Doing Lunch

by Alan Magill

SETTING: A restaurant.
ANDREW: 40ish, dresses conservatively
JERRY: 40ish, dresses with artistic flair

(At rise: Two MEN have just finished eating lunch. Of the two, JERRY is more artsy looking…no tie, just a sweater and jeans. ANDREW is in a three-piece suit.)

ANDREW
And then what did he say?

JERRY
Go to your niece’s wedding. I want you for the picture and I can wait an extra week.

ANDREW
That’s very impressive, Jerry. I mean, Clint Eastwood could have his pick of assistant directors.

JERRY
I thought it was very decent of him, Andrew.

ANDREW
What was it like working for him?

JERRY
The best job I ever had. I’ve worked with some flaky directors and to be honest I was a little uptight when I got the job with CLINT EASTWOOD. But one thing I learned…the bigger they are, the nicer they are. No ego problems.

ANDREW
Ego problems…hah. Remember what we went through. And now I’m actually happy for you that you’ve worked with the best. Not the slightest hint of jealousy do I detect from inside me.

JERRY
I feel the same way about you, Andrew. You’ve made it big in corporate America and I’m the first guy who wants to toast you.

ANDREW
Not so big.

JERRY
Yes, big. And you deserve it. And I remember…was it really me? That all I wanted to do was cut you down to size…to half size.

ANDREW
How about me? Remember the time you were beating me in pool and I chased you around the table with my cue stick held high. Like a weapon.

JERRY
Like from another lifetime ago.

ANDREW
And I was doing it in a public space. I could have been arrested. For one game of pool. Jealously just eats you alive, man.

JERRY
Come on, we were very competitive. We couldn’t stand it if the other one had the slightest edge.

ANDREW
Remember when you got $50 more in Bar Mitzvah money than I did and I wouldn’t talk to you for a week.

JERRY
Remember the time, I think it was in 10th grade gym, they told us we had to run the mile…

ANDREW
Yeah, yeah.
(laughs)
Like yesterday.

JERRY
It was four times around the track…

ANDREW
And it was the hottest June day in history.

JERRY
And I came up with the bright idea that we were both going to get a “B” in Gym whether we broke Banister’s mile mark or trotted in when the cows came home.

ANDREW
Your strategy was brilliant.

JERRY
(out of breath; as if he’s back in that time)
“Come on, Andrew, this is ridiculous. Let’s just take it easy. Find a nice slow pace and stick to it.”

ANDREW
“Good idea.”

JERRY
So we traipsed around that track for a couple of laps…

ANDREW
Having a good conversation about the girls we liked, the girls who liked us…

JERRY
And I asked you about Cindy Skyler…and you were starting to in an easy summer drawl give me your in-depth look at how your prospects were with her…

ANDREW
When all of a sudden, like you were shot out of a cannon…

JERRY
I ran as fast as my legs could carry me to the finish line.

ANDREW
I was furious…

JERRY
Which meant you tried to catch me.

ANDREW
And I almost did.

JERRY
I won by a tenth of a second.

ANDREW
You had a head start.

JERRY
Now there are no tenths of a second to worry about.

ANDREW
You said it.

JERRY
We’re in time together.

ANDREW
Amazing how men can become better friends when they put aside their competitive juices.

JERRY
Yeah. And how far they can go too with their careers. It just goes to show you that what we’re taught, “Thou shalt not covet,” makes a lot of sense. Jealousy just slows you down.

ANDREW
You sure have come a long way. And fast. Hollywood. Wow! I always knew you would make it.

JERRY
I could stand to do a little better. I mean, I’m happy with the feature film work when I can get it…but I need to develop more corporate accounts.

ANDREW
You’ll need a tie for that.

(JERRY laughs)

JERRY
I have a few in my closet.

ANDREW
Keep ’em there. Don’t give in like I did.

JERRY
It’s not giving in. You have to pay the rent.

ANDREW
Still, how many videos can you make about the latest heat-shrinking system for wrapping books?

JERRY
As many as the clients want, I suppose.

(They laugh)

ANDREW
You got the time? They still have me on a clock.

JERRY
You don’t wear a watch?

ANDREW
That’s one concession I won’t make.

