Aitch-Bar

Two Almost Physicists With Almost Something To Say

“Swap” by Kevin Chang (Part 5)

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Also a terrifying and confusing journey

General Chang’s Zombie Chicken.

At this point, I really have to admit that I haven’t thought through the consequences of posting this online. As I said, Kevin Chang seems like it should be a common enough name that he is as unlikely to find it if he googles himself, as I am to find him. Still, it isn’t totally impossible. If this work starts getting the attention it deserves, who knows, maybe he’ll come across it. And I don’t really know the intellectual property status of things that you just find somewhere. I know that there have been magazines and radio shows that relied on found materials, and I’m obviously not profiting from this in any way, so who knows.

There is also the possibility that other, innocent, Kevin Changs will start finding these polluting their search results. To these Misters Chang, I am sorry. You don’t deserve this association. But if you’ve looked at any of these I think you’ll have to agree that the world is a better place for having this posted on it.

The final scene is amazing. So many things happen that are bewildering or unstageable. It really speaks for itself. Once more into the breach, dear Kevin Changs:

———————————-

Scene 7  –  The Chaos

Scene: Back in the present. Old Man is sitting watching Jin-Mei, Ping, and Pong playing basketball. Jin-Mei is dressed in a basketball outfit. She owns both Ping and Pong by dodging both of their tackles.

Pong:   (taking his breath) Yo Ping… Wat’s goin’ on wit dis honey? We got owned!

Ping:   (taking his breath) Damn Straight. I mean… True dat.

Pong:   Wake up ya fool. We better start rackin’ up dat ball!

Both of them try stealing the ball from Jin-Mei, but she swiftly dribbles past them. Both ball to the ground.

Jin-Mei:   Come on Boys! Is that all you got? I want to play more!

Pong:   (catching his breath) Time of babe… I’m outaa gas.

Ping:   (catching his breath)  Damn…… Straight……

Jin-Mei:   Aw… fine. You party poopers!

Old Man:   Now, now my little girl, at least let them take a break.

Jin-Mei:   Yes, I know… I was just playing with the (giggles)

Panda enters the stage holding the mirror. It puts down the mirror facing toward the backstage.

Jin-Mei:   (gasps) Mr. Panda!

Old Man:   Panda? Why are you here? I told you to stay home!

Panda:   Making gestures.

Old Man:   I see…

Jin-Mei:   What happened?

Old Man:   The boy we left behind… even with that perfect disguise, the plot fails…

Jin-Mei:   Oh dear… is Lon alright?

Pong:   Yo wait a sec, did you just say… Lon?

Both Old Man and Jin-Mei turn silent.

Pong:   Boss… ya gotta tell me sumthin’. Lon’s my Ace Boon Coon fo life. I haven’t seen my bro for like a week. Ya gotta tell me da situation right here right now, Boss.

Ping:   Right here right now.

Old Man:   Well… I guess I have no choice.

Suddenly from the mirror, Lon pops out onto the stage along with the crowd of Jiang-shis and Lord Wang. The Jiang-shis and Lord Wang hesitate about where they are. Lon stands right up and looks around to see what the situation is. Ping, Pong, Jin-Mei, and the Old Man have their jaws wide open.

Lon:   I’ve seen dis place before. Am I back or wat?

Pong:   Lon! Did ya just pull dat out from yo ass?

Ping:   You saw dat mirror?! Wat the (beep) just happened!?

Lon:   Ping, Pong! I made it baby! Tell me I’m back! (hugs both Ping and Pong)

Pong:   Ey ey ey. Chill dawg. Wat in da world is wit ya? Being gone just like dat fo a week and stuff.

Lon:   Can’t talk now bro.

Lon notices Jin-Mei and the Old Man.

Lon:   You! Both of ya! Look at da mess! (points to the Jiang-shis and Lord Wang) Yo payin’ for dis!

Jin-Mei:   Sir… I don’t know what to say… What I did to you was totally… (breaks down onto the floor)

Lon:   Damn Straight! I ain’t gonna let you go for tears!

