ACT 23 SCENE 2
Tati is hanging upside down in gravity boots. Tony looks on while eating from a plate of pumpkin scones.
TONY: Are the stomach crunches really necessary?
TATI: Are whipped cream and chocolate drops really necessary?
Tony stops mid-chew.
TONY: Well, that just ruined it all for me.
Flecks of scone, whipped cream and chocolate dribble from his mouth.
TATI: Look at yourself, Tony! Soon your tummy will come into the room before you.
TONY: No it won’t!
He self-consciously sucks his tummy in. Tati looks at him, firstly with a smile but then with concern.
TATI: Exhale, Tony!
Tony lets out a huge whoosh of air and crumbs.
TONY: Damn. I wasn’t going to be able to keep that up for long. Maybe some kind of girdle might be in order…
Tati rolls her eyes and resumes her upside down stomach crunches. Tony keeps watching.
TONY: Could you please plant your feet back on the ground, Tati? I feel like I’m talking to a giant, talking fruit bat.
TATI: I thought you were used to quirky fauna, Tony?
TONY: It’s not that. I’m exhausted just watching you!
TATI: Kangaroos, koalas, chupacabras… they’re your neighbours, aren’t they?
TONY: Not really. It’s not like I live out in the bush or anything. I’m a city dweller. I prefer to hang out at cafes sipping glasses of cool inexpensive water, not from billabongs.
TATI: Snoozefest! Fine, I’ll climb down.
Tati disengages the safety lock, slips out of her gravity boots and flips onto the floor. She looks at Tony with a peculiar, knowing smile as she dusts herself off.
TATI: I debated with myself if I should land on your tummy.
TONY: Oh, ha ha. Very funny.
Tati grabs the last scone from the plate and bites into it, ignoring Tony’s silent protests.
TONY: Well, too bad if I wanted that, huh?
Tati slaps Tony’s tummy, making it jiggle like jelly on a plate.
TATI: Be grateful I saved you from bursting, fill-belly.
TONY: Hey! My tummy may be big but it’s also quite sensitive. It’s where I write from!
TATI: What? Do you stenograph your growling stomach? Now it’s clear where all this weird stuff comes from! Ladies and Gentlemen, permit me to introduce the gastric wonders of Tony’s poetry to you!
TONY: What I’m trying to say is that I write from my feelings, not my head! I think with my gut!
TATI: Ah hah! I supposed something like this. Have you never tried to use your brain for the creative process?
Tati taps Tony’s forehead with her half-eaten scone.
TONY: I have but it’s not for me. I need to feel what I’m writing about. I’m more emotional than rational.
TATI: Is that why you put your shirt on arsy-varsy? Is it how you feel today?
TONY: I’m feeling a little belittled right now, I have to say…
TATI: Is it heartburn, Tony? Because no one can gobble a tonne of scones and escape unpunished.
Tati shoves the rest of the scone into her mouth. Her eyes bulge slightly as she hiccups.
TATI: Tony, do you have water?
Tony grins like a Cheshire Cat.
TONY: Who’s thinking with their gut now?
TATI: It’s because of your fucking scone!
TONY: I didn’t force you to eat one. Did you see a note anywhere saying: ‘Eat Me!’?
TATI: Tony, I swear, if you don’t give me something with the label ‘Drink Me!’… I… HIC! Will… HIC! Kick… HIC! Your…
Tony throws a mocking look at the hiccupping Tati.
TONY: My arse feels great, thanks for asking. Unlike yours.
TATI: My ass is fine… HIC!
TONY: This is just too funny.
TATI: Shut up… HIC!
TONY: I’m afraid I can’t. I’m feeling too smug and superior in the correctness of my position to be stopping right now. Heh heh…
TATI: Screw you… HIC!
TONY: I don’t want to lose this opportunity to be listened to uninterrupted by you, smart arse.
Tony then paces around the helpless, hiccupping Tati, giving a long-winded declamation on the creative process.
TONY: …and I insist that the only writing of any substance can only ever come from the heart, not the head.
An unhappy Tati is unable to object… HIC! She waves him off and leaves the room. Tony pulls out a bottle of water.
TONY: Methinks it’s time to wet me whistle…