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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Always Bet on Blackout

Continuing in the theme of yesterday’s four-pack of “blackout” sketches (see that post for a description, if explanation is required), today I present four more short sketches in the same vein.

Also, as it happens, the four that I actually presented in class. Unlike yesterday’s bits. Because we never lead with our ‘A’ material, children.

“First we give the ‘D-‘ material, then the ‘Frowny Face Sticker’ material, and then the ‘Incomplete — Spotty Attendance; SEE ME AFTER CLASS!’ material.”

(Or in this case, our ‘C’ material. First we give the ‘D-‘ material, then the ‘Frowny Face Sticker’ material, and then the ‘Incomplete — Spotty Attendance; SEE ME AFTER CLASS!’ material.

And then we hit them with the ‘C’ material. There’s a strategy, see. It’s a process.)

Anyway, please to be enjoying, as best you can, these further four blackout sketches. And have a pleasant Saturday.


[Joe is sitting on a couch, looking offstage. On a video monitor, Steve is seen hailing a taxi, then riding away.

As the video continues, Joe produces a foil-wrapped piece of food and begins eating.

A video montage begins, first with an airplane taking off left-to-right, then a plane landing left-to-right.

Next, a shot of people running with the bulls in Pamplona. Then, two people fencing. A man being shoved upside down into a garbage can. A closeup of bare feet stomping grapes. A masked ninja fighting many foes. A cliff diver plunging into the water. Finally, a lion tamer with his head inside a lion’s mouth.

The video segment wraps with a plane taking off right-to-left, a plane landing right-to-left, and a shot of a taxi dropping Steve off at a street corner.

Steve enters from offstage, looking exhausted and disheveled, and plops heavily on the couch next to Joe. Joe hands him a foil-wrapped square with mild annoyance.]

JOE: Dude. I would have GIVEN you a Klondike Bar.


[Center stage, a man in a black suit and bow tie holding a microphone. He appears to be announcing a prize fight, as several people stand behind and listen.]

ANNOUNCER: Iiiiiiin this corner, weighing in at one hundred and ninety-three pounds, with a career record of seventy wins, four losses and a draw, it’s the Schenectady Scrapper, the Scourge of Saratoga Springs, the Pugilistic Pride of Greater Poughkeepsie, the one, the only Viiiiiiince Maaaaaaardoni!

And in this corner…

[Announcer becomes suddenly somber and crosses himself as he speaks. The people standing behind them comfort each other or sob quietly into handkerchiefs.]

ANNOUNCER: …his wife, who was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.


[Four people stand onstage, fairly close together. They each crouch and pump one fist into the other hand, as though they’re playing a baseball infield and pounding their mitts. They produce a constant stream of chatter for several seconds.]

ACTORS: Hey, pitcher! Come on, pitcher pitcher pitcher! Let’s goooooo, pitchah! Put ‘er in there! Here we go, pitcher! ‘Ats’a stuff! Yo, pitcher!

[As the chatter breaks for a second, one of the actors stands straight up and looks at the others.]

ACTOR: Man. This bartender is taking FOREVER.


[James sits in a chair center stage, wearing a dapper suit and tie. His hands are bound behind the chair; he’s a prsoner of Grace, who approaches from behind and sets down a small stool nearby. Grace yanks James’ head hack to face her.]

GRACE: Will you talk?

JAMES: [defiantly] Never! Do your worst.

[Grace pulls out a torture device and jabs him near the ribs with it. Sparks fly and James grimaces in obvious pain.]

GRACE: *Will you TALK?*

JAMES: [slightly shaken, but bravely] No… ha! You’ll have to do better than that.

[Grace hits him again with the device; James cries out in pain and struggles to catch his breath.]

JAMES: Never… talk. Wasting… your time…

[Grace, obviously tired of the game, savagely hits him again with the device. James howls in pain.]


JAMES: [beaten] Okay… okay, you win. I’ll talk. I’ll talk.

[Grace pulls the stool beside him and sits.]

GRACE: [breezily, filing her nails] So… how was your day?

And… scene. Cut to black. Curtain down. Fin.

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