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By Stephen Bittrich


5701 W Slaughter Lane
Suite A130-204
Austin, TX 78749
Tel: (646) 245-4507


Copyright © 1999,
by Stephen Bittrich
(Draft: October, 2000)

11 pages

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                                   "BABY FACTORY"

                                   BY STEPHEN BITTRICH


                                   DR. SALAD's office at "DNA Alchemy," a
                                   fertility laboratory.

            AT RISE:

                                   MR. and MRS. WHITE sit across the desk
                                   from DR. SALAD.  All exude an
                                   infectious, bubbly energy.

                                   DR. SALAD
            So Mr. and Mrs. White, you're interested in a baby!

                                   MR. WHITE
            Yes, Doctor Salad.

                                   MRS. WHITE
            It's about all we can think about!

                                   DR. SALAD
            I completely understand, Mrs. White.  So many of our clients
            love babies, want babies, can only think about babies, if you
            catch my meaning.

                                   MRS. WHITE
            I don't think I do...

                                   DR. SALAD
            We have so many glum, droopy, infertile couples come through
            these doors, yearning for a little bundle of joy to call
            their own.  They've given up hope ever ever planting the seed
            of life, but we pick them up, dust them off, and through the
            miracle of science, a life is created.

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Oh, it's so exciting!

                                   DR. SALAD
            Yes, isn't it?  So first order of business, a small
                          (HE slaps down a telephone book
                           size questionnaire.  We notice
                           that Dr. Salad is wearing
                           rubber gloves)

                                   DR. SALAD (cont'd)
            I find it best to work from general to specific, don't you?

                                   MR. WHITE
            I suppose...

                                   DR. SALAD
            You would like a healthy baby?

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Yes, of course.  Doesn't everybody?

                                   DR. SALAD
            Usually, but I have to ask.  Some parents find some minor
            genetic defect keeps the child dependent upon them.  
                          (Making quotation marks with
                           his fingers on the word
                           "healthy"--this is a character
                           trait that HE employs
                           throughout the play)
            I'm not saying it's necessarily a "healthy" way to go...

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Oh my!

                                   DR. SALAD
            Male or female?

                                   MR. WHITE
            We'd like a...

                                   MRS. WHITE
            ...a little girl!

                                   MR. WHITE
            Yes, a little girl.
            Is that a general question?

                                   DR. SALAD
            Oh, it gets much more specific.  Beautiful or ugly?  Or
            somewhere in between?

                                   MR. WHITE
            You can guarantee her looks?

                                   DR. SALAD
            To an extent yes.  We work with the what you give us.  We
            filter elements of your DNA.  We purify it to its essence. 
            Have you ever noticed ugly people with a beautiful baby?

                                   MR. WHITE
            Uh...I think...

                                   DR. SALAD
            Of course you have!  Even ugly people can get lucky!  But we
            here at DNA Alchemy take out the element of luck.  If you
            want a beautiful baby, we find the DNA in your own make up
            that will best make that happen.  Of course, beauty is in the
            eye of the beholder, but for Caucasians, such as yourselves,
            we rely on the the Greek models to inform our "beauty gage."  

                                   MRS. WHITE
            I...I want a beautiful baby...don't you, Honey?

                                   MR. WHITE
            Yes, well, I'd say so, yes, let's.

                                   DR. SALAD
            Excellent!  A "babe" of a baby it is.  As I'm sure you can
            imagine, that is the most common response.  So female beauty
            in the Greek model.  Now Mrs. White, I notice that you're
            rather flat chested.

                                   MR. WHITE
            I say...

                                   DR. SALAD
            Do you want some genetic enhancement for your baby in that

                                   MRS. WHITE
            On a baby?  

                                   DR. SALAD
            Well, every good baby grows up!  And here at DNA Alchemy we
            don't just reflect on the infant life, but the whole life. 
            But I digress.  Your chest just struck me for a moment, but
            that is a more "specific" issue, and we are on the general...

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Uh, tall?

                                   MR. WHITE
            Tall, yes, tall.  That's nice.

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Five ten.

                                   MR. WHITE
            Five ten?  Well, Honey, I'm sure they can't...

                                   DR. SALAD
            Actually, we can.  Five ten it is.  Endomorph, Ectomorph, or

                                   MRS. WHITE

                                   MR. WHITE
            Oh that's the body type, right?

                                   DR. SALAD
            Yes.  Many people go with the ectomorph, a more athletic type
            body type.

                                   MR. WHITE
            Oh yes, we want that!

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Really?  Athletic, Honey?  You don't want her to be

                                   MR. WHITE
            She can be a famous athlete and support us in our old age.

