Bumbershoot – The Plays of Jeffrey James Ircink

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“Stan’s Addiction”

The time is the future. The place is New York City. And Stan Ranik is the last nicotine smoker on planet Earth.

cropped American Theatre - SA ad

Earth of the future is a planet with an increased intolerance for cigarette smoking. The world’s governments have banned together to offer large cash bounties to individuals who quit smoking cigarettes and related products (i.e. cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, etc.). These operations are carried out exclusively by the world government-sponsored agency, SPONGE (Council for Society’s Prohibition and Obliteration of Nicotine through Growth in Efficient Living), headed up by “The Chairman”. SPONGE’s rigorous campaign to wipe out nicotine worldwide hinges on, of course, the cash bounty, but also a tiny sensor chip planted into the arm of the ex-smoker to monitor any nicotine intake. Any breach in the sensor chip security and the perpetrator must return the cash bounty – in full – and is sent to a rehab clinic where he or she is forced to kick their nicotine habit forever.

Whether it’s his buddies – ex-smokers Patrick and Stu – or The Chairman, everyone wants Stan to kick the habit. Everyone except Stan. Perhaps a private tête-à-tête with The Chairman will change the last smoker’s mind. Or will it?
Full-length, dark comedy (4M, 1W, 5 misc. roles doublecast)

*  Premiere stage reading at the Urban Theater Project of Iowa in May 2005.
*  Published by Heuer Publishing Co. in August 2006.
*  Featured full-length play in an evening of staged readings at The Stray Dawg Theatre Company in Belfast, Ireland, April 2006.
*  Reading at Manhattan Theatre Source/Bleeker Street Irregulars Theatre Company, Greenwich Village, New York City, May 2007.
*  WORLD PREMIERE – College Avenue Players, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, March 7-10, 2014

“You have written a strong play with a simple, but imaginative concept…the world you have created is challenging and gripping and the characters are beautifully depicted…an engaging play with a captivating premise.” – Jessica Corn, Trinity Repertory Company, Providence, RI

“It’s very funny, the dialogue has a great natural feel and good pace. I enjoyed reading it.” – Jenny Larson, Literary Manager Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Austin, TX

“Brilliant! I love the sleezy SPONGE spokeswoman concept – the temptress. Great addition…The premise is fascinating.” – Geri Albrecht, Editor-in-Chief/Heuer Publishing

“I love ‘Stan’s Addiction’. The characters are interesting and funny, the humor is smart, the dialogue is rhythmic and engaging, and the subject matter is immediately relevant without dating itself out of future productions…What’s more, by treating the issue with humor, he is inviting the audience to participate in the debate in a non-threatening and terrifically accessible way.” – Leslie Charipar, Artistic Director/Urban Theater Project of Iowa

“The smoking thing is very topical at the minute…There’s a real Big Brother aspect to it.” – Sean Paul O’Rawe, director/Stray Dawg Theatre, Belfast, Ireland

For copies of this play and royalty information, contact HEUER PUBLISHING CO.

STAN’S ADDICTION

A Play in Two Acts
by
Jeffrey James Ircink

© Copyright 2004, Jeffrey James Ircink
LC: Pau3-041-776
6405 blossom ct.
greendale, wi 53129
c: (262) 806-2808
jeffbumbershoot43@gmail.com
http://www.jeffircink.blogspot.com
Published by: Heuer Publishing LLC
1-800-950-7529
http://www.hitplays.com
May 2007

Cast of Characters

STAN RANIK: 36, the last smoker on the planet; self-assured, charming and passionate; dry, sarcastic sense of humor; works in sales; regularly meets with friends, PATRICK and STU, for coffee at a local café; the most “normal” of the three.

PATRICK: 37, STAN’S friend, has known STAN for twenty years, ex-smoker, opinionated, very aggressive personality – pushy and in-your-face; uses profanity when he gets excited or angry, somewhat eccentric.

STU: 41, STAN’S friend, ex-smoker; more eccentric than PATRICK, yet comes across seemingly normal; very kind and caring; passive and more of a follower while in the company of others.

AUBREY SMITH: 34, STAN’S girlfriend, lingerie/swimsuit model turned hand model – confident and independent but with a hidden vulnerability, can appear standoffish at first-glance; witty, a woman who can take care of herself.

THE CHAIRMAN: 60, head of SPONGE, a gentleman – charismatic, ability to get down to anyone’s level, conniving, arrogant and self-righteous; he will do anything to further his agenda.

