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*Word Count


<Spot light on desk, wide enough to have a person standing behind/beside it>

(SALLY types furiously. The clock strikes 3 times (on screen). <Flash of lightning> smoke, WORD COUNT appears.)

SALLY: Who… who are you?

COUNT: I am … the Vord Count!

<Flash of lightning>


COUNT: You see that essay you’re writing? The vun that’s due today? I am the Vord Count! Ah ah ah

<Flash of lightning>

(Sally resumes typing furiously)

COUNT: Only 3 hours to go! Let us see vhere you are up to. 501 vords! Ah ah ah. 502 vords! Ah ah ah. 50-

SALLY: Stop it!

COUNT: Stop typing.

SALLY: I can't stop typing

COUNT: Then I can't stop counting. 2000 vords to go!

SALLY: I only need 1800 to be within the 10% word limit!

COUNT: That vould not save you!

SALLY: It vould! Would! If only I – I just need to – Analyse .. a .. some … find .. references.. to a .. synonym.

(Clock dongs. Sally types for a few moments, getting slower, then almost falling asleep on her keyboard.)

COUNT: Your eyelids getting heavy. Your desk is soft and warm. (beat) Your keyboard is a comfortable pillow. Give up, get an extension, pretend you have cholera.

SALLY: No! I don't want cholera!

COUNT: Who are you trying to fool? You are barely awake and you still have 1000 vords to write.

<Flash of lightning>

COUNT: Come on, Sally. It's only vorth 40%.

SALLY: I need to keep a distinction average.

COUNT: Distinction, what a big vord. Doesn't credit sound so much nicer?

SALLY: It .. it does sound okay.

COUNT: You've already vorked so hard.

SALLY: I've vorked so – No! Coffee! Red Bull! Crystal Meth! You think I can’t pull an all-nighter? I’m gonna be up for the next 8 hours. Then asleep for 14. Take that, Word Count!

<Flash of lightning> 

(SALLY drinks)

COUNT: Gah! I’m melting, melting! How did you know that crystal meth was the elixir of life?

SALLY: This is not my first essay. Or my first hit of meth.


SALLY: And I typed them all!

COUNT: Oh Sally, you have done me so proud.

SALLY: Thanks word count. I couldn't have done it without you. Or crystal methamphetamines. God bless crystal methamphetamines!

<Half luminance>

V.O.: The Science Revue in no way endorses the use of the excellent drug of Crystal Methamphetamine as a study aide and will definitely not be selling it backstage. See you at intermission.

<Lights down>