On loan

(A single act play)


SCENE: Eddy races into the local soda shop, looks around, spots Bill in the rear booth with Maggie. He runs over and pulls Bill out of the booth.


EDDY: I gotta talk to you a second Ė alone. (He pulls on Billís sleeve.)


BILL: (Sighs and looks back at Maggie)

††††††††††† Excuse me a moment, Iíll be right back.

††††††††††† (Eddy and Bill walk towards the rear of the room where an old out of date telephone booth still stands, as vacant and pointless as a rotted tooth)

††††††††††† All right, clown.

††††††††††† What is it you need to borrow from me now?


EDDY:† What makes you think I want to borrow anything?


BILL: † You always do. Last week it was my tux. The week before it was my cellular phone. The week before that you even borrowed my toothbrush.


EDDY: Okay, so I do borrow stuff. But you always get it back, donít you?


BILL: † After a fashion, sometimes worse for wear.

††††††††††† What do you want this week? My front teeth.


EDDY: †I need to borrow your car.


BILL: † No way! I like my car without dents.

††††††††††† And even if I didnít need it to take Maggie home, youíd be the last person I give it to,


EDDY: †But it would only be for a couple of hours.


BILL: † Not for a couple of second, even if your life depended on it.


EDDY: †It does. Sort of. Mary thinks I have a car and wants me to take her for ride. You know how I feel about her, how long Iíve been aching to take her out, and if I donít take her out now, I may never get the chance again.


BILL:† Why donít you rent a car?


EDDY:† I donít have much money, Bill. Besides, you know what kinds of wrecks you get when you rent cheap?


BILL: Yeah, pretty much the kind Iíll get back if I give you my keys. Do you remember what you did to my tux?


EDDY:† The ink wasnít my fault. The waiter dumped it on me.


BILL: And the cellular phone? I had to change my network because I couldnít stop all of the sex line call backs I was getting.


EDDY:† I misdialed a number, can I help that?


BILL: † Misdialed 187 times?

††††††††††† And then there was my tooth brush. I got that back looking as if you had cleaned a latrine with it.


EDDY: †I told you I needed it for my shoes.


BILL:† Speaking of shoes, what happened to the pair I lent you last month?


EDDY: (looks down at his feet and the ragged survivors of a nuclear holocaust, one missing laces, the other torn at the toe)

††††††††††† I had a little accident. I thought they were waterproof and they were.


MAGGIE: (calling from the booth) Bill? Are you coming back?


BILL (To Maggie) Iíll be there in a minute, sweet heart.


EDDY:† What about the car?


BILL: No way.


MAGGIE (Coming up to them) What does he want the car for?


BILL: † To impress Mary. She and he want to go for a ride.


MAGGIE:† So why donít you lend it to him.


BILL:† For a number of reasons, least of which is that we might need it.


MAGGIE: We wonít need it if we go to a movie. And you know what we like to do in the dark of the movie theater?

††††††††††† (Maggieís sharp red fingernails walk along his shoulder until she touches his ear with the tip of her forefinger)

††††††††††† Lend him the car. We wonít need it for a few hours.


BILL: † But Maggie, you donít understandÖ


MAGGIE: You donít want to be with me in the theater, alone, in the dark?

††††††††††† (she pouts)


BILL: All right, Iíll lend him the car. Here!

††††††††††† (He hands the keys to Eddy)

††††††††††† But try and have it back in one piece.


EDDY:† No problem, Bill

††††††††††† (He rushes out leaving Bill to stare after him)


MAGGIE: So whatís wrong now?


BILL:† I have a feeling I just handed a loaded gun to a madman.

††††††††††† I hope you donít mind walking home after the movieís over.


MAGGIE:† You donít think Eddy back in time?


BILL:† Oh, heíll be back. But heíll probably be in an ambulance.


MAGGIE: You worry too much. Come along


(As they walk towards the door, screeching brakes followed by a crash sounds Ė the stage goes black).



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