A one-act play
by Ronald Hogan


"Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy."--Benjamin Franklin

(Dionysus enters from stage right-center. He is obviously on top of the world. His clothes are simply outlandish. He's wearing something that would make a blind 70's pimp blush furiously. He's carrying his phallic cane and sing/rapping the song "Gin and Juice" by Snoop Dogg. He struts to the center of the stage, grinning all the while, to pluck a bunch of grapes from the fruit bowl. While eating them, he continues to dance horribly, weaving around furniture and columns.)

Dionysus: Rollin' down the street, smoking indo… sippin' on gin and juice. Laid back. With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

(Dionysus collapses onto a piece of furniture, knocking his slouchy hat off. It tumbles to the floor and he takes this opportunity to run his fingers through his curls contentedly.)

Dionysus: Today was a good day, but then again, every day's a good day when you're a God. I mean, I sit around, drink, do miracles, and everyone loves me. This is really the fuckin' life.

(Dionysus pops a few more grapes into his mouth, chewing them as he talks. He's not the most mannerly of bastards.)

Dionysus: I wonder where ev-…

(Demeter enters from stage left, furious about something or another. Her hair is long and straight, flowers braided into it, and since she's a fertility Goddess and all, she's got some decent curves on her underneath her white tank top. Nice childbearing hips look especially prominent from beneath her billowy green ankle-length skirt. Dionysus looks up at her as she walks towards stage right-center, and his eyes follow every movement of her generous backside. She hasn't noticed him yet.)

Demeter: Zeus! Where are you?! You've got to talk to Hades…

(Demeter stops short, scowling at Dionysus.)

Demeter: Oh great. It's you.

Dionysus: Oh great, it's me.

Demeter: Have you seen Zeus?

Dionysus: No.

Demeter: Well, I guess I should go find him. Did he leave with Hera earlier to visit Poseidon?

Dionysus: No, she took off by herself, so Zeus is… well, he's probably face-down in some strange right now.

(The two religious figures chuckle nervously. Zeus isn't renowned for his sense of humor and neither one is in the mood for a lightning bolt enema.)

Dionysus: Why not take a load off and hang out for a little bit?

(Dionysus moves his feet off the edge of the reclining seat as he sits up, patting the spot beside him. Demeter eyes him suspiciously.)

Demeter: Don't you have some maenads to cavort with, or mangoats to get drunk with or something?

Dionysus: They're satyrs.

Demeter: Whatever. Why aren't you with your posse?

Dionysus: The horrible thing about being a mortal is they can only drink so much before they have to take a few days off to recover, otherwise their puny mortal livers would explode, so I figured I'd let them have the day off and head up here to look for trouble.

Demeter: (voice dripping with sarcasm) Your generosity knows no bounds.

(Dionysus offers a goblet to Demeter, and he gives her his best wooing smile. She stares at him for a few moments, then she finally gives in, taking the goblet and sniffing at it.)

Demeter: Well, I guess a little drink wouldn't hurt. I need it after the day I've had.

Dionysus: You know what would help? Talking. You women like to talk about your problems, and I've got nothing better to do right now than listen, so… fire away, babe.

Demeter: First of all, your approach needs a little work. Telling me you've got nothing better to do than listen to me doesn't exactly make me want to talk to you.

(She sits beside him anyway, cradling her cup.)

Dionysus: You know what I meant. You're like a sister to me, an-

Demeter: I am your sister, actually. We're all pretty much related.

Dionysus: You get the point.

(The charm is turned on now, and Dionysus slyly slips a 'comforting' arm around his sister's shoulders.)

Dionysus: You've got problems, right? I wanna help, and there's nothing I want to do more than to make you feel better.

Demeter: Well, since you asked… Persephone's with her husband Hades right now, and you know how we have an agreement that she stays with him for six months, then stays with me for the other six?

Dionysus: Uh-huh.

(He is not paying one bit of attention, at least not to what she's talking about. He's more interested in her breasts.)

Demeter: Well, he's all talking about wanting to keep her down there for a few extra weeks, and I'm not gonna stand by and let that happen. We have a custody agreement, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let him break it just because he wants a few more weeks to sully my darling little girl.

(Dionysus looks up, just in time to avoid being caught by Demeter.)

Dionysus: Right, you have to look out for your little girl's best interests.

Demeter: That's what I said, so that's why I came here looking for Zeus. I knew he'd be able to lay the law down.