JERRY
(checks watch)
2:30.

ANDREW
Got to get back. If I’m five minutes late, they send a search party out for me.
(grabs check)

JERRY
Let me. (grabs check from him)

ANDREW
No, let me.
(grabs check from him)

JERRY
No, it was my idea to meet.
(grabs check from him)

ANDREW
(holds on to check with JERRY)
Please. How often do I see you?

JERRY
As often as I see you.

ANDREW
Dutch, how’s that sound?

JERRY
Okay.

ANDREW
Now, you had a salami…And I had corned beef.

JERRY
Look, don’t forget my French Fries.

ANDREW
Big deal. I had an extra coke. Did they charge me for it? Yeh.

JERRY
Was that a large French Fries they got me for?
(checks menu)

ANDREW
I thought there was only one size.

JERRY
So did I.

ANDREW
Wait a second. Did I have two large cokes? It looks like they charged me for one small and one large.

JERRY
(grabs check)
This is ridiculous. Let’s just split it down the middle.

ANDREW
(grabs check back)
But mine is more…

JERRY
A few pennies.

ANDREW
Now $5.80 and $2.75 and $.95…I would have to leave my calculator at work.

JERRY
(grabs check)
The total is $21.15…That’s roughly $10.60 each…and with a tip that comes to…

ANDREW
…All right. If you insist we split it, we split it.

JERRY
It makes sense. And with a tip it comes to, uh…$12.

ANDREW
$12.25 each. Unless you’d rather leave $12.

JERRY
No…$12.25 is good. What do you got? A twenty?

ANDREW
Yeh.

JERRY
(takes $20 bill)
I owe you $7.75.
(counts out seven ones; reaches into his pocket)
I don’t have any change.

ANDREW
Forget it.

JERRY
No…Here’s another dollar.

ANDREW
Then you’re short…Let’s see if I have a quarter here.
(reaches into pocket)
No I don’t.

JERRY
All right. Give me the dollar back.
(ANDREW gives him the dollar)
I’ll give you a token. Take the subway home tonight. It’s too hot to walk anyway.

ANDREW
This token is way too much.

JERRY
Think of it as a token of my appreciation for having lunch with you.

ANDREW
Let me show my appreciation by allowing me to pay the bill.
(grabs check)

JERRY
(grabs check back)
You leave the tip and keep the token.

ANDREW
Look. Just let me pay the bill. This is silly.

JERRY
If it’s so silly, let me take it.
(grabs bill)
It’s no big deal.

ANDREW
All right. All right. Just to show you that I’m not one of those status seeking guys, who can’t let anyone else one-up ’em…I’ll let you pay the bill…and I’ll leave the tip and keep the token on one condition.
(starts to unloosen tie)

JERRY
What are you doing?

ANDREW
(takes tie off)
You’re going to need this soon anyway for those corporate accounts.
(forces tie into his hand)

JERRY
No…This is Italian. Silk. This must have cost…

ANDREW
Please take it. I have plenty in my closet.

JERRY
All right, I’ll take it. I’ll take it. You know, what you’ve just done makes me think how beautiful it is to give something to someone and not expect anything in return. Just the other day someone gave me something that touched me…
(reaches into his shirt pocket and pulls out a letter)
May I read it?

ANDREW
Please do.

JERRY
“Dear Jerry. To the best assistant director I ever had. Couldn’t have won it without you…”

ANDREW
The oscar!

JERRY
“…If I can ever be of any help, don’t hesitate to call me. My private number is 309/299-0124. Clint.”

ANDREW
Wow!

JERRY
“P.S.: You make the best tortillas I ever had.”

ANDREW
What you’re holding in your hand is precious. Precious. Which is precisely why you shouldn’t be holding it in your hand. It could get crumpled. You could lose it. Listen to your old friend, Andrew. Laminate it, Jerry. Laminate it. Put it up on your mantle. This is a tribute to you. Let your children and grandchildren see it. Sure, make copies. Put one in your portfolio. Show it around. But the original. Laminate it, Jerry. Laminate it.

JERRY
Good idea, buddy. So why don’t you laminate it. ‘Cause it’s yours.
(pushes it into ANDREW’s hand)

ANDREW
I can’t take this.

