Roll Under – Geoff Wallace

Scene: An enormous rusted steel Möbius strip like Richard Serra would make. 

Characters: Fourteen on the strip & two voiceovers off-stage. Also: a donut. 

Movement: Everybody is on the strip in the strip just strip strip strip making love to the strip raking flesh on the strip staying true to the strip hanging off of the strip like your own skin waiting to jump ship (but it can’t). 

Voices: All lines are spoken normally except the Broken Man’s. His lines overlap wane swell crack burst. 

A note about Mel: His monologue is ad libbed and lasts as long as the actor feels Mel Gibson’s career can sustain his own white-hot rage. But it always ends with the title line. 

Ambient sound: A boiling fireball looming hungry & ready to engulf everybody (finally, goddammit). 

MAN Are you sure you’re going to eat before every preseason game? 

TEEN GIRL But Dad, the karate punchbowl! 

OLD MAN (admonishing) Now Joy, they don’t do that in Ohio! 

The Teen Boy cries for Joy and kisses her donut one last time. 

TEEN BOY Oh, donut! I’m sorry. [Throws donut into the Atlantic.] 

OLD MAN Windows 98…and democracy! Inoperable! 

BROKEN MAN Who’s Larry? Come to the telephone! 

DANDY GUY Resident speaking! Ahem! What’s that you say? The jolly old autocracy needs extra bones? Ahem! You want to live forever? Crack open the bones and gulp the marrow raw! 

BROKEN MAN Who’s Larry? Come to the telephone! 

OWL A one, a two, a three—a three

BROKEN MAN Who’s Larry? Come to the telephone! 

COMMERCIAL How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie roll center of liberal apologizing? The current world may never know! 

Fireball intensifies. 

BROKEN MAN Who’s Larry? Come to the telephone! 

ANNOUNCER He’ll change us all for good! He’s a brilliant bright shining hope! He’s the motherfucking living em bodiment of total flux! He’s lightweight and 100% tungsten! He’s an unbreakable seven-foot astronaut! He bench presses with his dick, never sleeps and he can’t pass out! And all he can do is this one weird trick that’ll fix us all up—clapping hands for an audience of one! [Everyone claps their hands; hopefully someone falls.] And whenever he goes out, the people always shout, hey your gaw-damn tonsils will fall out! YA DA DA DA DA DA DA! 

BROKEN MAN Who’s Larry? Come to the telephone! 

TRENDY WOMAN That’s insulting. No, that’s the whole point of it! No, the point of it is…the point of it is…the point of it is…I don’t understand! 

The Trendy Woman dives squirrel-like into the Atlantic, drowns for a second then swims after the donut. 

BROKEN MAN Who’s Larry? Come to the telephone! 

MONOTONE WOMAN —and all the retired squirrels

squirreled away in the killing bag and officially killed in the mixing bag where we mix our killing and kill our mixing as we mix up the ink and trophies on our collective shelf for the killed squirrels of our past and all the squirrels killed in the worlds yet to come a badge and a gun a badge and a gun a badge and a gun— 

TEEN BOY You know somebody who could take a look at this? [Upbeat jazz orchestra plays] 

Audience sighs fake hysterical relief. 

BROKEN MAN Who’s Larry? Come to the telephone! 

OLD MAN (triumphant) A man in bed with death falls asleep in a wet room and has a vision of himself in the window pane’s water drops. His imaginary face smiles a big hot smile like a big hot steel boat and a hat appears on his imaginary head—choo choooo!—but that’s not his hat… and it never was! 

PORKY PIG Th-th-th-that’s all, folks! 

Audience still unhinged as canned kids’ laughter blares. 

PORKY PIG [afraid] I-i-it’s gonna go bad! 

BROKEN MAN Who’s Larry? Come to the telephone! 

CLASSIC BRIT Bills and dollars. It all starves the figgas. Dollar bill starboard, a life preserver lassoing figgas—! [Orgasmic fever gestures] A face that’s nothing but a neck! 

BROKEN MAN Who’s Larry? Come to the— 

The Broken Man gags. The fireball’s clone emerges from his mouth. A horrendous yet happy feeling follows, like a dog eating its own vomit. The twin fireballs will kill them all and soon. He stares then goes cross-eyed, grins and shakes his fist. 

BROKEN MAN Tell him he owes me three grand! 

Audience weeps. The fireballs are upon them now. And yet— 

MAN Larold…I love you…I love you…but I’ve chosen darkness! 

MEL GIBSON No! No no no no no no no! The garden door is my thing, okay? No crowds, no crowns, no prints, no chat, no door, no figgas! Okay? The goddamn crown prince is my thing! Roll under! 

Mel ad libs until he’s spent, climbs off the strip and yells his final phrase until the curtain falls, concussing him. 


Geoff Wallace is a 55-year-old trapped in the body of an 18-year-old. His twin selves are at work on many projects at once. He likes shelving picture books at Powell’s in Portland, Oregon.

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