(Demeter and Dionysus lock eyes briefly, before Demeter looks back into her cup. She loses her battle with better judgment, and takes a deep drink from the mug. She grimaces. The drink is very potent, and she will continue to drink it throughout the remainder of the scene.)

Demeter: Not saying that, y'know, you're not powerful enough to take on Hades or anything. I mean, you have conquered death.

Dionysus: No, no, I totally understand. I mean, I'm good, but I'm no Zeus. I'll talk to Hades, though, if you want me to.

Demeter: You'd do that?

Dionysus: Of course, why wouldn't I?

Demeter: Well, Hades is kinda creepy. And mean.

Dionysus: Yeah, but I figure your happiness is worth facing down the H-man for. He can't treat you like that. It's not fair. I mean, look at you. You couldn't stand up to Hades…

(The comfortable vibe that the two were sharing starts to disintegrate thanks to Dionysus' clumsy wording and Demeter's feminism. He speaks again, acting hurriedly to soothe ruffled feathers.)

Dionysus: …because someone as beautiful as you are should never lower herself to Hades' level. That's what he'd want, anyway. Bring you down there; keep you captive until he gets his way. Everyone on earth would starve, and the grapes would ferment on the vine, not in the bottle like they're supposed to.

(Demeter smiles, taking a particularly heavy guzzle off the provided goblet. She is gigglier now than normal, as she is starting to feel whatever Dionysus was drinking course through her veins.)

Demeter: Are you always this charming, Mr. God of Orgies, or am I just starting to feel this drink of yours?

(Dionysus shrugs, and Demeter leans against him further, one of her hands busily playing at the lapel of his coat.)

Dionysus: A little bit of both, I'm sure.

Demeter: You're not just getting me drunk and taking advantage of me, are you?

Dionysus: No, of course-

Demeter: 'Cause I could really go for some of that treatment right about now.

(Cue the shock, cue the surprise, and most of all, cue the mental cash register sound.)

Dionysus: Oh really now….

Demeter: Mmm-hmm. Everyone thinks I'm all serious and shit, but I'm really not. I like to have a good time, too. I just have… responsibilities, you know? I'm responsible for…

(Demeter drinks more, then looks into her empty goblet before exchanging it with the goblet that Dionysus has been ignoring.)

Demeter: All kinds of important stuff.

(Demeter reclines more now, and Dionysus moves to follow suit, assuming a position slightly beside and behind Demeter, one of his hands resting on the few inches of stomach exposed by her hippie tank top.)

Dionysus: Very important stuff.

Demeter: Everyone's always not taking me seriously. Aphrodite's been calling me 'The Bread Bitch' when she thinks I'm not around.

Dionysus: She's a bitch.

Demeter: Major bitch. And she's not all hot stuff like everyone says. I think I'm cuter than her anyway.

Dionysus: That's true. She's got a flat ass.

Demeter: Not like me.

(Dionysus reaches around Demeter's waist to get a hand full of that very same behind, and he grins.)

Dionysus: Not like you at all, babe.

Demeter: So you gonna talk all day, little doggie, or are you gonna bite?

Dionysus: We can't just jump right into things. We've gotta set the mood.

Demeter: I'm already in the mood, and I can tell your breadstick is starting to rise… what more do you need?

(Dionysus snaps his fingers. Immediately, the music cues up. The song is by the masters, Mr. Kool and his Gang. It's "Jungle Boogie".)

Dionysus: Well, that, for one. Oh, and this.

(Dionysus snaps his fingers again, and the lights, both house and stage, get killed. For the remainder of the song, we hear all the stereotypical sounds of drunken sex.)

Demeter: Ooh, yeah. That's it. Right there.


Dionysus: Ow, what the he-…


Demeter: Shut up and do me, bitch!

(When the song ends, our Greeks are reclining on the couch in a state of disarray. Both are disheveled. Dionysus is smoking a cigarette. Demeter is lounging on top of him almost like a cat. He's grinning. She looks vaguely disappointed and painfully sobered up by her experience.)

Dionysus: Whew, I feel better.

Demeter: Yeah, it was… pretty good.

(Of course, she's lying. Of course, he doesn't really know the difference.)

Dionysus: Damn right it was. I'm a God, and not just because I'm one of Zeus' many illegitimate children.

(Demeter rolls her eyes.)

Demeter: Yeah, well… I need to go get cleaned up, so….

