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by Brian E. Rochlin

CARMEN DICK, Feminist Private Eye: She’s hard-boiled. A gumshoe of the first order, always in control. She barely hides a raging, dominant sexual beast.

ARMENEH HABIB: Male (although he was named after his maternal grandmother). Middle Eastern…or is he Armenian? No really, where is that accent from? Proprietor of the Marvelo Magic Shop/Beer Garden. He believes that all other magicians are hacks!

BRUCE VAGINA: (pronounced Vaj-in-Ay) A bit of a male chauvinist pig. He doesn’t like to be told what to do, but hasn’t had sex in sooooo long, he would willingly don a leather mask and diaper if there was the promise of getting laid. He wants to be the world’s greatest magician, and hopes to learn everything he can from Habib.

HORNY CARMELLA: Bisexual monogamist, but only she knows it (the monogamist part, that is). She is very accommodating. Doesn’t want to rock the boat. Habib is her ex-boyfriend. She had a one-night stand with Carmen, but both try to conceal it.

A rain-slick street. A noir-ish magic shop/beer garden


NOTES: There is a warped reality to this world. Props are never completely normal. They are either imaginary or somehow blown out of proportion.

Carmen’s linguistic style is stylized; straight out of 40s detective noir films. Characters can seem like they come from different realities.


[The sound of rain and thunder behind dramatic private eye music. Carmen Dick, a woman wearing a trench coat and fedora, stands alone in a SPOTLIGHT.]

CARMEN DICK: It was a dark and stormy night.


CARMEN DICK: I mean it was twilight. Just post storm.


CARMEN DICK: The streets were wetter than my pants after 12 hours of watching gladiator films. Danger was in the air, and I was on a case. My name is Carmen Dick: Feminist Private Eye.


[LIGHTS UP on the shop. ARMENEH HABIB (proprietor), BRUCE VAGINA (customer), and HORNY CARMELLA (customer), sit around a table. Bruce drinks from a huge cardboard bottle of beer.]

ARMENEH HABIB: That David Copperfield is nothing but a hack, a dickless hack.

HORNY CARMELLA: I don’t know. I saw him make an entire airplane disappear. Well, I didn’t actually see it, because, you know, it disappeared. But it was magical. He’s very cute.

ARMENEH HABIB: Hack. David Blaine...Hack! Ricky Jay...Hack! Penn and Teller...Hacks! Doug Henning...


ARMENEH HABIB: That is damn right!

CARMEN DICK: I entered the Marvelo Magic Shop and Beer Garden. It stunk of stale Pilsners and stale lives.

[She enters. Armeneh gets up.]

ARMENEH HABIB: We are closed for the twilight. I am so sorry.

CARMEN DICK: No. You’re not. But you will be. Mark my words.

HORNY CARMELLA: Hi. Who are you?

CARMEN DICK: I’m Carmen Dick: Feminist Private Eye.

[She rolls the fedora off her head, down her arm, catches it, and places it on the table.]

BRUCE VAGINA: Yeah, well I’m Bruce Vagina: Chauvinist Private Citizen.

CARMEN DICK: Vagina. Would you mind spelling that?

BRUCE VAGINA: Yes. Yes, I would.

HORNY CARMELLA: (sidling up to her) You’re a detective. That’s very sexy.

CARMEN DICK: (aside) She had legs that went all the way up to her firm, delicious, and very penetrable, buttocks.

HORNY CARMELLA: Thanks. So do you.


CARMEN DICK: (to Armeneh) And who might you be?

ARMENEH HABIB: I am Armeneh Habib, proprietor, and that is Horny Carmella, my bisexual ex-girlfriend. What are you doing here?

CARMEN DICK: I’m here to investigate a murder.

BRUCE VAGINA: There’s no one dead here.

[Carmen pulls out a gun (actually her two fingers pretending to be a gun) and shoots Armeneh, who falls to the ground.]

CARMEN DICK: Says you.

