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The Case of the Sinister Squirrel
by
Rev Jay Goldstein
(scene in three acts for five to seven actors)


CHARACTERS:
Announcer: Classic Radio Announcer
Operator: Officious telephone company employee.
Carla Calipi: Very nervous and upset
Velma Ventura: Young singer, typical slut with the heart of gold
Dorra Dunne:Mean Joan Crawford type, operates the Club Schlocaderro
Ratso Rizzuto: Goon
Commander Calipi: Old military man with advanced senility.

note: The Operator can also play Dorra Dunne and the Announcer can play Commander Calipi.

 

Act One

A detective's office with desk chair and phone. There's one door.

Announcer: They say the night has a thousand eyes, probably more. Tonight we will see through two of those eyes. The two eyes that belong to the number one private eye. "Nick Hendrix Psychedelic Detective." Brought to you tonight by "Happy Beatnik Breath Spray" the only breath spray made with real Arabian incence. Available in mint, cinnamon and new sandalwood. We now bring you another flashback from the casebook of Nick Hendrix Psychedelic Detective. Tonight’s episode: "The Case of the Sinister Squirrel."

Nick: It was like Tuesday man. The TV had been repossessed, the radio was in the shop and I was getting whiplash from staring at the ceiling fan. I needed a client like a dead head needed a microbus. The detective’s handbook says that every case starts with a phone call. To be specific, a telephone call.

phone rings

Nick: (picking up phone) Nick Hendrix Psychedelic Detective.

Operator: Mr. Hendrix this is the phone company. Now, we’ve been very patient with you.

Nick: Whoa, like, I told my secretary to send you a check. It must have slipped her mind. She’s a Capricorn.

Operator: Save your breath sweetie this is just to let you know your phone is no longer able to receive incoming calls. This was just a courtesy call.

Nick: Thanks (hangs up phone) How courteous.

The door opens, Carla enters.

Carla: Hello

Nick: Wow like someone was at the door.

Carla: Yes, I’m at the door. I would have rung the bell but some men were repossessing it. Are you Nick Hendrix, Psychedelic Detective?

Nick: That’s what it says on my underwear.

Carla: Mine say "handle with care."

Nick: Won’t you like a seat miss Care or can I call you Handle.

Carla: Call me Carla.

Nick: Why should I do that?

Carla: It’s my name.

Nick: Far out.Carla, why don’t you take a seat and let me groove on your rap.

Carla: (sitting down) You must help me, Mr. Hendrix, you’re the only Detective in town who hasn’t turned me down.

Nick: That’s because I’m Nick Hendrix, (to audience) Psychedelic Detective.

Carla: Excuse me. I’m over here.

Nick: Yeah baby, you certainly are. So lay the hassle on me.

Carla: Well, first you should know that my full name is Carla Calipi. Perhaps you know of my father Commander Calipi.

Nick: Wow, I read about that cat in the paper this morning. (grabs paper) Says here "Commander Calipi, local businessman and owner of the Club Shlockaderro was robbed in his penthouse apartment. Missing is the famous Silver Squirrel statue. The break in happened last night."

Carla: Last week.

Nick: It says last night.

Carla: Maybe you’re reading last week’s paper.

Nick: (looking over paper) Damn paperboy.

Carla: Please Mr. Hendrix, my father is not as rich as people think. The Club Slockaderro is all he has left and it’s mortgaged to the rafters. We needed the Squirrel to finance the club or we’d loose our only source of income. The police haven’t been able to help. You’re the only man I can turn to,

Nick: Take a chill pill Jill. I can find your papa’s Tzchaka. Because I’m, Nick Hendrix (to audience) Psychedelic Detective.

Carla: Stop doing that.

Nick: All right baby don’t get all hung up. I’ll get the Squirrel for your Daddy.

Carla: (leaving) Thank you Mr. Hendrix, I don’t know how to repay you.

Nick: That’s OK, I accept money.

Carla exits.

Announcer: We will return to Nick Hendrix Psychedelic Detective, right after this.

End Act One

 

Act Two

The Shlocaderro Club, Velma Ventura is stands behind a microphone while Dorra Dunne and Ratso Rizzuto are sitting at a table watching.

Announcer: We now return to Nick Hendrix Psychedelic Detective, Our story resumes at the Club Shlocladerro where the club manager Dorra Dunne rehearses her latest singer Velma Ventura.

Velma: (singing sweetly)

    Inna gadda da vida baby
    Don’t you know that I love you?
    Inna gadda da vida baby
    Don’t you know that I’ll always be true?

Dorra walks over to Velma and stops her from singing by cupping her hand over the microphone.

Dorra: That’s enough sweetheart.

Velma: I’m sorry Miss Dunne, but I know I can do a better job.

Dorra: Look Velma, the new show opens tomorrow. Don’t you think you should be getting your beauty sleep?

Velma: Yes Miss Dunne, I’m sorry.

Velma leaves dejected as Nick enters.

Nick: (To Velma) Hey Gladys Knight, nice pips. (To Dorra) Hey foxy mamma can you point me the manager.

Dorra: You’re looking at her hippie.

Nick: I thought this joint was run by Commander Calipi.

Dorra: That old man couldn’t run a toaster. I’m Dorra Dunne.

Nick: Cool baby, I’m Nick Hendrix, (to audience) Psychedelic Detective.

Dorra: I assume you’re here about the Squirrel. The police have already been over the place. They found nothing.

Nick: I find that hard to believe. I see all kinds of things. Chairs, lights the sound guy.

Dorra: Mr. Hendrix I don’t have time for jokes.

Nick: You should have told that to your hairdresser.

Ratso: (Starts crossing toward Nick) Miss Dunne, you want for me to take out the garbage?