JERRY
You’re a good friend, Andrew, and I want you to have it.

ANDREW
What if you need the phone number?

JERRY
I could always call you.
(looks at check)
The total is $21.15. Let’s see here…They never mark the beverages clearly.
(JERRY does not see ANDREW getting up and taking off his suit jacket. ANDREW goes behind JERRY and puts the jacket on him.)
Oh come on! I didn’t come here to go shopping.

ANDREW
Maybe you do have a future in the corporate world. You look good.

JERRY
You can’t go back to work without a tie and jacket.

ANDREW
So they’ll dock me a half day’s pay, what’s the big deal?

JERRY
At least you’re going to know how late you are.
(takes off his watch)

ANDREW
What are you doing?

JERRY
Just so you won’t be late anymore. Can’t keep those corporate people waiting.

ANDREW
Get out of here.
(JERRY forces watch into his hand. They arm-wrestle, but JERRY finally gets the watch on ANDREW’s hand.)
This is gold, man.

JERRY
I got it for my last picture. I got plenty of ’em.

ANDREW
So it’s gold we’ve gotten to. All right, if that’s the way you want to play it. Here man…You want gold…I got gold for you…
(ANDREW stands up and opens his mouth; grabs toothpick; starts picking at filling)

JERRY
What are you doing?

ANDREW
Gold filling, buddy.

JERRY
Don’t be ridiculous.

ANDREW
I want you to have it.

JERRY
No. This has really gone too far.

ANDREW
It has not gone too far. I’ve got two of them. One is enough.

JERRY
I don’t need a gold filling…

ANDREW
(still picking away)
Of course you do.

JERRY
I don’t need it.

ANDREW
One minute! It’s almost out.

JERRY
(grabs him and shouts)
I DON’T NEED IT! You hear me. I DON’T NEED IT!

ANDREW
(stops picking away)
And why not?

JERRY
Steve gave me one of his the last time we had lunch and we couldn’t make the right change.

ANDREW
(flicks toothpick on table)
Oh…
(JERRY snickers. ANDREW snickers. They start to laugh. Before long, they are laughing uproariously.)

JERRY
Could you believe what just happened?

ANDREW
No.
(a few beats)
Yes.

JERRY
It’s still in us.

ANDREW
After all these years.

JERRY
Never mind the Hollywood contracts.

ANDREW
Or the fancy suits.

JERRY
But it’s something that we should finally say “goodbye” to.

ANDREW
I agree.

JERRY
Once and for all, move on…

ANDREW
Yes.
(Both MEN look at each other poignantly, as if they are about to make a big decision. They eye the check, then they look at each other.)

JERRY
Andrew.

ANDREW
Yes.

JERRY
I’m going to lift up the check.

ANDREW
You are?

JERRY
Yes. Please trust me. I don’t want to do anything to hurt you.

ANDREW
You can pick up the check, Jerry.
(JERRY slowly picks up the check and hands it to ANDREW.)

JERRY
Here. You can pay the check.

ANDREW
That’s the most beautiful thing you ever did.

JERRY
Don’t mention it.

ANDREW
(starts to sniffle)
Thanks, man.

JERRY
You bet.
(he starts to sniffle)

ANDREW
(crying)
Jerry.

JERRY
(crying)
What?

ANDREW
There’s something I want to do for you.

JERRY
What?

ANDREW
I want to let you pay the check.
(Bawls out tears; they’re both crying hard; ANDREW hands JERRY the check)

JERRY
(Looks at the check; crying. wants to say something, can’t say it…finally he composes himself)
How about if we just pay for exactly what each of us got, and ask the waiter for the correct change?

ANDREW
Good idea.

JERRY
I don’t know why we didn’t think of it sooner.

ANDREW
Now you had salami and I had corned beef…
(writes down numbers)

JERRY
Ask the waiter if it was a large or small french fries.

ANDREW
All right, we’ll keep a separate column for questions…

JERRY
Now you’re talking.

ANDREW
It really is a lot easier this way.
(They both see the waiter coming)

ANDREW and JERRY
Waiter!

BLACKOUT

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s