Friday, March 10, 2006

GTN Bit From 3/7/06

I rarely use this site to post my actual writing, preferring to simply use it as a calendar of events or related self-promotion/ self-obsession. I do this for two reasons (1.) so I don't have to annoy people with inbox-clogging email promotions, and (2.) because who needs another blog, anyway? On the other hand, this policy tends to lead to (3.) me having no readers.

So I'm breaking with tradition (and I might do so again in the future, from time to time) to post this bit from this week's Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There is a Game. In addition to writing it, I played the key role of "vendor." It seemed to go over well, despite my dropping a line or two.

Thanks to Andres and the rest of the GTN crew for letting me play in their sandbox for a little while.

The Ironic Vendor Sketch

FRANCISCO
And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is time to play Egg or Anguish. Where one lucky audience member will win a solid gold egg, unearthed from an ancient Mayan temple, and another audience member will die horribly, never having known true love. It's one of our most popular reoccurring segments... although honestly, I don't know how, week after week, we manage to keep finding these golden eggs. One would think there would be a finite number available for...

While Francisco has been talking, a man has entered from behind the audience, and walked up the aisle towards the stage. He carries a carton of strawberries, and a large placard that reads Free Strawberries, with quotation marks around the word "Free."

VENDOR
(extremely sarcastic voice, throughout)
Free strawberries! "Free" strawberries!

FRANCISCO
(to vendor)
Excuse... excuse me!

VENDOR
Free...
(to Francisco)
Hey man, I'm working.

The vendor climbs up on stage.

VENDOR (cont'd)
It would be a shame if someone kept me from fulfilling my duties by drawing me into a long conversation while I'm on the clock. It's not like I get paid either way.

FRANCISCO
You don't get paid...?

VENDOR
(sighs)
No, I do. What is it?

FRANCISCO
We're just trying to do a show here, and we don't traditionally have someone wandering around selling concessions-- particularly fresh fruit...
(reconsidering)
Although those strawberries do look delicious. They're free, you say?

VENDOR
Pfft. Yeah, they're "free."

FRANCISCO
Are you... are you sure?

VENDOR
No, I'm not sure. Why don't you look at the sign?

He holds up the sign.

VENDOR (cont'd)
See?

FRANCISCO
It's just that you sound awfully sarcastic, and your sign has quotes around the word "free," which leads me to believe that there are some strings attached, or that "free" is somehow meant ironically.

VENDOR
Oh, those. Yeah, the quotes are around that word because it's a quotation.

FRANCISO
A quotation.

VENDOR
Yeah.

FRANCISCO
An extremely short, one-word, quotation.

VENDOR
Yeah. Like an endorsement.

FRANCISCO
From whom?

VENDOR
Deceased character actor J.T. Walsh.

FRANCISCO
J.T. Walsh?! What was the context of this quote?

VENDOR
It was part of the sentence, "So, are these strawberries really free, or what?" Nice guy. He was great in "The Negotiator."

FRANCISCO
So the strawberries are definitely free.

VENDOR
The strawberries are definitely, positively, absolutely
(he makes air quotes)
"Free."

FRANCISCO
What was that?

VENDOR
What?

FRANCISCO
That gesture you made.

VENDOR
It was a twitch. I have Parkinson's Disease.

FRANCISCO
Oh, I'm sorry.
(he reaches for a berry)
Well, in that case I'll...

A second vendor enters from the back of the house.

SECOND VENDOR
Strawberries! Complementary strawberries! Hey!

He bounds up on stage.

SECOND VENDOR (cont'd)
Good evening sir! Are you tired of other vendors offering
(he does air quotes)
"free" strawberries? Do you crave the sweet, sun-kissed flavor of summer fruit, but don't want to deal with the mind-games of other gratis berry purveyors?

FRANCISCO
Do I ever!

SECOND VENDOR
Then take a berry, kind sir! Take a berry and fly free!

Francisco takes a berry and eats it.

SECOND VENDOR (cont'd)
That'll be $52 shipping and handling.

Music cue: "Shave and a Haircut Two Bits."

FRANCISCO
(reacting to cue)
What was that?

SECOND VENDOR
Sorry, that's my watch. I set the alarm to remind myself that I need to get a shave and a haircut. Gotta go. I'll put the berries on your tab.

He exits.

FRANCISCO
Wait!

Francisco beckons after the second vendor, but is too late. The first vendor regards Francisco with disgust.

VENDOR
Well, I hope you're happy. Your quest for sarcasm-free free berries only led to greater expenditure...
(crossing center stage, to audience)
And I hope we've all learned a valuable lesson about dramatic irony. Mainly that it's a cheap way to get out of a comedy scene. You could've had strawberries! But perhaps Earth isn't ready to believe that a close personal friend of the late J.T. Walsh would distribute fruit without regard for personal gain. Maybe mankind just needs time to mature. As for now, I must take my leave of you-- but when you think of me, think of me as a hero. A hero that for some reason really wants to give you some berries. Farewell.

He leaves the stage.

FRANCISCO
Goodbye, berry man!

VENDOR
Yeah...
(air quotes)
"whatever."

3 comments:

DTC said...

You and Scrubs love to steal my ideas.

Dan McCoy said...

I'd say we ADORE stealing your ideas.

Kirk said...

Great- I wish I saw it-

RCD