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Robert Red-Baer


Mike Mackrel
Mr. Wizard
Crab Lady
Crab 1
Crab 2
Extra Crabs

*These can also double as Crabs 1, 2 and Extra Crabs.

The set is a bare stage except for one scene in the reception room of a VD clinic. Lighting would be a big help. There are also special costumes for the crabs.

Copyright 1978 by Robert Red-Baer
Robert Red-Baer offers individuals or theatre groups the production of this play royalty free (profit or non-profit)-- but they must receive permission from Robert Red-Baer.  If interested in producing this play, please click on the following box.
Recently performed.  Click here to see pictures and read comments.


MIKE MACKREL walks out on the stage. He is extremely nervous.

MIKE: I uh, don't know how to tell you this. It's uh, something I've never told anyone. I think I have a disease, a very bad disease. (MARY enters. She is young and sweet.) Mary, I just don't know how to say it.

MARY: What is it, Mike?

MIKE: I just don't know how to tell you this.

MARY: Is it fatal? Are you going to die?

MIKE: I wouldn't think of dying.

MARY (starting to touch his arm): You can tell me...

MIKE: Don't touch me!

MARY: Hey, I thought we were in love.

MIKE: I can't see you anymore.

MARY: You mean we're through? After six full, beautiful months of never ending happiness, six months of stimulating unbounded love, six months of constant devotion and loving touches, six months of...

MIKE: I'm going into hiding, becoming a recluse. Never to see or touch another person again.

MARY (trying to touch him): Oh Mike...

MIKE: Don't touch me! Don't ever try that again'

MARY: Okay, that's it! Get the hell out of my unblemished sight!

MIKE: You don't understand, Mary. You don't realize the seriousness of what's happened to me.

MARY: Mike, I love you and I'll stand by you no matter what it is. That's the whole idea of love, it's never ending. It's something that can't be destroyed by the most serious disease or catastrophe. Only in love can you find pure devotion. And there are no exceptions.

MIKE: Do you really mean that? Is that the way you really feel?

MARY: Of course it is. Nothing can tear apart our great love.

MIKE (hugging her): Oh Mary, you can go into seclusion with me and we can care for each other, alone together in this big ugly world.

MARY: Yes. Yes.

MIKE: And only you and I will know our tragic secret.

MARY: Oh Mike, this is all so beautiful.

MIKE: I never thought that having crabs could turn into such a true expression of real love.

MARY: Crabs?

MIKE: Yeah, you know. Those little bugs that crawl around in your hair down there.

MARY (jumping away and brushing herself off): Crabs! Little bugs! Little bugs in my hair down there! Crawling around on my body.

MIKE: We can live with them. You and I in our own special seclusion.

MARY: You stay away from me; You keep those crabs away from my delicate body.

MIKE (touches her): But Mary...

MARY: Don't touch me!

MIKE: Our undying love?

MARY: I'm not sharing my love with any goddamn crabs. I'll have to leave you alone in your misery. The best of luck, to all of you. (Exits)

MIKE: That's what happens. You start out with a nice clean life, good education, lots of job opportunities, a fine girl friend, good social status, and then what? A little stinking pregnant crab has its babies in your almost innocent pubic hair. (looks down at his crab area) You think you're really smart! You think you've got it made down there. Well I'll tell you one thing, and you'd better take it to heart. My body is not you're playground! So you better watch out. I'm after you! I'm gonna get you, you smart-assed crabs! (pause) But how? I've never had them before. I know, I'll go to the VD clinic. (Blackout. Scene opens on VD clinic. There merely has to be a sign "VD CLINIC" and three chairs. The middle chair is empty. A man is sitting on one end chair and a woman is sitting on the other end chair. They are both thumbing through magazines. Mike nervously enters and sits between them.)

MIKE (to woman): Hi.

WOMAN: Hello.

MIKE: This is the first time I've been to a place like this. (woman ignores him)

MAN: Oh yeah.

MIKE: That's right. First time.

MAN: Are ya scared?

MIKE: Oh no. No.

MAN: Are ya happy?

MIKE: I uh, don't know.

MAN: Ya don't know if you're happy?

MIKE: I guess that...

MAN: Ya can't be happy if you don't know. You'd know it if you was happy.

MIKE: I guess you're right.

MAN: Do ya think I'm happy?

MIKE: Well, I uh... Sure, you're happy.

MAN: What makes you think I'm happy?

MIKE: I uh...

MAN: Do you think it's fun runnin' around with the clap? Do you think that's what makes me happy?

MIKE: Maybe you're happy about something else.

MAN: I'm not happy about nothin'.

