A West Shotz Story contribution
written by John Milton Hendricks
for the night of 14 February 2013
at Bindlestiff Theater in San Francisco
Direction: Zac Jaffee
Cast: Alex Hersler, Kelli McCrann
Place: a foodtruck parking lot somewhere between SOMA and the Mission
Bridgette 27 year‐old female from outer Modesto who relocated a few years ago to the
Bay Area for training in the culinary arts, but makes a better line cook. Not necessarily
lesbian, but definitely prefers working with women. Not gruff so much as easily alarmed,
and unable to separate her attachment to the foodtruck from her dependence on Mara
they are one and the same.
Max 24 year‐old Stanford IT grad raised in New Jersey. Had been programming in the
lower ranks of Apple and chomping at the bit to advance, but stalled due to lack of interest
in anyone around him when they weren’t of practical use. Unequipped to deal with his
sudden reversal of fortune, and sensing that his prospects, for the first time in his life, are in
mixing bowl & beater
box of rat poison
paper bag with oversized blue sweatshirt & hat
Darkness, then cone of light on BRIDGETTE.
Maya, you’re M.I.A. … why? Please tell me it’s just for the money, just for that last one big
batch of dough for our Bridal Cake Cart. Why don’t you answer my calls?? I’m running this
place by myself! Not that it’s busy … word’s going ’round that they’re gonna finally turn this
lot into condos. The Soda Jerker truck is pulling up stakes for China Basin! But, we’ve been
dreaming bigger than that, right Maya? Or did you forget … I’m baking you this cake, all
white and vanilla ’cause you never touch chocolate, and I’m gonna write Black Rock Desert
or Bust in sprinkles. Surprise you outside of your yoga class tonight (you’d never skip out
on that) and sit down with you, make sure you remember our plan … you just need to tell
me what’s going on. We’re partners!
Darkness, then spotlight on MAX.
I quit like a month ago and this badge still lets me on the Apple Bus. I’m done with trying to
reach Anthony, Investor Gone AWOL instead I’m gonna locate his Lady Friend and
explain that he already signed an oral agreement. He offered to fund my app’s first year,
and he liked every step I took along the way ditching my job, convincing three other
dudes to leave their jobs, selling all my stock to set up an ergonomic workloft in Mountain
View expensive! And I’m basically fibbing on KickStarter this morning when my mom
in New Jersey sends me an EaterSF link. “Isn’t that your Mister Wyzek they’re
discussing?” This is how I learn he’s now backing 100% the Mary Alice’s Gluten‐Free
Plaintain Pierogi Pub.
Lights up. MAX, holding his iPhone, stands at
the open back door of the Bridal Cake Cart as
BRIDGETTE regards him stiffly from within.
Yeah, I read it. God, she lives on flour.
He doesn’t. So where is this Mary Alice
I told you her name is Maya normally!
(turns away in retreat to her mixing bowl)
She hasn’t been here in days, okay?
(inviting himself in)
Messy in here. It’s not even his money it’s his Pop’s! I had to go to that mansion of
theirs like 20 times to pitch my idea. “This is your phone. You press a square and describe
just what you’re looking for. Like ‘basketball court,’ or ‘rooftop deck for spontaneous
dancing.’ And it searches all the information out there, in real time, to lead you right to it!”
(annoyed and wishing he’d leave, but intoning)
Humans are trickier; we’re not there yet. So I’m thinking everything’s gonna be great I
made a lot of promises! and, I don’t even know where he meets this Lady
At the gym. Seven weeks ago.
Who meets in person like that?
Who accepts a blank check from a creep you don’t even know? The temporarily insane. It’s
But it’s not. I finally got Pops on the horn this afternoon, and he told me everything. Oh
yeah, he thinks that she’s a schemer too, so he told Anthony they had to get married or no
dough. Quite a bluff.
The engagement party is tonight some place called Central Kitchen. Then they get
hitched on Sunday.
Darkness. Cone of light on BRIDGETTE.
No, no Maya … the plan was that we’d make a killing off those Twitter newlyweds. Not
marry them. The plan was that we would take the Cake Cart to Burning Man, but, stay
there, remember, be the real people who live there all year long, baking cakes for the locals,
show all those wanna‐bes how it’s done. The plan was to get out of this unaffordable trap
together. But now you’re falling for some lies. For a liar! What’s he going to do, come with
us? Force us to cook Polish food as part of the deal? You’re marrying a liar, when what you
need to do is just sit down and listen to me, because Maya … this … this is CRAZY!
Darkness, then nearing twilight outside the foodtruck.
Inside, BRIDGETTE is pulling the cake out of the oven.
MAX is sitting at the table, fiddling with iPhone but
staring with anxious boredom at BRIDGETTE’S every move.
