One Minute Plays: Johnny Hunger

TEXT:

Mama sits on the ground. She cradles Johnny Hunger, a full-grown man who is wrapped in swaddling cloth, like a baby. She coos to him.

MAMA

How is Johnny Hunger?

JOHNNY HUNGER

Aghhhhbbbbbb.

MAMA

Is he…cold?

JOHNNY HUNGER

Aghhbbbb.

MAMA

Is he…hot?

JOHNNY HUNGER

Hbbbbbb.

MAMA

Is he…hungry?

JOHNNY HUNGER

Mmmmmbbb.

MAMA

It’s OK, Johnny Hunger. Mama’s considered the situation carefully. Mama has studied the baby birds and the baby foxes and the baby snails and Mama has taken into consideration that which they eat and the manner in which it is fed to them. Mama has deliberated at great length over the paradigm of supply and demand and Mama is finally ready to feed you, Johnny Hunger.

JOHNNY HUNGER

Hhhhhhuuuuuuu.

Mama rolls up her sleeves. Mama shakes out her hands. Mama takes out her wallet. She inserts a penny into Johnny Hunger’s mouth. Then a nickel. A dime. More and more money. Johnny Hunger is ravenous. He reaches for coins, paws at Mama’s hands. He crams a dollar bill into his mouth. Then several. Johnny Hunger eats Mama’s wallet. Johnny Hunger is even hungrier than he’s ever been.

MAMA

But that’s all we have, Johnny Hunger.

Johnny Hunger demands more.

MAMA

There is no more.

Johnny Hunger takes his mother’s hand. He bites it.

MAMA

Ow!

Johnny Hunger eats his mother’s hand. Then he eats her arm.

MAMA

This is not a paradigm that I considered. But it is common among certain insects. I didn’t consider the insects.

Johnny Hunger eats Mama’s shoulder.

MAMA

Be a good boy, Johnny Hunger. Don’t forget to be clean. Don’t forget to be handsome. In your quieter moments, perhaps you could be kind.

Johnny Hunger eats Mama’s head.
Lights down on Johnny Hunger eating the rest of his mother.