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Thread: Write your own play

  1. #1
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    Write your own play

    It's No Good Without Evidence by Paul Beardsley

    Act 1

    Scene: The front room of a semi-detached house in Cambridge. The year is 1980. Syd Barrett sits alone watching TV and strumming a guitar.

    Enter Dr Flump, carrying a heavy Tesco shopping bag which he puts down on a table.

    Barrett: Hi, Doctor Flump. Did you manage to get some of that Crest toothpaste?

    Flump: Yes, but they didn't have any of those sample tubes. But don't worry, I got you some of your regular Colgate in case you don't like Crest, and I don't mind using up the Crest, so it won't go to waste.

    Barrett: You're the best, Doc.

    Flump (blushing): Well hey, it's just so cool temporarily sharing a house with former Pink Floyd guitarist Syd Barrett. What have you been up to?

    Barrett: Watching Scooby-Doo and strumming some tracks from the Piper at the Gates of Dawn album.

    Flump (screwing up his face): I stopped watching when they introduced Scrappy Doo. I can't imagine any popular franchise ever coming up with a more irritating character. On an unrelated subject, I hear The Empire Strikes Back is getting good reviews - some say it's even better than the original Star Wars film.

    Barrett: I agree with you on all the points you've just made. And by the way, it's pretty cool for me too.

    Flump: What's cool?

    Barrett: Temporarily sharing a house with a fully qualified doctor whose amusing surname inspired Julie Holder to create a children's TV series.

    Flump: You're making me blush!

    Barrett: Speaking of doctors, you know all about science and all that, right? Well, anyway, I've got this theory.

    Flump: Tell me more!

    Barrett: Basically, my theory - and if it's right it'll blow a number of preconceived ideas out of the water - is that Dr John Dee, under the reign of Elizabeth the First, built a sort of space and time vehicle, a bit like Doctor Who's TARDIS. Except it wasn't bigger on the inside than the outside of course!

    Flump: No, that would be ridiculous.

    Barrett: Anyway, Elizabeth went travelling with some of her subjects, including the Earl of Essex, and they visited Mars and the Roman Empire and all stuff like that. When Elizabeth died and James the First of England and James the Sixth of Scotland came to the throne, they put a stop to it. Everyone thinks they were really scared of witches, but the truth is, they were afraid someone would use it to go back in time and kill Mary Queen of Scots before she'd given birth to them.

    Flump: It sounds intriguing!

    Barrett: Thank you.

    Flump: It seems to fit all the facts, except the bit about you using the plural to refer to James I and James VI.

    Barrett: Oh I knew they were the same person. It's just that royals often use "we" instead of "I".

    Flump: I will write it up immediately. It's something the world needs to know. Incidentally, could you give me a brief run-down of the evidence you have to support this theory?

    Barrett: Ah, you have me there. I don't actually have any evidence at all.

    Flump: What a shame. As a theory it sounds great, but... Well, it's no good without evidence.

    Barrett: I guess you're right. Oh, and by the way...

    Flump: Yes?

    Barrett: Macleans toothpaste is my favourite, not Colgate.

    CURTAIN
    Last edited by Paul Beardsley; 2012-May-08 at 11:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    Act 2

    Scene 1

    Scene: Front room, as before. Syd Barrett and Dr Flump are sitting on a sofa watching TV.

    Barrett: Wow, we were lucky to catch live footage like that!

    Flump: Thank goodness for the SAS! From now on, terrorists are going to think twice about besieging an Iranian embassy!

    Barrett: Amen to that. A-a-ah-tishoo!

    Flump: Are you coming down with a cold, Syd?

    Barrett: I think so.

    Flump: Oh dear. I hope you're better by next week - it's the variety show in the Cambridge Arts Centre. You don't want to miss Paul Daniels performing magic, Little and Large performing comedy, and the musical talents of the Nolan Sisters. Oh, and I hear they have up-and-coming "alternative comedians" such as Ben Elton and Alexi Sayle.

    Barrett: It's too late for me, Doc, but I think there's hope for you. Come on, follow me!

    Scene 2

    Scene: A swimming pool. Barrett and Flump enter stage left.

