MSI, Georgia: A Play In One Almost-True Act.
(This play was inspired by Georgia Representative Bobby Franklin, who has proposed a bill which, among other heinous things, would declare that all “unexplained’ miscarriages should be investigated as potential "pre-natal murders." I envisioned the dedicated men who would join this investigative unit: “Miscarriage Scene Investigators.” Et voila.)
THE SCENE: A gleaming modern crime lab, as envisioned by the indefatigable Jerry Bruckheimer. Glass, sunshine, virtual computer screens and unspeakably buff men wearing Glocks and tight clothes are everywhere. In order for this elite force to preserve its objectivity, there are no women allowed on the MSI team, unless you count that hot blonde who gets them coffee.
A group of MSIs are sitting in the lunch room, talking about the girls they had sex with last night.
MSI BOB: This chick was so into me, I only bought her like six drinks before she took me home. Yeah! (flexes his pecs proudly)
MSI JOHN: Oh yeah? That's nothing. I had two last night. Mother and daughter.
(The other MSIs make manly noises of approval.)
MSI JOHN: I didn't even bother to stay the night. What a couple of sluts! (suddenly worried) Shit, I hope they don't get pregnant. I might end up investigating them!
(A brief pause as the MSIs look at each other in consternation.)
MSI GEORGE: Well goddamn. I didn't ever think of that. Hey - do you guys ever use condoms?
MSI BOB (immediately): Fuck no! That's for pussies. Let the bitches take care of their own business.
(All the MSIs make manly noises of agreement. Suddenly, their beepers go off.)
MSI JIM (who's the leader of the group, a strong and silent type): Looks like we got a prenatal incident, boys - Atlanta General. (putting on a pair of Ray-Bans) Let's ride!
MSI GEORGE (puts on Ray-Bans): Shotgun on the Hummer!
MSIs BOB and JOHN (putting on Ray-Bans at the same time they say): DAMMIT!
(END OF SCENE ONE.)
SCENE TWO: The outside of Atlanta General Hospital. The MSI official vehicle, a giant black Hummer, pulls up with tires smoking and brakes screeching. The men park sideways in a handicapped spot and rush into the hospital, stopping at the reception desk. The receptionist does not look up from her book, even after the boys cough several times to gain her attention.
MSI JIM (exasperatedly, to the receptionist): Excuse me, ma'am, but we're MSI - Miscarriage Scene Investigators. You reported a pre-natal incident?
RECEPTIONIST (looking frostily up from her book): I KNOW who you are, SIRS. (sighing) I suppose you want room 532 - Mr. and Mrs. Carson. Fifth floor, turn left off the elevator, sixth door on the left.
MSI JIM (sarcastically): Thank YOU, ma'am. And have a special day. (to the MSIs, urgently) Come on, boys - up to five. We're losing evidence!
(The MSIs rush over to the elevator, sunglasses intact.)
(END OF SCENE TWO.)
(SCENE THREE: Room 532, with young Mr. and Mrs. Carson seated, huddled together on the hospital bed. They have both been crying. The "miscarriage scene" has been captured in a basin, and is sitting on a shelf next to them.)
MRS. CARSON (wiping tears from below her eyes): I can't believe this. I cannot believe I'm going to be questioned like a criminal because I had - h-h-had...(she loses it again and starts crying)
MR. CARSON (hugging and consoling her): Awwww, Carol, don't cry. The doctor said it was just one of those things, but you and I can try again really soon. Don't worry, I'm sure this whole...uh...investigation...well, I'm sure it's just a formality.
MRS. CARSON (through tears): What the hell are they going to investigate, anyway? The - the mess in that basin? I was only three weeks pregnant, for God's sake.
MR. CARSON (nervously): Shhhhh! Don't take the Lord's name in vain. That might be illegal now too.
MRS. CARSON (getting a little angry): You've GOT to be kidding me, Ned. (her voice rising) Are you kidding me right now?
CSI JIM (striding manfully into the room): No, Mrs. Carson. We are completely serious. And if you've committed fetal homicide (removes his Ray-Bans dramatically), we'll find out. We'll (dramatic pause) find out.
(Both Carsons shut up, intimidated.)
CSI JIM: Come on, boys, let's take a look around the crime scene.
(The boys enter, removing their sunglasses dramatically, but not all at the same time. That would be silly.)
CSI JIM: Where is the scene of the miscarriage, Mr. and Mrs. Caruso? Er, I mean, Carson?
