That Movie about Breakfast Sucks

by Michele Graham

Natasha: 17-year-old girl. Smart, very sweet.

Gertrude: 18 year-old-girl. Stoner, annoying.

Galen: 17-year-old boy, punk, druggie

Liz: 16 politically correct tight-ass

Mrs. Simon: 56 disgruntled highschool teacher

SCENE:(It's a rainy afternoon. In a stuffy classroom, the lights flicker on and off. Students stare blankly ahead of themselves. Natasha walks into a large, dimly lit classroom. She's carrying a blue slip in her hand. She glances nervously around at the other students in the classroom. A woman is playing cat's cradle at her computer. Timidly, she moves toward Mrs. Simon's desk.)

NATASHA: Excuse me, is this room 103A? There's no number on the door.

MRS. SIMON: You didn't see the huge white sheet of paper pasted in the hallway? The one with the big black letters that said 'ROOM 103A' with an arrow pointing at this room

NATASHA:(embarrassed)Um . . . no.

MRS: SIMON: Yes. This is room 103A.

NATASHA: Oh, okay. (fiddles with the blue slip) Do I give this to you? Or. . . .

MRS. SIMON: You've never been in detention before, have you?

NATASHA:(laughs nervously) Is it that obvious?

(Mrs. Simon grunts and takes the blue slip. She pulls out a clipboard.)

MRS. SIMON: Sign here. (Natasha signs) Now take a seat. And be quiet.

(Natasha catches the other students gawking at her. She looks down and sits in the seat nearest in the back next to a girl with long, large spiky black hair pulled back messily. She has piercings all over her face and is wearing an oversized, smoky black leather jacket. Long rips are visible in her dirty jeans. Natasha tries not to look at the Slurpee straws in her hair. She stares intently at Natasha.)

GERTRUDE: Pot.

NATASHA: What?

GERTRUDE: Pot. Whatcha in for?

NATASHA: I forgot to bring my art notebook to class, and Mrs. Locane got mad at me.

GERTRUDE: Oooo dangerous. I bet you'll have to go to confession for that.

NATASHA: Why would I go to confession for that?

GERTRUDE: (rolls her eyes) Mrs. Locane, isn't she, like, that freaky art teacher that wears all that multicolored crap and walks around like she's on crack or something?

NATASHA: Yep.

GERTRUDE: I heard she's one inch over being considered a legal midget.

NATASHA: Yeah, she's pretty short.

GERTRUDE: And she gave you detention . . . for that? (Natasha nods again) Is she crazy?

NATASHA: Of course. We call her Mrs. Loco.

GERTRUDE: Shit. She's insane, huh? Any other reason, you think?

NATASHA: I think she did it to make an example out of me. She doesn't seem to like me very much.

GERTRUDE: What a fuckin' bitch.

(Natasha winces at her words. Gertrude notices.)

GERTRUDE: Does that hurt your virgin ears? (Natasha doesn't say anything)

MRS. SIMON: Shhhhhhh! In the back! Be quiet.

GERTRUDE: (whispers) What's your name?

NATASHA: Natasha.

GERTRUDE: I hate that name. Mines' Gertrude. But my friends call me Sage.

NATASHA: Because . . . you're so wise?(Gertrude nods)

GERTRUDE: So, you're here because you forgot your art notebook. That explains a lot. You don't look like the type to be in detention.

NATASHA: I'll take that as a compliment.

GERTRUDE: La de da. It wasn't supposed to be.

NATASHA: I noticed.

GERTRUDE: So. . . . what? You think you're better than me?

NATASHA: I never said that.

GERTRUDE: What the fuck ever. You impotenced it.

NATASHA: (beat) Implied?

GERTRUDE: Shut up! Yeah, don't act like you're so smart. I know you think you do. I mean, hell, look at the way your dress!

NATASHA: What's wrong with my clothes?

GERTRUDE: You shittin' me?

