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Today, we are quite excited to scratch our armpits and other body parts in front of Ed Bonelli, who is visiting from a different folder in the computer we live in when we’re not in the newspaper.
Ed is a character in a new, unpublished play. He doesn’t do much in the play, other than occupy a living room, and as far as we can tell, he doesn’t do anything outside of it. However, we like his company, if only because we’re sick of each others’, and we like pestering him with questions.
Monkeys: Ed, why don’t you tell us about the play?
Ed: It’s about … Do you want to know what I think it’s about or what my brother thinks it’s about?
Monkeys: Let’s start with the title.
Ed: It has a title?
Monkeys: Most plays do.
Ed: Like Sir Elton John?
Monkeys: You know Elton John has been knighted but you don’t know the title of your play?
Ed (nodding): You have to understand, I’m written. So sometimes the playwright gives me lines I would never say. It’s like sometimes I get to talk and sometimes she does – like we share one body. Although, I might not have a body, so – one voice, I guess.
Monkeys: We love our bodies. They’re old and shedding from strange places but at least they still stink.
Ed (ignoring Monkeys): Actually, I’m surprised she let me do this interview.
Ed: My playwright. It’s the first time I’ve ever been out of the play.
Monkeys: Well, what do you think? How does it compare?
Ed: Is the whole world like this?
Monkeys: Like what?
Ed: Like an interview with a band of monkeys?
Monkeys: Yes, pretty much.
Ed: I’d like it better if my wife were here.
Monkeys: Ah, that’s right. You’re married. Tell us about Mrs. Bonelli.
Ed: You mean my mother? I really don’t want to talk about her. Really. Does any man really want to talk about his mother?
Monkeys: We have strictly amoral relationships with our mothers. If we started talking about them, guaranteed, it would make you much more uncomfortable than us.
Ed: I’d rather talk about my wife. Martha. She’s – may I be frank? I realize this is for a newspaper article, so maybe I should avoid certain descriptive, er, praise.
Monkeys: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Our editor said to go ahead.
Ed: Monkeys, she is amorous – not so much while we’re watching TV at night with the kids, but I’ve figured out other times.
Monkeys: That almost makes us want to be married. Is that what the play is about? Marriage?
Ed: Yes. That’s one way to put it. It’s mostly about me trying to figure out other times to approach her … voraciously. It’s not as easy as it sounds. You’d think, because we’re married, we could be voracious whenever we wanted. But not only do we have three children, we have the play itself to contend with – the construct! It turns out it’s not a pornographic play, so it’s not like we can attack each other onstage. The playwright is always throwing in blackouts just when I get extremely hopeful.
Monkeys: She doesn’t sound like a very good writer.
Ed: Although my brother, Jack, he thinks it’s all about him trying to get a date with a girl named Vera.
Monkeys: Hmm. That’s interesting.
Ed: I know! Vera is barely in the play. I met her once. Didn’t care for her.
Monkeys: Ed, we hate to be the six to tell you this, but play is called “Watching Vera Date.”
Monkeys: We just found it in our notes.
Monkeys: We keep fastidious notes. Don’t stereotype us.
Ed: No, I mean, that’s can’t be the title. It must just be the working title. I’m sure she’ll change it.
Monkeys: What do you suggest?
Ed: How about “After the Kids Go to Bed”? Or “8 a.m. Tuesday Morning”? Both of those work much better with the plot.
Monkeys: Is this you talking or the playwright?
Ed (sighing): Me.
We monkeys are trying to arrange an interview with Ed’s brother, Jack. It is proving difficult. As of press-time, Jack has agreed only on the condition that we come to him – where he lounges comfortably in Ed’s living room, in the play.
We’ve never been in a play before … except that one time, when those guys were playing heads-or-tails. Hmm, maybe it’ll be like going home.