A ONE-ACT PLAY COMPRISED OF MARLON BRANDO’S LINES FROM APOCALYPSE NOW AND WOODY ALLEN’S LINES FROM ANTZ
Apocalypse Now written by John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola
Antz written by Todd Alcott, Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz
Arrangement and Stage Blocking by Terry Wellman
THE SOUNDS OF AN OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY CAN BE HEARD IN THE BACKGROUND.
LIGHTS COME UP ON A MIDDLE MANAGEMENT-SIZED OFFICE. THERE IS A BOOKCASE WITH A POTTED IVY ON TOP. NEXT TO THE BOOKCASE IN THE CONRER OF THE OFFICE IS A POTTED TREE WITH WIDE LEAVES. THE TWO PLANTS HAVE GROWN INTO EACH OTHER TO CREATE A SMALL JUNGLE.
KURTZ IS SITTING BEHIND A DESK WITH HIS HEAD RESTING ON HIS ARMS. A DESK LAMP CASTS A LIGHT ACROSS THE SLUMPED FIGURE.
A KNOCKING IS HEARD ON THE DOOR AND Z POKES HIS HEAD IN.
Z: Excuse me.
KURTZ LOOKS UP.
Kurtz: (startled and unconvincingly) I’m awake.
Z: I seem to be lost, and I was wondering if you could give me —
Kurtz: You were not coming here, to see me? Why did you come to … my province?
KURTZ SWEEPS HIS OUT HIS LEFT ARM AND THEN HIS RIGHT ARM GESTURING TO HIS “PROVINCE” – A CLUTTERED OFFICE. TO THE RIGHT ARE GRAY METALIC FILE CABINETS. TO THE LEFT ARE STACKS OF FILES AND PAPERS. BINDERS AND BOOKS ARE STREWN ABOUT.
Z ENTERS THE OFFICE AND LOOKS AROUND QUIZZICALLY.
Z: (to himself) This place is as cheery as a Roach Motel at check-out time.
Kurtz: (suspiciously and slightly menacingly) Do you know me?
Z: Now, let’s see, I — it’s been a while since I — I think you – At the worker bar! You were pretty hot to trot then!
Z SITS DOWN IN ONE OF THE CHAIRS IN FRONT OF KURTZ’S DESK.
Kurtz: What other reason could you have come? A Captain. Ranger. Paratrooper. Graduate of the Recondo School. Am I right about these things?
Z: No . . . as a matter of fact . . . All my life, I’ve lived and worked in the big city…which is kind of a problem, since I’ve always felt uncomfortable in crowds.
Kurtz: The truth that you were sent here to murder me, and so far you haven’t done it. And do you know why? (looks at him) Yes, you know why. Your mission makes about as much sense as those idiots who sent you on it. Asshole ! Schmuck ! How long does it take you to figure out that nobody knows what they’re doing here. (points to the noise of the other co-workers still partying). (Coldly) Except me.
Z: No — you — you don’t understand! I feel…isolated. Different. I’ve got abandonment issues. My father flew away when I was just a larva. My mother didn’t have much time for me…when you have five million siblings, it’s difficult to get attention. (pause) I feel physically inadequate — I’ve never been able to lift more than ten times my own weight. Sometimes I think I’m just not cut out to be a worker. But I don’t have any other options. I was assigned to trade school when I was just a grub. The whole system just…makes me feel…insignificant.
Kurtz: (pointing to the tree and plant in the corner) Look into the jungle. You can’t — it’s too terrible. You have to smear yourself with war-paint to look at it — you have to be a cannibal.
Z: (confused) Its . . . Its . . .
Kurtz: You could never figure it because it doesn’t make sense.
Z: (realizing it doesn’t make sense because, maybe this fellow has some issues) Ah, yes.
Kurtz: I’ll tell you what makes sense! Air strikes! White Phosphorus! Napalm! We’ll bomb the shit out of them if they don’t do what we want.
Z: (now playing along as if maybe he has had too much to drink) Attack? But — I hate attacking! It’s so hostile!
Kurtz: (loudly) You’ve gotta dig napalm on Speed, too. It’s spectacular, you’ll see.
Z BEGINS TO GET OUT OF HIS CHAIR.
Z: (now concerned) I’ll let myself out.
Kurtz: Don’t. Don’t frighten them away.