Wouldn’t it be funny if other people there had the same gluten problem? Naw, I’ll bet the
odds of that are really slim!
(BRIDGETTE finally turns and they look at each other
with grim resolution; but BRIDGETTE is hiding something.)
It’s just to get more time. We’re saving four lives!
Yeah. They just need to be separated, so I can help her remember what she really wants.
Is it almost done?
I, um, still need to add one more thing to the frosting.
(pause as she realizes he’s just going to watch)
… and, we need an unlabeled cake box. No wait! I got it. Go to Source and buy a cake in
one of their boxes.
Don’t you know anything about this town? It’s a vegan‐friendly restaurant.
(MAX raises iPhone on palm toward his mouth.)
Don’t use the phone! Don’t you get it? Turn it off!
(suddenly frightened as he turns off and pockets
It it’s just going to make him sick, right? I don’t know … I might mess this up! Can’t you
No! Someone might see me, people know me in … the food scene. Only one person might
recognize you, and he’ll be inside.
(MAX is looking worse; a sharper concern for her
own survival now appears on BRIDGETTE’s face.)
Look! Can’t you handle this??
I I have to.
Go get the box. Source is right down the street.
(She stares after him as he exits.)
Darkness, cone of light. A frozen, consternated
BRIDGETTE cradles a mixing bowl and holds a box
of rat poison, not yet tilted, above the bowl.
Can’t stop now.
(Pours poison into bowl.)
Darkness, then it’s night outside the foodtruck where
BRIDGETTE is briskly packing up a stunned MAX
like it’s his first day of school.
You don’t have to say a thing. Just stroll in like some silly bike messenger and hand the
cake to the hostess. See, I wrote it out right on the box: “For Anthony Let’s make ALL of
San Francisco gluten‐free!” Here’s the map, you can follow this arrow to 20th and Harrison
But then where do I go?? And what if they’re late and spot me on the sidewalk! Pops will
never fund my app if they figure this out
I, um, thought of that too, while you were getting the cake box!
(produces a paper bag bulging with fabric)
It’s a getaway disguise. After you drop off the cake, pull these on outside. Follow the arrow
I drew from there to the BART station so you can get to CalTrain. I know it may seem a
little indirect but that’s to keep you off the busier streets. Don’t worry! The partnership is
Darkness. Initial spotlight on MAX as he enters;
MAX enacts some of his monologue while lights
and party chatter/ music fluctuate as needed.
I have not walked so far since Stanford my bladder is about to explode. I somehow
locate the address and enter this chic courtyard mobbed with people. A decked‐out cougar
sees what I’m holding and she practically rips the box out of my hands. “Chocolate cake?
It’s chocolate cake! Get Anthony!” I flee into the crowd, keeping the bag in front of my face
as I hunt for the restroom. There’s a line and it’s taking forever but even from there I
can see all these hands grabbing at the cake, while that smarmy Miss EaterSF Mary Alice
just smiles, dreaming about my money no doubt. I finally get my turn, and realize I could
just change here.
MAX dumps bag on the floor, reacts at over‐sized blue
hoodie and knit cap, pulls them on, and regards this
homeboy self in mirror uncomprehendingly. Then he
realizes people are pounding on the door. He exits into
offstage chaos of the crowd having become violently ill,
and dashes back onstage.
Half the party is sick! The floor is covered with vomit, people are climbing on the tables
I’m already gagging as I run toward the nearest open door, but I’m not far enough away to
miss hearing this “Oh my god I’ve been POISONED!”
MAX is running as he yells this, clutching the map. He slows,
he’s feeling safer, but then it finally registers re the cake,
at which point he stops, dumbfounded. A rival gangmember’s
red‐sleeved arm pops out from offstage and fingersnaps four
times. The other arm appears and clicks open a switchblade.
Darkness. Cone of light over BRIDGETTE huddling in
front seat of the relocated foodtruck after midnight.
You wouldn’t blame me, would you Maya? I mean those are the people we agreed are
ruining SF, are fucking it all up, and now they’ve even tried to fuck us both over. But I
stopped them. Maya, we won. Now you’ve just got to come back to your place tonight,
come back, pack your bag, and get in. It coughed and sputtered but she started, Maya, I’ve
pulled up stakes and we’re ready to sail. You just gotta come on back to your new home,
now that I can’t stay any longer, and … now that you’ve got no reason to …
(She squints through her tears and the windshield.)
Maya … is that you?
She turns on headlights and MAX appears, standing in
front of the truck. His blue sweatshirt is shredded
and bloody, he’s blank with shock. One hand holds his
iPhone out like a divining rod as he stares. Then he raises
the other, which holds the bloody switchblade.
John Milton Hendricks, ShotzSF: West Shotz Story Feb '13
Messy by John Milton Hendricks