Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week Two, Day Fourteen - "Brown Bagging It"

“Brown Bagging It”
By Joe Janes
2/1/09
14 out of 365

CAST:
Hanna
Nathan
Mr. Mylee
Jeb
Cindy
Server

(Lights up on three co-workers sitting around a small table in a break room. Mr. Mylee sits with nothing in front of him, Nathan lethargically picks at a salad he is eating out of worn Tupperware, and Hanna also has nothing in front of her. Jeb quickly enters with a crinkled brown bag that makes a thump when he sets it on the table.)

JEB
Sorry, I’m late, Mr. Mylee.

MR. MYLEE
Don’t worry, Jeb. You’re not the last to arrive.

HANNA (stage whispering and mouthing the word to Jeb)
“Cindy.”

JEB
Go figure.

NATHAN
This is temporary, right? Once the economy gets better, we’ll get back to meeting at Chez Ami every Friday, right? Right?

MR. MYLEE
We don’t know how long that will take, Nathan. We can no longer afford luxuries like Chez Ami every Friday for our department head meeting. Until things turn around, we’re going to have to rough it.

NATHAN
Red Lobster would be roughing it? Wouldn’t it? We could meet at Red Lobster?

HANNA
Brown bagging it is cheaper. It sends a message to our employees that we’re trying to cut back without cutting jobs, right, Mr. Mylee?

MR. MYLEE
Right on, Hanna.

JEB
Especially if you’re fasting, what gives, Hanna?

HANNA
I’m not fasting.

NATHAN
What did you bring, Jeb?

JEB (opening bag and taking out contents)
An orange and a can of soup.

HANNA
A can of soup?

JEB
Yeah. It’s healthy. It’s soup.

HANNA
And it’s in a can. Not a juice box.

JEB
Hunh?

NATHAN
There’s no can opener in here. We have a microwave; a coffee maker that leaks, a Styrofoam cup filled with little plastic straws and a stack of old napkins nabbed from that KFC the health department closed down a month ago.


JEB
I miss that KFC.

HANNA
No can opener.

JEB
Crap. I just grabbed what I could find before I went out the door. It was either this or half a bag of flour.

HANNA
Why do you have flour?

JEB
Exactly. I don’t know, but there it is, in my cupboard. Flour. I’ve had it for years. I’ve had it through three apartment moves.

MR. MYLEE
Well, look; we still need to have our department head meeting…

(Cindy enters. She carries in her arms a variety of snacks and candies from a vending machine. She drops her food on the table, sits, and scoops all her food up, narrowly escaping Jeb sneaking some chips.)

CINDY
Okay, let’s do this. (She opens up a candy bar and starts chowing.)

MR. MYLEE
Well, like I was about to say, I appreciate the sacrifices everyone has been making during these difficult times…(The microwave dings)

HANNA
That’s me! (She goes to the microwave)

NATHAN
That smells food-like.

HANNA
It’s shrimp alfredo.

(She brings back a small tray)


CINDY (with mouth full)
Lean-fucking-cuisine? Lean-fucking-cuisine?

HANNA
I’m watching my figure, Cindy.

NATHAN
You already look like a toy pony head on a stick, dear.

JEB
Are you trying for invisible?

HANNA
Mr. Mylee-

MR. MYLEE
Let’s just get through this meeting, shall we?

CINDY
What are you eating? Where’s your food, Mylee?

MR. MYLEE
Don’t worry about me, Lubvitch. It’s taken care of. Let’s start with the processing department, Jeb. Several RFP’s came across my desk this week that I’m not too sure about.

(As Jeb speaks a server in a red jacket wheels in a cart. He very formally presents and serves Mr. Mylee an entrée and a glass of wine.)

JEB
Well, Mr. Mylee, in spite of the economy, it’s been a busy week. So, that’s good news. But it’s all been low-paying, low-hanging fruit. Basically, we’re taking any project that comes our way to stay busy and to keep the cash flow coming, even if it’s just a trickle. We’re hungry… to… work.

(When the server is finished, he hands Mr. Mylee a slip to sign. He then stands to the side and waits. Clearing his throat lightly. Mr. Mylee notices and slips the server twenty dollars. The server graciously accepts it and exits with the cart.)

JEB (continuing)
Is that fillet mignon from Chez Ami?

CINDY
Was that a twenty?

HANNA
I could buy four Lean Cuisines with a twenty.

NATHAN
I would have blown you for a twenty. Any of you.

MR. MYLEE
This clearly isn’t working. Apparently, our weekly meeting was more about you getting a free lunch off “the man” than it was about productively moving our company forward. How sad for you. How pathetic. (He rises, picks up his plate and glass) Our Friday department head meetings will from now on be at 3pm, well post-lunch and very pre-dinner. Finish your “feed” and meet in the conference room in three hours.

(He exits. They sit in silence for a moment, picking at their foodstuffs.)

HANNA
I’m hungry.

(Lights fade)




Hey!

It's been two weeks of posting sketches! Woo-hoo! I was a little panicky mid-week. I wrote a scene that I didn't post, and will not be posting without some revision. I know, I said to please regard these as first drafts, which is, of course, a plea for leniency! It was just too darn flat. If you do see it in its current state, you'll know I had a rough day.


I wrote fourteen scenes over fourteen days. Enough material, time-wise, for a one-act sketch revue. 50 more weeks to go! I appreciate all the support I've been getting here in the comment section and on Facebook. You are the wind beneath my wings. I type on the wind. And I have wings. It's really amazing I've been able to write anything, giving my disability.

Who won the Super Bowl? Bruce Springsteen, that's who!

4 comments:

Debruzicka said...

I have been terribly impressed by each one! Great job!

idjar said...

Yeah, it's been a great ride so far. I've had so much fun, I'd let you blow anyone other than me for $20.

Cassandra said...

I like how the kettle is acting like he's not a kettle and calling the others kettles when in fact he is the only kettle there and the others are at least trying to be brown baggers.

I had no idea how to say that without the word kettle. I hope the point came across as a constructive compliment on the strength of the turning point of your scene.

You're doing fantastic! I love the puppets on your previous scenes. Chet and the company he keeps are great characters!

Anonymous said...

Keep it up, Joe!!!

MJ