Friday, November 20, 2009

Week 44, Day 306 - "Grand Opening"

“Grand Opening”

Written by Joe Janes

11/20/09

306 of 365

CAST:

Grace, 40s

Cheryl, 40s

George, 40s

(Lights up on Grace folding organizing dry-cleaned clothes on a mechanical rack near the front of her store. Cheryl enters. Grace doesn’t notice. Cheryl crosses her arms. Cheryl saunters up to the desk and rings the desk bell. It startles Grace.)

GRACE

Oh, hi. You scared me. I didn’t see you there.

CHERYL

Uh-hunh.

GRACE

Do you need anything dry cleaned?

CHERYL

Got a question for you, Grace’s Laundromat and Dry Cleaners. Are you Grace?

GRACE

Yes, I am.

CHERYL

Good to know, good to know.

GRACE

Was that the only question?

CHERYL

Nope. Got another one for you? How long have you been in business?

GRACE

Oh, uh, let’s see. A little over a year. Almost two. I started as just a laundromat and added dry cleaning a year ago.

CHERYL

A little over a year. Interesting. Let me do you a favor.

(Cheryl exits and walks over to the store window and takes down a sign that says “Grand Opening” and hands it to Grace.)

CHERYL (continuing)

You’re welcome.

GRACE

You can’t do that.

CHERYL

That sign says “Grand Opening.” You opened over a year ago. Guess what? No more grand opening. You opened. Not grand anymore.

GRACE

I don’t care. It’s my sign and I’ll put it up if I want.

CHERYL

I walk past that thing every day. It’s like a daily slap in the face. I wonder what the Better Business Bureau would say about your “grand opening.”

GRACE

Look, you’re not even a customer. Why should I care what you think?

CHERYL

Maybe I would be a customer if I felt I could trust you based on your lying signs. How can I trust you to clean a pants suit if I can’t trust you to tell the truth? How do I even know you dry clean? Maybe you just air stuff out on a clothesline and Febreez the crap out of it.

GRACE

I do good work. People are happy with the service I provide. I take care of my customers. I even have specials.

CHERYL

Oh, don’t get me started on your specials. (She takes down another sign from the window.) This says “Special! Two Blouses or Shirts for the Price of One.”

GRACE (taking the sign)

Sounds like a special to me.

CHERYL

Except you never take that friggin’ sign down. If you always offer a 2-4-1 special, guess what? It ain’t special. It’s ordinary. It’s the price.

GRACE

You don’t come in here and tell me how to run my store.

CHERYL

Really? Really? That’s interesting, because I think I have every right to do that. Remember that dry cleaners that was one the corner?

GRACE

Was that yours?

CHERYL

Yep. Cheryl’s Just Dry Cleaning. I’m Cheryl. When you were just a laundromat, I didn’t mind. I was just a dry cleaners. Business started tapering off when you had your second grand opening for the new dry cleaning. Not unusual. Figured people would come back. Then you started running your “special.” I had a few devoted regulars stick it out, but it wasn’t enough. Had to close shop, Grace. So, you can understand how-

GRACE

I was just trying to provide a service for my customers. All their cleaning needs in one stop.

(George enters carrying a wad of clothes in his hands.)

GEORGE

Hello, Cheryl. Grace.

GRACE

Hi, George. Let me take those for you.

(She takes his clothes and goes behind the counter and starts working his order.)

CHERYL

Your cable knit sweater with the autumn leaves. I remember that sweater.

GEORGE

Yep.

CHERYL

You bought it to wear at your first Thanksgiving with your girlfriend’s family. How is Linda?

GEORGE

Good. We got married last summer.

CHERYL

Oh. I didn’t know. Congratulations.

GRACE

It was a lovely ceremony.

CHERYL (To Grace)

Treat it well. It’s a special sweater.

GRACE

I treat all of George’s clothes with special care. Whether it’s his sweater or his silk boxers.

CHERYL

Silk boxers?

GEORGE

Linda likes them. I don’t think you should be here, Cheryl. I’m with Grace’s Laundromat and Dry Cleaning. I’ve moved on. So should you.

(Cheryl starts to tear up. She starts to leave. Just as she reaches the door-)

GEORGE (continuing)

Cheryl. (She stops, but doesn’t turn.) I’m sorry things didn’t work out. My sweater was at its best with you. (He mouths “sorry” to Grace who shrugs.)

CHERYL

Enjoy Grace’s grand opening.

(Cheryl starts to cry and runs out.)

GRACE

Sorry about that, George.

GEORGE

I feel dirty.

GRACE

I can help you with that.

(Lights fade.)

1 comment:

Aly said...

"Joe Janes steals ideas!"- just kidding, I gave you this one, and love it! Nice job fleshing it out. Sadly I wish it weren't so true to life. Poor Cheryl, and there should be a time limit on grand openings.