BAKERY APOCALYPSE: THE ARMABREADDON
A Punny Half-Baked Quasi-Opera in Ten Minutes
(Scene opens on Bakery; an entry to the "back room", a table, upon which baked goods sit. A doorway to the outside world.
BAKER paces and frets, checking watch, fixing and adjusting, etc.)
BAKER: Today's the day... the culmination of years of kneading and baking and mortgaging and re-mortgaging and it all comes down to this. Ever since I had a Fisher Price kitchen I've waited for this day, and now it's here. One health inspection away from realising my childhood dream.... my own bakery.... (a beat) Oh my god I've never been so nervous in my life. (looks around)
The floors (checks floors)... are clean. Surfaces are.... (checks table-top with finger)....sterile. Except I just touched them. And they're not sterile anymore. (panics, looks about for a cleaner, and sprays the spot on the table) Phew! The kitchen and bathroom.... oh god the kitchen and bathroom! (rushes to back room).
(Rev.) CUPCAKE: AND LO, the words of the great prophet Betty Crocker come to pass! It is the End of Days!
From the book of Squares and Deserts, the final pages!; For the whites will be separated from the yolks, and whisked away!
CUPCAKES 2 and 3: Repent! The End is Nigh!!
(Rev.) CUPCAKE: The Time of Suggested Serving approaches! Those half-baked will stick together! Nonbelievers will be tortured on the oven racks, and become....leftovers.
PI(E): Would you shut your cakeholes? There's a perfectly rational explanation for this. Nothing is going to happen to us.
CUPCAKE 2: The end is nigh!!
DFC: Looks like he's finally gearing up to sell us all, Angel Cake...
AFC: It can't be true--you've got it mixed up. He never said he was selling us!
BAKER re-enters, still fluttering and fretting.
BAKER: The kitchen is NOW spotless, the bathroom is in working order.... what else could they possibly be evaluating but....oh my, what if I'M not up to standard?! Okay. (deep breath) Okay. Bottom-up. Shoes are...regulation. Apron....on. Hair.... (wrestles it into a hair net) is....(with much difficulty) contained. Hands.... I havent washed them in five minutes. They'll notice! They'll never buy cupcakes from a guy with dirty hands, gahh!!
(BAKER exits again)
CUPCAKE 3: We are the chosen ones!! The End is Nigh!
CUPCAKE 2: Baked Goods Repent!!
(Rev.) CUPCAKE: We shall stand until cool in the eyes of The Baker, and hope for his mercy in Serving!
PI(E): Don't listen to these flakes. It had to happen. It's practically a mathematical certainty. If you refer to the health code, page 3 section 1-4, it states quite clearly that--
DFC: Shut your piehole, he's gonna sell us and they're gonna eat us.
AFC: This is a trifle too much to handle... what do you mean they're going to eat us?! That's terrible! He would never do that to us--the Baker is our benevolent creator!
DFC: Brownie-noser. That's a load of sugar. The Baker's on nobody's side but his own. He knew we were doomed from the start--WE may as well get used to it. We're finally getting our chance to get our revenge on people. Make 'em fat and sassy, give 'em diabetes, pay forward the favour and make them obese...
AFC: You Devil! How can you say that about the Baker! He takes care of us!
DFC: And softens you up like butter so you're nice and sweet when some snot-nosed kid stuffs you in his mouth! Geez, he must'a beat you til thick, Angel.
BREAD: Psst.... remember my cousin, Frenchie? He lived in a bakery that opened a while back. Said that Baker got all crazy, running around the place, and then people started coming in, looking around...takin his buddies away... the dame he was seeing, that Creme Brulee, he watched her get torched alive. He said it was brutal. Then one day someone walked in, and took him. I heard he got toasted. Never saw him again.
BREAD: I tell you no lies. You ask me, the idea that the Baker's lookin out for us is pretty rich. We should be thinking of a way to save our own crusts.
DFC: Heh, you got served.
AFC: Well this is terrible, but we'll fix it! I'm sure if we stop being saucy for five minutes we can persuade him to save us. He didnt create us just to die, so he means us no harm.
CUPCAKE 3: May we be sprinkled with his favour and garnished with blessings! The end is nigh!!
AFC: Oh hush, don't try to butter him up.
PI(E): Here he comes.
BAKER: Okay. Place looks good, I look good..... what else can I do to avert impending doom....if they dont like this my life is overrrrr.... the displays could use some touchups.
(BAKER bends to adjust the tablecloth, then tie his shoe)
AFC: (Quietly, to BAKER) Y'know, maybe this is a bad time for you to be opening. Do you really wanna risk everything on this shop? It's not too late to stop this crazy idea...
(BAKER nods thoughtfully)
DFC: Then again, why stop now, right? You've come this far, and these cakes and pies look just delicious--
AFC: (in harsh whisper to DFC) What are you doing you devil?!
DFC: (whispering) We're gonna get eaten sooner or later and you've all just got to get used to it.
