"All the time I'm not writing I feel like a criminal." -Fran Lebowitz

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


A Rogue Trip Playlette in Three Actlettes

(Playlettewright’s note: for all dialogue, please factor in the language barrier - e.g. stammering, repetition, blank looks given to Bill, shrugs given to Bill, etc. The actor playing the role of Bill should realize that Bill has just finished an overnight train ride from Pushkar, India - 19 hours - and thus must show the appropriate build of exasperation during each actlette.)


(An open-air cab, or tuk-tuk, DRIVER pulls up to a guest house. BILL is in the back seat, shouting at him.)

BILL: I do not want to go here! I’ve TOLD you I do not want to go here! We PASSED the place I TOLD you to take me! Take me back there!



BILL: I did not want to go here! I TOLD you I did not want to go here! Take me to the place I TOLD you to take me!

(The cab driver turns around. He indicates the guest house.)

BILL: No! Not here!
CAB DRIVER: “Hotel”? (pointing) Hotel.
BILL: I said “hotel” at the train station. I didn’t know which one. Then we PASSED one, and I said, “Stop here.” “Stop here.” “Stop here!”
CAB DRIVER: (pointing) Hotel.
BILL: I want you to take me to the other hotel! Like I said!

(A “CONCIERGE” emerges from the guest house. He approaches the cab, and shakes hands with the driver.)

BILL: (seeing this, realizing the business deal) Argh!
"CONCIERGE": (to Bill) Hello, sir.
BILL: Hello. I’m not staying here.
"CONCIERGE": You’re staying here?
BILL: No. I want (indicating driver) him to take me to the place I said. Where I pointed!
CAB DRIVER: (pointing) Pointing here.
"CONCIERGE": You stay here.
BILL: (to concierge) Dude! (to cab driver) Dude!
"CONCIERGE": So, you stay here?

(Bill gets out of the cab, takes his bags - his multiple, heavy bags - out. So really, he hoists them out.)

BILL: (indicating cab driver) If this guy won’t take me there, I’ll get another cab.
CONCIERGE: Where you from, sir?
BILL: Argh!

(Bill starts walking. After a beat, the cab driver follows him slowly.)

BILL: (to cab driver) DIFFERENT cab!

(Bill has found another hotel. He enters the restaurant and puts his bags - his multiple, heavy bags - down next to a two-seat table. So really, he plops them down next to a two-seat table. A WAITER approaches.)

WAITER: Room number, sir?
BILL: Oh, I haven’t checked in yet, they won’t let me check in until eleven. So I’m just going to eat breakfast and wait here, if that’s all right.
WAITER: No problem, sir. Coffee?
BILL: Yes. (anticipating what’s coming) Milk coffee.
WAITER: Black coffee?
BILL: No, milk coffee?
WAITER: Coffee, sir?
BILL: Yes. Milk. Coffee.
WAITER: No problem sir.
BILL: (sighs) Thank you.
WAITER: No problem, sir. Buffet?
BILL: (looking over at the buffet) You know what? I don’t think I’m going to do the buffet today. Could I see a menu, please?
WAITER: No problem, sir.

(The waiter leaves, then brings back a menu. Bill looks it over.)

WAITER: Room number, sir?
BILL: Huh? No, I told you. I’m checking in later.
WAITER: No problem, sir.

(As Bill looks over the menu, the waiter hovers.)

BILL: You know what? Why don’t you take care of the coffee, and by the time you come back, I’ll know what I’m going to order.
WAITER: Excuse me, sir?
BILL: Why don’t you go get me the coffee, and while you’re gone, I’ll decide. And when you come back, I’ll give you my order.
WAITER: Oh, I’m sorry, sir. Right now you cannot order off of the menu. You can only have the buffet.
BILL: (sighs)


(Bill approaches the HOTEL CLERK, a young woman. This - a woman working an “official” job-like job - is rare to Bill’s experience in India; aside from the occasional shopkeeper or street sweeper, the vast majority of employees in all areas seem to be men - so Bill smiles.)

BILL: (to self) Ah, right. Maybe dealing with a woman will give me some luck, here. (to clerk) Hi.
CLERK: Hello again, sir.
BILL: (smiles) Yes. Hello again. Could I please have the wi-fi password?
CLERK: I’m very sorry, sir-

(Playlettewright’s note: The actress delivering this line MUST deliver it as if it’s the ONE MILLIONTH TIME she’s said “I’m very sorry, sir.” Thus, it MUST have the perfect blend of automaton and utter lack of sympathy for whatever she’s “very sorry” for…)

CLERK: -but only registered guests are permitted to use the hotel wi-fi service.
BILL: I’m checking in four hours. (re: clock behind clerk) In less than four hours.
CLERK: I’m very sorry, sir, but-
BILL: You’ve already run my credit card. I’ve already paid for the room.
CLERK: I’m very sorry, sir, but-
BILL: (pointing to restaurant) I’m literally going to sit there until you let me check in.
CLERK: I’m very- (even she can’t hear herself say it again) If you want to check in early, for five hundred rupees per-
BILL: (realizing) Oh.
CLERK: Would you like to check in early, sir?
BILL: (stares)

Have a Merry and safe Christmas, everyone!