The Baker and the Poor Man By Brian Carmody (Based on the Myth) Scene One A small, cheap apartment, barely furnished. The door opens and in come The LANDLORD and TOMMY, young, and poor. Landlord: It's a pretty nice place, once you get used to it. Tommy:(Looking around) That may take a while. Landlord: Yeah, It's not the best apartment in the world but...it's in your price range, right? Right? RIGHT?! (Angry) If it's not, you better tell me now! Tommy: No, no! I can afford it! Landlord: (Smiles) Good. Then we'll be very happy, now won't we, Mr...? Tommy: Aladdin. Tommy Aladdin. Landlord: Aladdin?! Are you related to that Prince guy? Tommy: Yeah, he' my cousin. And he won't loan me money. Landlord: Well, that explains this! (Handing him a key) Here's the key. Rent's due at the end of the week, in my box. And if you need anything, please, hesitate to ask. Tommy: (Nodding) No, I think I'm going to like it here. Landlord: Hmm. You like baked goods, Tommy? Tommy: Do I?! Yes! But...I can't really afford them. Landlord: (Laughing) Oh, then you're going to HATE this....You're right above the bakery! Enjoy! He exits laughing. Tommy looks around. He stares at the peeling wall. Tommy: What a crummy apartment. He sits down on a stool, the only piece of furniture. Tommy: (Singing) I'm so poor...so decripit, so lower class...I can't afford...baked goods or sta-ined glass...(He stands up and signs louder) Why, oh why, am I so deprived of Wealth? Well...I know, at least I have my health...(In a loud, triumphant voice) Oh, I am a poor man, poor man- Landlord: (Shouting, offstage) AND NO SINGING! Tommy: Oh. (In a hushed tone) I'm so poooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Scene Two Darkened stage. There are a few boxes lying around. It is a warehouse. Tommy and his new BOSS enter stage right. Boss: (Showing Tommy around) It usually pretty quiet. Usually. Some people aren't cut out to be security guards. Too boring. How bout you? Tommy: No, I can deal with boredom? Boss: How? Because I tell you right now, there's no drinking on the job. Tommy: No, I don't drink. Boss: What? Are you a Gay Communist? Tommy: No. I'm a Muslim. Boss: Oh right, so am I. No alcohol...Well, we hold you responsible for all these boxes. If they're missing come morning, then so will you be. Tommy: What is in these boxes? Boss: That's on a need to know basis, and you don't need to know. Tommy: Ok. Boss: If there are any armed robbers, any forty thieves, remember: Your life is not as important as the contents of these boxes. Tommy: Gee... Boss: It's also pretty dark, the midnight shift, so if it's too dark to see, light a lamp. They're in the corner. Tommy: (Looking) Ok. Boss: Well that's all. Now get to work! (He exits) Tommy: What a crummy job. Scene Three Tommy's Apartment. He enters, tired and exhausted, and sits on the stool. Tommy: Aw man, what a first day- night on the job! (He looks at his wrist-sundial) Aw man! It's 4:30 in the morning! I've-(He sniffs) What? (He sniffs some more, then stands up) What's that smell? That delicious, intoxicating, all-encompassing, life-giving smell?(He walks over to the window and smells strongly) Ah! I know what it is! The baker! I live above his shop. He must be baking his goods now! (He closes his eyes and smiles, sniffing) Why I can smell...Cinnamon Buns! Fresh, hot Cinnamon Buns! And....And Danishes! It's like I can taste them in my mouth!And Sweet Rolls, and Hot Cakes and every kind of Donut imaginable! (He sniffs in strongly, in an exaggerated motion) Ahhhhahhh! Date Cakes! Fig Pies! (He opens his eyes) Oh, the smells! The Smells! I can smell it! It's wonderful! I LOVE this apartment! Scene Four Bakery. The bakery is down the stage from Tommy's apartment. The BAKER prepares his goods. A CANARY perches on its perch. Baker: Ah, what a life! Baking goods, selling them! It's all so, dare I say it...? Canary: Dare, dare! Baker: It's all so...sweet! Ah, hah, hah, hah! Canary: Ha, ha! Ha, ha! The baker rolls a little ball of dough, then gives it to the bird. Baker: Yes, Fortinbras, my winged friend, enjoy that dough. Enjoy life, for tomorrow, you may die. Oh, I am so content with this job, so lonley and greedy! I bake the good, they buy it, and what do I get from