Fungie and the Quiet Men (2014)
a one act play
SEAN – Irish man. 60ish. A local.
GERRY – Irish man. A bit younger. Maybe 40s. Sean’s mate. A local.
WOMAN – An American tourist. Around 50.
BOBBY – Irish man. 20s. Works at the shop. A local.
SCENE – Outside a souvenir shop in Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland
(SEAN sits on a chair outside his shop reading the morning paper….whistling to himself)
A large (obviously American) WOMAN runs up to him all excited…)
WOMAN – Which way is the dolphin!?
(not looking up from paper…he points)
WOMAN – Can I see her from the pier…? I get seasick…
SEAN – (looking up…) It’s a “he” luv…
(she’s too excited…not paying attention)
WOMAN – Which way?
SEAN – Er..wowards the water…..usually…with dolphins like….
WOMAN – (misses the sarcasm entirely) Have you seen her?
SEAN – Aye…I do this every day…..she’s a “he” actually…
WOMAN – I’ve seen pictures.
SEAN – He’s loves the pictures that one
WOMAN – I’m her friend on facebook too.
SEAN – It’s a small world it is m’aam….with the social media….good on ya….
(she’s taking in her surroundings, trying to find the ocean)
WOMAN – Nobody knows why she’s here?
SEAN – No maam. He just visited in ‘84 and found the place irresistible. Can’t really blame him..
WOMAN – 1984?
SEAN – That’s the one
WOMAN – That’s….like…20 years!
SEAN – 30 actually…..
WOMAN – So it’s just the one?
SEAN – Just the one.
WOMAN – Poor thing.
SEAN – Aye…
WOMAN – (excited) Can you swim with her?
SEAN – Well you can….tis a free country and all that….but he’s 300 kikos so it’s not recommended. He’s made many a man a soprano….tends to swim towards the privates at full speed….just playing like but still….
(she misses this one too, all wrapped up in herself. She starts taking pictures with her cell phone)
WOMAN – We’re from Scranton, Pennsylvania.
SEAN – Never been maam….but Scranton Pennsylvania probably doesn’t have a dolphin…
WOMAN – (listening finally) We got all kinds of things but no dolphins.
SEAN – Aye…we’re blessed we are..
WOMAN – Coal mines and trains and stuff.
SEAN – Sounds lovely.
WOMAN – Trains don’t work and the mines are all empty…
SEAN – It’s a dolphin you’ll be needing miss…
WOMAN – We used to have an elephant.
SEAN – Well that’s almost as good…
WOMAN – Tillie was her name. Her best friend was a donkey
SEAN – Sure that’s a reason to cross the pond then! Scranton should be booming it should with an elephant and a donkey…
WOMAN – Well….they had to put her down.
SEAN – A shame that…Tillie or the donkey?
WOMAN – Tillie. She’s been gone a while now. I used to visit her as a little girl. Not sure whatever happened to Joshua.
SEAN – Joshua miss?
WOMAN – That was the Donkey’s name.
SEAN – Ah…good name for a donkey.
WOMAN – He must be gone too by now
SEAN – I’d imagine….poor creature lost his best mate
(quiet for a time….)
WOMAN – Was the Quiet Man filmed here?
SEAN – Aye…t-shirts inside.
WOMAN – How about magnets for the refrigerator? I always get one of them wherever we go. Helps me keep track of where we’ve been….
SEAN – Aye….it would at that. Got them too inside…..key chains…calendars….toilet paper….you name it. All things Quiet Man we got….Fungie too. Get your picture taken with a Fungie mascot as well…..sure that’s one you don’t want to pass up.
WOMAN – Who named the dolphin? That’s an interesting name.
SEAN – Ah….some fisherman….seems he was…
(she’s suddenly not interested in the details…interrupts him)
WOMAN – It’s not a girl dolphin? Fungie is a girl’s name…like Tillie.
SEAN – (pause…lets this sink in) no luv…it’s the other kind…I guess it’s hard to tell with fish and all that
WOMAN – Poor thing must be lonely.
SEAN – he seems happy enough miss….as dolphins go.
WOMAN – (switching gears) Where you here for the Quiet Man?
SEAN – Aye…the whole town was. We’re all still alive….all of us.
WOMAN – My husband loves John Wayne.
SEAN – Aye…who doesn’t? A great Irishman he was sure….
WOMAN – Do I have time to buy some souvenirs before the next tour?
