07/10/04: the fertilizers

I had the honor of being in Little Shop of Horrors at City Theater a few months back, playing the voice of the plant. As such, I got to sit with the rockin' pitband, and was deemed (along with Matt, who played the body of the plant) an honorary member. The band named themselves Joe and the Fertilizers, which cracks me up entirely. Anyhoo, we enjoyed the heck out of each other, gradually getting more obscure and debaucherous as the show run went on. We stay in touch and try to get together for lunch every so often.

While I was out of town, the Fertilizers tried to get a lunch thing together, and talked about their upcoming gigs. This here is a selected portion of the emails which were exchanged in my absence. It started out innocently, and then...

Brian (aka BT / Turner) writes:
Would anyone happen to have a keyboard that I could borrow for a couple weeks? decent piano sounds and other synth type things?

I'm trying to do some recording with my computer set up and well can't afford to buy a keyboard right now.

Just got word that Im pretty sure Weds July 28th Ill be playing before the 10 minute one acts at city theatre from 7:20-7:55

oh yeah and a guy that looks like me by the name of chris turner is playing on that monday i think for the pre-show activity..and he's in a play that weds...



oh and I need a job

when are we doing lunch?


Joe (aka Trainor, aka F-ing Rock God) replies:

Hey guys....I think lunch on Monday might work out fine. I'll probably have Paula with me (if you don't mind). Jill is out of town until Saturday, but I'll see her Sunday evening and I'll put the bug in her ear about Monday lunch.

Oh, and I'm playing the same 7.20 to 7.55 slot on Jan 29th for the 10-minute play festival.


Matt (aka Matt-o-blatt) writes:
Since we're hyping - I'm playing before the 10-minute festival on Tuesday July 27, or Friday July 30, or both. AND be sure to show up on Monday the 26th to see me in a play, Tuesday the 27th to see Jill perform in a play I wrote, and Wednesday the 28th to see me act in 2 plays, including one I wrote! It's pretty rare to cast the author in a play he wrote, but no one else would take the part. Why? Let's just say the part is a little...revealing.

Basically, show up every night. It's always a good time.

Lee Hirata (who drives a Miata) writes: Damn! maybe they should call it the Matt Festival, or Matt-a-Palooza!

gee everyone has a gig but me :(

I can lift heavy stuff... and bring doughnuts... and empty the trash...

Brian says:
OK...let's recap...

Matt, Brian and Joe are dominating the pre-show activity for the 10-minute play festival. Matt went through the trouble of writing a play, just so he could expose himself (I assume), Jill is in a play, too, as well as a lot of other people we all know and love, so basically we should get tickets to see the entire run of the 10-minute play festival...sounds good to me.

oh, and Brian needs a keyboard...

...and did someone mention lunch?

Trainor replies:
THAT DOES IT!!! I'm gonna be in a play, too.

Matt...write me one

Matt-o-blatt writes:
You got it. It's just a start, but I think this could be my best work. Feel free to contribute.

SETTING: A Gladiator Dome. Massive crowds of Christians have come to see people get eaten by tigers. Sitting in the VIP Box is EMPEROR TRAINOR, the benevolent leader.

TRAINOR: (clapping) Servants! More wine and grapes!

A crowd of servants, including LEE, BRIAN, SAM, MATT, and MATTHIA rush in, bringing Trainor wine and grapes.

TRAINOR: Hey, thanks, guys. Oh, and could I get some of those...what are they called...

MATTHIA: Cheetos, my lord?

TRAINOR: No, not Cheetos...they're like, round, and crispy...

SAM: Funyons?

TRAINOR: Yes, Funyons! Fetch me some Funyons! I need more protein. I'm working out now. I'm huge.

LEE: How about doughnuts? I could bring doughnuts...

TRAINOR: Away, away!

LEE: Jelly-filled? Sprinkles? No?

The servants away.

Next scene, anyone?

Trainor writes: NEXT SCENE...

As the servants depart...

TRAINOR: Turner!

BRIAN pauses

TRAINOR: Let the women and the hairy gentleman find the Funions...you...you, play a song for me.

BRIAN looks around nervously

TRAINOR: I said, play a song for me!

BRIAN: I cannot, your grace...

TRAINOR: Why would you refuse such a request from your emperor?

BRIAN: I have no keyboard (wincing)

TRAINOR claps his hands and guards appear and drag BRIAN to the coliseum floor...screaming the whole way...

Lee comments: Looks like a great start. I especially like the type-casting in that I'm Doughnut Girl (oooh that sounds like an idea for another play...overweight superhero...cape...sprinkles with special powers). Anyway, I think Joe was previously alluding to being jealous that you get to expose yourself, so I believe the piece needs some gratuitous nudity (is there any other kind?). The setting is right for it - colosseum, togas, debauchery...

Brian writes:

SAM walks nonchalantly back to TRAINOR carrying an empty bowl, with what appears to be remnants of Funyons around his mouth

SAM: Whats up, my...(chuckle) Grace (chuckle).

