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DOMAIN OF THE MEDIOCRITY GENIUSUmělec magazine 2008/2
S.d.Ch. | out - drama | en cs de es
A heuristic salon farce in Four acts
THE MEDIOCRITY GENIUS – Geniadij Mediokritov (pastor, bourgeois, Negro coffee salesman, musketeer)
FEMINA MASKULINOVNA – his wife
THE PARAMOUNT GENIUSES – Dr. Kafka, composer Wolfgang
THE GRUBINESS GENIUSES – Ed Entertainment, Paulie Porno
Act 1.: PRELIMINARY
Home salon of MEDIOCRITY GENIUS with a French-style window, Neruda’s portrait on the wall, a perch for a canary, a sofa, table and some chairs. The scene is empty including the perch. A key rattles in the keyhole and MEDIOCRITY GENIUS GENIADIJ MEDIOKRITOV enters as a PASTOR.
MEDIOCRITY GENIUS: Mother! I’m home!
FEMINA MASKULINOVNA MEDIOKRITOVA (from backstage): I’ll be right there Geniadij. I’ll just pull this out of the oven.
G.M.: What a day. Thank god I am an embodied institution—A common mortal wouldn’t last. The Pastor had virtally redeemed me for the way home.
F.M. (from backstage): Well, what can one do, father.
G.M.: What are we having, Fema?
F.M. (from backstage): A cockatoo!
G.M.: You’ve truly outdone yourself!
F.M. (from backstage): Dr. Kafka called, he would like to arrange a meeting with you. I told him you’d call.
G.M.: Thank you. I’ll call him right now. (goes to window and starts shouting something out of it) Doctor, doctor! …Good Evening …Yes, my wife told me …How about tomorrow evening? …Swell! (leaves the window)
F.M. (comes in with the roast, puts it on the table): What is this about?
G.M.: Don’t really know, mother. The doctor just said it concerns some mediocrity.
F.M.: That’s what you were made for, father.
G.M. (festively): It’s my domain!
F.M.: Are you going to be eating like this? (sits down)
G.M.: Oh of course, that’s why I love you darling. (leaves and comes back as a BOURGEOIS). This way I don’t have to suffer the qualms of overeating and it doesn’t taste so restraining. (sits down) Bon appetite!
F.M.: Bon appetite! (they eat, finish eating).
G.M.: Marvelous. I haven’t had such a feast in a long time!
F.M.: That warms my heart.
G.M.: Today I’ve been so many beautiful people…And mother, whoever I’ve been, I’ve enjoyed being to the fullest! Especially the Negro coffee salesman.
F.M.: That’s great…You should consider being him more often.
G.M. (buoyantly): Life! Life shouldn’t be exaggerated—That is, mother, equilibrium. The golden middle path…A vain effort. Each and everyone I was, was a solid existence.
F.M.: That’s nice. Shall we go to sleep, father?
F.M.: I’ll just clean the table. (takes dishes, cleans table, leaves off stage. G.M. takes advantage of this, leaves stage on the other side and comes back as a PASTOR, just as F.M. returns.)
F.M.: You’re going to sleep like this today?!
G.M.: Yes dear. I get much more righteous sleep this way, and thus it would be good if you’d sleep in the kitchen tonight. Good night! (jumps into bed)
F.M.: That kitchen, Geniadij, is the beyond of our love—I hope you do realize this.
G.M.: Still—Good night!
(lights out, curtain)
END OF 1st Act
Act 2.: THE PARAMOUNT GENIUSES COME TO VISIT
Same setting, G.M. sits at the table as the NEGRO COFFEE SALESMAN, a robust cockatiel sits on the perch, doorbell rings, G.M. gets up and goes to open the door.
G.M. (from behind the set): Welcome gentlemen—Mother, what a surprise—Dr. KAFKA brought Mr. MOZART with him!
F.M. (from the kitchen): Oh Christ, and I haven’t even loaded the oven!
(G.M. comes out followed by a well-built FRANZ KAFKA, and even a bigger WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART, they are one scale taller than M.G.)
G.M.: Take a seat gentlemen.
