By John McNeil
When people put us down, they tear pieces off our IALAC (I Am Lovable And Capable) Badge.
(Scene: Sandy is lying on the floor in a foetal position. He wears around his neck a label on a string. The label carries the word "IALAC" in large letters. Dee stands to one side, narrating and observing. Through the scene Sandy does not speak, but reacts/mimes to the dialogue and events.)
Once upon a time there was a newborn baby, named Sandy. He was much loved and wanted, and proudly wore the badge his mother and father had given him. It read, "I AM LOVABLE AND CAPABLE". However, there came a time when Sandy began to walk, and one day he went into the garden without anyone noticing. There he picked some flowers as a love gift for his mother and took them proudly to her.
(Enter mother. Sandy toddles up to her and presents the flowers.)
My prize chrysanthemums! Sandy, you naughty boy!
(She paddles Sandy, and tears a small piece off his IALAC label. Sandy shrivels a little. Exit mother.)
Not long after, Sandy's father lost his job. (Enter father, who is drunk) Sandy's father had not taken his dismissal well, and came home drunk and in a bad mood. Sandy rushed up to greet his father, but got a beating instead.
Get out of my sight! Another mouth I can't feed! (He tears another piece off Sandy's IALAC label. Exits)
The time came for Sandy to go to school, but on his first day when he wanted to go to the toilet, he didn't read the signs correctly, and went into the girls' toilet by mistake.
(A loud scream from girls, followed by a lot of children laughing.)
(Enters, jeers at Sandy) Sandy can't read! Sandy can't read!
(Enters) Girlie boy! Girlie boy!
(They each tear pieces off the IALAC label)
Occasionally, someone would paste a small piece back on Sandy's "I am Lovable and Capable" badge.
(Enter Nadia, carrying books. She trips and falls, hurting her arm. Sandy rushes over to her, helps her up, and takes a Band Aid out of his pocket, which he sticks on her arm. He picks up her books, and offers to carry them for the girl. She gives him a big smile, and sticks a small piece back on Sandy's IALAC label. They exit together.)
But mostly, people kept tearing pieces off. And soon they didn't need to. Sandy began tearing pieces off himself.
(Enter, Mother, Father, Rudy, Heimlich, Nadia, and teacher. They circle round Sandy, who tears pieces off the label while he gradually cowers back into foetal position.)
Why do you have to try so hard to be the class clown?
Sandy, do you have to track mud all through the house?
You're a nogood, like your old man.
I know I said I'd go to the party with you, but Rudy's just offered to take me in his new convertible.
There's only one way you'll leave here, and that's feet first.
Love you!? I'll love you when you get a decent job instead of hanging round with those hoodlum friends of yours all day!
Finally, Sandy's IALAC label was totally in tatters.
(Sandy rips it off his neck. He takes a bottle of pills from his pocket, and tips them into his mouth. He falls to the ground unconscious.)
All (except Dee):
Now why would a boy who comes from such a decent home do a thing like that?
© John McNeil 1998
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged.
In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed.
He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or at: 36B Stourbridge St, Christchurch 2, New Zealand.