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Here is a liitle mind mess. Don't ask me what I was smoking. I'm just having fun.



THE HATTER AND THE HARE …A ONE ACT PLAY
OR…WHEN ALICE LEFT (APOLOGIES TO LEWIS CARROLL)

Scene: Plain stage, hatter and the hare are sitting on two chairs sipping from a bottle, a small table between them. Hatter is wearing a large hat. The hare has large ears.


Hatter:
I can't say teatime has been at all pleasant lately. If in fact we've not even had teatime. What do you attribute that to?
Hare: Right!
Hatter: Right…No! Do you not agree that things seem somewhat unpleasant?

Hare:
Oh? …I answered you quite succinctly. Indeed I answered in a very precise way. You see nothing is more annoying than an excessive and obsessive prattler. I have a virtue that allows me to speak in a way that comes right to the point of whatever the matter is. Anything short of that would be uninvited and rude.

Hatter:
Yes a virtue… what do you attribute it to.
Hare:
Precisely! (Emotive) you are a brilliant man …a man of stature and refinement.
(The Hatter looks in the bottle.)
Hatter:
In spite of my brilliance I fear that I have been over shot …(Makes a gesture of it being over his head) I asked…that is …I thought I asked as to what you attribute to…
Hare:
Yes! ...
Hatter:
…the point.
Hare:
Waste no time on points they end up being cause for unpleasantness, as you have pointed out.
Hatter:
I did?
Hare:
Lets get back to your original question…Two…you said attribute it ' two'. That is exactly why things are unpleasant. We have always been two. (Hatter takes a large swig on the bottle) Two is even …that is never at odds…See?

Hatter:
Keep going you are sadly beginning to make sense.
Hare:
(Stands up and paces - raised voice) Two must always come to an understanding lest they come at odds. It was Alice, she came uninvited and made us three…odd…and there is the crust of the matter.
Hatter:
Crux!
Hare:
What? I beg your pardon.
Hatter:
No need, Gods speed, let us heed, the acts of misdeeds…(shakes head) You said crust of the matter.
Hare:
Yes…crust… that which covers over…to encompass.
Hatter:
Do you have one?
Hare:
What?
Hatter: A compass perhaps if we could get our bearings we could get clearer on your theory of odds and evens.

Hare:
If two, out of discord, become at odds then the two become two -ones …see? Two at odds…with a third acting as mediator. All mediators are odds with an agenda. That’s natural, you see? …When one is left alone all matter of chatter races back and forth in between their ears…crashing and bouncing back and forth…twos and crows, to and fro. Without the calming and sedating benefit of another uninformed mind to agree with you… chaos ensues.

Hatter:
And that is bad?
Hare:
Three is the matter. Being pulled this way and that …that way and this…
Hatter:
Three the matter for the hatter to find a ladder so that he can clatter up that ladder to find out what's the matter with the Hatter and the Hare.
Hare:
When it's we two we must agree lest there be one. If there is three it becomes unbalanced. So we can't be sitting at tea…being balanced.
Hatter:
( Gives bottle to the hare who takes a desperate swig) I truly think you're on to something.