BRUCE VAGINA: You crazy bitch!

CARMEN DICK: You really are a chauvinist, Mr. Bruce (pronounced as it’s spelled) Vagina.

HORNY CARMELLA: You know, I always wanted to be a detective. Perhaps I can help.

BRUCE VAGINA: You shot him!

CARMEN DICK: Did I? (aside) I knew this Bruce (prounounced as it’s spelled) Vagina would be no help. He had the look of a man who’d been anally penetrated three too many times.

BRUCE VAGINA: You know we can hear you?

CARMEN DICK: (aside) Could they truly hear me?

HORNY CARMELLA: Yeah, we can.

CARMEN DICK (V.O.): Then perhaps I should talk in voice over.

HORNY CARMELLA: I really want to help with the investigation.

CARMEN DICK (V.O.): I like talking in voice over. I sound sexy.

BRUCE VAGINA: We know who did it!

CARMEN DICK: Or do we? The first rule of detection is never jump to conclusions.

[Armeneh sits up.]

ARMENEH HABIB: (aside) For example, they don’t know it, but I’m not dead yet.

[He lies back down.]

CARMEN DICK (V.O.): For example, I don’t know it, but he’s not dead yet.

BRUCE VAGINA: I’m calling the police.

CARMEN DICK: (pulling out her gun) Not so quick.

[Bruce lifts his cardboard beer bottle, defensively.]

ARMENEH HABIB: (aside) I’m actually feeling pretty good...except for the agonizing pain of this gunshot wound.

CARMEN DICK: As a feminist detective, I can tell you that your huge beer bottle is a feeble attempt to compensate for a small and ineffectual penis.

HORNY CARMELLA: I could have told you that.

ARMENEH HABIB: (aside) Did she sleep with Vagina, too? If it weren’t for the massive blood loss, I’d confront her right now.

BRUCE VAGINA: I’ve had enough of you.

[He SMASHES the cardboard bottle. We hear the bottle break.]

CARMEN DICK: No you haven’t.

[She removes her trench coat, and throws it to the floor, where it makes the same SMASHING sound as the bottle. She is wearing only a bra.]

BRUCE VAGINA: I want to explore the deep, depraved cavities of your mind.

CARMEN DICK: (aside) It wasn’t my mind he wanted to explore.

HORNY CARMELLA: I thought you were a feminist.

CARMEN DICK: I’m a contemporary feminist. (to Bruce) Come here.

[They begin making out, Bruce still holds on to the bottle.]

BRUCE VAGINA: I love you.

CARMEN DICK (V.O.): He had all the technique of epileptic eel, but he loved the taste of my larynx.

HORNY CARMELLA: You never kissed me like that.

ARMENEH HABIB: (aside) I was right. Oh, I’m really in a caravan of pain now.

CARMEN DICK: Do you really love me?


CARMEN DICK: Would you do anything for me?

BRUCE VAGINA: Yes, anything.

CARMEN DICK: Would you kill for me?

BRUCE VAGINA: I would kill for you.

CARMEN DICK: Would you die for me?

BRUCE VAGINA: I would die for you.

[She has taken hold of the beer bottle, and stabs him in the back. He grimaces in pain and falls to the ground.]

CARMEN DICK: (casually) Thanks.

[She picks up the bottle, takes a swig and puts it on the table. Horny is finally horrified.]

BRUCE VAGINA: (from the floor, unmoving) You killed me.

CARMEN DICK: Did I? Horny, I think we should continue our investigation.

HORNY CARMELLA: I’m not... I don’t... There’s nothing to investigate. You killed them both.

CARMEN DICK: Do you really believe that?

HORNY CARMELLA: What do you mean? Of course I believe that. I can’t believe I was ever attracted to you.

CARMEN DICK: I mean, do you really think I killed Habib and (pronouncing it as it’s spelled) Bruce Vagina?


HORNY CARMELLA: I saw it. Both times, I saw it.

