Excerpt from the short play I’m writing “This is your last shift”. (rough draft.)
“This is Your Last Shift I Promise” Act 1 Scene or page 6-7-8-9
For a brief intro to this whole thing without spoiling the first few pages: It’s a sandwhich shop, set in purgatory. There’s one chair and one table, and only serves tuna and ham. I work at subway, it’s pretty much purgatory. So, within this play, I wanted to put surreal elements with real conversation. Sorry for using the name Eli, mainly because I’m incompetent with names.. If you dig this tell me about it, Ill email you what ever else I have. EMAIL ME, writers write, send me your stuff, Id love to read it as well.
DARRYL: Clue was a good movie.
ELI: I liked Clueless. I thought Brittany Murphy was hot in it. And the plot, great! Who’da thought she’d get with her step brother? It wasn’t even weird, it just made sense.
DARRYL: Out of all the people to hire they hired you.
ELI: Upper management said they needed someone with spice.
DARRYL: Apparently that’s all they needed. You’re like a salt shaker with no pepper.
ELI: Well, at-least I’m not afraid of a hooded landlord with a bad back and a “tough” attitude.
DARRYL: Just shut up and clean the glass. Do something! Make yourself useful! PRETEND TO WORK!
ELI: Fine you’re the boss. (Eli sweeps the clean room.)
ELI: You know this place is spotless right.
DARRYL: Just clean it okay? Or pretend you’re cleaning it. Or something. I gotta use the pisser, watch the store when I’m gone.
(DARRYL goes to the back of the set aka restroom and a CUSTOMER walks in. Half of the CUSTOMERs face is in an upright smile, the other half is a frown. His clothes are that of a black and white clown. ELI quits sweeping and quickly gets behind the counter.)
JUNIOR: My name is JUNIOR! I’m here for one of those delicious ham sandwiches I’ve heard so much about! (all of this is said with the side of the face that’s smiling.)
JUNIOR: (his face turns to the frown.) Please.. Kill me.
ELI: Uh well, I can indeed make you one of those delicious sandwiches!
[This is said as cheerfully as possible.]
JUNIOR (turns with the other side of his face): That sounds swell, just onion. I love onions. (face turns.) I hate onions.
ELI: Oh okay..Well, here are some onions on it for you, I put it on one side in case you have a change of face.
JUNIOR: Sounds swell, I’ll spread them out when I sit down (frown face) No you won’t you bastard!.(Happy face turn) Hey you guys aren’t looking for help around here are you?
(DARRYL walks back out.)
DARRYL: No. We aren’t.
JUNIOR (face frowned) WHY NOT?
DARRYL: Unfortunately, we’re overstaffed. I’m sorry. We’re always taking applications.
JUNIOR (both faces facing DARRYL) Well, I suppose Ill take an application then.
ELI: Darryl! we’re out of applications. (As Eli is checking the back counter.)
DARRYL: Take this paper and fill out everything you’ve done and hand it back in. You can sit right there (points to chair.) and give it to me when you’re done.
ELI: Can we do that?
DARRYL: Yes, I’m running this place, I can do what I want.
(JUNIOR gets his sub and moves to the one seat in the restaurant. He smiles and says “thank you kind sir.” There’s an awkward silence before ELI pipes.)
ELI: So DARRYL, what’s with all these weirdies coming in. I’m not used to these types of people coming in. It’s usually fat folks or yuppies. What’s with the trailer trash and circus freaks. (ELI yells this part.) No offense to you JUNIOR!
JUNIOR: none taken!
DARRYL: I suppose we’re all freaks or trash in someway ELI. It’s not right for us to judge anyone on how they like to tirade around.
JUNIOR: Is that why you wear the same thing everyday to work?
DARRYL: I wear the same thing to work, because these colors are positive colors. They make me look like a positive employee. Blue, I remember in the old days, they called us Blue collar boys.
ELI: Isn’t that some horrible redneck comedy tour?
DARRYL: Listen, if the company was built on irony like your generations built on; we’d be selling ourselves and not the sandwhiches. Those damn redneck comedians had to ruin blue collars and make us all seem like idiots. Back in the early days, you worked construction, you made a meager living, you chopped down your own tree for Christmas. Now all you see is corporate t-shirts with stupid hats. Atleast we still wear the cone hats. That’s class for you, old fashion mom and pop class. Unlike these monster nuclear giant machine gun fast food places they got now.
