魚與貓咬狗 ~ Fish and Cat Bite Dog
We finished off our Radio Plays class by writing a black comedy chock full of references to our textbook’s plays and the Frank Garrett Online Community. Rated PG-13.
Fish and Cat Bite Dog
English Translation of a Taiwanese Radio Play by Brian Hewson, Casey Hoerth, and James Smyth
Frank Garrett: The owner of a pole-barn building firm in Yilan and a frequent target of prank phone calls.
Mr. Fish: A mailman who has recently immigrated from Hong Kong, where his wife and family still live.
Puss in Boots: A talking cat who helps his owner sell real estate. He thinks he is his owner’s biological son.
Retardo: Frank’s dog. Very friendly but not very bright.
Linda: Frank’s daughter.
On the evening of Chinese New Year’s Day
Frank: Mr. Fish, Happy New Year! Come in, come in!
Fish: Frank, Happy New Year!
Frank: Is your family doing well?
Fish: I talked to them on the phone today. My daughter’s studies are going well. You know, it’s tough for me to live alone in Taiwan.
Frank: I’ll bet it is.
Fish: Yep…anyway, how’s your family doing?
Frank: Great! Fat and happy all around, thank you very much!
The phone rings.
Frank: Excuse me, I have to answer the phone. Have a seat, have a seat! Linda, come over here and ask Mr. Fish what he’d like to drink.
Frank (answering the phone): Duncan Construction. …Do what? You’ve got the wrong number, son! I don’t have no bulldozer! What in God’s name are you jabbering about? Go to hell! He slams the phone down on the receiver.
Fish: Happy New Year, Miss Linda. These decorations are lovely!
Linda: You’re too kind. Would you like something to drink?
Fish: Do you have any baijiu [white spirits]? Why don’t we drink together? By the way, are you free this Saturday?
Linda: Uh, I’m sorry, that day I have to take my relative who’s visiting from America to the police radio station to donate money to their relief fund for the needy.
Fish: Well then, how about next Saturday?
Linda: Um, I’m sorry, that day my brother is taking me to have birthmarks removed, to have my fortune told, and so on, you know…
Fish: Okay, how about the Saturday after next?
Linda: I have to buy shoes.
Retardo barks happily and endlessly and then bites Mr. Fish. Frank returns.
Frank: Retardo, bad dog, bad dog! Sorry, dogs just love mailmen!
Fish: Err, I can see that, ha ha.
Linda: I’ll go get your baijiu.
The doorbell rings. Frank answers it.
Frank: Mr. Cat, Happy New Year!
Cat: Frank, may all your dreams come true this year! Your house looks fantastic!
Retardo barks happily and endlessly and bites Puss in Boots. The two fight.
Frank: I’m sorry about that! Dogs just love to chase cats.
Cat: I’m not quite sure what you mean…
Frank: Well, he’s a dog, and you’re a…nah, forget it, let’s change the subject. I heard your business, the Good Catch Company, is doing great!
Cat: It is, isn’t it! Ever since I appeared on China Entertainment Television, we’ve had a crush of new customers from the mainland. They’re whispering to each other, “That Meow’s more charismatic than Mao!”
Frank: Great! By the way, would you like something to drink? We have several varieties of milk.
Cat: A glass of wine would be splendid, but I’d like to talk to you about something first. It’s a bit of a sensitive subject, but I can’t hold back any longer.
Frank: Don’t beat around the bush, then. Out with it, my man!
Cat: All right, all right. …I would like to ask you for your daughter’s hand in marriage.
Frank: No. Aw, hell no.
Cat: I’ll protect you and take care of you. You’ll never have to leave me.
Frank: I don’t care how much money you have. The problem is that my daughter is a human being, and she can’t marry a cat.
Frank: I can’t keep this from you any longer. You were adopted. Your family feeds you and gives you nice boots to wear and treats you like a son. But actually, you’re only their cat.
Cat: Frank…I’m in shock!
The phone rings.
Frank: As for that thing you asked me about…forget it. Sorry, I’ve gotta go.
Frank (answering the phone): Do what? …Leave me alone, you goddamn son of a bitch! He hangs up violently.
Cat (alone): Why did my parents abandon me, their son? Did they love me at all?
Puss in Boots and Mr. Fish are drinking baijiu and smoking marijuana on the porch.
Cat: Hey, Fish, come over here, I something to say to you.
Fish: Hm, what’s that?
Cat: Closer, closer, I don’t want anyone else to hear it…
Fish: Okay, okay! What is it?
Cat: Fish, my buddy, my pal…it’s Retardo! I just can’t stand him. I know he gets on your nerves, too.
Fish: DOES he! When I came over here the other night, he went rabid as soon as he saw me. And then he chased you up a tree!
Cat: I don’t want to talk about that ever again! It was too embarrassing, especially when they had to call the fire department to get me down! I was furious, and I had to get my revenge on him. One more cup, thank you.
Fish: Right! And when I’m trying to have a nice chat with Frank’s daughter, Retardo’s always peeing on the floor or licking himself. It really kills the romance.
Fish: What should we do?
Cat (quietly): You want to do something about it together?
Fish (quietly): Definitely!
Cat: All right! Tonight, let’s kill that stupid dog…that’ll teach him a lesson! Mwahahaha!!
Linda (eavesdropping from the window): Oh my God!
Cat: Hm? Did you hear something?
Fish: Nothing. Don’t worry about it; everyone’s either sleeping or drunk. Anyway, how should we kill him? I have a chainsaw. How does that sound?
Cat: Nah, too gruesome. …I’ve got it, let’s poison him! That stupid dog will eat anything, so it’ll be easy. And since Frank isn’t very bright, he’ll blame his paparazzi. What do you think?
Fish: It’s too good to be true! It’s no wonder we’re such good friends; we’re both so clever. Let’s have another drink. Cheers!
Fish and Cat: Mwahahahaha!
Linda (mumbling to herself, frightened): Conspirators! Oh, my! Poor Retardo…
Act III: Dirt Work
Frank: I’m so angry, I could kill them! I know who got Retardo; it’s those damn paparazzi. They went too far this time!
Linda: Dad, wait! Actually…
Frank: There’s nothin’ left to say! I’m gonna wring their goddamn necks!
Linda: Careful! Your blood pressure!
Frank: They never leave their names, but now I’ve found out who they are, and…
Linda: Dad, wait! Yesterday, I heard Mr. Fish and Puss in Boots talking. Can you guess what it was about? They were plotting to kill Retardo! The people who call you on the phone have nothing to do with it!
Frank: Do what? No way!
The phone rings again.
Frank (answering): WHAT? No, I don’t…nope…yeah, well, I need your help…mhm…I have really terrible news about Retardo. He was poisoned…mhm…really…ah! You got it! …my Mama’s got nothin’ to do with this; you shut the hell up! Hm…okay…well then…if y’all help me buy a dozer, we’ll call it even. Oh yeah, it’s on.
(Intermission. Dance Remix Music.)
Linda: Pa, why are you home so late? …Hm? Why were you out on your new bulldozer all day long?
Frank: It was a bad day for Fish and Cat. I slammed into their homes with my dozer and buried them.
Linda: No wonder I didn’t see you in the fields today. …Dad, you look great!
Frank: Yep! This is “an eye for an eye.” It’s all thanks to you, my lovely daughter, for telling me what happened. I settled the score, and you got a hundred percent!
Frank, Linda: Hahahaha!
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