Periscope Depth

it's all in the game

Thank you for your patience with those last two self-indulgent entries. Now we can have fun again.

A few days ago, Leonard commented on an AVClub interview with Flight of the Conchords. Bret observed that “There aren’t many TV shows that can go on tour.

The ideas immediately began bubbling in the drug dens of our brains, Leonard’s and mine. We brainstormed. We plunked out notes on a beat-up Steinway. We yelled at each other over coffee in Greenwich Village diners at 3AM. And finally, after about 45 minutes of effort, we uncovered a gem.

Ladies, gentlemen, and eligible Tony voters, we give you: All In The Game: The Wire, Live On Stage!

I’m Gonna Shoot Up Tonight (BUBS, Chorus)
(sung to the tune of “Luck Be A Lady”)

A slow violin intro. BUBS wanders down center into a spot. The cries of “Pandemic!” and “WMD!” fade into the background.

BUBS
They call you ‘Mr. Brown.’
You always treat me nice.
I lie in my slum and I chat with you ’till my toes turn to ice.
You’re on the town with me.
I’m flying like a kite.
Who cares if my clothes or the scabs on my nose make me loo-o-k … a fright?
They tell me I’m an addict
They say I might have AIIIIIIIIIDS!
But tonight, you’re all this poor … boy … neeeeeeds …

Lights up. The dealers have changed out of street clothes in the dark into tux and tails. They form a chorus line behind Bubs.

BUBS
I’m gonna shoot up tonight!
I’m gonna shoot up tonight!
I’m gonna ride that horse until I shit my trousers.
I’m gonna shoot up tonight!

The dancers surround Bubs, stripping him of his ratty jacket and pants and dressing him in a dinner jacket with silver sequins.

BUBS
I’m gonna shoot up my veins!
I’ll get so high, I might just go insane!
I’m gonna shoot that rock and sleep for thirty hours.
I’m gonna shoot up my veins!

More dancers appear on either side of the stage – one twirling a ribbon, one twirling a baton. Bubs snatches the ribbon from one and pantomimes tying off his arm with it. He takes the baton from the other and simulates making an injection.

BUBS
You never call me “bum” or “junkie”
Or “ghetto trash”! Or “worthless punk”!
I call you up whenever my girl Kima gives me ten,
Or when I catch a break from Mac or Bunk!

Dancers swarm the stage behind Bubs, now resplendent in sequined jacket and tap shoes. The dancers do a “bubble dance” (a la Gypsy Rose Lee), but using large rocks instead of bubbles.

BUBS
Let’s keep this party all night! I’ve
Got a scam that’s gonna do us right!
My sister hates me and my son thinks I been murdered
But I’m gonna shoot up …
Gonna get screwed up …
I’m gonna shoot up! TOOOO-NIIIIIIIIIIGHT!

It’s All In The Game (STRINGER, AVON, WEE-BAY, SLIM CHARLES, DONUT, KENNARD, WALLACE, NAMOND)
(sung to the tune of “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof)

ALL
The game, the game! It’s all in…
The game, the game! It’s all in…the game!

STRINGER & AVON
Who, every day, must handle every re-up,
Worry ‘bout the po-po, keep our records clean?
And who rolls around in Lincoln Navigators,
Running a well-oiled machine?

ALL
The kingpin, the kingpin! The kingpin!
The kingpin, the kingpin! It’s all in…the game!

WEE-BAY & SLIM CHARLES
Who must know the way to beat a lyin’ bitch,
A punk-ass hood, a chickenhead?
Who must ferret out and murder every snitch
And fill some niggas up with lead?

ALL
The muscle, the muscle! The muscle!
The muscle, the muscle! It’s all in…the game!

DONUT & KENNARD
At six I got my corner named; at ten I learned to shoot
I hope I get a bump real soon; this job is shitty.

ALL
The runner, the runner! The runner!
The runner, the runner! It’s all in…the game!

WALLACE & NAMOND
And who makes sure that no one can lighten up the take?
And who will get a beatdown for each mistake they make?

ALL
The counter, the counter! The counter!
The counter, the counter! It’s all in…the game!

McNulty! (RAWLS, MCNULTY)
(sung to the tune of “Tomorrow” from Annie)

RAWLS
You’re such a cheap prick, McNulty!
Can not stand the sight of you, McNulty!
Why don’t you die?

You fuck up my life, McNulty!
Talking to Burrell just makes me sulky.
Wanna know why?

