The Universe Game
(When the curtain goes up, three characters are on stage. In the background are a man and a woman in a golfing pose, immobile. In front of them at center-stage, is the narrator. She presents the story and immediately steps off to the side.)
Narrator: Once upon a time there were two bored gods, who decided to play a round of cosmic golf. They picked up their clubs and placed their balls of compressed energy in infinite space. Female Ertheope (erth-E-o-pee) and male Oceal (O-shel) lifted their clubs, and whacked their balls.
(Man and woman in the background unfreeze. The woman's name is Ertheope, the man's Oceal. They start talking while still playing golf.)
Ertheope: (In annoyed tone) Well, now what? Oceal, I will never understand how you can possibly like this game. It's boring!
Oceal: Your idea of making up words was hardly any better. Come on, let's practice our swing.
Ertheope: (Going along unwillingly) If it makes you happy, I'll go first.
Oceal: (Starting to get annoyed by Ertheope's attitude) Well, if you're complaining about it, then I'll go first.
Narrator: (Her voice is heard from the background) But Ertheope ignored Oceal, and this time both gods swung their clubs at the same time. The two balls collided, resulting in a massive explosion. They shattered into a plethora of smaller balls. Some of these became dry, while some stayed warm and bright. Groups of dull ones then started circling the shiny balls. What had happened?
Ertheope: (Suddenly overjoyed) Wow! It's beautiful. This is a lot better than "Cosmic Golf" – whatever that was supposed to be. Let's play a new game. I'll call it "Universe."
Ertheope: (Indicating invisible points above their heads) I'm going to name you all stars, and this one will be called… um… "Sun!"
Oceal: (In a very matter of fact way) I wouldn't get too attached to it. (Pointing at one star) You see that "star" over there?
Ertheope: (Looking at star) Yeah, so?
Oceal: (Obviously still mad at Ertheope for her previous complaining) Watch it… watch it… ha!! (In a sneering tone) Your stupid star went out.
Ertheope: (Angrily) It wasn't stupid! You're just jealous because you haven't named anything yet.
Ertheope: I'm going to name this cutesy little sphere "Planet Earth."
Oceal: (Competitive tone) Whoa, hold your horses! Planet Earth? You're naming it after yourself? That's a dumb name.
Ertheope: Well, let's hear you name something.
Oceal: Fine, I will. I'm not only going to name something. I'm going to create something.
(Again the voice of the narrator sounds from the background. In the meantime Oceal is mimicking what the narrator is explaining.)
Narrator: And he took one of the dying blue stars and plucked it out of the sky. Then Oceal melted it and covered Earth with the clear blue tinted liquid.
Oceal: (Mocking Ertheope's previous sentences naming the Earth) And I'm going to name this cutesy little blob of water 'Ocean.'
(They engage in a fight for power, not really angry, but each trying to prove themselves more creative. Their hands show what they are saying.)
Ertheope: Well, I'm going to lift a part of the Earth and make it float on your Ocean.
Oceal: I'm going to make holes and slits in your Earth and let my Ocean flow into it.
Ertheope: I'll make my Earth take away the salt from your inland Ocean. And I'll make tall parts of my Earth "Mountains," so that your Ocean can't cover my Earth.
Oceal: Well, part of my Oceans will evaporate and fall from the sky, soft and sweet and white and that will be named "Rain" and "Snow." Ha! – and you thought I could make up names. But if you make me angrier, I'll make my Rain violent and it will become "Tempests" and "Hurricanes" and "Tidal waves."
Ertheope: Fine. You're good with names. But my warm Earth will drink your Rain and will grow green hair and colored dancing arms that will be known as "Plants" and "Trees."
Oceal: I'll bet I can create Plants in the Ocean.
Ertheope: (Rolling eyes) You are such a copycat!
Oceal: (Defensively) No, I'm not.
Ertheope: (Insisting) Yes, you are.
Oceal: I'll show you I'm not a copycat. Inside my Ocean there will be living creatures of all kinds and I'll call them "Fish."
Ertheope: (Talking increasingly faster to show that she is more original and ingenious.) I can also have living creatures on my Earth and in the air above my Earth, gorgeous and diverse species. There will be "Insects" and "Birds" and "Reptiles" and "Rodents" and "Mammals…"
Oceal: (Understanding how ridiculous the situation is becoming, he tries to speak calmly in a conciliatory tone.) Why don't we play nice? Let's create something together. One of your… what did you say last? Mammals?
Ertheope: (Giving in.) All right. I propose two beings of every kind and the superior ones will resemble you and me.
Oceal: (Sounding happier now.) My superior creature will be strong, intelligent, determined, and independent. His name will be "Man."
Ertheope: (No longer competitive, but mischievous.) Mine will be caring, even more intelligent, beautiful, and sophisticated: Wow-man… "Woman."
Oceal: (Smiling now. Joking tone.) You always have to win. This game is fun, but exhausting. What if we add some more details tomorrow?
Ertheope: (Smiling too and now content.) I agree. We should call it a day. Would you care for dinner? I'm starving!