The Ripple

By Ziggy

A tragicomedy .


Act One

A small boat in a still ocean.

GRENFELL is asleep, scrunched up awkwardly in a foetal position and BURTON is staring out into the ocean vacantly.

BURTON (to himself, loudly) aha! I see a ripple.

GRENFELL awakes with a startle.

GRENFELL: what?!

BURTON: a rather peculiar ripple i see.

GRENFELL: elaborate.

BURTON: bigger than all the ripples we have seen today. Follow my eyes and you will see its aftermath.

GRENFELL: stay still. Let me stand behind you.

BURTON: I’d rather you not.

GRENFELL: and why not?

BURTON: You will tip the boat.


BURTON: do you trust my perception at this time?

GRENFELL: only 50%

BURTON: explain this please.

GRENFELL: well, when we were on land, with food in our bellies and some terra under our feet, i would trust your perceptions 100%. But now, since we are at sea and ever so quite delirious, my trust of your perceptions has been reduced somewhat.

BURTON: by half?

GRENFELL: yes, i would say so.

BURTON: should i be offended?

GRENFELL: not at all.

BURTON: well, i feel offended.


BURTON: yes.

A long pause as BURTON and GRENFELL gaze miserably out into the ocean.

GRENFELL: can you still see the ripple?

BURTON (using his two hands as binoculars) uh, i cannot see the ripple!

GRENFELL: not even a slight one?

BURTON: not even a bubble!

GRENFELL: oh dear. Can you not adjust the lens?

BURTON (looking at his hands) no.

GRENFELL: Can i go back to sleep now?

BURTON: it’ll be your turn on ripple watch soon enough, so don’t get too comfortable.

GRENFELL: comfortable certainly is not the word i would use to describe any mini second of our current existence.

BURTON: i concur. And i am close to tears.

GRENFELL: be strong my friend, remember the story of Moby Dick?


GRENFELL: damn it, nor do i know much of this story, but what i do remember is that there was a giant sea monster.

BURTON: I am scared.

GRENFELL: of the sea monster?

BURTON: yes.

GRENFELL: it does not exist but on a page.

BURTON: but what if that ripple i saw was the aftermath of an underwater breath from a giant sea creature?

GRENFELL: you mean, from a gill?

BURTON: oh yes.

GRENFELL: It’s possible. It could be a sea bass.

BURTON: let’s hope so.

GRENFELL: what else could it be?

Long pause.

BURTON: a tear from God?


BURTON: no, that is a silly notion.

GRENFELL: implausible, but poetic.

BURTON: the ripple is either a result from below or above.

GRENFELL: yes, more than likely from below though.

BURTON: i concur.

GRENFELL: how did we get here?

BURTON: well, i don’t know.

GRENFELL: and we have no oars either.

BURTON: do we have any food or drink?

GRENFELL: well, we have plenty of drink (gesturing to the sea)

BURTON: are we not delirious enough? We cannot drink the sea.

GRENFELL: i am not a big fan of salt.

BURTON: it is good with certain fish.


BURTON: i cannot swim.

GRENFELL: i can a little. With the help of a buoy.

BURTON: we have no boys around here. Why a boy?

GRENFELL: they are strong enough to keep a human afloat.

BURTON: i do not understand, you are a man, you are heavier than any boy.

GRENFELL: but a man does not float like a buoy does.

BURTON: and what about a girl?

GRENFELL: oh dear.

BURTON: what?

GRENFELL: never mind.

BURTON gets a pebble from his coat pocket and throws it into the sea, creating a ripple.


The Ripple

Created: Apr 14, 2010

Tags: beckett, ripples, waiting for godot beckett existentialism

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