Hare:
No…not at tea.Teatime is pleasant and we always do whats pleasant.Madness is sameness. Uncertainty must be avoided at all costs. That path leads us to creativity crashing about without proper control.
Hatter:
Unpleasant! ( Takes back the bottle from the agitated Hare )
Hare:
It may be that we must be doing something unpleasant thus confussing us and her.
I see a problem … we are -or were always at tea. We do nothing but tea and we are often as not confussed.
Hatter:
We seem to be doing brandy, (Looks at the bottle) and if I may say with some good effect.
Hare:
And there is the point.
Hatter:
What's the point?
Hare:
We are not at tea as you pointedly pointed out.
Hatter:
You said that. (Gives him the bottle the hare swigs and hands it back with determination)
Hare:
(yelling) Yes I did! And that’s the fudging, fricking, frankan, flacking point.
Hatter:
What point are we on now…I've been taking your advice on points.
Hare:
We can assume we are not at tea and we are always at tea…and we know, as you pointed out, we are now at Brandy. To be at tea is a civilized thing -no one is at Brandy. One can retire to have a brandy.
Hatter:
(Looks at the bottle then closes his eyes…opens up) Can't be done.
Hare:
No time …no time …no resting now. I don't believe we are here. (Runs over and pinches the Hatter who doesn't react) ah ha! There…eureka!
Hatter:
Did you just pinch me?
Hare:
We are not here.
Hatter:
Not where?
Hare:
We are not at tea we are at brandying…an absurd idea…no matter its good effect. We are definitely not here.
Hatter:
If pinching me was in any way used as proof to our existence then you have made an error. I don't have feeling in my arms or legs due to the solution.
Hare:
Exactly we need a solution. Brilliant.
Hatter:
No I remember a solution.
Hare:
(Sitting with gusto) Good …go ahead.
Hatter:
Go ahead what?
Hare:
Go ahead with your solution.
Hatter:
The solution that I used to make hats has made me numb.
Hare:
You're mad.
Hatter:
No…I'm not angry I'm numb.
Hare:
Ah yes… As the context shifts the layers …the layers. Give me the Brandy. Maybe this is the solution. (Takes a swig)
Hatter:
(Reaches over and pinches the Hare who jumps up screaming and hopping around.) Are you mad or angry or has spring got you my sad perpetually celibate friend.
Hare:
I'm angry …angry … and I hurt. (Still howling and hopping) Why did you do that?

Hatter:
I was thinking in an uncharacteristic manner about the argument you presented:
One-Alice caused pleasant to transform to unpleasant.
Two-We are inexplicably not at tea but at brandy.
Three- Alice may be back
Four- What we will we do pleasantwise or unpleasantwise when she returns is uncertain and we agree that uncertainty is horrifying.
Five- Am I numb or mad?
Give me that bottle.

Hare:
You are both mad and numb. (Sits crossing legs in a huff.)
(Silence)
Hatter:
We must be batty. I fear we may be at odds.
(The hare gets up and leaves the stage coming back with a large teapot. He looks in and slams the lid shut)
Hare:
Now reality takes a new twist. (He lifts the lid)
(O.S.V.):
Twinkle twinkle little bat how I wonder where you are at.
Hatter:

Way up in the sky so high.

Hare:
And that is the reason why
Hatter: What reason may I pry?

O.S.V.: Way up in the sky so high like a teacup in the sky

Hare:
And that is where the matter lies.
Hatter:
(Tries to take a drink the bottle is empty.) We are not at tea we are not brandying. It seems a rather uncertain place. My fall back …my vocation is harmful to me…the solution …you see?
Hare:
Well I believe that what's in this pot will enlighten us as to our dilemma.
Hatter:
What's in the pot?
Hare:
A bat.
Hatter:
Surely not. Has all reason collapsed? There has always been a door mouse in that pot.
Hare:
Yes and now there is a bat. There is the proof, the solution.
Hatter:
That made me numb and mad?
Hare:
Don't take numbness for the inability to feel.
Hatter:
I'm hardly sure I understand you. I feel well enough to know your comment was meant as an insult. And so we…(angrily) are at odds.
Hare:
No we are not.
Hatter:
Oh yes. (Louder) We most certainly are.
Hare:
(calm) No we are not …we are as even as…
Hatter:
(stands) We are …sir …most assuredly and profoundly are at odds…(sighs and sits) now I've done it .I had a lovely strong horrid feeling and I have lost it.
Hare:
Well done just the same … let's get back to the bat.


Hatter:
There once was a man with a hat
Quite pleased he took it off the rack
He heard a story that he took for fact
If you turn your back on your hat
Events may happen and you can't turn back
For in your hat in point of fact may have climbed a nasty, rasty, bat.

Hare:
This time it's a teapot.
Hatter:
Yes it's very assuredly a teapot.

Hare:
And in this teapot is the answer to the question of our reality. It is clear that the mouse has turned into a bat. Its survival depended on it. It was in a place untenable. It sprouted wings to remove itself from a situation in which it could not cope. It evolved, as is the way with the lesser creatures. And therefore Alice is to blame for rampant and chaotic evolution. We were well and good before she came and started changing things, evoluting everything.