F.K. and W.A.M.: Thank you (they sit down, but they fit only if they’re seated on the floor)
F.M. (runs out of the kitchen with a big knife): Welcome gentlemen. Oh, Mr. MOZART truly is greatly tremendous! I’ll make the cockatiel! (goes to the perch, kills the cockatiel with the knife and disappears off stage)
F.K. and W.A.M.: Oh, no worries ma’am!
F.M. (from the kitchen): What worries, it couldn’t even say hello right!
G.M. (takes the floor): So what is the matter my friends?
F.K.: It’s the GRUBINESS GENIUSES.
W.A.M.: Yes, the thing is that it just can’t go on any longer like this!
G.M.: You don’t say.
F.K.: That’s the way it is—Especially their salacity, low instinctive sexuality, argotic speech, blasphemy, pathological personalities, irritating lapidary numbness…
W.A.M.: ...exactly. And the brothels, cabarets, dancehalls, gin-houses, gambling clubs that derivate from this…
F.K.: ...exactly—And sports, trash, kitsch, and pornography!
G.M.: But that is a part of their nature, gentlemen. That’s what they’re built and will collapse on—that’s why they are the GRUBBYNESS GENIUSES.
F.K.: That is no question, dear GENIADIJ MEDIOKRITOV... The problem lays elsewhere... Let me put it this way... (MOZART substitutes)
W.A.M.: In short. Franz would like to say, that we are greatly attracted by all of this.
F.K.: Just about... Actually, exactly... we are greatly attracted by all this grubbiness, but also massively dehonested. It’s all about the coat-of-arms, Geniadij!
G.M.: I understand, yes, yes, particularly the coat-of-arms… Yes, the coat-of-arms above all.
F.M. (runs out of the kitchen with the roast): Here we go! (puts it on the table) Eat away!
F.K.: Oh no, no, that is out of the question...
W.A.M.: We didn’t want to cause any inconvenience...
G.M.: But that would offend Femina Maskulinova very much, gentlemen.
F.K.: I’m afraid we’ll have to. I, for example, am a vegetarian for today...
W.A.M.: And I refuse to eat a songbird. You must understand...
G.M.: Oh Wolfgang, that wasn’t singing, but croaking. A terrible kind of croaking.
W.A.M.: ...Well, then maybe just a little taste... (has a little, F.M. walks back to the kitchen, G.M. walks off stage and returns as a BOURGEOIS, sits down)
G.M. (talking with his mouth full): The things I’ve been today, you wouldn’t believe, gentlemen. And all of them such solid existences. For example, a reverend. Just imagine it! And gentlemen, whoever I’ve been, I’ve enjoyed being to the fullest! And without any excesses above all, in all proportionality (sputters). To be or not to be—what is this laughable dilemma? A little of everything, that’s where it dwells. Or that fashionable existential mumbo jumbo. That will be the death of me! Comprehensible accuracy. That is my devise, gentlemen!—Mmm, wasn’t that tasty!—Wonderful—where were we? Oh, that thing with the… Well, that won’t be a problem at all. It’ll be best if I just schedule a meeting here at my place, on lets say, neutral ground.
W.A.M.: That’s exactly what we were thinking Geniadij Mediokritov. Exactly…
F.K.: Because there is no better middleman than you! Your reputation…
G.M.: Oh, leave that out, doctor. A petty case. That’s why a genius of mediocrity I am—to express myself in verse! You shall be satisfied. For I already know how this affair is to be solved, so gentlemen, be calm, just take it as resolved!
F.K.: That would be marvelous. If you could find some, say, middle path—some, I’m not afraid to say, reasonable compromise for us?
G.M. (festively): That is my domain!
F.K.: Then we shall not keep you busy for one more second! Take action, dear Geniadij! (F.K. and W.A.M. get ready to leave)
W.A:M.: Exactly. You’re free to act at your own will. We weren’t even hoping for a consensus. We thought that it would be nonsense. You have no idea, dear Geniadij, how relieved we will be!
G.M.: I think I do… But there is one very important thing. Come to the meeting in your ideal form, dear gentlemen. So everything is transparent.
W.A.M.: Anything you wish Geniadij Mediokritov. As you’ve said. Good bye!
F.K.: That is the least. Gladly. The important thing is that you comply. Farewell!
G.M.: My pleasure, doctor. Mother, they’re leaving!