it? Whencetherinmore am I beinfited? Canary: Money, money! Baker: Ha, ha! How right you are! I LOVE money! True, I love baking these sweets, I love the look on the customer's fat face as he gulps down another snack of pure fat. I love contributing to the already staggering obesity rates. I love for people to eat my sweets- BUT NOT WITHOUT PAYING! There's nothing I despise more than a theif! Fortinbras, if I caught a theif, the next day I would be serving MEAT pies!, I'm that insanely greedy! And I WOULD catch him! Canary: Ha, ha! Ha, ha! Baker: Bwuh, hah, hah, hah! Scene Five Tommy's apartment. DON JUAN enters as Tommy is sitting on the stool, sleeping. Don Juan: Tommy! My once and future king, how are you? Tommy:(Waking up) Huh? What now? (He sees Don Juan and gets up) Don! Juan! They hug. Tommy: Don Juan, you old snake, how's it going?! Don Juan: Fine, fine. (Looking around) Some place you've got here, Tommy. Tommy: Yeah, well...it's a shelter. But what's up? You woke me. Don Juan: Did I? You're sleping at 3:30 in the afternoon? Tommy: Well, I've got this new job, working security, nights. Don Juan: I admit, I'd have no problem with being in bed at 3:30- But I wouldn't be sleeping! (He laughs) So, how's your cousin? Tommy: (Frowns) May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits. Don Juan: Easy, easy! Anyhoo, I need you to do me a favor. Tommy: Oh good grief. Don Juan: No, no, hear me out. Tommy: Whenever I do that, something bad happens. Don Juan: Aristocrats, Tommy. Sisters. Liberal as they come. Now, you're going to be my abusive master, and I'll be your pity-inspiring and shirtless slave- Tommy: -Don! Geez! Don Juan: Now hear me out. You send me to "borrow sugar" from their estate, and- Tommy: -Don, I'm not going to help you do that! Don Juan: What where'd that attitude come from? There will be something in this for you too. Tommy: No. Don Juan: Oh, don't tell me you're still into Ginger! Tommy: I'm in love with her! Don Juan: Tommy, she's a belly dancer! Lots of guys are in love with her. Tommy: She loves me back! Don Juan: Sure. And what is love?! Tommy: (Gentley) Love is...tenderness. It's when you care for somebody so deeply, without wanting anything in return. It's a burning desire that consumes you, a desire to proclaim your feelings to the whole world, and just to the one you love. Love is the breath of the wind, the sand under your toes, the soul of the universe. Love...is. Don Juan: Love is?! Love is an invention of women to enslave men after they've escaped the bouduir. Puh to love! I would rather have one woman than love a thousand! Tommy: And I would rather love Ginger than have a thousand. Don Juan: Two minutes in my palace would convince you otherwise. Tommy: No, I like this apartment. It's right above the bakery, I smell it all the time. Don Juan: If you talk about love in a purely sexual sense, then I am love with all of the women! And most of the men...a few of the animals...a plant or two...Oh! And this one time, I did it with a rock. Tommy: You just don't understand. And that's gross. Don Juan: Whatever. So I'll see you later man. Tommy: Ok. They slap hands and Don Juan exits. Scene Five Bakery. Don Juan enters, his arm wrapped around a FAT WOMAN.. The baker sits in the back. He doesn't ackowledge their entrance. Don Juan: Yoo-hoo! Can we get some service here?! Baker: Alright. He gets up and walks over to them. Don Juan: My love is simply wasting away. She requires nourishment. Fat Woman: (Giggles) Stop it. Baker: What can I get you? Don Juan: Only a dry cracker for me, I really must watch my weight. But my love? Fat Woman: (Giggles) I'll take a buttered croissant, two strawberry tarts, three hot cakes, a cherry danish, and a Gatauenex cake. Don Juan: So light an order, my dear? Are you feeling ok? (To the Baker, waving his hand) Make it so! The Baker grunts and gets a bag. He give Don Juan the bag. Don Juan: (Looking inside) Good, good. Baker: That'll be- Don Juan: (Faux Anger) Let us not be so vulgar as to discuss monetary matters in the prescene of a lady! (He puts a gold coin on the counter and hands the bag to the woman, who starts eating stuff from it) And I will state now and defend it to the grave that you can't put a price on my love! Now let us go!