Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Why Are We Back In Iraq? Act III Scene 1
(It is March 23rd, four days after the commencement of the "shock-and-awe" campaign during Iraq War II. The 3rd battalion, 4th regiment, a component of the United States Marines 1st Expeditionary Forces is on the march to Baghdad. The Marines are in the southern desert, outside of the city of Basra, and far away from any sign of significant action.)
(A group of five young marines sit and eat their MREs calmly in front of an armored tank. PFC MARKS, LANCE CORPORAL IRWIN, PFC SANTANA, CORPORAL LANG and PFC EDWARDS are dressed in jungle camouflaged NBC vests and desert camouflaged gear - with their M-16s nestled in between their legs - on their first real break from the relentless mobilization.
(SGT. DRUDGE enters the stage and joins his men. There are knives strapped to his chest and ankles.
(The desert is silent except for its invaders. They are currently camped out in the open desert at night.)
DRUDGE - Continue.
IRWIN - (to Lang) - So you think it's some kind of conspiracy.
LANG - That's what I'm saying, y'know what I mean, I'm not saying he's definitely still alive, I don't have any proof just eyes, but I honestly truly feel that there's a chance.
IRWIN - Dude, you're way off base. That mutherfucker's deader than dead, anyone can download his autopsy picture from off the Internet and see big bullet holes, thug tattoos and his bald shiny head.
LANG - Get real, Hollywood. That shit was as fake as the Hitler Diaries. The key detail that makes me suspicious is that they supposedly had his ashes cremated. Tupac was a Muslim and Muslims don't believe in that shit.
DRUDGE - Shit, I've seen plenty of A-rabs set themselves on fire on the news. It's some kind of honor to the sick fucks.
EDWARDS - Wish every fucking one of them would save us the trouble and do us the favor.
LANG - Those are crazy-ass Shiites. Not the same. It's like comparing David Koresh and George Bush since they're both born-agains. Personally, I suspect Tupac went into the witness protection program because he ratted out Suge Knight.
IRWIN - You must be hallucinating due to withdrawal from blunts and forties.
(TED enters the scene, dressed identically to the Marines, toting his ever-present weapons - a notebook and pen - plus an opened MRE. At first, the Marines pretend to ignore his presence. Then EDWARDS and DRUDGE direct their best battle stares at him with contempt in their eyes.)
TED - (trying not to show that he is nervous) Mind if I sit down and eat with you boys?
(The lower-ranked men all turn to DRUDGE - the squadron leader.)
DRUDGE - That depends. Are you a Republican?
TED - No, but I'm circumcised.
(All the MARINES laugh except for EDWARDS and DRUDGE. IRWIN then gives SANTANA a playful push.)
IRWIN - Move over and give my dog some room.
(TED sits in the space provided him between IRWIN and SANTANA. EDWARDS redirects his attention to the contents of his MRE while DRUDGE continues staring and casually moves his M-16 so that it leans in the direction of TED.)
DRUDGE - You gonna take notes on us, civvie?
TED (thinks for a moment) - I'd never dare allow my nose to get in the way of six armed infantrymen and their well-deserved appetites.
DRUDGE (slightly smiles before making a show of moving his weapon) That's a well-found strategic assumption. This is our first chance for CST - copious spare time. A little more SMOP and you might make it out alive.
TED - Huh? Is that like mopping up?