    Flump: I didn't know you had a swimming pool, Syd!

    Barrett: Oh come on, Doc, I am a rock star!

    Flump: Yes, but I didn't know you had one in this house.

    Barrett: This will blow your mind!

    (Pause.)

    Flump: What will blow my mind?

    Barrett: Sorry, I have to wait for a sneeze. Ah, here it comes. Atishoo!

    (Sneeze lands in swimming pool.)

    Barrett: Now, help me with this large pole.

    Flump: What are you going to do?

    Barrett: I'm going to mix it in thoroughly so that it's evenly distributed.

    (The two men mix it up thoroughly.)

    Barrett: Now, we take a small amount of it thus!

    (Barrett produces a thimble and scoops up some swimming pool water.)

    Flump: I didn't know you had a thimble!

    Barrett: Yes.

    Flump: And to think of the times I pricked my finger while I was darning socks!

    Barrett: You could have asked. Anyway, that's just the first stage. Follow me!

    Scene 3

    Scene: Another swimming pool. (The set for scene 2 can be reused for this.) Both men enter stage left.

    Flump: I didn't know you had a second swimming pool!

    Barrett: I am a rock star, remember! Now, we empty the thimble into the second swimming pool, and stir it up as before.

    (They stir up the pool.)

    Flump: Phew, that's some dilution, Syd! Don't tell me we're going to take a small sample to a third swimming pool!

    Barrett: That would be excessive, Doc. Besides, the house isn't big enough for another swimming pool. (Produces a small medicine bottle and scoops water with it.) Drink this!

    Flump: I'm not sure...

    Barrett: Go on, it's perfectly safe. It's called homeopathy. Ancient Man did it all the time, and it kept him free from all diseases. You see, our ancestors were close to nature, and that's something we've lost, sadly.

    (Flump drinks from bottle.)

    Flump: Ergh, it's all chloriny!

    Barrett: It's good for your teeth. That's why they put it in Colgate toothpaste.

    Flump: Actually it's fluoride that they use.

    Barrett: Well, it's from the same part of the periodic table.

    Flump: Well I haven't sneezed so far, so it seems to be working. So tell me, what do the findings from clinical trials say about this homeopathy?

    Barrett: Er, to be honest the research has been mostly anecdotal.

    Flump: Ah. That's not really evidence now, is it?

    Barrett: I suppose not.

    Flump: It's no good without evidence, Syd.

    Barrett: Okay okay, you've made your point.

    (Pause.)

    Flump: I've got a whole heap of socks to darn. Do you think I could borrow that thimble.

    Barrett: Maybe. When I've finished with it.

    Flump: When will that be?

    Barrett: I don't know.

    Flump: Oh. A-a-ah-tishoo!

    CURTAIN
    Last edited by Paul Beardsley; 2012-May-07 at 12:19 PM. Reason: Misspelt "fluoride" - stupid peasant!

  3. #3
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    While it has numerous interesting aspects, it doesn't
    seem good enough to have been worth the considerable
    time, effort, and thought you must have put into it.

    I am curious about the order in which the many disparate
    elements of the play (including fluorine and chlorine) came
    to your mind. Certainly not the order in which they appear.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the feedback, Jeff.

    Although you were too polite to mention it, I see that I misspelt "fluoride", which I shall correct. I can't honestly say what order the chemicals came to mind.

    Not much thought or effort went into the play. It was mainly an emotional response to a very silly series of posts in a thread that got locked today. And, you might note, I made a mistake with the chronology - the Iranian Embassy Siege was before Empire Strikes Back was released.

    Please feel free to add your own play, or part of play, or whatever floats your boat.

  5. #5
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    Further to the previous reply,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    the considerable
    time, effort, and thought you must have put into it.
    When I read this out to my wife she burst out laughing. For better or for worse, it's a constant flow.

  6. #6
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    For me it's a struggle to get anything to come out.
    But it feels good when it does.