F.M. (from the kitchen): Oh pardon me, gentlemen, I didn’t even ask how your dear madams are doing? My hands are in the wash-tub!
F.K. + W.A.M.: Thank you for asking. They live with much more practical men. Goodbye ma’am. Goodbye Geniadij Mediokritov.
G.M.: Goodbye gentlemen! (they leave and G.M. calls after them) And don’t forget—in your ideal form! (as he calls he walks off stage and returns as the NEGRO COFFEE SALESMAN and meets once again with F.M., who is coming from the kitchen)
F.M.: I always like to see you like this, father. Should we go to sleep?
G.M.: In a second, mother. I’ll just take care of one more call (goes to the window and whistles) ... Hey Eddie... No, I haven’t heard that one yet, you’ll tell it later, ok? – Is Paulie there?... Thanks … Hey Paulie… What? You callin’ me a Nigger?... Hey guys why don’t you pop by tomorrow, we’ll have a little chat… Seven’s fine… Cool, bye! (he disappears from the window off stage and returns as the PASTOR)
F.M.: Geniadij! Just a second ago you where in your ideal form of a NEGRO COFFEE SALESMAN!!
G.M.: That was a while ago, mother. The ideal has changed now… And open the kitchen window (he falls on the bed) so you can get some fresh air. Good night.
END OF 2nd Act
Act 3.: THE GRUBBYNESS GENIUSES COME TO VISIT
Same setting, G.M. is sleeping on the table as the BOURGEOIS, suddenly awoken by a robust ZAKO parrot from the perch. G.M. gets up, walks over to Neruda’s portrait and changes it into a picture of a naked woman with the click of a button on some automated device—the doorbell rings and G.M. goes to open the door.
G.P.: How’s it hangin’ panthers? Momma, they’re here!
F.M. (from the kitchen): Who?
Budgie: Grood Erreevnening!
(PAULIE PORNO, naked with his oversized penis sticking out, and ED ENTERTAINMENT, a young man in a clown costume, enter onto the stage. G.M. calls)
G.M.: Paulie Porno and Ed Entertainment!
F.M.: Damn it, and I don’t have the cock in my oven yet!
P.P.: No problem, madam. And how are you anyways my lady?
(F.M. enters with a big knife)
F.M.: Ó, Paulie Porno still in shape! (she looks at him below the waist). Also greatly tremendous, in his own way.
P.P.: You bet, madam! By the way your bird sure knows how to say hello!
E.E.: G’day ma’am. You know the one ‘bout the plumber?
F.M.: Oh stop it you tease! I’ll just make the Budgie. (kills the parrot and disappears with the dead bird in the kitchen).G.M.: Sit down so it doesn’t keep hanging, Paulie!
P.P.: Not my case (points to his pride and sits down)
G.M.: You too Ed (sits down) Alright guys, so whaddaya reckon?
P.P.: Shoot you Genius!
G.M.: It’s truly a delicatessen. Yesterday I had Kafka the writer, and Mozart the composer over for dinner…
P.P.: Yeah, and so what? I’ve already got a quill and a solid pair of maracas! (points at his utensils)
G.M.: Jesus Paulie, just sit down like a good boy and listen! They came to complain that you guys got a bad influence on them.
E.E.: But that’s impossible Genio. We don’t even know the dudes.
G.M.: I know Eddie, but that’s not it. They also mentioned that they’re tempted and that they actually like it… That life of yours and things…
P.P.: And so what’s the catch, Genio?
G.M.: Well, I don’t really know boys, but they sure do really wanna meet you.
P.P.: Look Genio, I don’t get that. Influence is in the blue, but them guys in azure. Just seems them guys don’t know what they want. So what do we need to meet them for…
F.M. (bringing the roast): So boys, enough talkin’ now get something in your tummies. You sure must be hungry.
P.P.: That’s one luxurious dish madam. I got a cock like a porn star!
E.E.: Seems edible ma’am! You heard the one ‘bout the carpenter?
F.M.: Oh, you little rascal! Eat up so it doesn’t get cold. (leaves for the kitchen)
G.M.: Eat up, guys – the things I’ve been, I’ve enjoyed being to the fullest, but I won’t even tell you about that...
