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The Doctor Is Out
Scene: Its season #6, modern day USA. Xena and Gabrielle are living in the big city together, fighting the forces of evil side by side for all eternity, as promised to the faithful viewers of season #5.
Its late afternoon. Gabrielle is clad in gray sweatpants and a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, her long (yes, she let it grow back) blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail. She is sitting at the kitchen table, green eyes wide, jaw agape in disbelief as she stares at the small portable stereo on the counter. The makings of chocolate chip cookies are strewn about the room as if abandoned.
Off stage, a door is opened, then closed, and Xenas voice can be heard.
XENA: Honey, Im home! Gabrielle?
Gabrielle does not respond, though her lips move slightly.
XENA (getting closer): Gabrielle?
Xena enters the kitchen, dressed in her white karate clothes, black belt cinched neatly around her waist. She takes a quick look around, scoops a fingerful of cookie dough into her mouth, and bends to kiss the blonde on the cheek.
XENA: Class was terrific today! I pity the idiot who decides to mug one of my students.
GABRIELLE (pointing at the radio): I found her.
XENA (looking at the appliance in confusion): Huh?
GABRIELLE: I found her. I took a break from the novel to make some cookies. I turned on the radio and there she was. Just like that.
XENA: Gabrielle, what are you talking about? Found who?
XENA: What?! Alti?! Where!?
She runs out of the kitchen. Much racket is heard off stage. The warrior returns with sword and chakram in hand.
XENA: Where? Where is she?
Gabrielle reaches for the radio and turns up the volume. A womans voice fills the room.
VOICE: Homosexuals are simply biological errors, sexual deviants. Why should they be allowed to adopt or even give birth to children? Since when do people have a quote, unquote right to practice deviant sexual behavior and bring innocent children into their homes?
A strangled growl comes from Gabrielle, who angrily flings the radio across the room. Xena jumps in surprise.
XENA: Gabrielle? Are you all right?
GABRIELLE: How can somebody be so hateful and judgmental?
XENA (relaxing a bit): It takes all kinds, sweetheart.
GABRIELLE: Im serious, Xena. Im sure shes the next incarnation of Alti. Shes pure evil and hatred. You should hear some of the things she says! And shes got a huge radio audience to preach to. Shes pumping her listeners full of condescending crap. Its appalling!
XENA (concerned by the bards emotion): What kinds of things does she say?
GABRIELLE: Well, you heard her big one. You and I are sexual deviants, Xena. Sexual deviants! Were biological errors, can you believe that? Let me see if I can get this right we have a biological error that prevents us from relating intimately to the opposite sex in a normal fashion.
XENA: I can relate intimately to a man. I just dont want to.
GABRIELLE: Therefore, we shouldnt be allowed to get married, we dont deserve protection against violent crime, and we certainly arent fit to raise children.
XENA: No kids?
GABRIELLE: If it were up to this whacko, Eve would have been snatched up and taken away the second she was born.
XENA (muttering): would have had to wait in line behind the subtexters.
GABRIELLE: Xena, its Alti. I know it.
XENA (nodding): What identity is she going by this time?
GABRIELLE: Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
XENA: Damn, thats hard to say.
GABRIELLE: It gets worse.
XENA: Worse than Shleesssi .what the hell was it again?
GABRIELLE: Theyre giving her a TV show.
XENA (gasps): No! Do you know what kind of harm she can do with a TV audience? There will be fan clubs, chat rooms, mailing lists, merchandising. Gods, they might throw her a convention!
GABRIELLE: She has to be stopped.
XENA: How do we find her?
GABRIELLE: Shes actually here in town this week. Theres a press conference tomorrow.
XENA (smiling): I feel a career change coming on. Wanna be a news reporter?
Scene: a large room with a long, tableclothed conference table at one end, a microphone in the center. Chairs are arranged in three neat rows facing the table. Various reporters mill around, some with notebooks and tape recorders, others with video equipment.
Xena and Gabrielle are standing in one corner, looking stunning and very reporter-like. Each is wearing a pristinely pressed business suit, Gabrielles an emerald green skirt and jacket, Xenas a black pantsuit with a sapphire blue blouse. Each is looking incredibly gorgeous and many pairs of eyes have traveled in their direction during the few minutes they have been present.
