A Play by Angelo L.

CHARACTERS:

STRIPES, a tiger, age 14, FAT CAT, a tiger, age 18, Stripes’ big brother

SETTING:

A park with a field, a lot of trees and the tiger castle.

TIME:

8:32pm, September 21st, 2007

AT RISE:

Stripes in the castle, near the jungle-gym, doing push-ups.


STRIPES
(Doing push-ups) . . . 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90!!  Man, I’m tired of my damn brother.  Every time I see him it’s the same old thing, “Stripes, man, what are you doing?  Every time Mom’s come and see me she tellin’ me you out there bumpin’ claws with the jaguars and stuff.  Sayin’ you out there claiming Bengal Park and stuff.  Lil’ bro I’m telling you . . . This ain’t the life you want.  You don’t want to end up like me.  You need to stop trying to be like me and go back to playin’ pawball.  Stripes, man, you good enough to make it – remember your dream of playing for the Lions.  You can do it if you get your whiskers straight.”  Get your whiskers straight, you can do it, you’re good enough, Stop trying to be like me – What!!!  Man, I’m not trying to be like nobody.  I’m my own cat!  Matter fact, I’m better than him.  Talking ‘bout trying to be like me.  Who does he think he is?  Just because he got caught and put in the zoo doesn’t mean I’m going to be put there.  I can’t believe he was ever a leader of the pack.  And he’s supposed to be a tiger (slight laugh).  He’s more like a house cat.  Sittin’ in the zoo doing whatever those zoo keepers tell him to do.  Here kitty, time to eat, here kitty, time to bathe.  Hey, cat stop roaring so loud.  Hey this, Hey that! . . .  (pause)  Just like a house cat.  Man, what the hell does he know?  He’s not out here. 

(Stage right.  Fat Cat at the zoo in his small, lonely space with a 20 foot wall with fencing around it, a water hole, some trees and a couple of big rocks.  Fat Cat is pacing back and forth during the monologue.)

FAT CAT
Dear Gato please help guide my lil’ brother to make a better choice in his life and to please make sure he doesn’t end up like me.  Meow. (Amen.  Sighs.)  That damn lil’ brother of mine just don’t listen.  He too busy trying so hard to be a fat cat that he don’t see that he’s in a cat fight he can’t win.  He just don’t understand that in this jungle there only one winner.  And that winner is going to be the zoo and the zoo keepers.  Why can’t he take me and my situation for example.  I went from candy painted orange fur with black pearl stripes to sittin’ in the zoo lookin’ like Dennis Rodman (slight laugh).  I can’t blame him for wanting that life.  Because I was just like that at his age.  All I wanted was sand dollars, claw thangs and a brand new pearl to fly me to the Boston jungle . . .(thinking) Man, those were the days (slight laugh).  

                        (ZOO KEEPERS yell from offstage:  Lights out! )

FAT CAT
Now look at me.  Went from a fat cat to a damn house cat.

(A week later.)

STRIPES
Damn, I really don’t want to go see my brother.  All he’s gonna do is nag and have a fur ball.

FAT CAT
Man, I hope my lil’ brother’s changed his ways.  He don’t know what he’s gettin’ himself into.

(ZOO KEEPERS yell from offstage:  Fat’s you gotta visit! )

FAT CAT
Whatz up lil’ brah, how you been?

STRIPES 
I’ve been fine how you holdn’ up?

FAT CAT
Man, you know me.  Livin’ fat being a cat.

STRIPES
(Slight laugh)  Man, you always been fat, if anything about you ever changes your fatness sure won’t.  (Laugh)
FAT CAT
Yea, well look at you.  I see you got yo weight up some too, huh?

STRIPES
Yeah, you know me.  I’ve been working out getting ready for the Pawball team.  Tryin’ to get big so I can knock the stripes off them cats round the way way.

FAT CAT
Yea, I hear you.  But I’m not talking ‘bout that type of weight.

STRIPES
Man, come on Fat don’t even start with me.  I’m here to see how you holdn’ up and spend time with you.  I’m not here to have you nag at me.  Man, I’m out of here.

FAT CAT
What!! Boy you betta sit yo Tony the Tiger look-alike tail down before I really claw the stripes off yo back.

STRIPES
Man.

FAT CAT
Man, what  – you betta sit . . . Now Mom’s told me whats up with you.  She said you out there  –

STRIPES
Fats, man, I’m really not trying to hear this.

FAT CAT
I know you interrupt me one mo time you ain’t gonna have to worry about hearin’ this anymore cuz I’ma claw yo ears smooth off yo face and you gone have to learn Paw Language. 

(Pause)
Now what the hell you think you doin’?  Out there tryna be a top cat.  Like you big and bad or something.

STRIPES
I’m not big and bad or a top cat I’m me.  Stripes F. Banga!

