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Whether
137
mister_troper
Title: Whether
Genre: Stageplay, romantic comedy
Word Count: 828 (w/ stage direction
Notes: needs a better title. At one point it gets a bit anvil-y, but I was aiming for brevity.

(KAREN and JOHN sit at a bar, laughing nervously together. Awkward pause that turns into floor-staring.)

JOHN
Well, I can think of one thing we have in common.

KAREN
Which is?

JOHN
We both hate getting set up on blind dates.

KAREN
I know, right? Becky's so insistent about it. I think she feels bad that I'm the one, you know, in the group.

JOHN
The one?

KAREN
The only unmarred one.

JOHN
Ah, the persistent threat to the matriarch of the troop: the unwed female.

(Pause.)

Sorry for the primatology.

KAREN
Well, I don't know anything about that, but I know that she sets me up all the time.

JOHN
Not so much with me. This is a first.

KAREN
Becky kept going on about how much we had in common, how much we shared. Which was a relief to me, you know?

JOHN
Yeah. I know. The thought that you're not just being paired up because you happen to be the Two Single People someone knows.

KAREN
So I'm glad to know that we have something in common.
(Pause.)
Once we figure out what that is.

JOHN
Becky didn't say anything to me, so I don't know.

KAREN
It's pretty obvious you're not a Republican.

JOHN
Not many of those in city government, no. Are you an oenophile?

KAREN
A what?

JOHN
A wine snob?

KAREN
I know what I like, but no. What was your major in college?

JOHN
Urban Planning. You?

KAREN
Russian Literature.

JOHN
Wait, do you speak Russian?

KAREN
No, do you?

JOHN
No. I just thought that'd be cool.

KAREN
I think the connection has to be something more obscure.

(Pause.)

JOHN
Our table should be ready soon. You should try the fish. It's the best in the city.

KAREN
I don't eat fish.

JOHN
No, it's really good here.

KAREN
I just don't eat any sort of seafood.

JOHN
See, a lot of people say that, but I think –

KAREN
No, I have bad associations with any food from the water. I come from a fishing family.

JOHN

(Puts his head in his hands.)

So coming to a seafood restaurant was a really bad idea?

KAREN
It's okay. I'm sure they have steak or something.

JOHN
Nah. Let's just pay up for the drinks. We don't really have to go through with this.

KAREN
Oh, that's a relief. Here.

(KAREN reaches into her purse for money.)

JOHN
Don't worry. I got it.

KAREN
No, I insist.

(KAREN reaches far across the bar, sliding her money towards JOHN. JOHN sees her money, notices something on her arm, and looks at KAREN.)

JOHN
Is that a tattoo on your arm?

KAREN
Oh, this?

(Self-consciously tugging at her sleeve.)

Yeah. I guess you saw it: no chance in talking my way out.

JOHN
Can I see it?

KAREN
I … er … okay.

(KAREN presents arm to JOHN.)

It's a silly thing I got on a whim. It's from a television show.

JOHN
A television show? It's the symbol of the Bu-Kra Combine from South-North, only the single best anime ever made.

KAREN
Oh my God, you're a SoNo fan?

JOHN
A fan? I've never seen another anime I could tolerate, but SoNo is like … like ….

KAREN
Pure art, one of the best things ever made.

JOHN
Exactly. I even own the manga.

KAREN
I even own the blacklisted manga.

JOHN
Oh, God, the one with the drafting errors?

KAREN
That's the one. Paid a pretty penny for it, too.

JOHN
This is so amazing! The show's virtually unheard of.

KAREN
Wow, we finally figured out what it was that Becky thought we had in common!

JOHN
Awesome!

KAREN
Great!

(Pause. All the energy drains.)

JOHN
And it doesn't seem to matter at all, does it?

KAREN
No, not really, no. I don't really feel it. Do you.

JOHN
No. It's silly. I must have said something to her about wanting to meet a girl who liked South North. But now that it's happening, and no offense –

KAREN
– None taken. I think we both agree this really isn't happening. It is funny: I – we all – have this premise that dating is about finding someone with meshed interests. But it's not that, is it?

JOHN
I guess it has to be. On some level. But there's always something else. Some other unnameable quality that really determines who works well together and who doesn't.