XENA (through clenched teeth): If I see one more of these nerds check out your ass, Im gonna poke his eyes out with my fingers.
GABRIELLE: Relax, honey. Were on a mission, remember?
As if on cue, a door opens and two men and a woman file into the room: the station manager of the radio station, a tiny, squirrely looking woman (the good doctor), and her agent. The woman takes a seat behind the microphone, smiling artificially, and is flanked by the two men.
Xena stares openly in disbelief.
XENA: Thats Altis new look?
The press conference begins. Routine, boring, polite people ask routine, boring, polite questions and receive routine, boring, polite answers. Eventually, conversation turns to her impending TV talk show. Xena and Gabrielle watch and listen for several minutes before finally jumping in.
DR. LAURA (noticing Xenas raised hand): Yes, you. The stunning woman in the back.
XENA: Doctor, is it true you feel that homosexuality is, in fact, a biological error?
DR. LAURA: In medical terms, yes. Homosexuals are simply sexual deviants, perversions. They are playing on the recent wave of political correctness to bully the government into giving them rights they are simply not entitled to.
XENA: Like getting married, raising children
DR. LAURA: Especially raising children. I mean really, how can any adoption agency give a child to two lesbians when there are heterosexual, committed couples waiting for babies to adopt and dying to stay home and parent them? That the government permits a child to be robbed of a father to satisfy the political demands of gay activists is an outrage!
Murmurs run through the crowd of reporters. Xenas jaw muscle is flexing and unflexing and the pen in her hand is dangerously close to snapping in half. Gabrielle notices and steps in.
GABRIELLE: Doctor, would you say that a deaf person has a biological error?
DR. LAURA (furrowing her brow): Well, yes, I suppose I would
GABRIELLE: How about somebody with, say, diabetes?
DR. LAURA: Yes, but
GABRIELLE: Cleft palate?
DR. LAURA (catching on): Well
DR. LAURA: Um
GABRIELLE: Two different color eyes?
DR. LAURA: Okay, hang on a minute
GABRIELLE: These are all (making quotation marks in the air with her fingers) biological errors, doctor. Would you consider telling any of them they shouldnt be allowed to marry the person they love or raise a child, or be entitled to the same rights as everybody else because of what is, essentially, something inherent at birth?
Members of the crowd begin to nod to one another, anxious to hear the good doctors response.
DR. LAURA (annoyed now): Here we go again. Youre taking this all out of context, as usual. I express a differing opinion and now Im the evil one.
GABRIELLE: Well, Im sure youre not the first to think this way. There was (turns to Xena) What was that other guys name?
GABRIELLE: Thats the one.
The crowd gasps.
DR. LAURA (gasps): How dare you!? Hitler was a monster!
GABRIELLE: Yes, he was. A monster who believed that people who didnt fit his perception of normal were less worthy than those who did.
DR. LAURA (standing, though its hard to tell): I resent being compared to such an awful man!
XENA: And I resent being compared to a kleptomaniac!
GABRIELLE (grabbing Xenas arm and whispering): No, honey, that was Trent Lott's line, not hers.
XENA: Oh. Well, I still resent it.
GABRIELLE: I know you do.
DR. LAURA (a light bulb appearing over her head): You resent wait a minute! Youre a lesbian?? But but look at you! You could have any man you wanted.
GABRIELLE (sighing): All aboard! Next stop, Island of Stereotypes!
XENA (shrugging): I dont want any man. (drops her arm over Gabrielles shoulders)
DR. LAURA (rolling her eyes): Ugh! This is disgusting! (turns to her agent) Would you look at this filth!?
The agent certainly is looking, as well as conjuring up images in his head that promise to supply him with fantasy material for weeks. Dr. Laura slaps him upside the head.
DR. LAURA: Stop looking at that filth!
GABRIELLE: Its not filth, doctor. Its just different from you.
The crowd murmurs again, wavering in its opinion, leaning toward the two women.
GABRIELLE: Were good people. We pay our taxes. We give to charity. We help our neighbors. (she gazes up at Xena) We love deeply. True love is never wrong, doctor, and you should stop trying to convince people that it is.
XENA: Hateful words like yours are part of the reason why one person will think its acceptable to beat another to a bloody pulp and leave him tied to a fence.