CARMEN DICK: Did you? Or did you see the work of a master illusionist? A master illusionist by the name of Armeneh Habib.

HORNY CARMELLA: He couldn’t have killed himself and Bruce Vagina. He’s dead.

CARMEN DICK: Perhaps you’re mistaken. Perhaps he’s not dead.

[Habib struggles to his feet. He is clearly in tremendous pain.]

ARMENEH HABIB: Perhaps I’m not.

HORNY CARMELLA: (to CARMEN) I don’t care if he’s not dead. (to HABIB) I mean, yes, I care. We did date. (to CARMEN) But he couldn’t have killed them. I saw you kill them both.

CARMEN DICK: You couldn’t have seen me. You couldn’t have seen me kill them because I don’t really exist.


CARMEN DICK: Armeneh Habib is a master illusionist. All the others... hacks!


CARMEN DICK: He created me, his master illusion. After six months, two weeks, and 4 days of dating him, you should have known how good he is. Besides, after all, there’s no such thing as a feminist detective. Sure, there are those who would say Gloria Steinem and Simone du Beauvoir were detectives into the world of gender relations, defining a heretofore undefined feminism, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

ARMENEH HABIB: It really isn’t.

HORNY CARMELLA: I don’t understand.

CARMEN DICK: After you broke up with Habib, he was devastated. Night after night, he would daydream of getting you back.

ARMENEH HABIB: Night after lonely night.

[He falters.]

HORNY CARMELLA: Are you all right? I thought all this was an illusion.

CARMEN DICK: No, the gun was real. He’s a great illusionist, but a lousy shot.

ARMENEH HABIB: It is true. Oh, the pain is most great.

HORNY CARMELLA: I don’t see any blood.

CARMEN DICK: Exactly. A great illusionist. First he pretended to kill himself, hoping you would want to find out who did it. But really, he wanted to discover whether you were having an affair with Bruce, as he had suspected for months.

HORNY CARMELLA: But I wasn’t. The only person I’d been with since Habib was you.

CARMEN DICK: And you were quite good.



HORNY CARMELLA: Eh. (Trying to figure it out) But wait, if you don’t really exist, how could I have sexually devastated you?

CARMEN DICK: You weren’t that good.

ARMENEH HABIB: I would also daydream about you being with another woman.

[He groans in pain.]

ARMENEH HABIB: That’s really an awful lot of blood.

CARMEN DICK: Yes, our time together was merely a product of Habib’s daydreams. A lesbian fantasy brought to life.

HORNY CARMELLA: But it was my daydream.

CARMEN DICK: He’s that good! When I was making out with Bruce, and you said, “You never kissed me like that,” Habib’s worst suspicions were confirmed. And so he killed Bruce.

ARMENEH HABIB: Could you call an ambulance, please. I believe I am dying.

HORNY CARMELLA: Wait a minute. If he concocted our tet-a-tet, wouldn’t he have known I meant YOU never kissed me like that.


CARMEN DICK: He’s a great illusionist, but not very smart. No man is when he is consumed by jealousy.

HORNY CARMELLA: His jealousy... (to HABIB) Your jealousy. That’s why I broke up with you in first place.

ARMENEH HABIB: Why didn’t you just say so. I can change. I really can... I feel so very cold. Mother?

CARMEN DICK: Yes, no man is smart when consumed with jealousy. Few are smart to begin with. I should know. I’m Carmen Dick: Feminist Private Eye.

[Simultaneously Armeneh and Carmen collapse. Horny picks up the trench coat and puts it on. She flips on the fedora. A spotlight shines on her.]

HORNY CARMELLA: Not any more. Now I’m Carmen Dick: Feminist Private Eye.

ARMENEH HABIB: (from the ground) You killed me.



* * *

Copyright © 2006 by Brian E. Rochlin

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Carmen Dick: Feminist Private Eye is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at BRochlin@aol.com



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