in the Clones
Kathleen Welch (a.k.a. Major Hightower)
concerned wife often on Prozac and married to Harry
husband who wears foot-massaging socks and heated ear pads
the clones are life-size, papier mache puppets.)
old) Cloned from Jane, has facial hair, crow's feet and bloated
Old) Cloned from Harry, very quiet and likes to eat Tostitos
trailor-park clone from Chalmette
A waitress clone from Chalmette
cloned cowboy who smokes Winstons and never speaks
cloned therapist from an MIT petri dish
meeting for clones and friends of clones.
a concerned wife, often on Prozac, sits at one end of a conference
table. Her husband, Harry, sits at the other end. He is wearing
foot-massaging socks and heated ear pads. They are considering cloning
themselves. Between them are four puppet-clones, two from Chalmette.
The other two clones include a cowboy who smokes Winstons and never
speaks (a.k.a. "The Smoldering Man") and a learned therapist
from an MIT petri dish.
Hi! I'm Jane and I'm clone friendly. (All answer with "Hi Jane!")
I'm going to be your moderator tonight for this 12-step meeting
for clones and friends of clones. Why don't we start off with a
moment of silence followed by the serenity prayer. God, grant me
the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage
to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
I'm Jane and I'm going to be your moderator tonight.
(A trailor-park clone from Chalmette.) Is she a god damn broken
record or what!
I'd first like to start off by saying what bothered me this week
and how I dealt with it by using the power of the Program. I really
feel that I'm learning to accept myself. I mean be comfortable in
my own skin and not let people walk all over me.
You mean like a door mat?!
Dick, lets remember that we're not really speaking out of line here--so
please let me try to finish since I am the moderator tonight. Well,
friends, this happened last Friday. Harry and I have this really
stupid neighbor who has this huge hound dog. This man doesn't work
and just sits out front on his porch all day while his dog is out
in OUR back yard pooping! So on Friday I tried to talk to him--
about this poop situation. I tried to explain that he should respect
our property like we respect his but it was no use. I couldn't argue
with him. He just said it was a matter of poop. Anyway, I started
to get really mad but you know I tried not to show much of it. But
I couldn't stop thinking about the serious piles of POOP in our
yard and usually it's not a pile of poop but poop spread all over
the place. And I don't own this poop. I'm not responsible for this
poop and I have to deal with this poop on a daily basis. I was about
to lose it. So, I took a deep breath and turned away from him. And
walked away. And began to repeat the serenity prayer again and again
and it worked! I was able to get home and have a cup of coffee.
I did write him a long letter expressing my anger. I was going to
put it in his mailbox. But I tore it up. It felt good though to
write it all down. Well, that's my story and I really wanted to
say how grateful I am for Clones Anonymous and how much the serenity
prayer really helped me this week.
You know, I used that serenity prayer this week. Ah, yea I'm Dick
and I'm a clone. (All say, "Hi, Dick!") I mean I don't pray or nothing.
Life is rough. It's not always a bowl of cherries. It's hard, especially
for a clone. Reminds me of this story about this dog. I mean shit
happens. See there's these two girls I know. Well, one of these
girls has this old dog, just farts and can't see worth shit. This
girl was told by the vet that the old bitch needed to be put down.
She couldn't do it. So she gave fifty bucks to the friend and asked
her to take the dog to the vet and have him do it. She couldn't
do it either--what big sissies. So her friend gave me the fifty
bucks and told me to take the old slobber fart to the vet. Well,
I start to think about the fifty bucks and I figure that's a lot
of money and could buy a lot of beer. I mean fifty bucks is fifty
bucks and that could buy a lot of Dixie. I could put that dog down
in no time flat and buy the beer. I really wanted a drink--you know
life ain't easy and work sucks. So I tie up old Yeller and get into
my pickup and run back and over that mean sucker. It took a few
runs. Well, I scraped up what was left of the old bitch and threw
her in the river. This chick who gave me the fifty bucks asked me
that night about the dog and I just said I took it to the vet.