VOICES #1 – #4: Double cast from THE CHAIRMAN, STU, PATRICK and AUBREY. They wear see-thru masks to cover their identity. They are motionless, but the articulation in their voices is animated and real.

WAITER: Non-speaking role.

ANNOUNCER (VO): A female voice heard on a loudspeaker. Proper British accent. She is a tool of propaganda for SPONGE. Calming, soothing, inviting and sexy with a hint of playfulness. Should be voiced by AUBREY – as it turns out, they are one in the same.

SCENE:
New York City.

TIME:
The future.

Act I

scene i Monday morning. The café.
scene ii Thursday evening. The grocery store.
scene iii Monday morning. The café.
scene iv Wednesday evening. Aubrey’s home.
scene v Thursday evening. One week later. CO-Op meeting.

Act II

scene i Friday morning. The Chairman’s office.
scene ii Friday. Late afternoon. The Chairman’s office.
scene iii Thursday morning. One month later. The café.

Author’s notes:
Though this play concerns itself with the last smoker on the planet, the lack of smoking in any of the scenes is not without cause – for two reasons. First, the concept of a play about a smoker you don’t see smoke is intriguing. Secondly, as STAN is the only smoker in the world, the lack of smoking in all scenes reflects the reality of life on Earth in the future.

Keeping this in mind, I have used a staging technique to better illustrate the world STAN RANIK lives in and, with that, a clarification of the terms I am using is essential. “Set” and “scene” will be used interchangeably. As the LIGHTS FADE UP at the beginning of each scene, the actors will be in place – “in character”…minus STAN, who will be strategically placed at various points “on stage” having a cigarette – but outside the actual “set”/”scene” (“set” being the technical term and “scene” being the theatrical term). As the LIGHTS continue to FADE UP, STAN finishes his cigarette and whatever he is doing as noted in the stage directions, and makes his way to his starting position of that particular scene. By the time the lights reach their maximum level, STAN will be in place and the scene will begin.

This device helps to remind the audience that STAN is, in fact, the last smoker and reinforces the loneliness he feels in a world where he is ostracized for being a smoker.

ACT I, SCENE I

(Monday morning. The café. The only light comes from the burning end of cigarette off-stage. SPOTLIGHT FADES UP to reveal STAN RANIK standing on-stage, but out of the scene, smoking a cigarette. A 2nd set of LIGHTS FADE UP to reveal PATRICK and STU, who are sitting at an outdoor café having coffee. The actors are “in character” – each sucking on a Tootsie Roll Pop® and reading a newspaper. The ANNOUNCER’S voice is heard over a loudspeaker as STAN finishes his cigarette, and makes his way to his starting position.)

ANNOUNCER
“Good morning, Humanity. Kunegunda (PRONOUNCED, “COON-E-GOONDA”), here – the voice of SPONGE. Well, the count is now at two. Only two Citizens left until planet Earth is smoke-free. We’ve made great strides here at SPONGE in our efforts to reinvigorate our world for you, your children and future generations.

And for you last two smokers out there – isn’t it time you united with the rest of the world in our quest for a better Planet Earth? We’re waiting for you.”

(As lights reach their maximum level, STAN is in place with PATRICK and STU, and the scene begins.)

STU
(His head in the paper.)
Paper says it’s supposed to be hot the rest of the week into next week.

PATRICK
(His head in the paper, fiddling with a pencil. Matter-of-factly.)
Hard work – being a weatherman. Stick your head out the window and say, ‘it’s hot’, ‘it’s cold’, ‘it’s raining’, ‘it’s snowing’. Stick your head out the window every ten minutes for your updates, and there you go – you’re a weatherman.

STU
I think there’s a little more to it then that, Patrick.

PATRICK
(Looks up from his paper.)
Well…I suppose there is that whole “lingo” thing.

STU
(Beat)
Yeh – the lingo thing.

PATRICK
You have to have a firm grasp of the lingo – jargon, vernacular – however you wanna refer to it. That’s the gist of what being a weatherman’s all about.

STU
Yep.

PATRICK
It’s certainly not about the weather…or your knowledge of the weather, for that matter. It’s all about the lingo.

STU
I’m aware of the lingo, Patrick.

PATRICK
Are you?
(Beat)
Nor’eastern.

STU
I don’t wanna get into this with you right now.

PATRICK
Nor’eastern.

STU
(Thinking.)
High pressure ridge.

PATRICK
You’re kidding me, right?

STU
You have a problem with “high pressure ridge”?

PATRICK
My kid can do better than that.