MCNULTY (speaking)
I don’t know what …

RAWLS (singing over him)
‘Cause you talked to that judge!
‘Bout A-
-von Barksdale!
And re-opened these fi-i-les!
Don’t smi-i-le!
These fi-i-les!

MCNULTY (speaking)
Look, I can explain …

RAWLS
I’m shipping you out, McNulty!
You’ll be on this new task force, McNulty,
With a thumb up your ass!

And let me be clear, McNulty!
The next time Burrell should say, ‘McNulty’
I’ll fuck you with glass!

MCNULTY (speaking)
Oh, c’mon …

RAWLS
Don’t you open your ly-
-ing I-
-rish piehole!
Or I’ll fill it with shit!
With shit!
With shi-i-i-t!

(crescendo)

McNulty! McNulty!
I hate you! McNulty!
I’ll fuck you, if it takes ten years!
McNulty! McNulty!
You ratfuck, McNulty!
I’ll fuck you, right in the ears!

West Baltimore (CARVER, HERC)
(sung to the tune of “America” from West Side Story)

CARVER
I like my time in West Baltimore
Cleaning up crime in West Baltimore
Wiping off grime in West Baltimore

HERC
Trying to rhyme in West Baltimore.

CARVER
Lots of drug dealers to take out!

HERC
We piss in bottles on stake outs.

CARVER
Daniels and Greggs do the job right!

HERC
I’m still in debt from that hot mic.

CARVER
We could get paid in West Baltimore.
We could make grade in West Baltimore.
We’ve got it made in West Baltimore.

HERC
I can’t get laid in West Baltimore.

CARVER
We get the dope from our C.I.s.

HERC
Sure, if we pay them for cheap highs.

CARVER
I could make Sarge if I learn fast.

HERC
Just keep your nose up Burrell’s ass!

CARVER
We could make friends in West Baltimore.

HERC
I get the bends from West Baltimore.

CARVER
We’ll make amends in West Baltimore.

HERC
War never ends in West Baltimore!

HERC AND CARVER
La-la-la, la-la, West Baltimore!
La-la-la, la-la, West Baltimore!
La-la-la, la-la, West Baltimore!
La-la-la, la-la, West Baltimore!

Marlo Stansfield (FREAMON, MCNULTY, DANIELS, RAWLS, AVON, STRINGER)
(sung to the tune of “Oklahoma (Reprise)”)

FREAMON
There’s someone droppin’ bodies, but we can’t say how

MCNULTY
We can’t find corpses and we can’t find clues

DANIELS
We’ll never get a wire on ‘em anyhow

RAWLS
It’s all about numbers, Cap’n …

DANIELS
Like that’s news!

ALL
Like that’s news!
Like that’s news! Homicide blues!

AVON
Lockin’ down the corners, crackin’ suckas’ heads
Shootin’ up the projects ’till the streets turn red

STRINGER
Tellin’ you: this nigga ain’t about to peel
Let me cut him in and we can make a deal

AVON
You ain’t a soldier! This shit’s hot!
Go get Marlo or we gonna get got!

MCNULTY
Maaaaaaar-lo Stansfield!
He’s been dropping bodies in the West!
Tell you what he’ll do, if you cross his crew
He will put two bullets in your chest!

AVON
Maaaaaaar-lo Stansfield!
He’s a hot young player in the game!

STRINGER
He’s got Chris and Snoop waiting on the stoop
So don’t let them hear you say his name!

FREAMON
Check those boarded-up houses for sure!
You’ll find bodies and blood by the score!

MCNULTY, FREAMON, AVON and STRINGER
So when we saaaaaaay
“Don’t cross that nigga down the waaaaaay”
You know we’re really talking about Marlo Stansfield!
Marlo Stansfield! Marlo!

ALL
Maaaaaaar-lo Stansfield!
He’s been dropping bodies in the West!
Tell you what he’ll do, if you cross his crew
He will put two bullets in your chest!
Maaaaaaar-lo Stansfield!
He’s a hot young player in the game!
He’s got Chris and Snoop waiting on the stoop
So don’t let them hear you say his name!

Check those boarded-up houses for sure!
You’ll find bodies and blood by the score!

So when we saaaaaaay
“Don’t cross that nigga down the waaaaaay”
You know we’re really talking about Marlo Stansfield!
Marlo Stansfield! Marlo!
M, A, R, L, O, Yo!
Marlo Stansfield!