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Tom Bryson 



MONOLOGUE             MALE

SCENE 1:  At home in New York apartment with dog owner Penny

(The narrator is a ‘street-wise’ dog)


Hi, the name’s Buddha Boy…yeah, yeah, I know, some name for a dog … that’s my owner for you.  Penelope - bit of a mystic; into the great religions – I mean – do I look like a Buddha?  Lean, mean – and pure mongrel!   That’s me.  But don’t get me wrong, Penelope’s okay, a fine dog owner - loves me and she brings a twinkle to my eye!  Speaks in this kinda breathy old-fashioned “Marilyn Monroe” way, you know…we watch old movies together and she practises her “Marilyn” voice.  She gives me the hots – and that’s saying something what with the way you guys smell…yuk…. but Penny, she wears…Chanel! Mustn’t get too excited.  I get told off if I start messing the curtains, the scatter cushions, back of her men-friends’ trouser legs…but hey, let’s not go there!


I may look like a perky sort of fella, but right now I’m feeling kinda low.  I have this problem - big-time prob.  Started with this bitch…and don’t get me wrong when I say bitch, I don’t mean in a garage music or Gangsta-rap way. I mean a real bitch, of the canine variety, right.  Her name is Sugar Dove.  Boy, does she get my ardour rising.  Phew, I feel my ardour rising right now.  Cool it!


Sugar Dove, well, her owners left the district suddenly and yours truly was the last to know…always the way when you’re in love.  Vanished, kaput, didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye…what a pisser.   

(Leaps up)  But, hey - I’m tough, I take it right on the muzzle, no tears, not me!  Not for no bitch!  (Strides off)




Been a week since ol’ Sugar Dove left.  Poor me.  And Penny – she’s got doubts about her latest boyfriend, big doubts.  She suffers from depression…and paranoia, mania and trauma – it comes with ‘the doubts’.  She’s thinking this latest guy’s a cheat, a two-timing jerk.  And guess what – she’s got herself a therapist!  A shrink! I mean…

A family goes for therapy - mom, dad and a sweet little daughter – all kinda low, depressed. Shrink says ‘Act normal, guys like you’re at home’. 


Then the little girl asks:

‘How’d I get here Mom?’

          ‘Why, God sent you, sweetheart.’

          ‘And did God send you too, Mommy?’

          ‘Yes, dear - and your dad’

          ‘And grandma and grandpa and their moms and dads too?’

          ‘Yes, sweetheart – all of them!’

Hey, we don’t need no shrink to spell out the problem there – no wonder they’re depressed – no sex in that family for 200 years!’


Voiceover  ‘Buddha Boy, Buddha Boy’.


Penny!  The depressive!   ‘Scuse me, time for walkies!



SCENE 2:  Hotel bedroom

(Buddha Boy dejected, head in hands)


What a day!  Penny – full of the joys.  A real spring in her step.  She’s only dragged me along on a ‘residential retreat’ with her therapist on tap- for a whole weekend!  Imagine that - a whole weekend talking to a shrink.  So – here we are – in Shrinkland.  It’s enough to drive you round the bend!  I mean…a dog in a hotel!  And one whole more day to go, no kidding.   Visits outside mean a walk across the hotel room to the balcony, a pee in a soak-up mat and a crap in a tray filled with soil – followed by the old poop-a-scoop.  Boy, do I hate those things, I mean how can you check if you’re regular and doing okay if the old doob-a-doob is whipped away from under your nose before you’ve had time to get your nose into it.   I tell you, I’m getting stir crazy.  I’m grizzly, moping around, pawing at my food.  And Penny?  Well, she reads me all wrong!  You know what she just said?


Voiceover  ‘Oh, poor Buddha Boy, you’re getting all depressed – just like Momma Penny.  Getting my ‘inky deps’.


