Scene: The kitchen of a busy restaurant. Pots are steaming on a Viking Range, all manner of dogs are scurrying about, some dressed as waiters, some as cooks and busboys. Pots and pans hang from the ceiling, a pall of cigarette smoke hangs in the air, ’House of the Rising Sun’ blares on the kitchen sound system.
Mitch: (in a chef’s hat) Will somebody get these chihuahuas out of here!
Rosie: What are you guys doing in here? You’re supposed to be bussing tables–Shoo! Shoo!
SFX: (Ringing phone)
Rosie: Hello, Bone Appetit.
Mitch: Give me that…Bone Appetit, how can I help you?
Caller: Was that your dog? I heard a dog barking into the phone.
Mitch: That was Rosie, what do you need? (Shouting) Will somebody turn down the cat’s head soup?
Tony the Bulldog: Got it, got it!
Mitch: Simmer means simmer for Pete’s sake! I’m sorry, what?
Caller: I need to make a reservation for my three dogs tonight at nine. Snowball?
Mitch: You’re good. Somebody got that? Snowball? Three at nine?
Gigi the Poodle: Got ‘em, and that’s it, no more reservations! We’re booked solid!
SFX: (Dogs howling and barking)
Mitch: All right, all right, enough celebration. We’ve got a job to do.
Irish Setter Waiter: Mitch! Somebody sent their water bowl back!
Mitch: What, is it dirty?
Setter: No, it’s too clean!
Mitch: Sheesh…here, put a bug in it.
Setter: Oh, they’ll love that! And it’s still alive!
Mitch: Charge them an extra 10%. Where’s Rosie?!
Rosie: I’m right behind you. (to a Chihuahua) Clear table seven! And stop eating the scraps!
Mitch: Is there a reason we’re only using chihuahuas as busboys? It seems a little…culturally insensitive.
Rosie: They’re the fastest dogs we’ve got. They’re agile.
Mitch: Right, I’ll explain that to the E.E.O.C.
Hank: Rosie, there’s a Police Dog outside. He says he needs to inspect the premises!
Rosie: Here’s a bag of Jerky Treats–let him inspect some of those.
Hank: (smiling) Will do, boss.
Rosie: The litterbox is empty! I need more cat poop!
Mitch: It’s okay, we’re out of toothpicks anyway.
Rosie: So we’ll re-use the old ones.
Mitch: Is that sanitary? Never mind. Stupid question.
Rosie: I need a cat in the litter box, stat!
Bert the Cat: (Exhausted) We can’t keep up with demand!
Mitch: Those appetizers have been extremely popular.
Rosie: Try harder!
Cat: Fluffy did, and he popped a blood vessel in his eye! We need more fiber!
Beagle Waiter: (Holding out a dish to Mitch) Does this smell right to you?
Mitch: It’s deer entrails. How could it possibly smell right to me?!
Rosie: Whew, does that stink! It’s perfect. Get it out there! I gotta get back to the dining room. Re-use the toothpicks, and have Rex mix a bucket of gin-and-tonic!
Mitch: We haven’t had orders for gin-and-tonic.
Rosie: It’s for me! (disappears into the dining room)
Emcee: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us on opening night here at Bone Appetit. While you’re waiting for your meal, I hope you’ll enjoy a cocktail from the Barkaritaville Bar–and don’t forget to tip Rex, your friendly bartender. Good boy, Rex!
Emcee: And now it gives me great pleasure to introduce, all the way from the Yappy Hour Cafe in New York City, the song stylings of ’Lady.’
(Lady is a faded rose–a greyhound who’s been around the track one too many times. She wears a rhinestone flea collar, and her muzzle needs touching-up. Her scent precedes her arrival, and extends her departure.)
Lady: Danke, Danke, dahlings. Maestro, if you please?
SFX: (the band softly strikes up)
Lady: (singing) Bei mir, bist du schoen…
Tony: Isn’t she great?
Mitch: She’s no Susan Boyle.
(The kitchen door blows open as 15 chihuahuas rush in from the dining room and fly out the back door)
Mitch: What the–
Gigi: (bursts in, out of breath) Vector Control is in the dining room checking tags!
Tony: Those dirty bast–
Mitch: Stop yourself! Everybody be cool!
Hank: (to Mitch) Hey, we got action in the litterbox!
Mitch: I’m on it! (to the cats) Thanks, guys!
(Cats give an exhausted wave)
Beagle Waiter: Rosie! There’s a deer outside! He says he has to see you!
Rosie: Buck? Now? (Rushes to the window) Buck what are you doing here?
Buck: Rosie, I love you!
Rosie: This place is full of wild dogs. If one of them sees you–
Buck: I don’t care!
Rosie: Sheesh! Look, wait over by the valet. I’ll try to get away later.
Buck: I’ll do whatever you ask! I’ll wait as long as I have to!
Rosie: Just beat it, will ya? Jeez!
Gigi: Rosie, what about Vector Control?
Rosie: Mitch, could you–
Mitch: Oh, no. You’re the one in charge, you handle it. Tony, throw me the scooper!
(Rosie enters the dining room. At a table in the back corner sit two men, each wearing the distinctive, black leather trenchcoats of Vector Control. A thin plume of smoke curls from a Chesterfield– tucked into a cigarette holder–that dangles from the lips of the smaller man. His name is Hans. He wears a monocle. He takes the cigarette holder out of his mouth, and addresses Rosie)
Hans: So…you are the one they call…’Rosie.’
Rosie: That’s right. And if you’ll tell me what your problem is, I’m sure we can–
Hans: We don’t have a problem…you have a problem. You have dogs working here who don’t have their tags.
Rosie: I’m shocked, shocked to find unlicensed dogs in this restaurant!
Hans: We have grounds to shut you down.
Rosie: Oh, I don’t think that will be necessary. We can talk about this, can’t we? (calling out to the bar) Rex! Three dirty martinis! Extra dirty!
Hans: Vector Control takes a dim view of this establishment.
Rosie: But you haven’t even tried the food. Could I interest you in some…appetizers?
Hans: Well…I suppose a little taste wouldn’t hurt.
Rosie: Hank! The appetizer tray–for three!
Hank: (smiles) Comin’ up, boss!
(A spotlight shines on the table. The men cover their faces.)
Emcee: There she is, let’s hear it for Rosie, our hostess!
(The spotlight moves on)
Hans: You and your little ‘club’ seem very popular.
Rosie: Dogs are having a good time. Is that so wrong?
Hans: We’ll let a judge decide. You must come with us now.
(Both men start to rise)
(To be continued)