For my father. Thanks for the idea!
JOE: Your average Joe.
BRAINY JOE: The straight(A’s)man.
FEMME JOE: Cries at chick flicks. Recommended to be playing by a girl, but it's the director's call.
MACHO JOE: Never skips leg day. Talks like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
SCOTTISH JOE: The only one aware of the true situation.
SAD JOE: Listens to MCR while crying in his room.
JOENITOR: Needs a new job.
At the start of the show, we see JOE in a nightcap and pajamas, walking towards a bed with a table and lamp by its side. There are other furniture pieces in the set dependent on availability. The various JOEs are hiding behind furniture -- specifically, FEMME is under the bed and BRAINY is behind the headboard.
JOE (yawning): Tomorrow's another day. (He belly-flops onto the bed.) And it might be worse! (He smacks his head.) No, Joe we can’t think like that! (sleepily) Let’s focus on the positive… like those weird dreams…
BRAINY: Actually, we’re alternate personalities that stem from your--
(JOE doesn’t hear them. They are him.)
(FEMME sticks her head and upper chest out from under the bed. She’s wearing a frilly dress and an obviously plastic wig. [She’ll stay partially under the bed for the whole play.])
FEMME: Is he asleep yet?(BRAINY turns toward her from behind the bed and pushes up his glasses. He wears a vest, a tie, and pocket protectors.)
BRAINY: Actually, it takes an average Joe fifteen minutes to fall asleep.
(MACHO reveals himself. He wears shorts and a muscle shirt. He pulls JOE’s pillow out from under his head, and hits JOE’s head with it to knock him out.)
RECORDED VOICE: Approaching REM sleep…
MACHO: It can take shorter if you have the guts.
FEMME: Ugh! That is so mean.
BRAINY: I think the word you’re looking for is “insensitive”.
FEMME: YOU’RE insensitive!
BRAINY: What did I --
FEMME (fake crying): You’re just like my father!
(SCOTTISH reveals himself. He wears a professional outfit.)
SCOTTISH: Looks like we got some issues with ye pa, eh?
FEMME: I am so much more than my father!
MACHO: And I lift more!
(MACHO pulls some extremely small dumbbells out of their hiding spot. He starts doing bicep curls, clearly struggling. [His exercises become increasingly ridiculous as the play goes on.])
FEMME: Ugh! You’re so vain! (She pulls out a compact mirror and fixes her hair.)
BRAINY (to SCOTTISH): Who are you?
SCOTTISH: Ahm Scottish!
BRAINY: I can hear that.
SCOTTISH: That’s mah name! Ahm here to figure out what’s wrong with this guy! (He gestures to the sleeping JOE.)
FEMME: THEY’RE the problem! (She waves her hand at BRAINY and MACHO.) I’m fine!
SCOTTISH: Daddy issues don’t make ye fine. (He begins to take notes.)
BRAINY: Can we please stay focused?
MACHO: No plot, no focus.
BRAINY: This isn’t a story, Macho! This is real life. And we need to handle it! (He pulls a small notebook out of his pocket and begins scanning it.) At 12:03 pm, our boss--
MACHO: No boss. Only lift!
FEMME: Right. You “lift”, and I’m going to actually look pretty. (She pulls out a makeup bag and begins doing her makeup.)
(SAD reveals himself. He wears a black hoodie and black sweatpants.)
SAD: We’ll never be pretty! (He falls face-first on the ground dramatically?
SCOTTISH: You know what this all stems from?
SAD: Vanity? Oh, I knew it! I’m so conceited.
SCOTTISH: Nay, these are some self-worth issues!(pause) I need teh write that one down! (He does so.)
BRAINY: Can we focus on what’s important?
MACHO, FEMME, and SCOTTISH: This IS important!
SAD: Nothing is important.
BRAINY: As I was saying, our -- well, my boss asked us to “sleep on it”, we’re sleeping, and I’m trying to find what he said! Am I the only one here who cares?
FEMME and MACHO: Yes.
SAD (whining): I don’t know how to care.
SCOTTISH: I see we’ve got some apathy here too! Might have a wee bit o’ depression! Mind tellin’ me about it?
