The Play’s The Thing…


…Or How LL Cool J Died For My Sins.

Friday night I went with B and her peeps (which I’m led to believe means something like entourage or coterie) to see faith/doubt at the Darkhorse Theater.  I’ll get to that in a moment.

Saturday morning, I left early for Cookeville.  There was a Little League tourney there, and a certain eight-year old demanded the presence of my dog, and by extension, me.  As I went to the bathroom one last time before heading out (because the dog would have mocked me for not going before we left), something in the back of my head said, "That toilet is going to run all weekend."

Most of the tournament was cancelled due to the wet weather.  We had to cool our heels all day at the spacious Cookeville Holidome waiting for an update on the condition of the fields.  The games wound up cancelled until Sunday.  As I woke up this morning, I said, "I had the weirdest dream.  I dreamt that the toilet wouldn’t stop running and I’m trying to explain to my ex-wife why."  I’m sure she showed up in the dream because she got married yesterday.  I’m almost positive she was wearing a wedding dress while I  explained the inner workings of the toilet in the dream.  But that’s not really important.

I got home today after a crushing loss to the other eight-year olds and the boring hour plus drive from Cookeville around noon.   I walk into my house and wouldn’t you know, the goddamn toilet is still running. 

Here’s where it ties into the play.  If you read that story, and your explanation has something to do with a deity or invisible best friend sending me signs that my water bill was going to be high this month, you may want to check out faith/doubt.  If you read that story and thought, "Sarcastro must have subconsciously known that the flapper isn’t sitting on the flush valve seat, probably because the chain coming off the float rod isn’t the proper length.  He knows the sound that the tank makes when filling, and it must have struck a chord that this sound wasn’t right.  His attention was fixed on getting on the road and the tournament. That little toilet clue started blinking red in the back of his brain for the next 24 hours until he got home and realized what he was trying to tell himself.", you still should check the play out.

Sure, it isn’t as short an answer, but it is more probable.

The other reviews of faith/doubt have been mostly positive.  I must concur.  My impression of it was mostly positive.  Nothing gets me out of the house to see lee-gita-mitt thee-ater like hearing people onstage saying the words that came out of my brain.   I’m a narcissist like that.

I was concerned that the play would come off like a bunch of Unitarians putting on Godspell.  There are definitely some parts that might make that comparison come to mind.  There are one or two moments that really flirt with the edge of cheesiness.  Dressing up the Host as a shaman/savior-type comes to mind.  I really wish he would have burst into Mama Said Knock You Out, to lighten the mood.

The one scene that really needs to go, is The Deity Game.  It doesn’t work and comes off like one of the "B" sketches on Saturday Night Live that come on after Weekend Update.  It makes the entire piece lose focus and turns out a little too jokey.  Only by the time the play gets to Epiphanies, does it regain the focus of the earlier part of the play.  There are one or two other Guffman moments, but nothing that ruins the play overall.

Here’s a litmus test, if you think that the phrase "honor all paths and recognize the sacredness in every journey" is meaningless crap, then this play isn’t for you.  Or maybe it is.  I think it is a meaningless crap aphorism and still liked the play.

Yes, that probably wasn’t very nice to be critical of the play and I will go to Hell for it.  Sartre got it wrong, though.  Hell isn’t necessarily other people.  Hell is the other people at the Cookeville Golden Corral.



8 Responses to “The Play’s The Thing…”

  1. john h Says:

    My only negative is a subset of your..I didn’t mind the diety game as a whole, but I thought the part of the native-american-indian whatever was played too broadly and made it seem high-school skit-like. Your dog story is a good balance to a lot of the other stories.Did you REALLY go to the G. Corral? Were you just TRYING to get material?

  2. Sarcastro Says:

    Well, Saturdays are "Kids Eat Free" night at the Golden Corral. The four of us ate for $23.00 before tip. The eight year old consumed three filets before pronouncing himself full. The grub was surprisingly very good, but the hillbilly woman at the next table brushed off her step grandbaby’s food encrusted bottom right over my plate like I had asked for ground pepper. Then, I knew it was time to go. Plus, I needed the material.The Indian guy in the Diety skit was played like a bad Apu from the Simpsons imitation.

  3. Chris Wage Says:

    <blockquote>probably because the chain coming off the float rod isn’t the proper length.</blockquote>Toilet chain-length dertermination: art or science? Maybe a little of both. I have encountered toilets that fought back, like a fish caught on a line, but you can even wrangle those, eventually.

  4. Sarcastro Says:

    Toilet chain length determination is really an art. You have to keep it tight enough so that the flapper will drop after the float bar comes down, but allow enough slack so that there isn’t tension on the flapper while seated on the flush valve assembly. All this while remembering that too much slack will cause the flapper to remain open while the tank attempts to refill. Like mine does.

  5. bridgett Says:

    1. Deity. E before I. Like Deus. 2. I’ve been adjusting the flapper on my toilet by hand because it’s one of those stupid non-standard stopper and spindle dealios and my "don’t have time to fix this right" solution (slide a bigass socket onto the spindle to weight it down so it will close by itself) finally quit working. The toilet’s about 50 years old and real dinged up, so I’m looking at having to replace the whole crapper. I thought that would rather get my hand wet and cold every single time we (kid and I) went to the bathroom than have to set and seal a new toilet. After manually turning off the water for a mere three days, I am now sure that fixing it right is ultimately less hassle. Little kids piss a lot. I think several trips to Home Depot and a lot of cussing is in my future. (My husband is a man of many talents, but plumbing not so much.)3. Unitarians doing Godspell. Now that’s funny.

  6. Sarcastro Says:

    Good call on deity. I can’t even claim I was drunk typing.

  7. Aunt B. Says:

    You didn’t even mention how kind I was to make sure you sat in the "hot relatives of semi-famous movie stars" row.And I’d just like to give a shout out to both Sarcastro’s Biological Momma and his Sugar Momma. Ladies, that’s right, I got Sarcastro to sit for an hour and forty five minutes listening, in part, to kind things being said about your friend, Jesus.And, contrary to expectation, he did not burst into flames.

  8. SistaSmiff Says:

    Jesus even loves Sarcastro.

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