MIKE: Look Mister, don't feel bad. All of us in here got something.

WOMAN: What makes you think I got anything? Are you a doctor?

MIKE: Well no, I'm not a doctor.

WOMAN: Then stop preachin' watcher not. I run inta guys like you-before. Yeah, playin' the big doctor bit an' not knowin' shit. The real doctor here Is gonna tell me if I got it. Understand, Mr. Un-doctor?

MIKE: I just thought that you could tell if you had something without a doctor.

MAN: What makes you think you have something?

MIKE: I saw them.

WOMAN: Them?! What did they look like?

MAN: Yeah, describe 'em.

MIKE: They look like little tiny crabs.

MAN & WOMAN: Crabs?!

MIKE: You know. They look just like the kind that are in the ocean, except they're on me.

MAN & WOMAN: Crabs! (Receptionist enters)

RECEPTIONIST: Have you been helped?

MIKE: No. Not yet.

RECEPTIONIST: Will you please step over here. (Man & Woman watch him as he goes to her.) Now what seems to be the problem? (MAN & WOMAN giggle)

MIKE: Well uh, Miss, it's these uh... (MAN & WOMAN laugh) You see... Did you ever eat sea food?

RECEPTIONIST: No, I'm not going out with you.

MIKE: Did you ever eat sea food?


MIKE: Did you ever have those things that have claws?

RECEPTIONIST: You mean lobster.

MIKE: Try again.


MIKE: That's it. (MAN & WOMAN cheer)

RECEPTIONIST: You have crabs?

MIKE: That's right.

RECEPTIONIST: This is a VD clinic, not a day-care center for your crabs.

MIKE:: What am I supposed to do?

RECEPTIONIST: Do you have a lot of them?

MIKE: Every time I look, there are more. They just keep multiplying.

RECEPTIONIST: You could open a restaurant.

MIKE: They're not those kind of crabs.

RECEPTIONIST: Why don't you show me one?

MIKE: Right here?

RECEPTIONIST: They don't bite, do they?

MIKE: Not really. Only if you get them.

RECEPTIONIST: Come on and show me one.

MIKE: Okay. (Starts putting his hand down his pants)

RECEPTIONIST: Is that where you keep them?

MIKE: Yeah, keeps people from stealing them.


MIKE: Ah! There, got one. (He holds it out and Man, Woman and Receptionist gather around it.)

RECEPTIONIST: Cute little bugger, ain't it.

MIKE: You uh, might say that.

RECEPTIONIST: What're you going to do with it?

MIKE: I was thinking about killing it.

EVERYONE: Killing it?!

MAN: Grab murderer

WOMAN: You monster!

MIKE: But I have hundreds of them.

WOMAN: A massacre.

MAN: Mass murder!

RECEPTIONIST: Can't be satisfied with killing just one.

WOMAN: Yeah, you really have a problem Mister.

MIKE: I hate them. They're mining my life.


MAN: Did ya ever think you could show them a little love?

WOMAN: Love's much better than hate.

RECEPTIONIST: Yeah, why don't you give it a try?

WOMAN: It worked for Ghandi and Martin Luther King.

MIKE: Don't you understand, they're sucking my blood.

WOMAN: How much can a little crab drink?

MAN: Yeah?

MIKE: There are a lot of them.

RECEPTIONIST: How can you be so selfish with your more than ample supply of fresh juicy red blood?!

EVERYONE: Selfish!

MIKE (falling to his knees): Why...


MIKE: Please...

EVERYONE: You torturer!

MIKE: Oh God! Get away! Get the hell off my back! (Blackout) It's so quiet. Why should it be so quiet, and so dark? Where is everyone? I can't feel anything, not even the furniture. Wait, I can feel something and it's making me itch. I'm not alone. I've got hundreds of crabs! (Lights come up and Mr. Wizard is standing by a chair.)

WIZARD: What seems to be the problem, son?

MIKE: Wha... Who are you?

WIZARD: Come over here into the light. I want to look at you. Come on, I won't hurt you. Now have a seat. (Mike sits.)

MIKE: Who are...

WIZARD: My name is Mr. Wizard and you are Michael Mackrel. That is all the introduction that is needed.

MIKE: What do you...

WIZARD: Now tell me about your crabs.

MIKE: They make me itch.

WIZARD: That's right. Not only do they make you itch, but they are embarrassing, unsightly and they spread very easily. They multiply very fast and the sores they make are very susceptible to infection. Now, what is the problem?

MIKE: I can't get rid of them.

WIZARD (hands him small bottle): This will kill them.

MIKE: It's all right to kill them, then?

