THE STRONG SILENT TYPE, a playlet by Brad Vance

Here’s another one! I sent a couple (Varney and Can I Borrow This) into a short play competition. Cost me $10 apiece to enter them but the prize is $1,000 – beats playing the lottery, eh? And when I have about 20-30 of these (I’ve got about 8 now) I’m going to put them out as an ebook because why not? The formatting all gets lost when I paste them in here but que sera sera, you’ll figure it out.

This is an “actor’s piece” in that Sam, the dude, has no lines. It’s a silent movie performance – have fun 🙂

THE STRONG SILENT TYPE by Brad Vance

CHARACTERS

JUDITH, 30ish, attractive and assertive professional

JEZEBEL, early 20s, attractive and assertive intern

SAM, mid 20s, attractive and… attractive.

WAITER, any age. 

TIME:

Lunch time.

PLACE:

A very swank restaurant.

JUDITH, JEZEBEL and SAM sit at the table regarding their menus.

JEZEBEL

I’ve never been here.

JUDITH

Really! Why, you must walk past it every day.

JEZEBEL

Of course, from the subway station to the office.

JUDITH

That’s right, you take the subway. Then really, there’s no reason you shouldn’t eat here more often! You must see the menu in the window all the time.

JEZEBEL

It’s a bit out of my price range.

JUDITH

Nonsense. I’ve always found that healthy food is just so worth it, you know?

JEZEBEL

I’m sure it is.

Jezebel looks at Sam, trying to get some sympathy for the obvious. Sam looks at her and smiles, but that’s it.

Judith smiles back and returns to the menu, looking for something she can fucking afford in this joint.

JUDITH

I just love the Cobb Salad here.

JEZEBEL

Really? I can’t believe you can eat that and keep your figure.

JUDITH

Oh, you know, just as a treat now and then. I have to keep my girlish figure for Sam.

Sam opens his mouth to protest that he doesn’t mind a few extra, but Jezebel cuts him off.

JEZEBEL

I’m sure he’d still love you with a few more pounds.

Sam opens his mouth to agree, but…

JUDITH

Well I wouldn’t want to find out the hard way, now would I, darling?

Sam opens his mouth to…

JUDITH

Now you, Jez, you’ve got such a trim figure! You’ve really toned up lately. I bet you could even fit into some of my old things.

JEZEBEL

Thank you. I’m on a new diet.

JUDITH

Really! Tell me all about it, I’m always looking at the magazines for new diets, aren’t I, Sam?

Sam opens his…

JEZEBEL

This is called the Top Ramen diet. It’s very popular with all the interns.

JUDITH

Is that so! I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it.

Sam looks at Jezebel; he gets it. Throws her a sympathetic look. She smiles back, thankful.

JUDITH

Now I’m always asking Sam to take these little quizzes. He’s such a dear…

(Grabs his hand tight, Sam flinches from the pain but smiles)

…but he does need a little work.

JEZEBEL

Is that so? Sam looks like the paragon of manhood to me.

She winks; Sam blushes and starts to say…

JUDITH

Well, you know how men are. Why just the other day I threw out all his cargo shorts!

(Extremely pained smile on Sam’s face)

I heard Tim Gunn say that men should stop, just stop, wearing them! You’re a grown man, Sam, it’s time to wear big boy pants!

Sam shrugs and…

JEZEBEL

Well that’s a shame.

JUDITH

Oh, why’s that?

JEZEBEL

I’ve seen Sam come by the office in his shorts, and I must say he has terrific legs. It’s a shame to cover them up.

Sam blushes, starts to…

JUDITH

Oh you noticed that, did you. In that case, all the more reason for him to hide them from prying eyes!

JEZEBEL

You best be careful, Sam, she’ll have you in a burka.

JUDITH

(forced laughter )

That’s not the worst idea I’ve heard.

Waiter appears.

WAITER

Are you ready to order?

Sam starts to…

JUDITH

I’ll have the Cobb, and he’ll have the salmon.

Sam doesn’t look happy, thinks about objecting. Decides it’s not worth it.

JEZEBEL

I’ll have the cheeseburger and garlic fries. Extra garlic, please.

Jezebel winks at Sam, makes a hand gesture, I’ll sneak you one. Sam smiles back, grateful.

JUDITH

Jez, you really shouldn’t! We have a design meeting at 3 and you’ll be simply catatonic.

JEZEBEL

Oh, I’ll have a Diet Coke or two out of the fridge when we get back.

(Murmurs)

And the burger is “only” fifteen dollars.

JUDITH

Oh, didn’t you hear? We got rid of the free sodas.

JEZEBEL

What?

JUDITH

We decided that they’re such a health hazard to our employees, it just made sense to stop buying them. We did put a filter on the tap water, though. Drinkie, drinkie! So good for you. And of course I can’t stop you from having one with lunch!

JEZEBEL

That’s true, but they’re five bucks here.

Jezebel looks to Sam for sympathy. He gives it to her.

JUDITH

That must be the new soda tax at work! Such a good idea.

Jezebel lets her foot graze Sam’s leg. Sam starts.

JUDITH

Why Sam, whatever’s the matter with you!

Sam starts to excuse himself…

JUDITH

You’re drinking coffee!

(Playfully slaps him. He does not like it.)

You terrible man, you know you can’t sleep when you have coffee after noon.

Jezebel slips off her shoe and slips her toes up Sam’s pants. Sam’s eyes widen but this time he doesn’t flinch. Jezebel smiles at him.

He reaches for his coffee, then stops, Judith’s eyes on him. He reaches for his water instead.

Judith lets her toes linger on his skin. He goes for his coffee.

JUDITH

Sam…

Sam glares at her. She’s startled.

JEZEBEL

I guess you’ll have to work on fixing that, too.

JUDITH

I certainly will!

Jezebel looks at Sam, a look that says, really?

JUDITH

Sam loves it when I…

SAM

(clears his throat.)

The sound is so startling that nobody speaks.

JUDITH

Well. I think I need to powder my nose!

(She stands and waits for Jezebel to join her.)

JEZEBEL

Okay. We’ll be right here.

JUDITH.

Okay then. Hmm. Right. Okay.

(She leaves.)

Jezebel takes Sam’s hand. Sam opens…

JEZEBEL

You know, I really like the strong silent type.

SAM

(sighs…)

BLACKOUT

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