James Coburn has a Beard

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“Coburn was selected for a Remington Products razor commercial in which he was able to shave off 11 days of beard growth in less than 60 seconds, while joking that he had more teeth to show on camera than the other 12 candidates for the part.”

~ Wikipedia on James Coburn's beard.

James Coburn has a Beard: a play in 3 acts

Prologue[edit]

Cola can rot your teeth but only if you let it cake on your gums like cheap plaster. In the old days of England rotten teeth were used to make donuts for the residents of burned down diners. Poverty breeds baked goods. But I like you and you like me so let us gather our apples under the apple tree, said one orphan to the other. People talk like no one will ever be able to calculate the distance between you and me but if they would simple learn to do math correctly they would be able to see that I am sitting in your lap right now, brushing my neon whiskers against your thigh. Pull the thorns out of your skin and lick the coffee off my smoker cooker. It is the only way to truly bring out the taste of my housewife.

Act 1[edit]

  • Interval 1: James Coburn woke up one morning to make himself a pot of cold coffee using bitter tea leaves and an old sock to drain off the waste water. He searched through the cupboards and he searched through the refrigerator, but he was unable to locate the desirable ingredients needed to make his breakfast. So he dragged his rusted bicycle out of the dusty garage and rode it into town with all of his money stuffed securely in his hat. But all the local stores were closed due to wild hurricane season, so Coburn was forced to drive into the ocean and talk it all out with sharks. The sharks proved to be less than helpful, most of them content with drinking blood and cooking eggs and bacon in steel drums of alcohol.
  • Interval 2: For 10 years he lived under the ocean, doing nothing, accomplishing less. He hair first grew long, and then grew white. His toe and finger nails got very long, eventually curving and turning yellow from age. He walked with a limp, with a slight hunch. His eyes went blind and his hearing was reduced to simple static noises. His green became transparent jelly, barely able to contain all of his organs and bones. He developed a wheezy way of breathing, hissing and choking like a leaky radiator. His atoms became unstable, resulting in frantic spasms of epileptic shock. Using the last of his strength he crawled out of the sea and checking himself into a nearby hospital.
  • Interval 3: With the help of a trained staff of medical madmen, Coburn was able to rebuild his body to his point of having supernatural powers. The media got word of this and he was pressed to use his powers to help those in need. Coburn was reluctant to do such a thing, citing that if he started then everyone in the world would constantly be wanting him to perform good deeds for them. It became so bad that he was forced to transfer his magical powers into a golden nugget of coal that was then cast into the sea to be watched over by all of his former fish friends. The greedy inhabitants of the land did not like this, but there was nothing they could do. Trade had started with Cuba once again.
  • Interval 4: At the injured head of the river there is a little running of oil and that oil is the only oil that exist in this area. All the birds and all the ducks think highly of the way you play the violin. And it would be a darn shame if your house was to burn down while you were out picking your teeth from the daffodils like a good little doorknob. Every good lick deserves a good turn at the wheel.
  • Interval 5: Racist people always talk about how much money they make betting on who has the fattest squirrel when all that really matters is the type of peanut butter you smear on your textbooks. This is important in both high school and college. Remember to oil your sneakers before casting your crown at the feet of the Nazi king. Remember to adjust your bolts before leaking all your secrets to every tabloid magazine in the areas around Interzone, for Interzone is subjected to random searches daily. You do not want to catch these guys without their masks on.

Act 2[edit]

