Note that the Introduction to "Write Some Numb's, Bitch!" has been published at:
Note that the Introduction to "Write Some Numb's, Bitch!" has been published at:
For ACT I]
It is early on a Friday morning, on a June day in Seattle, still foggy, though the fog will burn off a half dozen or so telemarketers – most of whom know each others, some not yet - are assembling outside the offices of The City of Troy’s Police Guild Circus Tele Marketing offices to get to work. The “picker” [see terminology], a lanky Romanian, is there already, sprawled asleep in a beat-up Isuzu. So is Cal the Trudger a sixty something once laborer, as “the writer” appears to take in the scene. Cal and the writer commiserate with each other; when “Rocky”, the hideous thalidomide dwarf, drives up in his van. Rocky maneuvers his near paraplegic being out of his vehicle and instantly asks for a light from “The Writer” and then boast of how much money he has made that week, twice that of his usual take at the preceding job where “The Writer” and he also worked together, and they have a mutual reverie of what that office was like in all its vastness, and of its night room with three dozen telemarketers on line and the susurrus of the music of voices begging for a sale. Rocky goes over to Ilju, rousts him and discusses the order in which Rocky wants the picking to get done as The Writer’s friend Mike the Bogbeast drives up in another beat-up Isuzu, this one a teensy pickup. The Writer expresses surprise at the Bogbeast being so early, Bogbeast says he wants to make sure his “picks” are set properly, Rocky comes up and goes through his boasting act “how’d you do this week, I made $ 1500” – they too worked at the same firm, Cain + Able; however, Bogbeast already worked at the City of Troy when this new promoter in town did the Nile Shriners, he has more experience with Troy and all the promoters and deals in the entire city, yet he is an ex-flower-child, perhaps he has reasons other than picking to be early; after all, Rocky sets the picks and is best at that for the “day pros”. Next to show up is Richard the Trader, a suave Westerner, in a five year old immaculate Coupe de Ville, which he backs in, brand new in kind donation tires and all, to open the trunk to display the goodies he has bought to give away to kids, he is a circus drifter and has drifted up with the City of Troy up the coast with the Circus for which the City of Troy is the marketer. Rocky does his usual thing, the writer spots some pogo sticks in the trunk and makes believe he is a child, hopping up and down on one of them. Zeno, Hector Troy’s 28 year old side kick, a speed addict, shows up in his car, with the other circus drifter, Pork Pie Hat, a magpie, and joins in the pogo sticking. Sergeant Casey, the Police Guild Circus chairman, drives up in his cruiser, German shepherd K-9 Beethoven in back, and inquires what’s keeping Hector Troy who seems to be running late. The Writer approaches the car and intones the Chuck Berry tune, “Roll Over Beethoven;” Beethoven in the backseat does so, and everyone laughs, but laughs in such a way that it is clear that this act is a routine. Casey leaves saying he will be back, as Georgette, a 300 pound woman who used to impersonate a nymphet on a Playboy re-subscription deal, appears, for her first day at City of Troy,
also in a lousy car. She and the writer know each other from the Playboy deal, and they explain it to the rest of the crew – a flashback reverie of Georgette in great pain as she impersonates the bunny, and is asked for a date by a guy from Michigan. The Writer and Zeno are back pogoing as Hector a 30 something blonde ex prize fighter, a blonde Sugar Ray Robinson, cut lines and all, in punk trunks, drives up in his red brand new Mustang convertible with his wife Maria, their two kids aged si and four, and two Mops, and his younger brother Helenus, a ferret like creature. Maria it appears has been crying, and a black eye shows through the rouge over her Latino features. Not only is there trouble in the Troy family, Troy is upset at the business side of it: he goes up to Bogbeast and inquires what gives with Victor Bonnellie who runs a sub office up the road in Everett – Bogbeast claims not to know, but makes successful telephone contact, and the situation appears allayed. Hector tells Ilju the picker to drive to Bonnellie office in Everett to make the pickup instead of their driver coming down.
Rocky is hugely upset at losing his best picker, Hector attempt to calm him down by saying he will try to get one of the others to come in earlier. Rocky says he will do his own picking in the afternoon if not earlier.