Inky deps!  That’s her shorthand for incremental depression - yeah, yeah, I know, I know, but she’s in PR and they do that sort of thing with words!  Hey, you should see her text messages – talk about abbreviations, acronyms, allusions, anagrams and anachronisms…What a load of A.  She rubs me around the ears, puts her face up against my nose…I just love that…Chanel, it gets me going.  She pouts and she says,


Voiceover  ‘Poor Buddha Boy, missing li’l Sugar Dove?  Momma Penny’s gonna do something about that, something real special…now you listen up.  There’s a dog therapist staying in this hotel, a pet shrink, can you believe our luck?  He’ll help you, Buddha Boy, sort you out.   Can’t have you feeling low and sad like poor old Momma Penny, can we?’


I think…uh, uh, here comes trouble!  Hey, I don’t need no pet shrink!  Me!  Only sorting out I need is open space, place to crap - time to admire my results – and yeah, sure, a fine bitch on heat…like ol’ Sugar Dove.  I mean it’s not asking too much, is it…but come on…a dog therapist, a pet shrink!  Listen – this is New York and you know the reputation this City has.  Anything goes and man, when I say anything I mean anything.  And you guys better watch out - what happens in America travels across the pond in no time.  I mean – therapists, shrinks – for dogs!  Come on!

Hey, I’m a tough guy, I don’t need that kinda shit, man, I tell you.  All I need is…well, I told you what I need.  But Penny… boy, once that old lady gets an idea in her head there’s no shifting it. 

So…I got an appointment today – with a dog shrink!  What a downer!



SCENE 3:  Penny’s apartment

(Some months later)

Hey, isn’t life just great?  When I think back…

Sure, I saw the pet shrink.  It was pretty good.  Let me…’share the experience’ with you.  See – I’m getting the lingo!  I didn’t know what to expect from a pet shrink.  I just hoped he wasn’t one of those crazy guys who throw sticks and expect you to run after it, bite the stick, run back and wait for a ‘good dog, good dog’ kinda thank you.  Never saw any point in that stuff.  Penny once tried it.  Threw the stick, got down on her hunkers, pointed and yelled, ‘Fetch, fetch’.  Me - well, I looked at the flying stick, watched it bounce, settle - and then while she’s hunkered down I run behind her and boy - that ass!

So – like I say, when I met the pet shrink I didn’t feel good. You ever have that moment when you fear the worst?  Like watching people eat lamb chops, you know there’ll be great bones left over – boy, you’re drooling – and then without warning – bang!  Shovelled straight in the garbage can. 

Penny goes right up to the shrink, he kisses her cheek, then the other cheek…real slow - and boy, do I get vibes?  We dogs - we got more antennae when it comes to vibes than you humans have in a month of Sundays.  You see…I smelt S-E-X…

And next thing…I don’t believe it!  In the corner of the pet psychologist’s office I smell…D-0-G.  And, boy, do I smell DOG.

I shoot across the office – my pecker up…know what I mean.  And guess what?  It’s Sugar Dove.  Her owner’s the pet shrink!  The guy who moved house.  Boy, do I get my nose some places.

Penny doesn’t scold or shout. She’s too intent on the shrink.  She coos,


Voiceover  ‘Oh, hey, ain’t they sure hitting it off.’


And we weren’t only ones.

I settled down with Sugar Dove, I nuzzled her – we talked – about how terrible it was the way we were split up.  But I’m getting wise to how you play things when you human guys are around, so I said,

‘Decorum, honey, decorum!’

So we got decorumous.

Unlike some people!  Penny and the shrink were spread-eagled across the desk!

So…Sugar Dove and me…we got undecoromous!

So, that’s how we got to end up one big happy family.  Penny and the pet shrink, me and Sugar Dove.  And guess what?  We got some junior pet shrinks on the way – and a few Buddha Boy – Sugar Dove puppies too.

Hey!  A schizophrenic walks into a shrink’s office and says,

‘Good to meet you, doctor.’

The doc replies, ‘Good to meet you . . . and you and you and you…’

The moral of my story? If you’re ever down in the mouth – and someone recommends therapy – the shrink treatment – don’t be a tough guy 3.  Take my advice, pal – go for it!                                                                                                                         ENDS