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This episode of Pages is "Jump," a short play by Joan Philo. "Jump" was first performed at Second City's Donny's Skybox Theater in Chicago in May|June of 2003 :

The Players :

Dave : Suicidal jumper (45) (male)

Phone (V.O.) : Suicide Prevention Operator (female)

Carnie Wilson (V.O.); Carnie Wilson character (female|same)

Teetering on the edge of the stage, Dave, (45), arms outstretched, eyes closed, poised to leap.

A nervous swipe at his brow, a hurried glance down, and he jumps back.

He whips a cell phone from his pocket and frantically punches in numbers --

A white knuckled grip as he presses the phone to his ear.

PHONE (V.O.): Hello --

DAVE (frantic): Hello?

PHONE (V.O.): ... you have reached the Suicide Prevention Hotline. If you are on a Touchtone phone, press one, now.

DAVE: Shit!

(Dave jabs at the cell phone pad.)

PHONE (V.O.): For your convenience this system is voice activated, for English, say English now, for Spanish --

DAVE: English.

PHONE (V.O.) (Spanish): Hola, como esta? Me llamo es Claudia Maria Lolita Rodriguez. Como --

DAVE; Shit, English!

PHONE (V.O.): Shit, English is not a proper option. Please press the pound key, or wait on the line.

(Dave, appalled, punches the pound key - The hit 1980's song against suicide "Hold On" by the Wilson Phillips trio fills the stage -- as if streaming out of the cell phone.)

PHONE (V.O.): Thank you for your patience. Remember we deeply care about you and are trying to get to you as soon as possible. To order a copy of "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips, say "Hold On" or press one, now. To speak with an operator, say operator --

DAVE (frustrated shout): Operator!

PHONE (V.O.): This is the operator.

DAVE: Hello?

PHONE (V.O.): Yes?

DAVE: Oh, thank God.

PHONE (V.O.): Hold please.

DAVE: No, wait. (pleads) Come on.

CARNIE WILSON (V.O.): Hi --

DAVE: Yes, hi, thank --

CARNIE WILSON (V.O.): ... this is Carnie Wilson, by now you've probably heard our hit song "Hold On"--

DAVE (shouts into phone): That song sucked!

CARNIE WILSON (V.O.); ... when I filmed that video up on the grassy hill, you might of noticed how the director hid me behind my anorexic looking sister, Wendy, and long time "I'm the hottest look at me" best friend Chynna Phillips. Well, I didn't like that and I had dark thoughts too...

DAVE: I want a live person right now. Do you hear me? (yells) Operator!

(Dave smacks the phone against his knee.)

CARNIE WILSON (V.O.): And now my stomach's the size of a pea.

(Dave drops to the ground, beats the phone against the stage, picks it back up and holds it to his ear. A moment of static, then)

PHONE (V.O.): ... to kill yourself by a gun, press one. By leaping out of window, press two. By holding your breath, press three. By knife, razor blade, or anything remotely resembling a shiny sharp object, press four, now. And remember, in the words of Carnie Wilson, "Hold on."

DAVE (steaming mad, shouts): Fuck Carnie Wilson!

PHONE (V.O.): To fuck, Carnie Wilson, press one.

DAVE (screams into phone): Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.

PHONE (V.O.): To fuck all three Wilson Phillips singers, press three, now.

(Dave twists his body like a madman, eyes popping he inches closer and closer to the edge of the stage.)

DAVE (shouts): Stop it, just stop it. I'm going to hurl myself off this cliff you fucking morons. Do you hear me? This is me, screaming, plunging to my death... PRESS THIS!

Dave flings the cell phone off the stage. Pinging sounds echo as it bounces South.

Dave sucks in great gobs of air, lunges toward the edge of the stage, then screeches to a stop.

The "Hold On" song streams up from out of nowhere.

Dave drops to all fours and crawls to the edge of the stage.

DAVE: I'm gonna kick your ass. I'm gonna hunt you down. You suck! Your hotline sucks! I'm so gonna kill myself, right after I find you and torture your Carnie Wilson loving automated ass.

(Dave eases back from the stage, stands and dusts himself off. He pauses.)

DAVE: Humph. I feel pretty good.

(Dave takes a step...)

DAVE: Pretty damn good.

(... another step, and now a whistle, whistling the "Hold On" tune, he walks upstage as a woman, Carnie Wilson (we know this because her big floppy hat says so: "Carnie Wilson") flops her arms up and over the edge of the stage. Her hand grips Dave's cell phone -- Her smile huge.)

(blackout)

 

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