The Short Humour Site









Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

The A-B-C's Of Better Business
2006 by M. V. Patton
writer@mediahero.com

The author requests that this document not be copied or distributed from the
originating website without specific permission. Performance rights must be
negotiated directly with the author prior to any public performance.

CAST

BETTY – An office worker
ARLENE – Another office worker
DERRICK – A sleezy supervisor

AT RISE: BETTY and ARLENE are going through a stack of papers in an office.
On each paper, a large single capital letter is printed, from A to Z. As BETTY
and ARLENE proceed with their dialogue, they hold up the paper bearing the
letter that corresponds to the predominant letter in their dialogue. As they
complete their line of dialogue, they may place the sheet of paper in a pile,
crumple it up and toss it out into the audience, or do some other piece of business
with the paper. When DERRICK enters, he also handles papers with a letter
corresponding to his dialogue.

BETTY
(Holding the paper bearing the letter ‘A’)

Absolutely, Arlene. Alphabetize, alphabetize, alphabetize!

ARLENE
(Holding the paper bearing the letter ‘B’)

Bank on it, Betty. It’s best to be all business.

BETTY
(Letter ‘C’)

And we communicate accordingly. Correct?

ARLENE
(Letter ‘D')

Decidedly.

(Pause as they continue to file)

I don’t mean to disrupt our duties, but was dirty Debra disposed of?

BETTY
(‘E’….etc.)

Elimination due to extraneous e-mail.

ARLENE
(‘F’…etc.)

A formidable farewell for unprofessionalism.

BETTY

Goodbye and good luck.

ARLENE

She’s history.

BETTY

Any other issues?

ARLENE

Just one. It’s juicey.

BETTY

Keep kibitz-ing.

ARLENE

Lasciviousness in the lounge.

BETTY

My, my, my.

ARLENE

Nasty, no?

BETTY

Outrageous.

ARLENE

And perfectly impermissible.

(DERRICK enters with a clipboard)

BETTY
(Aside to ARLENE)

Quiet! A questionable quibbler!

DERRICK

I’m researching rampant recklessness. Report!

ARLENE

Sir, you’re suggesting we’re sacrificing superior satisfaction?

DERRICK

Technically true, but totally tentative.

BETTY

Unheard of.

ARLENE

Unconscionable.

BETTY

Uncouth.

DERRICK

Undecided.

ARLENE

Veracity and vigilance are what we value.

DERRICK

Whatever.

BETTY

Excuse me! We’re exemplary!

DERRICK

You’re yelling.

BETTY

Zealot.

DERRICK

Zombie.

BETTY

Zapper.

DERRICK

Zero.

ARLENE

Zeppelin.

DERRICK
(HE glares lasciviously at ARLENE)

Zesty!

(Pause)

BETTY

Asshole.

ARLENE

Betty!

DERRICK

Correct me if I’m confused. Has your most current communication included chit-chat?

BETTY

I will definitely disregard this defamation.

ARLENE

Exactly, except...

DERRICK

Be forthright or be fired.

BETTY
(Aside, to ARLENE)

Go get him, girly.

(DERRICK pulls ARLENE aside)

DERRICK

Honesty is honored at headquarters.

ARLENE

It is?

BETTY
(SHE listens in)

A jolly joke.

DERRICK

Kick-backs, my kitten. Kick-backs for keeping kosher. Capice?

ARLENE

Loud and leer.

(HE forcefully kisses ARLENE as SHE struggles to get away. BETTY interrupts)

BETTY

Mister! You’re misbehaving!

DERRICK

There’s nothing to notice.

BETTY

I officially observe that you’re obstructing our occupations.

DERRICK

Preposterous.

(ARLENE and BETTY crumple up the remaining papers and place them in a pile
until the end of the play)

ARLENE

Pervert!

BETTY

Paramour!

ARLENE

Pig!

BETTY

Personnel policies prohibit promiscuous pleasure.

ARLENE

Quite so!

DERRICK
(HE reaches for ARLENE’s rear end)

Really? Remind me to reprimand any rapscallions.

ARLENE

Stop! I’m serious! Or I’ll sue.

DERRICK

Threats from a tawdry tart? Tacky tactics.

BETTY

Underestimating your underlings is unwise.

DERRICK

You’re voicing a very vengeful vendetta.

ARLENE

It’s wise to watch it!

BETTY

Excavate excrement, expand excellence.

(ARLENE and BETTY whip the crumpled up papers at DERRICK, who
unsuccessfully attempts to dodge them)

ARLENE

Yee-ha!

BETTY

A zany …

ARELENE

And zippy…

DERRICK

Zonk.

(DERRICK crumbles. ARLENE and BETTY high five.)

THE END