Z LOOKS AROUND FOR “THEM” WHILE SITTING BACK DOWN.
Kurtz: Think of it — for years, millions of years, savages with pathetic painted faces were scared shitless that fire would rain down from the sky. And g**damn, we made it happen. God bless Dow!
Z: (sarcastically) You bet! They’ll really go for a sensitive guy like you!
Kurtz: My river… my people… my jungle… my ideas… my country… my wife… my death.
Z: Theoretically, yes. But is the monarchical hierarchy applicable without the underlying social structure to support it?
Kurtz: (almost affectionately) Still playing by the rules.
Z: I can’t help it. I have a thing about drinking from the anus of another creature. Call me crazy.
Kurtz: Yeah, I can see that.
Z: (defensively now) What makes you special?
Kurtz: Because of all the things we do, the thing we do best – is lie.
Z: (to himself) Oh . . . oh well then, one more won’t matter. (to Kurtz) Oh, hey, that’s great, I think I see an old war buddy over there, it’s been fun chatting. Good luck with the hallucinations.
Z AGAIN STARTS TO GET UP FROM HIS CHAIR.
Kurtz: Claymores, Claymores.
Z CLIMBS BACK ONTO HIS CHAIR, LIFTING HIS FEET OFF THE FLOOR, NOT SURE IF THERE REALLY ARE CLAYMORE LAND MINES ON THE FLOOR OF KURTZ’S OFFICE.
Kurtz: That’s right, the little gook-pricks. But they are noble little gook-pricks, noble. Because they fight with their guts, like animals. And for an idea ! That’s rich. We fight with ingenious machines and fire, like Gods, and for nothing. But I’ll call in a major blotto air strike tonight. We’ll have ourselves a helluva air strike tonight, a light-show.
Z BECOMES WORRIED NOW, NOT KNOWING WHAT KURTZ MAY REALLY BE UP TO AND CAPABLE OF.
Z GRABS A STAPLER FROM KURTZ’S DESK.
Z: Stay back, you lunatic! Do you think I don’t know how to use this?
Kurtz: (angrily) You know what you’re doing? You are interfering with my plans!
KURTZ LEAPS OUT OF HIS CHAIR, OVER THE DESK WITH HIS MOUTH WIDE-OPEN AS IF TO BITE Z.
Z: Aa-ee-ya-ee-yaaaaaaaah!!!!!!! Don’t bite! I surrender!
Z FALLS OUT OF HIS CHAIR ONTO FLOOR AND CURLS UP IN A FETAL POSITION.
SEEING THAT HE IS SUFFICIENTLY SCARED Z, KURTZ TURNS TO SIT BACK IN HIS CHAIR.
WHEN KURTZ LETS DOWN HIS GUARD, Z STAPLES HIM IN THE STOMACH.
Kurtz: My gut — Oh, Christ, my gut!
KURTZ DOUBLES OVER IN PAIN.
Z: (afraid that he might have seriously injured Kurtz) Uh-Oh.
Z LOOKS AROUND. HE SEES A PITCHER OF WATER ON A SIDE TABLE.
Kurtz: Give me water.
Z: Water…water — oh, you already said that.
Z POURS A GLASS OF WATER FROM A PITCHER ON A SIDE TABLE AND HANDS IT TO KURTZ. KURTZ TAKES A DRINK OF THE WATER.
Z POURS HIMSELF A GLASS OF WATER ALSO AND BRINGS THE GLASS TO HIS LIPS.
Kurtz: This water’s got Moonby’s acid in it –
Z STOPS AND PLACES THE WATER BACK DOWN ON THE DESK.
Z: Yeah, well, I make it a practice not to trust anyone who shoots acid out of their forehead. Acid makes me come out in spots!
Kurtz: Drink it — drink it for tonight. Its beautiful – you’ll love it. Trust me.
Z: Well . . . if you insist.
Z DRINKS THE GLASS OF WATER IN ONE GULP. HE SETS THE GLASS BACK ON THE DESK.
SEVERAL MINUTES PASS. BOTH MEN SIT BACK DOWN IN THEIR CHAIRS.
Z: Wow…I never saw things this way…
Kurtz: I’m Kurtz
Z: I’m Z.
SOUNDS OF THE PARTY ARE HEARD AGAIN.