Boy Wonders by Derek Weatherdon
Lights up on a hotel room. There is a small couch, a table with
chairs, and a stand with an old timey radio on it. A door opens. KIRBY
enters and starts preparing the room for guests.
RADIO (v.o.): "...the big news today is the meeting of some of the
country's greatest mystery heroes. The ballroom of the Legrand Hotel
in New York City will be the setting as such heroic legends as Diamond
Man, Super Ghost, The Concrete Kid, Professor Impossiblo, Marksman,
and Katy Starr, Rodeo Queen come together to announce the formation of
a Super Heroic League, dedicated to fighting for justice all across
the country. Yessir, everyone who is anyone will be at the Legrand
tonight! And now, back to the music, with this number from Bing
Crosby. I'm Fred Allen, and you're listening to WINS Radio New
KIRBY notices something off stage and rushes over, speaking.
KIRBY: Here you go! Best room in the house. The National Suite. I
think you and your friends are going to have a wonderful time
DASH enters. Looking around
DASH: My friends?
KIRBY: I was told there would be others. (laughs) You certainly
wouldn't need all this on your own.
DASH: No. No I suppose not. (beat) How many others?
KIRBY: Say what?
DASH: How. Many. Others?
KIRBY: A few. You don't worry about a thing. I'm taking care of
everything. You're paid in advance and all.
DASH: To share this room?
KIRBY: That's what I was told.
DASH: Perfect strangers, all sharing a room. Isn't that odd?
KIRBY: Well, when the reservation was made, it was made for 6. It's
not like we just took any old 6 people and jammed 'em all in here.
Haw haw haw! It'd be like that scene in that 3 Stooges movie.
DASH: Marx Brothers.
KIRBY: Say what?
DASH: Marx Brothers. It was a Marx Brothers film. Not the 3 Stooges.
KIRBY: Pretty sure it was the 3 Stooges.
DASH: You're incorrect. You'll pardon me for saying so.
KIRBY: I mean the scene on the boat. When everyone crams in. And
eventually someone opens the door and they
DASH: All fall out. Yes I know. Marx Brothers.
KIRBY: Huh. Anyway, Curly's my favourite.
DASH: Of course.
KIRBY: I mean, Harpo's ok, but
DASH: It's fine.
KIRBY: You a Harpo fan?
DASH: Not especially.
They stand together until the silence becomes uncomfortable.
KIRBY: Are you sure it was…
WILLIAM: Just let myself in then, shall I? This is the National
KIRBY: Uhhh yes. Yessir! Come on in. Sorry about that. I should
have come down and met you.
WILLIAM: No problem. I'm kinda used to findin' my way around.
Carryin' my own bags and all.
DASH: And how has that been going for you?
DASH: Well, you don't have a bag.
WILLIAM: It's a figger of speech, kid. (WILLIAM makes himself at
home) Nice digs. Real swanky. Hey, can we get some room service up
KIRBY: Of course, sir. Food will be brought up once everyone
WILLIAM: No a bottle.
KIRBY: No alcohol sir, naturally. If there will be nothing else,
WILLIAM: (disappointed) Nah. Kid?
DASH: (to KIRBY) What is your name?
KIRBY: Kirby, sir.
DASH: That will be all, Kirby. (hands Kirby money. Kirby pockets it
WILLIAM: Was that a twenty? You gave that guy a twenty?
DASH: It's what one does. You take care of the working class, and
they, in turn, take care of you. It's the way of things.
WILLIAM: Huh. You don't say. Anyway, uh, I guess we're here
together. I'm William. Kane.
WILLIAM instinctively wipes his hand on his pants before offering it
DASH: Dash. Dash Dawson.
WILLIAM: Keen name. Sounds fast.
DASH: It's short for Dashiell.
WILLIAM: Yeah. Great. (Goes to radio and fiddles with it) I wonder if
we can get a game on this thing. You know if the Rangers are playing
DASH: For Dashiell Hammett. The writer?
WILLIAM: Yeah, yeah. Gotcha.