STU
Well if you think you – or your kid – can do better why don’t you both become weathermen?

PATRICK
‘Cause I don’t wanna become a weatherman, Stu. And Christopher’s only five – he wants to become a fireman.
(Thinking.)
Dew Point.

STU
Greenhouse effect.

PATRICK
Ozone layer.

STU
(Beat)
Rogue clouds.

PATRICK
Doppler radar.

STU
Coastal eddy.
(To STAN.)
That’s my personal favorite.

PATRICK
Squall line.

STU
(Long pause.)
Chilblain.

PATRICK
(Beat)
What the fuck is a chilblain?

STU
It’s an old Middle English term meaning, “cold swelling”. It refers to the distress of the skin due to extreme cold.

PATRICK
“Old Middle English”?

STU
It makes me more marketable.

PATRICK
Marketable for what?

STU
If I ever decide to go into weather forecasting.

PATRICK
You mean meteorology?

STU
No-o…that sounds too complicated. Weather forecasting is what I’m interested in.

PATRICK
Good. So now you can forecast the weather from Sherwood Forest.

STU
It’d be easy enough. The weather in the British Isles is at a constant – a constant rain, a constant fog and a constant overcast.

PATRICK
And a constant blah, bla-blah, bla-blah. Don’t forget chilblain.

STU
That’s more of the effect of the weather, not a weather condition.

PATRICK
Right. Any other geographic Eden’s you fancy?

STU
(Thinking.)
Australia. Nepal would be interesting.

PATRICK
Nepal. And when were you planning to delve into this new career?

STU
I’m not sure. I’m simply preparing myself in case I decide to venture into that foray.

PATRICK
Like your foray into the ham radio business?

(STU pulls a small pamphlet from his pant pocket and throws it on the table.)

STU
I have never lost my interest in the ham radio business, thank you!

PATRICK
(Reading from the pamphlet.)
The Wonderful World of Ham Radio: Your Guide to the Fascinating Ways Hams Communicate©. My mistake.

(Glancing away from his newspaper, STAN throws a couple of stir straws at PATRICK and STU.)

STAN
Hey…Radio Free U.S. calling Friar Tuck and Little John. Enough with the weather bullshit, alright? I’m trying to read.

PATRICK
You made the paper again, Stan.

STAN
I saw. I wish they’d give me a more interesting moniker. “Sales executive from the U.S.” – it’s got no punch.

PATRICK
You’re being particular for someone who appreciates anonymity, aren’t you?

STU
Did they up the smoking bounty again?

PATRICK
Yeh, by 5%. That’s not all. That retired tobacco executive in Virginia – he dropped out. That leaves just two: you and that performance artist in Paris.
(Beat)
God, that is one, fucking ugly broad.
(Seeing that STAN’S confused.)
That’s the woman I’m always telling you looks like a guy.
(Beat)
You don’t remember.

STAN
I remember. I always thought “the guy” and “the broad” were two different people. So what do you hate – her or her act?

PATRICK
Both.

STU
For someone who hates her so much, you talk about her a lot.

PATRICK
I didn’t say I found her sexually unappealing.

STU
(To STAN.)
That’s because she performs in the nude.

STAN
You mean even though you find her repulsive you’d sleep with her?

PATRICK
(Without hesitation.)
Ah-h…yeh.
(Beat)
Look, I know she’s one of the last two smokers in the world. Big deal. Stan here’s one of the last two smokers in the world and the world could give two shits about him. No offense, Stan. I’m just saying that this chick – Eponine or Marie Antoinette or whatever the fuck her name is – has become something of a celebrity and I think it’s a crock because she’s an uppity, little bitch whose “act” sucks – and she looks like a guy.

STAN
Have you ever thought that perhaps it’s the ugly, French woman’s art that draws people to her?

PATRICK
Have you seen her act, Stan? She is her art.

STAN
Have you ever seen her act?

PATRICK
No, but I read about it in Playboy™.

STAN
(To STU.)
Did you tell him Playboy had text or did he figure that out on his own?

PATRICK
(Ignoring STAN.)
She pours Elmer’s™ glue all over herself, asks the audience to throw crap they find in their purses and pockets on stage and then rolls around in it. What the hell is that? And when she’s finished, she prances around the audience
like some fucking coked up Twyla Tharp, coercing people
into sticking dollar bills on her body.

STU
(Overlapping)
I think –

PATRICK
(Overlapping)
She’s quoted in all these pretentious art-house publications about how she suffers for her art and that she wouldn’t have to go through all this – whatever “this” is – if the world would just “get it”. Get what? That she’s a fuck’in dipshit? I got that!

