When I was a teenager, an oft-told urban myth was making the rounds among boys my age, which went something like this: a lonely woman arrives home on her birthday to a dark house. She quickly disrobes and fetches whipped cream from the fridge, which she uses for a bizarre, David Lynchian sexual encounter involving her trusty mutt. In the middle of this fantastic escapade, her family and friends jump out from behind curtains and sofas and yell “Surprise!” Surprise indeed!
Although a complete fabrication of the teenage male mind, the yarn nevertheless serves as a cautionary tale of the potential pitfalls of surprise parties, and is inspiring me to write a series of short vignette plays about them. Each vignette is intended to remind those people who might wish to throw me a surprise party one day that such unexpected events can lead to negative consequences. Examples:
- A teenage boy is told to push-mow his two-acre lawn because, his parents explain, the riding mower is “on the fritz.” He smokes a bone in order to make the lawn-mowing chore a good deal less boring. Afterward, he returns to the house with little red slits for eyes, and quickly finds himself in freak-out mode when all his living relatives leap out at him and holler “Surprise!” Once the dust settles, he is made to answer stupid questions from uncles along the lines of, “Have you ever considered insurance as a career?” The boy mutters in response from behind foot-long bangs, “I dunno, yeah, I guess.”;
- A well-respected conservative southern self-righteous douchebag judge is surprised in his own home while carrying a stack of gay-porn magazines (“It’s for research!” he tells members of his church choir);
- An Idiotic former rock star with a hair-trigger temper is so startled by the hordes yelling “surprise” on his 50th birthday that he unloads 30-rounds from a quasi-legal automatic weapon he’s armed with, killing everyone in sight;
- An internationally-renowned vegan cookbook author comes waltzing through the side entrance of his house and is startled by several dozen surprise-partiers while he is in the act of stuffing his face full of mongoose jerky.
I could very easily go on, but I think you get the idea.