Cyber Corpse 2
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Send in the Clones
by Kathleen Welch (a.k.a. Major Hightower)

Cast of Characters:

The Humans

Jane: A concerned wife often on Prozac and married to Harry

Harry: Jane's husband who wears foot-massaging socks and heated ear pads

The Clones (All the clones are life-size, papier mache puppets.)

Jane Clone: (10-yrs. old) Cloned from Jane, has facial hair, crow's feet and bloated belly

Harry Clone: (9-yrs. Old) Cloned from Harry, very quiet and likes to eat Tostitos

Dick: A trailor-park clone from Chalmette

Rita: A waitress clone from Chalmette

Smoldering Man: A cloned cowboy who smokes Winstons and never speaks

Dr. Gail: A cloned therapist from an MIT petri dish


Act 1/Scene 1

A 12-step meeting for clones and friends of clones.

Jane a concerned wife, often on Prozac, sits at one end of a conference table. Her husband, Harry, sits at the other end. He is wearing foot-massaging socks and heated ear pads. They are considering cloning themselves. Between them are four puppet-clones, two from Chalmette. The other two clones include a cowboy who smokes Winstons and never speaks (a.k.a. "The Smoldering Man") and a learned therapist from an MIT petri dish.

Jane: Hi! I'm Jane and I'm clone friendly. (All answer with "Hi Jane!") I'm going to be your moderator tonight for this 12-step meeting for clones and friends of clones. Why don't we start off with a moment of silence followed by the serenity prayer. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Hi, I'm Jane and I'm going to be your moderator tonight.

Dick: (A trailor-park clone from Chalmette.) Is she a god damn broken record or what!

Jane: I'd first like to start off by saying what bothered me this week and how I dealt with it by using the power of the Program. I really feel that I'm learning to accept myself. I mean be comfortable in my own skin and not let people walk all over me.

Dick: You mean like a door mat?!

Jane: Dick, lets remember that we're not really speaking out of line here--so please let me try to finish since I am the moderator tonight. Well, friends, this happened last Friday. Harry and I have this really stupid neighbor who has this huge hound dog. This man doesn't work and just sits out front on his porch all day while his dog is out in OUR back yard pooping! So on Friday I tried to talk to him-- about this poop situation. I tried to explain that he should respect our property like we respect his but it was no use. I couldn't argue with him. He just said it was a matter of poop. Anyway, I started to get really mad but you know I tried not to show much of it. But I couldn't stop thinking about the serious piles of POOP in our yard and usually it's not a pile of poop but poop spread all over the place. And I don't own this poop. I'm not responsible for this poop and I have to deal with this poop on a daily basis. I was about to lose it. So, I took a deep breath and turned away from him. And walked away. And began to repeat the serenity prayer again and again and it worked! I was able to get home and have a cup of coffee. I did write him a long letter expressing my anger. I was going to put it in his mailbox. But I tore it up. It felt good though to write it all down. Well, that's my story and I really wanted to say how grateful I am for Clones Anonymous and how much the serenity prayer really helped me this week.

Dick: You know, I used that serenity prayer this week. Ah, yea I'm Dick and I'm a clone. (All say, "Hi, Dick!") I mean I don't pray or nothing. Life is rough. It's not always a bowl of cherries. It's hard, especially for a clone. Reminds me of this story about this dog. I mean shit happens. See there's these two girls I know. Well, one of these girls has this old dog, just farts and can't see worth shit. This girl was told by the vet that the old bitch needed to be put down. She couldn't do it. So she gave fifty bucks to the friend and asked her to take the dog to the vet and have him do it. She couldn't do it either--what big sissies. So her friend gave me the fifty bucks and told me to take the old slobber fart to the vet. Well, I start to think about the fifty bucks and I figure that's a lot of money and could buy a lot of beer. I mean fifty bucks is fifty bucks and that could buy a lot of Dixie. I could put that dog down in no time flat and buy the beer. I really wanted a drink--you know life ain't easy and work sucks. So I tie up old Yeller and get into my pickup and run back and over that mean sucker. It took a few runs. Well, I scraped up what was left of the old bitch and threw her in the river. This chick who gave me the fifty bucks asked me that night about the dog and I just said I took it to the vet.