STAN
You curse a lot when you get angry.

PATRICK
What about it?

STAN
Nothing. It just struck me, that’s all.

PATRICK
I don’t get angry that often – except when I read about that fucking French bitch.
(Beat)
All I’m saying is I don’t get all the hoo-ha, that’s all.

STAN
I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. The rest of the world gets its kicks out of seeing people like her plucked from
obscurity and thrown into the world of celebrity.
(To STU.)
Or the rest of the world just wants to bang her like Patrick.

STU
I think her art is a metaphor for how we need to take stock of our lives and shed all the meaningless minutia that weighs us down.
(Beat)
That’s just my opinion.

PATRICK
See – she’s already got Stewart sucked into her little scam.

STU
I didn’t get sucked in. I’m just a little more open-minded than you are, that’s all.

STAN
Atta boy, Stewart – always the diplomatic one.

STU
Hey-y…you’re the last man standing, Stan! I mean, the last MAN standing. As opposed to the very last person –

PATRICK
We know what you mean, Stu.

STU
Tobacco executive.
(Beat)
You couldn’t script that any better. I always thought it funny when that guy starting making the newspapers.

PATRICK
Everyone thought it was funny, Stu – he was a tobacco executive. So how long you figure on holding out, Stan?

STAN
Patrick, you ask me that every time someone bites on the government’s smoking incentive. I’m not “holding out”. I’m choosing not to participate.

PATRICK
Well how long you gonna “choose not to participate”?

STU
Yeh…you got some sort of plan or something?

PATRICK
You gotta have a plan.

STAN
I don’t gotta have anything.

PATRICK
No, you don’t. But how long do you think the government’s gonna sit around and watch you make a mockery of it’s program to improve the quality of life on earth? Stan, it’s not like we’re talking Greenpeace or PETA, here. You’re flaunting this whole smoking thing right in the U.S. government’s face. The very top.

STU
The world government’s face.

PATRICK
Yes. The United Nations’ face. That’s even worse.

STU
In SPONGE’s face.

PATRICK
The Chairman’s face.

STAN
What is it with that guy? The Chairman this. The Chairman that. ‘Oh-h, don’t wanna piss off The Chairman.’ ‘Bow to The Chairman – the monarch of the nicotine-free world.’

PATRICK
That’s because he is the monarch of the nicotine-free world.

STU
He’s the head of SPONGE.

PATRICK
Council for Society’s Prohibition and Obliteration of Nicotine through Growth in Efficient Living. Believe me, Stan, you don’t wanna fuck with those people – or The Chairman.

STAN
You guys talk about him like he’s the pope, for Christ’s sake.

PATRICK
For the Pope’s sake, I don’t think he’d make a good Chairman. Too pious. The Chairman is…he’s a conundrum.

STAN
Yeh, right.

STU
I heard he’s a real…what’s the word?

PATRICK
Prick?

STU
Yah. A real prick. Sits in a dark room. Doesn’t say much. A friend of mine told me he’s a member of MENSA. Uses telepathy to order his subordinates around.

PATRICK
Maybe that’s why he doesn’t say much.

STAN
I’m sure. Get any messages from The Chairman lately, Stu?

STU
Nope. Nothing.

STAN
Well, if ever had a face-to-face with The Chairman –

PATRICK
You would do what?

STAN
I don’t know but I’m sure I’d think of something.

PATRICK
Better be careful what you wish for, Stan. You’re one of only two smokers left – if I were The Chairman, I’d be thinking it’s time for the big guns, if you know what I mean.

STAN
Do I look scared?

PATRICK
I still say your flaunting’s getting you in deep shit.

STAN
What am I flaunting?! When have you ever heard me mock the government – or SPONGE, for that matter? When have you heard me do an interview on TV or seen me quoted in the paper? I’ve gone out of my way to avoid the spotlight. I was given an option and I decided against it. It’s not rocket science, Patrick.

STU
Did you know that there’s no such thing as a “rocket scientist”? There are aerospace engineers, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, chemists, physicists, and other people who work on the design and theory of rocket propulsion – but no rocket scientists.

STAN
(To PATRICK.)
Now you know why I smoke.

PATRICK
Stu? He’s a poor excuse.

STAN
Look who’s talking.

PATRICK
And that’s supposed to mean…

STAN
As soon as you got your greedy little hands on the government’s incentive cash you threw away a perfectly worthwhile life, do you realize that? You had a wonderful wife –

STU
Justine.

