A Play by Clint W.

Performance: May 2003
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo

Characters: BUGSY, a gray mouse from the Italian countryside, age 9
VETO, BUGSY’s brother, a white mouse, age 11
They live with their sister, MOUSEE, age 12 and VETO’s girlfriend, MARIA
Time: Sunset, evening, Summer in 1940
Place: On a tall building in San Francisco – on the rooftop on the way back to their home on the fire escape, which has a view of all of San Francisco
At Rise: BUGSY and VETO are frolicking back to the house, arguing and messing around like they always do.


Veto, you’re always talking about going home.  Home this, home that – you sound like a pigeon!


Calm your nerves!  You always be getting loud, Bugsy! Hurry up! You’re laggin’!

Bugsy: I’m full.  You’re always in a hurry!

Of course!  I want to go see Maria!


I’ve had enough of that girl!  She’s just like you!   She always wants to go back to the country!
(Pigeons are flying up in a rush from the fire escape.)
What’s going on?
(They run over there hella fast.  They see the pot they live in broken, now seeing MARIA and MOUSEE laid down.)

Veto: Mama!  Are you alright?  Was it those damn pigeons?
Bugsy: I told you you shouldn’t have stuck thorns in their nest!

No, that was you!

Bugsy: Well, it was your idea!
Veto: You still did it!  I told you we should leave!
(As MARIA and MOUSEE are walking looking up towards them, MOUSEE says:  Guys!  SHUT UP!!  A letter came in from Ma and Pa!  Here!  MARIA and MOUSEE run off to go search for a new home.)
Veto: (reading letter)
Dear Veto,
The cats are repo-ing our house.  We are in need of some money, or we’ll be stranded in the streets.  Please come soon, son.  We’re in a time of need.  I know that you are taking care of your sister and brother.  We’re doing fine.  Hopefully, we’ll see you soon.
Ma and Pa
Veto: (to BUGSY)
You know, this draws the line.  I’m leaving.  I’m leaving now.  I’ve had enough of this city. You’re over here and you and Mousee are running around like you have your heads chopped off – causing all kinds of trouble.
Bugsy: You know Ma and Pa will be fine.  Stop worrying. We’re not going anywhere.
Veto: What do you mean, stop worrying?  You’re taking this too far.  You need to slow your role

Shut up!  That’s enough of you!

Veto: Well, I can care less about what you’ve got to say.  I’ve already bought tickets for me and Mousee and Maria.  The ship leaves tomorrow.  You know, do you want to spend your last day arguing with me over something that’s not important?  Or are you coming back with me?
Bugsy: Where did you get the money for the tickets? That’s where all my cheese money went, you stinking little rat!

You aren’t so slick now, buddy.  How do you think you’re going to get a new home now?


Oh, you think that’s funny, huh?  You better calm down or I’m going to throw Maria off the rooftop and dip her on her head!


You always blow things out of proportion!  Why don’t you hear where I’m coming from?


You stole my money and used my own money against me.  What do you expect?

Veto: Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Hold up!  Where you get off?  I am using your money to take your sister back home and to take care of family!  So don’t run around talking about I stole your money to use against you.
Bugsy: You know, it certainly feels like it.  You always do these things, even when we’re in the country.
Veto: But you didn’t have anything to put your negative energy into.  Now you do.
Bugsy: What do you mean?
Veto: You know what I mean.  You’re always getting to all kinds of trouble stealing cheese, chasing pigeons, jumping on people.
Bugsy: (laughing)
Ha ha – you know me.  Those are the things that get me going.  What’s so great about home that isn’t here?
Veto: We’re country mice.  We belong in the country.  I hate this city.  It’s dirty roach!  It’s full of buildings and garbage and flying rats!
Bugsy: I know you do, but the country is bunk!  There’s plenty more opportunities here.  All my life you know that my dream has been to be successful.  Over here, there’s so much more things to keep me busy and there’s so much more liveliness.  In the country, there’s nothing even close to this feeling.  If living in the city was a sport, I’d have a ring!
Veto: Just because we got stranded on that boat coming over here, doesn’t mean me and Mousee want to stay here.  You know, Bugsy, you’ve lost sight of a lot of things.
Bugsy: You don’t know what you’re talking about.  You think I’ve forgotten about Ma and Pa?  I miss them just as much as you.  They’re hard working mice, and they’ve done a fine job of raising the three of us.  I feel very disheartened to know that they’re going to lose our house, ‘though I know my time has come to get out on my own, and this is where I belong.
Veto: What’s stopping you from doing that there in the city in Italy, where things are closer to home?
Bugsy: Well, I never really thought of that.  And I could build a big house and be close to home.
Veto: Well . . .  what’s wrong with that idea?  That’s all you used to think about.  And I know you remember Chantana.  And how you used to get all light-headed when she came around?
Bugsy: Yeah, these things will always be in my heart.
Veto: Then what are you trippin’ off?  You know everybody probably needs you and you’ll have a lot of new experience and maybe you can bring something you learned back to the country.
Bugsy: But I hate it there!
Veto: Well, how would you know you wouldn’t like it when you go back?  Things would be a lot different without you there.   
Bugsy: Yeah, you’re right, but I need to think about it.
Veto: So why don’t you come with us down to the dock?  And come with us?  So you will be there?  Yes or no?  I already bought your ticket for you.
(VETO shows BUGSY his ticket.)
Bugsy: Man, you always put me in these funky predicaments!  I gotta think about it.  Either I’ll see you or not.
Veto: Alright then, bro’ –
(BUGSY walks off into the night, contemplating what to do.  He walks through North Beach.)
Bugsy: Nothing never ever goes my way.  On one hand, the country’s where I grew up and I always will treasure it.  But on the other, this is where I want to be now.  I would feel very disturbed to leave, but I must do what’s in my heart.  Whoa!
(He stops and looks at a picture on the street of the beach in the countryside that reminds him of home.  He lays down next to the picture and starts to fall asleep.)
Yeah, maybe I do need to go back at least one more time.
(And he starts to fall asleep.  During his dream, he reminisces of his home, his family and his friends and relatives.  He does have those priceless things there that he can’t have here.  He wakes up to the sound of pigeons cooing and cars and he thinks to himself:)
Oh my lord, these things are hella annoying!
(He starts walking towards the deck.   He sees MOUSEE, MARIA and VETO.)
Bugsy: (to VETO)What’s going on?  Where’d you guys sleep last night?
Veto: We were over by the bridge.
Bugsy: You know, I was thinking last night – I have been overlooking things, and what would you say if I go with you guys on the boat and try it out and stabilize things?
Veto: Sounds like a plan!  Jeeeahh!!  So what made you change your mind?
Bugsy: I was walking around thinking and I came to a picture of home and the smell of lasagna and I couldn’t handle it any more.  All those things I missed came back to me.
Veto: (laughing)
Ha, ha!  That’s what I’m talking about!  Young Bugsy, I knew you’d come through.
Bugsy: Yeah, yeah, whatever.
    The End.