Hector tells pogo-kangaroos to get off their sticks and get to work, what would Casey say if he saw that, Ilju rolls two brand new tires from the trunk of his Isuzu to a garage door as Hector opens it; full of TV’s , car radio sets, other tires: in kind donations. He walks up the stairs to, say, the second floor of the wrap-around balcony of this rather ordinary two three building housing a lot of dental office suites of which he has rented one, and his troop enter and go to their respective desks and rooms.
PRECIS FOR ACT II - THE DAY ROOM
Hector, Maria & Helenus enter their mess of a main office. Cal the Trudger is off to make coffee; the other marketers all take their seats as they banter: Bogbeast into an S shaped contraption on the floor for a bad back, a small police siren by his side; Georgette into a huge chaise that Maria has bought to support her weight who proceeds to rouge herself as she does before each call; Maurice is late but builds his small African shrine and with a set of musical instruments that make up an small band; Rocky sets the order of the picks and curses that he has no picker; the writer keeps his notebook and makes one call to a water bottle plant owner and then proceeds to go through the complicated process of dressing the paraplegic Rocky into the world of being on-line via the telephone. Richard starts his smooth suave calling at once. Pork Pie Magpie drifts around the main office and other rooms – there are two for calling purposes, he and Richard occupy one with a coxie; and Zeno lives in a sea of “taps” in the room with the Xerox machine- eyeing other folk’s taps and deals.
Maria comes in with her dogs and kids and says they are all her family and hand out cookies; Georgette thanks her for the chair.
There is a set of steak knives in a trophy case on the wall.
Bantering the day pro start making their calls, the telephone begins to hum, sales are being racked up, boasts and sighs and curses.
Hector enters for his first performance: two fists full of one hundred dollar bills in his boxer’s hand going around the office in punk boxer short sticking his fists in his “writers” faces and dicking them with his dick, his perpetual hard on, saying: “Here, smell this, write some numb’s bitch.” “Smell the Franklins.” To which only Rocky, the four foot six near paraplegic dwarf with the head of a serious gaslight lantern, the most brutal on the phone, takes serious offense. No one would hit a paraplegic dwarf as the dwarf knew only too well.
The Writer talks to Hector about the water company deal, that the owner wants a personal guarantee that he can sell his water and banner. Hector tells him just to lie.
Zeno, flaked out on his desk, drugged, is taken into wrestler’s headlock and walked into the bathroom, there is a tortured cry.
The writer follows Hector into his office, gives him the invoice and says he cant do it, Hector calls him a loser, faxes the invoice, writes “guaranteed” as Sergeant…Casey shows up who tells him he smells a rat and hoped neither Hector or his men take in-kind donations, say tires, and get an envelope full of checks which he will deposit. He and the Writer go out into the main room where Casey repeats his warning. He’s been a cop for 18 years and he can smell a rat. The writer fetches a doggie bag with a steak bone. After they leave, Richard the trader takes the set of steak knives out of the trophy case, the day pros’ uproarious laughter as Richard throws the knives into the door and as the repeat in chorus the words: “No in kind donations. Hector appears and shouts “Break time you bitches and bastards. I’ve got a smoking office, I’ve got a smoking deal, go outside, smoke.”
Act III – BREAK-TIME
AT Officer Casey’s cruiser The Writer gives Beethoven his daily bone; as Casey pries what The Writer [“You seem an odd ball out, almost like you’re undercover.”] might know.” Yes, I feel odd all right, but I’ve been doing this part time for about a year because I’m broke” the TMs are smoking up a storm and boasting about and comparing a good Friday mornings work while the coxie” [the greenhorn trainee] is looking in fascination at the decals on Hector’s Fire Red Mustang while in his office is vainly trying to reach his picker Ilju who ought to have returned by now with the take from Everett: Victor Bonnellie assures Hector that he left more than an hour ago. Hector rushes out of the office to the smoking area underneath the overhang where The writer” who knows some of the stories that go with the decals tells one or the other wild tall tale to the coxie. Hector berates Mike the Bogbeast for Bonnellie, tells him they are going to go to Everett together and pay him a visit: Hector smells a rat, Ilju doesn’t answer his cell phone. Bogbeast objects, Hector says they will be back by 4 PM, payday paytime.
Rocky tells Hector that he will do his own picking and takes Mike the Writer along.
Troy and Bogbeast off to Everett
TM’s picking their noses as the walk back into their office.
ACT IV- THE PICKS and the CHASE AND THE HEISTS