Peanuts and a Pie · 19 May 2013

A man is standing behind a large Cracker Jack box, ostensibly promoting Cracker Jack. People pass by some of whom are giggling. Others look with raised eyebrows. Still others walk by seeming not to notice a thing.

The Huckster

(sung to the Cracker Jack tune)

Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a pie, that’s what you get in Cracker Jacks.

THE HUCKSTER continues to repeat the incorrect jingle. People continue to walk by. Finally, somebody stops. THE HUCKSTER continues the jingle even as THE PASSERBY tries to correct him.

THE Passerby


That’s not how it goes.


Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a pie, that’s what you get in Cracker Jacks.


(getting a bit angry)

It is “prize” not “pie!”

People are still walking by, but as THE PASSERBY starts ranting, people start to gather around.


Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a pie, that’s what you get in Cracker Jacks.


(more insistently and angrier)

Prize! Prize! It is prize, not pie you nincompoop!

Upon being called a name, THE HUCKSTER stops singing. He gestures for THE PASSERBY to come behind the box. THE PASSERBY looks dumbly at THE HUCKSTER. THE HUCKSTER gestures again and THE PASSERBY understands that he is supposed to take THE HUCKSTER’s place behind the box to sing it himself. THE PASSERBY looks around at those gathering. Some encourage him with looks. Others even say an encouraging word. All are curious. All are waiting for the punchline. THE PASSERBY reluctantly takes up his position behind the large box. Everybody waits in anticipation of the jingle.


(hesitatingly at first)

Candy coated popcorn…

With just gestures, THE HUCKSTER encourages THE PASSERBY to be bold and belt it out. THE PASSERBY starts over.


(more boldly)

Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a prize…

When THE PASSERBY gets to the word “prize,” a hand reaches out of the box and smashes a pie on THE PASSERBY’s face. The crowd roars. THE HUCKSTER mutely gives THE PASSERBY a towel. THE PASSERBY wipes the pie off his face.


(starting over)

Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a pie, that’s what you get in Cracker Jacks.

Everybody laughs and continues on their merry way. THE HUCKSTER shakes THE PASSERBY’s hand and leaves too.


(giggling to himself)

It took me three pies to get it.

THE PASSERBY continues where THE HUCKSTER left off (behind the Cracker Jack box singing the tune) as the camera focuses in on the portion of the large picture on the box that says “pie” (rather than prize) inside. The camera zooms out and the scene cuts to black. The song continues while the credits roll.


(who has become the new huckster)

Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a pie, that’s what you get in Cracker Jacks.

NEW passerby


No! No! No! It’s prize not pie you moron!

The scene cuts back in from black to a closeup of the NEW HUCKSTER and the NEW PASSERBY. The NEW HUCKSTER winks at the camera and smiles.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Happy Fiftieth · 21 July 2010

A female PROFESSOR stands at her podium preparing for her lecture.  The table next to her podium has a hint of the day.  It has an open yellow envelope barely visible.  She has an innocuous “50” pin on her lapel.  And she smiles a little as she puts something under her lecture notes.  She sighs a little as she looks up preparing to speak.

A police OFFICER bursts into the lecture hall huffing and puffing.  Apparently, he has been running.  He has on an unbuttoned trench coat and places his hands on his knees to catch his breath.  His hat is a bit askance, but he takes it off and wipes his brow with his arm.  The top of his head is toward the camera which is in the seats of the lecture hall.  He moves toward and then sits in a seat next to the table beside the podium.  His body is facing the class (there are whispers and rustling in the lecture hall), but he turns his head toward the professor.


(still panting slightly)

Did a man just rush in or through this room?



Nobody has entered but my students.

The PROFESSOR motions toward her students.  The OFFICER looks where her arm motions and nods ascent.  He starts to breathe hard again.  Almost gasping for breath.  The PROFESSOR looks worried and moves toward the OFFICER.



Are you okay?  Do I need to call the paramedics?


(waving her off and trying to smile)

No.  Just give me a second and I will be okay.

(coughing slightly; apologetically)

Maybe a bit of water would help.

The PROFESSOR grabs a water bottle that had been next to her podium.  She walks around the table toward the OFFICER and gives him the bottle.  He takes the bottle, opens it, and takes a large drink.  It is the first time his full face is shown and he is striking.  He places his hand on the table and pushes himself up.  The PROFESSOR moves to help him by grabbing the elbow of his arm that is not propping him up.  The OFFICER grins a big grin of thanks and then slips back toward the chair a bit.  The PROFESSOR moves in closer to grab the OFFICER and help him.  The next thing she knows, she is in the chair and he is standing above her looking down.  He is no longer panting and he has torn his trench coat off.  Music starts up at the top of the lecture hall (behind the camera).

The PROFESSOR looks shocked as the OFFICER starts a strip tease.  He pulls off his tear-away shirt and then his tear-away pants.  He has a small Speedo swim suit on and is gyrating to the music.  The lecture hall is erupting with whoops and yells of delight.  The camera pans around to the students and focuses on a group in the back holding up a sign that says, “Happy 50th Professor K.”

