a play in one act
STAGE is decorated with a BIG YELLOW FAKE SUN hanging from a PAINTED BLUE SKY BACKDROP over a set of FAKE PAINTED WAVES. From behind the WAVES up juts a BROWN LIFEBOAT, CENTER STAGE for the duration of the performance. The WAVES are moved slowly back and forth throughout, a basic approximation of the movement of the sea.
There are seven survivors in the lifeboat: the CHIEF, the FIRST MATE, BILL, MILO, DEBBIE, WENDY and STEVE. All are exhausted and very thin. All are normal humans except STEVE, who has a gigantic T-bone steak for a head. STEVE only has a mouth - he has affixed two very large GOOGLY EYES to the steak to make it look like he has an entire face. STEVE sits in the middle of the boat with three other survivors on each side.
Hey, Mate - how long have we been lost at sea?
33 days, Chief.
And how many of those days without food, Mate?
28 days. 28.
An uncomfortable silence descends upon the lifeboat. STEVE slowly stirs.
Well, if no one else is, I’m gonna go ahead and
address the elephant in the room. After 33 days
you all know me by now – I’m Steve, the guy with
a gigantic T-bone steak for a head.
And I can’t be sure of this, because I was born
without actual eyes, but I believe that most, if not
all of you, are nodding tiredly and hungrily.
Smaller chorus of nods.
I believe over time I’ve told each one of you about
how I started wearing these Googly eyes so that people
would have a place to look when they speak to me instead
of just a raw mass of red, red meat.
More tired nodding.
See, that’s so annoying, too. Me, always needing affirmation.
Me, always nattering on about my condition. That’s why it’s
gotta be me. I’ve got to be the one.
What are you talking about, Steve?
You have to eat me. You have to. That’s all there
is to it.
No, no, come on now, it’s true. My head alone has
easily the most meat mass out of anyone here. (pauses)
No one’s gonna miss me. I’m not married; I don’t have
any kids. My mother died in childbirth – obviously!
(gestures at gigantic steak head) – and my father got
tired of looking at the squirming red weapon of his
wife’s demise after about a year. After that it was
foster home to foster home – and, well, you can
imagine the teasing but that wasn’t the worst of it.
Other kids, foster parents, sometimes teachers! Always
wanting a taste. Always wanting to cut off a chunk just
so they could “try it out”. Always wanting to know what
it would be like.
STEVE pauses, shakes head.
You know, this could be good for me too. A way to give
my worthless life some meaning. A way to somehow
finally make sense of this insane, gigantic meat head!
STEVE begins striking his own T-bone steak head.
This head that killed my mother! This head that drove away
my father! This thing, this steak, this...meat that has
destroyed my life since before I had one!
STEVE pauses, thinks.
Please, please, all of you! Look deep into my Googly
eyes, past them to the soul within, and understand
that to eat me, to survive, is not selfish in any way
on your parts, but in fact would be a gift to me!
STEVE pauses again, overcome with emotion.
Give me this gift!
WENDY waves her hands at STEVE.
Now, wait, wait Steve! Let’s calm down and talk
There’s nothing to talk about. We’re not going to
I didn’t say we were going to eat him! It’s just…
now that Steve has finally broached the subject
we...we really should talk about this.
33 days at sea, the last 28 without food. If we
don't eat soon, we are going to start dying, one
And after that begins, we won't have any choice
in the matter. At that point, we may have become
too weak to prepare food. We may be too weak
That's why you have to eat me now, right now.
Before things get worse.
He has a point.
Are you crazy? We're gonna get picked up here
any day now - I can't believe it hasn't happened
already - and not one of you is going to be able
to forgive yourselves if we eat this man and then
Bill, I respect your opinion, but Debbie's logic is sound.
It's amazing one of us hasn't dropped off already. If we
do ever get rescued, all they're gonna rescue is a boat
full of corpses.
If the guy wants us to eat him, who's to say we shouldn't?
Hey, Chief, what do you think?
I think that I am very, very hungry. So hungry. (long pause)
But I just don't know if I can eat another guy.
Well, think about this: what if we just...taste him?
What in God's name are you talking about?
Well, I don't know - if we just taste Steve maybe it'll help
us decide whether or not we should eat him. Like,
if his head just tastes like human skin, that's probably
not going to work. But if it tastes like an actual
Are you okay with this? Getting "tasted"?
As long as it all ends with me getting eaten, I don't care.
FIRST MATE shrugs. All the other castaways look at each other. WENDY is the first to get up.
Well, okay then.
WENDY makes her way carefully over to STEVE, touches the side of his head gently and speaks very slowly and purposefully.
Are you sure this is what you want,
I can't stress to you enough how badly
I want all of you to eat me, and if this
helps, then great.
Okay. (Nodding, rocking, psyching
herself up) Here we go.
WENDY places both her hands on STEVE's massive head, and then takes a long lick. WENDY waits, taking stock of the flavor, then begins licking STEVE's head almost frantically. DEBBIE gets up.
DEBBIE moves slowly over to the other side of STEVE's head. DEBBIE takes a couple of tentative licks, responds to the taste and begins licking at nearly the same speed as WENDY.
How, how is it? I mean, like, what does
it taste like?
Neither WENDY or DEBBIE pauses to answer; in fact, both have begun moaning and grunting in an almost sexual pleasure. MILO gets up.
Okay, I'm goin' in.
You're not going to...to do that?
If the Bear is hungry, the Bear will eat!
From out of nowhere, the SOUND OF A STUDIO AUDIENCE LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY is heard. MILO makes his way over to STEVE, places himself between WENDY and DEBBIE and behind STEVE and immediately begins licking his head like crazy. The moaning from WENDY and DEBBIE increases in volume and intensity. STEVE slowly puts his hands on WENDY and DEBBIE's exposed calves. They continue, unabated. STEVE slides his hands up the ladies' thighs. Both still continue licking and moaning. STEVE slides both his hands up into WENDY and DEBBIE's crotches. WENDY and DEBBIE immediately pull back, push STEVE's hands away.
What the hell, man?!
But I, I thought you...
This isn't sexual, Steve!
It's about survival.
STEVE holds his steak-head, leans forward shamefully. MILO continues licking, unaware or uncaring of events around him. Suddenly, the FIRST MATE perks up, pointing off UPPER STAGE LEFT.
Hey. Hey! Look, look there! It's a...
EVERYONE bounds up excitedly, cheering, laughing. The SOUND OF A BUZZING HELICOPTER is heard, SLOWLY GROWING IN VOLUME until it reaches its maximum volume hovering over the lifeboat. OFFSTAGE industrial strength fans blow fiercely at the boat, buffeting the hair and clothing of the survivors. Suddenly, a ROPE LADDER drops from the rafters. All the survivors begin to ascend: first the two ladies, then MILO, the CHIEF, and the FIRST MATE. BILL is next to last and gives STEVE a sickly smile as BILL lets go of the rope ladder and speaks to STEVE.
BILL immediately begins punching STEVE as hard as he can in STEVE's steak-head. STEVE shouts but it can barely be heard above the over-whelming sound of the helicopter. Once STEVE is subdued, BILL leans down and starts taking huge bites out of STEVE's head. STEVE is screaming at this point, but again, it can barely be heard over the helicopter. BILL eventually sits up, his face, hands and clothes covered with blood. STEVE lies prone, apparently dead. BILL belches and begins to ascend the rope ladder. As BILL climbs, he shouts up loud enough to be heard over the sound of the helicopter.
SHARK! SHARK! I tried to save
him! Shark attack! SHARK!
Ad infinitum. FIN