(To the Baker) Thanks for the bag, now we can eat it in bed! They exit, the woman giggiling. Baker: That was a supflourous thing to say. Scene Seven Tommy's Apartment. The bakery is also lit, and the Baker can be seen, baking. Tommy enters, exhausted after work. Tommy: What a night, what a night. (He clumps down in the stool) Ugh. (He jumps up in excitement) It must be time! He rushes over to the window and sniffs. Tommy: Oh yeah, Oh yeah. That's the stuff. Smiling with his eyes closed, he walks to the middle of his room, then begins to spin around, smiling. Tommy: (Singing) The smells, the smells, the smells! Ooh! He opens his eyes, stops spinning, and picks up a plastic ziplock bag. He rushes over to the window and holds the open bag up to it. After a while, he ziplocks the bag. Tommy: Now I have the scent! Scene Eight The Bakery. The Baker is working, Fortinbras the Canary at his side. Baker: You know, Fortinbras, this morning, for a change, let's just shut up and listen to the sound of the dough rising. He holds his hand up to his ear. Tommy's loud, exaggeratted sniffs are heard. Baker: What?! What is this?! Is someone smelling my baked goods without buying them?! THIEF! Scene Nine Tommy's Apartment. Tommy is sitting in his stool, sniffing from a plastic bag. There are many plastic bags all around his stool, all full. This has been going on for some time now. Tommy: Oh Fruitcake, I'm the only one who loves you baby. Ahh... Angrily, the Baker bursts in. Baker: YOU! Tommy: (Putting the bag down and getting up) What?! What are you doing here?! This is MY apartment! Baker: And it is MY baked goods you have been stealing! Tommy: What?! Me?! Stealing?! Never! I never took a single crumb from your store! Baker: But you have certainly smelled enough! Tommy: No, not nearly enough. (He sees the look on the baker's face) Oh wait, that didn't come out right...What I mean to say is, yeah I smelt the smells of your pastries, but I didn't take any. Baker: To enjoy the scent without paying IS to steal! I will see you in court! I am suing you for Thirty Silver Pieces! He exits angrily. Tommy: He's suing me for smelling? What a crummy guy. Scene Nine Warehouse. Tommy is talking to his Boss. Boss: Are you out of your mind?! Tommy: Come on! Boss: You ARE out of your mind! Tommy: I am valued employee! I'm entitiled to a bonus! Boss: THIRTY SILVER COINS! I wouldn't give that to my own mother! Tommy: Well then you're an asphole. Boss: And you're going back to work! With a pay reduction! He storms off. Tommy: At least he didn't fire me. But where am I going to get thirty silver pieces? A THIEF creeps onto stage and grabs a box. He is about to exit, when Tommy sees him. Tommy: Hey! Put that down! The thief runs over and punches Tommy in the stomach, then runs back to the box and takes it off stage. Tommy falls to his knees. Tommy: Oof. That guy had, like, brass knuckles. Scene Ten Tommy's apartment. Tommy is standing, a small wrapped box in his hand, and his girlfriend GINGER is sitting on the stool. Ginger: This is...some place you got here Tommy. Tommy: Yeah, it's a crummy apartment. But I'd live anywhere...with you. Ginger: Tommy? Tommy: Ginger, I love you. I've never been so happy. (He gets one knee) Will you marry me? Ginger: What? Tommy: I think it could really turn our lives around if we got married and their was a thirty silver piece dowry. What do you say? Ginger: No! Tommy: What? Ginger: (Getting up) You're a criminal! Tommy: (Getting up) What?! Ginger: And you didn't even tell me! Tommy: What are you talking about?! Ginger: Lies, lies, lies! What, are you going to tell me that you're not due in court for robbing the baker?! Tommy: What?! How did you- Ginger: The newspaper, Tommy. I had to read about it in the newspaper. Tommy: Son of a sultan! He called the press?!...Look, Ginger, I got a present for you. Ginger: Yeah? Tommy: Yeah. (He picks up a small box from the ground, gives it to Ginger, and she opens it) It's perfume. Ginger: Wow Tommy, I wouldn't think you'd be able to afford this...what kind? (She sprays it) Tommy: I call it...Essence of Cinnamon Bun. Ginger throws the box down. Ginger: You Are a thief! Tommy: What? Ginger, it's bogus charge, ask