                                   DR. SALAD
            You know, and at this point in time, that's probably still
            true!  Of course, if our technology ever became the norm, as
            is our hope, everybody could be an equally superior athlete. 
            Ha ha!  Fortunately for you, economics still rule who can and
            can't afford this technology.  
                          (There is a knock at the door)

                                   DR. SALAD (cont'd)

                                   NURSE SLUTT
            Dr. Salad, your tea.

                                   DR. SALAD
            Tea?  Already?  Oh, very well, but it's quite vexing.
                          (NURSE SLUTT opens the door for
                           DR. SALAD 2 who carries the
                           tea tray.  DR. SALAD 2 is
                           dressed exactly the same as
                           DR. SALAD, and he has the same
                           hair style.  They look like
                           they could be twins, except
                           DR. SALAD 2 is terribly
                           deformed.  His genital area is
                           of particular notice with its
                           swollen appearance.  And to
                           make matters even more
                           distressing, DR. SALAD 2 seems
                           not quite right in the head. 
                           HE limps in with the tea tray
                           threatening to let it crash at
                           every step)

                                   DR. SALAD (cont'd)
            COME IN, DR. SALAD!

                                   MRS. WHITE
            But...I thought you were Dr. Salad...oh my!

                                   DR. SALAD
            Yes, yes, that's right.  I am Dr. Salad, but he wants to be
            just like me, and it doesn't do any harm to humor him, eh? 
            He's a good goose. 
                          (normal voice, innocently)

                                   MR. WHITE
            Oh, I don't think...

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Not for me...

                                   DR. SALAD
            THIS IS MY SON!
                          (aside, to the Whites)
            Well, sort of.  He's a miracle of modern science, don't you

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Yes, he...he's...

                                   MR. WHITE

                                   DR. SALAD
            Anybody can clone a sheep, eh?  Doesn't he look just like me? 

                                   DR. SALAD 2
                          (with a strong speech
            Sthing...sthing a sthong.

                                   DR. SALAD

                                   DR. SALAD 2
            Sthing a sthong!  Sthing a sthong!

                                   DR. SALAD
                          (then instantly changing his
            Oh, very well.  
                          (aside to the Whites)
            He'll never let it go otherwise.  
                          (back to DR. SALAD 2)
                          (HE begins a little song and
                           dance which are quite
                           obviously made up completely
                           off the top of this head)
            I got my top hat...
            I got my cane...
            And I'm all dressed up...
            In a tuxedo...
            Dancin', dancin', dancin'
            Come on everybody...
                          (HE taps for a bit.  It is
                           obvious that this is
                           completely made up as well,
                           but further, that HE hasn't
                           the faintest idea how to tap
                           dance.  DR. SALAD 2 follows
                           along, choking up a giddy,
                           bizarre chortle)

                                   NURSE SLUTT
            Dr. Salad?

                                   DR. SALAD
            Nurse Slutt!  I'm in a meeting!

                                   NURSE SLUTT
            Yes, I know Dr. Salad, but...
                          (SHE whispers in his ear)

                                   DR. SALAD
            The deuce you say!  Where are his restraints?
                          (NURSE SLUTT whispers further
                           into his ear, then HE
                           addresses the WHITES)
            Excuse me for one moment, Mr. White, Mrs. White.  Little
            family emergency.  Dr. Salad, get them some tea, man!

                                   DR. SALAD 2

                                   DR. SALAD
            SOME TEA!  SOME TEA!
                          (HE leaves with the NURSE)

                                   MRS. WHITE
            But I don't want any tea.
                          (DR. SALAD 2 gives them a
                           toothy grin, then begins to
                           sing softly with a rasp,
                           almost like the whole song is
                           happening somewhere in the
                           back of his throat)

                                   DR. SALAD 2
            I gok ma topf hot...
            I gok ma cayne...
            I awe dresthed uuuup...
                          (There is a mournful howl in
                           the outside corridor followed
                           by a few blood curdling

                                   DR. SALAD 2 (cont'd)
            Uh oh.  Bad.
                          (DR. SALAD enters, slightly
                           flustered with a squirt of red
                           liquid on his lab coat)

                                   DR. SALAD
            Yes, well, here I am, back again.  Sorry about that. 

                                   DR. SALAD 2
                          (to the Whites)
            Goo-bye.  I wuv you.
                          (DR. SALAD 2 leaves)

                                   DR. SALAD
            Oh, isn't he an absolute joy?  Want to adopt him?  Ha!  So,
            where were we?  Ah yes, a baby!  A little bundle of joy. 
            What have we got so far...healthy--check, female--check,
            human--check, beautiful, tall, ectomorph--check, check,
            check, and some outraaaageous knockers!!!

                                   MR. WHITE
            Now just a moment, what's all this about "human"?

                                   DR. SALAD

                                   MR. WHITE
            You said "human--check."  What does that mean, exactly?

