A man is sitting on a bench in the park, reading a book. He is wearing very ordinary, dull clothes, and a watch.

Offstage, there is a metallic vwa-ZING noise and a flash of light.

Enter a woman, bouncy and enthusiastic, preferably wearing a brightly-coloured dress.

WOMAN: See? It works! I said it would work!

MAN: (looking up) I'm sorry, what?

WOMAN: My time machine works! Come and see!

MAN: (thinks she's a weirdo) Erm, no thanks.

WOMAN: What's the matter? Don't you believe me?

MAN: (trying to get rid of her) Oh yes, yeah... I'm just... busy. I've got this book I'm reading.

WOMAN: (cross) You don't believe me!

MAN: Well, no.

WOMAN: All right. I'll prove it to you. Wait right there. I'll go back in time thirty seconds.

She runs off stage the way she came. The man watches her go. There is another vwa-ZING and flash of light. He waits for a few seconds. Then he checks his watch. Then he opens his book again.

MAN: (to himself, while reading) Where'd she come from?

Then he thinks about it a bit more carefully, frowns and puts his book down.

MAN: Wait. Where did she come from?


A villain - black clothes, eye patch - is standing with a woman not far from him. He is pointing a gun at her, and she has her hands up. While she stands there, he uses one hand to operate a console next to him. On the console, a large red timer begins to tick down from sixty seconds. (If this makes the play impossible to fit into the 60-second timeframe, best solution is to make the timer run faster than reality.)

VILLAIN: The countdown is set! In less than a minute, I'll have destroyed the world!

WOMAN: You'll never get away with this! Jack Hero will save me!

VILLAIN: I'd like to see him try.

Time passes. Nothing happens.

Forty-ish seconds to go:

WOMAN: He's usually here by now.

VILLAIN: Yeah, yeah. I, er... yeah.

The villain and the woman get increasingly bored. His gun arm wavers. Her arms get tired.

Twenty seconds to go:

VILLAIN: He's cutting it close.

WOMAN: He'll be here! Don't think he w--

VILLAIN: (interrupting her) Yeah, yeah, I know.

With five seconds to go, a hero - suit trousers, flowing white dress shirt open three buttons - bursts in from the side. The villain turns to shoot the hero, but the hero shoots the villain first. The hero presses a button on the console, stopping the countdown with one second to spare, grabs the woman by the hand and races off with her.

"Planet Of The Socks"

The scene is any combination of a washing machine, a blackboard with diagrams of socks and washing machines and equations on, and lots and lots of socks. A young professor is talking to an older general, with a big moustache. Both are standing.

PROFESSOR: Well, general, we've finally scientifically confirmed why socks disappear in the wash. By putting some sensors inside this washing machine, we found that if you spin a stainless metal drum at a few hundred RPM, then inject a flow of ions in the form of a stream of hot water, it's the ideal way to create a miniature wormhole. A wormhole which does indeed occasionally swallow up a sock. One sock every seven point four loads, to be exact.

GENERAL: This is fascinating work, professor.

PROFESSOR: I wouldn't start celebrating yet, sir. We've discovered something rather alarming. You see, on some of our test runs, our washing came back not with a missing sock, but an extra one.

GENERAL: Are you sure you didn't just lose one?

PROFESSOR: Yes, sir, we count extremely carefully.

GENERAL: Was it one of ours?

PROFESSOR: No, sir. We ran tests. They look exactly like human socks. And they're always disguised to look like whatever socks are nearby, so until now nobody has ever counted carefully enough to notice that they've gained a sock instead of losing one. We think this has been happening for years. All over the world. They've been infiltrating their way into our sock drawers and onto our feet. Waiting for the moment to strike together. They're aliens. Dormant alien larvae. It's an invasion, general. And it could already be too late to stop them.

During this, the general has turned away casually. Unseen by the professor, he slips a large red football sock over his arm.

GENERAL: That's a very interesting story, professor. How many people have you told?

PROFESSOR: Just you, sir.

GENERAL: Excellent.

He lunges for the professor's throat and chokes him with his sock-covered hand.