Coffee & TV IV: The Double 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               Where are you going?

PETE                Out?

ALEX               Out where?

PETE                Outside.

ALEX               Obviously outside. How else would you go out?

PETE                I don’t know, Alex, you tell me.

ALEX               Alright, no need for that.

PETE                And there’s no need for you to be a prick, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping you.

ALEX               I thought we already had a conversation about you stealing my lines.

PETE                Yes.

ALEX               And didn’t we agree that I’m a genius and you should have to pay me?

PETE                You certainly agreed that.

ALEX               Good.

PETE                I’m not sure you really understand how agreement works.

ALEX               So long as it was agreed.

PETE                Whatever.

ALEX               So, where are you going?

PETE                Out.

ALEX               Out where?

PETE                Outside.

ALEX               Could you be a little more specific?

PETE                I could be. I don’t really want to be.

ALEX               And that’s what you’re wearing, is it?

PETE                It appears to be what I’m wearing, yes.

ALEX               Ah, got it. You’re going to a charity fundraiser for the blind.

PETE                You’re so very not funny.

ALEX               I don’t understand why you won’t just tell me where you’re going. It’s not somewhere embarrassing, is it? Like an EDL meeting? Or church?

PETE                Why would I be going to church?

ALEX               I don’t know, but it worries me that you thought that option was the one worthy of comment.

PETE                Yes, well, the EDL one was just stupid. I was ignoring that.

ALEX               Or perhaps that is where you’re going and you didn’t like to say.

PETE                I’m not going to an EDL meeting or to church or to any other meetings of a right wing nature.

ALEX               That’s unfair. Jesus was into helping the sick and the poor.

PETE                So?

ALEX               So he votes Labour.

PETE                In UK elections?

ALEX               Where else?

PETE                Jesus votes Labour, does he?

ALEX               Yes. Have you got a problem with that?

PETE                Of course!

ALEX               I knew it. Giving foreigners the vote, of course you and your EDL chums have a problem with that!

PETE                Shut up.

ALEX               Witty. Or should that be whitey?

PETE                Still not funny. Also, chums? Do the EDL strike you as being the sort of people to have chums?

ALEX               Well, I don’t hang around with them much, so maybe I don’t know the lingo.

PETE                I can actually feel my brain cells dying when I talk to you.

ALEX               Is that what it is?

PETE                Pretty sure, yeah.

ALEX               It’s just that they say if you don’t often use muscles, it hurts when you do.

PETE                You’d know all about that, Mr Flabby.

ALEX               What do you mean by that?

PETE                What do you think I mean?

ALEX               I am not flabby.

PETE                Mate, every time I move from one end of the sofa to the other you turn to watch me and your stomach hasn’t caught up from the first time yet.

ALEX               Fuck you. It’s just winter weight, that’s all.

PETE                It’s July.

ALEX               You know, just getting my eye in for the main event.

PETE                Well, don’t get your eye in too much more or we’ll have to get a crane to raise you off the couch.

ALEX               I work out.

PETE                When?

ALEX               Three times a week. At the company gym.

PETE                Ah, I see.

ALEX               Yeah. There you go.

PETE                No, I meant – ah, I see what the problem is here. We’ve got a confused sense of time and tense.

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

PETE                Oh so many reasons, but I meant tense as in verbs. You said I work out. You meant I used to work out.

ALEX               No, no, I didn’t. I went to the gym just last…

PETE                February?

ALEX               Okay, it’s been a while.

PETE                Isn’t that what Steve Rogers said when they thawed him out after sixty years?

ALEX               Oooh, that reminds me. Want to come and see the new Captain America with me? Kat doesn’t like those sorts of films.

PETE                Seen it.

ALEX               When?

PETE                Last week.

ALEX               Who with?

PETE                Who do you think?

ALEX               I don’t know, I wasn’t there. Skanky Rob?

PETE                Why would I willingly spend time with someone called Skanky Rob? Who even is Skanky Rob?

ALEX               You know Robin?

PETE                Robin from the comic book shop Robin?

ALEX               That’d be him.

PETE                Robin is not skanky. He just has a problem with nervous sweating.

ALEX               As I said – skanky.

PETE                You’re such a dick.

ALEX               Says the man who saw Captain America without his best friend, despite knowing that his best friend really likes the Marvel movie universe and who won’t tell his best friend where he’s going tonight.

PETE                I saw it with Lisa. Alright? We met at the cinema, it was on, she suggested it and I agreed.

ALEX               I still can’t believe you’ve been on more than one date with her. I thought after the coffee, she’d be running for the hills.

PETE                Yes, but Lisa is lovely and you’re an arse.

ALEX               Lovely? She’s lovely now?

PETE                I think she was always lovely.

ALEX               Her arse is, I suppose, or her tits?

PETE                They feature in her all round loveliness, but I wasn’t restricting it to body parts.

ALEX               Who are you and what have you done with the real Pete?

PETE                I’m serious.

ALEX               So am I. Here you stand, describing women as lovely without once mentioning their breasts, going to see films with them as if it were the most natural thing in the world and going out all dressed up on a Tuesday night without saying where you’re going.

PETE                It’s not Tuesday, man. It’s Friday.

ALEX               What?

PETE                It’s Friday.

ALEX               Since when?

PETE                Since today.

ALEX               It can’t be Friday. Kat and I always go out on a Friday. It’s our double date night. Ibsen’s then dinner.

PETE                Yeah, this is why I didn’t want to tell you where I was going.

ALEX               You’re going out with Kat?

PETE                No, I’m going out with Lisa. We’re having dinner with Kat. It was meant to be a double date.

ALEX               But she didn’t call.

PETE                No. I know. She changed the plans last week. I wouldn’t go, only I promised Lisa and-

ALEX               No, it’s fine. You go.

PETE                You could come with. Surprise her?

ALEX               No. I’ll stay here. I’ve got lots of stuff to do.

PETE                Like what? Come on. I think you ought to come. Put on your least terrible suit and remind her what she’s missing.

ALEX               I’m not really in the mood.

PETE                Alexander Thomas Upton, get in your room and suit yourself.

ALEX               No.

PETE                Suit yourself. I tried.

Pete goes to leave.

ALEX               If she mentions me, will you text me what she says?

PETE                ‘Course I will.

ALEX               Thanks.

PETE                Oh, and Alex.

ALEX               Yeah?

PETE                Don’t wait up. It might turn into a threesome.

Alex scowls and Pete exits laughing to himself. The lights go down as Alex’s scowl becomes a genuinely unhappy look.

 

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