GABRIELLE (softly): Because hes different.
The crowds opinions have definitely shifted and the good doctor finds herself facing the accusing stares of many of her own followers.
DR. LAURA: No! No, you stop looking at me like that! (pointing at the warrior and bard) Theyre the ones you should be gawking at, not me! No! Argh!!!!!!
Dr. Laura drops her chin to her chest. Suddenly, the room dims and a mysterious wind whips through with a howl. Dr. Laura begins to convulse. When she looks up, her eyes are a funky hazel and her smile is positively evil. Joe LoDuca music (volume 4, number 28, to be exact) kicks in.
GABRIELLE: Uh oh.
XENA (pulling out her sword nobody knows from where): Its time to play.
DR. LAURA (jumping over the table to land in front of it, cackling hideously): Xena! How nice to see you again. (glances at Gabrielle) Ah, Xenas Little Bitch.
Gabrielle sneers at her.
XENA: Alti. Hows the weather down there?
DR. LAURA: Resorting to short jokes, are we? Thats not nice.
She grabs up the wire of the microphone and begins twirling it over her head in a large circle. The hard microphone at the end immediately knocks both the agent and station manager unconscious. The crowd ducks for cover.
Xena sighs loudly and holds her sword straight up in the air, cleanly slicing the microphone from its cord, sending it crashing against the wall harmlessly. The LoDuca music comes to an abrupt, record-scratching halt, a la Ally McBeal.
DR. LAURA: Youre mine, Xena!
She lunges at the warrior, who simply puts out a hand, stopping the good doctor by her head. As the evil midget continues to swing her fists ineffectually, missing the warriors midriff by a good six inches, Xena turns to Gabrielle, a puzzled expression on her face.
XENA: Did I miss something?
GABRIELLE (looking just as bewildered): Hmm. Lets see. In India that time, Naima said Alti was at her most powerful. Maybe this is Alti at her least powerful?
They blink at each other. Dr. Laura is still trying to punch Xena, muttering threats and insults. The crowd stands up, looking stupidly at one another and the sight before them.
XENA (sighing): And I was so looking forward to a good fight.
GABRIELLE: Dont forget, you still have the tennis match against that Hingis chick next weekend.
XENA (lights up): Oh yeah. (narrows her eyes) I cant wait to smear her homophobic butt all over the court.
GABRIELLE: Now, thats entertainment.
XENA: Lets put this little nuisance where she belongs, okay?
GABRIELLE: Sounds good.
With a flick of the wrist, Xena spins the good doctor so shes facing away from them.
DR. LAURA: Get your hands off me, you dyke! Ill kill you! You have no idea who youre dealing with! I have friends in high places, you know! I know Pat Robertson! I know Pat Buchanan! I know all the Pats!
Xena picks her up, carrying her under one arm like a portfolio. She crosses the room to the large trash receptacle where she unceremoniously dumps the screeching woman into it.
The trash can begins to shake. Blinding lights flash and the stunned crowd looks on. In the next instant, all is quiet. The trash can is empty.
XENA (wiping her palms together in a gesture of finality): The doctor is out.
GABRIELLE: Until next time, Alti. (turning to the crowd) We hope you all learned something here.
Murmurs run through the group once again, as they write furiously.
XENA (looks at her watch, gasps, then grabs the bards arm): Come on, honey! The WNBA games on in twenty minutes!
GABRIELLE (rolling her eyes): All aboard!
Authors Note: I hope you got a chuckle out of this, because it was necessary for me to either make it funny or hang myself. This piece was written in response to all the hoopla in circulation regarding the upcoming television talk show of Dr. Laura. The things that I have her say here actually come from one of her own essays, so I didnt just put words into her mouth. While I absolutely agree with her right to express her own opinion, I vehemently DISAGREE with her claim that doing so does not foster violence against those she disparages. I spent way too much of my time this week fuming over being referred to as a biological error and Im annoyed that I allowed her remarks to waste even one minute of my life. I can only hope that, by going on national television and showing the entire nation how incredibly judgmental and holier-than-thou she can be, this will be the beginning of the end for her. I dont want to believe that somebody can make their living cutting down others and be successful. Oh, how I wish we could just sic Xena on her. ;-) Peace and love to you all.
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