puppeteer, who has been operating Dick, becomes Dick and moves downstage.)
to feel bad though because it was this chick's birthday and we've
been kind of engaged for the past three years. So--I did what that
Jane did. I looked at her and kind of remembered some of that serenity
stuff and didn't buy the beer. I took her to Shoney's instead. The
prayer stuff helped me not buy the Dixie and I still had most of
the money left after Shoney's so I did something else for my girl--I
took her to the Monster Truck Show. And I saw my cloner mom there
and I began to feel like I was having a relapse. I still can't figure
out if I'm just thinking and feeling or if SHE is. And you know
she was such a drunk. This Jane says she can own her feelings. Shit--I
can't own anything, especially me, whoever that is. Jesus! I read
something about flatworms the other day in the paper and how if
you cut up the sucker, say into six pieces, each piece will have
the same memories and learning and stuff as the mother worm. Then
these jerks compare the flat worm to clones, meaning we have the
same memories and learning and experiences as our cloner moms. A
FLATWORM! No wonder I feel like drinking Dixie!
Dick, thank you for sharing and bringing up issues dealing with
your cloneness. I know you have a lot to deal with since you came
from one of those black market clone farms in Paraguay--for defective
moms. But we still accept you and I think we can learn so much from
all of you. We hope to even learn more from you so that the little
clones Harry and I hope to have will have the best home. It's important
to remember that we can learn from each other and it's really wonderful
that we're all so different and yet we're really the same.
You can say that again!
Does anyone else have anything to say tonight. Are there any announcements?
Yea, I'm having a party at my house next Saturday. It's potluck.
I'm gonna cook a pot of weenies and chili on the side with lots
of beans. We're gonna watch the Lost Weekend and ya all could bring
some chips and shit.
(Rita is a cloned waitress from Chalmette. She was cloned from Dick's
egg and once slept with Dick. They are now finding it hard to be
in the same room together.) Dick, why do you always have to say
shit and shit like that?!
Oh, Rita honey, can you please come to my fucking party?!
Jesus, Dick! Just because we come from that same bad egg down in
Paraguay doesn't mean you can treat me that way!
I think you know where I live--just off Chef by the Okinawa Spa.
Hi! I'm Rita and I'm a clone! (All answer her with "Hi, Rita!) I
just wanted to say that I'm also gonna have a party in a couple
of weeks. It will be my birthday--a big two. For two years not a
drop and you know I live in that trailor park behind the Okinawa.
It's also been two years since I've been single. And that's been
hard but I've decided I'm not gonna never let any man use me as
some sort of door mat, even if I am a clone. It's been hard though.
I was closing up Bubba's last Saturday, that's that Chalmette bar
I work at. I started to remember all the great Saturday nights--you
know that feeling of being so high. Or maybe my cloner ma felt that
way. Anyway, I'm closing up Bubba's and starting to feel really
lonely. It's about two in the morning. And Leroy is sitting there
at the bar. I used to think Leroy was kind of good looking when
I was drinking, but ya know, now he looks kind of bad. But, hey
I ain't no spring chicken.
Spring chicken! She's half baked!!
(Glares at Dick.) Anyway, Leroy kind of leans over and breathes
on me when I'm pickin up the bottles. God, his breath about knocked
me over--100 proof! And you know I just wanted to have a drink so
bad. I just felt so lonely and I wanted to escape from all this
shit--lousy fuckin job, no fuckin man, no fuckin money. I said fuck
it. I'm just gonna fuck Leroy and that way I'll forget all this
She told ME to watch how I talked--I feel like I'm at Bubba's not
at a meeting.
puppeteer, who has been operating Rita, becomes Rita and moves downstage.)
Like I said I just wanted to escape and I didn't want to drink or
nothing. So, I thought what the hell--I'll sleep with Leroy and
forget everything. And it got me through the night. I mean I didn't
drink or nothing. But you know when I woke up I felt like so bad.
