Monologue: Erdos (2) from Prime

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Numbers-obsessed Erdos has been watching the couplings and uncoupling of the other characters in the play. But he’s noticed that it’s more fun when they can’t pair up evenly. This monologue, like most of the play, is in verse.

 

(Warning: Using this monologue without permission is illegal, as is reproducing it on a website or in print in any way.)

 

ERDOS

Three. How exhausting.

No thank you. Please stop.

So flipping unstable.

Slip, wobble, kerplop.

 

Now four, that's more like it.

No drama, no clatter.

With four you learn quickly

There's nothing the matter.

(He beings arranging four of something on the ground— maybe rocks and pinecones, or his shoes and socks.)

Four moves two by two,

Like Noah's collection.

It's easy to simplify,

Just a bisection.

(Moving the objects into pairs in different combinations:)

It's easy to break up,

Cinchy to split;

A couple of twos

Are the pieces of it.

(Growing bored:)

As a matter of fact,

It's a big waste of time

Considering numbers

Other than prime.

 

What I like are those numbers

That stand by themselves

That can't be divided

By anything else.

 

Four's not worth the wind-up,

So let me be frank

And say like a Frenchman:

Un deux trois quatre cinq.

 

Or even in German,

That "funf" looks like fun,

The countdown's beginning:

Five four three two—