The Funeral

Cast and Characters

HERMAN, mid-thirties man

TOUCAN, mainly black bird with orange beak

ALICIA, attractive young woman, ex-employee and ex-girlfriend of HERMAN

BILL, mid-thirties man

(Lights up on a cemetery. A number of gravestones line up in rows around the area. There is a tall tree and a tall statue near the back of the stage. HERMAN stands in front of a large, ornately designed gravestone.)

HERMAN

(Muttering sadly to himself)

So this is it, huh? I'm the only one here? You would think more people would come. I didn't get the wrong date did I?

(HERMAN takes out a sheet of paper and looks at it for a few seconds)

Nope. May 21st, it says. I mean, at least the rest of the family should be here. This is utterly preposterous! I paid for everything in advance. There should be no excuses as to why anyone wouldn't come.

(A rather large, black TOUCAN enters and lands next to HERMAN.)

TOUCAN

Ah, there you are. You know, most people, if they run away from me, usually find a hiding spot, like in a pile of leaves or in a ditch. But you? A cemetery? Surely you can do better than this. Then again, most people don't usually run away when I appear before them. And I always find the ones that do.

(Pauses)

Usually in those hiding spots.

HERMAN

(HERMAN looks surprised.)

You again?

TOUCAN

Well, it is my job to find people like you and bring them to the right place.

HERMAN

But I am in the right place, at the right time. In fact, it's everyone else who's late. Can you believe this? I paid all that money for the funeral, even for this expensively designed gravestone. You'd think more people would show up.

TOUCAN

Yeah, yeah, maybe people just don't like you. I surely don't, giving me all this trouble. And my boss is not a patient man. Sometimes he can be nice and even funny. But most times, he's just downright mean… and scary. He also needs a wardrobe change, if you ask me. Surely a pink or a fuchsia would look better. And scare less people. Maybe even a soft blue. But noooo, it's always black. You get tired of it after a while.

HERMAN

(Gives the TOUCAN a questioning look)

But… aren't you black as well? Mostly, at least, except for your beak.

TOUCAN

(Looks at himself and flaps his wings in front of him)

Huh, guess so. My boss tends to like black things. I guess to make himself look foreboding and sinister. Can't blame him with the kind of job he runs.

HERMAN

Sounds like you don't like your boss very much.

TOUCAN

Nah, I just complain about him from time to time. He's not such a bad guy. Just rather drab sometimes. I am one of his most highly regarded servants.

HERMAN

Servant? Ha! If I hated my boss, especially viewed as only a servant, I would quit. But then again, I am the boss of my company, and I would fire my employees before they quit, like my ex-girlfriend. Haha! Shows them! How dare they even think about quitting in my successful company and how dare she cheat on me!

TOUCAN

(Flies on top of gravestone and sits on it.)

You had a girlfriend? Hard to believe.

HERMAN

(Runs towards TOUCAN and tries to shoo him away)

Hey! Get off that gravestone! You're ruining it!

(TOUCAN flies off before HERMAN could tackle him and lands on a nearby tree. HERMAN then gives a satisfied smile.)

She was only my girlfriend for about a week. We started out okay, but then she started seeing me less and less. Then I got pissed off, she broke up with me so I fired her.

TOUCAN

So you fired her because she broke up with you? Bit harsh if you ask me. And unreasonable.

HERMAN

(Not really listening to the TOUCAN's comment)

Then there was that employee of mine! He was one of my best employees. I think Bill was his name. You could almost call him my friend. He kept staring at her like she was some sort of goddess. Sure, she was hot as hell, but that pissed me off as well so I fired him too.

TOUCAN

(Sarcastically)

And I wonder why nobody's here.

HERMAN

Are you done yet? You're wasting my precious time.

TOUCAN

(Flies from the tree branch and hovers in front of MAN's face)

Haha! Precious time, my ass! You don't got more time! And what's left for you to do? Nothing!

HERMAN

(Glares at the TOUCAN)

That's not true. After thinking about it for the past 2 days, I do want to actually apologize to her for my unfairness.

TOUCAN

And I suspect this is why you've been running from me?

HERMAN

(Nods)

Yeah. Unfinished business, you could call it.

TOUCAN

(Laughs mockingly)

Lies! Stop wasting my time. I would really like this to be done with as little disputes as possible so if you would just come along with me-

HERMAN

(An irritated look appears on HERMAN'S face)

You are annoyingly persistent. If I bought you a box of Fruit Loops, would you leave me alone?

TOUCAN

(Shakes his right wing angrily at HERMAN)

Look here you insufferable human! For the past 2 days I've been hunting you down like a damn fox hunting rabbits. Do you know how behind schedule I am?

HERMAN

Hmph, maybe you should learn better time management. I'm sure there are thousands of other people to get. Just go after them first. And being human is much better than having your low IQ bird brain. You also need to get your bird feathers out of my face.

TOUCAN

(Squawks loudly while ruffling its feathers furiously.)

How dare you insult someone as important as I! Fine then! After the next bunch of people on my list, I'll be back for you. You just wait. Then no more mister nice toucan! You better spend the next thirty minutes in this world wisely human!

(Exits by flying away angrily. Then reenters and hides behind a large statue.)

HERMAN

Finally, that stupid bird is gone. Now I can think of my apology in peace.

(He thinks for a few seconds. Then turns around. As he does, ALICIA enters. She disregards him and looks at the gravestone. A look of disgust appears on her face.)

HERMAN

Ah! Alicia! You came! I have to apolo-

ALICIA

(Interrupts before HERMAN finishes his sentence)

I hate you. Even now, standing here, I can still see every bit of your arrogance, selfishness and narcissism. I don't even know why I came here.

