Day 46: Body Parts

Body Parts
Matt Zurbo


A big office, somewhere in the city…

“Oh-ho! Look out! Here comes the boss!” Jane from Supplies said.
(Small kid, about 6 years old, in floppy, adult’s suit, angry. Marching down office isle, face of office worker either side, gossiping to each other)
“How did a kid so young get to be boss, anyway?” Peter from accounts asked.
“Ahh. Well…”

Jeff was once an ordinary, happy kid.
He dreamed of one day building some big scientific boinky thing… but who doesn’t?

Then, one day, he saw a gypsy (in the vacant lot, with old, small caravan):
“Body parts!” the gypsy spruiked! “Get your body parts!”

Jeff was… well… small! And awkward. He had no confidence at all. So he worked real hard on the morning paper round over the next few weeks…
(Riding bike in frosty dark, throwing paper)

Then went to the gypsy, and said: “I want a new pair of legs!”

The operation was quick! Jeff was impressed!
(Super long athlete’s legs on otherwise little boy)

He kicked goals at school!

And was no longer scared of dogs!

Suddenly, he was confident enough to talk to girls!

He worked even harder at the morning paper round,
(throwing lots of papers everywhere)

came back to the vacant lot, and commanded… “I want a new pair of arms!”

Now Jeff could win arm wrestles!

And ace the monkey bars!

But he looked kind of stupid.
(Void look on face, long legs and big, super muscly arms, one of them black)

So he worked real hard… and…
“I want a new torso!”
“Sorry, we’re out of torsos,” the gypsy said.
“You mean I’m stuck like this!?” Jeff wailed. “I want my arms and legs back!”

q“Sorry, sorry,” the gypsy said. “I sold them to a gorilla who wanted to look more human.”
“Oh,” Jeff said.  
(Jeff, looking dumbstruck, thinking an image of a big gorilla with small boy arms and legs)

Jeff cried so much it was bad for business! (Even though little boy tears sold for a LOT!)

Eventually, the gypsy cracked!
“Alright, alright, okay! I’ll get your arms and legs back. Meanwhile, have a free set of sailor’s eyes.”
“I think one of them is an elephant’s eye,” Jeff said. (And the other’s a marble!)

Waiting for his arms and legs drove Jeff crazy! He brought the torso, then a new neck, and then, finally, he decided his head looked stupid and small… So brought a new one!
(old head has one large, one marble eye, looking at new heads, pointing to one)

(All his body parts were put in a potato sack, including the gorilla’s arms and legs: Spare bits, 50c each!)
“Didn’t really think that one through,” his head admitted to himself. At least he had the gorilla’s arms and legs!

Out there, somewhere, a tall body with a handsome head was running around, kicking goals for him and talking to girls.
Sure, it was confident, but it was somebody else. Jeff missed who he was. ‘Being awkward wasn’t so bad,’ he thought.

Then, a (fat) man in a suit came to the gypsy’s caravan. (He gave Jeff’s bits and pieces a good look.)
“I want it all,” he said. “He can go to work for me, so I can go be a kid again!”

(The gypsy was goinge nuts! He didn’t know which part was which!)
(Sewing Jeff back together, including gorilla arm and legs.)

Finally, the fat man went off to school to play in the yard,
and Jeff went to work as a middle rung manager at an office in the city.
(Little Jeff, still with stitches, in way oversized suit, with briefcase half as big as himself)

Public transport was yuck!
(Jeff in crowded train, everybody standing. His face is only bum height. He is wincing as people fart. Every single commuter has face buried in mobile phone)

He had the right pass, but the security guard still give him a hard time. Jeff had finally had enough!
“Get out of my way, I’m the boss!” he roared.

Up in the office, everybody was lazy.

At morning tea he had to drink too much coffee and eat lots of donuts, just like the previous boss did.
“Get to work!” he shouted. But nobody would listen to a kid.

Overweight and angry Jeff stormed back to the gypsy’s body parts van.
“I want one shot-putter’s boot!” he demanded.
“You’ve changed!” the man said.
“I know, but IT’S MY JOB!” Jeff roared.

(Then Jeff returned to work, with one BIG boot.) “GET BACK TO IT!” he thundered. BOOT!

