Archive for category: Barely Socially Acceptable

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 6

30 Oct 2004
October 30, 2004

It’s been an intense week. The election polls are bouncing all over the place. Osama, through his privately funded 527 Organization broadcasts his own election ad. And a bunch of ragged federal workers make their way home on the DC subway. This latest act of The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable is based on a real cell phone conversation I heard on the way home yesterday. A bizarre ending to a surreal week.

Hi Dr. Meyer. This is Frank Wilhouse.
I know it’s late Friday afternoon
So I appreciate you taking my call.

Yes, well my wife and I were talking with Scott.
He was having sexual conversations with this girl from school.

Yes, we told him that.

I’m on the subway right now.
I’m going to confront him.
Well, not really confront him.
That’s not exactly the right word.
I’m going to have a talk with him about this.
My wife Marion is already there.

Yes, he’s been taking his Zoloft.
We make sure of it.

No, there’s no confrontation.
He takes it.

Yes, we stand there while he swallows it.

But he’s been talking to this girl
about this other girl from school
who committed suicide.

Ok, yes. I can do that.
I’ll tell my wife. I’m sure she will too.

Well thanks Dr. Meyer. Thanks for taking my call.
Have a good weekend.
Oh, and don’t forget to vote.
Yeah, I hope so too. Thanks.

• • •

Previous Barely Socially Acceptable Acts.

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 5

25 Sep 2004
September 25, 2004

After a brief hiatus, we open a new season of The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable. With the change in seasons comes the desire for change. Based on an overheard cell conversation this week on the subway I give you Act 5:

Yeah, I’ve come up with 14 different reasons I should get a raise.
Uh huh, well, I just thought of them.
Haven’t had a chance to get them down on paper.
I can do that tomorrow.

Yep, tomorrow will be a good day for me.
There won’t be anyone in the office
and I can write them up.

When my boss sees these
there’s no way he can turn me down.

You think so?
Ok, I’ll run them by you.
No, I’m sure he will be shocked I thought of so many.

So today Amber created the document and called a meeting.
Ray cut it to pieces and James cut it to pieces
Yeah, in front of everyone.

She was so upset she stormed out
and no one saw her for the rest of the day.
I wish I could do that.

Did it affect me?
Not a bit. She wasn’t around to bother me.

Yep, tomorrow will be a good day.
No one in the office.

Gotta go. Buy you a beer after I get that raise.
Hey, yeah, sure thing.

• • •

Previous Barely Socially Acceptable Acts.

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 4

22 Mar 2004
March 22, 2004

In this month’s Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable office politics meets low carb but tasty recipes. March madness: cell phone monodialogues® from the subway underground:

We’ve got to nail this guy!
If we don’t we’ll be knockin’ on doors.
Yeah, tomorrow at the latest.

Wait a minute, I forgot to tell you.
I had the best cauliflower
at Janet’s last night.
Yeah, amazing.

Well, you cut the head into little florets.
And spread them on a cookie sheet.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Yeah, it’s gotta be hot.
Brush on double virgin olive oil
And bake for 20 minutes.

Are you writing this down?

Then just salt and pepper to taste.
But for the best flavor
I like a lot of coarse ground pepper.
Geez, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I don’t care. It’s your turn to be the bad guy.
But if we don’t do it now, we’ll pay for it later.
Big time.

No, 450 for 20 minutes. Right.
Tomorrow.

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 3

07 Feb 2004
February 7, 2004

In this month’s performance from the acclaimed Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable–monodialogue® cell phone performances from the Washington subway–showbiz lobbies for better government.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 3:

What’s up?
I had a good time too.
Hey thanks. Yeah, I’ve been working out.
Twice a week at Homeland Security.
Ah huh, the gym’s in the basement.
An old bunker.

Abs and upper body.
Tom Ridge? Never.
Not just a stud, a nipple shield.

At the gym? Yeah, I hear stuff.
[A woman nearby abruptly shuts her Clive Cussler novel]
They’re putting Bush on a tape delay.
Just in case.
5 seconds? No, 5 minutes.
Not enough.

