VO: The current economic climate has forced even the most traditional of institutions to execute lay-offs. Strunk and White, purveyors of the English language and the last word in grammar, have determined that the Elements of Style must make do with one less element. Now, the punctuation marks are left to determine whose days of indicating structure and organization are over.
Period: Well I’d just like to state for the record that it can’t be me. I’m too important.
Exclamation point: Ha! You’re an asshole! Period!
Question mark, anxious: Can’t we all just calm down? I mean, isn’t there a way for us to figure this out? Oh, why is this happening? Where would I go? What would I do?
Parenthesis, the gay couple, to each other: It’s always about her.
Comma: Well, if we just try to look at this rationally, I mean, there’s definitely a way to, you know, figure this out, and, I think, in the end, I mean, eventually, that is to say, ultimately,
Hyphen, explosively, like Turrets syndrome: Pot-bellied pigeon-holed run-of-the-mill mother-in-law--
Everyone puts a little distance between themselves and Hyphen.
Parenthesis, to each other: Psychopath. Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
Quotation marks, making lots of annoying air quotes: Maybe no one really needs to get “laid-off”, people. I mean, what about taking an “extended vacation” or how about a “leave of absence of indeterminate length”?
Colon, to semicolon: You’ve been riding my coat tails for years and no one knows how to use you anyway. There is only one possible solution: fire this bitch.
Semicolon: You sure seem to know how to handle me; everyone knows you’ve always admired my interdependent statements.
Exclamation point: Yowza!
Question mark: What a second, who isn’t here? Aren’t we missing someone?
Ellipses, wandering in, completely stoned: Hey guys... what’s everybody... I was just, uh... hey...
Exclamation point: Ellipses! You’re fired!
Sarah Elovich is a writer and performer based in Oakland, CA.