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Bitsy Salivates and Itsy Explicates

1994 Woodrow Wilson Collection


(Perform this dialogue. Follow all stage directions in the brackets)

Itsy has gone to the lab carrying 3 articles greatly reduced, copied and highlighted. Itsy was in a hurry and thought of ballooning but he weighed too much with the papers. The action picks up as Itsy enters the lab.

Itsy: (Searching the room for Bitsy who is passed out; head on desk lying in a pool of drool). Get up you lazy, eight-legged Arachnid slouch! (Itsy lifts Bitsy's head and stares in the eyes) Wipe that silly grin off your face. Get back to reality. I have stuff to discuss.

Bitsy: (Lifting head to his left arm and wiping his mouth ever so discreetly) I just dozed off, Itsy. Watching those fruit flies grow is rough work, but somebody has got to do it. (Drops head and begins to sleep, again)

Off stage one hears a bell ring. Itsy begins watching an imaginary scene of activity as a class of students enter.

Itsy: (Stands up and starts shaking Bitsy) Get up! Get up! Now! Don't you see what's happening. Open those eyes you over-rated rabida. Can't you see our space is being invaded by those yucky, 4-limbed, 2-eyed monsters? They are stealing our food. Those many *!!@?*@! humans (Make strange noises and do a Curly Joe, of the Three Stooges, imitation of let me at them) You can't take our flies!

Bitsy: (Who is holding Itsy's arm) Settle down, Itsy.(A gentle calming down motion of the hands) (Say in a piercing manner) As usual you have overreacted. It's that gene you got from your mother.

Itsy: (Defensively and somewhat more loudly, since this is how most verbal assaults tend to develop) Yeah and your mother wears combat boots!!! If you want to talk about family, need I remind you how your whole side of the family seems to have lost the genes for eating out of the egg sac. That would have been a lethal gene, if my mother had not intervened to let you little ones out. You have a most unfortunate trait- you mutant!

Bitsy: (Apologetically) Sorry, Itsy. How could I forget that; it was the day we met, too. However, you needn't worry about these students. Humans, at least most, tend not to eat the flies. They do experiments on a few dozen. Did I say experiments? It's really more like torturing and killing techniques in the name of science. This seems to me a human thing done for the sake of knowledge. In one experiment the students pull off the head of a larva and squash the salivary glands to observe the stained large polytene chromosomes of Drosophila. You will know when this happens as most students ooo! and ah! here. The second experiment is to squash the bodies of fruit flies onto filter paper to examine by separation the types and numbers of pigments in the eyes of adult fruit flies. This lab is smelly with solvents, but students with (insert your teacher's name ) ______________________'s help will be able to deduce the role of genes to eye proteins and perhaps even understand gene pathways to phenotypic traits. In a small way I envy these humans and their ability to be so creative and probing. Not that I could give up my life style and niche.

Itsy: (Said acceptingly) Okay, as long as there are enough fruit flies to go around. As long as we get left a few, we will still be rolling in fruit fly fodder. I'll just watch how these 2-armed primates manage to handle the flies and conduct the following labs.


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