Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Yog Sothoth

Play #61 - Yog Sothoth by Lia Romeo

Meet Alice and Brian. They are a typical, lovely, upper-middle class couple with a baby boy and another bun in the oven. They have just moved out of New York City to a very desirable suburb, "possibly somewhere in Connecticut." While she was out and about today, Alice met her neighbor Sibyl, so this evening, Sibyl and her husband George have decided to drop by to say hello. There is the usual idle chit chat - primarily about how nice and safe this neighborhood is - especially after leaving the dangerous city behind. However, it's not long before the neighborhood association business comes to the forefront. The lawn, you see, it's not quite up to snuff. And the shutters, you see, there is some paint peeling on the corners. And then, you see, there's Yog Sothoth. Yog Sothoth, it turns out, is a creature that lives in the sewer under the development, and it is appeasing him that keeps this neighborhood safe and clean. And how do they appease him (aside from, apparently, slipping him the latest Danielle Steele novels)? Well, it turns out Yog Sothoth loves babies. It's right there in the neighborhood association's guidelines: each family must sacrifice their firstborn to Yog Sothoth. Of course, Alice and Brian protest, but George and Sibyl explain that all this safety and all these niceties don't come with a price. Finally, they take the baby, assuring Alice and Brian (at gunpoint) that this really is a very nice place to live.

This play reminds me so much of that one episode of The X-Files where Mulder and Scully pretended to be married in order to find out what was going on in this idyllic little community. It turns out that the homeowners' association had raised a demon that would kill you if your home wasn't up to code in any way. It's a fun reductio ad absurdum of the suburban dreamscrape. And particularly in this post-9/11 world, what price are we willing to pay for the feeling of security?

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