Dale Andersen

©Copyright 2004

In 2004, The University of Idaho held a playwrighting contest. The contest was to write a monologue about this guy named Bobby. And they gave out a back-story. And you could use all of it or a part of it or make up your own. Here is the back-story they gave us. I used some of it:

--Bobby was born in 1968.

--Bobby's mother is deceased, along with a
younger brother and sister. Car crash
in the desert.

--Bobby's father lives "somewhere in California."
They don't talk.

--Bobby has a great sense of humor, terrifically
sharp and engaging personality, but it's
all "smoke 'n mirrors."

--Bobby likes history, appreciates the idea
that where we come from informs us on who we are.

--Bobby doesn't like riding in cars.

--Bobby keeps a journal; the journal
is called "Old Faithful."

--Bobby shops almost exclusively online, spends
way too much money on books and music.

--Bobby likes to sit in coffee shops.

--Bobby once smashed all the mirrors
in the house.

--Bobby decided to return to school last year,
to study "something he cares about this time."
Bobby attends a state university somewhere
in the Midwest.

--Bobby is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War
in 1991. Was injured while stationed overseas.
Since the injury, and largely because of Bobby's
attitude toward it, Bobby has become a "quiet
observer," choosing to remain on the
subjective sidelines of life.

--Bobby dreams of dancing, of falling
in love, of being "included."

--Bobby always feels like an outsider.

--Bobby spent two weeks last year
at the Grand Canyon.

--Bobby likes white wine.

--Bobby cannot stay in a relationship
very long.

Okay. Now for my monologue. I chose Kent State for the University he's attending.

Oh, by the way, I didn't win anything. I don't care. I still think mine is pretty good...

(It is night. BOBBY enters. He walks with a cane)

It was right here. On this spot. Right here in the parking lot outside Prentice Hall. Blood everywhere. Someone said, so much blood pouring out, it was like someone tipped over a bucket. They shot thirteen kids. Four were dying. And right here on this spot. One of them. Jeff Miller by name. Age twenty. Dying. Blood pouring from a hole in his face. And. And then this fourteen year old hippy chick comes out of nowhere. Mary. Mary Vecchio. Fourteen year old runaway. And she kneels down next to him and screams, “Someone, help him, he’s dying!” And. And someone else with a camera snaps a picture of Mary and Jeff. And suddenly. Suddenly! The whole world knows about Kent State. Neil Young sees the picture and writes a hit protest song

This summer I hear the drummin'
Four dead in O'-hi-o

Americans shooting Americans. Unfuckingbelievable. I swear I could never do that. God help me, I could not!


I get visits. Army buds. Doug Duhaime comes by. He lives in Akron. He was my sergeant. 23rd Engineers. Yeah. Go, Thunder Echo. We kicked some major ass. Doug stops by just to see how Ole Bobby’s doing back in school. I show him how I can walk all right.

(Indicates his cane)

And hey, if I can walk, I can make it with the ladies, okay? He says, so where’re the chicks? I say, so I’m between relationships, okay? And I take him here. I show him this spot. Right here. And I say, it should not be forgotten. It was one of the bleakest moments in our country's history. It was a terrible, terrible thing, and we need to keep the story alive. Doug just rolls his eyes and goes, yeah yeah. Army. Best people in the world. They’ll do anything for you. But sometimes they just don’t see the big picture. I mean, they don’t see the consequences. Not taking anything away from Doug. He was a great sergeant. We’d be in a jam and he’d say, okay people, listen up. I got an announcement. We're not gonna die. We got a Plan Bravo, and if that don’t work, we got a Plan Charlie. After that, we die. He cracked us up. Doug got me out of there alive. God bless him. Go Army. See, it’s all part of a plan. I really believe that. See, somewhere out there, I got a brother. When I was little, Mom would rock me in her arms and tell me about my secret brother. She didn’t know his name or where he lived. When they take your baby away, they don’t tell you nothing. She promised me someday we’d find him and it would be like he never left. She talked about him a lot. It was like a hole was ripped in her soul. Poor Mom. She was too young to take care of a baby. She was a runaway. She swore me to secrecy. It was our secret. Just the two of us. See, I was her favorite. Except for him maybe. And I never told anyone. Not Sean or Sara or Dad. Then, one day, she went away and left me here all alone. I was with Dad in California and she was driving the car across country with Sean and Sara to meet up with us. Somewhere past Las Vegas she fell asleep and went off the road. I miss her a lot. One of those stars up there is her. That one right there.

(Takes test tube from pocket. Uncorks top and raises it in salute)

Hi Mom. You keeping everyone in line up there?


Chardonnay. It was her favorite. I promised Mom I’d find him. I hope he’s like Doug Duhaime. You know, tough but with a heart of gold. I’d like an older brother. I surely would.

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Anonymous said...


playwrighter said...

Thamks. Appreciate the URL.