Hatter:
Evoluting everything! (Looking behind himself) Where are my wings? I'm quite sure that I'm not coping either. All I have is this hat and you …those ridiculous ears. I assert that Alice brought sense from the senseless…uncertainty from our certainty.

Hare:
As you know perfectly well we were made mad by god in just this perfect form and therefore we are done for. We can't evolve. (Begins to cry) Those who think are doomed. It can't be helped it is written. (Sob through the verse)
"If you're shtinking
From the thinking
Worry about the sinking
Don't do no blinking
'Cause while god's winking
He'll have you shrinking
From the fear of trying
There will be no changing
For those he made shtinking
From the thinking!"

Hatter:
Now! Now! …(Pats Hares head) Lets keep religion out of it. Let's get back to the solution.
Hare:
What's the point?
Hatter:
The point?
Hare:
The point dammit!
Hatter:
I, for one, don’t think the points going to be of much use. The solution on the other hand…
Hare:
Which hand? (Sniffing loudly)
Hatter:
The other one.
Hare:
We are clearly now at odds. Are we still talking about your solution?
Hatter: No …that solution was vocational. We are discussing the practical solution pertaining to our current situation.

Hare:
As I have thought it out…now mind you I am at odds, and can't entirely trust me suppositions or conclusions, my conjectures or even my deductions I suspect my premise's are flawed, my speculations askew, and any hypothesis's I may present would totally miss the mark. In short there is no more room. That is to say …Alice came, things are a frightful mess, the brandy bottle is empty, and we are left in this sad desolate place. If we can't blame Alice then…there is no room.

Hatter:
No room?
Hare:
Exactly…we did it and we have come to the last setting and we are out of tea…and brandy and hope.
Hatter:
On the other hand.
Hare:
Which hand?
Hatter:
Pick one and let's get on with it. (Taking off his hat and brushing it with his forearm) You may in fact be right. And right is right and left is left. Wrong is wrong and a song is a song.
Hare:
I once knew a man with a hat in his hand
With a reason to stay sloshed all the time
He had a hare for a care to take anywhere
Where a solution might not bend his mind

Hatter:
That was quite good. (Hare stands and bows, sits down again) Do you know what happens to a Hatter in time? There are the years of learning just the right way. Then there is the long years of making hats, under proper supervision of course, in just the right way. And in the proper span of time one becomes a Master Hat Maker. You are then responsible for those below you that they make the hats in just the right way. You are called on personally to make the very best hats for the very best people. Then an extraordinary thing occurs, the solution so necessary for the making of hats as had it's way with you…and you begin to make extraordinary hats in entirely the wrong way. You see…the 'e' in extraordinary is taken is taken off the word 'made' leaving you quite mad.

Hare:
How droll (The hare claps, the Hatter stands and bows) I remember spring, a hare only has so many real springs …hopping about hither and yon seeking the attention of those of the fairer persuasion…love to us is as fleeting as it is variety…love heaped upon love for a season and the next and the next and the next…and then the spring will come when we don't hop any more we are earth bound and wistful…Just a dreadful yearning …only remembering each and every encounter…till we remember the very last one.

Hatter:
Have you come to it dear friend …should we make arrangements?
Hare:
It is close I fear. But arrangements won't help…even lovely bouquets will not make me one bit less sad.
Hatter:
Then we are doomed for I could not be left "one". We are not at odds dear friend.
Hare:
Good…but do you agree that we are most certainly doomed.
Hatter:
On one hand 'yes' on the other well…still yes (Starts crying which starts the Hare to weeping as well)
Hare:
We are tea-less and brandy-less and hopeless. (Both are bawling)

Enter Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee… they are emperious in manner acting put out by the crying. Both are wearing Napoleonic Hats, sash-ed and medal- ed to the point of silliness.


Tdee:
See hear… if you would but stop this display we could be about our business with you.
Tdum:
Yes… it's most unseamly-wise to come into an emotional outbreak and not be privy to its cause.