Leroy stunk something awful and I just wanted to get his lunky ass
out of the house and into his rusty old El Camino. He finally did
get out of bed after I gave him some cash. God, it hit me then.
I've done it again--slept with 100 proof and then gave him money!
And I couldn't stop thinking what a fucking mess my life is.
have no kids since it's illegal for clones. I'm just all alone.
Why no one would care if I died or not. Then I turned on the TV
and stared at the lines on the screen the whole day and thought
of turning on the gas. I thought of it. And I just hurt so bad.
I just wanted the pain to go away. And I was real close to putting
my head in that oven. I thought why did those ponchos from Paraguay
clone me? Why!! Didn't they know I came from a bad egg--the same
as Dick's! Then I just happened to look up and saw on the wall,
the serenity prayer. And you know I thought I'd go to Dr. Gail,
our cloned therapist, and see if she can help me--get me some of
that Prozac or maybe some of that stronger shit.
I don't know, Rita. There may be some side-effects or shit like
that since those drugs haven't really been tested on us.
know just because she's some cloned therapist from an MIT petri
dish doesn't mean she can tell us what to do. All right she may
look a lot slicker than you and me but looks ain't everything. Where
is that Dr. Gail anyway?
Gail, wearing disturbing, black rubber gloves appears. She is confined
to a hand truck. She lip synchs a slow, distorted recording of the
following monologue while her assistant slowly moves the hand truck
around the stage.)
Dick, please don't frighten Rita. She needs our support at this
time. Dick, please listen. We're all the same. Even though we are
clones, we have the same brains as our progenitor parents. We all
possess aspects of the Stone Age brain which evolved twenty
thousand years ago to meet the conditions of life on the African
savanna. At the same time, our neo-cortex in our brains has grown
enormously in an incredibly short space of geological time. As a
result of this freakish development, all of us possess the TUMOROUS
neocortex, the reasoning part, which in its electro-chemical operation
can be likened to an infinitely complex computer. Yet this tumorous
overgrowth is imperfectly co-ordinated with the two other and older
parts of our brains which we have inherited from primitive mammals
and still more PRIMITIVE REPTILES. From this appalling flaw, comes
our aggressiveness, unique in animal creation, and the dreadful
predicament of humanity today which is intensifying exponentially
thanks to recent advances in science and technology, (in a whisper)
yes, cloning. But, we shouldn't feel guilty. My mother made that
choice, when she legally cloned herself in an MIT petri dish.
MOTHERS made that choice. Since we are all still biological freaks,
a biological malfunction needs a biological corrective. The remedy
must obviously be found in psychopharmacology which will reconcile
our unique reasoning power with our primitive instincts. Also, our
savanna brains are unable to keep pace with the bewildering rush
of cultural and technological changes. Like any non-clone, we, too,
feel the cumulative stresses of modern life which have set off an
avalanche of depression, anxiety, insomnia, bulimia and other stress-induced
disorders. Again, these modern environmental stressors call for
chemical correction in order to increase certain neurotransmittors
which are now deficient, such as seratonin. In short, I think Rita,
like any clone in her condition, would benefit from the extra-strength
anti-depressant, EFFEXOR. EFFEXOR's efficacy is similar to that
of electroconvulsive, yes electroshock therapy, in serious depression,
such as Rita's, and it would certainly be more preferable for most
clones. Rita, I would also suggest you see a trustworthy and program-friendly
therapist who can also help you. I have a workshop on "Finding Your
Cloned Soul" next week. Perhaps you could sign up for that and I
could also see you on an individual basis. I know individuality
is frightening but it may be something we need to discuss and see
if it exists.
Hey, back up! What's this shit about lizard brains! I ain't no lizard!
My mother's from Chalmette! She even went to Columbia State and
graduated with a bacculaureal in swimp husbandry or swimp management--and
now she's working with swimps of all kinds. She hopes to open up
her own swimpery in no time and wants me to help her swimping.