Ratso stands behind Nick and puts a hand on Nick’s shoulder hurting him.

Nick: Thanks dude you could be a chiropractor. If they ever bring back the inquisirion.

Dorra: You have five seconds to tell me who hired you or I’ll let Ratso work out on you.

Ratso: I could use the aerobic exercise.

Nick: Not to mention a breath mint.

Ratso squeezes his shoulder.

Nick: OK OK, I was hired by his daughter Carla.

Dorra: Daughter? (laughs) Carla Calipi isn’t his daughter. Carla Calipi is his wife.

Nick: His wife?

Dorra: Listen Mr. Hendrix, I wish you the best of luck finding the Silver Squirrel. Fact is, if Commander Calipi doesn’t get that Squirrel this club will go belly up.

Nick: Bummer.

Dorra: If that’s all Mr. Hendrix, I have a show to put together.

Ratso starts escorting him out,

Nick: Sure I gotta split anyway. This case is going to break or my name isn’t Nick Hendrix (to audience) Psychedelic Detective.

Ratso pulls Nick off stage.

Dorra: Who is he talking to?

Announcer: We’ll be back to Nick Hendrix Psychedelic Detective. After this,

 

End of Act Two

 

Act Three

The Calipi Mansion front room. Dorra and Ratso stand stage left. Velma is standing in the middle of the room with Nick.

Announcer: We now return to Nick Hendrix Psychedelic Detective, Our story continues at Calipi Manor, where our hero has promised to solve the case.

Nick: Yeah baby, I’m gonna clear all this up as soon as our hosts arrive.

Carla helps Commander Calipi into the room. He is wrapped in a blanket and sits down wirh a thud.

Nick: And here they are, I brought you all together because I know who thief is.

All: Really?

Nick: No not really. But I’ve narrowed it down to the people in this room.

Dorra: You certainly don’t think I took that ugly metal rodent do you?

Nick: The money could help you start your own club, Give you a head start on a new life. So I checked on your wherebouts that evening. The night of the robbery you were in a love nest in room 714 at the Hotel American with your boyfriend Ratso Rizzuto,

Ratso and Dorra hug,

Dorra: Yeah I love him. I can’t help it, he really knows how to treat me,

Ratso: I’m sensitive to her needs.

Nick: So it couldn’t be you. At this point I consulted the Detective’s Handbook. It said it was probably an inside job, So I thought to myself "of everyone on the inside who could do the job which one was the most inside and they did the job. . . inside," Commander Calipi,

Commander: Yes?

Nick: Commander Calipi, tell me where you were when the squirrel was stolen.

Commander: Mr Halibut?

Nick: Hendrix

Commander: Mr, Handy wrap?

Nick: Hendrix

Commander: Henderson?

Nick: Close enough.

Commander: Mr. Henderson, have you ever seen my garden?

Nick: What?

Commander: I grow these little tomatoes. Some people call them love tomatoes and some people call them cherry tomatoes but I call them little tomatoes. Oh and they are rich in calcium.

Nick: I see. Anything else?

Commander: Nope, that’s it.

Nick: Thank you.

Commander: You’re welcome.

Nick: (to Carla) He’s like . . .?

Carla: Old?

Nick: Yeah old. Which bring us to you.

Carla: (pulls gun) That’s it, I admit it. I stole the Squirrel. I can’t take this questioning anymore. It was just a matter of time until you figured it out.

Nick: Actually I thought the old man was faking it. I was gonna have him arrested.

Carla: Really?

Nick: So you stole the Squirrel for the money?

Carla: Yes, I could make a clean break with the insurance money and the Squirrel. Then I hired you to satisfy the insurance company. I never thought you’d solve the case.

Nick: Actually I didn’t, you confessed.

Carla: OK, I panicked.

Nick: Carla I do have one question. Why did you say you were Commander Calipi’s Daughter instead of his wife.

Carla: Well, I thought you’d pay more attention if you thought I was available,

Nick: What do you mean?

Carla: You know.

Nick: What?

Carla: (lewdly) You know.

Nick: Huh, (realizes) oh you mean sex?

Carla: Yes.

Nick: Wow, I have to pay more attention.

Ratso lunges across the room and knocks the gun out of Carla’s hand and starts beating her up.

Nick: I mean that’s always the way it goes. You get involved in something and you don’t notice something going on right under your nose.

Nick notices Ratso picking Carla off the ground. Ratso then holds her up by her shoulders.

Nick: I owe you one big guy, You know she could have shot me.

Ratso: So?

Nick: So, why don’t you take her outside and wait for the police to show up.

Ratso: Come on.

Dorra: Thanks, Mr. Hendrix now I won’t have to close the Club Shlockaderro. You might be a screwed up little hippie freak with a stupid little, what is that thing on your chin?

Nick: My jazz beard?

Dorra: (suspicious) Yeah jazz beard. But you’re OK in my book. (Helping Commander Calipi up) Come on boss, I’ll take you out front so you can see the police car.

Commander: Yay!

Dorra: (Exiting) Hey you hussy, stop hitting on my botfriend.

Dorra and Commander Calipi exit.

Nick: I guess that rolls everything up in a neat little package.

Velma; Just one thing Mr. Hendrix. Why did you invite me here?

Nick: Actually, I saw you sing yesterday and I thought you’d make a far out secretary.

Velma: What makes you so sure.

Nick: Because I’m Nick Hendrix (to audience) Psychedelic Detective.

Nick and Velma exit.

Announcer: That concludes tonight’s episode of Nick Hendrix Psychedelic Detective. Join us next week when Nick Hendrix meets "The Narc!"

The end

 

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1999 Rev Jay Goldstein