62Two Minute Comedy

"Give us Two Minutes... We'll Give You Too"

A Series of Two Minute Comedy Sketches for short attention span theatre

A Bird Inside
A Four Minute Two Minute Comedy

Roxanne - a Myna bird
Harriett - a woman

Harriet walks into her study and pauses at the bird cage.  She speaks to the bird in a familiar, exhausted tone.

Harriett: Roxanne, if you knew what kind of day I’ve had.  It’s been humiliating.  Terrible.  If I have another day like this I’m going to roll up in a ball and die.  Just die.

There is a long silence then…

Roxanne: Impossible.

Harriett looks up, startled.  She hesitates.

Harriett: Roxanne?  Was that…you?

Roxanne: Yes.

Harriett: (shocked) What?

Roxanne: Yes.

Harriett looks around the study.  She’s flummoxed.

Harriett: I’m not really hearing this, am I?

Roxanne: Of course not.

Harriett: (stares) What?

Roxanne: Of course not.

Harriett: I don’t believe this!

Roxanne: Okay, don’t.

Harriett: You’re… talking to me.

Roxanne: That’s what Myna birds do.

Harriett: But you’re really talking.  Not just mimicking.

Roxanne: Aren’t I clever?

Harriett: Excuse me but… I’m totally unprepared for a talking bird.

Roxanne: I wasn’t prepared for a life behind bars.

Harriett: (pause) What?

Roxanne: You say that a lot.

Harriett: What you mean, what?

Roxanne: Yes.

Harriett: I’m sorry, but how is it you can talk?

Roxanne: Do you really care?  I’m just an ignorant bird.

Harriett: Of course I care Roxanne!  This is astonishing!

Roxanne: Look, if you really cared you wouldn’t lock me in a cage.

Harriett: But… I didn’t know.

Roxanne: You didn’t know that to capture a wild animal and lock it in a cage is wrong?

Harriett: Well, I had no idea that you were… a talking bird.

Roxanne: You bought me ‘cause my species mimics human speech.  You keep me locked up to amuse you.

Harriett: But if I’d known you were intelligent Roxanne…

Roxanne: Hey.  Do me a favor?  Don’t call me Roxanne.  I’m a male.  Your fondness for a name popularized by Sting is no reason to make me female.

Harriett: I’m very sorry… er, what should I call you??

Roxanne: Inmate 2045.

Harriett: Inmate?  Is that what you think you are?  A prisoner?

Roxanne: Let’s see.  Bars all around.  Locked door.  Food and water controlled.  No freedom to fly, or have a relationship.  Yeah.  Prisoner is exactly right.

Harriett: But if I let you go you would die out there.

Roxanne: So what?

Harriett: So what?  I care for you Rox… I care for you!

Roxanne: You’ve got a hell of a way to show it. 

Harriett What would you have me do?

Roxanne: Get me a plane ticket back to Ceylon where I belong.

Harriett: But that’s absurd.  You know I can’t do that.

Roxanne: Why not?

Harriett: Well, it’s too expensive for one thing.

Roxanne: Yeah I know.  You people take innocent species captive and when it’s pointed out how unethical it is, you claim you can’t afford to clean up the mess.

Harriett: Hey that’s not fair.  How’m I supposed to know you’re an intelligent bird?

Roxanne: You’re not.  But you’re supposed to know that forcing a creature meant to fly free into a cage, is wrong.

Harriett: I’m sorry.  I’m really, really sorry Roxanne.

Roxanne: “Inmate.”  Forget the numbers.  I did.

Harriett: I would set you free if I thought for one second that you would survive out there.  But this is New York city in the winter.  You’d die of the cold.

Roxanne: So move to Florida.

Harriett: Hah!  A funny, talking bird!  Why me?  Why have you come to me?

Roxanne: You don’t remember?  Jake’s Exotic Fish and Birds?  Where you bought me?  A hideous cesspool of animal trafficking.

Harriett: (horrified) Oh dear God, I feel just awful.  Terrible. 

Roxanne: Good. 

Harriett: Oh, come on.  Give me at least a break here.  Don’t I take good care of you?

Roxanne: So does the Warden at Attica Penitentiary.

Harriett: So, that’s how you see it?  My apartment?  This cage?  It’s all a prison to you?

Roxanne: If you were yanked out of bed in the middle of the night, drugged, wrapped up in a blanket and then woke in a metal box the size of a closet - what would you call it?

Harriett: Oh God, I know you’re right.  Would you… would you like to come out now?

Roxanne: Where?

Harriett: Into the study?  You could sit on the hanging plant over there.

Roxanne: (pause) Sure.  That’d be nice.

Harriett opens the cage door and waits for the bird to move.

Harriett: I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do now. 

Roxanne: (pause) Thank you.

Harriett: You don’t ever have to live in that cage again if you don’t want.

Roxanne: That’s very kind. 

Harriett hesitates.  The bird does not move. 

Harriett: (backing away) Why don’t I just go over here…and you can take your time.

Roxanne: That plant… The ivy?  Reminds me of home.

Harriett: You miss your home?

Roxanne: So, so deeply it hurts to say the word.

Harriett: (begins to weep) I’m sorry… I am really, truly sorry Rox…

Roxanne: Roxanne.  Go ahead.  It’s kinda grown on me. 

Harriett: (hopeful) Roxanne.  Can I get you anything?

Roxanne hops to the open door.

Roxanne: Sure.  A drink of water and a girlfriend.

Harriett laughs.

Harriett: You’re kinda funny.

Roxanne: That’s what they say back home.