ELI: But isn’t that what you’re doing? Selling yourself to the Customer? Making him think you’re a positive person? And I didn’t think you could find baby blue pants in your size, but you’ve amazingly done it.
DARRYL: There pale blue damn it! And Making someone think you’re a positive person is just as good as being positive. We all have our mask.
ELI: Well I must be naked then.
DARRYL: The naked tend to be the most vulnerable.
ELI: Only around sharp objects.
DARRYL: You’re going to figure out that this world is filled full of sharp objects. Not only literal.
ELI: You say some pretty ridiculous things Darryl.
DARRYL: The young is wasted on the ignorant.
(he struggles to say the second line.)
ELI: The old is wasted on….Fuck I got nothing. Total blank on that one.
DARRYL: Haha, you’re gonna do alright kid.
(JUNIOR pops up from the one chair and one table.)
JUNIOR: I’m done! I’m done! (He brings the paper to DARRYL)
DARRYL: Says here that your last job fired you for sporadic work ethic. Would you say you’re a sporadic worker?
JUNIOR: Only on my days off! (his face turns to a frown.) My work ethic was sporadic because I have a problem.
DARRYL: Oh yeah what’s that problem. (DARRYL smiling, in knowing what the problem actually is.)
JUNIOR: It’s written all over our face. (said seriously.)
DARRYL: If I hire you can I pay the one with the good work attitude.
JUNIOR: We’re a package deal.
DARRYL: We couldn’t paint that frown upside down? (says this with a snide.)
JUNIOR (face cocked to the frown.) This (points to his face.) This..This is the problem. (he turns his face again.) this is the solution. You can’t have a math problem solve itself.
DARRYL: You can’t have a math problem work functionally without the right numbers either, one and 2 just don’t make 1. Unless one is the negative number, so I kind’ve see what you’re saying, but it’s still a somewhat vague reference. My point is I’d getting one of you motherfuckers moping around and the other would be way to cheery to be around. I can Barely deal with Eli over there. (Eli is just smiling at the audience.). I’ll tell you what, you’re first in line if I quit, if Eli quits, well..I can get another replacement for him. You though, you got some weird thing I like/hate about you. (Eli stops and looks over.)
ELI: Does that mean I won’t be supervising when you leave?
DARRYL: Who you gonna supervise? They supervise themselves.
Eli: Yeah but what if one gets out of hand?
DARRYL: I dont know Eli, that’s a tough one. Can a full grown man and half a man, take down a man that’s somehow “Out of hand” as you call it. You decide that one for me.
Eli: I’ve seen batman, I know how this works. Pretty soon, Ill see him flipping a quarter. (Eli takes a quarter out of his pocket and flips it. Junior catches it and says ”tails”)
JUNIOR: Just give us a call. (he says this with his face in full view now full view, his happy side looking somewhat defeated. A forced smile if you will. ) I need a job.. (face turns back with a frown and a smirk.) Rope is another option I suppose.
(Junior walks out of the set through the audience with a completely sad face. An “Say aww.” is written and drawn by Eli real quickly with drawn under it. as he makes his way out of the theatre, he ask if anyone needs a clown for their kids birthday; because he knows some good rope tricks. Darryl then holds up a sign that says, “Any single bipolars in the house?)
DARRYL: You know, it’s tough to think I’ve been doing this for so long and I got nothing to show for it.
ELI: Yeah. That does suck DARRYL. (this is said in a sarcastic tone.)
DARRYL: You know sometimes I feel like I’m Sisyphus. Just moving the bread side to side filling it full of the same ingredients. Seeing the same people come in and out.
ELI: I think someone just needs a hot girl to walk in to cheer you up!
(This is a vital monologue and needs to be said in a Humphrey Bogart like way. Like it’s his last day on earth.)
DARRYL: It would take a thousand beautiful women, with a thousand matches and gallons of gas to make this place any more tolerable for me.
(Hope everyone is doing well with their finals, good luck!)-Alex M