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 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2006 11:50 am
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brettfauver
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My Spam has a Worm
© 2005 by Brett Fauver

AT RISE:  A doctor’s exam room.  There are various instruments of doctor usage and a MAC in the corner (the computer).  It displays a wink and smile Mac logo on the screen as a screensaver.  DAVE sits on a chair, waiting.  The MAC makes a sound that gets DAVE’s attention.  DAVE finally gets up to get a little closer to the MAC.  He looks at the MAC flirtatiously.  The MAC winks.  DAVE stops himself and sits back down.  The DOCTOR comes in.  He wears a blue shirt and tie and navy-blue dockers.  The DOCTOR carries a file.  The DOCTOR thumbs through the file, sits on a small chair and purses his lips, makes a small “clucking” sound.  The DOCTOR forces a smile and shakes DAVE’s hand.

    DOCTOR
How are we feeling today, David?

    DAVE
Well, besides the obvious?  I have some problems.  I’m not feeling all that great.

    DOCTOR
It’s no surprise, really.  I have the results of your tests.  There are some. . . puzzling aspects.

    DAVE
Whuh?  What do you mean?

    DOCTOR
You have something in your bloodstream.  A bug.

    DAVE
A bug?

    DOCTOR
Yes, in your bloodstream.

    DAVE
What, like a beetle or bumblebee?

    DOCTOR
No, a virus.  You have a particularly nasty virus in your bloodstream.

    DAVE
I do?  A virus, huh?  That doesn’t mean much to me.  Can’t we fight that with some antibiotics?  Vifend or something?

    DOCTOR
It’s more. . . complicated than that.

    DAVE
It’s just a virus.

    DOCTOR
You also have a worm.

    DAVE
A what?

    DOCTOR
A worm.

    DAVE
How could I possibly have a worm?

    DOCTOR
It is extremely rare.  We’ve seen this sort of thing once or twice.

    DAVE
What. . .  (stops)  Okay, I. . .

    DOCTOR
Not to worry, we can get this cleared up fairly easily.  You might have some performance problems in the future, but I can tell you, you don’t want to keep this worm in your system for long.  It’s a good thing we caught it in time.

    DAVE
A worm?

    DOCTOR
Several worms, actually.

    DAVE
I have worms?

    DOCTOR
Yes.  You also have, let’s see, a memory stealer, a password grabber, and there seems to be a blended threat to your arteries.

    DAVE
Blended threat?

    DOCTOR
Yes, a denial-of-service attack on your heart.

    DAVE
That must by why my blood pressure is so high.

    DOCTOR
It’s a probable cause.

The MAC seems to laugh.  DAVE glances behind him at the MAC, the DOCTOR ignores it.

    DAVE
So what do we do?

    DOCTOR
Well, I have to find out some more information, first.

    DAVE
Okay.

    DOCTOR
I’ll need to ask a few questions that may make you. . . uncomfortable.

    DAVE
As long as you can cure me, I’ll answer anything.

    DOCTOR
Have you been having. . . “relations” with any systems lately?

    DAVE
I. . I. . .  What do you mean?

    DOCTOR
The question was fairly clear.  Have you been having relations with any systems lately?

    DAVE
I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    DOCTOR
Outside of your work or home, have you been accessing any ports or hard drives on strange computers?  You must tell me the truth so we can cure you.

    DAVE
Okay!  Okay!  I’ve been going to Internet Café’s!  I admit it!  My dirty little secret is out!  Happy?

The DOCTOR gasps loudly and flinches.

    DAVE
And public libraries!

    DOCTOR
Oh dear lord!  This is worse than I could have imagined!

The MAC in the corner laughs.

    DAVE
What the hell are YOU laughing at?

    DOCTOR
Please calm down, Mr. Jewel, that’s my new email notification sound.

    DAVE
Oh.  So what do we do?

    DOCTOR
I’m going to send you in for some diagnostic utility checks, maybe an Anti-Virus fix for the worms, and a couple of software patches.  I am forced, however, to put you on strict orders of not putting your pointer near any windows until you are cleaned up.  No networking, no accessing hard drive or RAM, no DVD-RW’s or CD-RW’s either.  We don’t want you transmitting anything or receiving anything while your system is vulnerable to attack.

    DAVE
That’s going to be hard.

    DOCTOR
For your sake, and your system’s sake, you must follow my orders.  No wireless connections, either until you get a firewall up and running.  For God’s sake, you have to start using protection if you’re going to be slumming around public computers.

    DAVE
I need to.

    DOCTOR
Well, if the lure is too much and you can’t just use your home computer, at least make sure you are using a system you are familiar with, Mac or Windows or even Linux.  And don’t download anything from anyone.  You never know what you might catch.

    DAVE
But Doc, the lure of Broadband is too damn much.  It’s too tempting.

    DOCTOR
Dave, what is it you do for a living?

    DAVE
I’m an article writer.  I need the internet for research and typing and word processing.

    DOCTOR
And the occasional quick fix of news, blogging, and Instant Messaging?

    DAVE
Well, sure, who doesn’t?

    DOCTOR
I’m going to give you a few brochures on the dangers of web sites, Active X controls, Java, and the troubles with addiction to blogging and Instant Messaging.  It is a pandemic and it’s a shame to see such a fine young man like yourself fall prey to the nefarious deeds of the World Wide Web.

    DAVE
I never knew it could be so dangerous.

    DOCTOR
It’s called a web for a reason, Dave, and it seems you are caught up in it.

    DAVE
Thank you, Doc.

    DOCTOR
I’m not finished.

    DAVE
What else?