SAD: Yes! I do mind!
SCOTTISH: Fine, then, I’ll figure it out fer meself. Looks like we got some trust issues too. (He sits down either in a chair or on the ground and begins watching, taking notes when necessary.)
BRAINY: ENOUGH! We need to find out how to fire Ben without making a scene! Any ideas?
MACHO: Throw him.
FEMME: Throw him where?
MACHO: Out the window.
BRAINY: THAT COUNTS AS A SCENE!
SAD: Throw me out the window. That sounds good.
FEMME: How about we… I forgot what we were talking about.
BRAINY: Of course you did.
SAD: We forget everything these days.
FEMME: Oh, I’ve got it!
FEMME: We give him a nice pat on the shoulder, tell him he’s a good man but he’s not… what’s he getting fired for?
FEMME (taken aback): Okay then. (pause) Well, he, uh, doesn't seem to understand... something. But don't tell him that! Just tell him he has some stuff he needs to work through but we’re sure he’ll do good in the future!
SCOTTISH: Aye lass, now there’s a plan!
BRAINY (defeated): It’s not good enough.
SCOTTISH: Wouldja say yer a little obsessive? A bit of a perfectionist, maybe?
BRAINY: No! (pause) Okay, maybe, but I need to be! Someone has to do the heavy lifting around here.
MACHO: I do heavy lifting! You do boring!
BRAINY: I AM NOT BORING!
SAD: Life is boring.
FEMME: And whose fault is that?
SCOTTISH: Okay, looks like we got a wee bit of a situation here. Can we calm down a little?
(Everyone ignores him. MACHO, FEMME, and BRAINY begins to talk over each other in an improvised argument while SAD screams self-deprecation. After thirty seconds or so, the lights turn blue.)
RECORDED VOICE: Approaching deep sleep...
(FEMME, BRAINY, and MACHO run to their original hiding spots. SAD continues to lie on the floor, asleep. JOENITOR enters with a mop and bucket or similar object and SCOTTISH walks up to meet him.)
JOENITOR: Hey Scottish.
SCOTTISH: Hey Joenitor.
JOENITOR: You got some stuff sorted out?
(JOENITOR begins to adjust JOE so the pillow is under his head again.)
SCOTTISH: Aye, we got a lot o’ problems here. (He waves his notepad.)
JOENITOR: I’ll pick ‘em up, you name ‘em.
(JOENITOR lifts MACHO’s dumbells and takes them to their original place.)
JOENITOR: What are these?SCOTTISH: Those are some self-worth issues. They go with the makeup over there.
(As SCOTTISH speaks, JOENITOR picks up FEMME’s makeup and puts it into its bag. When he finishes, he sets them down next to the dumbbells.)
SCOTTISH: Aye, those two are a vicious cycle! (He points at MACHO.) He thinks he needs to be a real man! (He points at FEMME.) But she’s afraid of toxic masculinity cause of her pa! Must’ve been more like him. (He points at MACHO.)
JOENITOR: I see. (He picks up BRAINY’s notebook.) How about this one?
SCOTTISH: That’s some OCD right there. He’s got it in the organization and perfectionism way.
JOENITOR: That’s a tough one. (He puts BRAINY’s notebook on the bedside table, then walks up to SAD.) Does he have a prop?
SCOTTISH: He IS the prop.
(JOENITOR starts dragging SAD to his original spot.)
JOENITOR: Then what is he?
JOENITOR: Called it. (pause) So, what’s your plan?
(SCOTTISH picks up BRAINY’s notebook.)
SCOTTISH: Ahm going to write him a reminder to see a therapist. (He does so, then sets the notebook down on the bedside table.)
JOENITOR: Good. I’m sick of cleaning up after these folks. (pause) Look, thanks for coming in. Means a lot.
SCOTTISH: Aye, mate. Anytime.
(They walk offstage together.)
RECORDED VOICE: Approaching wake-up...
(The lights go back to normal and JOE wakes up, rubbing his eyes. He checks his notebook.)
JOE: “Make a therapist appointment.” (pause) When did I write that down? (pause) Probably a good idea. (He stands up and begins walking offstage.)