DASH: Crime fiction? Detective stories?
WILLIAM: (annoyed) So? What? You some kinda detective? Like you
deduce things? Ohohyou can read me like a book? Oh, man kid.
DASH: (studies him) You're not from here. Mid-west I should say,
based on what's left of your accent. Dust bowl wiped you out, I
imagine, butyou don't seem much the farmer type. More
mechanically inclined. You are used to having dirty hands, but you
understand social graces and manners. You came to the big city,
looking to make a buck, got a job a good enough job, judging by the
quality of your shoe leather. You work with the wealthy but *you're*
not wealthy. Not yet. But you have, as they say, big plans. In short,
you're the American Dream. A self-educated, self-made man, who
hovers around, but not within, the higher rings of society. How'm I
WILLIAM: (genuinely blown away) Not bad. (beat) How'd you
DASH: Groundskeeper at an estate?
DASH: Chauffeur!! I was thinking that, but second guessed
WILLIAM: They say you shouldn't do that.
DASH: Do they? (beat) You're also quite comfortable conversing with
someone much younger than yourself. I wonder what that means?
WILLIAM: So about the Rangers?
DASH: No game tonight.
WILLIAM: It figgers.
Jim and Betty enter.
JIM: I think this is the place. National Room?
JIM: (Looking around) It is pretty sweet. (To DASH). Uh, hi.
I'm Jim. Wentworth. This is Betty.
DASH: Ah, another alliterative! Dash Dawson. This is William. The
DASH: Not as such, no.
WILLIAM: My um boss is downstairs. He sent me here for the
evening. To relax, he said, and to get to know some people like
JIM: Like you?
BETTY: I can't imagine what the four of *us* would have in
DASH: Can you not? Really?
BETTY: (flatly) No.
DASH: Oh, please. Don't be coy. It's obvious why we are here.
What's less obvious is who we are.
JIM: Oh, but I've already told you
WILLIAM: Knock it off, Slugger. The kid is right. We might as well
get properly acquainted. (deep sigh) Anyway, my uh…work name…is
DASH: Shiny. (they shake hands)
BETTY: So, we're *all* here because of the meeting? The
DASH: If you are referring to the monumental formation of the grand
super team, currently happening in the ballroom, then yes.
BETTY: (realizing) Then you're
JIM: (realizing) We're all
The three look at each other, and then as one, over to WILLIAM. He
WILLIAM: I guess no matter how old you get, you still get stuck at
the kid's table on holidays
DASH: Quite.(laughs) So, might I propose we better acquaint
ourselves? We're already unmasked so to speak, and we know each
other's real names.
JIM: Yeah, isn't that kind of backwards? Aren't we supposed to
meet in costume, fight, then become all palsy?
BETTY: I'm happier it's like this. I'm not much of a fighter.
WILLIAM: A lotta help you must be on the job. Being able to "mix it
up" is practically the entire job description. Well, that and
causing a distraction I guess.
BETTY: That's more my thing. I'm not really up for charging into
JIM: Then you're lucky. That's all I have to say about that.
BETTY: How so?
JIM: That's practically ALL I do. If you've never had to run
into a room filled with guns pointed at you and a big bullseye on your
chest, consider yourself lucky!
DASH: A bullseye on your metaphorically, surely.
JIM: Not hardly. Target Boy, at your service. Sidekick to The
Marksman, Sharpshooter Supreme!
BETTY: Target Boy? Isn't that a little on the nose?
WILLIAM: No kidding. Geez, kid. I mean, the hero game is a rough
business and all, but what your gimmick is basically you draw
JIM: More or less.
WILLIAM: So everyone shoots at you. (JIM nods) *Instead* of Marksman?
(JIM nods) Your costume is a big target and everyone shoots at you?
JIM: Yeah, but it's not as bad as it sounds. I basically never
have to fistfight, so I don't get punched all that much.
DASH: So no bruises. No awkward questions with even more awkward
BETTY: You can only walk into so many doors.
JIM: Right! Not a problem for me at all. I've been punched,
Oh twice? Three times, tops!