Jeff worked really hard, saved, and went to the gypsy one more time. “Where’s the man who bought me?” he asked. “I’m grumpy all the time and want to buy my life back.”

“Sorry, sorry, sorry,” the gypsy said. “He ran away with a lady acrobat with a freshly sewn on giraffe’s head.”
“What!?” squawked Jeff.
“And seal flippers for feet,” the gypsy added, with pride.

“So, anyways, that’s why our boss is a kid!”
(one office worker, with coffee, talking to other office worker, who is staring ahead, processing what he has been told.)

“WOW! Body parts!? I want the voice-box of a documentary reader!”
“I want the hands of a magician!”
“JUST BE WHO YOU ARE!” Jeff shouted.
(First and second office workers running out of door, kid behind them, screaming, furiously)

(Jeff at desk. Looking grumpy, office workers at their desks in front of him, all with different body parts, including emu and rhino heads, and shark fins, orangutan arms, skinny arms on fat person, big head on little person, etc…)
The End


Body Parts Pt 2
Soon, though…
“We’re not happy,” Jeff’s staff said.
“Why?” Jeff barked.
“We want to be kids again,” they said.
(Staff, body parts and all – including a Chihuahua with a human head – standing sheepishly in front of small Jeff at his desk)

“Absolutely not!” Jeff huffed. “No more wishing you were someone else!”
(Play ball bouncing off Jeff’s head)

“At all!”
(Jeff looking outraged, sand shaped like a sand castle bucket on his head, sand bucket and shovel being held in background.)

He even made memos to tell the staff “NO!”
(Jeff wincing as memo, shaped into a paper plane, hits him in the head.)

Jeff knew what he had to do…
(Jeff, marching out of office, paper plane memos flying everywhere!)

“I need a sense of humour,” he told the gypsy.
“You’re in luck,” the gypsy said. “One funny elbow coming up.”
(Gypsy and Jeff standing deadpan in front of each other, the caravan behind them. There is a clown standing deadpan behind the gypsy)

(Double page spread of office, everybody smiling, having fun, throwing balls, smelling flowers, making stuff, dancing to music. Jeff, smiling, in middle of it all)

That was the start of the office play wars…
(Two tall buildings opposite each other, tenth floor of one and eighth floor of other trading volleys of flour, water balloons, cream pies, rubber balls, paper planes, etc…)

Jeff was fired. He drifted for a while,
(Jeff walking in rain, stick with bundle of clothes over shoulder)
(In background, gypsy giving the gorilla an astronaut’s brain. Gorilla standing with space helmet under its arm)

Eventually, to get by, Jeff sold small sounds and strong smells at the market.

“Baby’s burps, $1!” he spruiked. “Whispered secrets, bad breath, the sound of rain falling, or mum cooking desert! Puppy sighs…!”
(Jeff standing at stall full of jars, peg on nose, holding up jar of ‘Smell of burnt toast’)

Then, he got a customer he recognised.
(Fat man and wife in front of stall.)

The man now had a dragon’s tooth, and giant’s hands. “Your parents have to take me everywhere, I only get pocket money, my wife is always bored. I want my life back! I don’t want to be a kid forever anymore,” he moaned and groaned.
“DEAL!” Jeff beamed.
(Jeff, so happy he is elevated, shaking hand of startled fat man.)

But Jeff had seen too much! He found it hard being a kid again! After one night at home, he took to the open road.

Eventually, Jeff got a job with some of his old office mates (two from start), working on a fishing boat, where no-one is ever trying to be anything else.
(Jeff and two ex-office workers huge grins, greeting each other in front of crayfish pots and fishing boat)

And was happy,
(Jeff shouting at the three of them pull in a hall while being bombarded by a school of flying fish)

Because out at sea he learned to like who he was.
(Gypsy on jetty, sewing octopus arms onto the head of a deep sea diver, helmet under arm. Jeff, content smile, holding out a ‘no thanks’ hand as he walks by)

A small, awkward kid,
(double page line-up of all the characters from the story, with Jeff out front, smiling)

on a fishing boat
(image of boat)

with gorilla arms and legs!
(Final, circular image, of gorilla’s hand giving a thumbs up)



The End

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