SEAN – Sure ‘luv….no worries. Take your time…..10 tours a day so there’s always one boarding
(she runs off….he rolls his eyes and goes back to his paper….mumbling to himself “Eejit Yanks…”)
(another guy comes out and sits down….all pissed off…he’s younger than SEAN, a bit more high strung. Works in the shop. GERRY is his name)
GERRY – He’s still not here…the bastard
SEAN – I told you….he was pissed out of his brain last night…..give him time to find his eyes..
GERRY – (worried about the money they didn’t make) He missed the whole first group..
SEAN – Full house?
GERRY – Aye…
SEAN – Suit is your size…..just sit in for him…
GERRY – I’m minding the register. What are you doing then?
SEAN – Sunning meself. Being an ambassador for Ireland.
GERRY – Telling Americans The Quiet Man was filmed here again are you?
SEAN – They’ll believe anything….
GERRY – You think the bloody dolphin’d be enough for ‘em
SEAN – You’d think….
GERRY – What are you paying Bobby anway?
SEAN – Not enough for him to push through a hangover….obviously.
GERRY – (exasperated) All he needs to do is stand there…
SEAN – (stated as a reminder or how demeaning the job sorta is.) Wearing a dolphin suit….
GERRY – It’s not like he needs to socialize or anything….like Mickey Mouse…..or that Tiger
SEAN – It’s “Tigger” with 2 gs. What are ya, thick?
GERRY – Tigger, whatever. The one who acts like a speed freak
SEAN – Well…this ain’t Disney World…..It’s not the kind of job somebody leaps out of bed for….especially after a dozen pints….that’s all I’m saying….so…
GERRY – We should raise the price for the pictures……eejit Yanks’ll pay anything.
SEAN – Does Mickey Mouse and Tigger have to talk and stuff?
GERRY – I don’t know…in cartoons they talk.
SEAN – Not sure the guy in the suit talks though. Inside Disney World and all that. I think he just stands there and waves and sells stuff. Poses for pictures like our man Jimmy.
GERRY – I heard he’s a bit of a perv….the guy in that suit….something in the news about him. Him and Tigger I think…giving the girls a squeeze or a pat on the bum….
SEAN – The wonderful thing about Tiggers…
GERRY – Jaysus…nothing’s sacred anymore…
SEAN – All the more reason to cut Bobby some slack…..he may be a drunken sod but at least he’s not fiddling with the youngers….
GERRY – I’d like to visit Disney World…..not for the pervs but the weather’s lovely there I hear
SEAN – (finally letting on to how he feels) These fools could be in Disney World but instead they’re here….staring at a dolphin in the ocean.
GERRY – Well that’s a good place for a dolphin…an ocean I mean
SEAN – Well it is….but if Fungie was walking around the streets and drinking in the pubs, I could see tourists getting all excited…(pause) by the way I sent a yank in for some cultural exchange…
(GERRY gets up and peers back into the store…)
GERRY – I bet she’s been to Disney World…
SEAN – You’d have to check the magnets on her fridge.
GERRY – She’s in the magnet section now.
SEAN – She comes from Pennsylvania. Some place with a dead Elephant and donkeys.
GERRY –Yanks is always interesting. (still looking in) I bet she’ll be looking for a calendar. (looking at his watch…peeved) He better get here for the next group or I won’t be able to pay me tab…
SEAN – Aye…tis a vicious cycle eh? Everything tied to that bloody dolphin
(long pause, they sit and contemplate their lot in life)
GERRY – We should have emigrated…
SEAN – Who, us?
GERRY – Not us….but our grandmas or great grandas or whatever it was. You know, the famine and all that
SEAN – Ah the famine
GERRY – Bloody brits starving us out of our homes
SEAN – Well….not really ‘cause we never left so….
GERRY – We should have left sure
SEAN – And gone where? America with the dead Elephants?
GERRY – Sure…or maybe Liverpool or Canada or Australia.
SEAN – Liverpool?
GERRY – Yea that’s where we went most I think…even more than London
SEAN – Christ what a dump that is. But still….the Beatles too I hear…from Liverpool.
GERRY – What about the Beatles?
SEAN – Their grandmammies came from here. Lennon I think. McCartney too
GERRY – (shocked) Go way!
SEAN – I heard like…can you believe it? Grand mammies of the Beatles….dying from the hunger?
GERRY – Jesus we’re always giving away the good ones…giving away the Beatles and getting stuck with that eejit Bono.
SEAN – Aye…at least we stayed though….giving the place some color.
GERRY – (agrees with this assessment) Somebody has to take care of Fungie. Bloody Brits would let him starve so they would
SEAN – Aye they probably starved dolphins too while they was starving us
GERRY – And why wouldn’t they? It’s built into them…the starving.