    I'm reminded of someone I heard interviewed on an
    NPR news program a couple of years ago. I forget now
    what he was talking about, but I think he was British
    and a physician. After just a few sentences I could
    somehow tell that he must be able to construct the
    entire sentence he was about to speak before starting
    to say anything. His words and grammar fit what he
    intended to say so perfectly. I couldn't possibly do
    that. When I start a sentence I have no idea where it
    will go. Miraculously, the great flexibility of English
    seems to make it possible for me to do that without
    completely babbling. My short-term memory is too poor
    for me to remember a sentence from the time I start
    speaking it to the end. So I have to make it up as I go.
    Sorta like Gauss, maybe?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    For me it's a struggle to get anything to come out.
    But it feels good when it does.
    Too much information.

  8. #8
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    Reminds me of Napolean Dynamite mixed with 2001 Space Odyssey and Arachnophobia but subtracting out any Lone Ranger or Sound of Music aspects and all of it divided by General Hospital. Altogether a script requiring a very imaginative commentary, and I'd definitely recommend it to Japanese readers that don't know any English!!!

  9. #9
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    You can't really ask for a better review than that.

    Well, you can ask ...

  10. #10
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    Realizing I am staring at a single blade of grass in the lawn, I think the idea of Liz Tudor and Bob Devereaux bopping around time makes a fine tale, best left unwritten.

  11. #11
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    Dr Flump: Hey Syd, I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like.

    Syd: Has it got a bell?

    Dr Flump: It's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good.

    Syd: Can I have it?

    Dr Flump: I'd give it to you if I could but I borrowed it.

  12. #12
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    You've got to pay to play

    A Very Large Dragon

    Set: A rather large dragon 3x the height of a man strolls 1/3 of the way across the stage.

    Knight: HALT!

    Dragon: Eats the knight, chews, puffs smoke, pauses, strolls two more feet then sits for a nap before being rolled off the stage. A large 'Game Over' sign lofts up into the air blinking brightly, then disappears.

    Narrator: This is the story of a coin driven video game. Majestic heroes are engaged in battle against the forces of the dragon armada.

    Set: A young man (Danny Boyd) stands in front of the Dagon-Magi game. Stereotypical girlfriend (Poly Merase) in recycled 80's clothing (now 2020's clothing) stands nearby, chewing gum.

    Danny Boyd: Frackadack, that was my last coin.

    Poly Merase: Don't feel bad. I brought a few more.

    End set: Characters bow, dragon is rolled back onto the stage, smoldering a little. Then the curtain closes. Audience claps and laughs at this time.

    Narrator: Remember, you've got to pay to play.

  13. #13
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    Eric, your play really ought to be a little bit longer.

  14. #14
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    Eric's play could take into account the fact that the wardrobe department has got a cloak that's a bit of a joke, it's got a tear up the front, it's red and black, it's been in the wardrobe for months but if Eric thinks it could look good then it would.

  15. #15
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    I actually thought that Eric's very very very short play is
    exactly the right length, while the Mars pioneer's very very
    short play is the one that is too short. It seems to fall
    apart at Poly's line. Up to that point I was on the edge
    of my seat.

    I'm very positively impressed by all three plays so far.
    Paul's is the most interesting, but shouldn't be made.
    The other two could be staged. Eric's would be easy.
    Farm's needs more work, near the end, but I really like
    what he has up to that point. I'd very much like to see
    it staged.

    As long as I don't have to pay to see it.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  16. #16
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    I like "You've got to pay to play" because I remember the game it refers to. I remember putting in my 10p and literally lasting a couple of seconds. There was no skill to it, you simply had to know whether to turn left, turn right, swing your sword or whatever. And unless you had a guide, the only way you could know what to do was by playing it before and dying loads and loads of times.

    Perhaps I should write a play in which a homeless man is approached by a representative of the company that produced that game. "I've come to apologise and give you a refund."

  17. #17
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    Linda: Willy I missed the last payment on the house today and the bank repossessed it.

  18. #18
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    Willy: Hey! That's some fast work! You missed paying
    what was to have been the very last payment on the
    house today, and by the time I get home... what used
    to be home... the bank has *already* repossessed it.
    Wish I could do anything that fast.

    Willy: What's for dinner?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  19. #19
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    Synchropolis

    [A flat in London. Harrison and Gladys are having a drink while watching the gangs below battle each other in the smog and acid rain. Laser beams twinkle off the protective window coatings. Dinner has not yet been selected.

