'Dirigible'

Austin Roberts


And then Happy Pappy climbed aboard his daring dirigible and flew on a fantastic wind around the world… encountering many adventures along the way…but that's…another story…   The end.

(yawn) Thanks, Daddy.

It's time for the both of you to go to bed. Maybe tomorrow night Mommy will read you a story about a boy who couldn't hear, or speak, or see, but was still very, very good at pinball. Now go to sleep, honey.

Ok.
(inarticulate fighting from the next room)
I'm not really that sleepy. I don't think I even need sleep. I could do so much if I didn't sleep. I could go on an incredible voyage. I bet I could walk all the way to the store. (giggle) I saw a show on TV–a real show about animals, not one of those pretend shows. There was this penguin, and it wore a backpack in the shape of a penguin. It was a pet penguin and everyday it would waddle to the fish store, and the owner would give one fish to the penguin and put one fish in its backpack, and then it would waddle back to its family with the fish from the store. I don't really like fish, but I bet I would like the fish the penguin brought.    Um, I had an idea today. I am going to make a dirigible. I really, really want one. I am going to make a dirigible.
YES. It's morning. Where is my little scientist notepad and pen? Oh, I know it is around here somewhere. There it is. My Awesome Dirigible: Day One: Test 1: Hippo the Helicopter.   …Hippo is not nearly strong enough. I would need at least 4 or 5, and Christmas isn't for months. Hmm… well, maybe if I—

Come get breakfast dear.

Mommy, can I walk to the store and buy some paint?

I don't know about that dear. That is a long walk. Do you have enough money for paint?

I think so, how much does paint cost?

Would you drive him to the store, honey?

No, Mom, I want to walk.

You can go to the store, but only if you let one of us drive you.

Ok, Mom…   Sucker.

I'm gon'na make a dirig-
Make a dirigible
La la la    la la    la la    la la la

I'm gon'na make a dirig-
Make a dirigible
Na na na    na na    na na    na na na  

And when I'm in my dirig-
In my dirigib-

So, champ, what do you need the paint for?

Daaaaaad, weren't you listening?

Well, (beat) no son. (beat)   Sometimes, when a daddy hears the same noises over and over again—

Like me singing.

Yes, like you singing or Mommy complaining, well Daddy kind of tunes it out. It's like listening to your turtle clock tick as you fall asleep. Eventually it just fades away.

(beat)

Is that why we don't hear the world spinning?

Hmm. Maybe. Maybe.

I'll take one hundred cans of spray paint please—wait, no, two hundred. And make them all bright red. I like red.

Whew, and what are you going to do with all them cans o' bright red paint.

I'm gonna make a dirigible.

Oh, I see. Well then you don't want spray paint. Too much extra weight in the can and the paint an' all that. What you want is some of these. Just the cartridge, see. No extra weight…no shiny red paint though. There is that one drawback.

But this will fly better?

Yes, sir.

Red be danged, I wanna fly. …oh, and could you put all of those hippo helicopters in the bag too?

Attacking the problem from all angles I see.

Yep…uh…yes, sir.

Do you have money for all this?

Here, (looking at the ground) Dad , uh, gave me his shiniest card.

Hmm, I see. You're lucky that you're my best and only customer today.

I am?

Yes, sir.

Daaaaad, I put my stuff in the trunk. We can go now.

Ok, son, I'll be right there.     I'll take the one in the back there, at the top.   Thanks.

I'm gon'na make a dirig-
Make a dirigible
La la la    la la    la la    la la la

Do you need help getting your paint out of the trunk, champ?

Um, no Dad. I can do it on my own.
Where is my little scientist notepad and pen. Oh, I know it is around here somewhere. There it is. My Awesome Dirigible: Day One: Test 2: Paint Rockets.

Pshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Pew, they smell kinda funny. They smell kinda dizzy. No. If I am going to make a dirigible I have to fight. I can't lose to a stupid dizzy smell. That man was right though. These things work pretty good without the paint. I have a lot of work to do though. I have to work fast. I have to fight against evil, like…like…dizzy smells…and Daddy finding out that I used his shiniest card.

My Awesome Dirigible: Day sixteen: Test Forty-Eight: Bigger Balloons.
This is it. I know it is. It has to be. I...i…it is going work this time. This is it. I know it is. It has to be. I…i…it is going to work this time.

It…it's working. It's working.   I made a dirigible! I made a dirigible!!! Mom, Dad, come see. Huuuuuuurrrrry. I made a dirigible!    Oh. Oh.    Bye.    Bye. I'll come home just as soon as I land.      I made a dirigible.

Aha. I have invaded the sky, and now sky, sky, you are mine. I climbed on to my daring dirigible and flew on a fantastic wind around the world… encountering many adventures along the way. But don't worry, sky, I mean you no harm. No harm to the sky, the sky says I. Hee heee. Free we'll be. Free, new and clean and free.

Oh, sky, do not fight me, sky. Let me stay.

But I guess I don't want to be in the sky forever. You can be my friend. Maybe, one day we can have a sleepover.

Oh my. What a strange place this is that I have landed in. Strange and full of adventure. Full of adventure. I am not sure that I like this place. I am not sure that I like it at all. I think I might want to leave. I might want to leave, but I don't know how. I want to leave but I don't know how. I don't know how. I do not like this place. I do not like this place at all. And I don't know how. I don't know how. (whimpers for a long time)

Oh, there you are. Oh, we found you. We found you!

Mommy? Daddy?

Oh, baby.

I was so scared. I was so scared. I don't like this place. I don't like this place, and I want to go home.

Here, get in the car, champ.

It's so sad. You used to love the store so much.

The store?

The store. That's where we found you.

No, that wasn't the store. The store has bright lights and shiny red paint.

Well, champ, when you took off, that machine that you made, it used a lot of a gas that isn't very good for the sky. You destroyed the ozone layer.

When people found out, there was a panic. The whole world was scared. A lot of people were hurt, and a lot of stores were destroyed.

The store was destroyed?

There is something else, dear.

Your father and I have decided to get a divorce.

You see, we have been under a lot of financial stress. Someone stole my credit card and used it to spend a lot of money. Well, when we lost the house today, we realized that we don't really love each other like a mommy and daddy should. So you see, it has nothing to do with you. Nothing at all. We still love you just the same. And I will still see you on the weekends.

(A pathetic grasp for happiness)
Mommy, can we get a pet penguin?

Oh, honey, there are no more penguins.

No more penguins?

They all died.

All the penguins are dead?

There was no ozone and no ice. A lot of bad things have happened. We would have found you faster, but your canisters didn't have any paint. There was no trail to follow.

I killed all the penguins.

You could probably use a nap.
(A teary-eyed nod)
Okay, dear. I know that it is hard to sleep in the car, but you'll get used to it.

Fin