SEAN – Everybody wants to come visit though. Them Yanks come back in droves….looking for their kin who want nothing to to with them…..thinking everything is 10,000 years old…
GERRY – Looking for The Quiet Man is what they’re doing
SEAN – Jesus they’re all thick.
GERRY – All thinking we drink warm Guinness and live in thatched cottages and cut peat all bleedin’ day..dodging the sheep shite and the Parish Priest.
SEAN – They’re not knowing how advanced we are. We got the computers and Ipods and the cell phone towers and everything. The whole internets
GERRY – In Dublin mostly they have them things. I don’t have a computer or an Ipod.
SEAN – Nor I…..but what do we need them here?
GERRY – Well we could send a text message to that drunken fool and get him here. Bobby has one of them things.
SEAN – I can’t afford one of them things anyway. The wife is like a hawk with the bills she is.
GERRY – We could sell Fungie Ipods.
SEAN – Or Quiet Man Ipods
GERRY – We’d make a fortune with the yanks.
(WOMAN steps back outside….to ask a quick question..)
WOMAN – Do you sell Maureen O’Hara coffee mugs?
SEAN – Of course luv. Back wall….near the Fungie Frisbees…
WOMAN – Thank you…(she goes back into the store)
GERRY – Eejit Yanks. (pause) Where was The Quiet Man filmed anyway?
SEAN – In Cong
GERRY – Jaysas that’s 4 hours away!
SEAN – Aye. Get ‘em here with Fungie….might as well sell some Quiet Man t-shirts at the same time
GERRY – Aye….it’s good business it is
SEAN – Aye. Not our fault the Yanks are thick.
GERRY – I’ve never seen
SEAN – What?
GERRY – The Quiet Man. Never seen it like…the film
SEAN – Me either
GERRY – Really?
SEAN – Just John Wayne shagging Maureen O’Hara I hear…and giving every man in Cong a good thrashing.
GERRY – Not bad business that.
SEAN – What…the thrashing?
GERRY – No…the shagging.
SEAN – Sure Maureen O’Hara is good for business
GERRY – She is that
SEAN – I like the Goodfellas. That’s my kind of film….not the Quiet Man rubbish…
GERRY – You think America is like the Goodfellas?
SEAN – Sure. All mad buggers over there. Pick up the papers and they be shooting each over like it’s target practice….guns falling out of their arseholes. No wonder Fungie doesn’t want to leave here. (pause for this to sink in). They’re mad with the money though so God Bless ‘em…..I love ‘em all
GERRY – So you’re glad you didn’t go?
SEAN – To America you mean?
GERRY – Yea…
SEAN – Well I don’t want to end up like that Goodfellas Pesci fella…getting a bullet in the noggin or being clubbed to death by shovels and baseball bats in that other film
GERRY – “Casino”
SEAN – Yea that’s the one. I could do without that sort of thing. Mad bastards in America really. I do love Casino though. We should have one of them places here.
GERRY – Ah that’s all make believe stuff…..all them movies…like John Wayne giving a Cong man a thrashing. Can you imagine?
SEAN – Sure a Cong man would pulverize a tosser like John Wayne
GERRY – Aye. Only in the movies eh?
SEAN – Sure you get into the movies then you get to be President in America.
GERRY – That Reagan fella you mean?
SEAN – Winning one for the Gipper and all that.
GERRY – Aye
SEAN – It was Kennedy who shoulda been in the movies. Looked the part he did.
GERRY – All the old hens love JFK still
SEAN – They do at that. Me mom thinks he’s grand
GERRY – Mine too.
SEAN – Poor sod….getting his head blown off him like that.
GERRY – Like Pesci in the Goodfellas…
SEAN – All mad bastards over there I’m telling you. It’s better we stayed here.
GERRY – It is
SEAN – We should make a movie about Fungie…that’d really spread the word to the Yanks. Like the Quiet Man!
GERRY – Go way!….(pause) I’ve never been…
SEAN – What?
GERRY – To Cong…never been
SEAN – Sure I’ve never been either.
GERRY – We should go?
SEAN – We got all the Quiet Man stuff right here. We don’t need Cong.
GERRY – I mean to see where it was filmed like….
SEAN – Are you daft?
(WOMAN comes out again….)
WOMAN – My husband is a golfer….do you have any Fungie head covers?
(not really paying attention to her….an automatic answer)
SEAN – Second aisle, middle row.
WOMAN – Oh…and did Maureen O’Hara really use the ladies room during filming?
SEAN – She did indeed. We didn’t flush for months.
WOMAN – Awesome (she goes back in). Selfie time!
