The Time Traveler’s Sock
A Silly Play Beneath Everyone’s Intelligence
William Fernandez: 58 years old, Mad scientist/Time-traveler, JERRY is his sock puppet
Bill Fernandez: 27 years old, Scientist, (William in the past)
Gerald Jones: 25 years old, Scientist, (Bill’s partner), WILLY is his sock puppet
David: 32 years old, Police officer
Suzie: 29 years old, Police officer
The near future
SETTING: A Laboratory of the mad scientist WILLIAM, There are a few strange looking appliances around the room. There is a large cardboard refrigerator box with the words “time machine” written on the side in marker.
AT RISE: WILLIAM is putting duct tape on the side of the box; HE appears agitated muttering incoherently to himself.
Almost completely sealed up. Soon everything will be made right again. What do you think Jerry?
(WILLIAM pulls a black sock from HIS pocket and puts it on HIS hand, using the sock as a puppet HE speaks for JERRY out of the side of HIS mouth.)
It is cardboard for hell’s sake, it won’t last a second in the vortex.
Did you just say a second? What is a second outside of time? Damn you are stupid Jerry.
You are forgetting relativity William, the observer in the box will experience the normal flow of time for themselves.
Don’t play word-games with me Jerry; I don’t have time right now.
(William looks at the box)
Well maybe I do have time . . . but I don’t have the patience. . . I think we are all ready to go.
Leave me here; I don’t trust that piece of junk.
It isn’t a piece of junk; it is a finely crafted temporal vessel.
So you keep saying. Do you have everything you need? Do you have your luggage?
(William pulls a gun out of his belt line and looks at it)
Check . . .
(William looks down at the gun again)
Check . . .
Well it looks like you have everything. Just put me down on the table and you can be on your way.
You really don’t want to come? You do realize that if you stay and everything goes right, you will cease to exist, don’t you?
So you keep saying, but I still think you are wrong.
You want to bet your existence on it?
If it means you won’t put me on your smelly feet again, absolutely.
Fine, who needs you? I am off to fix the future . . . well the past . . . Shut up Jerry, I am going to fix sometime.
(WILLIAM rips the sock puppet off his hand and throws it on the floor)
(WILLIAM gets in the cardboard box)
(WILLIAM starts to shake the box back and forth until it falls over)
SETTING: The same laboratory, the cardboard box is still on its side, but the sock is no longer on the floor.
ATRISE: William is crawling out of the box groaning painfully. He is crushing the box in the process.
Oohf. Jerry I think I hurt my back, and I ruined my time machine. I guess you were right.
(WILLIAM looks for HIS sock on the ground)
Jerry? Where did you go?
(WILLIAM scratches HIS head)
How . . . did you go?
(WILLIAM looks suddenly pleased)
Wait a minute . . . I know where to find you.
(WILLIAM pulls off HIS left shoe and removes HIS black sock)
(WILLIAM puts HIS sock on HIS hand)
I told you it wouldn’t work.
Yeah, yeah, put a sock in it . . . Wait, wouldn’t that make you a cannibal?
You can’t distract me with your jokes. Face it William, you are a failure.
(WILLIAM moves Jerry’s sock-face around the room)
Wait . . . does it look a bit different in here to you?
(WILLIAM looks around the room, suddenly becoming excited)
It does look different Jerry!
(BILL and GERALD enter stage right, THEY stop when they see WILLIAM)
Who the hell are you, and how did you get in here?
I am you from the future; we have come to save you from yourself.
(WILLIAM pulls out the gun)
Did you just say you are going to save yourself, from yourself, by killing yourself?
Well the way I said it makes more sense, but essentially yes.
Whoa! You don’t want to kill me. You just need some help, you need someone to listen, I am listening.
I know you don’t believe me, I can prove it to you though. Take off your shoes
(BILL looks at William and cocks his head looking confused)
Do it Now!
(BILL takes off his shoes, BILL is wearing white socks)
(Speaking to WILLIAM)
That won’t work you idiot, you bought this pair last week.
Oh, crap that’s right . . . So much for plan A; I guess I will go with plan B.
(WILLIAM shoots BILL)
(BILL dies over-dramatically)
Oh, cursed fates that I should be cut down while on the brink of saving the world. Ack, The shrouding gloom of darkness draws near, I am slain. BLEHHH.
(BILL stops moving apparently dead)
(GERALD runs over to BILL and goes to check his pulse)
(As GERALD touches BILL’S Throat, BILL lifts his head back up)
(GERALD jumps back surprised)
I see my life, I see a light. Ok now I am dead, BLEHHH.
