Coffee & TV III: The Date

Lights up on a standard living room shared by two guys. There’s a TV towards DSR, facing a couch, on which is sat ALEX. He has a bowl of cereal and is watching the TV, laughing at whatever show is on. The room is relatively untidy, but not in a dirty way – just that it hasn’t been tidied for a time. There’s an armchair and a table of chairs as well. After a short pause, PETE enters. He is pulling a suit jacket on. He spends the scene getting ready to go out.

ALEX         Are you wearing that shirt for a bet?

PETE          No, a date.

ALEX         A what?

PETE          A date.

ALEX         Run that by me again – why are you wearing that shirt?

PETE          I’m going on a date.

ALEX         You’re going on a date?

PETE          Yes.

ALEX         You, Peter Benjamin Lawton, are going on a date?

PETE          Is that so hard to believe?

ALEX         Yes. It’s very hard to believe.

PETE          Piss off.

ALEX         Alright, no need for that. I’m sure you date all the time.

PETE          I do alright.

ALEX         I’m sure you do. I bet you’re always out on dates when I’m not looking.

PETE          What’s that supposed to mean?

ALEX         It means that every evening this month you’ve been in. And if you’ve not been in, you’ve been at
                     the pub with me.

PETE          I went out with that girl April.

ALEX         Oh yeah. How is April?

PETE          Married.

ALEX         But she was single when you took her on a date?

PETE          Yes.

ALEX         And that was…?

PETE          Two weeks ago.

ALEX         So, you took her out on a date, and in order to escape from ever having to do that again she got
                     married?

PETE          She got back together with her boyfriend actually.

ALEX         If you say so. Anyway, who’s the lucky guy?

PETE         Ha ha. You’re so very funny.

ALEX         I know, it’s one of my best features.

PETE          Yes, I expect you’ll be winning a Perrier Award any day now.

ALEX         I expect so.

PETE          They’ll praise your rapier wit, your originality, your flair and raw natural talent.

ALEX         Well, when you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

PETE          Much like herpes.

ALEX         Thank you, Frankie Boyle. I hope you won’t be using jokes like that tonight.

PETE          No, herpes tends to kill a romantic atmosphere.

ALEX         How true.

Pete picks up his wallet and keys.

ALEX         Where are you taking her?

PETE          Ibsen’s.

ALEX         The coffee shop?

PETE          No, the writer’s house. Yes, of course the coffee shop.

ALEX         I know my jokes are better than yours, but that doesn’t mean you can steal them.

PETE          I wasn’t aware they were copyrighted.

ALEX         That’s right. What you’re doing now is engaging in piracy. And piracy is a crime.

PETE          So I’ve heard. Maybe I could pay you royalties?

ALEX         You’ll find my rates are very reasonable. I’m practically giving them away.

PETE          You’d have to; no one would buy them.

ALEX         Beggars can’t be choosers.

PETE          What do you mean?

ALEX         I mean you need something to distract from that horrible shirt.

PETE          I like this shirt.

ALEX         Yes, but you’re hardly an expert in fashion, are you?

PETE          And who are you exactly, Gok Wan?

ALEX         I know a good ensemble when I see one.

PETE          As if. Your girlfriend chooses your clothes.

ALEX         Kat does not chose my clothes!

PETE          We both know she does.

ALEX         I am quite capable of choosing my own clothes.

PETE          Capable is not the same as allowed.

ALEX         Kat does not chose my clothes!

PETE          It’s fine. We all know that if she didn’t you’d just be sitting about in your pants playing on the xbox.

ALEX         Like you, you mean?

PETE          Exactly.

ALEX         Your date is so lucky.

PETE          I know. Speaking of which, I need to go, I don’t want to be late.

ALEX         That wouldn’t make a great impression.

PETE          No.

ALEX         And you’re bad enough as it is without adding lack of punctuality into the mix.

PETE          I do need someone to tame my wicked, yet charming, behaviour.

ALEX         Wicked, yet charming? Do you imagine yourself as some sort of Dickensian villain?

PETE          Doesn’t everyone?

ALEX         No.

PETE          Oh.

ALEX         Yeah. Awkward.

PETE          Well, I better…

ALEX         Hang on, Ibsen’s?

PETE          What?

ALEX         You’re taking her to Ibsen’s?

PETE           Yes. Well, I’m meeting her there.

ALEX         And who is it you’re meeting?

PETE          Lisa.

ALEX         Who?

PETE          Lisa from work.

ALEX         Lisa from my work?

PETE          Yes.

ALEX         The one with brown hair?

PETE          And the beautiful arse. Yes.

ALEX         You’re going on a date with Lisa?

PETE          What part of that is hard to understand?

ALEX         The part where a woman would willingly spend time with you.

PETE          I’m a great catch.

ALEX         That’s not really true though, is it?

PETE          How do you mean?

ALEX         I mean that all the women who’ve caught you so far have put you straight back in. They’ve not
                     even left you in the keep net before deciding.

PETE          That’s not true. I’ve been netted many times. And I’ve got to show them my rod.

ALEX         No.

PETE          No, what?

ALEX         You can’t show them your rod if they’re the one fishing. Fishes don’t have rods.

PETE          It was a penis joke.

ALEX         I’m aware, but frankly I’d rather concentrate on the broken metaphor than your penis.

PETE          Whatever. You’re just jealous because I’m going out with Lisa.

ALEX         I’m not jealous. Why would I be jealous?

PETE          Because you want her for yourself.

ALEX         For the last time, I do not want to have Lisa. I have Kat and I’m very happy with her.

PETE          Then you shouldn’t have a problem with me going out with Lisa.

ALEX         I don’t.

PETE          Good.

ALEX         As such.

PETE          Ah!

ALEX         No, it’s just weird. It’s like two of my spheres are colliding together.

PETE          Sounds painful.

ALEX         It potentially is. Just remember that she’s my friend too. I don’t want it to be awkward between you
                     and me or me and her.

PETE          Why would it be awkward?

ALEX         Because I know you too well. She’s nice, I don’t want you hurting her because you just want sex.

PETE          Look, we’re going out for coffee. Just coffee.

ALEX         Yes, but when I went out for coffee with her you were adamant that we were sleeping together.

PETE          That was a joke. This is real life. I am capable of dating a woman without my agenda being about
                     getting laid.

ALEX         Yeah, I know, mate. Sorry. Have a good time.

Pete makes to leave.

PETE          Oh, and Alex.

ALEX         Yeah?

PETE          Can you go to bed early? We might want to fuck on the couch.

Pete chuckles to himself as he exits. Alex scowls as the lights go down.

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