GERRY – (disgusted) We should have emigrated…
(BOBBY comes running up….out of breath….bursting with news. He’s younger than they are, perhaps early 20s)
SEAN – Hey, look who it is?
GERRY – Jaysus where have you been? You missed the first group off!
BOBBY – You guys really need cell phones…..and nobody is answering inside
GERRY – we’re out here…can’t hear it
SEAN – We were just talking about Ipods..
GERRY – And Dublin
SEAN – And Cong
GERRY – And the Beatles
SEAN – And where Maureen O’Hara pees
GERRY – And Goodfellas and Casino and Joe Pesci and JFK
BOBBY – Me Mom loves JFK….the poor bugger.
SEAN – Yea…
BOBBY – (snapping back into reality….like they’re crazy) Wait….Jaysus are you pissed already?
GERRY – You’re one to talk. How’s your head this morning?
BOBBY – Joey just called me and told me….
SEAN – Joey….that fool owes me money…
GERRY – He owes everybody money
SEAN – I heard he was with you last night?
BOBBY – Joey? No….I didn’t see him last night
GERRY – Well the whole town saw you apparently…
SEAN – And no you can’t have a pay advance to pay off Gerrity
BOBBY – I don’t need a pay advance!
SEAN – Tell that to Gerrity….he’s looking for you and says you did a runner on him last night..
BOBBY – I didn’t do a runner! Couldn’t even walk!
GERRY – (mad) The Yanks were lining up for the dolphin pics earlier. We missed out on 250 pounds easy!
BOBBY – (under his breath) Eejit yanks…
SEAN – Go get dressed there’s an American inside….
GERRY – She’s buying up the place….
(BOBBY looks inside at her….)
BOBBY – Jaysus…..I wouldn’t ride her if she came with pedals….
(GERRY, intrigued, looks again..)
GERRY – Well she’s no show pony but she’d do for a ride around the house…
SEAN – (snapping) Get dressed!
BOBBY – I’m not getting dressed now. Didn’t you guys hear?
SEAN – Hear what?
BOBBY – Fungie!
GERRY – What about him?
BOBBY – He’s washed up…
GERRY – Are you mad? We’re doing great! He’s never been hotter!
BOBBY – I mean the shore. He washed up on the shore…
SEAN – What do you mean…he’s stuck like?
BOBBY – (sarcastic) Well yea….kinda.
GERRY – Wait. What?
BOBBY – Fungie is dead! Can you not understand the Lord’s English?!
SEAN – Joey told you that?
GERRY – That fellow is as sharp as a beach ball…
SEAN – Aye….his wheel’s turning but the hamster’s still dead…
(pulling out his cell phone…)
BOBBY – He sent me a picture!
SEAN – Jaysus! Is he moving?
BOBBY – Of course he’s not moving. He’s dead
(they study the picture hard…squinting..)
GERRY – That looks like Fungie sure…
SEAN – It does at that…
BOBBY – Of course it’s Fungie! Ever see any other dolphin’s ‘round here ya idiot!
SEAN – Can’t be
BOBBY – It can. They can’t live forever…..guy’s been here for 30 years. That’s about how long they live you know. If you had computers you’d know that.
SEAN – Don’t be going on about the google again….
BOBBY – I didn’t say anything about the google.
GERRY – He’s in love with the google that one is
BOBBY – How can you know things without the google?!
SEAN – We’re an advanced civilization and we’ve survived so far without the google
BOBBY – Advanced?? Our industry just washed up on the beach. We’re fecked because of a dead fish!
SEAN – Jaysus did any Yanks see him?
BOBBY – Joey said a bunch of fishermen picked him up early this morning….so nobody knows except us and them
GERRY – (stunned) Sweet mother of Blanket Jackson!
SEAN – Keep your voice down!
BOBBY – How the feck do I pay off old man Gerrity now?
GERRY – Christ, it’s time to emigrate….
BOBBY – What?
SEAN – (trying to keep cool) Nothing….
GERRY – Jaysus……
SEAN – Just calm down.
(WOMAN comes out…..)
WOMAN – Pint glasses?
SEAN – Quiet Man or Fungie?
WOMAN – Quiet Man
SEAN – Left of the register….below the fuzzy dice.
(she goes back)
BOBBY – Who the feck is that?
GERRY – The yank
BOBBY – Who’s gonna tell her?
SEAN – NOBODY is gonna tell her. Ever.
GERRY – Wha?
SEAN – We can’t tell anybody…..unless the dole appeals to you. Who’s gonna buy T shirts with the picture of a dead fish on them?
GERRY – Yanks might…
BOBBY – They might at that….