(BILL drops his head, BILL is dead)
(WILLIAM looks at his hands holding the gun in one and wearing the sock on the other)
(GERALD starts slowly backing away putting his hand in his pocket)
Why are we still here Jerry? Aren’t we supposed to disappear like in Back to the Future?
I told you. Time-lines are independent of each other, but SOMEONE didn’t want to listen.
(WILLIAM looks defeated)
So that means our time-line is still all screwed up?
(GERALD pulls a cell phone out of his pocket and dials)
(WILLIAM points the gun at GERALD)
Stop, hang up the phone.
(Motioning to BILL’S body)
He needs immediate medical attention. I can’t finish the work without him.
Well I am flattered, but trust me it is for the better.
(Motioning hysterically with his arms)
It is for the better? We were about to save the world you son of a bitch. Now the population will keep growing until resources are so scarce that we are forced into savagery and war. You have doomed us to holocaust.
I know all about your new birth-control program, what you don’t know is that you end up sterilizing the entire world, which solved the population problem real fast.
I personally don’t mind at all, do you have any idea what young people do to socks?
Do you think this is funny, you crazy old bastard? You just came in here and shot him. If your story was true you could have just explained this to him and let him live.
That was plan C.
You didn’t think through the order of your contingency plans very well did you?
What the fuck is wrong with you?
Gerald, I know it is hard for you to understand, but I swear to you it is for the best, I know who I was. Nothing could have stopped me, you tried to stop me and I killed you. I never forgave myself for it, but I had to live with it. That’s why I built the time machine, to fix it all.
Ok then, where is this time machine of yours.
(WILLIAM points at the crushed cardboard box)
It’s right there, It got destroyed . . . umm, in the vortex.
(GERALD looks at the box, then at WILLIAM)
Am I being Punked?
(Sirens are heard in the background getting louder)
Did you call the cops?
Must be a coincidence; calm down there is no need to get jumpy.
(DAVID and SUZIE enter stage right)
(SUZIE draws HER gun and points it at WILLIAM)
Police, drop the Gun.
(WILLIAM lets the gun fall to the floor and puts HIS hands in the air)
Take that sock off.
You want me to take off my sock? Ok, if that’s what you want.
(WILLIAM bends over and starts to remove his right shoe.)
He is going for the gun!
(DAVID shoots William)
(WILLIAM falls next to BILL’S body and dies over dramatically)
Oh cursed be the fates, that I should die only after saving the world, ack. The shrouding gloom of darkness draws near, I am slain . . . Where the hell is the light? . . . Oh there it is. The light is so bright, it looks like fire. Oh no, it IS fire Ahhh it burns. BLEHHH.
(WILLIAM drops his head, WILLIAM is dead)
I am the one who texted you guys, Thank you for coming so quick.
(motioning towards BILL’s body)
This man needs a hospital.
(DAVID crouches and examines the two bodies)
(Speaking into his radio)
Bring in the EMS immediately; we have two males severely wounded.
(Speaking to GERALD)
We are going to have to ask you to come with us and give a statement.
(GERALD, DAVID, and SUZIE exit stage right)
SETTING: The laboratory, the cardboard box is gone, There is a black sock lying on the floor.
AT RISE: GERALD enters stage right; HE walks over to the sock and picks it up examining it.
(GERALD chuckles hopelessly, and puts the sock on HIS hand)
(Speaking to the sock puppet)
Well what am I going to do now Willy?
(GERALD speaks for WILLY out of the side of his mouth)
You could always try to finish the project yourself.
I can’t do it without Bill, he was the one working on the delivery system; without him all I have is a medicine that no one is responsible enough to take.
You could always build a time machine
(GERALD laughs ironically)
(GERALD stands up straight and suddenly stops laughing)
Build a time machine. . . That is the stupidest idea I have ever heard Willy.
But if the old guy was right, that means there is a time out there with no more children.
Time travel is not possible, the old guy said he traveled in a cardboard box for fuck’s sake.
Then how do you explain how Bill and the old guy had matching DNA.
I am not going to debate this with a sock puppet; that is just a bit too crazy for me.
But Gerald, you are crazy. Why else would you have been planning to sabotage Bill’s program.
It isn’t crazy to hate children, I think that’s sane; now everyone who has them, those are the crazy ones.
It is crazy to talk to a sock, and you can’t even bring yourself to stop, can you?
Yes, of course I can stop. I can stop any time I feel like it.
I don’t really feel like it. Let’s just get to work, there is a world full of children to eliminate, and we are running out of time.