STAN
(Aside.)
Thank you, Stu.

PATRICK
We need to find you someone like Justine, Stan.

STU
With the personality of Justine.

PATRICK
She had a helluva personality. I wonder what she’s up to.

STAN
I’m quite capable of finding my own girlfriends, thank you and let me finish.
(Beat. To PATRICK.)
You quit your job in advertising – that was the job you had to have when we were in college, remember?

PATRICK
I never said I was gonna stay in advertising forever. Besides, it frees me up for other things.

STAN
Other things? Enlighten me with all your “irons in the fire”.

PATRICK
I have several, for your information. Won’t be long before you see a “new and improved Patrick”, thank you.
(Pause)
I don’t see you ripping Stu a new asshole. He doesn’t have a real job.

STU
I do to.

PATRICK
You collect scrap metal and sell it to recyclers. That’s not a job – it’s a…you’re a fucking tinker, for Christ’s sake.

STU
I prefer the word “traveller”

STAN
Except that you don’t travel.

STU
Exactly.

STAN
Will this “new and improved Patrick” be following a fitness regimen?

PATRICK
What’s that supposed to mean?

STAN
Just that you’ve gained, oh-h, I don’t know – maybe twenty pounds in the last two years?

PATRICK
Come on, Stan…it’s about how I feel inside – that’s what’s important.
(Beat)
Besides, I wear it well. Don’t I, Stu?

STU
You’ve always had that double chin.

PATRICK
I have not. You’re not exactly a rail.

STU
I never said I was.

PATRICK
So I’ve got a double chin. I’ll take a palates class. Other than that –

STAN
‘Other than that’ what? You have no job. Your wife left you. Your children won’t talk to you. And you’ve gotten fat.

PATRICK
But I’m wealthy. And my children will talk to me – as soon as I find out where Justine fled to.

STU
And I’m wealthy. Lotta wealthy folk running around the world today because of the government, Stan.

STAN
There’s a switch.

PATRICK
You could have what we have, Stan.

STU
Yeh, Stan. If you just gave up smoking, you could be just like us.

STAN
Two, unemployed, divorced, fat men?

PATRICK
Wealthy…

STU
…unemployed, divorced fat men.

PATRICK
It’s not all that bad, Stanny. It’s healthier, for one. You get paid a lot of money to quit. And if you start having a nicotine fit, you throw a lollipop in your mouth. Work’s for Stewart and I, isn’t that right, Stewart?

STU
It do.

STAN
Has either of you considered what SPONGE has turned you into?

PATRICK
You lost me, Stan.

STAN
(Sets his paper down.)
You’re morons. All you guys do is sit around and talk about nothing and then expect me to take an interest in it. And if neither of you said a word – which wouldn’t be a bad thing – you’d be swept into a dustpan and thrown out with the garbage.

PATRICK
Name-calling will get you no –

STAN
(Abruptly.)
Stu here can recite the “Gettysburg Address” forwards and backwards while deliberating ad nauseum the premise that if Martin Luther King would’ve used that speech instead of his “I Have A Dream” speech, blacks would no longer be discriminated against because they would’ve, in fact, been freed – twice.
(Beat)
I have no idea what I just said.

STU
The point to that speech –

STAN
(Raising his hand to stop STU mid-sentence.)
But ask him to nail two pieces of wood together and he goes apeshit because he doesn’t know which piece of wood he should nail first.

STU
Like I’m the only one.

PATRICK
(Overlapping)
And me?

STAN
You’re a sarcastic, rude, know-it-all with a mouth like a sewer.
(Thinking.) ‘Course you’ve been a sarcastic, rude, know-it-all –

STU
(Interrupting.) – with a mouth like a sewer.

STAN
– for as long as I’ve known you, so I guess you always were a moron, Patrick.

(STAN goes back to reading his paper. STU starts rubbing his neck.)

PATRICK
Thanks for the sentiment, Stan.

STU
Patrick, my sensor chip’s starting to throb again.

PATRICK
(Matter-of-factly.)
It’ll go away, Stu. It always does.

STAN
There’s another thing. How long’s it been since the government said it would fix the kinks in that sensor chip, huh?

PATRICK
It’s being looked into.
(Beat)
Don’t you see how bitter your frustration has made you, Stan? If you’d just consider the government’s incentive program – I mean really considered it – you’d be a happier person. And nicer to Stewart and I.

STAN
I am nice to both of you – and no I wouldn’t.

