Here is a scene I wrote earlier this year while developing material for a Teatro Bastardo show. I didn't like it and never showed it to anyone until a few months ago. It's one of those cases where the writer truly is the worst judge of his or her own material. It's also a lesson in giving yourself enough time to let something "cool off" so you can go back and look at it with fresh eyes. Although, I don't think that cool off period needs to be six months! When writing the first draft, I set my expectations too high. I wanted to write something gut-bustingly funny, dark and edgy. This ain't that, so I was disappointed. Now, I really like it. It's a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy it.
THE SPY WHO DATED ME
By Joe Janes
Michael– mid-40’s - M
Tracy – mid 40’s – F
Ludwig – mid-40’s
(Lights up on Michael and Tracy at a café.)
TRACYWell, this is nice. It’s refreshing to meet someone who actually looks like their photograph.
MICHAELIsn’t that the truth? I met someone last week who said she looks ten years younger than she is - probably because the pictures on her profile are from ten years ago.
TRACYI think the most important quality in a relationship is honesty. And if you don’t have that at the start…
MICHAELThen you’re never going to have it.
TRACYWell, once you catch someone in a lie, you’re always going to wonder if that person is telling the truth.
MICHAELI couldn’t agree with you more. Let’s make a deal. Tonight, we tell the absolute truth. No matter what. I can’t think of a better way to get to know someone.
TRACYI accept. To honesty. (She raises her wine glass and they toast.)
MICHAELWhat do you do for a living?
TRACYOh, boring old job. I work at the Chicago Board of Trade as an administrator. I run an office. No big deal. What about you?
MICHAELI’m a secret agent.
TRACYYou sell real estate?
MICHAELNo. Secret agent. As in, I work for the government.
TRACYIf you’re a secret agent, then why are you telling me? Doesn’t make it much of a secret.
MICHAELWell, I wanted to be honest with you. Look, Tracy, I know we just met, but I find you attractive, I think there’s some potential here, I don’t want to blow it by lying to you.
TRACYI see. Well, thank you for your honesty. Do you like your job?
MICHAELVery much so. I get to kill people.
TRACYYou get to kill people?
MICHAELBad people, mostly. You know, evil villains. It’s very gratifying.
TRACYWhat, you mean, like, you have a license to kill?
MICHAELWant to see it? (He takes his license out of his wallet and shows it to her.)
TRACYOh, my God…
MICHAELI know. Can you believe that mustache? What was I thinking? I made them take the picture twice. Is that vain, or what?
TRACYI did the same thing with my passport. You’re stuck with it for ten years, you should be happy with it. How long are stuck with that ?
MICHAELThey make us renew it every two years. Have to take an eye exam and everything.
TRACYAn eye exam?
MICHAELWell, you know. Don’t want us killing the wrong person.
TRACYAre you allowed to be telling me all this stuff on a date?
MICHAELWell, to be honest, it is frowned upon by the agency. It can make me vulnerable.
TRACYVulnerable can be sexy.
MICHAELTracy. I’m 44. My whole adult life has been nothing but a string of affairs with super models and the kept mistresses of evil-doers. It’s time for me to have something, someone, more substantial in my life.
TRACYHow many people have you slept with?
MICHAELOh, I don’t know. Probably 100. 200. It’s on file. How about you?
TRACYMuch less than that.
MICHAELI know it seems like a lot. Most were in the line of duty. The men, any way. And that bird.
(Ludwig, an older waiter with a scar and ill-fitting clothes enters and serves them coffee. He speaks with a heavy foreign accent.)
LUDWIGHere’s is your coffee.
MICHAELWe didn’t order any coffee.
LUDWIGCompliments of the house to the young lovers.
MICHAELThank you very much…
MICHAELSteve, Do you have any soy milk? I’m lactose intolerant. There – I’ve never told anyone that on a first date. This is so liberating.
LUDWIGI’ll be right back. (He exits.)
TRACYSo, you don’t do dairy.
MICHAELI don’t do death. Or dairy. Don’t drink it, Tracy. I think it’s poisoned. Smells like arsenic.
TRACYI think that’s the chicory.
(Ludwig returns with soy milk.)
LUDWIGHere’s your soy milk, sir.
MICHAELWe’ll just take the check.
(Michael does some judo-y stuff on Ludwig, ultimately snapping his neck.)
TRACYIt’s okay, everybody. He has a license for this sort of thing.
MICHAELI’m sorry our date was interrupted.
TRACYDo you go through this kind of thing everyday?
MICHAELMost everyday. I have Mondays off. When can I see you, again, Tracy?
TRACYNot when. Where?
MICHAELOkay. Where can I see you, again.
(Tracy takes a knife off the table and throws it at Michael’s chest. It hits him and he goes down.)
TRACY(with a heavy non-descript European accent)In hell, Michael. In hell.
(She laughs maniacally as Bond-type music comes up. She stops laughing. Exits. Comes back. Puts a few dollars on the table and exits, again. Lights fade.)
THE BS NEWS QUIZ OF THE DAY
On Saturday, I asked...
"To protest the food being served to him, a prisoner in New Hampshire sent a federal judge what?"
68% answered "A stool sample"
- Nope. Nothing from the wood shop. Wait, what kind of stool did you think I meant?
16% picked "A tooth"
- And then the federal judge put a quarter under the prisoner's pillow while he slept...um, no.
16% thought "A bent spoon"
- Which he bent with his mind!!! Mwahaaaaaaa!...Nope.
Nobody picked the right answer this time, "A hard-boiled egg"
According to the Associated Press, a federal judge was driven to rhyme after receiving a hard-boiled egg in the mail from a prison inmate protesting his diet. Wolff, 61, says he is an Orthodox Jew and has accused prison officials of refusing to feed him a kosher diet. Wolff also says he cannot tolerate hard-boiled eggs and is suing the state Department of Corrections for $10 million. Wolff is serving 10 to 20 years for sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl. I think they should Cool Hand Luke him.