P.P.: Alright Genio – don’t! (they start eating, eat, finish up)
G.M.: Mmm, that was damn good! Where were we? Oh yeah, the meeting… Stop being such stuck-up guys, it won’t do you any harm—on the other hand—I sure can imagine that this could even score you somethin’… Come on, guys, how ‘bout it?... Because of me...
E.E.: And whatcha think it could score for us, hm?
G.M.:: They’re GENIUSES Ed – you can always score something off of them.
P.P.: You’re right that they pretty high up, so it sure could score something for us torn up beggars here down low.
G.M.: That’s right Paulie, and the doctor even said that it concerns some coat-of-arms, and those coats-of-arms sure ain’t nothin’ cheap nowadays.
P.P.: What do you think Ed?
E.E.: Yeah, let’s give it a try Paulie. I’ve been dead broke for more than a week now, so it sure would help if we scored somethin’.
P.P.: You’re lucky we’re both so light hearted, Genio… But you have to set it up!
G.M. (festively): That’s my domain!
P.P.: See you tomorrow.
G.M.: That’s what I wanted to hear, boys! Let’s shake on it! (his hand meets a penis) We’re half way to it. We’re people! I’ll take care of everything. You won’t be sorry.
P.P.: Alright Genio. We’re taking off.
G.P.: Momma, the boys are leaving.
F.M. (from the kitchen): And I didn’t even ask about Constance and Dora.
P.P. + E.E.: As if it happened! Farewell madam polite!
E.E.: And do you know the one about the chimney sweep, ma’am?
F.M. (from the kitchen): Oh, you tease!
P.P.: Come on Eddie, let’s go. I think I’m gonna get so drunk that my nails will come off! See ya Genio!
G.M.: See you panthers. Oh, wait! Important thing. Tomorrow, come just as god made you.
P.P.: That’s the only way I dress Genio!
G.M.: I mean in an ideal, like a genius.
P.P.: Oh, that way. And is it really necessary?
G.M.: Yeah Paulie, very important indeed.
P.P.: Cool, cool. Will do. Bye.
G.M.: And you too Ed.
E.E.: You can bet on it Genio… Bye.
G.M.(towards F.M., who’s walking out of the kitchen): Let’s jump under the sheets, momma!
F.M.: Oh Geniadij, speaking the boys’ tongue again?
G.M.: Oh – sorry – shall we go to sleep? (lies down)
F.M.: That’s nice of you father, today at least as a bourgeois! (jumps into bed next to him)
G.M.: Just a second darling, I forgot to shut off the lights in the hall... (gets up, disappears off scene and returns as a PASTOR)
F.M.: You slime!
G.P.: Don’t forget to open your window dear, there are a lot of unhealthy fumes floating around in the kitchen. Good night.
F.M. (leaves for the kitchen and once she’s gone G.M. jumps to the window and calls out)
G.M.: Doctor, doctor… are you still awake? ...It’s all set… Yes… Tomorrow evening… Oh, it was no trouble… It’s my domain! (then he switches the picture of the naked woman for a portrait of Marquis de Sade) Heavenly marquis. Yes, that would be an appropriate compromise.
(lights out, curtain)
END OF 3rd Act
Act 4.: THE PARAMOUNT GENIUSES AND THE GRUBYNESS GENIUSES MEET AT THE HOME OF THE MEDIOCRITY GENIUS
Same set, the perch is occupied by a little girl instead of a parrot, G.M. enters in festive mood as a MUSKETEER.
G.M.: Today is my big day, mother! And thus I stand here armed as a fighter. As a winner, mother! Years of adequate work have finally brought fruit! Two parallels shall not meet in infinity – They shall meet in our home!
F.M. (from the kitchen): And aren’t they rather two poles, father?
G.M.: Oh stop it, Fema... (doorbell rings) Our guests are here! (goes to open backstage and calls back) Viva Consensus! (a jar with clear liquid slides onstage, followed by G.M.)
LITTLE GIRL: Good day!
G.M.: Fema!... This is marvelous!... Mr. Mozart and the doctor in their ideal form – As clear spirit! – Spiritus – You have to see this!
F.M. (from the kitchen): I’ll be right there, just need to pull my hands out of the sink!
