A Rooster Crows
[Hero is standing center stage, smoking. Sidekick is pacing excitedly back and forth.]
Sidekick Oh Boy! A tied up Damsel! How are we going to save her?
Hero How are we going to save her??
Sidekick Uhh ... how are you going to save her?
Hero I'm not.
Hero [Laughs] No.
Sidekick Well, who then?
Hero Nobody. Until he wakes up. Try to keep up with me here. Imagine there's a tied up Damsel over there. Let's say that he's sleeping. Why should I go over there and untie her?
Sidekick [Unsure] Because she'll be eternally grateful, and you'll get glory and fame?
Hero Yeah. She jumps up, gives me a kiss, and then runs off, marries somebody, has kids, gets fat, and forgets about the whole thing. And glory? He's sleeping. Nobody's going to know I saved her. What do I get out of the whole deal? Nothing.
Sidekick [Hesitantly] But what about her? What about the greater good? The good of the world? [Quickly, as if he were reciting a memorized phrase.] The pure, unsullied pride that comes from doing a good deed without any consideration for recompense?
Hero Seriously. Now, let's say that he wakes up, and then I save her. Aha! Now, it gets written into a play, becomes famous, and everybody reads about how great I am. Gorgeous actors from across the world want to play my part. Now that's incentive to untie a damsel! Glory and fame don't get fat and have kids.
[A train whistle sounds in the distance]
Sidekick What if a train comes before he wakes up?
Hero She dies.
Sidekick Isn't that bad?
Hero No. Haven't you been listening? He's asleep. Nobody knows! If you lose a damsel here and there [shrugs] that's the way the ball bounces.
[Sidekick thinks it over. Maid enters.]
Maid Excuse me, sir? Sorry to bother you, but there's a young lady in room 305, and she's tied to some railroad tracks. I was wondering if there was any way you could go untie her. [Damsel screams, offstage.]
Sidekick Oh -- you see, he can't go untie her yet. See, until the writer wakes up, there won't be anybody to write it down, and if he saves her before the writer wakes up, then we'll all have to go get fat and have kids. I'd watch out around him anyway. The last couple of hotels we were in, he took the maid all the way up to the fourth floor! [Hero interrupts before Sidekick gets too far]
Hero [Blows smoke in Sidekick's face, making him cough. Hands him the cigarette.] Do something with this. [Sidekick exits.] I'm afraid I can't untie her right now -- I'm a little ... busy. [Puts his arm around Maid.]
Maid Excuse me for saying so, but you don't look very busy to me. What could be so important that you can't find any time to untie her?
Hero You know, you look very attractive in that... [Eyes her up and down] apron.
Maid Thanks, but don't you have just one minute... [Hero interrupts]
Hero How long have you worked here?
Maid About five years.
Hero [As he leads her offstage.] All that cleaning must be tough on your back -- you feel a little tense. You know, I'm a certified massage therapist -- perhaps you'd like a backrub...