Rachel Bublitz

Writer

Jan 25, 2017

MY BODY a short political play

I wrote MY BODY back in 2012 for an evening benefitting Planned Parenthood hosted by Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco called Repro Rights!. It went on to be performed around the country and is currently published in Smith and Kraus’ The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2014 ten-minute play anthology.

##MY BODY by Rachel Bublitz

CHARACTERS:

Laura, female, 35-55, has an authoritative presence.

Patrick, male, 28-35.

Sally, female, 20-30.

LAURA’s government office. LAURA is on stage. LAURA presses the button on her intercom.

LAURA

Sally, please send in my next appointment.

PATRICK enters. PATRICK wears a robotic looking collar around his neck.

LAURA (CONTINUED)

Good afternoon, my name is Laura Goodman. I’ll be reviewing your case today.

PATRICK

Good afternoon.

LAURA

You want approval for the permanent removal of your collar, correct?

PATRICK

Yes ma’am.

LAURA

And you have all of your paperwork in order?

PATRICK

Yes ma’am, it’s all there.

LAURA

Please sit down. It’s nice to see such a young man with his priorities straight. Well, hand over your paperwork.

PATRICK hands LAURA a thick questionnaire. LAURA reads through it.

PATRICK

I’ve included three letters of recommendation, instead the minimum of two.

LAURA

I see, very nice. Patrick Hill, is it?

PATRICK

Yes.

LAURA

This is very well organized. I can tell that you took the time. You’d be amazed at how many botched applications I get in here everyday.

PATRICK

I can only imagine.

LAURA turns the first page and begins to read the second page.

LAURA

Steady income, you’ve been teaching for seven years?

PATRICK

That’s correct.

LAURA

What grade do you teach?

PATRICK

Second grade.

LAURA

Like the little ones, do you?

PATRICK

I do.

LAURA

That’s nice. And I see you passed all of the disease screenings.

PATRICK

There were a lot of tests.

LAURA

We’re very serious about what we do here.

PATRICK

I can see that.

LAURA turns to the next page in the paperwork.

LAURA

Oh, there seems to be a mistake here.

PATRICK

There is?

LAURA

Are you married?

PATRICK

No.

LAURA

Engaged?

PATRICK

No.

LAURA

Are you homosexual?

PATRICK

No.

Pause.

LAURA

Is this some sort of practical joke?

PATRICK

I’m sorry?

LAURA

Did Sally put you up to this?

PATRICK

Sally?

LAURA

My assistant. She thinks she has a great sense of humor.

PATRICK

Sally has nothing to do with this. I’m here to have my collar removed.

LAURA

Do you not understand what we do here, Mr. Hill?

PATRICK

I know perfectly well.

LAURA

Then I don’t see how you thought you could just waltz in here without a marriage certificate and think that we’d approve your application.

LAURA opens a drawer to retrieve a “rejected” stamp and proceeds to stamp his application.

PATRICK

I just thought-

LAURA

That your three letters of recommendation would sway me? You obviously underestimated how serious we take collar removal. Please take your application and leave my office. I have serious applications I need to review.

PATRICK

It’s not right.

LAURA

What did you just say?

PATRICK

The collars. It’s not fair.

LAURA

Fair? You’re talking to me about fair? Are you familiar with our figures Mr. Hill? Since collars have been implemented, we’ve eradicated sexually transmitted disease. Rape and sexual abuse is down 99%, and there aren’t any repeat offenders. Molestation is down 98%. These collars make the world a better place.

PATRICK

But at what cost?

LAURA

What cost? Nothing is more important than the safety of the women and children in this country. You should understand that, being a teacher.

PATRICK

I agree that sexual abuse is wrong, but can you really punish the masses for the mistakes of the few?

LAURA

You categorize rape merely as a mistake?

PATRICK

I think rape is wrong, obviously, and-

LAURA

And child molestation? Is that just another mistake to you? What grade do you teach again?

PATRICK

Second. But I would never-

LAURA

I know you wouldn’t. You can’t. For the good of us all.

PATRICK

But I have rights!

LAURA

James 1:14, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.” Giving into your lust and self satisfying is a sin. Besides, abandoning your seed is an abomination! Child abandonment.

PATRICK

It’s not a child, it’s just… It’s just biological waste.

LAURA

It’s a potential child. Do you know how many unwanted children are born every year in this country?

PATRICK

None.

LAURA

That’s right. Zero. The only country in the world. Children today are born into families that have the resources to care for them. The high school drop out rate is nonexistent, and we are at 100% literacy. A far cry from the archaic ways of our past.

PATRICK

But it’s my body! Don’t I have a say in the matter?

LAURA

Now I know this is a joke. Your body? Are you serious with this rhetoric?

PATRICK

Very serious. It is my body, I have the right to do whatever I want with it.

LAURA

Oh Mr. Hill, it’s much too important a choice for us to let you decide it on your own. I mean, every day, day in and out, it’s just too much of a temptation for men.

PATRICK

I’m an adult! I vote, this is my body! Mine! You can’t tell me what I can and cannot do with it. I demand that you remove my collar. Remove it now! Right now! I can make good choices, I will make good choices. But it’s my body, let me make my own choices!

LAURA

Oh you poor dear. The government has decided that you don’t have the mental capacity to make to follow the correct path on your own, and rightly so. We had to take charge. It’s for your own good.

PATRICK

But-

LAURA

No buts. Just listen. You have been rejected for collar removal today. Unless you want me to call security, I recommend you leave my office. You should know if I do call security I will stamp your application with my “permanently rejected” stamp. Which will make you ineligible for collar removal.

PATRICK

You have the power to permanently reject me?

LAURA

Oh yes, we also have much more permanent methods for containment.

PATRICK

What would… No, you couldn’t.

LAURA

It’s not pretty Patrick. Go on, get out of here. Go and meet a nice girl, come back when you’re settled. You are an excellent candidate, your application was very well organized and we appreciate that. With a wife I’m sure you’ll be approved.

PATRICK

Alright.

LAURA

There’s a good boy. I’m sure a fine looking man such as yourself won’t have a hard time finding a woman.

PATRICK

What? Oh, right. Thanks… It’s torture, what you’re doing. You’re torturing half of the population.

LAURA

I would love to chat, but I really need to get to my next appointment. Thank you for your time.

PATRICK

But-

LAURA

Remember your manners.

PATRICK

I’m sorry for wasting your time. It was nice to meet you too.

PATRICK exits. LAURA pushes the button on her intercom.

LAURA

Sally once you see Mr. Hill out please step into my office.

SALLY enters.

SALLY

Yes?

LAURA

Did Mr. Hill give you any trouble on the way out?

SALLY

No, he just wandered off. He was rejected?

LAURA

He isn’t married, not even engaged.

SALLY

You’re kidding.

LAURA

I thought it was your job to review these applications and weed out the bozos.

SALLY

Laura, they’re men, they’re all bozos.

LAURA

In the future, I expect more professionalism on your part. That application never should have reached my desk.

SALLY

You’re absolutely right, it won’t happen again.

LAURA

You’ll be out of a job if it does, do you hear me?

SALLY

Yes ma’am.

LAURA

Real uppity piece of work that one. Self righteous, you know? He said he wanted control over his body. Like it was his right or something. As if we can trust men to function in society with a working penis.

SALLY

He can’t help it Laura. After all, he’s only a man.

SALLY exits.

End of play.