(The puppeteer, who has been operating Dick, becomes Dick and moves downstage.)

I began to feel bad though because it was this chick's birthday and we've been kind of engaged for the past three years. So--I did what that Jane did. I looked at her and kind of remembered some of that serenity stuff and didn't buy the beer. I took her to Shoney's instead. The prayer stuff helped me not buy the Dixie and I still had most of the money left after Shoney's so I did something else for my girl--I took her to the Monster Truck Show. And I saw my cloner mom there and I began to feel like I was having a relapse. I still can't figure out if I'm just thinking and feeling or if SHE is. And you know she was such a drunk. This Jane says she can own her feelings. Shit--I can't own anything, especially me, whoever that is. Jesus! I read something about flatworms the other day in the paper and how if you cut up the sucker, say into six pieces, each piece will have the same memories and learning and stuff as the mother worm. Then these jerks compare the flat worm to clones, meaning we have the same memories and learning and experiences as our cloner moms. A FLATWORM! No wonder I feel like drinking Dixie!

Jane: Dick, thank you for sharing and bringing up issues dealing with your cloneness. I know you have a lot to deal with since you came from one of those black market clone farms in Paraguay--for defective moms. But we still accept you and I think we can learn so much from all of you. We hope to even learn more from you so that the little clones Harry and I hope to have will have the best home. It's important to remember that we can learn from each other and it's really wonderful that we're all so different and yet we're really the same.

Dick: You can say that again!

Jane: Does anyone else have anything to say tonight. Are there any announcements?

Dick: Yea, I'm having a party at my house next Saturday. It's potluck. I'm gonna cook a pot of weenies and chili on the side with lots of beans. We're gonna watch the Lost Weekend and ya all could bring some chips and shit.

Rita: (Rita is a cloned waitress from Chalmette. She was cloned from Dick's egg and once slept with Dick. They are now finding it hard to be in the same room together.) Dick, why do you always have to say shit and shit like that?!

Dick: Oh, Rita honey, can you please come to my fucking party?!

Rita: Jesus, Dick! Just because we come from that same bad egg down in Paraguay doesn't mean you can treat me that way!

Dick: I think you know where I live--just off Chef by the Okinawa Spa.

Rita: Hi! I'm Rita and I'm a clone! (All answer her with "Hi, Rita!) I just wanted to say that I'm also gonna have a party in a couple of weeks. It will be my birthday--a big two. For two years not a drop and you know I live in that trailor park behind the Okinawa. It's also been two years since I've been single. And that's been hard but I've decided I'm not gonna never let any man use me as some sort of door mat, even if I am a clone. It's been hard though. I was closing up Bubba's last Saturday, that's that Chalmette bar I work at. I started to remember all the great Saturday nights--you know that feeling of being so high. Or maybe my cloner ma felt that way. Anyway, I'm closing up Bubba's and starting to feel really lonely. It's about two in the morning. And Leroy is sitting there at the bar. I used to think Leroy was kind of good looking when I was drinking, but ya know, now he looks kind of bad. But, hey I ain't no spring chicken.

Dick: Spring chicken! She's half baked!!

Rita: (Glares at Dick.) Anyway, Leroy kind of leans over and breathes on me when I'm pickin up the bottles. God, his breath about knocked me over--100 proof! And you know I just wanted to have a drink so bad. I just felt so lonely and I wanted to escape from all this shit--lousy fuckin job, no fuckin man, no fuckin money. I said fuck it. I'm just gonna fuck Leroy and that way I'll forget all this fuckin shit.

Dick: She told ME to watch how I talked--I feel like I'm at Bubba's not at a meeting.

(The puppeteer, who has been operating Rita, becomes Rita and moves downstage.)

