Thursday, May 03, 2007

Another Very Short Play for Three Voices

Voice 1: I’m starving.

Voice 2: Literally starving?

Voice 3: Wasting away to nothing?

Voice 2: On death’s doorstep?

Voice 1: No, I’m just very hungry. I haven’t eaten a thing since this morning. And all I had then was a single Weetabix.

Voice 2: You shouldn’t say “starving,” then. It minimizes the true suffering of the millions of people who around the world who really are starving.

Voice 1: Give me a break! It’s a figure of speech. Everybody uses it.

Voice 3: Well, maybe it’s time to change that.

Voice 2: Yeah, can’t you just say, “I’m hungry.”

Voice 1: “Hungry” doesn’t really convey the intensity. “Hungry” is subject to interpretation. Just how hungry? “Starving” forcefully and colorfully communicates the message that I’m really dying to eat, and pronto.

Voice 3: You’re not really “dying” to eat, you know. If you were literally dying to eat you’d be literally starving. Anyway, “starving” is subject to interpretation just as much as “hungry,” don’t you think?

Voice 2: When you say “I’m starving” you scare us. How do we know your life isn’t in imminent danger?

Voice 1: Tone of voice. Facial expression. There are all sorts of clues. Why are you giving me such a hard time? I just want something to eat. Can I please get out of here?

Voice 3: All right, but just one more thing.

Voice 1: What’s that?

Voice 3: Did you say you ate a Weetabix this morning?

Voice 1: Yes.

Voice 2: With milk?

Voice 1: Yes.

Voices 2 & 3: Yuck!

Voice 3: I’d rather starve!


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