Bedtime for Bonzo IV

Yet Another Compelling True-Life Sci-Fi Docu-Drama in One Act
(overheard from the next room)

The curtain rises.
The time: 9 p.m. The place: the spectacularly messy bedroom of a four-year-old boy, who is being tucked in by his spectacularly pregnant mother.

BOY: Mom, will you read me a story?
MOTHER: Yes. But just one. A short one. You have to get a good night's sleep tonight. Do you remember where you're going tomorrow?

BOY: Yeah! To the railroad park. With my friends Martin and Kelsey. I've never been to the railroad park with them, have I?

MOTHER: No. The last time you were there, they weren't even born yet.
BOY: Where were they before they were born?
MOTHER: You know. They were in their mommies' tummies. Just like our new baby.
BOY: I mean before that.

MOTHER: Oh. Well, um, they were, aah . . . they were angels. They were angels waiting for just the right time to come to earth to be with their mommies and daddies.

BOY: They were angels?
MOTHER: Uh-huh.
BOY: They were in heaven? With God and Jesus and my goldfish and all the other angels?

MOTHER: Um . . . well, yes . . . BOY: So they died?
MOTHER: No, no, no . . . they just, um . . . which book did you want me to read? How about Three Billy Goats Gruff?

BOY: How did they get to heaven if they didn't die? I thought you had to die to get to heaven.

MOTHER: No, you don't have to die. You see, aah . . . we all come from heaven. That's where God makes us. And then we, um, wait for our turn to come to earth. (Clears throat.) Three Billy Goats Gruff. Once upon a time there were three billy goats gruff . . . BOY: When the baby comes to earth, how does it get into the mommy's tummy?

MOTHER: Well, mommies have these tiny little eggs inside them . . . BOY (suddenly excited): You mean you're gonna lay an egg?!?

MOTHER: No, sweetheart, I'm not going to lay an egg. You see, mommies have these little eggs inside them, and, um, daddies have something inside of them . . . and when you, er, put it all together, the egg turns into a baby.

BOY: Really?
MOTHER: Yes. That's how you make babies.
(Long pause.)

BOY: I'd rather make candy.
MOTHER: I don't blame you. Okay. Three Billy Goats Gruff. Once upon a time . . . BOY: So God doesn't make the baby . . . MOTHER: Yes, He does. He just needs the Mommy and Daddy to help Him. Now, c'mon. It's getting late. If you want me to read you this story . . . BOY: Does the egg hatch inside of your tummy?

MOTHER: Um, sort of, yes.
BOY: When our baby is born, can I keep the egg shells?
MOTHER: Oh, honey, there aren't any egg shells. It's all very complicated. You'll understand when you're bigger. I promise. All right? Let's read the story. Three Billy Goats Gruff. Once upon a time, there were three . . . BOY: How does the baby come out of your tummy?

MOTHER: Well, do you remember the movie The Adventures of Milo and Otis, about the cat and the dog who were best friends? BOY: Yes.

MOTHER: And do you remember the part where we saw the puppies being born?
BOY (shocked): You mean when they came out like poop?
MOTHER: Uh . . . BOY: Our baby isn't going to come out like that, is it? MOTHER: Well, aah . . . BOY: Oh, gross! I don't want to be there. I don't want to see it. I'm gonna stay with Grandma. Gro-ooo-sss. (Pause.) Mom? Where are you going? Aren't you going to read me Three Billy Goats Gruff?

MOTHER: No, honey. It's very late, and I think you've had enough stories for one night. Good night, sweetheart. (She exits.)

BOY: Mom! I didn't come out like that, did I? Mom? Mom? (Pause.) Oh, gross! I should have let her read Three Billy Goats Gruff.

(Blackout. Curtain.)

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Michael Burkett