(The Hare and the Hatter are unable to settle down)
Tdee:
Oh my…both of you need to gather yourselves up…
Hare:
Ridiculous…we can't gather ourselves up for there most certainly (sniff) is only one of me and certainly only one of him. How in the unraveling world do you gather up …
Hatter:
It must (wipes nose with his sleeve) be trouble w-w-w-w-when these two show up it generally …
Tdee:
Admirals if you don’t mind.
Hare:
Admirals?
Tdum:
We want you two to be our generals.
Tdee:
Yes, Generals in the upcoming …that is shortly going to…
Tdum:
We are about to start a war.
(Both the Hatter and the Hare stare at them.)
Hatter:
it seems to me that you two were always about and about and about some issue concerning …dare I say it?…A rattle.
Tdee:
(Screaming in fury) He has the rattle and refuses to give it to me. He knows perfectly well that I as the first born am entitled to it as my soul possession…and he lies and he ef-u-scates, oooo-ridgibates and desa-tates and other wise creates a condition equal to a mal-fuuuu-sin-ational abry-cation that is intolerable. (Sits on the floor in a huff)
Hare:
(To Tdum) Do you have it?
Tdum:
What?
Hatter: The Ef-u-scating rattle.
Tdum:
(whispering) Shhhh! I do have it…I just enjoy it so much when he does that.
(The Hatter and the Hare nod)
Hare:
Well it seems easy enough …give him back his rattle.
Tdum:
Oh…if only it was that easy…I've let it go to long now. Having it was fun because he would stomp around demanding and pleading. Having the rattle is no longer the issue …I have become insulted by the manner in which he begs and pleads. I no longer care about what he has or has not. (Loudly) I therefore officially deny that I possess the rattle.
Hare:
It's the even and odd thing…Alice…She talked to them. Tea…Brandy…War.
Hatter:
Seems a rather large jump.
Hare:
I choose not to be insulted by that…Jump indeed.
Tdum:
No…war is exactly what's needed. There is nothing more important than war.
Hatter:
Over a rattle?
Tdee:
(Standing) It's a very valuable rattle.
Hare:
So we are to be Generals and you are Admirals?
Hatter:
I see a problem… You two have no sea. We two have no armies. Rattle or no…I
think there will be no war . And we are left with the original dilemma no tea and no brandy.
Hare:
Did any one of you mention the rattle to Alice? (To the twins)
Tdum:
Maybe in passing.
Tdee:
We may have alluded.
Hare:
Before you met Alice were you congenial?
Tdee:
Oh indeed quite polite and congenial…dear me he is my brother.
Hare:
Even though you knew that one of you had the rattle?
Tdum:
Yes…we are both horrid pathofanatic liars, as well as being irresponsible, egocenentric,
delightful conversationalists, witty, moderately handsome, and completely suited to our profession.
Tdee:
We have the best credentials. (Reaches in his coat and pulls out a bottle of brandy, hands it to the hatter who grins opens it and drinks) And I think we can get this war on the right track.
Hare:
Have you told the queens?
Tdee:
The Queens are for …for whatever side wins.
Hatter:
The kings?
Tdum:
The Kings have always done best by agreeing with the Queens.
Hare:
(To the Hatter) My theory proven again. (Hatter nods and passes the bottle)
Hatter:
How's that, pray tell?
Hare:
Not faith my dear…but truth…The truth!
Tdee:
I for one am a firm believer in the truth. One cannot function with absurdities flying about…hither-skither…
Tdum: Oh indeed not…one could become unhinged …as it were.
Hatter:
"Tis either an objective truth or a subjective truth. I think that all there is …is subjective truths. And I do believe, my dear Generals…
Tdee, Tdum:
Admirals!
Hatter:
Thank you, it is an admirable thought …and true enough for this conversation.
Hare:
You must believe in something, I can't imagine believing in nothing.
Tdee:
That is close to blasphemy.
Hatter:
Follow me…(All stand up, the hatter is only adjusting his coat, and the others start to walk off stage) No, no sit please I meant follow my thinking. Truth must appear to be objective that way we are cozy and safe… no hithering and skithering about. But truth is much more evasive than we can tolerate.
Tdum:
Look here, I'm becoming quite angry at this talk. We have perfectly good priests and doctors taking quite good care of the truth. And we should be thankful they are there.
Hatter:
Oh I agree…but imagine how annoying it must be for the' truth' to be constantly made to be argued about and amended with each new turn of the sun. There are pesky things that are being found every day upsetting the apple cart. And those of us who are not priests or doctors are left to 'Believe' pretty much as we please. I'm little enamored of the objective truths.
