‘Laughing Wild’ (Man and the Supermarket story)

'Laughing Wild' by Christopher Durang

From: Play

Type: Comedic

Character: Man, always talks about being positive but constantly spirals into negativity

Gender: Male

Age Range: 20's | 30's

Summary: The Man talks about getting hit in a supermarket by a woman

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MAN: I was in the supermarket the other day about to buy some tuna fish when I sensed this very disturbed presence right behind me. There was something about her focus that made it very clear to me that she was a disturbed person. So I thought – well, you should never look at a crazy person directly, so I thought, I’ll just keep looking at these tuna fish cans, pretending to be engrossed in whether they’re in oil or in water, and the person will then go away. But instead wham! she brings her fist down on my head and screams “would you move, asshole!” (Pause.) Now why did she do that? She hadn’t even said, “would you please move” at some initial point, so I would’ve known what her problem was. Admittedly I don’t always tell people what I want either – like the people in the movie theatres who keep talking, you know, I just give up and resent them -but on the other hand, I don’t take my fist and go wham! on their heads!

I mean, analyzing it, looking at it in a positive light, this woman probably had some really horrible life story that, you know, kind of, explained how she got to this point in time, hitting me in the supermarket. And perhaps if her life – since birth – had been explained to me, I could probably have made some sense out of her action and how she got there. But even with that knowledge – which I didn’t have – it was my head she was hitting, and it’s just so unfair.

It makes me want to never leave my apartment ever ever again. (Suddenly he closes his eyes and moves his arms in a circular motion around himself, round and round, soothingly.) I am the predominant source of energy in my life. I let go of the pain from the past. I let go of the pain from the present. In the places in my body where pain lived previously, now there is light and love and joy. (He opens his eyes again and looks at the audience peacefully and happily.) That was an affirmation.

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