  • Interval 1: James Coburn was sent off to college to study patterns in prime numbers. He quickly became the talk of campus, being able to do even the most simple math problems right off the top of his head. All the teachers wanted to beat him and all the students wanted to be him. News reporters hounded him day and night for autographs, Christmas cards, photographs, bank records, toilet paper, ink bottles and tape recorders. He never got a minute of rest. It eventually became so bad that he had to move away and move into an old fallout bunker somewhere in Canada. But he was unable to mute his genius and soon began working on a novel about the life and times of Elvis Presley on a music bender with no end in sight. The novel was a hit, especially in the Japanese market.
  • Interval 2: With a new look on life, Coburn went back to college and join a fraternity. The fraternity specialized in setting fire to outhouses while Audrey Hepburn was busy putting on her makeup. All of Hollywood was terrified of them. Actors and actresses purchased guards to walk the streets, shooting all and anyone who dared to venture out into the open after nightfall. Babies were violently pulled from their parents and given proper medical treatments. The homeless were abducted, fed, given clean clothes and placed in decadently extravagant mansions. All the pot holes were filled, all the stop lights repaired. Coburn and his gang of miscreants were granted rewards and awards for their work in making the world a better place.
  • Interval 3: After graduation, Coburn went on to work in the field of sorting green bottles from brown bottles, a task that would eventually prove to be too much for poor James Coburn, who would eventually commit suicide by ingesting too much ice cream. By the time he died he was frozen to his bed and so blubbery that it took 10 men and a chainsaw to cut him out of his natural habitat. Instead of a coffin they used an old refrigerator and he was dumped into a hole that had been built to contain radioactive garbage.
  • Interval 4: Some day you will grow old and turn to dust like the rest of Rome. And when that day comes your family (God bless their souls) will find the cheapest resting home in the world and dump your brittle bones into the nearest bed. A bored, subnormal nurse will force feed you apple sauce and your only form of amusement will be a broken television that only picks up white noise. And as the years go by you will become less and less mobile until you reach the point where even breathing is too much for you.
  • Interval 5: Please sit down. Please feel free to enjoy the free beer (free as in beer) and the complimentary peanuts. And if you will grant me your attention I would like for us to officially start trivia night here at The Finnegan Pub. Who was the man who founded Ireland, the man who invented pockets and rocks to keep in those pockets? Who was the woman who was as strong as a zoo, who learned so wise she had her mouth surgically closed? Who was the boy who kept all of his marbles in the refrigerator, who only liked to look at his own shadow when the moon was at its most bloodiest of states? Who was the girl who grew infected through years of alcoholic research only to print her best cartoons when the devil was riding horseback, who only kept sisters in vain and milked the stars like dusty spots on the face of a pale ghost on the nod?

Act 3[edit]

  • Interval 1: Little Richard got fixed on a hot shot and ran his long elegant lackluster fingers up and down his broken down piano. But the neighbors started complained about the smell of his leftovers, so they called the law to come and grease his gears. The boys in blue picked through all his electric toasters, paying close attention to the weight of his apples. They all passed the mustard test, but the police still wanted to drag him out of bed, take him downtown, and make him walk everyone through the exact details of how it all played out.
  • Interval 2: While down at the police station Richard found Jarvis Cocker recovering from a massive head wound. The girl at the reception desk keeps all of her socks in her second best dresser. This is to discourage her children from eating all the donuts that loiter outside the shoe department. Lovers of fine whines will discover a lot to love about the naked man who is so fond of whipping it out at the drop of a hat. Prepare your cameras, because it all happens in a flash.
  • Interval 3: Bright Falls is home to some of the most interesting wildlife in the area, with an abundance of plants and bananas just waiting to be picked clean by raccoons. Those little furry telescopes love nothing more than to wrapped their little malformed hands around some freshly rotten garbage. And often they will wait until you are asleep and rub red pepper directly into your eyes. This will cause your divorced wife to stuff all of her prayers into milk carton. No one smells as good as the first person you smelled in that broken elevator.
  • Interval 4: But your toothbrush came back dirty, proved to contain traces of blood and gasoline. A letter was sent to your address, in an attempt to make sure you wanted us to go ahead and bake all of your flowers, but we never received an answer. So we are very, very sorry if you would like for the daughters of the mayor to turn out into circus clowns, be that as it may. We simply feel that your last three novels did not live up to the expectations set up by the minority of the majority. You may not agree with them, but they are the group that was set up by Hitler to sort the apples from the oranges.
  • Interval 5: Watch your head for the ceiling is awfully low. And please resist the urge to pet the rats, no matter how cute they look in mirrors. If you allow me to clear my throat I will inform you that this apartment complex is one of the oldest in the history of the world, standing at just over 10 feet and smelling of alcohol and disease. The only residents consist entirely of addicts, thieves, and the homeless. All of their free time is wasted around a burning trash can while eating cold beans out of an old top hat. And I do not think I have to tell you that ever magician in the world would envy that type of life, not counting the absence of beautiful assistants. You would do well to remember that when you are sleeping in your bed of stolen birdhouses.
Shantih shantih shantih

Epilogue[edit]

I count the moments until you leave and then I make myself busy by counting the moments until you come back. And the only sound in my apartment is the steady tick of the clocks that spell out your absence. It is torture to be without you. It is the most brutal conditioning that I have ever been subjected to.

Streams of unconsciousness
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Blueberry LeftoversBo Diddleys (disease)BrapJames Coburn has a BeardSleeping out loudThis is not a gameWonders never ceaseZen and juice

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