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Original Broadcast Date
November 6, 2004
Joe Frank
Serious Monologue, Absurd Monologue, 57 minutes
Preceded by: Time's Arrow
Followed by: Bottle For A Headstone

Reisling meets a woman at a party.

Duplicity is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Online. It was originally presented at joefrank.com on November 6, 2004.



  • Riesling accompanies the woman to her place, and they end up in her bed.
  • He finds himself unable to perform sexually. Metaphors about a bad day at Kennedy Space Center, the rocket deflating.
  • They eventually give up and she reassures him, his confidence gone.
  • He considers possible excuses for his lack of performance.
  • They watch TV, but there's nothing on but various types of sexual material.
  • He imagines her making love to others, including a friend of his.
  • The next morning he remembers his one passionate fling.
    • They met on the Internet. She occasionally came to visit him, and they had a couple of passionate hotel trysts.
    • Memories of skating together at Rockefeller Center. They ice dance like no one has ever seen: the crowd is transfixed. Suddenly they crash horribly, causing injuries and mayhem.
    • While rushing them to the hospital, the ambulance crashes.
    • She claims to see Jesus, and levitates heavenward, disappearing forever into the sky.
    • The wedding is cancelled. Despondent, he travels around the world in a rowboat, with an absurd collection of items.

Professor Clayman

  • Professor John Clayman is surprised to see himself pictured as a missing child on a milk carton. Suddenly he is eight again and wonders what is happening.
    • Is he eight, or is he a University Professor living in the home of the Dean, who insists on being allowed to watch as Clayman makes love to his wife?
    • A stream-of-consciousness monologuefollows which is difficult to characterize. "Life is merely the punchline of a joke told backwards."
  • Clayman awakens on a treadmill in a gym in front of a bank of televisions. He develops a twisted view of the goings on in the gym.
  • Later he's at the podium, giving a lecture. He has an out-of-body experience and fixates on a student.
  • He knows he is no longer attractive to his young college students: "A lifetime of living in a world of gravity has done something unspeakable to his nose."
  • Clayman considers his life and flees on the next train.


  • McKenzie is a 70 year old veteran and frequently hangs out at the local VFW hall.
  • Price served with him and appears one day to reenact a battle they served in together.
  • Price accuses him of being a coward and McKenzie is expelled from the VFW. He's glad to be rid of them.
  • He gets home and absolutely everything is gone, down to the mouldings on the doors, not to mention his wife. He's excited at the opportunity to start anew.
  • Later, his house is forclosed on and fenced off.
  • He wanders down the road, determined to start a new life.
  • He tries to hitch a ride and is killed by a semi which loses control trying to pick him up.

The Priest, The Rabbi and the Hyena

  • This section begins as though it is a joke, but turns into a story in which the three travel on a train with some Girl Scouts to a place called Duplicity.
  • The absurdity of prayer, the foolishness of faith.

The Panhandler

  • A panhandler at a traffic light rants and raves at motorists, who try to ignore him.
  • Eventually he returns to his luxurious home for a cigar and a snifter of cognac.
  • He receives a lovely visitor. They watch the city together: children playing (and making various objectionable sounds), a vicious mugging.
  • They discuss her affair with his father, who left her everything in a last-minute alteration of his will before his death. He assures her that he and his family will stop at nothing to contest the altered will.
  • The next day he returns to work as a panhandler, yelling at motorists from his street corner.
  • A final brief story: touring a wrecked city on a train.