“I See Dead Dot-Coms”
|Read ACT ONE.|
|Read ACT THREE.|
Act II, Scene I
Malcolm is in another chat session with Cole08.
COLE08: I want to tell you my secret.
COLE08: I see dead dot-coms.
DRMALCOLM: Where? On the news?
COLE08: No, all the time. Walking around, like regular people. They can’t see each other. Some of them don’t know they’re dead.
DRMALCOLM: I am sitting motionless, transfixed. Go on.
COLE08: They tell me stories… Things that happened to their e-businesses… There are more of them every day.
DRMALCOLM: How do you know they’re dead dot-coms and not just, you know, regular dead businesses?
COLE08: They talk about the dangers of being profitable too soon They think banner ads will make them a lot of money. They only see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear.
DRMALCOLM: I am shocked, visibly dismayed, and clearly don’t believe you. But just in case… they don’t tell you who’s going to die next, do they? Cause I’ve got, like, 2,000 shares of Salon.com and I’m starting to wonder…
COLE08: They scare me.
DRMALCOLM: Of course they do… wait… who scares you? The dead dot-coms, or Salon.com? You think I should sell?
Act II, Scene II
Malcolm’s basement office. He is sitting at the computer when Cole08 logs into the chat room.
COLE08: I’m sitting here frozen to the spot, trembling slightly. Very pale.
DRMALCOLM: What is it? What do you see?
COLE08: I see three adults. Not so old. They are hanging around an office. They are waving their stock options in my face. The stock options are all wet. I don’t understand.
DRMALCOLM: Those wet stock options would mean their options are what they call “under water.” It means, basically, their stock is worthless.
COLE08: Great. Now I’ve got all this water on me. I’m soaked. People will think I did it to myself; or my mom did it. Make them leave.
DRMALCOLM: I’m working on it. Any word on Salon?
Act II, Scene III
Exterior, a downtown street. Malcolm is walking along, speaking into a tape recorder.
MALCOLM: Cole08 is worse than I thought. Hallucinations, paranoia. Hospitalization may be required. (then softly, dejectedly) I may have to sell my Salon stock.
Malcolm stops in front of an antique shop; his wife’s shop. Inside, he sees Anna pick up the phone. He can hear her talking.
ANNA: Hi darling. Yes, I miss you too. I can’t wait till you’re home.
She pauses and listens to the other person speak.
ANNA: I know. Some business trips are long. Well, I love you.
Just then, she starts to pucker her lips. It is clear she is cheating on Malcolm and is going to make kissy sounds into the phone with this jerk. Suddenly, the glass in the front door of the shop shatters! Anna cannot make her kissy sound! She rushes to the front door and looks down the street. She sees no one.
Act II, Scene IV
Malcolm’s basement office. He is on the computer, chatting with Cole08.
DRMALCOLM: I don’t have any questions for you.
COLE08: You are sad. Let me ask you a question. What do you want most?
DRMALCOLM: I want my wife to talk to me again. So I’m going to give up on you, send you to someone else.
COLE08: Don’t give up on me. You’re the only one who can help me now.
DRMALCOLM: No, you’re wrong. I can’t help you until Act II, Scene VI.
Act II, Scene V
Malcolm’s basement. He is reading the transcript of an old chat session with email@example.com. Halfway through the transcript of the session, Malcolm writes that he has to go to the bathroom and tells freakmeister he’ll be right back. Then Malcolm reads on and sees what happens while he was gone:
FREAKMEISTER: I’m getting scared and it’s very cold and my breathing is rapid.
ANONYMOUS USER: But my bookshop is unique… I know we can’t compete on cost and inventory… but people like to touch books before they buy… No, I’ve been Amazoned!
FREAKMEISTER: I am catatonic with fear!
MALCOLM: Hi, I’m back. Whooo, really had to go. Where we were?
Malcolm’s eyes open wide in disbelief. He closes the transcript.
MALCOLM (muttering): How did I miss this? Why did I have to go to the bathroom just then?
Malcolm squirms in his seat. It is clear from the look on his face that he is seriously concerned about Cole08, and his prostate health.
Act II, Scene VI
Malcolm’s basement. Another chat session with Cole08.
COLE08: You OK? Something happened, didn’t it?
DRMALCOLM: Yes. These dot-coms that died and are still hanging around. Maybe they weren’t ready to go.
COLE08: Hey, you sound better. Taking Prostatonin?
DRMALCOLM: Maybe they wake up that morning thinking they have a thousand deals to make and a multimillion dollar budget to do it with… And then all of a sudden, boom. Reality hits. The Nasdaq drops. It’s all just… gone.
COLE08: That’s why they’re so mad.
DRMALCOLM: What do those ghosts want when they talk to you? Think real careful now, Cole.
COLE08: Help. Sorry… let me pause thoughtfully … ok… Help?
DRMALCOLM: Yes, that’s it! I think they want help. They just want to be heard! And I think I know how to make them go away.
COLE08: Invest in old economy companies?
DRMALCOLM: No!. I think they know you’re one of the rare people who can see them. You need to help them tell their stories.
COLE08: Even Toysmart? They sold their customer lists to pay their debts, even though they promised customers they’d never do that.
DRMALCOLM: Yeah, screw them. But talk to everyone else.
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