Foreboding organ music is heard....

We are looking down at a rough brick floor ... is it an alley? A cobblestone street? A warehouse? A factory?

We the audience cannot be sure. The flickering glow of a passing searchlight is the only illumination. We can see a tall wire fence surrounding the grounds. Atop the fence, coils of barbed wire encircle the entire stage.

The ominous organ music continues as --


A shrill bugle blows -- ENORMOUSLY LOUD -- blood-chilling and spine-shattering.

The tune at least seems familiar.

It is Reveille!

As the lights slowly come up, dozens and dozens of soldiers shamble onto the stage. Their clothes are dusty, old, torn, blood-soaked. They all appear to be dead, but that doesn't stop them from singing directly to the audience:

SOLDIERS (one at a time, as they fall in line):

Attend the tale of Gomer Pyle,
His short-bus grin stretched out for a mile.
He always gets on Sarge-Carter's last nerve.
But he does it with charm and with verve.
Does Gomer
Does Gomer P.

The dumbest Marine you'll ever see.
He comes from the town of Mayberry,
He worked a gas station, just Goober and he,
They call him a rube, a fool, and a chump,
He and his pen-pal Forrest Gump,
There in the town of Mayberry,
With Gomer P.
That's Gomer Pyle, USMC.

The SOLDIERS begin to duck and cower.

Raise your rifle high, Gomer!
Point it to the skies!
Else you just might slip and
Shoot out your eye!

The SOLDIERS run amok on the stage, trying to take cover as loud automatic gunfire erupts all around them.

SOLDIERS: (variously)

Oh, shit, he's on guard duty again!
I thought we removed the firing pin!
What dumbass opened the armory
And gave him a gun? -- was it you?
Not me!
Perhaps one day we'll live to see
His return to Mayberry
As for now, we all should flee
From Gomer Pyle, USMC!

The SOLDIERS move to the front of the stage and sing directly to the audience:

Gomer's coming, why don't you run?
He's armed to the teeth – do you think that's fun?
Hugging the stock, feeding the ammo,
Cartridges fly as he says "Uh-oh!"
God only knows where next he'll be,
Behind the desk at the DMV?
No one can help, nothing can hide you--
Isn't that Gomer there beside you?
Gomer's in the world, dear me!
Isn't that him bagging your groceries?
It's Gomer!
There he is, it's Gomer!
Holy Shit! Gomer!

SOLDIERS (Pointing frantically at the audience):

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

(Almost screaming now):


They move away ...


GOMER. A bandanna around his head. Shirtless. Well-muscled and chest-scarred. Brandishing an M-60:


Attend the tale of Gomer Pyle!
His short-bus grin stretched out for a mile!
He took all your shit
And now it's payback!
What’s old Sarge-Carter think about that?
Taste the wrath of Gomer!
Of Gomer P.!

GOMER sprays the stage. The soldiers fall into bloody heaps. Laughing, Gomer points the gun upward and continues firing, laughing as he screams:



The ceiling crashes down, killing him.





This parody of "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" is brought to you by Lucy-S and Braunbeck for the Silly Songs Quest.

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