TRAINOR: What's so funny?

SAM looks TRAINOR up and down and notices that he has a piece of toilet paper stuck to his sandal.

SAM: Nothing, man. Nothing. At. All.

TRAINOR: Where are my Funyons?

SAM: Oh. That. Yeah. Um. They were all out man.

TRAINOR: What do you mean all out?

SAM: All out. All they had left were fries, corn dogs and beer. (Belch) Oh wait. They're out of beer too.

TRAINOR: What's that around your mouth? Remnants of Funyons?

SAM: Ah nah, man. Its nothing. (SAM wipes his mouth off)

TRAINOR: Where are my two ladies in waiting?



Matthia and Lee are writing on the walls of the parlor with lipstick and dog feces.

MATTHIA: (laughing sadistically) Ha! This will show him! He wants to keep looking at me everytime I mess up!! Smell the glove, my friend!!

LEE: All I ever wanted was to be in a band! And he wouldn't let me!

Matt writes:



SAM: Oh hey, me and some friends are gonna go play four square behind the Cafe after this fight, ya wanna come?

CUT TO: The Dungeon.

TURNER is thrown mercilessly into the dungeon. He spots a woman in chains, who goes by the name of JILL.

JILL: What'd you do, beb?


JILL: Did you make fun of his hair?


JILL: The emperor. Don't ever make fun of his hair. That's all I'm saying.

TURNER: Oh. Is that what you did?

JILL: Yeah, this time. This is my third time in here. First time I suggested that Geddy Lee was maybe too old to hit the high notes anymore.

TURNER: Geez, even I know better than that.

JILL: I know. I was goofy on mushrooms. Got them from some cat with cool hair named Sam. I thought they were M&Ms, I swear to god!

TURNER: Did they taste like M&M's?

JILL: No, but I didn't notice until I had finished the first bag and was working on the second. Anyway, the second time, I...no, forget it.


JILL: No, it's too painful and embarrassing.

TURNER: Now I gotta know. What'd you do?

JILL: Well, I...


Lee writes:

New Scene: Women's locker room (it is a coliseum, right) set is Roman in decor, but clearly a locker room...

Lee has her sandals off and is rubbing her feet

LEE: they can build an aqueduct that lasts two thousand years, but they can't make an attractive strappy sandal that doesn't hurt your feet. and doughnut concessions are down. Why doesn't anyone want any of my cream-filled goodness anymore?

enter JILL. costume is somewhere between Roman royalty and dominatrix. Clearly she is of higher rank than the other women present.

JILL: Silence Infidels!

LEE: actually, I'm from Secaucus...Infidel is somewhere to the south..

JILL: Silence! I can't think with your constant yammering!

MATTHIA: And what wondrous thoughts are you thinking today Mistress?

LEE: (stage whisper) Suck up.

JILL: I am planning a coup. Emperor Trainor is drunk with power and he must be stopped. He eats his Funyuns with abandon while the peasants in the streets are left with SlimJims.

MATTHIA: Have you thought about sneaking in on him while he's asleep and cutting his hair?

JILL: Delilah already tried that. Apparently that only reduces sexual power and leaves you with bad hair. Isn't that right Samson?

Finally we notice SAM/SAMANTHA who has been sitting in a corner, observing. He is a bald eunuch. Or so we think. He claims that the haircut Delilah gave him has left him a eunuch, but secretly he only said that so he could hang out in the Ladies' Locker Room.

Jill writes...

CUT TO: Dungeon.

Two armed guards take JILL back to the dungeon from where she has recently escaped to stage the coup with LEE and MATTHIA. As they throw her down the dungeon stairs, she yells:

JILL: But the people can't live on Slim Jims alone! After you eat 5 or 6 of them, you get oily leakage! This is tyranny!!

BRIAN: (beating his head against the wall) No! Don't bring her back in here! I was so happy she escaped... she wouldn't stop talking about all of the stupid things she did to get locked up here. Why did I ask... why... why... why... why?!?

JILL: You know beb, one time I beat my head against the wall for two hours. Man, did I get a headache. But I also got some amazing insight. See, like 15 years ago, well, maybe it was 14 years ago... no, wait, yeah, 15 years ago, because I was still in high school, yeah, I used to think, like, "Well, ya know..."

Scene fades out with sounds of BRIAN screaming.

CUT TO: Emporor's chambers; SAMANTHA is rubbing TRAINOR's feet; MATTHIA and LEE are scantily clad and fanning him with palm fronds.

TRAINOR: Rub the arches a little more firmly, eunuch!

SAMANTHA (rubbing, clearly thinking about something else): Uh-huh, whatever, Joe.

TRAINOR: Matthia! Tell me how great my hair looks today!

MATTHIA: Your Worshipfulness, I've never seen your hair more, er, bouncy. I draw power from your hair's perfection. However, if I may be so bold to inform you that your ends are starting to get split; you might consider anointing it with Aussie 5-Minute Miracle, on sale this week at ULTA.