    They loathe each other, but in a civilized manner.]

    Harrison: I must admit that rereading Brunner I am still surprised by his ability to make even the most horrible somwhat… boring.

    Gladys:[She takes quick alternate sips from each side of her Thermo, a recently introduced drink using the latest ionic repulsion to keep one side hot, the other cold] Brunner could take just about anything and make it sound boring.

    Harrison: Like your lovemaking? [He raps the window smartly with his Pimm’s Cup, drawing stares from below] Ah, the sheep look up.

    Gladys: [Touching her brooch, she opaques her evening dress] Every fulcrum nees a lever, Harry. Is there time for a bite to eat before the hop jet arrives?

    Harrison: [Glances at his ringwatch] It should be on the roof within the hour. We have time. [He walks over to the Alimentary, finger poised over the keys]What shall it be? Aspic? Arsenic? A toast of hemlock?

    Gladys: A curry. Small.

    Harrison: Two curries, then.

    [A brief humming and the slot opens. Harrison picks up the plates and turns to set them on the dining table]

    Harrison: You do realize that from now on we will have to make our own dinner?

    Gladys: And wash our own clothes, I imagine.

    Harrison: Quite right. No more dispensers. Although the brochures say that the climate is similar to equitorial Africa, and that clothing might be considered optional.

    Gladys: What will the voyage really be like?

    [He picks up a forkful or curry, chews, swallows]

    Harrison: Rather like a sea voyage, I should think. Third-class, of course, and no lounging on the deck – unless you happen to enjoy vacuum.

    [There is a subdued roaring sound]

    Harrison: Hm. It does sound like the hop jet is early. Shall I grab the bags?

    Gladys: Harry… do you think we will mess it up? [She gestures at the window] The way we have here?

    Harrison: Of course, dear. Making a shambles is one of the things we do best. [He drains his glass] As long as they have Pimm’s I think you – I mean, it – should be bearable.

    Gladys: I hate you.

    [They walk into the bedroom to pick up their bags]

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Eric's play could take into account the fact that the wardrobe department has got a cloak that's a bit of a joke, it's got a tear up the front, it's red and black, it's been in the wardrobe for months but if Eric thinks it could look good then it would.
    Absolutely...

  21. #21
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    A man appears, stage right and says:

    Man 1: 'You've got to be CRAZY, gotta have a real need.
    Sleep on your toes when you're on the street, got to be able
    to pick out the easy meat...with your eyes closed.

    Another man appears stage left:
    He says to man 1
    Man 2: 'They're moving in silently, downwind and out of site,
    you've got to strike when the moment is right....without thinking !'

    Man 2: 'After a while, you can work on points for style.'

    Man1 : 'Like the Club tie?'

    Man 2: '...And the firm handshake, a sudden look in the eye with an easy smile.'

    Man1: 'You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to, so
    that when they turn their backs on you, you'll get the chance to put the knife in'.

    Fin

    All credit goes to waters and gilmour

  22. #22
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    [Two men are waiting on a country road by a tree.]

    [Didi points into the distance]

    Didi: Is that him?

    Gogo: By George, I think you're right. It is him!

    [They swap hats and embrace]

    Fin.

  23. #23
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    An Austen Incident!

    Open Curtains.

    Austen Mere; Jane dear, your father wishes
    to say something.

    Austen Pere; Daughter! We have decided we as a
    family will move to the City of Bath.

    cue sounds effects; sound of sack of potatoes
    falling over.

    Close curtains.

  24. #24
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    When I said that Eric's very very very short play is exactly
    the right length, I wasn't thinking about the fact that we
    had already been introduced to the characters in Paul's play.
    Eric's play needs either to be performed in some context in
    which we would have seen the characters previously, or
    some kind of tacky introduction needs to be tacked on to
    the beginning.

    Now back to Gwen Harvey and her All-Girl Band!

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root
    As long as I don't have to pay to see it.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    I'll add that to the script.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley
    Perhaps I should write a play in which a homeless man is approached by a representative of the company that produced that game. "I've come to apologise and give you a refund."
    If I write a sequel based on that you get a percentage of the glory. I enjoyed taking the rip out of your script and am thinking about actually reading it. I hope you write a sequel.

