Dating Advice


(A Short Play)

Parts: Jordan, Karl, Fred, John, and The Dealer

(John, The Dealer, Karl, and Fred are sitting around a table in that order, with a space open to John's right. John is clean-shaven, with gray hair, and big thick glasses. Karl has a big bushy beard, and is wearing a suit. Fred has an ungodly huge mustache, wild hair, and is wearing all black; and he is holding his head in one hand. The Dealer looks like, well, whatever a dealer looks like -- you'll probably need one of those green visor thingys.)

(They're playing poker, and looking at their hands, as Jordan enters.)

JORDAN: Sorry I'm late John, I had some issues with Alyssa.

JOHN: Not to worry, young man. No need for apologies in matters pertaining to the fairer sex. You know Karl, and this is Fred.

(Jordan sits down in the open space.)

JORDAN: Nice to meet you. So, you guys ever have girl problems?

FRED: You have no idea. -scratches self, mumbles quietly- I only went in to play the piano, and I came out with syphilis...

KARL: I was married, not that I support the institution.

JOHN: Oh, I'm not sure about problems, per se. But when I was your age I was quite the "stud muffin", as it were. So I may be able to offer some assistance in this regard. Please, share your travails with us.

FRED: Oh yes, tell us about these girl problems. Because my headache wasn't bad enough already.

DEALER: Ante up!

(they all toss a few chips in the middle, The Dealer deals.)

JORDAN: Well, today when I was getting ready to leave, Alyssa mentions that we don't seem to spend as much time with each other as we used to. And then when we were talking about it, she said that maybe we spend too much time together…

KARL: Wait, wait, let's go back to the beginning. We must have all the pertinent information regarding the materialist history of your relationship in order to form a proper dialectical environment within which to analyze your current troubles.

FRED: Dump her.

JORDAN: Well, I can see the need to view this dispute in light of our relationship history, but I don't see how you can scientifically analyze it in that fashion. Hell, I don't see how you can scientifically analyze anything in that fashion in order to foresee the future -- there are too many variables, and you just end up giving a platform to ideological demagogues who use your analysis to serve their own ends.

JOHN: Quite right, young man, quite right.

FRED: When you go to her, do not forget thy whip!

JORDAN: Umm, okay…

JOHN: What you need to do is put yourself in her shoes, if you wish to salvage this relationship. Imagine, for a moment, that you have a mental veil thrown over your mind where you don't know if you're Alyssa or yourself. Then try to create an optimal solution for both of you, so that you would be happy with being either partner when you exit this so-called "Veil of Ignorance".

JORDAN: You're probably right that a little perspective is needed, but that just sounds retarded. You think it's even conceivable for someone to step so far out of their own perspective to actually be neutral when considering something like that? And even if you could, I'm sure our desires for the relationship are different enough that separating our perspectives from ourselves would result in a meaningless compromise that would unravel as soon as the "Veil" was lifted.

FRED: Why are you thinking so hard on this? Women are considered deep, why? Because you can never discover any bottom to them. Women are not even shallow.

DEALER: I hate to interrupt this… fascinating conversation. But were you gentlemen planning on bidding any time soon?

JORDAN: Who's first?

FRED: I AM! Ten Marks!

JORDAN: Fifteen dollars.

JOHN: Call.

KARL: I call. And raise you the accumulated surplus value of five hours of labor stolen from the Proletariat!

FRED: Call.

JORDAN: I fold.

JOHN: As do I.

DEALER: Let's see those hands, gentlemen.

(Karl and Fred lay down their cards.)

FRED: Hah! I win again! Über!

(Fred collects the chips in the pot, The Dealer deals a new round.)

JORDAN: Plus, I think she might be cheating on me.

KARL: Cheating? Like the capitalist system of wealth accumulation constantly cheats the working class out of the rightful fruits of their labor?

JOHN: Or cheating like plagiarism, which every other one of my students seems to try!

JORDAN: More like cheating as in she's fucking some other dude behind my back. At least, I think it's a guy.

JOHN: Oh. Well then you're going to need to add a third person to your moral construct in order to complete the model…

KARL: No, no, what you must do is find and seize his means of production.

(Karl makes a dramatic gesture that resembles ripping someone's testicles off.)

JOHN: Quit interrupting me, you failed revolutionary!

KARL: Bourgeois reactionary!

FRED: I look upon the petty squabbles of the decadent intellectual class and laugh! You must seize your own destiny, young man! Establish your will to power over this bitch!

(As he is ranting, Fred makes a dramatic gesture with his arm, and a few cards fly out of his sleeve. Karl stands.)

KARL: Now that's cheating!

FRED: Oh come off it, you didn't want to have winners and losers at all!

KARL: Why you arrogant aristocratic ass!

(Karl lunges at Fred, and they begin fighting. John leaps up and joins the fray for no good reason at all.)

JORDAN: This conversation really hasn't been all that helpful, guys.

DEALER: Oh, don't listen to them, kid. They haven't been laid in ages.

(Lights out.)

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