(KAREN stands, JOHN follows suit, then KAREN extends her hand.)

KAREN
Well, John, it's been fun. Thanks for the drinks.

JOHN
You're welcome, Karen. I'll see you around.

(JOHN shakes KAREN's hand. Pause, with hands still joined.)

KAREN
If I ever get my hands on Season 4, I'll give you a call.

JOHN
Do that.

(Pause.)

I feel like we both learned something today.

KAREN
And we both have something to complain to Becky about.

(Pause.)

JOHN
You want to go make out anyway?

KAREN
I'll get my coat.

  • 1
Haha! awesome ending. And I love the revelation that common interest does not a connection make. Birds of a feather do not always flock together, as it were. Nice one :)

Good luck this week.
~Kate :)
http://lacruciverbiste.livejournal.com/7633.html

Funny story! I liked that they had to figure out their 'connection', and then it still didn't matter. Some things are more important than having a lot in common. Good job!

I love your ending. XD

Thanks. This is one where the ending is everything.

I love the ending. You also have the best typo ever. Instead of unmarried you have unmarred. So she's the only unmarred one. XD

Random blind dates are so awkward, and I think you captured that awkwardness really well.

I was also amused because my parents' names are John and Karen. I just love coincidences.


Hmmm ... last month, I had a typo of "martial" for "marital." Freud would probably have something to say about this ...

Realistic. Hey, what ever works, right? Thumbs up on this one.

Whatever works, indeed. As to the realism, the author refrains from confirming or denying that this may, in fact, be a dramatized version of a true story.

I liked how you wrote this! John's and Karen's interaction kept me reading on because I wanted to know how things were going to end. The SoNo issue was a nice touch - I could see how it relates to the real world (in fact, this entire piece is very much believable). It makes me think about their separate conversations with Becky after the meeting. Nice ending!

Aw, I didn't even think about the conversation with Becky afterward. Awesome idea!

Hey, Mister! I know we’ve met a little bit via brigits_flame, but I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of being your editor before. *crosses fingers* Here’s hoping it goes well.

I’m going to be upfront and tell you that I’ve never edited a script before. So, seeing as my experience is limited to prose and poetry, I’m not sure how helpful my comments will actually be. Gonna do my best though!

[JOHN
Ah, the persistent threat to the matriarch of the troop: the unwed female.

(Pause.)

Sorry for the primatology.]

Haha! I love smart, clever humor, and this is definitely that. As far as characters go, this does kind of give John a rather caustic edge. It’s not unappealing though.

[KAREN
So I'm glad to know that we have something in common.
(Pause.)
Once we figure out what that is.]

Y’know, this is a very good point here. Saying people have something in common and then not disclosing that information is very awkward. I like that dose of realism quite a bit.

[JOHN
Wait, do you speak Russian?

KAREN
No, do you?

JOHN
No. I just thought that'd be cool.]

Haha! This is a really amusing script so far.

[KAREN
I think the connection has to be something more obscure.]

And I like the fact that they’re both overcomplicating/thinking too hard about all this.

[JOHN
A television show? It's the symbol of the Bu-Kra Combine from South-North, only the single best anime ever made.

KAREN
Oh my God, you're a SoNo fan?]

As an anime fan, this part made me squee so hard. This is really adorable.

[KAREN
– None taken. I think we both agree this really isn't happening. It is funny: I – we all – have this premise that dating is about finding someone with meshed interests. But it's not that, is it?]

Thank you for spelling it out to all those romcoms out there.

[JOHN
I guess it has to be. On some level. But there's always something else. Some other unnameable quality that really determines who works well together and who doesn't.]

Should be “unnamable”.

[JOHN
You want to go make out anyway?

KAREN
I'll get my coat.]

AHAHA! *dies* Unexpected, but so funny!

Okay, I really wish I could give you some more detailed feedback, but I can’t. There’s nothing TO critique on, really. The tone struck just the right balance between humorous and awkward. It was believable while still managing to be unique from countless other romantic comedies out there. I like the way you incorporated the prompt into this as well.

All in all, this was highly entertaining to read. Nice job!

(Deleted comment)
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