Rita: Like I said I just wanted to escape and I didn't want to drink or nothing. So, I thought what the hell--I'll sleep with Leroy and forget everything. And it got me through the night. I mean I didn't drink or nothing. But you know when I woke up I felt like so bad. Leroy stunk something awful and I just wanted to get his lunky ass out of the house and into his rusty old El Camino. He finally did get out of bed after I gave him some cash. God, it hit me then. I've done it again--slept with 100 proof and then gave him money! And I couldn't stop thinking what a fucking mess my life is.

I can't have no kids since it's illegal for clones. I'm just all alone. Why no one would care if I died or not. Then I turned on the TV and stared at the lines on the screen the whole day and thought of turning on the gas. I thought of it. And I just hurt so bad. I just wanted the pain to go away. And I was real close to putting my head in that oven. I thought why did those ponchos from Paraguay clone me? Why!! Didn't they know I came from a bad egg--the same as Dick's! Then I just happened to look up and saw on the wall, the serenity prayer. And you know I thought I'd go to Dr. Gail, our cloned therapist, and see if she can help me--get me some of that Prozac or maybe some of that stronger shit.

Dick: I don't know, Rita. There may be some side-effects or shit like that since those drugs haven't really been tested on us.

You know just because she's some cloned therapist from an MIT petri dish doesn't mean she can tell us what to do. All right she may look a lot slicker than you and me but looks ain't everything. Where is that Dr. Gail anyway?

(Dr. Gail, wearing disturbing, black rubber gloves appears. She is confined to a hand truck. She lip synchs a slow, distorted recording of the following monologue while her assistant slowly moves the hand truck around the stage.)

Dr. Gail: Dick, please don't frighten Rita. She needs our support at this time. Dick, please listen. We're all the same. Even though we are clones, we have the same brains as our progenitor parents. We all possess aspects of the Stone Age brain which evolved twenty thousand years ago to meet the conditions of life on the African savanna. At the same time, our neo-cortex in our brains has grown enormously in an incredibly short space of geological time. As a result of this freakish development, all of us possess the TUMOROUS neocortex, the reasoning part, which in its electro-chemical operation can be likened to an infinitely complex computer. Yet this tumorous overgrowth is imperfectly co-ordinated with the two other and older parts of our brains which we have inherited from primitive mammals and still more PRIMITIVE REPTILES. From this appalling flaw, comes our aggressiveness, unique in animal creation, and the dreadful predicament of humanity today which is intensifying exponentially thanks to recent advances in science and technology, (in a whisper) yes, cloning. But, we shouldn't feel guilty. My mother made that choice, when she legally cloned herself in an MIT petri dish.

OUR MOTHERS made that choice. Since we are all still biological freaks, a biological malfunction needs a biological corrective. The remedy must obviously be found in psychopharmacology which will reconcile our unique reasoning power with our primitive instincts. Also, our savanna brains are unable to keep pace with the bewildering rush of cultural and technological changes. Like any non-clone, we, too, feel the cumulative stresses of modern life which have set off an avalanche of depression, anxiety, insomnia, bulimia and other stress-induced disorders. Again, these modern environmental stressors call for chemical correction in order to increase certain neurotransmittors which are now deficient, such as seratonin. In short, I think Rita, like any clone in her condition, would benefit from the extra-strength anti-depressant, EFFEXOR. EFFEXOR's efficacy is similar to that of electroconvulsive, yes electroshock therapy, in serious depression, such as Rita's, and it would certainly be more preferable for most clones. Rita, I would also suggest you see a trustworthy and program-friendly therapist who can also help you. I have a workshop on "Finding Your Cloned Soul" next week. Perhaps you could sign up for that and I could also see you on an individual basis. I know individuality is frightening but it may be something we need to discuss and see if it exists.

Dick: Hey, back up! What's this shit about lizard brains! I ain't no lizard! My mother's from Chalmette! She even went to Columbia State and graduated with a bacculaureal in swimp husbandry or swimp management--and now she's working with swimps of all kinds. She hopes to open up her own swimpery in no time and wants me to help her swimping.

Rita: Dick, shut up! Dr. Gail, I don't know what to say but it sure sounds better than what I'm going through now. And I sure don't want that electroshock.