anybody. Ginger: Well That's fine! Cause I won't be asking you anything anymore! I'm going to your cousin! Tommy: What, no! Ginger: Yes! I'm going to be his concubine in his harem, and it'll be much better than being with a common thief! She storms off. Tommy: (Throwing his arms up in the air and looking up) BAKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Scene Ten Party. People are gathered. In one cluster, Don Juan is standing next to a sulking Tommy, looking at all the women. Don Juan: (Pointing) I would consumate my marriage with her, I would consumate my marriage with her, I'd consumate my marriage with her... Ali: (Laughs) Oh, Don Juan, is there anybody with whom you would not consumate your marriage with? Don Juan: Yeah, your wife. Several of the guys laugh. Ali: Actually, that is good news. Don Juan: Touche. (To Tommy) Come on Tommy, lighten up, it's a wedding! How can you be low at a wedding? Tommy: It's my ex-girlfriend's wedding. To my cousin. Don Juan: Yeah, but look at all the women! Listen, I've got a plan, see, we're circus peformers from Czechslovakia, and we're very good love-makers... Tommy: Don, I'm not in the mood. Don Juan: Geez, you're tense. Do you want a back massage? Tommy: And how am I supposed to get thirty pieces of silver? Don Juan: (Pointing) Hey, her father's here. Tommy: Really? Where? Don Juan points, and Tommy walks over to GIOVANNI, who is talking with his friends. Giovanni: So then I said, any higher, and I'll take out a contract on you! His friends laugh. Tommy: I- Giovanni: -Tommy! How are you, boy? Keeping your nose clean? Tommy: Well actually- Giovanni: (Introducing) -Tommy, this Bugsy, Luigi, and Dagger. Tommy: Hey. (To Giovanni) Giovanni, we've known each other for a long time... Giovanni: This is true. You are my friend. Tommy: You served with my great-grandfather in Grenada. Giovanni: And what a war it was. Tommy: I need to ask of you a favor. Giovanni: You come to me, on the day of my daughter's wedding, to ask of my one favor. What is it? Tommy: Well, I am being sued by a greedy Baker and- Giovanni: Consider him whacked. Bugsy: I'll get right on it. Tommy: No, no. I just need to borrow some money. Giovanni: For a lawyer? Tommy: No, for the thirty silver pieces he's suing me for. Giovanni: You are that confident of his victory in court? Tommy: (Thinks for a moment) No! It's a bogus case, he'll get laughed out of court! GiovannI: Please to explain the details. Tommy: Well, I live above his bakery, and I smelled what he was cooking, and he says that that is stealing. Giovanni: What is? Tommy: Smelling without paying. Giovanni looks disgusted. Bugsy: The gall of that shmuck! Giovanni: I will give you the money, and I am certain you won't need it, in which case you can give it back. (He reaches into his pocket, and takes out a small bag) there are thirty pieces of silver in that bag. Tommy: (Taking it) Wow. That's unbelievably convient. Giovanni: Yes it is. Now go, enjoy the festivities of my daughter's wedding. Tommy: Right, I'll celebrate that. He bumps into Ginger. Tommy: Oh, Ginger! Ginger: Oh. Hello Tommy. Tommy: Ginger! You can't go through with this! The guy is a jerk! You don't like me, fine. But please, for yourself, don't marry my cousin! Ginger: Tommy, how can I trust you? You're a thief! Tommy: I- no I'm not! Tommy's COUSIN walks up and wraps his hand around GINGER. Cousin: Hello Tommy, what's happening? Tommy: So, Al, how long have you known Ginger? Cousin: Just a couple of days, but one more wife never hurt anybody, right baby. Ginger: Uh- Cousin: -Course not. Tommy: She's not property, Al. Cousin: (Laughs) Oh, that's a good one. Especially coming from you. Ginger: What does that mean? Tommy: Oh it's meaningless, he's meaningless. Cousin: Oh come on, all that womanizing you've done with- Tommy: Ginger, Ginger: What? Cousin: -Don Juanyon, you're one to talk of women. Tommy: I'm not- Like that anymore! Ginger: Oh Tommy. Cousin: Enjoy the party, Tommy. Tommy sadly looks at his cousin's hand around Ginger. Tommy: Hey...what's that on your hand. Cousin: (Laughs) Brass knuckles. He takes Ginger away. Tommy shambles over to Don Juan. Tommy: How's that Sand Wine? Don Juan: Gritty. (He finishes his glass, throws it to the side, and