WIZARD: It's the only way. (starts to exit)

MIKE: What do I owe you?

WIZARD: Nothing. (laughs and exits. Mike is looking at the bottle when CRAB LADY enters. She is very pretty and has some extra arms and claws.)


MIKE: Wow! Where did you come from?

CRAB LADY: From you.

MIKE: Aw come on. I've never seen anything like you before.

CRAB LADY: You are beautiful. You have a beautiful body. I love it.

MIKE: Really?

CRAB LADY (hugging him): You know, I feel quite attached to you.

MIKE: Me? You're so strange.

CRAB LADY: I don't feel strange around you.. I feel right at home. Ohh... (Kissing and hugging him.) Oh, I never want to leave you.

MIKE: You sure are intimate

CRAB LADY: You don't realize how intimate I really am. (Starts kissing his chest.)

MIKE: How come you?... You have these extra arms and things?

CRAB LADY: They are only for you. (kiss) They are so I can hold you and love you the way you need to be loved. (kiss) Ohh... I could just eat you up. (kiss) I'm going to cling to you forever. (Kiss)

MIKE: That's not... That's not a bad idea.

CRAB LADY (seeing bottle): What's that?

MIKE: Oh this, it's to kill my crabs. They're a pain in the ass.

CRAB LADY: Don't kill them.

MIKE: I have to. You don't want to catch them, do you?

CRAB LADY: They're my friends.

MIKE: Don't you know what they do? They suck your blood and...

CRAB LADY: That's the tastiest part.

MIKE: They can cause bad infec... Hey, you know what you remind me of...

CRAB LADY: Throw away that bottle.. We can't let it come between us.

MIKE: With those claws and those extra arms and things... You're a crab, aren't you?! (Crab Lady tries to grab bottle.) Oh no you don't! You tried to deceive me! (Takes top off bottle)

CRAB LADY (emotional): I meant everything I said. I'm exactly what you see. How can I help what I am. I was an orphan thrust into your lap. (He looks at his lap) My mother and father and all my brothers and sisters are dead. Killed by that stuff you have. I was just hatching when I found you. The rest of them never made it. And when I found you, your soft body, your warm refreshing blood, I just couldn't leave. I didn't want to hurt you, but I have a right to live. Are... are you going to kill me?

MIKE: Can't you just leave?

CRAB LADY: You have to give me to someone.

MIKE: That's what I'll do. I'll find someone and give you to her.

CRAB LADY: It's more than just that.

MIKE: More?

CRAB LADY: You're carrying my babies. (is really crying now) My babies! (Mike is holding bottle over her) Go on! Get it over with!

MIKE: It has to be done.

CRAB LADY: Well, do it.

MIKE: Can't you realize the suffering you've put me through. The agony, the scratching, the embarrassment.

CRAB LADY: Pour it! Poison me and my babies! Take this burden off your shoulders.

MIKE: If it were on my shoulders I could live with it.

CRAB LADY: Stop torturing me like this.

EVERYONE (offstage): Torture. Torture her.

CRAB LADY: I can't help it if I love you.

EVERYONE (offstage): Love. Torture love.

CRAB LADY: Choke the life out of me with your poison.

EVERYONE (offstage): Crab killer.

MIKE (falls to his knees): I... I can't do it. (Throws bottle away)

CRAB LADY: Oh my love, I'll never leave you. (She embraces him, slowly laying him down and getting on top of him.)

MIKE: I just couldn't do it.

CRAB LADY: Let me love you the way I want to love you.

MIKE: Yes. What else is there? (Crab Lady starts working on him.) Oh, how could I ever think of killing you. Ohh..-. (Crab lady waves and whistles offstage. To others dressed like crabs coming running in and join the feast. Mike starts screaming.) I... I need help! Help! I knew it! I knew it all the time! Oh! Oh God! (He mumbles and struggles and dies.) The crabs get up and exit one by one.)

CRAB ONE: Boy, am I stuffed. (exits)

CRAB TWO: Tasty and filling. What more could a crab ask for. (exits)

CRAB LADY: I really loved him. Loved him to the last drop. (Exits. Mr. Wizard enters with his bottle.)

WIZARD: I don't pretend to be a savior or anything, folks, but crabs are not to be taken lightly. There have been fatalities resulting from the parasites. So the next time you feel plagued by unsightly crabs, turn to Mr. Wizard's crab killer. One teaspoon on the infected area, and poof! They're out of your life. If you can't read, my picture is on the bottle. Thank you and please remember, Mr. Wizards crab killer. It works. (Sets the bottle on Mike's body and exits.)



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