(Harry is back to wearing his heated ear pads and foot-massaging socks. He is also watching his "watchman" TV and has a remote for it. He does look up when Rita says "electroshock" and grunts.)

Jane: (To Harry) Harry can you tell us a little about what's been bothering you. Could you stop watching that TV! We're trying to have a meeting!

Harry: (Looks at Jane and begins to talk hesitantly, still wearing his pads and socks.) I like to eat Baked Tostitos and usually I bring a bag to the meeting. Today A&P was out of Tostitos. Oh, yea, I'm Harry and I'm a friend of clones. (ALL--"Hi, Harry!")

Jane: Is that it?!

Harry: Oh, I don't know. But I might stop at another A&P on the way back and buy some Tostitos there. Ah....I don't know. (The following is very difficult for Harry to say.) Maybe, Dr. Gail can help me. I keep having this dream and in it I'm trapped in a huge vat of Tostito bean dip. And the dip keeps rising. And it's real, real hot. The dip is up to my chin and all of a sudden Jane appears and adds even more dip into the vat. I can't breathe. I'm beginning to suffocate. (Gasps for air.) And the smell of those beans! Ah!!! Luckily, I wake up.

Jane: Harry, you need help. Always thinking of food, even dreaming about it. We shouldn't waste group time discussing Tostitos and bean dip. I was hoping that our friends could help us with our cloning. I have so many questions. I hate to ask this, but will our cloned children hate us even more than our natural child, little Billy? Usually we hate most what we hate in ourselves. Will we have more discipline problems than usual since our clones will probably know what we're thinking? And what kind of schools should we send them to? (With much fear) Would they be accepted into the magnet schools?

Harry: (Interrupts Jane) Jane, I need to get to the A&P before it closes. Isn't it time to end the meeting?

Jane: You and your bean dip! All right friends, we'll discuss these issues at the next meeting. I just wanted to end the meeting with a beautiful passage from the book, "One day at a time in CLO-ANON--a support group for progenitor parents and other non-cloned family members." The passage deals with the group's 13th step: "Made a decision to turn my clone's will and my clone's life over to the care of God as we understood Him." (She reads from the book.) A CLO-ANON member of long standing writes of a tragic estrangement between her beloved cloned daughter and herself. She had tried to prevent the cloned daughter from making what seemed to her a wrong decision--joining a virtual reality cult. "Although I feared we would never be reconciled, I hoped I could find an answer in our program. I concentrated on the First Step: my powerlessness over others. What patience it took! What a constant temptation to take action, rather than leave the problem to God. But I made it--and it worked. The seemingly unyielding barrier of silence and yes, even hatred melted away. We have learned again to love, by accepting each other as we are." The passage then ends with a beautiful, beautiful quote from Thomas Merton's book, No Man is an Island: "The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." (Jane adds emphatically) Nurture over nature!

Dick: Bullshit! This Merton guy wrote this crap before cloning. I'll tell you that my parents only love me for themselves. I hate my parents for what they did to themselves!

Jane: Ah, it is late. We do need to end this meeting. Let's have a moment of silence. (All bow their heads and are silent for a minute.)

All: Keep coming back! It works!

Scene 2

(Jane and Harry move downstage left to their "family room" where their two clones are sitting. The two clones look very similar to Jane and Harry, with wrinkles and facial hair.)

Jane: Janie, tell your daddy what you did today?

Jane Clone: Why don't you tell him. You know what I did.

Jane: Jane, you seem to forget that you are you and I am me, and your experiences make you different from me. I was hoping we could talk as a family.

Jane Clone: Family! This isn't any family. We're freaks! I'm only in pre-school and I have a bloated belly, crows feet and facial hair! All the kids make fun of me. I want to go to another school.

Jane: We could send you to Mayor Mark Morial's magnet school for clones. He has a special interest in clones, having cloned himself over a thousand times! City Hall seems even more screwed up than usual.

Jane Clone: Oh, I'm special! I've got a muskrat brain as big as a baby's fist! Maybe, that's why I wear this stupid hat all the time. Yea! Go ahead! Send me to that school. I don't care how special it is. Anything is better than where I'm at. (To little Harry) Harry, do you like school?