GERRY – We always got the Quiet Man…
SEAN – We’ve been getting away with telling them it was filmed here for 30 years. Eventually they’re gonna catch on! We need Fungie!
BOBBY – Yah….well….Fungie’s as dead as Margaret Thatcher so….
(they all murmur together…..”I don’t miss that ol bitch” etc…..in that vein)
SEAN – Let me think will ya? I need a good think…
GERRY – Aye this shouldn’t take long….
BOBBY – I could do with a pint…
(a few seconds go by….as SEAN ponders all this)
SEAN – All right lads….consider this….now hear me out like. Even been to Scotland?
GERRY – (tone like “are you crazy?”) I never been to Cong….
SEAN – Well I went there on holiday one time. People only go there for one reason..
BOBBY – To drink
SEAN – And to see Nessie
GERRY – Wha?
SEAN – Loch Ness. To see the monster in the lake.
BOBBY – Ya think the Yanks would believe us if we told ‘em Nessie lived here now and ate Fungie?
SEAN – None of that now. Fungie is as alive as the Loch Ness Monster. She’s as alive as long as anybody WANTS her to be alive. Yanks’ll still come if they think that Fungie is still here. So what if she doesn’t show up……every time there’s a ripple in the water they’ll think it’s him. They’ll be smashing the skulls off of one another to get the pictures. Just keep telling ‘em “yea I just saw him early this morning sunning himself….” Then show ‘em some old picture and off they’ll go on a tour….but not before picking up some souvenirs.
GERRY – I don’t know….lying and stuff about Fungie. Sounds like something the Brits might do…
BOBBY – Yea Sean…Jesus would be sore at you if he heard this kind of talk…
SEAN – Sure didn’t the bastard Brits starve us out of our own country….with Jesus sitting up there with all the loaves and the fishes and not intervening?
GERRY – Well not us they didn’t starve…cause we stayed but…
SEAN – Yea, but what about the bloody Beatles?
BOBBY – (confused) Wha?
GERRY – Well that’s true. We’re owed for that one for sure
BOBBY – (lost now) Loch Ness Monster and now the Beatles. I really need a pint sure….
GERRY – Just not sure how I feel about this….lying
BOBBY – Yea Sean…..we got our souls to think about…..Father Paul’ll get it out of me in confession sure…
SEAN – You can worry about your souls while you’re dry heaving from the thirst….not being able to afford a pint with your dole money. And who do you think fills up Father Paul’s collection plates on the weekends? It’s the Yanks getting their God fix. I haven’t seen you in church since you were baptized…ya bollix.
GERRY – Jaysus….why the poor bugger have wreck our business model on us.
SEAN – Model still there if the Yanks still come. And if they believe….they’ll come.
BOBBY – What if the yanks do the google and find out dolphins die after 30 years like?
GERRY – Shut up with the google!
(long pause……they all look at each other….finally the WOMAN comes barreling out…arms absolutely FILLED with stuff)
WOMAN – Ok I’m ready to check out I think….unless you think I missed anything.
SEAN – You go the Fungie dog collar?
WOMAN – Well I don’t have a dog…
SEAN – Ya never know….
WOMAN – Why not right?! My husband loves dogs.
(SEAN turns to GERRY)
GERRY – You want to ring her out? I gotta get ready for the next group?
(pause….as GERRY has to make a decision…)
WOMAN – I saw something about pictures with a Fungie character. Can I sign up for that? My husband and kids should be here any minute…
(SEAN looks to BOBBY….who needs to make a decision)
BOBBY – Sure maam. Let me rustle him up. Gimme a minute. Gerry can get you signed up when you check out…pictures out back by the boats
(BOBBY has made his decision….now it’s all on GERRY….pause)
GERRY – (turning to the WOMAN) Did you see the collection of Fungie inspired music we have? There’s some CDs in a basket by the register
(he starts to walk back into the store and she follows….very eager to spend her money on all things Fungie)
WOMAN – Can you recommend a good one?
GERRY – Ah but I can….some Quiet Man music as well….John Wayne playing the pipes…
WOMAN – Really? I didn’t know he played….
GERRY – Born to play the pipes he was…
(they walk off…leaving SEAN and BOBBY…quiet for a while)
BOBBY – So….er….Sean me boy. I could use a bit of an advance….you know…to get Gerrity of me back.
SEAN – Yea yea…..(pulls some money out of his pocket)…this’ll have to do you.
BOBBY – I’d like to run over there now….to settle like….so….could you….
SEAN – Sure sure….I’ll do me bit for Dingle. I hope it still fits….
(they walk off)