CUPCAKE 2: The end is nigh--
AFC:(whispering) SHUT UP. (To BAKER) The economy is terrible right now... and didn't they just open a new gym down the street? The location is all wrong...
DFC: (To BAKER) Then again, it's probably perfect! All these fat people can get waylaid on their way to the gym! You'll probably have better business than anyone else!
AFC: (with force) Maybe you should just sell the DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE and put the rest of us in the back room?
BAKER: It does look good, but..... wait, what?
PI(E): Looks like you blew it.
AFC: Oh fudge!
BAKER: AHHHHHHH!! (a beat) AHHHHH!! It's finally happened!! I've finally gone crazy!! The cake is talking to me!!
(Rev.) CUPCAKE: Behold, the Creator speaks! The Serving approaches! One cannot have his cake and eat it toooooo!!
BAKER: You can't talk, you'll close my shop!!
PI(E): Technically speaking, you can't open shop, because we can talk.
BAKER: The Health Inspector is going to be here any minute! You all need to shut up and be normal before you COMPLETELY RUIN MY LIFE!
AFC: If this place passes the inspection it's going to ruin all of OUR lives! Did you really only create us to be eaten?! Are you so cruel?!
BAKER: I don't have time for this. I dont have time for a psychotic episode! The Inspector--
(three slow, ominous knocks at door. Everyone freezes in terror.)
(Rev.) CUPCAKE: Judgement day descends, like a plague of yeast infections.
CUPCAKES: (with renewed enthusiasm) REPENT!!!!
PI(E): Pretend you're not here. It's the yeast you can do.
BAKER: I swear to Rachel Ray if ONE of you makes so much as a SQUEAK I will CRUSH YOU TO CRUMBS.
DFC: Is that supposed to be better or worse than being eaten?
(three louder, more ominous knocks at door. BAKER approaches with apprehension, opens door to see INSPECTOR in black, standing intimidatingly with giant clipboard).
BAKER: Welcome, Miss Inspector....uh won't you come in?
(INSPECTOR enters slowly, judging, scowling)
INSPECTOR: So this is your first food-based business, then?
BAKER: Y-yes, it is, it's my life's work...
BREAD: (quietly) It's our life's risk.
INSPECTOR: What's that--
BAKER: Nothing! Uh so this is the front of house, this is where the goods are displayed--
PI(E):--for ritual snackrifice--
(INSPECTOR reacts with suspicion)
BAKER: --For sale...ifice. Which is what we call it here. Heh. Heh. He. Do you have any....questions?
BAKER: Okay. Um. I'm really keen to get this place up and running, y'know, I've been wanting to do this my whole life. I live to serve!
AFC: Apparently so do we.
BAKER: WE'VE GOT REALLY NOISY PIPES IN HERE. (Kicking the table). Not that there's anything wrong with the pipes. Nothing at all. Nonononono.
BAKER: Let me show you the back, where the kitchen and the bathroom is and the food is NOT...(leads her to the back room)
CUPCAKE: DOOOOOOooooooooooooooom is niiiiiiiiiiiiiigh!!!!!!!
PI(E): Okay. After extensive analysis I've concluded that to survive we need to stop loafing around and take action. One of us may need to be sacrificed to save the rest, and I volunteer to take on that roll. I had a good run...and I've loved you all..... All in flavour, please say Aye.
DFC: Listen to him spooning it on. Trying to rise to the occasion. Heroism's kind of past its best-before date, isn't it? Not even Angelface's golden-brown halo is getting her out of this one. We're allll going down. To hell in a picnic basket.
AFC: I know you're not all bad. Search SOMEWHERE in those layers and find the will to help us fight this!! Maybe the inspection won't pass! Maybe he'll soften up and come to his senses, and kick that woman out, and we'll be alright!
DFC: She'd probably take his head off if he so much as tried; she looks pretty hot crossed already. While we're talking about it, she had pretty nice buns too. He could get with that, it'd be a sweet deal.
AFC: WOULD YOU SHUT UP AND FOCUS!?! We're in a real pinch here!!!
(Rev.) CUPCAKE: The armabreaddon is upon us.... legions of the unbread will rise, to sift the whole wheat from the bleached and the unleavened will inherit the earth!! ... The tartness of fate will sour the sweetest of--
PI(E): WOULD YOU SHUT UP?! We've got a CRISIS HERE!!
(BAKER and INSPECTOR reemerge. Carmina Burana cues up quietly in the background. PI(E), AFC, DFC and BREAD gape in anticipation, CUPCAKES begin to mouth the words to the opera)
BAKER: (with enormous apprehension) So? What do you think?
INSPECTOR: I believe.....
INSPECTOR: ...that I have reached...
INSPECTOR: A verdict.
(a pause. Opera crescendoes, CUPCAKES sing)
BAKER: What is it? Can I open?
INSPECTOR: (clicks pen. Speaks slowly and with great emphasis) In terms of health and safety, I find this establishment....