Pet Peeves


Countess Confidential

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

I saw “Act 3” at the Laguna Beach Playhouse. I did not see Act 1 or 2. I’ve been living in a cave up near the “L” above the high school. It’s been several years now. I was attracted to the location because I thought it stood for loser, an appellation that I’ve been called on more than a few occasions throughout my life. My earliest recollection was Mother saying, “He looks like neither of us. More like a loser. Let’s drop him off at a fire station.”

I know rejection and was better prepared for the subject matter pf “Act 3” than other theater attendees, who appeared to have come from the inaugural AARP class of 1958. I loved the show because I passed up everybody upon entering. I felt manly, like Lance Armstrong, before all his troubles. Riding proud on my hoverboard steed, I whooshed by octogenarians and nonagenarians. Nobody was going to beat me to my seat. And they didn’t. Second place went to a guy who got there in time for intermission. I felt sorry for him because he kept mumbling to himself, “Can’t hear the show. Where’d everybody go? VD not me.”

I saw the show on Wednesday evening with the VD not me guy. He was an old WWII veteran, who took to heart and to another important body part, Stan Lee’s warning poster to GIs. The rest of the audience got to their seats for Thursday and Friday’s performances. I can’t say whether they liked the show or not. It’s likely they forgot seeing it and will be revisiting will call next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Rumors are flying that AARPers are looking forward to seeing the show for the first time again and are hoping that Will Call remembers them from high school. “He had such a crush on me.”

I gave a helping hand to the VD not me guy. A couple of AA batteries later and he started to hear the show. Before long he was laughing right out loud with the rest of us, me. He did the best he could, but couldn’t quite hold it to the second intermission or his first intermission. I helped him to the bathroom. It took quite a bit of time. When we got back to our seats the show was over. The actors, Rita Rudner and Charles Shaughnessy, were gone from the stage. I want them both to know me and VD not me guy gave them a standing ovation. We were in the restroom at the time.

But we clapped and clapped. Loved the show. Air kisses all around. Me and VD not me guy went for after theater drinks. We slurred our way into becoming theater critics in no time at all. (Regular readers stop reading here.) The following inebriated suggestions are Countess confidential, Rita’s role.

Please put a pile of white hair on a movable conveyor belt to visually reinforce cat references. Pull the fake cat back and forth between dialogue forays between characters. When the Countess flips her hair so does the cat. Also, I’d write in a shadow pool guy behind the cyc and add to the couple’s filter problems.

“Bartender, one last round for VD and me. And hurry please. I must get home soon to give my cat a bath. But I sure do hate getting all that hair on my tongue.” Oops, caught me, Rita. I stole this last joke from Steve Martin. Couldn’t help myself. It’s one of my all time favorites.


Mark tells the Indy that he was a drama major in college. He did nothing with this degree. His parents think he was a loser. The fire fighters who raised him concur.






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