VOICES OF F.K. AND W.A.M. FROM THE JAR (the liquid bubbles when the metamorphosed persons speak): Greetings Fema Maskulinovna!
G.M.: Ha! – the other side! (runs backstage to open and calls back) Problema es muerte!
(A SEAL-PIPE floats onto the scene full of some kind of filth, still hidden, followed by G.M.)
LITTLE GIRL: Good day!
G.P.: Momma! You have to see this! Paulie and Eddie in their ideal—as a filthy substance—as chaos! Great guys… You didn’t forget...
VOICES OF P.P. AND E.E. FROM THE SEAL-PIPE: We’re not a bunch of assholes, Genius.
F.M. (storms out of the kitchen): Well, I’m finally here… Hello gentlemen. Dressed up I see… Very elegant.
SEAL-PIPE (VOICE OF E.E.): ...You bet ma’am, oh, you know the one about the baker?
F.M.: Oh you beast! I’ll make the Scarlet Macaw! (she kills the LITTLE GIRL on the perch and runs back to the kitchen with her dead body)
G.M.: Femina Maskulinovna wanted to make the favorite parrot twirled poppy-seed noodles. But believe it or not we don’t have a twirling-stick today.
SEAL-PIPE (P.P.): ...well what darn luck, I hate noodles.
G.M.: Ok… Regarding your state, I cannot really offer you a seat, gentlemen. And I reckon you won’t mind if we get right down to business…
JAR: But of course Geniadij Mediokritov, it would be a bit embarrassing…
SEAL-PIPE: Hey Genio, we’ve got no problem with sitting down (THE SEAL-PIPE jumps onto a chair, at the same momeny F.M. sticks her head out of the kitchen and yells at the SEAL-PIPE)
F.M.: Get off that tidy… You dish-clouts! (THE SEAL-PIPE obediently jumps off the seat and F.M. sticks her head back into the kitchen)
G.M.: So, I was, as you know, asked by the PARAMOUNT GENIUS party, to, as the MEDIOCRITY GENIUS, arrange a meeting with the GRUBBYNESS GENIUS party. I’ve been given so called full liberty from both sides at the meetings that I’ve held with each party. Which is practically the authority to solve this delicate problem, concerning a somewhat one sided, or lets say unidirectional influence of one party on the other, which had caused harm to the side that is being influenced… At the same time, if I understand things right, the harm goes hand in hand with some kind of benefit… It doesn’t sound very standard, but it’s very simple. Anyway, it’s not complicated.
F.M. (from the kitchen): Father, you sound like some fucking lawyer!
G.M.: I am a fucking lawyer as well, mother! And get over here already.
F.M. (still from the kitchen): I’m already there.
SEAL-PIPE (E.E.): ...Don’t forget that coat-of-arms, Genio!
G.M.: Yes, the coat-of-arms, sure… But there is more, gentlemen: consensus, agreement, conciliation, death to problem, tension, and struggle. Today the MEDIOCRITY GENIUS will step over his own shadow with the intention of adequacy and good reputation… A victim of my own self I shall fill up the gap between you… Attention gentlemen! Once I say NOW, its as if I never existed... NOW! (he picks up the SEAL-PIPE and pours its contents into the jar, then he kicks the SEAL-PIPE off stage and says very festively) I am the one, who is as if never was! That’s my domain!
(the contents of the SEAL-PIPE dim the contents of the JAR)
F.M. (peaks out of the kitchen): Oh, and I missed it! Oh well, the digester is giving me trouble… (her head disappears back into the kitchen)
G.M.: Well gentlemen! What do you say?
JAR (E.E.): You were damn right genio. We really scored something. We’re still enjoying ourselves and now we even understand it!
JAR (P.P.): Hats off Genio. It’s the best!
JAR (F.K.): And we on the other hand still understand. But now we’re finally also really enjoying it!
JAR (W.A.M.): It’s just like music Geniadij Mediokritov. Wonderful music – but with no order!
G.M.: That’s good to hear!
F.M. (storms in with the roast): Scarlet is done!
G.M.: So are the gentlemen. So there’s almost no reason to serve, mother.
JAR: Oh, just throw it in!
G.M. (offended): Oh Paulie, isn’t that an idea!
