Written by Joe Janes
5 of 365
Don – 40s
Maureen – 40s
Brian – 30s
Stephanie – 30s
Jake – 20s
Cara – 20s
VO - female
(Lights up on three couples seated in pairs around the stage. Instead of facing one another, they face out, although in the “reality” of the scene, they are seated directly across from one another. Don is seated next to Cara, Brian is seated next to Stephanie, and Jake is seated next to Maureen. They all wear nametags.)
VOGood evening and welcome, singles. (No response) I said, welcome, singles! (Couples start applauding; Jake and Cara actually provide enthusiastic hooting noises) Welcome to Chi-Town Speed Daters. First, let’s make sure everyone is in their right age group. On the main floor we have people in the 20s. On the mezzanine, we have people in their 30s and in the back of the balcony we have everyone over 40. If you are not in the right age category, please move to the right one now. (The couples look around.) I repeat; if you are not in the appropriate age category, please move…now, lady. (Maureen gets up, quickly scribbles her number on a cocktail napkin and hands it to Jake with a pantomimed “call me.” She walks over to Don and Cara and “thumbs” Cara to take a hike. Don quickly hands Cara a business card. Cara takes her place next to Jake as Maureen sits down next to Don with Maureen and Don looking a bit unhappy about it.) Thank you. You now have two minutes to get to know the person sitting across from you. Go (a loud air horn blows, everyone jumps a bit from being startled).
(When the different couples speak, stage lights highlight their area of the stage.)
JAKESo, Cara. You like to party?
CARAOMG, I love to party.
BRIANSo, you look nice.
STEPHANIELet’s cut through the crap here, Brian. What do you do for a living?
MAUREENI’ve had two divorces.
DONHey, me, too. You weren’t one of them, were you? (He laughs. She doesn’t.)
CARAI went to the University of Illinois. Go Illini! Woo! My degree’s in communications.
JAKEMe, too. I went to DePaul.
STEPHANIEI want three children.
BRIANMe, too. I love kids.
STEPHANIECan you afford them?
STEPHANIEKids are expensive. Can you afford one, let alone three?
BRIANI have a job… and a dog…?
DONI hate getting older, don’t you?
MAUREENThe bitch of it is, I don’t feel any older, upstairs. It’s the body that occasionally needs patchwork.
DONI know exactly what you mean.
MAUREENMy feet hurt more than they ever have. You can’t tell. I don’t think you can tell. My high heels have gel inserts.
DONMe, too. In my loafers. Dr. Scholl should be the Surgeon General. So many little aches and pains and you never know which ones going to turn out to be cancer. Am I right?
JAKEI don’t read books.
CARAI hate books!
DONI did something the other day I thought I would never, ever do. I bought a tube of Preparation H. I know! I was embarrassed. I haven’t felt like that in a drug store since I bought condoms as a teenager. And Preparation H? It’s exactly what you think it is and you put it on exactly the way you think you would. (He shudders)
MAUREENI use it under my eyes. (He looks at her oddly)
BRIANHe’s a doctor. Doctor Who. I watch it because I like it…?
STEPHANIEIs it about oriental medicine?
DonI peed blood once. It was like I was menstruating. Now, I know what you women go through.
STEPHANIEThe last guy I dated sent me a picture of his penis – on my cell phone! One – who does that? And two – a flaccid penis?
BRIANMaybe his penis was sad.
CARAMy hobbies are partying, working out and wearing thongs.
DONIt’s not that I pee a lot; it’s just that I feel like I have to pee a lot.
STEPHANIEI just don’t want another freeloader. If I wanted that, I’d date a hobo.
CARAI can’t believe I’m here.
JAKEI can’t believe you’re here, either. You’re hot.
BRIANI can’t believe I’m here.
(Stephanie sighs and looks at her cell phone)
MAUREENI can’t believe I’m here.
DONI know exactly how you feel.
MAUREENDon, I’m really not interested in getting a third divorce.
DONStill paying for my last two.
MAUREENI don’t expect to meet “the one” here.
DONIt would be nice, though, wouldn’t it?
MAUREENI’ll settle for a friend.
DONThat would be nice, too.
CARAHey, Jake, let’s bail on these losers and go do shots at the bar.
(They exit. Lights up on Brian and Stephanie sitting in silence, glowering. Loud air horn blares, again, and everyone is startled.)
VOAll right, singles. Grab your stuff. It’s time to move on.