Harry Clone: Ah...well. I don't know. I guess sometimes. The food there is kind of bad.

Harry: (With concern) Ah...Harry, maybe we can pack you a lunch. Jane, can you pack Harry a lunch?

Jane: Why do I have to do everything all the time! Why don't you pack little Harry a lunch!

Harry: Well, you know how sensitive I am to saran wrap. I get a rash every time I use it.

Jane: Harry, you're just too sensitive to everything. And when are you ever going to stop wearing those ear pads! Even little Harry wears them!

Jane Clone: What do you expect him to wear! We're CLONES. Everyday I want to wear something different but I end up even wearing the same hats that you do. I hate being so much like you!

Jane: I talked to Dr. Gail, Jane, and she says she's going to have a support group for daughters, cloned or non-cloned, who hate their mothers. We could go together and I could see Dr. Gail after you. The group that follows is for mothers who have cloned daughters who hate them. I just feel so overwhelmed at times. Now, I have to take care of two Harrys! It was hard enough taking care of one Harry. Maybe, you could do more for little Harry.

Jane Clone: You mean babysit him like you babysit Dad?

Jane: Oh, I think I need my mood elevator. Where's my Prozac? (She looks suspiciously at Harry. He shrugs and hangs his head.) Did you take my Prozac? You know I only had a few left. You shouldn't mix your Buspar with my Prozac. Remember the last time you took Prozac? You couldn't sleep and watched your watchman all night.

Harry: I didn't take them. (Turns to little Harry and whispers) Harry?

Harry Clone: (Harry Clone hangs his head.) I didn't take them. You told me I had to start off first on something cheap, like Budweiser. (Whispers to Harry) Maybe, Jane took them.

(The father, Harry, finds a Budweiser for his cloned son and helps him drink it. Harry and Jane then start taking their Buspar and Prozac. Little Jane Clone looks at the three while they take their substances and becomes very angry.)

Jane Clone: And what am I supposed to do? You know I feel just as depressed and anxious as her. (Points to her mother.) I want something more than twinkies. Tweaking on twinkies--how ridiculous! Why can't little Harry and I move up to the real mood elevators? (She has found some twinkies, which Jane helps her eat.)

Jane: Jane, dear, we're trying to do the best we can. But we need to save money right now for your college education. Perhaps, when they start selling generic Prozac or Buspar, we'll be able to afford it.

(For a minute, all four just look at each other, trying to escape with their substances. The escape does not last for long. The following lines are said simultaneously.)

Jane: I think I've developed tolerance to...

Jane Clone: Prozac! Yea, like I said these twinkies don't do the trick. I want what you're taking. NOW! And I want an appointment for liposuction and skin resurfacing--Look at these CROW'S

Jane: FEET! I know. I'll ask my doctor about an appointment for you. And be appreciative! I never get any respect around...

Jane Clone: here. Ask Dad for the respect. He's out to...

Jane: Lunch! All he can talk about is food...

Harry: (To Jane) Did you get the Tostitos and the ...

Harry Clone: bean dip! I want to try some, too. And why aren't we watching...

Harry: TV! (With great concern) Where did my watchman go? Son, I want you to get on the...

Harry Clone: web. Yea, Dad but you've got to get the right modem and we should ...

Harry: electronically simplify our lives. I think I need a...

Jane: Lobotomy! That would simplify your life. I don't know how much more simplified it can get! I don't feel...

All: well! AH!!! To a meeting!

Scene 3

(Jane, Harry and all the clones are again at a 12-step meeting.)

All: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Jane: The difference is that we don't create but choose. God creates through us and we have the choice to choose. Choice to Choose! Cloning is another step in choosing. From the beginning, we have chosen: how to use fire, the spear, the wheel! (To the others) "What the hand dare seize the fire?"

All: (All embrace and hold hands) Yes, William Blake. We choose the hand of oneness, the eternal. Keep coming back! It works!

The End

Order your Clone Puppets at (504) 486-9571.

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