Plum Pudding 

     Plum Pudding takes place in France in the 19th century and requires a table with some chairs and an empty arch doorway up center.  Lights come up on Emile and Julie in her apartment.  A large covered pan is on the table and Julie tells Emile that it is indeed plum pudding that he smells.  Emile says that he has a mystical feeling about plum pudding and wishes his friend, Monsieur Fortgibu were present.  Entering through the arch from an earlier time comes Fortgibu as the lights dim a bit on Julie, and Emile recalls a time when he was a boy in 1805 and was invited to dinner at Fortgibu’s home.  Fortgibu says that he has just returned from England where he ate “the most wonderful dish,” one that he believes has never before been served in France.  This “almost supernaturally delicious” dish is called Plum Pudding.  Fortgibus tells Emile what he knows of the origin and history of plum pudding before wandering off into the stage right darkness looking for his big spoon.  Julie tells Emile that Fortgibu sounds a bit off his rocker, but Emile says that she has to hear what happened ten years later, when he passed by an out-of-the-way restaurant and smelled something “mysteriously evocative,”  plum pudding.  Emile says he walked into the restaurant and was told by the waiter, who has come through the arch, that the last plum pudding has been ordered by another gentleman.  The gentleman turns out to be Fortgibu, who comes through the arch, gray at the temples, but still vigorous.  Julie says that it was just a coincidence, but Emile says that he shared the plum pudding again with Fortgibu, who thinks that their chance meeting after ten years means something and that life is very much like plum pudding.  He complains of feeling dizzy and again goes off into the shadows.  Emile tells Julie that it has been 27 years since his first encounter with Fortgibu and 17 since the second and both involved plum pudding.  Julie says she doesn’t know anyone named Fortgibu and suggests that Emile has made up the story.  A maid enters to announce the arrival of Monsieur Fortgibu and a very old and confused Fortgibu appears in the archway, asking for Roxanne who apparently lived before her death in the apartment above Julie’s.  Emile tells Fortgibu that he has met him three times in his life and at all three times plum pudding was present.  Fortgibu thinks that it might mean something, but it’s more likely the illusion of coherence.  He says that plum pudding is part of “a jumble of random fluctuations in an ocean of meaningless cosmic gibberish,” part of a “rich hotch-potch of abstruse symbology.”  At Julie’s invitation, he sits to join them for the plum pudding.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s