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CORYBUNGUS

A Ten-Minute Play

By Stephen Bittrich

 

459 Columbus Avenue, #240
New York, NY 10024
E-mail:
SBittrich@aol.com

 

Copyright © 1991,
by Stephen Bittrich
(Draft: February, 1994)

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                                   "CORYBUNGUS"

                                   BY STEPHEN BITTRICH

            SETTING:

                                   A large, over-priced bookstore on Fifth
                                   Avenue.

            AT RISE:

                                   The RETURNS MAN is busily organizing
                                   books behind the Returns Counter.  MR.
                                   WEINER comes in lugging a copy of the
                                   Oxford English Dictionary.  HE steps up
                                   to the counter and begins drumming his
                                   fingers noisily.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Yes sir, how may I help you?

                                   MR. WEINER
            I've got a defective O-E-D.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            I'm very sorry, sir.  And what exactly is a defective O-E-D?
                           (MR. WEINER slams the O-E-D
                           down on the counter)

                                   RETURNS MAN (CONTINUED)
            Ah yes, the Oxford English Dictionary.

                                   MR. WEINER
            O-E-D.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Yes, I see.  And what exactly is the matter with your O-E-D,
            sir?

                                   MR. WEINER
            It's missing words.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Really?  Missing--

                                   MR. WEINER
            Missing words.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            I see.  Well, what kinds of words is it missing, exactly?

                                   MR. WEINER
            All kinds of words.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Hmmmm, well, is the book missing pages?  Is that the way in
            which it's defec--

                                   MR. WEINER
            Just words!

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Aaaaall right, well, did you want to exchange the book, sir,
            or receive store cred--?

                                   MR. WEINER
            Exchange.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Of course, of course.  Allow me to just--
                          (The RETURNS MAN speaks into a
                           phone--)
            Roger, please send up a copy of the Oxford English Diction
            ary-- right away.

                                   MR. WEINER
                          (Under his breath)
            O-E-D.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Well, sir, that book will be sent right up.
                          (MR. WEINER sighs heavily and
                           looks at his watch)

                                   RETURNS MAN (CONTINUED)
            Well. . . if I may ask, sir, what words did you find missing
            from your. . . O-E-D?

                                   MR. WEINER
            I couldn't find "corybungus."

                                   RETURNS MAN
            You don't say.

                                   MR. WEINER
            Yes, I do.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            "Corybungus."

                                   MR. WEINER
            It isn't in there.  Look for yourself.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            No, no, I believe you.

                                   MR. WEINER
            I mean, there's really no point of having an O-E-D if it's
            missing important words.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Of course.
                          (Beat)
            Now, what exactly does "corybungus" mean?  I don't know that
            one.

                                   MR. WEINER
            You think I made it up?

                                   RETURNS MAN
            I believe you!  I just don't know the word.

                                   MR. WEINER
                          (Condescendingly)
            Oh really?  Well, I find it embarrassing to say.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Oh, it's. . . it's an embarrassing word?

                                   MR. WEINER
            Well, I really don't know you well.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            No.

                                   MR. WEINER
            I find it embarrassing to say.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Of course.

                                   MR. WEINER
                          (After a beat)
            Bum.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Excuse me?

                                   MR. WEINER
            Bum!  Buttocks!  Butt!  Derriere!  Posterior!  Ass!  OKAY?

                                   RETURNS MAN
                          (Embarrassed; looking around
                           the store)
            Oh. . . I see.  That's corybungus.

                                   MR. WEINER
            Yes.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            I never heard that one.

                                   MR. WEINER
            Well, it's a biggy.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Yes.
                          (Beat)
            Sir, do you suppose that corybungus will be in the dictionary
            they're sending up?

                                   MR. WEINER
            Why not?

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Well--

                                   MR. WEINER
            You trying to unload defective dictionaries?

                                   RETURNS MAN
            No, no, not to my knowledge.

                                   MR. WEINER
            Because I could shop some place else.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Sir, I'm not suggesting that in the least.  It's just that, I
            was thinking, perhaps corybungus might be considered to be
            too much of a. . . colloquialism to be included in the--

                                   MR. WEINER
            Colloquialism?  What do I look like--some sassifersing hick?

                                   RETURNS MAN
            No sir, I didn't mean--

                                   MR. WEINER
            Corybungus!  Corybungus!

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Sir!

                                   MR. WEINER
            I'll have you know Shakespeare used corybungus in Coriolanus.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            No.

                                   MR. WEINER
            Act 5, Scene 2, Line 77.  Corybungus!  "I beg you take withal
            my wanton heart/But touch you not my virgin Corybungus."

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Really?

                                   MR. WEINER
            Milton used corybungus at least twice in Paradise Lost.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Milton?

                                   MR. WEINER
            CORYBUNGUS IS IMPORTANT!

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Please, sir, you don't need to shout.

                                   MR. WEINER
            Oh?  And what makes you so blankyfrank snifferudinous?

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Snifferud--

                                   MR. WEINER
            You don't pay my disturbennents.  I pay my own!  I don't have
            to take juppers from you.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Look, sir, I'm going to have to ask you to leave if you--!

                                   MR. WEINER
            Leave?  You smelly corybungus!

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Now don't you call me that!

                                   MR. WEINER
            Corybungus!  Corybungus!  Your mother's got barnicrusts on
            her tits!

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Look you--dickhead!  If you want your money back--

                                   MR. WEINER
            Trilly frilly poopoopacks on her dangustrucks--

                                   RETURNS MAN
            You'll have to show me a receipt--

                                   MR. WEINER
            Receipt?

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Otherwise, I'll have security escort you out right now.

                                   MR. WEINER
            Here's my receipt.
                          (The RETURNS MAN snatches the
                           receipt)

                                   RETURNS MAN
            This wasn't bought here.

                                   MR. WEINER
            I know that.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            YOU CAN'T RETURN A BOOK YOU DIDN'T BUY HERE!

                                   MR. WEINER
            Why not?  You do have the O-E-D, don't you?

                                   RETURNS MAN
            THAT'S BESIDE THE POINT!  YOU CAN'T EXCHANGE--

                                   MR. WEINER
            Corybungushead.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            GET OUT OF HERE!  GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW!
                          (Picks up the intercom)
            SECURITY TO THE RETURNS DESK!  SECURITY TO THE RETURNS DESK!

                                   MR. WEINER
            Oh, don't get your ziddles in an uproar.  I'm leaving.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            I don't want to see you in here again!

                                   MR. WEINER
                          (Leaving)
            I would never shop here anyway.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            And there's no such word as corybungus!

                                   MR. WEINER
            "And there rose from the forbidding sea the great white
            Leviathan--as white as the whitest of corybungi in our
            swarthy crew."

                                   RETURNS MAN
            I don't want to hear it!

                                   MR. WEINER
            Moby Dick.

                                   RETURNS MAN
            Up yours, pal!

                                   MR. WEINER
                          (Fading away as HE walks out
                           the door)
            "I think that I shall never see,/A corybungus as on thee--/So
            sweet, so firm, so grand to touch,/It is the bum I dream to
            clutch."

                                   RETURNS MAN
                          (Into the phone)
            Roger, cancel that O-E-D.  And Roger, while I've got you on,
            look up the word, "Corybungus."

                          (The lights fade to black)


                          (END OF PLAY)
            	

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