Dick, shut up! Dr. Gail, I don't know what to say but it sure sounds
better than what I'm going through now. And I sure don't want that
is back to wearing his heated ear pads and foot-massaging socks.
He is also watching his "watchman" TV and has a remote for it. He
does look up when Rita says "electroshock" and grunts.)
(To Harry) Harry can you tell us a little about what's been bothering
you. Could you stop watching that TV! We're trying to have a meeting!
(Looks at Jane and begins to talk hesitantly, still wearing his
pads and socks.) I like to eat Baked Tostitos and usually I bring
a bag to the meeting. Today A&P was out of Tostitos. Oh, yea,
I'm Harry and I'm a friend of clones. (ALL--"Hi, Harry!")
Is that it?!
Oh, I don't know. But I might stop at another A&P on the way
back and buy some Tostitos there. Ah....I don't know. (The following
is very difficult for Harry to say.) Maybe, Dr. Gail can help me.
I keep having this dream and in it I'm trapped in a huge vat of
Tostito bean dip. And the dip keeps rising. And it's real, real
hot. The dip is up to my chin and all of a sudden Jane appears and
adds even more dip into the vat. I can't breathe. I'm beginning
to suffocate. (Gasps for air.) And the smell of those beans! Ah!!!
Luckily, I wake up.
Harry, you need help. Always thinking of food, even dreaming about
it. We shouldn't waste group time discussing Tostitos and bean dip.
I was hoping that our friends could help us with our cloning. I
have so many questions. I hate to ask this, but will our cloned
children hate us even more than our natural child, little Billy?
Usually we hate most what we hate in ourselves. Will we have more
discipline problems than usual since our clones will probably know
what we're thinking? And what kind of schools should we send them
to? (With much fear) Would they be accepted into the magnet schools?
(Interrupts Jane) Jane, I need to get to the A&P before it closes.
Isn't it time to end the meeting?
You and your bean dip! All right friends, we'll discuss these issues
at the next meeting. I just wanted to end the meeting with a beautiful
passage from the book, "One day at a time in CLO-ANON--a support
group for progenitor parents and other non-cloned family members."
The passage deals with the group's 13th step: "Made a decision to
turn my clone's will and my clone's life over to the care of God
as we understood Him." (She reads from the book.) A CLO-ANON member
of long standing writes of a tragic estrangement between her beloved
cloned daughter and herself. She had tried to prevent the cloned
daughter from making what seemed to her a wrong decision--joining
a virtual reality cult. "Although I feared we would never be reconciled,
I hoped I could find an answer in our program. I concentrated on
the First Step: my powerlessness over others. What patience it took!
What a constant temptation to take action, rather than leave the
problem to God. But I made it--and it worked. The seemingly unyielding
barrier of silence and yes, even hatred melted away. We have learned
again to love, by accepting each other as we are." The passage then
ends with a beautiful, beautiful quote from Thomas Merton's book,
No Man is an Island: "The beginning of love is to let those we love
be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.
Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."
(Jane adds emphatically) Nurture over nature!
Bullshit! This Merton guy wrote this crap before cloning. I'll tell
you that my parents only love me for themselves. I hate my parents
for what they did to themselves!
Ah, it is late. We do need to end this meeting. Let's have a moment
of silence. (All bow their heads and are silent for a minute.)
Keep coming back! It works!
and Harry move downstage left to their "family room" where their
two clones are sitting. The two clones look very similar to Jane
and Harry, with wrinkles and facial hair.)
Janie, tell your daddy what you did today?
Clone: Why don't you tell him. You know what I did.
Jane, you seem to forget that you are you and I am me, and your
experiences make you different from me. I was hoping we could talk
as a family.
Clone: Family! This isn't any family. We're freaks! I'm only
in pre-school and I have a bloated belly, crows feet and facial
hair! All the kids make fun of me. I want to go to another school.
We could send you to Mayor Mark Morial's magnet school for clones.
He has a special interest in clones, having cloned himself over
a thousand times! City Hall seems even more screwed up than usual.
Oh, I'm special! I've got a muskrat brain as big as a baby's fist!
