Stitch Strength

Kate stands center stage. Two other performers join her and stand on either side of her. On the ground in front of Kate, there are two large right triangles of cloth that, when stitched together, would form a 4 foot by 4 foot square.

Kate: I will now attempt to baste together these two pieces of cloth in one minute. After I have made my attempt, these testers on either side of me will pick up the square and pull on it with all their weight for 15 seconds to see how strong my basting stitch is. For every stitch that fails I will have to find a new compliment to give [name of reviled public figure of the moment]. For every stitch that holds I will give out that number of [delightful dessert-like treat of the moment] to you, the lovely audience.

One of the performers hands Kate a needle threaded with a long strand of red thread.

Kate: Can I get one minute on the clock?

On the screen behind Kate a countdown clock appears with one minute on it. Kate crouches down near the pieces of cloth, ready to stitch.

Kate: Begin!

The clock starts.

Kate bastes the two pieces of cloth together for one minute.

When one minute has elapsed, a bell rings, signaling for Kate to stop sewing. She steps away from the fabric. The two performers pick up the cloth between them.

Kate: Now, we need 15 seconds up on the clock. [to the performers] Are you ready?

The performers acknowledge their readiness.

Kate: Begin!

The clock starts. 15 seconds elapses. The performers pull on the cloth with all their weight. Stitches fail or don’t fail.

The failed stitches are tallied. The stitches that hold are tallied.

Kate compliments [name of reviled public figure of the moment] according to the number of failed stitches.

Kate hands out [delightful dessert-like treat of the moment] according to the number of stitches that hold.