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  • pg 1

A short script by

Melanie Yergeau


(Setting: a doctor’s office. There is a desk with a chair on each side. The walls are covered with numerous diplomas and awards. On the desk sits a telephone, a stethoscope, and mounds of paperwork. In the middle of the room is a screen, where a few X-rays are hanging. The atmosphere is an intimidating one of cotton balls and tongue depressors. A doctor hovers over the desk in a lab coat. A man sits in a chair, with a few patches on his face and his left arm in a sling.) DOCTOR: (Holding an X-ray.) Yes, and if you look over here, the tissue has been torn. There will be some extreme scarring, Mr. Daniels, I don’t doubt that, especially with the amount of blood you lost. The wound is pretty raw, and the flesh surrounding your outer arm seems to have been scraped off. I’m afraid, Mr. Daniels, there is no chance of your arm healing on its own. Letting you do so would run a very high risk of infection. Would you consider skin grafting? MR. DANIELS: Skin grafting? DOCTOR: It’s very basic: we take needless skin from other parts of your body and replace it on the wound. MR. DANIELS: But I’m not a saggy guy. That’s one of my greatest accomplishments in life. DOCTOR: (Slight chuckle.) Well, Mr. Daniels, skin grafting will only make you tighter. You don’t have to be saggy in order for it to work. A few scrapes here and there on your buttocks or lower abdomen will do just fine for your injury. MR. DANIELS: May I see that X-ray, Doc? DOCTOR: Certainly. (Hands over the X-ray.) MR. DANIELS: (Deep in thought studying X-ray, then suddenly stops with a horrified look upon his face.) Dear God! I’ve lost my elbow! DOCTOR: It was a pretty nasty injury. MR. DANIELS: What have your surgeons done to me? I’m a freak! DOCTOR: I’d hardly say that. In due time your arm will heal.


MR. DANIELS: How long? How long must I live as an elbowless freak? DOCTOR: Mr. Daniels, we’ve already discussed this. After the further medical treatment that your arm must receive, you will be in a cast for three months, and your arm will be placed in a sling for an additional two months afterwards, depending on your recovery. MR. DANIELS: Five months? Doc, I need access to my elbow! DOCTOR: Plenty of people have had far worse injuries than yours. I’ve seen little children in full body casts, looking up to me with hope gleaming in their youthful eyes. Your arm needs rest. MR. DANIELS: You don’t understand. If I don’t have my elbow, Felicia will leave me! DOCTOR: (Laughs.) I’m sure your wife won’t leave you over some torn ligaments and skin tissue. MR. DANIELS: No, you don’t get it! My elbow, (Points to wrapped arm.) this elbow, it means the world to her. It’s the reason she married me! DOCTOR: I see... MR. DANIELS: Yes, so if you please, use your medical magic and give me my elbow! DOCTOR: You still have an elbow. Your joints weren’t entirely deteriorated by your fall. MR. DANIELS: It’s the little flap of skin! See, most people are dehydrated, and if you pull up their elbow skin, it’ll usually stand up straight, as if coming to a point. But my left elbow was special. It was one of a kind. It was smooth and silky; it formed a deep pool of luscious skin upon my arm. The chicks really dug it. How else would a guy like me end up marrying Felicia Simmons? It was the elbow, I tell you! The elbow! DOCTOR: Mr. Daniels, I’m afraid you no longer have that elbow. And even if I were to do the skin grafting to try and compensate for your...loss...you would need the cast to remain on your arm for no less than three months.

MR. DANIELS: (Panicked.) What will I do? There goes my life! I fall off my bike, and now I’m going to lose my wife. My three children should have never happened. My whole marriage has been a waste. Well, Doc, I’ll see you at the annulment. Never before has my elbow failed me! But it’s gone! It’s really gone! DOCTOR: (Trying to hide his curiosity, but it spills out in a deluge.) Tell me, what on earth does your elbow have to do with your wife and three children? MR. DANIELS: Women have always been turned on by my elbow. There was no first kiss between Felicia and I. It was a first nibble. DOCTOR: I see... MR. DANIELS: I didn’t realize my gift until I was in high school. (Reminiscing.) I decided to attend a school dance and, to my disappointment, not one girl would dance with me. It was as though I didn’t exist. I spent my evening sitting in a pink folding chair in a crepe-papered corner of the gymnasium with the Pocket Protector Club. (Re-enacting as he speaks.) Then, during the final song, the heat became unbearable and I removed my sweater. As I reached to brush my hair from my eyes, my arm and my elbow raised themselves higher. Suddenly, the dancers stopped twirling, the DJ stopped spinning the record, and the Pocket Protectors stopped wheezing. All eyes were perched upon my ulna of glory, the jiggling joint of perfection. After that moment, my left arm and I became the most popular pair in school. DOCTOR: Interesting... MR. DANIELS: (Explaining.) I’m not a man of great looks. And I’m not much of a talker either. But my left arm did all of the pleasantries for me: the way my joints came to a curve, the way the upheaval of surrounding tissue and skin came to a point. My elbow made a smile more dazzling than all my teeth could do. Some people have wrinkly elbows that sag like a pruned plum. Some people have tight elbows that are so stretched you can barely tell if they’re there. But rarely has an elbow been so unique, so finely crafted, that it fits smack dab in the middle of those two horrendous extremes. DOCTOR: What kind of elbow do I have? MR. DANIELS: (Rolls Doctor’s elbow towards him and takes a long

