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Fairy Tales of the Absurd script excerpt
from "One Head Too Many"


by Edward Einhorn

Copyright 2004 by Edward Einhorn. All rights reserved. Contact Edward Einhorn if you are interested in obtaining performace rights.

ONE HEAD TOO MANY

by Edward Einhorn

 

NARRATOR

Once upon a time, in a kingdom on the other side of the universe, there lived a Princess named Lilla-ma-Lilly-ma-Lally-ma-Lo.But everyone called her Princess Lilla, because really, thatís the only reasonable thing to do when someone has such a ridiculous name.Princess Lilla was a perfectly beautiful Princessóas were her two younger sisters, Princess Filla-ma-Filly-ma-Fally-ma-Fo and Princess Gilla-maÖwell, you get the picture.The Queen was very proud of the princessesí royal syllables, since she and the King were both simply named Jo.

These princesses were the most beautiful girls in the kingdom.They had to be.Their parents had passed a law.As a result, every girl who had a chance to be as pretty as Princesses L, F or G deliberately uglified herself, so that she would not be considered more beautiful than the Princesses.Fortunately, the princesses really were extraordinarily pretty, with faces bright and shiny and hands that were soft and blue.But just in case, all the even somewhat pretty girls in the kingdom left their hair in tangles and their dresses in tatters.Some particularly pretty girls blacked their teeth and drew on fake scars.And nobody, but nobody, with beautiful blue hands like the Princessesí, went out of doors without green gloves (green hands were definitely not considered attractive).

Their parents had a secret worry, however, despite their daughtersí beauty.

PRINCESS LILLA

Daddy, why do you and mother always look at my neck so queerly?

KING JO

Just checking, dear.

PRINCESS LILLA

Checking what?

KING JO

Oh, nothing.Um, you havenít grown any extra, um, heads, lately, that you havenít told us about.

PRINCESS LILLA

No.No, I havenít.Why do you always ask me that?No one else checks their childrenís necks for extra heads, as far as I know.

QUEEN JO

Well, you can never be too careful.

KING JO

Now, if you do grow an extra head, you will mention it, wonít you dear?

PRINCESS LILLA

Yes, if Iíve told you once, Iíve told you a hundred times, Iíll tell you if I grow an extra head.

QUEEN JO

Because remember you grew that pimple once, and you didnít tell us for two days.

PRINCESS LILLA

It was just a pimple.

KING JO

It could have been a tiny head.

PRINCESS LILLA

It wasnít a head!

KING JO

You can never be too careful.

QUEEN JO

You know, it will soon be marrying time.And princes donít like girls with too many heads.Isnít that true, dear?

KING JO

Yes, if your mother had had two or three heads when I met her, I might not have noticed how beautiful she was.

PRINCESS LILLA

Would it be too much to ask if one day went by without your giving me a lecture about growing a new head!

QUEEN JO

Yes, dear.Sorry, dear.Why donít you go and play?

NARRATOR

After Princess Lilla left, her parents looked at each other and sighed with worry.You see, years ago, in order to overcome King Joís motherís objections to his future wife, King Jo had made a deal with a witch. For Queen Jo had not always been Queen Jo.She had not even been Princess Jo, once long ago.She had been just plain Jo, and she had been a scullery maid in the palace.Now, though Jo was just a scullery maid, she was thought to be the most beautiful girl in the kingdom, because of her smooth, bald head and, of course, her soft, blue hands.And King Jo, who had never been just plain Jo, but was in fact Prince Jo at the time, took many sidelong glances at the future Queen Jo when he passed her in the hall.

KING JO

Motheró

NARRATOR

He was speaking to his mother, Queen Zilda, at the time.

KING JO

I want to marry Jo.

QUEEN ZILDA

You want to marry yourself?

KING JO

No, not myself.Jo.

QUEEN ZILDA

But thatís your name.You canít marry yourself, dear.All the other kings will laugh.

KING JO

I donít want to marry myself.

QUEEN ZILDA

Iím glad that reason won out.Youíre not exactly the brightest prince, but you do come around eventually.

KING JO

I want to marry Jo.

QUEEN ZILDA

Dear, we just discussed this.You canít marryó

KING JO

Not me.Girl Jo.

QUEEN ZILDA

Well, thatís an improvement, I suppose.But I donít know any princesses named Jo.

KING JO

Sheís not a princess.Sheís a scullery maid.

QUEEN ZILDA

I see.You know, dear, maybe marrying yourself wasnít such a bad idea.Some kings pull off madness quite well, actually.

KING JO

No, I want to marry Jo.She smells so wonderful, just like flowers and disinfectant.

QUEEN ZILDA

I donít think this is a good idea at all, dear.She is not meant to be a queen.If you make her one, she will miss all that scrubbing and hard work.Sheíll long for the days she was elbow deep in soapy water, and sheíll ask you to allow her to put back on her rags.You should marry Princess Xxyta, instead.Sheís quite fond of you, you know, and she has a kingdom that it takes two or three days to walk through, rather than a single afternoon.She will not resent you for taking her away from her drudgery.

KING JO

No.Princess Xxyta is not nearly as pretty as Jo.And I would never learn how to spell her name.Joís name is easy to spell.Itís spelled G-O, just like mine.

QUEEN ZILDA

Thatís J-O, dear.

KING JO

Oh, yes, J-O.You see, Iíve learned it already.Iíll spell it again.G-O.

QUEEN ZILDA

J-O, dear.

KING JO

Thatís what I meant, J-O.Oh Mother, I love her so much, I could spell her name all day long.

QUEEN ZILDA

In time, youíll grow tired of that.And Joís beauty will fade.My hands were blue once, too.But as I grew older they grew greener, as most womenís hands do.Marry Princess Xxyta.No matter what, a big kingdom lasts forever.

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