Write a play that naive adults and elementary school children wouldn’t think twice about, but the rest of us would have to stifle some smirks/giggles/uncomfortable laughter.
(Jack walks into the kitchen)
Mother: You’re back from town already? Did you sell the goose?
Jack: I did, and I got some magic mushrooms that are going to solve all our problems!
Mother: Again with the magic plants, Jack? We finally cleared the giant beanstalk out of the garden, and now we’re going to do this over again?
Jack: These will help the garden, mother. The man said these would expand our horizons, our garden is going to extend all the way over the hills!
Mother: Oh, Jack. Well, plant them and see what happens, I guess.
(Jill approaches Jack in the garden, where he sits stroking the giant mushroom)
Jill: Hi Jack!
Jack: (surprised, he pulls his hand away from the fungi) Oh, hi Jill. I thought I was alone.
Jill: Your mushroom looks different from the last time I was over. Is it getting bigger?
Jack: I’ve been noticing some changes in the body of the mushroom. It’s already started producing spores. They are those things that look like curly hairs all over the base. I picked a whole bunch this morning (gestures to pile of something that could very well be spores from a giant magical mushroom). It’s coming along nicely. Do you want to touch it?
Jill: Should I?
Jack: Yeah, it’s fun. Whenever I’m by myself I come out here and just run my hands over it. It seems to help it grow.
(Jill tentatively touches the stalk of the mushroom)
Jill: Ewww, it got my hands all sticky. What’s this stuff coming out of it? That’s gross.
Jack: That never happens!
Jill: (spits) Blech! And it tastes disgusting.
Jack: Don’t spit it out! That’s probably the magical part, you should swallow it, then you’ll be magical, too.
Jack: That wasn’t so bad, was it? I think we have to eat part of it for it to be magical, because it’s not tall like the beanstalk to reach a castle in the clouds.
Jill: I think it’s plenty big.
Jack: (doubtfully) I guess. Do you feel any different?
Jill: I don’t feel any more magical or anything, can I have a drink of your water? This stuff really tastes gross.
Jack: (stealthily drops one of the spores into his glass before handing it to her)
Jill: Actually, maybe you were right. I do feel more magical. Is that a door in the mushroom?
Jack: That’s the way into the magical kingdom. I’ll follow you.
Jill: (opens the door) This door is too small, I can’t stand up in there.
Jack: I think it will work better if you get on your hands and knees. Don’t worry I’m right behind you.
Jill: (crawls into the mushroom, with Jack following)
Jack: It’s really dark in here.
Jill: Well, we can sit here groping around in the dark, or we can crawl toward the light, come on!
(Jack and Jill enter the throne room, where a man sleeps on his throne)
Jack: (whispering) I thought it was just you and me here.
Jill: (whispering) That looks like my dad!
Jack: (whispering) Oh no.
Jill: (not whispering) Dad! wake up!
Jill’s Dad: (wakes up) Jill? Why are you here? You shouldn’t be here, if the mushroom people find you, they’ll trap you here like they trapped me. It’s terrible, every time I try to escape they shoot this sticky stuff at me, and I can’t get away.
(Mushroom People burst into the throne room)
Mushroom People: (shooting silly string as they pursue) We are coming! We are coming!
Jill’s Dad: These stairs go up to the top. We should be able to jump to safety.
(Halfway up the staircase, Jill’s Dad becomes stuck in the silly string)
(Jill begins tearing at the sticky mess that has ensnared her father)
Jill’s Dad: Leave me, Jill.
Jack: We’ll have to jump!
Mushroom People: (no longer shooting silly string) We’re Sorry Jesus! We’re Sorry Jesus!
(Outside the mushroom, Jack and Jill fall to the ground, Jill rips her dress)
Jill: (confused) Why is my dress ripped? What is this sticky stuff all over my hands? What happened? Why can’t I remember anything? The last thing I remember was drinking that water…
Jack: That’s just the way these things work, I guess. Listen, I’ve got to go sell a pig in town, but you know how to get back to your house from here, right?
SPOOKY’s THOUGHTS: Aw, Jack, you player. Swallow, don’t spit! There’s a lot of funny stuff here.
OK, dirty humor just isn’t my thing, writing-wise. I just don’t write it as well as I do other things. For that reason, this was my least favorite challenge of the entire competition. I thought about trying to do an earnest discussion of politics or something, which probably could have worked. Meh. Our alliance was in control at this point with plenty of targets. No chance I got eliminated this week.