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The Living Methuselah script excerpt


by Edward Einhorn

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

To read the full script, BUY THE BOOK

The version below reflects the formatting and editing of the original script, not the book version.
THE LIVING METHUSELAH

SCENE 3

 

SERACH

Yes.Youíre the oldest man there is.

METHUSELAH

I made up a word for it once.Antediluvian.Iím antediluvian.Everybody else is postdiluvian, but Iím antediluvian.

SERACH

You didnít make it up.That was someone else.

METHUSELAH

No.Thatís impossible.Somebody else made up a word that only applies to me?Who else would make a word like that up?Was it you?

SERACH

No.I donít know who it was.

METHUSELAH

It must have been my handmaidens.

SERACH

You never had handmaidens.

METHUSELAH

I had them once.Maybe they werenít antediluvian.They must have been postdiluvian.

SERACH

No.They were neither.

METHUSELAH

Wait, I remember now.Gomorrah!Oh, that was a time.Talk about a fin de siecle feeling.And Lot was the worst of us.

(The DOCTOR enters, with his arms around the HANDMAIDENS.)

DOCTOR

Hey, old man, how are you doing?

METHUSELAH

Who are these two beautiful women?

DOCTOR

To tell the truth, old man, theyíre my two daughters, but youíd never know it, hey?

METHUSELAH

Your daughters?And the three of you are...

DOCTOR

They tricked me into it.Got me so drunk I didnít know what I was doing, or who I was doing it with, if you know what I mean.

SERACH

Wait, I thought that happened after Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

METHUSELAH

Pedant.

DOCTOR

So, you going to the big party Friday night?

METHUSELAH

Which one?It seems like all we have around here are big parties.

DOCTOR

This oneís even bigger.Theyíll have everyone there.I mean everyone.Sodomites, Gomorrhists.Weíll all get to know one another, as the biblical saying goes.

METHUSELAH

I donít know.I think God might disapprove.Heís can be kind of uptight about this kind of thing, Iíll tell you from experience.I told you the story of the great floodó

DOCTOR

Yeah, yeah, yeah, weíve all heard.But he promised never to do that again, didnít he?So weíre safe.

METHUSELAH

I guess...

DOCTOR

Theyíll be handmaidens there.

METHUSELAH

Handmaidens?

DOCTOR

By the handful.

METHUSELAH

What timeís the party?

(The HANDMAIDENS leave DOCTOR, line up behind METHUSELAH. Thereís a lighting change.Music cuts in.)

DOCTOR

And now announcing Methuselah and the Methusalettes.

METHUSELAH

Ainít gonna die,

Just gonna live,

ĎCause Iíve got plenty more

Loviní to give

Hope the kiddies

Remember my name,

But Iím gonna be here

Just the same

ĎCause Iím Methuselah

HANDMAIDENS

Heís Methuselah

METHUSELAH

Iím old Methuselah

HANDMAIDENS

Heís Methuselah

METHUSELAH

Iím Methuselah, baby, and Iím gonna live some more.

 

Lived through the plague

Lived through the flood

Many a foe has

Wanted my blood

Stab me to death

Cut off my head

Dammit that old man

Should be dead

But Iím Methuselah

HANDMAIDENS

Heís Methuselah

METHUSELAH

Iím old Methuselah

HANDMAIDENS

Heís Methuselah

METHUSELAH

Iím Methuselah, baby, and Iím gonna live some more.

 

Maybe some day

Iím gonna be sick

Call in the doctor

Gets here real quick

Tells me my lifeís

Soon at an end

I say doctor you do not

Comprehend

That Iím Methuselah

HANDMAIDENS

Heís Methuselah

METHUSELAH

Iím old Methuselah

HANDMAIDENS

Heís Methuselah

METHUSELAH

Iím Methuselah, baby, and Iím gonna live some more.

(Music ends.METHUSELAH turns to SERACH.)

Thatís what I call a song.Not that stupid Gershwin stuff.

(HANDMAIDEN 1 runs over to him, hands him a pad, which he autographs.)

Whatís your name, darling?

HANDMAIDEN 2

Hagar.

METHUSELAH

And what do you do, Hagar?

HANDMAIDEN 2

Iím just a handmaiden.

METHUSELAH

Really?

SERACH

Itís amazing.The oldest living human, and youíre still having the same fantasies you had at sixteen.

METHUSELAH

Have you seen Lot around here, tonight?

HANDMAIDEN 2

I think he left, already.

METHUSELAH

He left?Where did he go?

HANDMAIDEN 2

Some angel came by, I think.

METHUSELAH

An angel?Why did an angel come by?

HANDMAIDEN 2

I donít know.Something about us all being sinful, and having to destroy our whole city.He said there werenít even ten good men.If there were ten good men, he said, heís save the city.I said, youíve been going to the wrong parties.Come to one of mine, and Iíll show you ten good men.He didnít even laugh.You know how those angels can be.

(HANDMAIDEN 1 runs over.)

HANDMAIDEN 1

Can I have your autograph?

METHUSELAH

So heís left the city?

HANDMAIDEN 2

I think so.Why?

METHUSELAH

Iíve got to go.

HANDMAIDEN 1

But the partyís just beginning.Itís going to last all night.

METHUSELAH

Come with me.Both of you.I can save you.Godís going to destroy the city.

HANDMAIDEN 2

I know, I heard.Kaaa-pow!.

HANDMAIDEN 1

Kaaa-poo-eee!

METHUSELAH

Iím serious.

HANDMAIDEN 1

Then youíd better come with me.I donít want to die a virgin.

HANDMAIDEN 2

Me neither.

METHUSELAH

Listen, you have to believe me.Iíve seen him do worse.Come with me, before itís too late.

HANDMAIDEN 2

But itís already too late.That angel said the cityís going to be destroyed at midnight.Itís one minute to midnight now.

METHUSELAH

So we have one minute?

HANDMAIDENS

Uh huh.

(METHUSELAH steps away from HANDMAIDENS.They grab drinks, and start laughing.)

METHUSELAH

I renounce this city, itís sins, and everything within it!

(The HANDMAIDENS suddenly freeze.METHUSELAH walks over to them and touches them tentatively.They are immobile.He licks his finger.He looks over to SERACH.)

Salt.They were just salt.

SERACH

I know.

METHUSELAH

I hear the town was destroyed behind me, destroyed in fire and brimstone.If I had looked back, I would have become a pillar of salt, myself.

SERACH

But you didnít.

METHUSELAH

Because I couldnít bear to think of all those people, frozen there.How could I have renounced them all?I was one of them.And then I doomed them.

SERACH

You didnít doom them.You saved yourself.

METHUSELAH

I would have doomed them, if I had to, to save myself.I would have turned them into salt myself, to save my own skin.

SERACH

They were wicked.

METHUSELAH

So was I.

SERACH

You didnít do anything.You didnít do anything wrong.

METHUSELAH

I told myself I couldnít die, I had so much more to achieve.Have I achieved it yet?

SERACH

You still have time.

(METHUSELAH falls onto the floor, having convulsions.)


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