Hare: Too much memorization. History was my worst subject. I wasn't bad at math …1+1+1+1+1 equals in a good Spring a hundred…more if I wasn't too tired.
Hatter:
Tea …Brandy…Time for tea and brandy fine diddle dee dee…all good enough for me.
Hare:
We are all like great balloons adrift with tethered anchors grasping the ground where we can find any purchase. Where we are connected is the truth and then some great storm sends us aloft again…or we die and none of it maters…Except to hares and hatters…and Admirals too.
Tdee:
You have given me a headache.
Hatter:
My dears that is your job…see?…If too many have their tethers down and will not see the new objective truth you espouse either you must break the tethers with fine speech making and politics having them see their folly or cut them loose permanently! (Takes off hat and takes a swig of brandy.)
Silencing is the tool of the foolish and the mighty. Be it the machinations of one or the will of a nation 'tis a grand tool.
Hare:
My friend is mad, quite insane. And only a mad man could see the truth in it and he is right. Should we go to war over a rattle or is it the apple cart that’s been turned over and we have no one to blame?
Tdum:
It is far worse than I first believed my brothers. Alice has spread an insidious form of thought so insidious that the insidiousness of it is so insidious…
Tdee:
We can ill afford this insidious thinking to spread throughout the land. We must marshal our forces and perfect a plan to figure out the best way to fight this insidiousness.
Hare:
Good! Good! (Pacing) First hire a Marshall as you rightly suggested, then have
him eliminate any one thinking in an insidious way.
Tdum:
Good! Good! (Pacing) Then as the insidious thinking begins to spread, which of course it will , we will prepare for a real war.
Tdee:
Yes, One not over trivial rattles…you still have it…
Tdum:
Do not.
Tdee:
But a war based on the truest of ideals and precepts of faith inherent in the objective truth that the priests and doctors under our influence and command will write down as the Word of law . Oh …I shiver at the beauty of it.
(Hatter buffs his hat then takes another swig)
Tdum:
It is time for a new order. You hatter shall become not a General but the Minister of Truth.
And you Hare… Minister of the New Science.
Hatter:
Do I have to do anything?
Hare:
No silly…I'll make it up and you determine whether it's subjective or objective …you tell them …they tell the people. Whoever doesn't believe it is ruined or silenced by the Marshall.Do I have it right gentlemen?
Tdum &Tdee:
Exactly! And if another nation tries to tell us we are wrong in our thinking then It's war.
Hatter:
The Queens and Kings?
Tdum:
They have no time for thinking. This way they don't have to think at all …lord love a duck, they will love it. And the Queen of Hearts will relish the idea of silencing any one we send her.
Tdee:
Who shall be the Marshall?
Hare:
How about that sniveling, fat assed, two faced, addle-minded, cousin of mine the White Rabbit. He hasn't a thought of his own and any one we give him will suit him fine.
Hatter:
I am out of Brandy…and I believe it's time for tea.
Hare, Tdum, Tdee:
So it is, so it is.
Hatter:
Then lets be about finding some tea…or vodka…more brandy would be nice.
(All standing and leaving the stage)
Tdee:
You still have the rattle.
Tdum:
Do not.
Tdee:
Do too.

The end.
More at www.klstoryteller.com
Lehnig(c)2005

------
Why is doing what you love the hardest thing to do? Is it because failing what you thought defined you would be too devastating a thing from which to recover? If so, we stay where mere accident has left us.


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Comments

The following comments are for "When Alice Left"
by jonpenny

a lucky escape
for Alice, it looks like. only when she left did things get REALLY weird ;)... found in places the denseness of the text played havoc on my poor auld eyes, but that's no reflection on the writing, which was a lot of fun... don't know if you ever saw the Johathon Miller version of Alice in Wonderland, made in 1960-odd, truely mind bending... this captures the same absurdist spirit. thank you for sharing. best to ye.

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: March 5, 2008 )





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