Popcorn ‘n’ Stuff
A one-act play under ten minutes.
Amos: a well-dressed businessman, seated and eating popcorn.
Teddy, a woman dressed in mismatched second hand clothing with pockets.
* * * * *
(Amos is sitting at a bench waiting for his bus. Teddy joins him.)
AMOS: I don’t have any change for you, so leave me alone.
TEDDY: You got popcorn.
AMOS: That’s right and I used up the last of my change on it. Don’t bother me.
TEDDY: Bet you got it right over there at Bill’s Market, ‘cause they pop it fresh and you get a whole bag like that for just fifty-nine cents. Did you put that butter flavoring all over it?
AMOS: Just salt.
TEDDY: Yeah, that’s the way I like it. Besides, that flavoring doesn’t really taste like true melted butter and it’s so greasy it gets all over your hands.
AMOS: It’s very messy.
TEDDY: You made it just right.
AMOS: …and it’s mine.
TEDDY: What’s your name? How come I never seen you at this bus stop before? I’m Teddy.
AMOS: My Mercedes broke down. It’s in the shop.
TEDDY: I’m Teddy. What’s your name?
TEDDY: Amos. Like in the Bible? …Ezekial, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos…Obediah…
AMOS: Yes, like Amos in the Bible.
TEDDY: I can say all the books of the Bible for you starting with Genesis.
AMOS: No. Please don’t.
AMOS: Thank you.
TEDDY: Popcorn smells good.
AMOS: Go away.
TEDDY: I’ll trade you my “Get Out Of Jail Free” card for the rest of that bag.
AMOS: Your what?
TEDDY: My “Get Out Of Jail Free” card. When you go to jail you can use it to be “Just Visiting.” It’s real good to have.
AMOS: You carry it with you?
TEDDY: Yep. And I’ll trade you for the rest of your popcorn.
AMOS: Keep your “Get Out Of Jail Free” card, you’re going to need it some day.
TEDDY: Oh, I guess you want something better. ‘Cause that’s popcorn from Bill’s Market with only salt, no butter flavoring.
AMOS: No, I don’t want anything. Leave me alone.
TEDDY: OK, OK, OK, I got in my coat pocket a Pearly White and a Black Mariah.
AMOS: A Pearly White and a Black Mariah?
TEDDY: Marbles, stupid! This one’s totally black and this one’s totally white. The black one’s got a scratch but otherwise they’re like perfect. I’ll trade you for the rest of your popcorn.
AMOS: Look…what’s your name?
TEDDY: You’re Amos, like in the Bible.
AMOS: Teddy, listen to me. I don’t want your marbles or your “Get Out Of Jail Free” card or anything, OK?
TEDDY: Why not.
AMOS: Because I’ve had a lousy day, that’s why not. First those bastards at the Mercedes dealership painted my car Battleship Gray when I specifically said Sterling Metallic Silver, so I had to take the bus, making me just late enough for work so Larry Leech and Stella Slut could horn in on the Wang account that I spoon-fed personally for three-and-a-half years… and then the final divorce papers came through this morning.
TEDDY: OK, best thing I got: a rabbit’s foot. Brings good luck all the time.
AMOS: I just want to eat my popcorn in peace until I can get home and take a nice hot bath and forget about all of the assholes I had to deal with today. You want popcorn? Bill’s Market is right there. Go buy popcorn!
TEDDY: I don’t have any money.
AMOS: How are you going to ride the bus if you don’t have any money?
TEDDY: They give me a bus pass. See, it’s got my picture on it. Only they didn’t tell me to say “cheese” and it looks like I’m asleep. And there’s my name there, too: Teddy. Not Theodore, Teddy.
AMOS: Here’s a dollar, Teddy. Buy yourself some popcorn.
TEDDY: That’s no fun. I wanted to trade you for something.
AMOS: I don’t want to trade anything. I buy and sell all day long. I’m sick of trading.
TEDDY: I just thought you weren’t having any fun so I thought I’d play Trades with you.
AMOS: Here, take the rest of my popcorn. You can’t always have fun.
TEDDY: Sometimes I pretend I’m wearing a clown face and that everybody who looks at me is trying not to laugh. It’s the best thing, honest.
AMOS: I believe you, Teddy.
TEDDY: Don’t ya ever do things for having fun?
AMOS: Yes, I do things for having fun.
TEDDY: What kinda stuff do you do?
AMOS: I…watch TV…I go out and have a drink…see a movie…
TEDDY: Don’t ya ever play games?
TEDDY: Trades, Hide ‘N’ Go Seek, Gotcha, Crazy Eights, The Willies.
AMOS: …It’s silly…I…I used to love to play jacks.
TEDDY: Blackjack! Twenty-one. Tie goes to the dealer.
AMOS: No, no, jacks: little metal pointy things. You have to bounce the ball and pick them up before you catch it. I was good.
TEDDY: Here’s a ball. Show me.
AMOS: Um… What have you got about this big? Something besides marbles.
TEDDY: Jelly Beans!
AMOS: OK, jelly beans. Put them down here and then toss the ball and pick one up (she does). Good! Now I have to get two like this (he does). And then you do three and I’ll do four until somebody misses.
TEDDY: Hello! Here’s your bus!
TEDDY: Mine’s the one right after this one.
AMOS: How did you know that was my bus?
TEDDY: Here, take my rabbit’s foot. It really does bring good luck.
AMOS: Thanks. Enjoy your popcorn.
TEDDY: See ya around, Clown Face!
AMOS: (Leaving.) See ya around… Clown Face.
©Eric Margerum. All rights reserved