Jin-Mei keeps crying. Lord Wang and his gang finally come back to their own sense from the sound of her cry.

Lord Wang:   Aiya… Isn’t this interesting… I found my fiancée just from nowhere, didn’t I?

Old Man:   No! Lord Wang! Please don’t take my granddaughter. (stopping Lord Wang from approaching Jin-Mei) She is still too young to think about marriage you see.

Lord Wang:   Unacceptable!  (pushes Old Man onto the ground) I will not question you anymore nor what this place is supposed to be as long as I get my bride back! We will officially get engaged when we get back! Understand!?

Jin-Mei:   No! Please don’t take me back!

Lord Wang orders his crew to kidnap Jin-Mei. Jin-Mei struggles to escape from their grasp. Old Man tries to push them out of the way but it appears to be not effective at all. He gets pushed back instead. Old Man falls unconscious. 2 of the Jiang-shis notice Ping and Pong just standing there staring at the whole scheme. The 2 Jiang-shis start going for them. Ping and Pong notice the 2 Jiang-shis coming for them and runs out of the stage. The rest of the Jiang-shis and Lord Wang trie to drag Jin-Mei into the mirror. Lon, who was watching her struggling, runs to her and starts pulling her from the other side.

Jin-Mei:   No! I don’t want to go! I don’t want to go back there Lon! You know how it was like living with Wang! Please! Pull me harder!

Lon:   (pulling)  Ya owe me one baby.

Panda is playing with his bamboo sticks behind the whole scene. Jin-Mei kicks both Lord Wang and the Jiang-shis in the stomach. Lord Wang falls back onto Panda. A snapping sound echoes the space. Lon, Jin-Mei, Lord Wang and the Jiang-shis look back at Panda. It appears that the bump had caused to break on of Panda’s bamboo stick.

Panda:   Stares at the broken stick.

Everyone freezes. A long pause.

Panda:   (slow motion)  Nnnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooo!

Panda stands up and throws the broken bamboo stick down onto the ground. Then he picks the other bamboo stick and faces the crowd. Lon carries both Old Man and runs off stage with Jin-Mei. Panda attacks the Jiang-shis with his bamboo stick. All the Jiang-shis fall to the ground bu gets up again. The Jiang-shis run up to attack Panda. Panda quickly sticks the papers with a Chinese character written on it on their forehead. All the Jiang-shis stop their movement. The next moment Panda swipes his bamboo and brings down all the Jiang-shis to the ground. Lord Wang walks up to Panda.

Lord Wang:   Those were my families… Do you even understand me!?

Panda:   It uses its bamboo stick and beats one of the Jiang-shis lying on the ground. Makes a tantrum. He angrily points to his broken bamboo stick.

Lord Wang:   Did you just do that because we broke your toy? You pathetic fur ball!

Panda:   Throws down his bamboo stick.

Both Panda and Lord Wang pause.

Black out.

Lights on.

The final showdown between the Panda and Lord Wang is about to begin. For each of them, an HP Bar appears near their foot. Panda is wearing a straw hat and pairs of bunny slippers. He tosses his straw hat down to the ground. He takes both of his bunny slippers off and twists them with all his might. They wrestle. In the end, Panda wins over Lord Wang. Lord Wang lies unconscious.

Black Out.

Lights On.

Panda is still making his tantrum on the floor. Old Man starts tying up the Jiang-shis.

Lon:   (runs up to Panda) Yo, calm down buddy! Here, play wit this or sumthin’.

Lon hands the Panda a cell-phone. Panda stops his tantrum, takes the cell-phone, runs to the back corner of the stage and starts playing with it.

Old Man:   There… now all I need to do is bring these dooshbags back to our time.

Jin-Mei:   I guess it’s time to go isn’t it?

Old Man:   Yes my girl.

While this conversation is going on, Panda in the back makes a call with the cell-phone. He will call to one of the audience. Panda starts talking to someone on the phone in a real small, husky voice that no one can hear.

