Once In A Blue Moon

Seedy bar.  Dimly lit.  4 a.m.

Elmer: I told you, I take this stuff very seriously. Did you think I was foolin’?
Slade: No.
Elmer: (sniffs some coke with his pinky nail) Now…I think that we need to rectify the situation. Don’t you?
Slade: I guess…
Elmer: You guessed right. You know, it really confuses me because I should have enough of a reputation established by now, out there in the free world. So many years gone by putting my time in…people like you ought to know about me.
Slade: I know about you, Mr. Elmers.
Elmer: Do you?
Slade: Yes.
Elmer: I find that relatively hard to believe, based on what you did.
Slade: I didn’t think I’d get caught.
Elmer: Is it your wife?
Slade: No, sir…it’s my, my boy, my little boy he’s, he’s not well.
Elmer: What’s wrong with him?
Slade: He’s got all kinds of breathing problems. He’s on all kinds of inhalers for his asthma and he suffers pretty bad with allergies…he can die and we, me and my wife that is, we can’t afford to keep up with the medical fees. Our insurance is shit and doesn’t do much in the way of helping my boy so, well, that’s why I did what I went and done.
Elmer: Makes sense.  You have a sick child and you did what you needed to do as a good father, to provide for your boy the certain care his condition calls for…correct?
Slade: That’s right, Mr. Elmers.
Elmer: Life is so full of surprises, isn’t it? (beat) How old is your son?
Slade: He’s six years old.
Elmer: Is he your only child?
Slade: My one any only.
Elmer: What’s his name?
Slade: His name is Charlie.
Elmer: Charlie…my brother’s name is Charlie.
Slade: I know…
Elmer: Do you love your wife?
Slade: I do. Very much.
Elmer: And you are all closely bundled with love?
Slade: We are, sir.
Elmer: Why did you think that in your attempt to save Charlie, you wouldn’t get caught, based on my reputation?
Slade: Desperate men do desperate things.
Elmer: (Elmer nods)  And how is Charlie, now?
Slade: He’s alright, we have his condition in control.
Elmer: In control…that’s good.
Slade: Yes.
Elmer: And when did you or I should say HOW did you get your son’s condition in such control?
Slade: We found a doctor, a doctor who took great pity on my family.
Elmer: You see, there are still good people in this world. Saints!  I’m happy to hear your son is doing fine. (beat)  When exactly did you get your son’s condition in control?
Slade: When?
Elmer: Was it before or after you pulled the robbery?
Slade: I think it was…it was…the following day.  I used the money to pay the doctor to save my boy.
Elmer: Incredible. You know, this doctor you speak of, does he have a name?
Slade: Doctor Sin-Yee Han.
Elmer: Doctor Sin-Yee Han, did you say?
Slade: Yes.
Elmer: Great doctor, excellent, excellent doctor. He’s a dear friend of mine.
Slade: Is he now?
Elmer: So dear in fact that we even go out for dinner on occasion.
Slade: Really? What a coincidence?
Elmer: Isn’t it? I have a breathing condition, too?
Slade: Sorry to hear that.
Elmer: Don’t be sorry, I’m fine. I have Doctor Sin-Yee to thank for that. He’s such a good man, isn’t he?
Slade: Yes, he truly is.
Elmer: He does a lot of charity work, too.
Slade: Well, he—um—
Elmer: Doctor Sin-Yee and I have had some wonderful conversations on life, science, philosophy. He’s a brilliant mind that Sin-Yee. He even told me all about you, your son Charlie, his condition and how you pleaded with him for help…you’re a good father.
Slade: Thank you.
Elmer: You betcha. There’s one thing about it all that seems to twist a corkscrew in my spine… Doctor Sin-Yee told me a different story altogether than the one you’re telling me now.
Slade: (swallows hard) Mr. Elmers?
Elmer: Yes?
Slade: I have a confession to make.
Elmer: Do you?
Slade: Yes, I’m afraid I lied to you.
Elmer: Afraid? But what did you lie about that would cause you to be afraid?
Slade: I still have your money.
Elmer: You’re joking?
Slade: No, I, I have it.
Elmer: But I thought you gave it all to Sin-Yee?
Slade: I never gave it to Doctor Sin-Yee Han.
Elmer: Really?  That’s exactly what he in fact told me.
Slade: I should give everything back to you.
Elmer: Well, that’s quite the epiphany.  (beat) Don’t matter about the money.  I have so much money, I could swim in it like DuckTales.
Slade: DuckTales?
Elmer: Scrooge McDuck?
Slade: I don’t–
Elmer: DuckTales a woohoo! (sings opening theme song to DuckTales) (beat) I don’t want the money back.
Slade: No?
Elmer: Nah. You can’t give me back the money because I’m looking at you as a proud investment.
Slade: How so?
Elmer: You’re gonna do things for me. No questions asked. I won’t beat you down or kill you or any of those rotten things. I’m a creative type. I pride myself in being so creative actually.
Slade: Can you give me an example?
Elmer: Example? Well, sure. Tonight I’m going to take yo’ ass.
Slade: What?
Elmer: Yeah.
Slade: What do you mean?
Elmer: What’s so confusing about it? I said something, you heard it.
Slade: I don’t understand it.
Elmer: Sure you do. It’s easy. You robbed from me and now I own yo’ ass.
Slade: I can give you back all the money, Mr. Elmers.
Elmer: That’s your money for your family needs and pressures.
Slade: …Is this..is this…is this a one time deal?
Elmer: No.
Slade: So, you’re saying that you are going to abuse me for the rest of my life?
Elmer: Well, at least for the rest of my life. I’m older than you so time’s on your side in this case.
Slade: What if I resist?
Elmer: You have to consider Charlie.
Slade: You’re a sick man.
Elmer: Am I? It’s really not so bad. It’s a free right of passage. Once in a blue moon.  (pointing to a desk) Now, that’s where I’ll take ya.  Drop your draws, bend on over and let me take my Scrooge McDip.

Joseph Arnone

Joseph Arnone is a filmmaker and founder of Monologue Blogger.

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