Members Only

by Mike Mariano

On the Internet at: http://mikemariano.com/membersonly/

Two young men, Jeff and Pete, sit onstage.

Jeff

Hey man...

Pete turns.

Wanna see my penis?

Pete

Amused:

What?

Jeff

My penis, man. Take a look.

Pete stares at him.

Pete

Now?

Jeff

Yeah!

Pete

Right here?

Jeff

Right here, man. Come on; take a look.

Pete

Is there something wrong with it?

Jeff

Pete, what—? No, not a chance. I’ve got a champion down here.

Pete

Uh huh....

Jeff

If anything this is for your benefit.

Pete

I don’t know....

Jeff

Of course you do, man. It ain’t everyday I give it a public exhibition.

Pete

Let me get this straight. You want, right here, right now, to whip out your penis?

Jeff

Uh huh....

Pete

And you want me to look at it?

Jeff

Yeah.

Pete

And then what?

Jeff

Dude, you’re going to bow down to the master. Cause once you see that penis...I mean, dude, you’ll just know.

Pete

I’ll know?

Jeff

Yeah. You’ll know who’s top dog around here. I just want to get it all out in the open, so there’s no mistaking it.

He motions to his crotch. Pete is still skeptical.

Pete

What if I don’t want to see your penis?

Jeff

I understand.

Pete

You do?

Jeff

Yeah.

Pete

All right.

Beat.

Jeff

It can be a little overwhelming I know. Not everybody’s ready to take a look at my penis.

Pete

Uh huh.

Jeff

You know, you don’t have to stare directly into my penis, if you don’t think you can handle it. You can just sorta bask in the aura.

Pete

Thanks....

Jeff

So you changed your mind? Wanna see my penis?

Pete

I don’t know. No. Not right now....

Jeff sighs.

Jeff

You know, you know something man? I figured you, out of anyone, would want to see my penis. It’s a privilege.

Pete

I know; I know what you mean. But right now? It’s not really what I had in mind...

Jeff

Oh. Yeah, I understand.... Guess I was aiming too high....

Pete

Aiming too high...with your penis?

Jeff

Yeah! Well, I mean, there are some people, you show ’em your penis, and they’re impressed, but so what? It’s not like their opinion matters. They don’t know quality....

He scoffs and turns to Pete.

But you, you know what you’re looking at. I’ll show you this penis and you won’t only say you’re impressed, you’ll know you’re impressed. I can trust you.

Pete

Really?

Jeff

But I guess I asked too much of you. I thought you could handle my penis....

Pete

Hey.... I might want to...see your penis.... I just.... Not right now....

Jeff

You aren’t ready for it yet?

Pete

No.

Jeff

Nods:

I’ve heard that one before. It’s no big deal; it’s just preparation. It doesn’t make you any less of a man. You’ve got to put your game face on.

Pete

Yeah.

Jeff

Totally cool; you just let me know when you change your mind.

Pete

OK.

Long silence. The two stare out into space. Pete turns to Jeff, slowly.

Hey, Jeff?

Jeff

Yeah?

Pete

Do you want to see my penis?

Jeff stares.

Jeff

Breaking the stare:

Nah. That’s alright.

Pete

Oh....

Beat.

Why not?

Jeff

Oh, it’s not that I don’t.... It’s just that that doesn’t have anything I haven’t...well, you know....

Pete stares.

Pete

Jeff. You want me to see your penis, but you don’t want to see mine?

Jeff

Yeah.

Pete

Hmmm....

Jeff

Hey Pete. You understand why, right?

Pete

No. No Jeff, I don’t think I do.

Jeff opens his mouth to speak, exhales, and begins again.

Jeff

It’s all about impressions, man. You just don’t seem like a guy who’s bringing anything to the table. That’s all.

Pete

So my penis isn’t worth looking at?

Jeff

No. Not exactly. You just don’t act like a guy who thinks his penis is worth looking at.

Pete

I don’t?

Jeff

No.

Pete

Tell me Jeff, how do I act?

Jeff

You act like...you act like you know where you stand....

Pete

That’s vague.

Jeff

Dude, it’s the truth. You know what you got down there. You know it does the job...in its own way...and you leave it at that.

Pete

Basically my penis has nothing to say.

Jeff

Not much.

Pete

And yours does.

Jeff

Hands up:

Hey....

Pete

But Jeff, let’s say for a minute that I could make a statement “down there.” If my penis was important, the way to act like it is to ask, “Hey man, wanna see my penis?”

Jeff

It’s all a matter of style.

Pete

Ah. Style....

Jeff

Totally.

Beat. Pete furrows his brow.

Pete

Jeff. I’m going to show you my penis.

Jeff looks at him. He chuckles, slightly nervous.

Jeff

Aw, Pete, you don’t want to do that.

Pete

Why not?

Jeff

What would be the point?

Pete

Shrugs:

Let’s find out.

Jeff

Pete, all right; I’m sorry I brought it up.

Pete

No, I’m glad you did. Because you’re the one who’s going to see a penis. You’re the one who’s going to bow down!

Jeff

Come on; you can’t be serious.

Pete

Oh, you want serious?

He gets up, fumbling with his belt.

Jeff

Pete, listen to me! Listen to what you’re—I mean, this isn’t solving anything!

Pete

Jeff, you’re the one who got yourself in this situation. You brought it up.

Jeff

I brought it up?

Pete

The topic.

Jeff

Oh.

Pete

You brought it up, and now you’re going to face the music....

With a flourish, Pete takes both ends of his belt, pulling either side to the tune of a burlesque he is loudly humming.

