|The Merry Comedy of Roberto the Penguin
Author: Mighty Mole PM
The tale of a funeral in a Zoo, what could go wrong?Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - Words: 948 - Published: 04-30-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3018159
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The Merry Comedy of Roberto the Penguin
The scene opens on a ginger haired man weeping over a casket. He seemingly cannot control himself as his sobs rack his body as well as the casket. A young man and woman walk in from stage left, staring awkwardly at the man crying on their father's casket. Antonio soon notices the two, and an expression of guilt comes over him as the young lady approaches him.
Sam: Did you know him well?
Antonio: [Between sobs] I… I looked after him for years…
Mitch: I haven't talked to him in years.
Sam: Were you his… Trainer?
Antonio: [After a short, nervous pause] Well… I did teach him a trick or two.
Mitch: Well, you cant teach him much these days, can you?
Sam: Mitch, he was your father!
Mitch: I was his abomination.
Antonio: He was my best friend!
Antonio breaks into another session of hysterics, collapsing onto the casket. Mitch crosses his sister and places his hand on Antonio's shoulder.
Mitch: [Leaning in] Can I have your tears for my sorrow cup?
He pulls out a small Styrofoam cup with a face drawn on it with an expression of angst.
Sam: Mitch… Lighten up, this is a funeral!
Mitch: [Straitens up] But I'm thirsty…
Sam sighs, looking around at the audience.
Sam: Maybe we should… Say a few words?
Mitch: Dad cared more about football than he ever cared about me, but I cared more about Tokio Hotel than I ever cared about him.
Sam: Mitch! I thought we talked about this…
Mitch: We did, I just chose to ignore you.
Sam, trying to stay calm, clears her throat and steps up to the podium.
Sam: I don't blame my father for naming me Sam… He wanted a son, but instead he got Mitch… He was a great man, and an even greater football player. You may have known him by his nickname, "The Beast", which was why he ordered us to have his funeral here… In the lion exhibit of the zoo… But I knew him as dad. I'll never forget those long distance birthday calls, Fed-Ex'd Christmas presents and awkward Thanksgivings with his girlfriend Pamela, whose Myspace pictures don't leave much to the imagination… Dad… You will be missed.
Mitch: You're smearing my eyeliner, sis.
Mitch takes Sam's place at the podium and leans forward, using said podium to support himself.
Mitch: My father was empty and superficial in life. I would assume he would be in death as well, but I really cant know… After all, he's dead.
Sam: Watch it…
Mitch: I know I should feel something for him…
Antonio turns to Mitch with a disgusted expression.
Antonio: How could you not! He was so-
Antonio breaks down in tears again, just falling to the ground.
Mitch: He was nothing but a scared, angry man with unresolved issues and a passion for red meant and handguns. I just hope that when I get to hell, we won't have to share the same room.
Sam: Alright Mitch, that's more than enough.
Sam pulls Mitch down to his seat and looks at the sobbing Antonio
Sam: Would you… Like to say a few words?
Antonio reaches for a tissue and blows his nose. He gives a solemn nod and readies himself.
Antonio: He was a great- [He takes a pause] great- I once watched him swim seven miles through icy waters, just to get his children some fish for dinner.
Mitch and Sam look to each other, confused.
Antonio: He always looked so snappy in black and white, and he always seemed to enjoy watching my interpretive dances for hours on end, just munching on his little ice chips. His absence will be a great loss here at the zoo.
Sam: [Standing up] Wait a minute… He never had time for the zoo! Just whose funeral do you think you're attending!
Antonio begins to back away, the look of guilt returning as he stumbles over his words.
Antonio: Well- uh… I mean- this… Its his funeral!
As Antonio attempts to explain, Mitch shuffles forward and opens the coffin, upstaging Antonio. Sam gasps at the contents inside and Antonio winces. Mitch has no reaction.
Sam: Oh… My God… I can't believe this!
Mitch: [Emotionless] Dad's a penguin.
Sam looks at Antonio, enraged.
Sam: Why is there some… Bird corpse where my father should be!
Antonio steps forward, centering himself.
Antonio: Alright! I confess! This isn't your father… Its Roberto, the little penguin that could and my best friend ever since I started working here at the zoo… Being a janitor is hard enough, but- When I first saw little Roberto, I knew he was special. When he died, I was devastated! All I asked for was a proper ceremony for Roberto, but those nuts in the zoo commission denied it! "We're sorry," they told me, "but he's just an animal…" An animal! He was my only friend!
Antonio breaks down once again and throws himself in the coffin.
Antonio: Why couldn't they have just left us alone! Oh, Roberto, why did you have to go!
Sam has missed this story, as she as been deep in thought.
Sam: Hold on… If Roberto is here… Where's our father?
Antonio stops sobbing, wipes away his tears and looks to the audience.
Antonio: Well, let's just say… Tony the tiger didn't exactly have frosted flakes this morning.
Mitch: [Eyes widen] Whoa…
The scene fades to black, a spotlight remains on the coffin which slowly shuts. The spotlight fades.