PATRICK
Yes you would.

STAN
Nope.

PATRICK
Yep. You would.

STAN
Patrick –

PATRICK
Fine.

(PATRICK goes back to reading his paper.)

STAN
(Pause. Puts his paper down.)
All I’m saying is that I have reservations about a smoking incentive that, in the end, has an adverse effect on the very people it’s supposedly trying to help. You wanna quit? Quit on your own, without the government sticking it’s nose where it doesn’t belong. Be honest, Patrick – is the money really worth everything you’ve lost?
(Goes back to reading the paper.)
I’m not convinced.

PATRICK
You don’t have to be. Only I have to be.

STAN
That’s good. Keep kidding yourselves.

(Silence.)

STU
Aeolian sounds (PRONOUNCED, “E-OLIAN”). (Pause. PATRICK and STAN put their papers down and stare at STU.)
They’re the sounds produced by the action or effect of the wind…like the humming of wires, the whispering of pine trees or the rustle of leaves down the sidewalk. That’s my favorite weather word. Aeolian sounds.

PATRICK
I thought Aeolians were the Greek peoples that settled the island of Lesbos?

STU
They were. I said Aeolian sounds, not Aeolians.

PATRICK
Uh-huh.

(STAN and PATRICK go back to reading their papers. Pause.)

STU
I also like the word, giblets (PRONOUNCED, “JIBLETS”). Or is it, giblets (PRONOUNCED, “GIBLETS”)?
(Beat)
Ever notice how words start to sound different when you say them repetitiously? Jiblets. Jiblets. Jiblets. Jiblets. Jiblets. Jiblets. It sounds different to me.
(Beat)
Or like the word, gefilte fish (PRONOUNCED, “GE-FEL-TA”). It’s Yiddish for a Jewish fish dish. All you gotta do is say the word and you sound like an old Jewish guy. Gefilte fish. Old Jewish guy, right? Say it with me. Gefilte fish. Come on.

STAN
Promise to shut up if we do?

STU
Yeh.

(STAN and PATRICK look at each other, then put their papers down.)

ALL
Gefilte fish.

STU
(SLOW FADE on lights.)
See. We sound like three old Jewish guys.
(STAN and PATRICK go back to reading their papers. Pause.)
Jiblets. Jiblets. Jiblets.
(Pause)
Giblets.
(Beat)
Giblets. Jiblets. Giblets. Jiblets. Gefilte fish. Gefilte fish. Gefilte fish…

(BLACKOUT.)

ACT I, SCENE II

(Thursday evening. The grocery store. LIGHTS FADE UP. A woman is picking through vegetables in the produce section. STAN enters the scene and grabs a small shopping basket on the way in. When the lights reach their maximum level, STAN is in place – browsing in the produce section. He notices the woman and approaches her.)

STAN
You know – that’s kohlrabi (PRONOUNCED, “KUL-A-ROB-E”).
That vegetable you’re holding.

AUBREY
That’s nice.

(She continues down the aisle.)

STAN
Hold up a second. Hold on. You’re supposed to say, “what’s that?”

AUBREY
I said, ‘that’s nice’. Why would I say, ‘what’s that?’?

STAN
I don’t know. ‘Cause you looked…confused?

AUBREY
(Holding up the kohlrabi.)
Fine. “What’s that?’.

STAN
It’s a vegetable in the cabbage family.

AUBREY
Aren’t the cabbage excited. What does it taste like?

STAN
It tastes like, um…huh. I’m not exactly sure how to describe the it. I know it’s nothing like chicken though.

AUBREY
OK.

STAN
Personally, I like to eat it raw, with veggie dip…and salt. Or you can cook it like you would cauliflower, throw it in a salad – however you like. I spent a lot of time as a kid on my grandparent’s farm. I know these things.

AUBREY
Any other vegetable recommendations?

STAN
I’m thinking.

AUBREY
Well…thanks.

(She drops the kohlrabi in her cart, smiles and continues down the aisle. STAN runs after her.)

STAN
So…you…come here often?

AUBREY
If I were you, I’d stick with the vegetable schtick.

(STAN grabs a rutabaga.)

STAN
How ‘bout a rutabaga?

AUBREY
No thanks.
(She continues down the aisle.)
You still here?

STAN
Hadn’t planned on going anywhere. You?

AUBREY
Got a name or should I just call you “rutabaga man”?

STAN
(STAN tosses the rutabaga into AUBREY’S cart and holds out his hand.)
Stan.

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