NATASHA: No, I'm not (beat) shitting you, but –

GERTRUDE: Look at you! Your hair neatly pulled, white blouse, tight jeans, those brainy glasses, the short nails all trimmed and clean. Classic bookworm. I bet you have the entire library memorized by heart.

NATASHA: And what am I supposed to look like? You? Some reject from the 80's?

GERTRUDE: Fuck you.

MRS. SIMON: Quit talking!

(The door opens and a boy with long brown hair, bushy sideburns, and broad sunglasses walks in. He is wearing a dirty camouflage shirt, jeans, and flip-flops. A guitar is slung over his shoulder. He sings in and sits right in front of Natasha)

GERTRUDE: (leans over to Natasha) See? Now, look at him. Look at the way he's dressed. Total hippie.

NATASHA: Don't be stupid, he's wearing army fatigues. He obviously want's to join the army. Hippies don't like that kind of stuff.

(Galen looks behind him and stares at the girls)

GALEN: You talkin' 'bout me?

NATASHA: You want to join the army?

GALEN: (deadpan) War is murder.

(Natasha looks confused)

GERTRUDE: (smirks) Told ya.

NATASHA: Well, how the hell was I supposed to know? It's not like he's wearing tie-dye and playing hacky-sack with his stoner buddies. (to Galen) Why are you wearing camouflage if you're against war?

GALEN: C'mon man, this is a statement.

NATASHA: Against what exactly?

GALEN: Against war, fighting for no cause and killin' thousands of innocent people so that the US can feel good about themselves. You see all those commercials about joining military? "Be all that you can be?" or some shit like that? That's what I'm fighting. Down with propaganda. Gotta love it.

NATASHA: So you're fighting it by displaying it? That doesn't make any sense.

GALEN: That's the point.

NATASHA: Uh-huh. (beat) I still don't get it.

GALEN: I'm goin' off the military industrial complex, whatever that means. And I wouldn't expect a fuckin' conformist like you to know anything about that.

NATASHA: Ya know, for a hippie, your not showing a lot of love and peace.

(The door opens again. A girl wearing a gray turtleneck and blond hair enters the room. After she sings in, and stiffly takes the only empty spot next to Natasha on her left.)

GALEN: Hippies got it right. After all, we do this kind of stuff (gestures to his clothes) to get our messages across.

NATASHA: Well, the only message your getting across is that you're an asshole. You act like I'm this big conformist because I wash my hair more than once a year and pass on grass, but look at yourself! You conform to all your blockheaded friends, tell us we're the ones who are causing the downfall of society when you won't do a damn thing to protect it. You know how many men died for your right to say that war is murder? I bet you don't. All you care about is free love and drugs. The only true way to be a nonconformist is to just be yourself, and by the looks of you hypocrites (glances at Gertrude) you're just like all the other queen bees and wannabees.

GALEN: Fuck off.

(The girls with the blond hair and turtle neck turns to Galen)

LIZ: Don't say that word! It makes me uncomfortable!

(Mrs. Simon gets out of her seat and storms to the back of the class. She hunches over Natasha, Gertrude, Galen and Liz.)

MRS. SIMON: Shut it, or I'll give you detention every day for the rest of the month!

(Mrs. Simon marches back to her desk. Gertrude waves her hands in the air while her back is turned.)

GERTRUDE: She is such a bitch. No one likes her. So I was talking to this chick –

LIZ: Chick? (stares at Gertrude) I find that offensive.

GERTRUDE: Oh, I'm sorry. So I was talking to this broad the other day (Liz rolls her eyes) she told me that when she was in detention with Mrs. Simon, she was hovering over her and telling her to be quiet all the time. It was almost as if she was obsessed with her. I think she's gay.

NATASHA: I'm sure she's not.

GERTRUDE: You're acting touchy. Why? Are you gay?

NATASHA: No.

GALEN:(snickers) I bet she is.

LIZ: You shouldn't be talking about this kind of stuff. It's inappropriate.

NATASHA: (to Galen) I'm surprised that you would be teasing someone about being gay, since you're all about the right to believe in what you want. Or maybe to you that means people's beliefs should mirror what you believe.