DASH and BETTY are impressed.
WILLIAM: And how many times have you been shot?
JIM: Ten. (Everyone gasps) But most of those were just flesh wounds.
BETTY: (horrified) And the others?
JIM: Wellll…Two were pretty bad. Gut shot with a .38 once.
That was bad. I was bawling oh man Da-uhMarksman was *not*
impressed. Felt like a truck had driven right through my stomach. The
other one went in here. Shattered my hip.
DASH: I noticed the limp when you came in. It's slight.
JIM: Yeah, funny thing is, it's screwed up how I walk a bit.
But I run just fine. Faster than most actually.
BETTY: I suppose that's good!
DANA: If you're going to get shot at that much, yeah, being able to
run would be pretty good.
Everyone turns and looks at DANA, who has been listening to them for
some time. No one had any idea that DANA was there.
WILLIAM: Ummmm(points in direction DANA came from)
DANA: (looks off in the direction WILLIAM is pointing) Oh. Right.
I've been here for hours. Checked in this morning. It figured to be
a long night, so I thought a nap would be useful.
JIM: That's a little far-fetched.
DANA: Sigh. Fine. I came in through the window. How's that?
JIM: Much more believable!
BETTY: Yeah! Is that a grapple gun?
DANA: Gas-powered. Doesn't have great range, actually. But it does
WILLIAM: (to DASH). Didn't deduce that, didja Sherlock?
DASH: It never occurred to me someone was on the terrace,
no. You got me there. (To DANA). So, clearly, you are one of us?
Did you overhear much, or do we need to repeat the whole spiel?
DANA: No. Thank you. I don't think I could listen to all of that
twice. You're the other 'kicks?
WILLIAM: I'm Mixer. This is Shiny.
DANA: The Glimmer Boy, n'est-ce pas? A pleasure. (they shake hands)
You and Diamond Man did some good work on the Moldoff kidnapping
WILLIAM: And this is Target Boy.
BETTY: And I'm Boo.
DANA: (To JIM, dismissively) Yeah? I've heard of you. And
Wait Boo's a girl?
JIM: Well, obviously.
BETTY: It's an honest mistake. It's hard to tell with the
costume and all.
DANA: (smirking) The bedsheet, you mean. It'd be pretty charitable
to call it a costume.
BETTY: It's a uniform! A perfectly good uniform!
DANA: It's linen. It belongs on a bed, at best. A closet at
BETTY: Well, I never…
DASH: Might I assume you have a point, Miss?
DANA: My point, fashion commentary aside is that I've *met* Boo.
Live. In person. In "uniform". And I was pretty sure the Boo that
*I* met was not only shorter, but burlier, and a lot more male.
DASH: According to you.
DANA: That's right.
JIM: And we just take your word for this?
DANA: I would. I'm never wrong.
WILLIAM: (To DASH) And here I thought that was *your* gimmick, kid.
DASH: "never wrong" Why is that so familiar? (look of
recognition at DANA) oh wow.
JIM: And who are you exactly?
DASH: (slight pause) You're Dana McQueen.
JIM and BOO's jaws both drop. They stare dumbfounded at DANA.
WILLIAM: What, am I supposed to be impressed? I've never heard of
BETTY: Then you're the only one. There isn't a kid in America who
doesn't know who Dana McQueen is.
JIM: The girl genius. You've met the president!
DASH: Met him? You consulted with him. And you helped design the
Palomar Telescope! It was in all the papers!
BETTY: You graduated from Harvard. At 10!
DANA: Nine, actually. But it was only an undergrad degree, so
BETTY: I can't believe this. *You're* a sidekick? Like us?
DANA: (Scoffing) I'm not much like you. No offense, really. But
WILLIAM: Who are ya, then? "Professionally", I mean.
DANA: (hesitating). Test Tube. (everyone lets that sink in for a
moment, then breaks into laughter) It's a horrible name. I hate it.
It wasn't my idea, I can tell you that.
JIM: Right. You 'kick for Professor Impossible.
[End of Extract]