Lon:   Ya sure about dis? If I were you, I ain’t goin’ back. I ain’t fit enough to go back to dat kinda place. But you’re no betta than me.

Jin-Mei:   (pauses)  Grandpa, I…

Old Man:   Jin-Mei… When did I say you are coming? I said it’s time for me to go. Ey Panda! Stop mingling back at the corner and come help me!

Jin-Mei hugs Lon. Lon freezes with embarrassment. On the other hand, Panda switches off the phone throws it to the ground.

Panda:   Growls and helps Old Man to carry the Jiang-shis.

In front of the mirror, Lon and Jin-Mei are both standing in front of Old Man. Old Man is about to say farewell to Jin-Mei. Panda drags the tied up Lord Wang into the mirror and disappears.

Old Man:   Jin-Mei… I will be missing you for the longest time ever.

Jin-Mei:   Me, too. (hugs Old Man)

Old Man:   Now, now my dear… it won’t mean that we can’t see each other anymore. If you feel like seeing me again, just come through the mirror…

Jin-Mei hugs Old Man tighter.

Old Man:   Now young man, I will entrust her to you. Be her buddy and look after her for me will you?

Lon:   No prob dawg. At least I got sumthin’ to do now other than just makin’ stupid tapes. No pain, no gain fo me.

Old Man:   I apologize for the loss of your tape, but I hope Jin-Mei will keep you busy. Well then both of you, it’s time for me to go home. Farewell.

Jin-Mei:   Farewell Grandpa.

Old Man disappears into the mirror.

Lon:   Now… I wonder where ma homies went?

Ping and Pong enter the stage looking pale.

Lon:   Ey Ping, Pong! Where da ya been?

Pong:   …nuthin’… just… blazin’ like bein’ off da hinges.

Ping:   Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamnnnnn Strrrraiiiighhhht……

Jin-Mei stares at the mirror, smiling.

Ping:   ……Uuuuuu……

Lon:   Yo, wanna take a picture? It’s our brand new day with our brand new gangsta righter wit us. (brings out a cell-phone) Come in boyz!

Lon casts up his cell-phone to take picture. Jin-Mei scoots into the center of the frame. Ping and Pong, zombified, stand behind Lon, staring at his neck.

Lon:   Ok Boyz, 3… 2… 1…

Everyone:   (simultaneously) Peeeeeeeaacccccccee!

Ping and Pong bites Lon at the same time. Lon screams.

Black out. Scene ends.

The End.

———————————-

There you have it, the greatest work of fiction ever fished out of a pile of trash.

You really have to give credit for the unbelievable staging. Literally unbelievable— I don’t understand how “HP Bars” are supposed to appear on the stage. Or what having the Panda call an audience member and growl inaudibly at them achieves. I’m particularly tickled by the fact that one of the directions is “in slow motion.” The Panda really is a cypher— he’s loyal to the Old Man, and does what he says…yet he doesn’t actually bother to protect him and Jin-Mei until someone breaks his bamboo stick.

And the Old Man, who thinks putting a wig on Lon is a “perfect disguise” and then entrusts his granddaughter to this shiftless maker of lousy mixtapes, so he can go back and live in the past…why again? He’s already “da major G” in town, why go back to an era before indoor plumbing? And why would Lon want to help people who stranded him in the past, stole his incredible/awful audition tape, and left him in drag to get eaten by a Chinese folk-tradition monster? His turnaround is completely based on how he feels sympathy for what Jin-Mei was going through, but it wasn’t as though he started the play out unsympathetic to women being threatened by vampire fiancés, or somehow responsible for things that happened in the past. At least we can rest easy in the fact that everything that happens is ultimately for nothing, since all of the major characters get turned into zombievampires in the end.

Like life itself, “Swap” struts and hip-hop fights its hour upon the stage, and, having been thrown away in an apartment move, is then heard no more. It is a tale, told by a Kevin Chang, full of sound and fury and rapping pandas, signifying nothing.

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Author: (Ryan) Michney

Dread Astronomer

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