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Mar. 23, 2014 Day #39 Monologue Mania
Baby Moons (c)
by Janet S. Tiger
(c) 2014 all rights reserved
(A man is seen onstage, he looks like he's in his forties, but it could be fifties, hard to tell. He looks up at the sky.)
Clear night tonight. The moon is kinda small….like a baby moon, only that means something else, you know. (Laughs) You never heard of baby moons? I’ll tell you….there’s a few minutes left to our break.
(He is quiet, takes out a cigarette and lights it slowly, He takes a deep breath.)
My father used to say that no story should last longer than it takes to smoke a cigarette. And then he would pause, and add - 'and not one of those filter things, a real cigarette.'
I've been thinking about my father recently, since I got the news. Maybe because I just bought a new car. Funny how that goes together, but that's what the story is about.
Y'see, when I bought the car, and this is my first new car in my life, first time I could afford a new car....I was hoping I could take my father for a ride in it, but, I guess not now.
The salesman asked me if I wanted special hubcaps....and I just laughed. I mean, I can afford them, but after what I know about hubcaps and what I used to do with them, I'd never buy any fancy ones.
(Thinks, takes a deep breath of the cigarette and blows out the smoke slowly.)
That's what we called them back then. Baby moons.
It was the easiest money in the world.
I grew up in Vegas, and people came from all over, driving in their fancy cars. All
you needed was a screwdriver to pop off their fancy hubcaps....their… baby moons.
You needed a couple a bucks for some beer, to go with some girl.....you grab your buddies, one watches in each direction.....a whistle is the warning that someone is coming....
(He whistles for an example)
I was fast with that slot, baby.....
(He kneels quickly, uses the cigarette to show how fast you can pop off a cap)
You have a paper bag with you, big enough for all four......
(He illustrates in pantomime)
And you're done - all four, less than 60 seconds - faster if the car was small!
We always picked out-of-town plates….those people never bothered to report anything to the police – they were having too much fun!
(Remembering) And there was a guy who would give us five bucks for all four - easy money. I used to think he had the hard part- he had to find someone to pay five bucks each......we had it made. Four guys, one buck each, and the extra went to the guy who popped, usually me, cause I was the fastest.
Were we ever caught?
I'd like to say, yes, because that would have been fair...but we weren't.
Oh, a couple of times it was close, but we'd just leave the bag behind, and walk away. That was my idea.
My Dad bought a new car. Brand new. His first ever. A 1968 Chevy wagon, so all of us kids and the dog could fit in it.
And he spent the extra few bucks to get the fancy caps- it was his gift to himself, he didn't buy a Mustang, but he could get nice caps......
I didn't know he'd bought a new car - it was a surprise. And so when he came home looking like someone had shot the dog, I didn't know what happened...until I saw the car......
It was nice, new, you know......all shiny, and nice smelling....and it had no hubcaps. he told everyone some dumb kids must have stolen them, and that one day they’d be caught, and go to prison…..and they should rot in hell.......
He didn't know he was talkin about me and my friends.....(means a lot)...but I never took another baby moon after that.
I just couldn't anymore.....
You see, I didn't want to rot in hell.
(He finishes the cigarette, taking a long last breath)
Bad habit, cigarettes....I got that in Vegas, too. Wish I could stop or I probably will rot....in some hospital.
Well, ya know what they say..everything happens for a reason….…
(He turns to go, listens to the question, surprised)
Nah, I wasn’t the one who stole my Dad’s caps!…..I told ya, never touched cars like that. Just the fancy ones......the visitors….
Gotta get back to work….see ya tomorrow……
(He takes the cigarette and crushes it under his heel, turns to leave, looks back.)
(Slow) …. it coulda been me though….I’m just glad it wasn’t…..
(He walks off slowly.)
Janet S. Tiger
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8