                                   DR. SALAD
            Well, my dear Mr. White, you do want a "human" baby, don't

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Of course we do!

                                   MR. WHITE
            I'll handle this, dear.  Now see here, Dr. Salad.  I don't
            know what sort of place you're running here...

                                   DR. SALAD
            I mean I just assumed.  We can mix in chimp DNA, or gorilla,
            for example.  It's possible.  Still working on cow for the
            Christmas rush...

                                   MR. WHITE
            A human!  A human!  A human! 

                                   MRS. WHITE

                                   MR. WHITE
            There's never been any question about that!  What sort of
            freaks of nature are you spawning in this Godforsaken

                                   DR. SALAD
            Actually, nature has very little to do with it, Mr. White.
                          (HE gets an idea)
            Ding!  That reminds me, I am required by the sturgeon general
            to provide a "warning label," if you will, for our product.
                          (HE goes over to a pull down
                           chart on a stand and pulls
                           down a large poster, revealing
                           the first of several startling
                           renderings of terribly
                           deformed babies.  MR. and MRS.
                           WHITE gasp in horror)

                                   MR. WHITE
            Good God!

                                   MRS. WHITE

                                   DR. SALAD
            Our product comes with a ninety-nine percent rate of full one
            hundred percent pure satisfaction, but I am required by law
            to inform you that there is a one percent margin of error in
            every one hundred cases, if we actually were to test one
            hundred cases.
                          (HE pulls down another
                           grotesque baby picture.  Again
                           the Whites gasp.)
            What this means to you, the layman and laywoman, pardon the
            double entendre, is that this science is not a perfect one,
            but pretty damn near close!  
                          (HE pulls down the final
                           picture of a deformed baby
                           which looks to be a mixture of
                           cow and baby)
            Ah yes, still working on that cow.

                                   MR. WHITE
            You, Doctor, are a madman!

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Let's just go, John.

                                   DR. SALAD
            Mr. White, Mrs. White.  Did I tell you about our Labor Day

                                   MR. WHITE
            This is blasphemy!  Witchcraft!  You--you--Dr. Frankenstein!

                                   DR. SALAD
                          (On his soap box)
            You think you can hurt me?  You think I haven't heard those
            slings and arrows before?  I am a "scientist," damn you!  And
            I am not the first of my profession to be oppressed by the
            superstitious and the unenlightened.  What do you think they
            told Galileo when...that coconut fell on his head?  Or when
            Thomas Edison discovered cheese?  When Einstein discovered
            his theory of relatives.  Witch!  Heretic! Blasphemer!  But
            did they not persevere?  Did they not endure?  In this great
            nation of ours, at this the dawn of a new scientific era, we
            not only have the knowledge, but the freedom to create a
            better world...a world of perfection born in a test tube...a
            world of demigods.  And in this great nation of ours, if we
            make a few "miscalculations along the way, the sacrifice is
            worth it for the greater good of mankind!  GOD BLESS AMERICA,
                          (NURSE SLUTT bursts in)

                                   NURSE SLUTT
            Dr. Salad!

                                   DR. SALAD
            Nurse Slutt?

                                   NURSE SLUTT
            The sedative has worn off!

                                   DR. SALAD
            Good God, man!  Bring me the dart gun.  Increase the dosage
            by fifty cc's.
                          (DR. SALAD 2 enters and runs to
                           embrace DR. SALAD)

                                   DR. SALAD 2

                                   MR. WHITE
            My God!  You circus freak show!

                                   MRS. WHITE

                                   DR. SALAD
            Don't you talk about my precious boy that way, or I'll
            introduce you to his brother!  
                          (Consoling DR. SALAD 2)
            There, there.  There, there, my good boy.
                          (To the WHITES)
            Perhaps you'd better leave.  I don't think we can help you

                                   MR. WHITE
            With pleasure.

                                   MRS. WHITE
            Thank you anyway--

                                   MR. WHITE

                                   DR. SALAD
            Nurse Slutt, show these people...the door.

                                   NURSE SLUTT
            Doctor, no!

                                   DR. SALAD
            The door!

                                   NURSE SLUTT
            Not the door!

                                   DR. SALAD
            Show them...THE DOOR.

                                   MRS. WHITE
            We can see ourselves out...

                                   NURSE SLUTT
            Very well, Doctor.
                          (NURSE SLUTT and THE WHITES

                                   DR. SALAD
            There, there, my precious boy.  It's not your fault.  You are
            not to blame.  You are...beautiful.  You are a child of
            questions and dreams and exploration.  In our travels in this
            great journey of life, we will encounter the unenlightened,
            the ignorant.  But we must be strong.  We must educate.  It
            is our sworn duty to show them that science must march on. 
            Science...must...march on.

                          (The lights fade to black)

                          (END OF PLAY)

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