Dionysus: Sure, go ahead. I'll just chill here.

(Demeter exits stage right. Dionysus takes a drink from the goblet. There is the sound of a thunderclap stage left. Dionysus leaps up from the couch and starts frantically trying to put himself together before diving behind the couch.)

Zeus (spoken as entering): So I said to him, listen here Achilles, you keep talking shit and I'll whack your ass…

(Zeus sniffs the air, looking around.)

Zeus: It smells like a college dorm room in here. All alcohol and sex.

(Hera follows Zeus into the scene, riding his ass like he was a rented mule.)

Hera: You'd be really familiar with that smell, wouldn't you? Hell, I'm surprised you didn't nail a goat on the way home.

Zeus: Oh cram it, woman. If you hadn't let yourself go I wouldn't have had to have sex with all those people.

Hera: And what explains the men?

Zeus: Well, I thought they were you, what with the flat chests and beards.

(Dionysus pops up from behind the couch, grinning like a moron.)

Dionysus: Hey Dad, I didn't know you'd be here.

Zeus: How many times have I told you not to call me 'dad'? We don't have to be so formal. You can call me Zeus, King of the Gods and Lord of the Skies.

Dionysus: Right, I'll get right on that.

(Hera clears her throat and points to the tiara on her head.)

Dionysus: Oh, hi Hera. Nice to see you again. Your beard is looking lovely today.

(Dionysus offers Hera a shit-eating grin. She's not amused, but Zeus laughs heartily, with more thunder noises, this time from directly behind him.)

Zeus: You must be my son after all.

(From stage right, someone comes running onto the stage. She is wearing flowing robes that are roughly the color of Guinness Draught. Mmmm… Guinness. She's wearing a white wig, and she has been powdered as white as possible. She skitters to a barefooted stop in front of the assembled Gods and Goddess, who all stare at her like she's got a second head. She doesn't, of course.)

Zeus: Uh… hi. Who are you?

(Hera's lid blows off. She's not a very stable woman, even under the best of circumstances.)

Hera: Damn it, Zeus! Not another illegitimate kid! You S.O.B., I thought you were done diddling mortals!

(Hera slaps Zeus hard.)

Zeus: Ow, what the hell was that for? Why is it that everytime a new God shows up on Olympus, you assume it's one of my kids?

(Hera, Dionysus, and Guinness all turn to stare at Zeus. He wilts slightly.)

Zeus: Just because a guy makes a couple of mistakes-…

Hera: A couple of mistakes? You've propagated an entire race of Godlings all because you couldn't keep your hands off the humans!

Zeus: The mortals aren't the only ones who can't keep their hands off me, my queen.

(We now see where Dionysus gets his charm, and it's from Dad. Zeus kisses Hera's hand, then growls playfully at her. She can't keep from giggling, despite herself.)

Guinness: You're my grandfather, I don't need to have those horrible thoughts in my head for the rest of eternity.

(Zeus looks at the girl, then looks at Dionysus. Dionysus looks away, guiltily.)

Zeus: You? I thought you were gay.

Dionysus: No, not gay, just… uh, experimental. I am Greek, after all.

Zeus: Well, that's true. We all go through our 'young boys' stage.

Guinness: Eww… that's a sickening thought.

Hera: Get used to it, honey. There's no such thing as a totally heterosexual Greek God.

(Demeter rushes onstage.)

Demeter (spoken as entered): I've been looking all over for yo- ohhh… shit.

(Zeus and Hera look at her. She flushes guiltily. Dionysus winks and blows a kiss at her. She looks ashamed of herself--as well she should be.)

Demeter: Look, I can explain everything.

Hera: Let me guess. You were drunk, right?

Demeter: Yeah.

(She stares at her feet, scuffing the smoky ground.)

Hera: Yeah, you're not the only one. One time, Dionysus got so drunk that he made a penis out of wood and had sex with this guy's grave.

Guinness: Again I say, eww. Didn't need to know that.

Demeter: Say hi to your dad, Guinness.

Guinness: Which one is my dad?

Demeter: The grave-fucker.

Guinness: Hey, Dad. How's it hangin'?

Dionysus: I did not just randomly have sex with a man's grave, okay? He asked for it.

Guinness: And then he died, which freed you from the obligation to perform sexual acts on his corpse.

Dionysus: It wasn't his corpse; I didn't want to dig him up to bl-…

Zeus: Okay, Dionysus, that's enough. You're starting to disgust me, and I'm the guy who's into bestiality.