The PROFESSOR’s look changes from shock to enjoyment as the camera focuses back on her.  She is beaming at the OFFICER’s face and swaying to the music.  The camera fades to black and the music slowly fades.



Do you have a business card?

© 2010 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Who Is the Monster? · 5 May 2010

During the hustle and bustle of going to lunch and getting to class, a “burly” student, BOB, pushes and shoves his way through the crowd with little thought for anybody but himself (and a couple of his toadies).  The crowd is going slowly as they try to get to lunch and classes.


(yelling loudly)

Coming through!  I’m hungry!

Even when much of the crowd recognizes his voice and clears a path, Bob still goes out of his way to push a small boy student against the wall just because he looked to see who was yelling.  He knocks books and folders out of another student’s hands and screams in delight as papers fly everywhere.  Bob is the bully and nobody stands in his way.  Especially when he is on his way to lunch.  As Bob enters the cafeteria, he sees a new kid who he apparently made a mental note to harass.  This new kid, RALPH, is fairly skinny and wears glasses.  He has already gotten his lunch and is about to sit down to eat when BOB comes up.


(loudly, winking at his toadies, and exaggerating “Ralph” to make it sound like throwing up)

Mashed potatoes and gravy! My favorite.

Bob reaches out to grab Ralph’s food and actually grabs the plate of mashed potatoes and gravy.


(softly and meekly but defiantly)

It is my lunch and you cannot have any.

Everybody around the two stares silently to see what will happen.  Those who have felt the wrath of Bob at some time or another cringe a little and shake their heads as they know something bad is going to happen.  Bob looks mischievously at his toadies then gets an angry glare on his face.


(softly, with hatred and loathing)

Give me MY lunch.


(matter of factly with no emotion)

It is my lunch.

Bob softens his look and appears to back down.



Okay newbie, you can have your lunch.  This time.

Everybody around the lunchroom lets out a sigh of relief and wonder as it appears Bob is letting Ralph off the hook.  But just when it looks like Bob is going to let go of the plate, he instead pushes it into Ralph’s face.  He laughs as Ralph wipes the mashed potatoes and gravy off of his eyes in a slow exaggerated motion with both hands.  The PRINCIPAL can be seen entering the background.  He sees what is happening and starts moving through the crowd toward the scene very urgently.  Fear is evident in his eyes even though he is still far from the action.


(calmly and cooly)

I need to eat lunch Bob.

Bob is yucking it up with his toadies and hoping that Ralph wants to fight.  As he continues to look at Ralph, his eyes turn from amusement to hatred.


(low and gutteral)

So do I.  Go get me a lunch.


(still calm)

No.  You get me a lunch or…


Or what?


Or this.

Ralph opens his mouth wide and stretches out his arms.  His hands and arms become huge and his mouth is a gaping maw.  He shoves Bob whole into his mouth and swallows him in one bite.  The principal, who had been fighting through the crowd to get to the scene, arrives just as Ralph burps and wipes his mouth with his sleeve.  (Ralph’s body has returned to normal proportions and his face still has mashed potatoes and gravy on it.  The only thing different about Ralph from when it all started is that his stomach is now distended quite a bit.  Like a snake after it has swallowed its prey.)  The principal looks disappointed but unafraid as he addresses Ralph.


Ralph.  You cannot just eat other students.  I told you that when you entered this school.


But you saw what he did, didn’t you?


(nodding affirmatively)

Yes.  You still cannot do it.

Ralph shrugs and vomits up Bob onto the floor.  Bob is covered in bile and his clothes are wet and look like they have been eaten a bit by Ralph’s stomach acid.  There is fear in his eyes and those of his toadies.  Other students watching the scene in disbelief look in wonder at Bob cowering on the floor.  Some look at Ralph in awe.


(shrugging calmly)

He was bitter anyway.

(to Bob)

My lunch?

Bob scurries out of the scene.  Apparently to get Ralph’s lunch.


The crowd is again trying to get to lunch or class.  Bob can be seen in the hallway with his toadies in tow.


(yelling loudly)

Coming through!  I’m hungry!

People in the hall turn and look at Bob and friends.  Some laugh and others just look in pity.  One student just keeps looking forward and walking as if nothing is happening.


(pretty loudly)

Why I oughta…

The lone student who had been continuing forward slowly turns around and just looks at Bob inquisitively.  It is, of course, Ralph.  The person who Bob had knocked papers to the floor in the first scene has this time dropped stuff on the floor.



...just be patient and get there when I get there.  No rush.  Take your time.

(to the person who dropped stuff)

Here.  Let me help you.

Ralph and the rest of the crowd turn around and continue on their way as Bob helps with the stuff on the floor.  His toadies continue walking with the crowd as well.

© 2010 Michael T. Miyoshi

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