HERMAN

(Looks offended)

Hey now, you don't even let me finish, that's not fair. Now, I know that I did some pretty nasty things back then in the company, but that's why I'm apologizing.

(Walks up to ALICIA)

Alicia, (pause) I'm sorry for what I've done.

ALICIA

(5 second pause)

You know, back when I first joined your company, I really admired and looked up to you. You were smart, handsome, and rich and I agreed to go out with you. But then when I got to know you better, those were just superficial qualities. And then when I broke up with you, you continued making those advances on me. You became unbearable every time I looked at you. I mean, forcing me to be your girlfriend again? Who the hell did you think you are?

HERMAN

(Looks slightly embarrassed)

Well, I am rich, handsome, and smart. I also saw that you enjoyed our first date at the expensive restaurant. Sure I complained a lot about the food and made a huge racket, but you can't really blame me. And you can't really blame me for forcing that on you either since I always got what I wanted as a kid. Actually, you can blame that on my parents. It was their upbringing, really. I just—

ALICIA

(Interrupts before HERMAN finishes his sentence)

And you even fired me for not agreeing! But you know what was worse than that? You even fired Bill!

HERMAN

(Suddenly looks angry)

Oh don't you bring him up too! He was way below your league! How can you even think about mentioning-!

ALICIA

(Interrupts before HERMAN finishes his sentence)

Sure, he's a pretty average guy in all areas, but to me he's better than you in every aspect. He's kind, helpful, never overbearing and humble, something you would never know even if hell freezes over.

HERMAN

(Covers his ears)

Well you know what? I'm not listening! Lalala! I'm not listening!

ALICIA

(Long pause)

Ugh, I should go. I felt bad if I didn't come to pay my respect, but it apparently had the opposite effect.

(She turns to leave but stops when BILL enters)

Bill! You came!

HERMAN

(First looks surprised then looks furious)

Why the hell is this guy here? Who invited him? I sure as hell didn't! How dare you! You have some nerve! Why—

BILL

(Approaches ALICIA, without considering HERMAN)

I thought you said you weren't coming here?

ALICIA

I wasn't but then I felt guilty about it and decided to anyway.

HERMAN

(Still looks furious)

Oh, so you're the reason why he's here? Should have known.

BILL

(Shyly)

I… I actually wasn't planning to come either but-

HERMAN

So you shouldn't have! What a stupid man you are, making such a decision as to come here! Uninvited!

(Looks indignant and crosses his arms in front of his chest)

BILL

(Quietly to himself)

Did any way because of you.

ALICIA

What was that last part?

BILL

Oh nothing! Nothing at all! I guess I was feeling guilty as well. (laughs weakly)

ALICIA

Hmmm.

BILL

(A short pause. Then walks up to gravestone and stares at it)

Pretty fancy, eh?

ALICIA

I guess.

HERMAN

Guess? You should be agreeing! I spent good money on that!

BILL

(Scratches his head)

Still can't believe he fired me. What did I do wrong? I thought I was doing my best with the work I was assigned to.

HERMAN

Yeah! Too bad you blew it for stalking my girlfriend!

ALICIA

It wasn't your fault. He fired you because… (uneasily) because you… uh… were paying too much attention to me. At least, that's what I think.

BILL

(Blushes)

Oh, was it that obvious?

(Pauses again. Then turns to look at ALICIA)

Alicia. I wanted to tell you this for a long time now. I…

(Pause. BILL looks nervous and starts stuttering)

I… I love you!

HERMAN

(Absolutely fuming and his face turns bright red)

What? That's outrageous! How dare you pronounce your love to her! That's supposed to be me! Again!

ALICIA

(Looks at BILL in shock. Then smiles.)

Oh, Bill. I love you too!

(BILL and ALICIA embrace, then break up and look at each other in the eyes. Then the two of them take one last look at the gravestone.)

I guess if there's one selfless thing he did, it was bring us together. Even if it was unintentional.

BILL

Yeah.

(The two of them smile at this comment, and then look as if about to kiss.)

HERMAN

OH HELL NO! I'm not allowing for this!

(HERMAN walks in between the two of them and puts his arms between them. The two completely ignore this and kiss)

(TOUCAN suddenly emerges from behind the statue)

TOUCAN

Haha! This is the best comedy I've seen. Bravo!

(TOUCAN clap with his wings, laughing)

HERMAN

(Turns around and angrily points his finger at TOUCAN)

How dare you laugh at this! This is NOT want I wanted! She was supposed to be with me! I even apologized!

TOUCAN

You just don't get it, do you? In this world, and the next one, you can't get everything you want. You're no longer the five-year-old child getting pampered to death (TOUCAN chuckles at this) by your parents. It's too late for you to do anything now. You brought this all upon yourself. For some human with your (says this mockingly) high IQ, you sure are socially inept. I think it's time you go to where you belong.

HERMAN

No! I'm not leaving! Not yet! I'm going to stay here forever and haunt them for the rest of their lives! I'll make them suffer! That's show them! Let me stay like this!

TOUCAN

(Shakes his head)

Sorry, no can do. Only ones with special circumstances can, which you do not. And even they leave this world eventually. If you keep delaying I'll use force to make you come with me. It's not like I have no powers of my own.

HERMAN

(Glares at the bird. Then looks at the retreating couple and finally at the gravestone. He steps aside and the gravestone reveals the name HERMAN A. PRIDES)

(Reluctantly)

Fine. Guess I might as well since I have nothing left here.

(sighs)

Let's go.

TOUCAN

Now that's the spirit! Get it? Haha.

(HERMAN stares at TOUCAN, not amused.)

Yeah yeah. It was bad. I was only trying to liven up the mood, you know. Let's go on our way then.

(Raises his right wing and brings it down. As he does curtain falls)