Two brothers in their early twenties, Sam and Judah, stand shoulder-to-shoulder, facing the audience. They are looking down at the dog collar Judah is holding. It is a sunny summer day. They are outside their home in a country town.
Judah: I don't understand. I put it on her and she doesn't bark. As soon as I'm out of sight, she starts to howl.
Sam: Well, she is a Bassett Hound, it's what they do. Plus, yours is neurotic. How is the collar supposed to make her stop, anyway?
Judah: The package said it would startle her, and she would learn not to bark.
Sam: Oh, so you mean it's supposed to shock the shit out of her, and she'll be too scared to bark anymore?
Judah: The package said it wasn't going to hurt her.
Sam: Oh, well if the package said... Maybe it's the batteries. Are they good?
Judah: (Looking confused) Brand new.
[Judah turns the collar over, examining it like he is reading the fine print on a life insurance policy.
Sam: (Smiling) If it doesn't hurt... then why don't you try it?
[Judah pushes the two metal prods on the bottom of the collar into his forearm, and waits.]
Judah: See, I told you it wasn't working.
Sam: Of course not. You only held it to your forearm. You have to hold it to your throat.
[Judah pushes the prods to the side of his neck and holds them there.]
Judah: It still doesn't work.
Sam: Of course not. You didn't tighten the collar like you would on her.
[Judah fixes the prods under his Adam's apple, and cinches the collar tight, buckling it, even feeding the extra through the loop, like on a belt.
Judah: See, it (GGgg GGgg Gggg)
[Judah drops to his knees and doubles over. Ha attempts to unfasten the collar with one hand, supporting himself with the other. He looks pleadingly at his brother and begins making the GGgg GGgg GGgg sound again. The sound is similar to the human version of the dull grinding a car starter makes when the battery is dead.]
[Sam begins laughing so hard that he doubles over and falls to the ground. The only time in his life this has happened.]
[Judah pleads with his eyes. for help. Every time he tries to speak he makes the GGgg GGgg sound and convulses in agony.]
[Both men lie on their sides facing each other, crying. One cries from laughter, the other in pain and frustration. Finally, Judah is able to wrestle the collar off his throat. They stand and face each other. It is a full minute before either is able to speak.]
Sam: Looked Iike it worked.
Judah: Fuck you, and fuck this collar. No pain, my ass...
Since writing this piece, Sam has gained his freedom.
He can read and respond to any comments left for him.