Jeff

Oh geez....

Pete begins to pull the belt off, still humming.

Pete, this is too much....

He turns away.

Pete

Look at me Jeff. You’re going to see my penis!

Pete takes the belt and whirls it around in a circle with one hand, in time with his striptease. Jeff shakes his head. Pete switches to a rhythmic, a cappella “cymbal crash” as he reaches for his fly.

Chris

Oh my God!

Chris rushes in, holding a folder. Pete immediately stops his striptease. Both Pete and Jeff watch Chris awkwardly.

Can someone explain to me what happened in Santa Rosa? I’ve been on the phone playing voice mail Keno for the past two hours and I haven’t reached a single human being. Gentlemen, it’s Thursday. Every Thursday I get a Summary on my desk. Today my desk is empty. There’s no Summary. There’s no Santa Rosa. There’s something wrong!

He looks at the pair.

What the hell have you two been doing?

Jeff and Pete look at each other.

Jeff

Uhh...

Chris

“Uhh.” It must have been a whole lot of “uhh,” because I haven’t seen any news on the Quarterly Report. You think you can get some work done on that before starting your “uhh”?

Pete

Now Chris, Jeff and I have a draft of the report; we were just—

He shoots a look at Jeff.

Chris

You were just what?

Pete

Just taking a break.

Chris

Taking a break. Great thing to do with a belt in your hand.

Pete remembers the belt and attempts to put it back on without drawing too much attention.

Gentlemen, my work is at a standstill. When I’m at work, and I can’t do work, I define it as a problem. But where is that problem coming from? Are you guys the problem?

Jeff

Chris...

Pete

No, not at all...

Chris

Really? Then where is my report draft?

Pete and Jeff shuffle uncomfortably.

I think I see a problem. And I think that I have to apply “the fix”.

Jaws drop. Panicked, Pete and Jeff overlap:

Jeff

Ohhh, no....

Pete

No....

Jeff

Chris, you know we’re on top—

Pete

Chris, we can go back to my desk right now—

Jeff

If we had a problem, it’s gone. Long gone.

Pete

—get settled, and there’s no problem.

Chris stands, contemplative.

Chris

You know guys, I want to believe you. But believing you won’t get me that report any faster. Really guys, you forced this upon yourselves. It’s time for “the fix”. I’m going to have to show you my penis.

Jeff

No, no—

Pete

Oh God....

Jeff

—no; Chris. There’s no reason to get drastic.

Chris

Oh I think there is.

Jeff

There’s not. Pete and I know what we’re doing; you just caught us at an off moment, that’s all.

Nervous chuckle. Chris is not moved.

Chris. Really. We don’t need to see your penis.

Pete

Chris, this is a bluff, right? I mean, we’ve done the Quarterly Report. We’ll fix it—do another one!

Still no response.

Oh God....

Chris

Come here, guys....

The pair shuffles toward Chris from either side. Chris motions with his fingers: move closer. They shuffle again. Chris motions again. They are now toe to toe with him. Chris sighs.

Let’s get this over with....

He begins unfastening his belt, then starts unzipping his fly. Jeff flinches and turns away.

Look at me.

He slaps Jeff in the face.

Look at me!

Jeff complies.

Now....

Unzipped, Chris pulls apart the sides of his pants, and reaches in for his penis. Since Pete and Jeff obscure the view, the audience is spared the sight. But Pete and Jeff get front row seats, and their expressions go blank. Chris extends his arms, awaiting a response.

Yeah?

Jeff

Oooh....

Chris

Yeah?

Pete looks away and looks back, inhaling sharply.

Pete

Yeah....

Jeff

Yeah, I—yeah....

Chris

Yeah?

Jeff

Yeah.

Chris

Yeah?

Jeff

Yeah.

Chris

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

He pulls his pants up, fastening them.

Don’t forget this.

He walks away from the pair, who remain still.

That report is going to be on my desk before the end of the day. You don’t want to see what happens if it’s not.

Chris exits. Jeff and Pete stand, humbled.

Pete

Wow....

Jeff

Yeah....

Pete

He really showed us.

Jeff

Yeah...showed us his penis....

Pete nods and sighs.

Pete

Well, I guess we’d better polish up the Quarterly Report....

Jeff

I guess....

Pete turns to leave. Jeff remains still, staring out. Pete stops and turns.

Pete

Hey Jeff? You all right?

Jeff

Yeah....

Pete

You sure?

Jeff grimaces, forcing a smile.

Jeff

I’ll be OK. I just need a few minutes to....

Pete

OK....

Beat.

Hey Jeff?

Jeff

Yeah?

Pete

Do you still want me to see your penis?

No response.

Cause I’ll do it. I mean, if you still want me to.

Jeff

There isn’t much point now, is there?

Pete

I guess not.

Jeff

You go on ahead. I’ll catch up with you.

Pete

OK....

Pete exits. Jeff stands, staring out. Finally he looks down to the ground. And then down to his crotch. He pulls his pants away from body and looks down. He sighs.

Jeff

I’m sorry. I wish I could have done more.... And it’s not like you’re bad; you’re just—outclassed. That Chris.... Well, that’s why he’s the boss, and we’re just....

He stops, giving his crotch a closer inspection.

What are you—?

He smiles.

Don’t look at me like that. Don’t.... Awww....

He shakes his head.

You know what? Even after today, I can’t turn my back on you. You’ve still got it....

Jeff lets go of his pants and puts his arms down. He smiles at his crotch.

Come on, let’s go back to work.

Jeff exits and the lights fade.