wrong?

MARY BETH. I have a confession to make, Troy. I never loved you. I only used you because, from a very early age, the only thing which has ever turned me on is dead balloon animals. It wasn’t you I wanted, it was your balloon animals. Without them, you’re nothing to me.

TROY. What?

MARY BETH. I’m sorry, Troy.

TROY. Balloon animals?!

MARY BETH. That’s all I want.

GRANDPA. Well, there’s always this here couch of mine…

MARY BETH. Is that…

GRANDPA. Yup. Fully mature stone-dead balloon doggie.

MARY BETH. Oooohhh… (settles into couch with Grandpa)

TROY. But, Mary Beth! Grandpa Bill! You can’t do this! (Mary Beth and Grandpa snuggle. )

SUSIE(entering). Troy, there’s a fairy with pliers at the door for you. (Enter Tooth Fairy)

TOOTH FAIRY. Say ahhhhhhh….

(Lights down.)