Maybe, that's why I wear this stupid hat all the time. Yea! Go ahead!
Send me to that school. I don't care how special it is. Anything
is better than where I'm at. (To little Harry) Harry, do you like
Clone: Ah...well. I don't know. I guess sometimes. The food
there is kind of bad.
(With concern) Ah...Harry, maybe we can pack you a lunch. Jane,
can you pack Harry a lunch?
Why do I have to do everything all the time! Why don't you pack
little Harry a lunch!
Well, you know how sensitive I am to saran wrap. I get a rash every
time I use it.
Harry, you're just too sensitive to everything. And when are you
ever going to stop wearing those ear pads! Even little Harry wears
Clone: What do you expect him to wear! We're CLONES. Everyday
I want to wear something different but I end up even wearing the
same hats that you do. I hate being so much like you!
I talked to Dr. Gail, Jane, and she says she's going to have a support
group for daughters, cloned or non-cloned, who hate their mothers.
We could go together and I could see Dr. Gail after you. The group
that follows is for mothers who have cloned daughters who hate them.
I just feel so overwhelmed at times. Now, I have to take care of
two Harrys! It was hard enough taking care of one Harry. Maybe,
you could do more for little Harry.
Clone: You mean babysit him like you babysit Dad?
Oh, I think I need my mood elevator. Where's my Prozac? (She looks
suspiciously at Harry. He shrugs and hangs his head.) Did you take
my Prozac? You know I only had a few left. You shouldn't mix your
Buspar with my Prozac. Remember the last time you took Prozac? You
couldn't sleep and watched your watchman all night.
I didn't take them. (Turns to little Harry and whispers) Harry?
Clone: (Harry Clone hangs his head.) I didn't take them. You
told me I had to start off first on something cheap, like Budweiser.
(Whispers to Harry) Maybe, Jane took them.
father, Harry, finds a Budweiser for his cloned son and helps him
drink it. Harry and Jane then start taking their Buspar and Prozac.
Little Jane Clone looks at the three while they take their substances
and becomes very angry.)
And what am I supposed to do? You know I feel just as depressed
and anxious as her. (Points to her mother.) I want something more
than twinkies. Tweaking on twinkies--how ridiculous! Why can't little
Harry and I move up to the real mood elevators? (She has found some
twinkies, which Jane helps her eat.)
Jane, dear, we're trying to do the best we can. But we need to save
money right now for your college education. Perhaps, when they start
selling generic Prozac or Buspar, we'll be able to afford it.
a minute, all four just look at each other, trying to escape with
their substances. The escape does not last for long. The following
lines are said simultaneously.)
I think I've developed tolerance to...
Clone: Prozac! Yea, like I said these twinkies don't do the
trick. I want what you're taking. NOW! And I want an appointment
for liposuction and skin resurfacing--Look at these CROW'S
FEET! I know. I'll ask my doctor about an appointment for you. And
be appreciative! I never get any respect around...
Clone: here. Ask Dad for the respect. He's out to...
Lunch! All he can talk about is food...
(To Jane) Did you get the Tostitos and the ...
Clone: bean dip! I want to try some, too. And why aren't we
TV! (With great concern) Where did my watchman go? Son, I want you
to get on the...
Clone: web. Yea, Dad but you've got to get the right modem and
we should ...
electronically simplify our lives. I think I need a...
Lobotomy! That would simplify your life. I don't know how much more
simplified it can get! I don't feel...
well! AH!!! To a meeting!
Harry and all the clones are again at a 12-step meeting.)
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the
The difference is that we don't create but choose. God creates through
us and we have the choice to choose. Choice to Choose! Cloning is
another step in choosing. From the beginning, we have chosen: how
to use fire, the spear, the wheel! (To the others) "What the hand
dare seize the fire?"
(All embrace and hold hands) Yes, William Blake. We choose the
hand of oneness, the eternal. Keep coming back! It works!
your Clone Puppets at (504) 486-9571.