Leaving Dinosaur City

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CHARACTERS:
Mr. Bergman, a young Troodon
Mrs. Werther, a mature Dilophosaur

Author's note: The genders of the characters can be changed if the director finds it prudent.

At rise, it is business hours. Werther works dutifully, while Bergman languishes at his desk, daydreaming. The two are dressed in classy business wear and colorful dinosaur masks. Werther is significantly older than Bergman.

WERTHER
Mr. Bergman, have you finished the reports I asked for yesterday?

BERGMAN
Not yet, Mrs. Werther.

WERTHER
Well, is it possible that you'll have them done by two o'clock?

BERGMAN
Sure.

WERTHER
It's just that I've got that meeting with Ms. Hollis, and she'll want those reports done. She's a bit of an egg-breaker.

BERGMAN
All right.

WERTHER
Do you know anything about the Iguanadon files-

BERGMAN
I'll get around to finishing them.

WERTHER
Any prediction of when, Mr. Bergman?

BERGMAN
Pretty soon.

WERTHER
I see… Have I done something to offend you, Mr. Bergman?

BERGMAN
No.

WERTHER
Perhaps I accidentally ate your lunch recently.

BERGMAN
Not in my recollection.

WERTHER
Or told a joke that you were about to tell, thereby / stealing your proverbial thunder.

BERGMAN
/ I'm not very good at telling jokes.

WERTHER
Then I must ask why you are treating me in such a rude manner.

BERGMAN
I'm just in a bit of a mood today. It's nothing.

WERTHER
Well, all right... But if you ever need anything, just let me know… I'm very good at mediation… Last week, I got a gold star for alleviating the drama between Mr. Bower and Mr. Clerval, and if I can ease tensions between a Ankylosaur and a Tarchia over-

BERGMAN
It's nothing, Mrs. Werther!

WERTHER
Well, excuse me.

BERGMAN
I'm sorry.

WERTHER
The fault is obviously mine.

BERGMAN
I didn't mean / to insult you.

WERTHER
/ There's nothing to discuss.

BERGMAN
I'm leaving the company.

WERTHER
…What?

BERGMAN
I'm leaving Biomass Enterprises.

WERTHER
Good God, young Troodon, why?

BERGMAN
It's of no consequence. I'm simply taking my leave.

WERTHER
I don't understand. It wasn't something I did, was it?

BERGMAN
No! Of course not.

WERTHER
You're in a top firm of biological byproduct industry, in a prime position for advancement, with countless accolades to your credit, and you want to step down when you're at your peak? It makes no sense.

BERGMAN
All you need to know is that I am reevaluating my priorities.

WERTHER
Well, I never thought you'd turn out to be one of them.

BERGMAN
One of what?

WERTHER
You know.

BERGMAN
Mrs. Werther! I'm shocked at you. You really think I’m the sort who would put on feathers and fly about with archaeopteryxes? No, ma'am. I'm just thinking about what I want to do with my life.

WERTHER
It seems like you're wondering about nothing.

BERGMAN
Werther, I want to produce something that means something to someone else, if you can understand such a thing.

WERTHER
Believe it or not, Mr. Bergman, our biological byproduct business does mean something.

BERGMAN
I'm sure.

WERTHER
And what do you plan to do instead?

BERGMAN
I'm going to sing.

WERTHER
Sing?

BERGMAN
Yes! I'm going to share my joy of music with all of dinosaur kind!

He makes a growl-ish attempt at music.

WERTHER
Mr. Bergman, you are not a parasaurolophus! You are not a pterodactyl, nor a pleisiosaur. You are a Troodon! You are gifted with a wonderful brain, not the ability to sing.

BERGMAN
I should be the one who decides what my life is about. And that's just what I'm going to do.

WERTHER
We need you! The rainy season is coming up, and you know how many carcasses, excuse me, we're going to be harvasting from the floods!

BERGMAN
My mind is made up. I'm going to speak with Ms. Hollis today. I can't take it here anymore.

WERTHER
And what's so wrong with this job?

BERGMAN
Mrs. Werther, I want to create something of meaning in my lifetime. The only thing we do in this job is salvage and resell shit and corpses!

WERTHER
At very reasonable prices! Look, Mr. Bergman. I know that I'm just an old Dilophosaur who's been around far longer than she should, and you're some hip young theropod who knows what it's all about, but hear me out. We do good work here. Good work! It might not seem that way on the surface, but think about it. Think about the super-massive herbivores: the apatosaurs, the diplodici, the brontosaurs. Where would they be without our fertilization services? And remember the gang wars just a few years ago! Procompsagnathi against Velociraptors against Troodons, all over these "corpses" as you call them! It was a mess. But by eliminating competition for biological by-products, Biomass Enterprises has helped bring peace! You want to talk about work, let's talk about gathering pounds and pounds of Brachiosaur waste for ten hours a day, six days a week. I was on the first salvage crews, you know. And I have worked my way to this position, and I will not have you shoot it down because it doesn't have "meaning." So go ahead and talk to Ms. Hollis. Tell her about your musical aspirations. But I warn you. She's not called a "Tyrant Lizard Queen" for nothing!

BERGMAN
I didn't mean to offend you, Mrs. Werther. I'm sorry.

WERTHER
Apology accepted.

BERGMAN
Do you… Do you really think it's worth it all?

WERTHER
Let me put it this way, Mr. Bergman: You can't live without planning your future. Everything might end tomorrow, of course, but we can't count on that. We can only make decisions based on what's before us. And this job is before you. Choose it. We need you.

BERGMAN
You're right. It was silly.

WERTHER
Don't worry about it. I was young, once, too.

BERGMAN
Say, I'm going to the Pachysephalosaur fight tonight. Would you like to come along? We'll get a few drinks, they'll butt heads, get knocked out, it'll be great.

WERTHER
Well, I don't know what Mr. Werther would say-

BERGMAN
Bring him. I'll bring my mate, Sandy; it'll be fun.

A great, horrifying, monstrous roar echoes from offstage.

WERTHER
Sounds like Ms. Hollis is in early. You better get those reports going.

BERGMAN
Right.

WERTHER
I'll check up on her, make sure she hasn't eaten any of the help yet. And Bergman?

BERGMAN
Yes?

WERTHER
Welcome to Dinosaur City.

Created: Jan 08, 2010

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