look at it.) One not worth discussing. DOCTOR: (Sharply pulls arm back.) What’s wrong with my elbow? MR. DANIELS: There’s nothing wrong with your elbow: just nothing so right about it that cars stop in the middle of busy intersections, or that ice cream vendors drool over their products. Nothing is so right about it that people jump off bridges just to get a closer glimpse. DOCTOR: (Still holding arm tightly; angrily.) Someone’s a little vain. MR. DANIELS: Me? Vain? You’re the one who flaunts your medical diplomas and awards all over your walls. DOCTOR: (Matter of factly.) I’m a doctor. If I didn’t have any diplomas on my walls, my office would look like a cheap imitation of an infirmary. Without my display, patients might have doubts as to whether I am an actual physician. MR. DANIELS: Well, I’m starting to have my doubts, Doc! We can send probes to Jupiter and clone sheep, yet you can’t restore a simple elbow? What kind of practice do you run here? DOCTOR: Mr. Daniels, despite what you may have learned in science class, elbows do not just magically grow. Wounds of your nature take time to heal and repair, and they often leave behind scarring. Maybe if you’d have watched where you were going... MR. DANIELS: Oh! So now you’re saying I’m irresponsible? You know what? You’re jealous! I should have known all along! (Starts raising his left arm.) An elbow like this could be pretty threatening to a man of your stature. What’re you afraid of, Doc? Has your old lady been giving me covetous glances? DOCTOR: (Not at all amused.) Did you also hit your head when you fell off your bike? MR. DANIELS: (Suspiciously.) When I was riding my bike, a car was inches away from hitting me, so I tumbled down the side of the embankment to prevent myself from becoming road kill. What kind of car do you drive, Doc? DOCTOR: (Evading question.) What kind of car do you drive?

MR. DANIELS: I bet you planned this all along. My elbow has always been a threat to those of my gender, but Doc... really...trying to run me over to rid yourself of marital problems? DOCTOR: (Offended.) Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? Why on earth would I try to run a man over? Why would I feel threatened by a stupid elbow? MR. DANIELS: You know exactly why. And you’re exactly the type to do it, too. You’re cold-blooded and just plain vengeful. (Ominously.) You can piss on my lawn or set fire to my house, but come near my elbow, and it becomes personal! DOCTOR: All right. Fine. Let’s discuss this rationally: I am a physician who spends his work life in the emergency room. I generally don’t get to know my patients on a personal level; they come in and out, but don’t come in again, unless they’re incredibly accident-prone. Secondly, I have never seen you before in my life, until today. So, you’re saying that I somehow saw the beauty of your elbow from afar, hatched a murder plot, and made sure that you were directly sent under my care in the hospital? Tell me, Mr. Daniels, what are the odds of that happening? (Angered.) Why the hell would I risk my job and my life to try and run you over? For your elbow? For your stupid elbow?! Are you on some sort of medication that you didn’t list in the release forms? Because, frankly, you aren’t making any sense whatsoever! MR. DANIELS: (Apologetic.) You know what? You’re right. I’m sorry. Really, I am. It’s just...I’ve never had a loss like this before...I...oh, dear God... (Covers his face in agonized torment.) Excuse me. (Starts sobbing hysterically.) DOCTOR: (Sympathetically pats him on the back.) It’s all right, Mr. Daniels. As a doctor, I understand the grief that comes along with physical injuries, especially with the loss of an intimate body part. MR. DANIELS: (Looking up, teary-eyed.) Gee, thanks, Doc. I’ve never felt so much pain. I didn’t even cry this hard when my mother died. (Sniffles.) DOCTOR: Shhh. It’s going to be okay. (Swivels around in chair and pulls out a pamphlet, then extends it to Mr. Daniels.) Here. Take this. Inside you will find a list of phone numbers to

various support groups. Any time you feel upset, don’t hesitate to give one of them a call. MR. DANIELS: (Accepts pamphlet.) Thank you. Really, I mean it. I need all the help I can get right now. (Stands up and extends his hand.) DOCTOR: (Also stands, then accepts; they shake.) Give your arm and your spirit some time to heal. Both are damaged, and an excess amount of activity could worsen the situation. MR. DANIELS: Will do, Doc. Will do. (Exits.) DOCTOR: (Watches him leave, then casually saunters to the exit as though to see him off.) Take care, now! (He slowly makes his way back to his desk, sits down, takes out a pencil and nibbles on the edge, as though in deep contemplation. Leaning back in his chair, he pulls out a sewing kit, complete with needle and thread. He slaps at his pockets, then opens his desk drawer, where he finds a little bottle with some gory stuff in it. He then places it on the desk with his sewing materials. He picks up the phone and dials a number.) Valerie? Hello, sweetheart. Yes, I’m fine. Say, remember that man we saw at the ice cream parlor the other day? (Sighs, exasperated.) Yes, the one whose arm made you feel overwhelmed with desire. (Kisses bottle; smiles.) Well, my kitten, have I got a surprise for you! (Lights down.)


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