FAT CAT
Stripes F. Who?  Look at you out there trying so hard to be me.  I heard about you and the jaguars.  Man, what were you thinking?

STRIPES
How. How. How do you know about that?  Momma don’t even know about that.

FAT CAT
Man, look where I’m at.  I talk with all the types of cats from all over the park.  Just so happen the jaguar you and them cats clawed down was ma boy Big Spots’ lil’ brother.

STRIPES
I don’t know what you talkin’ ‘bout.  I’m not doin’ nothin’ but pushin’ the pawball down the field every day.

FAT CAT
Is that the only thing you pushin’ down the field?  Or is there something you wanna tell me?

STRIPES
(Thinks.  Pause.) . . . Naw I ain’t got nothin else to tell you.

FAT CAT
You sure? . . . Man why don’t you be real with me lil’ brah?  I already know what you doin’ I just want you to tell me.

STRIPES
Man I ain’t doing nothing!  If you know so much and you say you know what I’m doin’, why don’t you tell me what the hell I’m doin’?

FAT CAT
For one, you out there clawing other cats, pushing the white and black meat and you stop goin’ to school –

STRIPES
So! You did the same thing.  Oh, so now you in the zoo you all good and holy . . . (pause). . . You were out here doin’ the same exact thing I’m doin’.  Matter fact, I’m doin’ what I do better than you ever did.

FAT CAT
Now don’t get ahead of yourself.  You betta remember who you talkin’ to.  Just cuz I changed my ways don’t mean nothing.  I’m still Fat Cat and I’m still yo big brother.  So you betta talk to me with some respect.  Now –

STRIPES
Now nothing!  Man, look at you.  You ain’t Fat Cat no mo.  Now you just a house cat.  I don’t know what they feeding you or what they did to yo head but you know this stuff ain’t gone stop.    Just cuz you locked up don’t mean nothing.  I’ma do me and the park.

FAT CAT
What you don’t understand is if you keep doin’ what you doin’ it ain’t gone be no you.  And it damn sho ain’t gone be no park.  You think them jaguars gone let that stuff slide? . . . Hell naw.  They gone do the same thing I’ma do if you get clawed down.

STRIPES
Man, forget them damn spot muts.  They know who you are and they know who I am.

FAT CAT
And who is you?

STRIPES
Man I’m Stripes F. Banga, Fat Cat’s lil brother.

FAT CAT
Oh, is that right? . . . You just using my name to get you fame and give me beef.  Huh.

STRIPES
Ain’t nobody using yo name for nothing.  Plus them cats already know if they touch me you on them like the spots on they back.  Besides, I treat beef like it is dead meat.  Know why brah? Cuz I’m Stripes man, yeah me.

FAT CAT
Do you hear what you sayin’? . . . . (Pause – let Stripes think)  Lil’ bra I’m not out there to save you anymore . . . If they come for you, they’re going to get you and you’re going to die.  Now is that what you want?

STRIPES 
Man, I don’t care.  Me and my cats ready to scratch ‘em up wherever whenever.

FAT CAT
You don’t what!?  You don’t care? . . . Stripes, man, that’s the stupidest thing I ever heard you say.  Stripes, brah, if you don’t listen to me that’s it.  You’re gonna die and it won’t be anything I can do about it.

                        (ZOO KEEPER from offstage:   Time’s up!  )

FAT CAT
Lil’ brah really think about what I said.  Man, that’s all I ask.  Can you do that for me?

STRIPES
Yeah brah.  I can do that.

FAT CAT
Stripes, really think about it.

STRIPES
Aight brah.

FAT CAT
Love you lil’ brah.

STRIPES
Love you too Fat boy.

(Same day back at the park.)

STRIPES
Damn, I never really looked at it like this.  Hell like that.  I never thought about dying.  Maybe big brah right . . .  (Pause. Think.)  Maybe it is time for me to leave this stuff alone . . . (Another pause) Damn I never should’ve told him I don’t care if I live or die.  Cuz truth is I really do.  Damn man, what I do now?

(Same day back at the zoo.)

FAT CAT
Damn, I really hope Stripes listened to what I said.  I don’t know but I feel like something’s about to happen.  (Pause. Think.)  Naw, I’m just stressed out.

(STRIPES’ FRIEND from offstage:    Ay, Lil’ Fat you ready?   )

STRIPES
Naw, man I’m done with all that.  I’m out.  I’m good off this stuff.  I’m ‘bout to go tell my brother I’m out.  Out for good! 

(STRIPES on his way to the zoo)

STRIPES 
Man I can’t wait to tell my brother I’m done.  He’s gonna be so proud.  Damn I’m really done –

VOICE from offstage:    What’s up Stripes – remember me?)

STRIPES
Damn my brother told me I was going to  . . .

(VOICE From offstage:   ROOAARRRR!) 

THE END

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