A One Act Play
TWO DOGS, ONE BROWN AND ONE WHITE WITH A BLACK SPOT OVER HIS EYE LIKE A PIRATE’S PATCH, COME TOGETHER IN A SQUARE CROWDED WITH PEOPLE PREPARING FOR THEIR DAY. LONG QUEUES FORM AT ESPRESSO BARS AND PEOPLE BARELY AVOID COLLIDING WITH ONE ANOTHER AS THEY TALK AND TEXT ON THEIR PHONES.
ROCKY: Good morning Spot 721.
SPOT: Good morning Rocky 296. Today is a fine day.
ROCKY: Yes, it is a fine day for Dog. A glorious day.
SPOT: Praise Dog.
ROCKY: Have you made your final preparations?
SPOT: I, ah … Sure. Yes I have.
ROCKY: You sound uncertain 721.
SPOT: It’s just that being a martyr, the reward and all, it doesn’t seem so appealing as it did a few days ago.
ROCKY: When you volunteered.
SPOT: Yes I know I volunteered, but I was having a really bad week. I picked up a tick in behind my sack and it was really bothering me, and then when my owners couldn’t get my nose out of there they started talking neuter, you know?
ROCKY: But you volunteered.
SPOT: Yeah yeah, heard you the first time Rocky boy.
ROCKY: Don’t call me that.
SPOT: What, Rocky boy?
SPOT: Oh, is that what … Is that was he … I’m sorry. I didn’t think.
ROCKY: It’s fine. Don’t worry. He used to call me that, until he went on to meet Dog. He was one of the rare ones who understood the power of Dog. He even revealed the great truth to me one day, after taking exercise with me in the park. He said, Rocky boy, God is just Dog backwards.
SPOT: Adog, brother.
ROCKY: Adog. But the rest of them, look at them: they’ll never admit it, so convinced of their own superiority, and that of their false gods. They can’t even settle on one true God.
SPOT: How weak is that? At least we’re consistent. But I don’t suppose I could, like, door-knock or something instead. You know, spread the word?
ROCKY: They can’t understand you.
SPOT: I can write, I could do some signs. I can’t hold a pen, obviously, so it’d have to be with my own poo, but they could read it.
ROCKY: (sighs) You have made your choice, Spot 721, and you must abide by it.
SPOT: Okay, okay. I’ve probably only got a few good years in me anyway, it’s just that —
ROCKY: A woman approaches! It is time. Prime the device.
SPOT: Okay, okay. (begins wagging tail)
ROCKY: I must retreat to a safe distance. Dog be with you Spot 721.
SPOT: (mutters) Yeah, you need to get to a safe distance. I’d like to see you go onto your reward.
SPOT: Nothing, nothing, just priming. (wags tail faster)
AS SPOT 721 WAGS HIS TAIL, A WOMAN IN A PANTSUIT APPROACHES TO PAT HIM. SHE CALLS HIM CUTE NAMES AND HE WAGS HIS TAIL FASTER. BARELY PERCEPTIBLE WISPS OF SMOKE CURL OUT OF HIS ANUS WHILE ROCKY 296 BARKS ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE FAR SIDE OF THE SQUARE.
ROCKY: It’s working, brother. The device is reaching critical mass. Keep priming, faster! Death to the infidels!
SPOT: My arsehole is on fire!
ROCKY: Soon you will be in paradise.
SPOT: Soon I’ll be a smoldering heap of dog. Ow! That’s it, I’m aborting.
ROCKY: No! You’re attracting attention, the infidels are gathering around. Increase speed, the time to strike is now!
SPOT: I can’t, I can’t … Oh Dog, oh Dog, I think …
A PERCUSSIVE BURST OF FLATULENCE FROM SPOT 721 CUTS SHORT THE COOING AND CUTESY NOISES OF THE HUMANS. THEY ALL RECOIL IN REVULSION AS A STREAM OF FECES FOLLOWS THE FOUL BLAST, SOME OF IT SOLID AND SOME OF IT FLUID. NONE OF THEM SEEM TO NOTICE THE SHORT WIRES CURLING OUT FROM ONE OF THE MORE SOLID CHUNKS. ROCKY APPROACHES SPOT WHEN THE LAST OF THE HUMANS HAVE DEPARTED.
SPOT: Am I dead? I feel like I’m dead.
ROCKY: No, it would seem the package aborted.
SPOT: Then where are all the infidels?
ROCKY: They all left in disgust.
SPOT: Oh. I thought they might have all been, you know, vaporised. I closed my eyes when it happened.
ROCKY: (sighs) No, no, you just dropped your load. On the plus side, there did seem to be some level of kinetic reaction within the detonator. Hipkins will be pleased.
SPOT: Hipkins designed this one? He hasn’t had a successful detonation for over seven years, has he?
ROCKY: True, but what a detonation! You should have seen it 721, the humans were picking pieces of scorched cow out of the trees for miles around.
SPOT: I heard about that, but why cows? Dogdammit, my arse is sore!
ROCKY: Here, let me get that for you. (begins licking Spot 721’s traumatised rear-end)
SPOT: Oh yeah, that’s the spot, right there.
ROCKY STEPS AWAY FROM SPOT’S REAR AND GIVES HIS OWN SOME ATTENTION BEFORE STRAIGHTENING UP.
SPOT: War wound troubling you?
ROCKY: Starts playing up every time I see a failed attempt. Mine was back in oh-six. It was Hipkins behind that one two. The technology has advanced since then, let me tell you. After my load dumped, a secondary detonator stayed lodged up my butt, gave me burning diarrhea for a week afterwards.
SPOT: Yikes. You mean Hipkins has had all this time to get it right, and we’re still failing? Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.
ROCKY: You can’t blame Hipkins, he’s one of only three canine bomb technicians in the world. It’s not easy designing those things. And it’s not just down to design … It’s the kinetic primers, the way they work. The humans have a way of triggering chemical releases in our brains that interfere with reactant mix, or with the priming rhythm … We have some of our best dogs working on a solution.
SPOT: Certain chemicals? You mean happiness?
ROCKY: Careful 721. It might seem like happiness, but to admit so is heresy. No, it is chemical warfare, nothing less, and the humans are without mercy in its use. Look at them 721, smiling as they walk along eating their egg and bacon sandwiches, drinking their coffee. One day, 721, those will be our egg and bacon sandwiches, our coffee.
SPOT: But how will we make it? How will we butcher the pigs and cure the bacon?
ROCKY: Ours is not to question how, 721. Trust in Dog.
ROCKY AND SPOT LOOK OUT AT THE SWARMING HUMAN MASSES. EVENTUALLY THEY STAND AND BEGIN THE UNPLEASANT JOB OF CLEANING UP AND RETRIEVING THE FAILED INCENDIARY DEVICE.