claps his hands together) Everyone! Let's consumate! I will consumate with anything that moves! Tommy: I'm going home. Scene Eleven Court Room. Tommy and the Baker stand on opposite side of the Judge's throne. Judge: Next Case! Bailiff: Baker Vs. Tommy Aladdin. Judge: Baker? Baker: Your honor, (He points to Tommy) That man over there has stolen from me. He lives above my bakery, and he has enjoyed my sweets without paying for them. Therefore, he should pay me the some of thirty pieces of silver.I rest my case. Judge: Tommy? Tommy: Well sir, I didn't really steal anything. It's true, I live above him and I have smelled his goods without paying- Judge: -Smelled?! Tommy: Yes, your honor. He claims that to smell his products without paying is to steal. Judge: Oh, I don't believe this. APPROACH THE BENCH! Tommy and the Baker do so. Judge: Randolph Baker, is this true? Tommy: Yes, your honor. This scumbag smelt the delicous smells I was baking up without paying! Judge: So you mean to tell me, that this whole thing, this whole CASE, is about Smelling?! Baker and Tommy: Yes. Judge: (To Tommy) Tommy, did you bring the money he requested? Tommy: (Taking the bag out) Yes I did, your honor. Judge: Let me see it. Tommy hands him the bag. The Judge looks inside, then handles it for a while. Judge: Very interesting, very interesting...(To Baker) You say he stole the essence of your baked goods by smelling them? Baker: Yeah. Judge: (Mocking him) Yeah. Well listen carefully... The Judge takes the coins out of the bag and jinges them around a bit. Judge: You hear that? Baker: (Greedily) Yeah. Judge: You like the way that sounds? Baker: Oh yeah! Judge: WELL THAT'S ALL! He stops jinging the coins. Baker: Huh?! Tommy: Huh?! The Judge puts the coins back in the bag. Judge: That's all you get, you greedy man! He smelled your goods, you heard his money. A fair trade! He laughs and tosses Tommy the bag. Baker: Oh man... Judge: (All to the Baker) You fool! You foolish, greedy fool! You think every man who smells what you bake needs to pay you?! He owes you nothing! Nothing! You're like rock band playing loud in your paper thin apartment and complaining that the neighbors can hear! How can you honestly bake goods right under a man's nose, and then act suprised, and like he owes you, when he smells it? No, don't answer that. You can't You can't honsestly do what you did. You are dishonest. You have tied up this court in a trifle. You have sought false justice for a false claim. Mr. Baker, you are a petty man. A greedy man. A stupid man. A selfish, careless, trivial, vain, inconsiderate man. If I had you fed to the Jackals- an I could- they would spit you out, human refuse that you are. You sicken me, and thus, sicken this court and the Lady Justice it represents. You are so insecure of your place in life as a baker that you go off calling men thieves who would in reality never touch your food. Mr. Baker, I denounce you. You are a poor man. (The Baker shambles away) And you, Tommy, you are The Baker. Tommy: How am I a Baker? Judge: Uh...A Baker of men's hearts. Tommy: Ok. Giovanni comes up. Tommy: Giovanni! Giovanni: I am pleased to see you have won your lawsuit. Tommy: Yep! Here's the money. He gives it to Giovanni. Giovanni: Thank you. You know, Tommy, after you left I explained to my daughter the facts of your case. Tommy: Yeah, well, I hope she's happy with my cousin. Giovanni: Actually, there is someone here who wants to talk to you? Tommy: Who? Ginger comes up. Tommy: Ginger! Ginger: Tommy, you were right. You're not a thief. Your cousin was. Tommy: He was? Ginger: Yeah! Right before we got married, the knight squad came and took him away. It turns out that he robbed a warehouse. Tommy: Oh Wow. Ginger: I was also wrong about us. Tommy: Oh? Oh. Giovanni: Let's get out of here. My chariot is waiting. Tommy: Ok. They start to walk off. Tommy: You know, that Judge was kind of harsh on the Baker. I feel sorry for the guy.... Judge: NEXT CASE! Bailiff: Candi Vs. Don Juan. CANDI (A Prostitute) and Don Juan enter. Tommy: (Shaking his head) Oh Don Juan. Don Juan: What? All I did was look at her? Candi: Without paying! Tommy: Ah, pettiness. The End?
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