May 2, 2006

A Play A Day #19


Older Man (mid-fifties or older)
Younger Man (early-twenties)

Setting: A large, chaotic junk shop. This shop has the possibility of having absolutely anything in it.

Older Man: (coming to front counter) Hello!
Younger Man: Hello, sir. Can I help you?
O: Yes, I am looking for a carpet remnant.
Y: Carpet remnant? O.K. We have some in the back. (Y leaves, O browses, Y returns) Here you go, sir. (Hands O a small roll of misshapen carpet)
O: What's this?
Y: Uh, a... carpet remnant... we have more in the back, perhaps you'd like...
O: Carpet remnant?
Y: I could bring many more out to you and...
O: I think you misheard. I asked for a carpet Rembrandt.
Y: A carpet... Rembrandt?
O: Yes.
Y: (pause) I'm... afraid I don't know what that is, sir.
O: The artist? Rembrandt.
Y: A carpet that Rembrandt made?
O: No, no, no. (small laugh, then he stops abruptly and stares at Y, long pause)
Y: (getting more confused and a little nervous, then very tentatively) Rembrandt? Sir?
O: What? (small pause) Oh, yes. A carpet Rembrandt. Yes. That's right.
Y: Did she make carpet, sir?
O: Who?
Y: Rembrandt.
O: No. She was a man.
Y: Rembrandt?
O: Yes, an artist. Dead now.
Y: A man?
O: Still dead. Still a man.
Y: He didn't make carpet?
O: No. Painter. Dead male painter.
Y: So... you want... a carpet, ummm, with a picture of Rembrandt on it?
O: No. (long pause, O stares again)
Y: (nervous coughing) No. Not a picture then? (pause) Sir?
O: No.
Y: No. (pause) No picture then?
O: Yes. A picture.
Y: Oh... you... you want a picture of Rembrandt on the carpet?
O: No. A Rembrandt picture on the carpet.
Y: Is... uhhh... I'm confused, sir. You want a Rembrandt picture on carpet.
O: Exactly, but not a picture of Rembrandt.
Y: Ohh! I get it! Like one of Rembrandt's paintings.
O: Yes! He was quite ugly.
Y: What?
O: Rembrandt. Wouldn't want a picture of him. Ugly man.
Y: O.K.
O: So. Can you get me one?
Y: Was there a particular Rembrandt painting that you wanted in carpet, sir?
O: No.
Y: So, any Rembrandt will work.
O: No, just the artist.
Y: Right, the artist, yes, sure.
O: Yes. The painter.
Y: O.K. Any particular painting I should look for?
O: No. Just the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Y: That's a Rembrandt painting, sir?
O: No, it's a ceiling.
Y: O.K.
O: Rembrandt painted it.
Y: He painted a picture of the ceiling?
O: The whole ceiling.
Y: Yeah, that's sorta what I meant; he painted a picture of the whole ceiling.
O: No. He didn't.
Y: O.K.
O: Yes?
Y: No. I...
O: Yes?
Y: No, sir, what picture?
O: The Sistine Chapel ceiling.
Y: A picture that Rembrandt painted of the whole ceiling.
O: No. No.
Y: But you just...
O: No. No. I want a picture of the whole ceiling that Rembrandt painted.
Y: The whole chapel ceiling?
O: Right.
Y: Umm... I'll be right back. (Y leaves, O browses, Y comes back, he is carrying a sizable role of carpeting)
O: What's this?
Y: Umm... it's a carpet with a picture on it. (He rolls it out. It is "Dogs Playing Poker")
O: I see that.
Y: It was all I could find, sir.
O: It's not the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Y: I believe you're right on that one, sir.
O: And I'm pretty sure it's not by Rembrandt.
Y: I figured it might not be.
O: No.
Y: Sorry. It's all we have.
O: No.
Y: Should I put it back, sir?
O: No.
Y: No?
O: No. It's a Picasso.
Y: Oh! I think I've heard of him!
O: Picasso?
Y: Yes. I think so.
O: Picasso?
Y: I guess so.
O: Picasso?
Y: I don't know.
O: Picasso?
Y: I suppose so.
O: Picasso.
Y: It's possible.
O: Yes, a possible Picasso.
Y: It's all we have, sir.
O: Really.
Y: Yes.
O: It must be quite rare!
Y: Really?
O: I'll take all of them!
Y: But.
O: Every last one of them.
Y: It's all we have, sir.
O: Yes! All you have!
Y: It's the only one.
O: A truly rare find!
Y: Yes. I...
O: Must be expensive.
Y: Well... umm...
O: Perhaps, we can bargain?