TRAINOR: Hmmm, yes, a hair treatment. A wise idea. Fetch me a courtesan to apply these haircare products. Ah! Bring me the coquettish one (he gestures towards LEE), she pleases me.

LEE: How may I be of service, Rock God?

TRAINOR: I have been informed that my tresses are in need of a deep conditioning. You are to apply said treatment, and if my hair is not made silky like, uh, silk or something, you will be tossed to the dungeon with the rest of the infidels. No pressure, yo.

LEE: Yes sir, right away sir. (LEE leaves to fetch haircare products.)

CUT TO... Interior Dungeon.

LEE is tossed into the dungeon by two burly guards.

LEE (shouting up to the guards): I was only trying to trim it off the ends!

BRIAN: Hey. So what did you do to get down here?

LEE: I just tried to trim the emporor's split ends.

JILL: Dude. Bad idea.

LEE: Thanks for telling me that now.

BRIAN: Do you have a keyboard I can borrow? Maybe if I rock out, the Emporor will let me go free.

LEE: Why yes, I happen to have a Roland Fantom X6 right here in my...

CUT to Brian and Jill's faces, agape

LEE: .... therrrre we go. You see, the Fantom-X Series are the world’s first keyboard workstations to give musicians nearly 1GB of wave memory when fully expanded and powerful 128-voice polyphony.

BRIAN: Nice!

JILL: Sweet, yo.

BRIAN begins to rock out, when...

SAM(ANTHA) is thrown down the dungeon stairs.

SAM: (shouting up at the guards) And tell the emporor that I will not oil up his "rippling hairless stomach" no matter what he offers!

JILL: Sam! My favorite eunuch! (mumbling: That'll teach you to introduce me as a friend of your mom's...)

LEE: Sam!

BRIAN: Hey bro.

SAM: Hey. What's up, my children?

LEE: Brian is rockin' out on my keyboard; he wants to seranade the emporor to see if he can go free.

SAM: You know any B'Gosh tunes?

BRIAN and SAM start rocking out. LEE and JILL wonder how they can artfully contribute to a cover song originally recorded by two people.

The door opens again; MATTHIA is flung down the stairs.

MATTHIA (shaking fist): And tell that miserable SOB that I will not wash his fleet of chariots with my tongue!

LEE: Matthia!

JILL: Matthia!

BRIAN and SAM: Yo!

MATTHIA: What are you all doing down here?

SAM: Rockin' like a hurricane.

MATTHIA: Mind if I join in? I know a couple tunes from BAT BOY, the Musical!

NEXT? :-)

Brian writes... FADE IN

TRAINOR sits in his GOD CHAIR staring at a mirror.

TRAINOR: Mirror, mirror on the...on the...crap what was that word...oh yeah THE WALL ; which also happens to be the show I will be leading on August 14th and 15th at the Wilmington Drama League. (pauses and starts again) Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the greatest of them all?

TRAINOR gets up runs to the other side of the mirror, which actually is just a piece of clear plexi glass.

TRAINOR: (impersonating a mirror voice) Why you are Mr Trainor.

Joe gets up runs to his chair.

TRAINOR: Really?

Trainor gets up and runs to the mirror.

JOE: Really yes you are.

FADE IN the soundtrack- "They're Coming to Take Me Away" as this whole trainor and mirror conversation continues.


Trainor writes: AND THIS IS HOW IT REALLY ENDS....

After Emperor Trainor finishes his love-fest in front of the mirror, an idea comes over him...and with a widening grin, heads off to the dungeon.

Emperor TRAINOR enters the dungeon and everyone stops rocking out...

TRAINOR: And here we find our once loyal servants rotting away in the bowels of my palace...but, no, it's not enough that I've sent you to spend eternity slowly dying in the this dank and musty hell, but you've got to come down here and start ROCKING OUT!?!??! AND IT'S B'GOSH SONGS, TO BOOT??!??!?! HOW DARE YOU???

He motions to the guards who tie up Matthia, Lee and Jill to the brick walls, where they are immediately stripped...

TRAINOR: See how you like this?

And producing a Sharpie, he begins to scrawl meaningless, but witty slogans on their bellies...

SAM: Damn, this is freakin' hot...too bad I'm a eunuch (boo hoo hoo hoo...)!

BRIAN: (with eyes closed) I'm getting married...I'm getting married...I'm getting married...

Emperor Trainor gestures to a guard who pull a switch on the wall, letting in a healthy flow of water.

TRAINOR: Soon this dungeon will be flooded and you will all prune up...then die. But before you do, I wanted you to know... THE WALL is the 13th and 14th NOT the 14th and 15th!!!   Die well you sexy bitches....

And with that Emperor Trainor leaves....then stubs his toe, falls down and breaks his neck....ooo the irony is so thick...and they all perish, because guards are dumb and don't know how to turn off faucets. Too bad.


Fortune Teller Miracle Fish today tells me that I am: Indifferent.   Yeah, OK.