JAR: But that wasn’t me talking! It was the doctor and the composer.
G.M.: Is that true doctor? Mr. Wolfgang?
JAR: We are both pleasantly surprised. It sure is, so throw it in.
G.M. (to F.M.): Well then bring it over mother, the gentlemen would like to have some after all. (takes the roast from F.M. and throws it into the jar)
JAR: What a chow Genio! That’s what I call a roast, Femina Maskulinovna!
G.M.: You’re making me a little sick, gentlemen!
JAR: Hey, don’t curl your lip before you have a taste of this. Come on!
G.M.: Oh but now you’re getting really disgusting Paulie!
JAR: But Genio, that’s Kafka talking!
G.M.: What! Oh well excuse me then. It seems your blending had gone out of my control. Especially your way of speech had confused me… So you think I should, doctor?
JAR: Oh you bet! And why don’t you call me Franz, what about it Wolfi. Of course, you always. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.Well and I am you, doctor Franz Kafka…
G.M. (greatly confused): It is an honor, I suddenly feel so much more liberated and you, I mean both of you, I mean you Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and you doctor Franz Kafka – do you think I really should?
JAR (F.K.): Oh, of course. First off we’ll be complete, second you can enjoy yourself like everyone who you like to be at once, third I bet it would make Femina Maskulinovna real happy – she’ll feel like she’s at a ball and you don’t have to get out of the house, and fourth with you, the genius mediator, the experience of our blending will intensify and only through your mediocrity will everything new that had been thanks to your heuristic approach created be rightfully consumed!
G.M.: Mother! I think he’s right. We’re going to bed early today. It’s what the doctor recommends!
F.M.: Well alright, father, but what about the gentlemen? Are they staying overnight?
G.M.: For sure. And we are staying with them.
F.M.: Well I’ll go make the beds...
G.M.: No mother. Today we sleep in different sheets (points to the JAR) ...And stop being so artificial, they’ve now become something like...our children...
F.M.: That’s beautiful father. But are you sure you’re not going to cheat?
G.M.: No today, I swear… You’ll see (he walks off stage and returns in all of his forms – the PASTOR, NEGRO COFFEE SALESMAN, BOURGEOIS, and MUSKETEER) Satisfied?
F.M.: Completely... Only the PASTOR could maybe excuse us...
G.M. (as the PASTOR): But of course… If you need something I’ll be in the kitchen. (leaves)
F.M.: Sleep well, PASTOR. We’re not going to disturb you at all… And you’re your window – The roast was well overdone... (PASTOR disappears into the kitchen)
G.M.: Well, it sure has turned out well… Though I must confess I hoped for a bit more cultivated mix, thanks to the presumed dominant effect of the PARAMOUNT GENIUSES.
JAR: Well, then you hoped wrong, Geniadij.
G.M.: Yes, that must be it… Hoped wrong… That really sounds like me…
F.M.: Oh come on, father… You did your best.
G.M.: You think?
F.M.: Of course. You’ve arranged it brilliantly. Well, now that I think of it – It’s your domain! (a giant parrot lands on the perch) How am I going to cook this?
G.M.: Doctor, how big is that coat-of-arms of yours? You reckon that my wife could cook something a bit bigger on it?
JAR: An elephant, Geniadij, even an elephant! It’s in the hall if you don’t detest ma’am.
F.M.: I’ll gladly wash it over doctor. And tomorrow I’ll make a monster! ...For everybody!
G.M.: I love you Fema!
F.M.: I love you too. (they hug)
G.M.: As if a new life was beginning, mother.
F.M.: I feel the same, father… And I hope that it will be only the best for us… Shall we get some shuteye?
(The JAR bubbles with dim liquid and the MEDIOCRITY GENIUS in tri-unity prepares to jump into the JAR with his FEMA, lights go out, it’s dark, sounds of music and bubbling, which overlays four splashes – the MEDIOCRITY GENIUS and his wife had just crowned they’re effort to establish universal equilibrium. The last two sentences of the whole farce sound out of the JAR)
JAR: And have you heard the one about the negotiator, ma’am?
JAR (F.M.): No I haven’t, tell it...
(music finishes, curtain)
END OF 4th Act
END OF PLAY