Y: I guess so, but...
O: I'll only pay you 1.5 million dollars!
Y: But it's not...
O: 2 million?
Y: It says on the sticker...
O: 2.2 million, that's my best offer.
Y: It costs 5.
O: I can't affford that.
Y: What?
O: No.
Y: Five dollars, sir.
O: I can't afford that either.
Y: What?
O: I only have 83 cents.
Y: Ummm...
O: Please, let's continue.
Y: But it's five dollars, sir. The sticker...
O: I'll give you four dollars for it.
Y: Ummm...
O: How about four dollars, then?
Y: But sir.
O: Four-oh-one?
Y: No...
O: Damn you!
Y: No...
O: I can't go any higher.
Y: But, you only have 83 cents!
O: Exactly.
Y: But you told me that you would pay $4.01.
O: Yes.
Y: Yes. But you can't pay $4.01.
O: Yes, you want more.
Y: You only have 83 cents!
O: How do you know that?!
Y: You told me so.
O: No, I didn't.
Y: Yes, you did. Just a few moments ago.
O: Why would I say that when I have this? (pulls out hundred dollar bill)
Y: I don't know.
O: So, where were we?
Y: Ummm... sir... I..
O: In the bargaining? Where are we?
Y: Five dollars?
O: Impossible.
Y: But, you just showed me...
O: Can't do it.
Y: ...a hundred dollar bill.
O: Exactly.
Y: So you can.
O: No. Not possible.
Y: But you have five dollars!
O: No.
Y: Yes.
O: No. I don't have that kind of money.
Y: You do have five dollars!
O: No. I don't have that kind of money.
Y: You do!
O: No. I have this kind of money. (shows hundred dollar bill again)
Y: Exactly!
O: Not five dollars, though.
Y: Sir, you could buy twenty of these (indicating carpet) with that one bill!
O: Great, I'll buy them all!
Y: What?
O: All twenty.
Y: No... I didn't mean...
O: It's obviously not as rare as we once thought.
Y: No, it's... I mean, yes, but...
O: So, I won't pay as much as I was going to when I thought it was the only one.
Y: You can't pay for twenty because we...
O: I'll give you five dollars for each.
Y: We don't have twenty!
O: Ten dollars each then.
Y: No, this is the only one!
O: Ahh, a very rare piece indeed!
Y: The only one here, but I think other...
O: Very well, you drive a hard bargain.
Y: What I'm saying is that you only have to pay...
O: 1.5 million dollars then.
Y: ...just five dollars, sir!
O: Ooo! I don't have that kind of money.
Y: (long pause) Look, I know. I know what you have. You have a hundred dollars and possibly eighty-three cents.
O: How do you know that?
Y: (ignoring him) I will sell this carpet to you for exactly five dollars.
O: That's less than I expected to pay.
Y: (ignoring him) You can pay with the hundred dollar bill that you showed me, twice, and then I will give ninety-five dollars in change! Alright!? Alright?!
O: (long pause, O stares at Y) What are you saying?
Y: (defeated) Nothing sir. Nothing... at... all.
O: So, where were we?
Y: You just agreed to buy the Picasso carpet for five dollars.
O: Did I?
Y: (extreme firmness) Yes. You. Did. Remember?
O: Good for me!
Y: (ringing up sale at the register) That's five dollars, sir.
O: (takes out the eighty-three cents, counts through it) Hmmm... I don't seem to have...
Y: (quite upset) You have a hundred dollar bill!!
O: Right! (pulls it out) Here it is!
Y: Yes, I know!
O: (looks at the hundred, realizes that he doesn't want to break it for a five dollar purchase) Hey, do you take MasterCard?
Y: (fury barely checked in his voice) You have a... credit... card?!
O: Sure! Not smart walking around with a lot of cash. Puts you at risk.
Y: Right... (trying to compose himself) Ahhh... yes. We do take... MasterCard.
O: Great! (Hands Y the card)
Y: But it's a ten dollar minimum purchase to use a credit card.
O: Oh. O.K. Well, then give me another of these Picasso rugs.
Y: (shouting) It's the only one we have!!
O: Hmmm... well then... how about a carpet remnant? Do you have any of those? (Y starts crying, and shuffles to the back, O browses, lights fade out)


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