MR. CARSON: Right there, sir. In that basin. But there's no crime here. It was just an accident!
MSI JOE: We'll be the judge of that, sir. First, we have to question your wife.
(He approaches her threateningly).
MSI JOE: Mrs. Carson, you are a Christian, right?
MRS. CARSON: Well...uh...yes, but what does that have to do with -
MSI GEORGE (approaching her, interrupting earnestly): Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, ma'am?
MRS. CARSON: What?! (looking around her, starting to feel cornered) Do you people realize that I've just lost my baby?
MSI JOHN (approaching her slyly): Have you (finger quotes) "lost" it, or did you...(suddenly loudly) commit pre-natal murder, ma'am?
MR. CARSON (yelling): What in the hell are you all doing?! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!
(All the MSIs freeze in mid-stalk, startled. They look like they have just been caught in a game of "Red Light/Green Light." They then put their legs down, embarrassed. But not all at once. That would be silly.)
MSI JIM (putting his hand on NED's shoulder): I understand this is very difficult, but we're just doing our jobs, sir.
MR. CARSON: (sadly and defeatedly) Look, would you just do whatever you have to do and leave us alone. Just - leave us ALONE.
(He buries his head in his hands.)
MSI JIM (slightly ashamed): We'll, uh, we'll try to make this quick, sir. JOE - go over to that basin and take a look. Does that look like murder to you?
MSI JOE (going over to the basin and peering in): Uh, I...er...I'm stumped.
MSI JIM: You're WHAT?
MSI JOE (bursting out): Dammit, Jim, I'm an investigator, not a doctor!
MSI JIM (rolling eyes): Didn't you pay any attention in MSI school, you idiot? You don't have to be a doctor. Just dip your cross in the water.
MSI JOE: Shit! I forgot my cross today.
MSI GEORGE (stepping in scornfully): You went on a mission without your gear? Lucky for you, I always pack a spare. (He crosses to the basin and dips his cross in. Nothing happens.)
MRS. CARSON (disbelievingly): What on EARTH are you doing?
MSI JOHN (helpfully): Oh! Sorry we didn't explain. If the cross smokes after immersion, that proves you are a pre-natal murderer. If nothing happens, then this is just a tragic accident. Murder by Jesus, we call it, which as we all know is a-okay.
ALL MSIS: Praise His Holy Murders!
MSI JIM: Well, Mr. and Mrs. Carson, looks like you're in the clear. My condolences on your tragic loss today. (puts sunglasses back on) Come on, boys. Back to the squad room!
(Suddenly a beautiful blonde woman enters the room.)
MSI JOHN: Hey - it's the chick who brings us coffee! Hey, coffee chick. What are you doing here?
COFFEE CHICK (aka MELISSA): Well, boys, it's like this. After working in that horrible office for a few weeks, I realized that I couldn't just sit back and let you morons terrorize women any more. So, I organized a bunch of protests at the State House, and bottom line is, the MSI office has been disbanded, and you're all fired.
(A stunned silence ensues from the MSIs. The CARSONs hug each other joyously. MSI JIM is the first to recover.)
MSI JIM (chuckling condescendingly): Well, ma'am, that sure is a funny joke! Now why don't you get us all some soy lattes? I like mine with chocolate sprinkles, as I'm sure you remember.
MELISSA (smiling smugly): I knew you wouldn't believe me. You really are stupid, aren't you? Did you think I'd come all the way down here without proof? (whipping out an official-looking piece of paper and putting it in front of MSI JIM's face) Read it and weep, you asshole! The Governor signed it today. Seems he didn't like seeing ten thousand pissed-off women in front of his office every day. He finally remembered that we vote. And so do our husbands, and our sons, and our brothers!
(The MSIs start loudly protesting that MELISSA is lying, but JIM isn't the boss for nothing. He silences them with a hand, reads the paper, then takes off his sunglasses dejectedly.)
MSI JIM: Boys, looks like we're out of business.
MSI GEORGE: But I love this job!
MSI JOE: I didn't even graduate high school!
MSI JOHN (wailing): I don't WANT to go back to the Dairy Queen!
MSI JIM: Calm down, boys. Hey, we can always run for State office. They'll let anyone do THAT job! Come on, let's get the hell out of here. Who's up for Krispy Kremes?
ALL THE MSIs (their plight forgotten): Me! Me!
(They all exit, sunglasses off, as the CARSONs happily hug and thank MELISSA.)