2.27.2005

Punct

(A possibly true anecdote from the youth of E. F. Scarfley)

A non-play

The players: Scarfley, Jim, Book.




Enter, Impresario. Addresses the audience:

Ladies and Gentlemen, a preemptive aside, of little consequence: Imagine you enter a cleanly lit reading room and find there two men talking; they do not stop to address your entrance. You position yourself at a slight distance from the two men, and you notice they are verbally inserting punctuation into their discourse. Peculiar? Yes. Will you remember, after you have left the room, the subject of their conversation? I think not. Enjoy, and good night.

Exit.



Act Only

Afternoon.

Scarfley and Jim are sitting at a desk in a library. Book is open on the desk, between them.

Scarfley: See? Listen: "If two or more clauses grammatically complete and not joined by a conjunction are to form a single compound sentence, the correct mark of punctuation is a semicolon."

Jim: So?

Scarfley: So, you wrote, "Katie is wicked hot, comma (makes an air-comma with his left index finger), I'd do her." You should have written, "Katie is wicked hot, semicolon (makes and air-semicolon with his right index finger), I'd do her."

Jim: (Rolls his eyes) Ok, ok. Whatever.

Scarfley: I'm just saying. This test is important if you want to actually pass English this year.

Jim: Fine, so what do I do?

Scarfley: (Mockingly) Why don't you go the rest of the day verbalizing your punctuation? For example, comma, the way I just did, period.

Jim: (With visible disgust) Oh, come on-You've gotta be kidding me!

Scarfley: (With much amusement) You mean, "Oh, comma, come on, dash, you've gotta be kidding me, exclamation point"?

Jim: Ok, we're done here.

Scarfley: (With growing excitement) You mean, "Ok, comma, we're done here, period"!

Jim stares at Scarfley for a very short moment, stands, and walks off-stage, agitated. Scarfley follows quickly after, leaving Book open on the table.

Book: I tell you what, colon, there go a real couple of idiots, exclamation point.

Curtain.