It’s like Shakespeare...only in English.

“I’m as nervous as a hemophiliac in a Gillette factory.” ~ B.S.

The Incomplete Worlds Of Billy Shakespeare | It's like Shakespeare...only in English.

Billy Plays With Himself

one-act plays

Malice Of Forethought

Dramatis Personae

CLERK, paper-pushing female government employee



Several people are lined up before what looks like a bank teller’s window. Behind a small window sits a stereotypical bored state employee, snapping her chewing gum. She is doing her best to ignore the queue and is rubber-stamping some forms. Finally, she looks up and shouts unnecessarily.


FIRST MAN: Good afternoon. I’d like to commit a murder.

CLERK: Excuse me?

FIRST MAN: I’d like to commit a murder. I’m confused...isn’t this the DMV?

CLERK: Yes, sir.

FIRST MAN: The Department of Murder and Violence?

CLERK: Yes, sir.

FIRST MAN: Well, then. I’d like to commit a murder, please.

CLERK: Fine. Will this be self-termination?

FIRST MAN: Beg pardon?

CLERK: Are you going to commit suicide?

FIRST MAN: Oh, no. I’ve got to be back at the office in an hour. I just want to commit a murder.

CLERK: Very good, sir. And who did you wish to exterminate?

FIRST MAN: My wife.

CLERK: Oh, sir...I believe what you’re looking for is Domestic Violence Support Center next door...

FIRST MAN: No, I don’t want to beat my wife. I want to kill her.

CLERK: Fine.

The CLERK reaches over to the side and picks a sheet of paper off a tall stack. She clicks a pen and begins to fill out the necessary form.

CLERK: Would this be a crime of passion, then...or a senseless killing?

FIRST MAN: A crime of passion. But I’d like to use my fame and personal wealth to hire a sort of lawyer “dream team” to get out of any jail time.

CLERK: Very well. You don’t intend to skip the country then?

FIRST MAN: Well, I will at first, but I’ll eventually be talked out of it.

CLERK: May I ask how?

FIRST MAN: By being blocked at the border by every single vehicle in the State of California Police motor pool including those funny little golf cart-looking things the meter maids use.

CLERK: Let’s see...senseless killing? You answered “no.” May I ask the reason for the “senseful” killing?

FIRST MAN: Certainly. The slut was sleeping with another man.

CLERK: I see. Would you like us to furnish you with the “other man?” We have several fine male specimens to choose from in the morgue...

FIRST MAN: No, thank you. She’s picked one up herself. He should still be at our home.

CLERK: All right, sir. I’ll just ask you to sign at the bottom of this form.

FIRST MAN does so and hands the form back to the CLERK.

CLERK: Very good. Now, do you have any preference to your choice of murder weapon.

FIRST MAN: I’d like to see something in a handgun, please. Something that would do considerable damage.

CLERK: Well, we have a .45 magnum...

The CLERK pulls a gun from underneath the counter and hands it to FIRST MAN, who hefts it up and down in his hands, feeling the weight of it.

FIRST MAN: Lethal?

CLERK: Disgustingly so, sir. At point-blank, I dare say you’ll be taking your wife off the wall with a sponge.

FIRST MAN: Perfect. Fully loaded, is it?

CLERK: I’m afraid not, sir. We can only provide one projectile per customer. Government cutbacks. You understand...

FIRST MAN: I say, that will be tricky. There are two of them, remember. I’d have to make them line up.

CLERK: Maybe you can catch them in an embrace?

FIRST MAN: No. No, I don’t this will do at all. What else do you have for messy kills?

CLERK: Not much, I’m afraid. Not many killers are interested in leaving a trail of bloody clues, you see. All we really have left to offer you is...oh, but you wouldn’t want this.

FIRST MAN: Come on, don’t be coy. Show me.

CLERK: No, me, sir. You’d have to be insane to use something like this. I can barely lift it!

FIRST MAN: I insist you show me immediately! Or do I need to call for your supervisor?

CLERK: Really, sir. There’s no need to take that tone. Fine. See for yourself.

The CLERK reaches below the counter and comes up with a comically-huge knife. The FIRST MAN takes it gingerly from her with trembling hands.

CLERK: You see, sir? Not even the most cold-blooded serial killer would consider using...

FIRST MAN (interrupting): Do you wrap?

CLERK: Of course. Take this receipt to the next window. Have a nice day. NEXT!!

A SECOND MAN steps forward as the FIRST MAN exits.

SECOND MAN: Hello. I’d like to be killed please.

CLERK: Very well, sir. Any preference to place or method?

SECOND MAN: Not really, no.

The CLERK pulls out another gun and shoots SECOND MAN point-blank. SECOND MAN grabs his stomach as the bullet enters and falls to the side, out of sight.


THIRD MAN: Good afternoon. My wife and I would like to overthrow a government.

CLERK: I see. Any country in particular?

THIRD MAN: Yes. The United States of America.

CLERK: Very good. Only two of you then?

THIRD MAN: No, we’re being supported by an association.

CLERK starts to fill out another form.

CLERK: And their name?

THIRD MAN: The Committee To Re-Elect President Charlton Heston.

CLERK: Fine. Well, I’ll set up an appointment for you and your group to see our training films. Say, two weeks from today on April 15th?

THIRD MAN: Ooh. Tax Day. Anything before that?

CLERK: The fourteenth then?

THIRD MAN: Perfect. Thank you very much.

CLERK: Fine. See you then. NEXT!!

A FOURTH MAN now steps forward as the THIRD MAN leaves.

FOURTH MAN: Hello. I’d like to commit a senseless murder.

CLERK: Very good. Any preference to victim?

FOURTH MAN: Well, come to think about Not really.

The FOURTH MAN pulls out a handgun and shoots the CLERK.

CLERK: Oh my didn’t fill out the necessary forms!

The CLERK dies and falls behind the counter. The FOURTH MAN leaves and we hear the others in line as they begin to speak.

PEOPLE IN LINE (speaking in turn): Oh Christ! There goes another one!

We’ll have to come back tomorrow, I guess.

Hey...who’s gonna clean this up?

Not me, man!

First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

But I’m supposed to kill my boss!

What about my mother-in-law?

No, seriously, guys. Let’s kill all the goddamn lawyers.

Voices fade out as everyone leaves.