    DOCTOR
I’m recommending you enroll in a twelve-step internet addiction program.  They have one at the YMCA every Tuesday night.

    DAVE
Can’t I do it online?

    DOCTOR
Your addiction is bad, Dave.

    DAVE
But Tuesday nights I play Doom with some friends.

    DOCTOR
No Doom for you until your system is cleaned off.  I know it will be a struggle, but if you just have a few more real-life social interactions, you’ll see the light.  Right now you are leading for a hard-drive crash and we’ll have to reboot and restore your system completely.

    DAVE
A restore and reboot?

    DOCTOR
Yes.  For six months I want you to type your articles on an old Underwood typewriter.  Your hands might get some ink on them, but it’s worth it.

    DAVE
What about research?  I need Google and Wikipedia.

    DOCTOR
I’m afraid you’re going to have to do it the old way and practice using the card catalog at the Library.  It will be tempting, but you must not allow yourself any computer usage at all.  You could not only infect another computer, but you are open to all sorts of viruses.

    DAVE
Thanks, Doc.  You saved my life.

DAVE starts to leave.

    DOCTOR
Dave, one more thing.

    DAVE
Anything Doc.

    DOCTOR
For God’s sake update your Anti-virus software.

CURTAIN.    

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 Posted: Wed Nov 8th, 2006 01:50 pm
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leon
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Mana: 
brett, this is so funny!   and i feel bad that no one is reading your plays.  guess everyone is off at the submission spree and doesn't have time to read plays.  i submitted something and only one person read it. 

 

but this is one of the funniest shorts i've ever read.  if anything, i'd have the doctor be a little more professional in the beginning.  he's kind of abrupt.  usually if you have something, doctors put on their "bedside manner" hats. 

 

otherwise, i wouldn't change a word.  hilarious!  submit this.  you'll get tons of productions!

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 Posted: Wed Nov 8th, 2006 06:01 pm
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*elana*
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This is amazing! I disagree with the comment about having the doctor be less "abrupt" at the beginning...I think he actually handles the situation very professionally. Although you might want to heighten the tension between when we know there is a problem and when the doctor lets us know what that problem is (perhaps a little more doctorly dilly-dallying might be in order..."you might want to sit down for this" type stuff). The longer you make us wait for it (within reason, of course...this is a short scene and you don't want anything superfluous in it), the more the punch will be when we find out about Dave's "bug."

Only thing that bothered me was how quickly Dave's turn around between denial of his problem and anger about that problem, to complete acceptance. The transition from "what about google?" to "thanks doc, you saved my life" was...well...a little unrealistic. While clearly the subject matter is unrealistic, I think you will get the most mileage out of it if you treat it as seriously as an AID's diagnosis.

Anyways, this is hilarious. Thanks for sharing!!

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 Posted: Thu Nov 9th, 2006 12:59 am
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brettfauver
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Mana: 
Thanks for the positive response!  It's nice to have feedback.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 9th, 2006 01:01 am
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brettfauver
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Elana,

Thank you for the critique.  I think you're right.  I'm going to try to have a reading of this soon so I can hear it, but I'll most likely change to your suggestion before then.

Again, thanks, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Brett

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 Posted: Thu Nov 9th, 2006 01:58 am
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timmy
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Mana: 
brett:

i'm a Mac man from way back. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Having the Mac as part of the play is brilliant.

Please...please consider contacting Apple w/this. It could be done if approached the right way.

As for the dialogue itself....perhaps "tighten" it up just a bit. People speak in contractions...even doctors.

timmy

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 Posted: Mon Nov 13th, 2006 08:20 pm
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*elana*
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Mana: 
Glad to help out, Brett! I'm eager to hear how the readings go, as well as any revisions (if you choose to make them).

Oh yes, and I didn't mention this before, but the winking-Mac flirtation at the beginning is FANTASTIC.

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 Posted: Thu Jul 19th, 2007 09:52 pm
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brettfauver
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*elana* wrote: Glad to help out, Brett! I'm eager to hear how the readings go, as well as any revisions (if you choose to make them).

Oh yes, and I didn't mention this before, but the winking-Mac flirtation at the beginning is FANTASTIC.
Been working on revisions, and the MAC stays in!

Thanks,
Brett

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 Posted: Thu Jul 19th, 2007 09:54 pm
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brettfauver
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Mana: 
timmy wrote: brett:

i'm a Mac man from way back. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Having the Mac as part of the play is brilliant.

Please...please consider contacting Apple w/this. It could be done if approached the right way.

As for the dialogue itself....perhaps "tighten" it up just a bit. People speak in contractions...even doctors.

timmy

Funny, I believe the same thing.  However, I like to spell out a lot of things and hand freedom to actor/director as they form the characters during rehearsals.  But point noted.  I will attempt to reach out to MAC as this is going to stage sometime in September (workshop).

Thanks,
Brett

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 Posted: Thu Jul 19th, 2007 09:55 pm
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brettfauver
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Mana: 
leon wrote: brett, this is so funny!   and i feel bad that no one is reading your plays.  guess everyone is off at the submission spree and doesn't have time to read plays.  i submitted something and only one person read it. 

 

but this is one of the funniest shorts i've ever read.  if anything, i'd have the doctor be a little more professional in the beginning.  he's kind of abrupt.  usually if you have something, doctors put on their "bedside manner" hats. 

 

otherwise, i wouldn't change a word.  hilarious!  submit this.  you'll get tons of productions!
Thanks for the input!  It's gone through a bit of a transformation and I'm gearing up for a September workshop of this and others.

Thanks again,
Brett

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