Bananas - 9 Short Comedies by Edward Crosby Wells

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent

MISSING BAGGAGE (from Bananas)

AT RISE: MAN and CLERK (M or F) are at an airline service counter, their
conversation in progress ...

CLERK: I told you, sir. It’s almost here. You’ll only have to wait until the plane from Dallas arrives.

MAN: (Shouting.) Why is my baggage in Dallas?

CLERK: Please, sir. Shouting will get you nowhere. Besides, it is not in Dallas.

(Looking at watch.) It’s in the air.

MAN: I’m going to sue you!

CLERK: That will be nice, sir.

MAN: Did you hear what I said?

CLERK: With both ears, sir. You’re going to sue me, wasn’t it?

MAN: Are you retarded or something . . . backwards?

CLERK: My life is so backwards that I find myself standing on my head when I

least expect it. In the service industry it is often required.

MAN: Standing on your head?

CLERK: I’m very good at it, sir. I find myself in that position one or two times a

day. Shall I show you? (Begins bending to show him.)

MAN: Stop it. (Looking around.) You’ll embarrass me.

CLERK: I cannot imagine that, sir. You can only embarrass yourself, sir. Are you embarrassed?

MAN: I am not embarrassed! I’ve never embarrassed myself.

CLERK: As you say, sir. Although, most people embarrass themselves every day.

MAN: I am not most people. I’m a person who is missing his baggage.

CLERK: Most people would find that a distinct advantage. It lightens their load . .. makes them more agreeable.

MAN: All I want is my baggage. I’m not here to be agreeable.

CLERK: Indeed, you’re not. t’is a pity.

MAN: You’re taking a tone with me, aren’t you?

CLERK: I certainly am not, but if I were taking a tone I wouldn’t know where to put it.

MAN: I can tell you where to put it!

CLERK: And I would gladly, sir. Then you shouldn’t mind if I bend over backwards for you. (Starts to bend backwards.)

MAN: Stop it! Are you insane?

CLERK: It’s this job, sir. It’s required of me.

MAN: What am I supposed to do without my baggage, huh?

CLERK: It’s almost here, sir. It will be here within two hours.

MAN: I have a meeting in one.

CLERK: Will it be a short meeting?

MAN: Relatively.

CLERK: Relative to what?

MAN: To how long I’ve been waiting for my baggage.

CLERK: The plane will arrive in almost no time—barring incident.

MAN: Incident? What kind of incident?

CLERK: The usual. One never knows. Chances are everything is honky-dory, or is it hunky-dory?

MAN: I don’t know.

CLERK: That’s too bad. I’d hate to be the purveyor of ill-used words.

MAN: Honky and hunky mean two entirely different things.

CLERK: Yes they do. Anyway, barring “incident,” your baggage should be on the plane.

MAN: Should? Aren’t you certain?

CLERK: Unless there is an incident, as I said, or there was a mix-up, sir.

MAN: (Shouts.) Mix-up!

CLERK: Please keep your voice down, sir. It could be an act of God.

MAN: What could be an act of God?

CLERK: Just about anything, sir.

MAN: What has God got to do with my baggage?

CLERK: Well . . . maybe the time is up for everybody on the flight and . . . oops . . . the plane goes boom. Are you a God-fearing man, sir?

MAN: Maybe.

CLERK: Well then, maybe you weren’t meant to have that baggage. You certainly won’t need it when you meet the man upstairs.

MAN: I have no intention of meeting any man upstairs.

CLERK: Almost everyone does, but I can see how you might be an exception . . . Now. Should I stand on my head?

MAN: Go ahead. Stand on your head. What do I care? I’d rather talk to your feet anyway.

CLERK: Too late. Maybe you would like to watch me bite my tongue, instead? Or I could bite yours. Would that embarrass you?

MAN: Do you actually work here?

CLERK: Where’s that, sir?

MAN: Here, here. Are you really a customer service clerk?

CLERK: Indeed I am. I have a badge to prove it. (Proudly showing badge.) See?

MAN: (Spotting something some distance away.) What the . . . What is going on

over there?

CLERK: Over where, sir.

MAN: Down there? (Indicating.)

CLERK: (Turns to look.) Oh, that’s nothing, sir.

MAN: Nothing? He’s beating him with a piece of baggage.

CLERK: They do that sometimes.

MAN: You’re crazy!

CLERK: I certainly am, sir. Crazy for Italian food and hot dogs from a cart.

MAN: Look. There’s a man being beaten with his baggage by a Sky Cap.

CLERK: They do it all the time. At least once or twice a day. . D-B-B

MAN: What are you talking about?

CLERK: Death by baggage. Comes with the territory. Sometimes those Sky Caps just get overwhelmed by all that-

MAN: Baggage. You’re kidding.

CLERK: I never kid, sir. Sometimes Sky Caps forget to turn the other cheek.

Would you like to see me turn the other cheek?

MAN: I’d like you to call security.

CLERK: Is that man being beaten your brother, sir?

MAN: No.

CLERK: You’re uncle, your father or your grandmother?

MAN: What is wrong with you?

CLERK: I’m trying to establish a relationship between you and the victim . . . some sort of connection.

MAN: There isn’t any.

CLERK: Please excuse my impertinence, sir—but if there is no connection

between you and the victim, why is it any business of yours?

MAN: That man is a human being and he’s being abused.

CLERK: You care about human beings?

MAN: I course I do!

CLERK: That comes as quite a shocker, sir.

MAN: It shouldn’t.

CLERK: Can’t argue that.

MAN: You don’t know what it’s like to be abused in a public place.

CLERK: Is that different from being abused in a private place?

MAN: You know what I mean.

CLERK: Presumption has never been my strong suit, sir. (Repeatedly turns head, showing his/her profile first one way and then the other.)

MAN: What are you doing?

CLERK: I’m turning the other cheek, sir.

MAN: Why?

CLERK: That’s what I am paid to do.

MAN: You’re paid to make yourself look like an idiot?

CLERK: I don’t think I make myself look like an idiot. Do you see me that way?

MAN: Almost, if not totally. And stop turning your head. You’re drawing attention.

CLERK: I don’t think so, sir. That man down the concourse appears to be dead.

Ah, yes. The medic is zipping up the bag as we speak. Death by baggage.

MAN: He was murdered by a Sky Cap.

CLERK: It wasn’t his fault, sir.

MAN: Of course it was! He beat the man to death with his own baggage!

{End of Exctract]

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