  26. #26
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    Stock Characters by Paul Beardsley

    Scene: A field. Noah is tilling the soil with the assistance of his son Japheth. Time: The past day.

    Noah: Come on, Japheth, there's no time to dawdle. We've got another three acres to do!

    Japheth: I'm doing my best, Dad, but my feet are killing me.

    Noah: What's the matter with them?

    Japheth: I need a new pair of sandals. These date back to the ark!

    Noah: That's really not a terribly long time, Japheth.

    (Enter a grossly deformed goat, stage left.)

    Goat: Ne-e-e-e-er! ner! (cough cough cough).

    Japheth (walking painfully): Hmm. I'm no expert, and I realise the science of genetics is still very much in its infancy, but I've been wondering about the long-term consequences of saving only two of every animal.

    Noah (some distance away now): How's the land where you are?

    Japheth (still walking painfully): Waterlogged.

    Noah: And now?

    Japheth: Waterlogged.

    Noah: Oh, let's call it a day. Tell you what, I'll make you a new pair of sandals.

    Japheth: What sort?

    Noah: Goatskin.

    (Deformed goat whistles nonchalantly and sidles off, stage right.)

    THE END

  27. #27
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    Stock Characters II: -- By M. Knight Shyamalan Fanclub

    Part I
    Scene 1. Introduction
    Short back-flash of original plot to bring the audience back into the story including the Ark, Noah and the goatskin shoes and mud, then the camera zooms in onto a shadow which begins to move more and more rapidly to show time rushing forward. The shadow cycles faster and faster with day and night coming and going. The rock casting the shadow fades and wears down as the ground shows grass growing and dying repeatedly. Years pass. Music score from Vince Guaraldi fades in to pacify the audience during the harsh reminder of their mortality, but the music score suddenly drops silent and the shadows halt. Camera slight blurring and pan to refocus upon shoes, belonging to Lucy (secure rights from Schultz for Lucy of Peanuts).

    Lucy: I need someone to hit! What a day. What a beautiful day to hit someone!

    Scene 2: Switch to point of view from Charlie Brown's eyes as he gazes up at the blue sky. Lucy's feet and shins come into peripheral vision, then she leans over bringing her smiling face into view. Her face wrinkles into a delighted happy cruel angry look as she sends her fist crashing into his view, and the lights fade rapidly with her voice saying "Thank you, Charlie Brown."

    Part 2: End of the fantasy
    Japheth wakes up from his mud-nap, looks down at his new mutant goatskin footsies. Sighs. I'm in love with a girl who doesn't exist in a cartoon that will probably never be drawn.

    Noah: What's wrong, my son?

    Japheth: Dad, I've been thinking. I'm grateful to have survived the flood, and I really appreciate these new shoes you gave me; but I miss the times when girls lived and walked the earth. I know we've got mum (innocent British accent), but she doesn't count.

    Noah: (Guiltily) Unfortunately no girls or their families bought our flood insurance, and what with all the animals and the short notice and the rain and so forth we didn't have enough time to to process their new policies before the door closed.

    Japheth: I know, Dad. Do you think I'll ever find a mate?

    Goat: Ne-e-e-e-er! ner! (cough cough cough).

    Camera slight blurr, pan back to rock return focus with similar fast forward time effect with Lucy's evil laughter in the background fading into Charde cover of "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" by Rolling Stones as the light fades into black and then roll credits.

  28. #28
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    Alexander The Great

    Act I: He went.

    Act II: He saw.

    Act III: He conquered.

    {{curtain}}

    Thank you. Thank you.

    *bows*

    (Currently not giving autographs, sorry!)

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarmMarsNow View Post
    Eric, your play really ought to be a little bit longer.
    I know a room full of musical tunes
    Some rhyme
    Some ching
    Most of them are clockwork
    Let's go into the other room and make them work
    Хьюстон, это Саравак, от подписания.

  30. #30
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    The last two plays caused me to cry, not on the outside but inside my inner child there is another inner child crying. I know that child would be willing to pay the inner fee of the inner fee of a reasonably priced ticket if not the outer or the outer inner ticket price.

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