What’s he think?
Wardrobe malfunction?
War malfunction.

Great.
It’s a date.
Ok, I’ll meet you there.
Wear that black thing. What?
You know, that black thing that…
Yeah, that’s the one.
And don’t be…
No, I won’t be late.
See ya soon. Bye.

Past Performances:
The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 1
The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 2

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 2

22 Jan 2004
January 22, 2004

Last month, after a particularly grueling day at work I founded The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable. Each month I would perform underground cell phone conversation tableaus to the apathetic minions riding DC’s subway system, the Metro. The response to our premiere performance was fantastic. No one suspected a thing and no one took notice.

Today, my theatre troupe debuts the second in its series. Speeches this week by two diametrically opposed politicos (both in tone and in temperament) provide the muse for this month’s production:

Hi, yeah it’s me.
Let me –wait a minute.
Wait a minute. Wait.
Nah, I don’t think the terrorist threat will expire on that schedule.
The Patriot Act, si se pueda.

And you know something?
You know something?
We will NOT give up.
Man, don’t give me a permission slip to defend us.
Right. Cool. Very cool.

Double the budget.
We’re going to New Hampshire
And to South Carolina.
And Oklahoma and Arizona

The killers will fail.
And that’s hard to explain to our partners
Yeah, willing foreign workers when no Americans can be found
In Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Phillippines, Thailand
And North Dakota and New Mexico.

And we’re going to Washington!
Yeah, I’m on the Red Line right now.
Straight to the White House.
Shit. The train’s out of service.

Wait, I can switch to the Green Line
The service on this subway bites.
We’re providing more funding for our schools
–a 36 percent increase since 2001.
The Metro? I oppose amnesty.

The status quo always has defenders!
Yeah, the sanctity of marriage
Si se puede. Yeah I think it’s possible.
Wait a minute. Wait, here it comes.
YEEAGH!

Man, that felt good. Whew, really good.
Ok, adiós amigo. Later.

Other Performances:
The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 1
The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 3

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 1

20 Dec 2003
December 20, 2003

After a particularly difficult and emotionally heart wrenching day at work (is there no other kind?) I was listening to my iPod’s special “Get Over It” mix on the subway home, prepared especially for days like this.

While undoing I looked around me and observed a man I often see on this train. He reached into his pocket for his cell, popped his earbud into his ear and began to talk. As always with these devices people look like they’re speaking to themselves. They smile and react to someone unseen. It’s not as if the unseen person is “there.” The cell protagonist looks off-center and indirectly into the ether. Have you noticed? With my special mix playing the soundtrack in my own ear it is theater in it’s most wonderfully absurd early 21st century form.

After difficult days one strives for equilibrium: a place to comfortably sit without anxiety and distress. This position often spawns quirky creative trances in me. And so, today I launch The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable.

Every month I shall perform a piece on the subway, developing a repertoire of mobile phone conversations. Putting my finger to my ear (no one will look closely to discover I have no earpiece) I will produce what I call monodialogs® –pithy and topical urbane conversations. When my audience ignores me I will know I am a success.

My premiere performance just in time for the holidays:

Hi, it’s me. Did you tell him?
What’d he say?
Better hide his passport.

She’ll find it at the top of the medicine chest, behind the Paxil.
Ha! Yah, I know.
No, no, shave it off. Really. SHAVE IT OFF you fool.

He thinks he can get away with THAT?
[Looks at fingernails]
The Iraqis will never agree.
Tell him it’s his Christmas present.
[Laughs, looks down the aisle at the opposite end of the car]
No, I don’t think he’s here.

I hid it under the sink, behind the Draino.
Don’t let her see you. Right, shaken. Not stirred.

We just arrived at Cleveland Park
See you soon. Bye.
Sure.
You’re funny. Yah, me too. Bye.

Other Performances:
The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 2
The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 3

© 2001-2015 Jeff Gates ISSN 1544-4074