Demeter: Let's get back onto important matters. What do we do about… uhh, y'know.

(Demeter points at Guinness.)

Dionysus: I think we should…

(Dionysus covers Guinness' ears.)

Dionysus: …kill it.

Hera: She's not an it, she's your daughter, you wino! You can't just kill her!

(Guinness worms her way free from beneath her father's hands.)

Guinness: Are you all talking about me?

Zeus: Yes, we're deciding on whether or not I should kill you with a lightning bolt.

(Guinness' jaw drops.)

Zeus: It's nothing personal, sweetie, but you see, there are so many Gods and Goddesses already that another few would devalue the real estate up here, so to speak. I'd send you to the Underworld, but Hades has a thing for young girls. It'd be nicer just to give you the ol' smite-aroo.

Guinness: Can Goddesses really be killed?

Zeus: Oh, yeah. My father used to eat us kids all the time, but I personally have never tried to kill any of my kids yet. Not seriously, anyway.

Hera: And I normally take my frustrations out on Zeus' girlfriends, so I'm not sure I could smite you.

Guinness: I don't want to be smitten! Smited! Whatever it is!

Demeter: Honey, no one's going to smite a hair on your head. I'll make sure of it.

(Guinness and Demeter hug. Hera smiles approvingly at this display of parental love. Coaxingly, she takes Zeus' arm in hers and leans her cheek to his shoulder.)

Hera: I think I have an idea, Z, that'll make everyone happy.

Zeus: Well, let's hear it.

(Hera leans up and whispers into Zeus' ear.)

Zeus: Uh-huh.

(More whispering.)

Zeus: Really? There's more land than just Greece? I didn't know that.

Hera: Well, while you're busy being King all day, a girl has to do something to keep herself occupied.

Zeus: Well then, I think it's settled.

Demeter: What's settled?

Dionysus: Yeah, am I off the hook for child support yet?

Guinness: Please don't smite me!

(Guinness whines helplessly.)

Zeus: Okay, in my infinite and flawless wisdom, blah blah blah… Guinness, you get to stay a Goddess, and you get to keep your powers, but you can't exercise them here in Greece. There are already enough Gods here as it is, we don't need anymore. However… Hera informs me that there's this island called Eire up in the barbarian north, and the people there are polytheistic, just like the Greeks. Word is they're looking for a new Goddess, and I think you'll fit the bill.

Hera: Plus it's nice and cloudy up there, so your skin won't get all sunburned.

Demeter: Can I still go see her?

Zeus: You've already got one daughter, woman. Isn't that enough?

(Demeter scowls for a moment, and Zeus relents.)

Zeus: Hell, all right. You can still see her, and the two of you can teach the Irish how to use your grains to make a delicious beverage called uh… whatever. Guinness, like your father, who spread the joys of wine to the Greeks, you'll spread the joy of your new drink to the Irish and the rest of the uncivilized world.

Hera: Okay, Guinness, let's go get you ready for your journey to Eire.

(Guinness and Hera exit stage left. Zeus looks over Demeter and Dionysus.)

Zeus: Now that that's over… time to deal with you two. I'll let you off easy, this time, since Dionysus reminds me so much of myself at his age. Demeter, normally you've got a good head on your shoulders, so I'll forgive this indiscretion, so long as the two of you promise not to do this again.

Demeter and Dionysus: We promise.

Zeus: Good. Now if you excuse me, I've got some Argonauts to strike down and city-states to afflict with plague.

(Zeus exits, stage left, to more thunder.)

Dionysus: So, uhh… how're you doing?

Demeter: I'm okay, I guess. How are you?

Dionysus: I'm doing good.

(They share an uncomfortable, post one-night-stand silence.)

Demeter: You'll call me, right?

Dionysus: Sure thing, babe. I'll call you just as soon as I get back home. I've got a big night out tonight with the gang, and I don't know when I'll get in.

Demeter: Uh-huh.

Dionysus: Catch you later, gator.

(Dionysus eases on past Demeter, giving her a goose as he does so. Demeter jumps, then laughs despite herself at the lighthearted and lightheaded Dionysus. Dionysus exits stage right.)

Demeter: Heh. He won't call me.

(Demeter sighs, a little wistfully, and heads stage right.)

(Stage lights go down. Curtain drops. House lights come up.)


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