(They sit in silence staring at each other. Galen looks stunned.)

GALEN:(to Gertrude) She is so gay.

NATASHA: They say that a lot of homosexuals tease others about being gay because they are trying to repress or deny their own feelings.

(More silence. Now Galen and Gertrude look stunned. Liz looks horrified.)

GERTRUDE: (seriously) That's not true.

NATASHA: (in a singsong voice) De-ni-al.

LIZ: Be quiet. You're all going to get us into more trouble.

NATASHA: Then shut up and don't talk to us.

GERTRUDE: Who cares if we get into trouble? Look, we're already in trouble! That's why we're here. Fighting 'bout war and peace and clothes and gays. This is as bad as its gonna get. Why worry about some little pissant teacher?

LIZ: Because she has more power over you.

GERTRUDE: That's why I like to get her mad.

GALEN: That's why I like to stick it to the man.

NATASHA: I'm sure you stick it to your man.

MRS. SIMON: I'm going out to get more coffee, so you'd better not try anything funny while I'm gone (leaves)

GERTRUDE: I heard that she keeps confiscated cigarettes in her bottom drawer.

(Gertrude stands up and walks over the Mrs. Simon's desk. She starts rummaging through it)

NATASHA: (to Galen) That is why you never want to do drugs (nods over at Gertrude)

GALEN: Gert? A druggie? I don't think so.

NATASHA: But she said that she got detention because she got caught smoking pot.

GALEN: She said that?

NATASHA: Well, not really (beat) Okay, she hinted it.

GALEN: They don't give you detention if they catch you smokin' pot, they put you behind bars. Or at the very least, expel you. No, she's not a druggie. Maybe she pretends to be, but she's not. Trust me, I know.

NATASHA: So, why the hell is she even here?

GALEN: She backed into the vice principle's car when she was trying to skip school, and then lied about it.

NATASHA: How do you know that?

GALEN: I was there.

NATASHA: Smoking pot?

GALEN: There's no need to be such a bitch.

NATASHA: I wouldn't have to be if you weren't such a bastard.

GALEN: Why are you even here? Shouldn't you be thrusting your nose up some teacher's ass?

NATASHA: Listen, Baby Love Child, why don't you mind your own damn business and go hang out with your dooby brothers? Go turn on some Edgar Winters and get high in the back of your van.

(Gertrude comes back and sits down empty handed.)

GALEN: Couldn't find any of your cancer sticks?

GERTRUDE: Bite me.

NATASHA: How are cigarettes any different from the joints you smoke?

GALEN: They don't cause cancer.

NATASHA: No, only stupidity.

GERTRUDE: I hate it when people say that to me. "Those things will kill you" or "Do you have a death wish?" I don't go walking up to some fat chick eating a Banana Sunday and say "You're going to die."

NATASHA: Really? You don't? I'm surprised.

(Mrs. Simon comes back in with a steaming cup of coffee. She sits down for a second, stares at her desk, and then jumps up.)

MRS. SIMON: Who's been going through my desk? (Silence) I said, who's been going through my desk?

LIZ: She did it. (points and Gertrude)

(Mrs. Simon walks briskly down the isle and stops right over Gertrude)

MRS. SIMON: That's it. Detention tomorrow! All of you! (Points at all four of them, including Liz. Goes back to her desk.)

GERTRUDE: (to Liz) Way to go, you stupid bitch. (Liz scowls)

GALEN: Guys, this reminds me of that stupid movie about breakfast.

NATASHA: Breakfast?

GALEN: Yeah, the one where all those kids have detention together and they all hate each other. The rebel, the preppy, the dork, the weirdo, and the jock.

GERTRUDE: You mean The Breakfast Club?

GALEN: Yeah, that movie sucked

(Bell rings)

MRS. SIMON: Okay, all of you outta here. You kids (waves at Gertrude, Natasha, Galen, and Liz) I'll see you tomorrow (smiles nastily)

NATASHA: Yeah, it does suck. It fuckin' sucks.