Skip to page content
Return to Top

REACHING AGREEMENTS

Joshua Forehand

 

Scene I
            Scene I opens with two elementary school aged boys sitting in a school cafeteria a couple of tables apart with their backs to each other.  Both boys are crying rather loudly.  At the exact same time, the two realize the other’s crying and slowly turn around, trying to stifle their sobs to see each other.  When they make eye contact, they both let out a simultaneous wail and quickly turn around crying again.  After they sit crying for a short while, one boy [Rob] walks over to the other boy’s [Dick] table and sits down across from him, still crying.  They cry for a while; Dick looks at his sandwich as Rob tries to make eye contact.  Then as Dick looks up, Rob looks at his sandwich.  This is repeated several time until finally they make eye contact.

(Simultaneously, through their sobs)
Rob:     I hate bologna!
Dick:    I hate peanut butter and jelly!
Rob:     (Desperately) I tell my mom every day!
Dick:    (Finishing his thought) But she doesn’t listen!

            With that they both let out another wail simultaneously and begin their crying again with heads bowed.  All of a sudden they both stop crying and slowly lift their heads to look at each other with the same thing in mind.  A trade.  They then execure a very distrustful trade making sure the other doesn’t end up with both sandwiches.  Once the trade has been done the two begin eating the sandwiches, in huge messy bites, while staring at each other and laughing hysterically.

Rob:     (Complementing) It’s very good.
Dick:    (Aware of his cuteness) Exquisite!
Rob:     What’s your name?  Mine’s Robby.
Dick:    Dick.
            The two start laughing again.  The school bell rings and the boys gather their lunch boxes and skip out of the cafeteria together.

Scene II
            Rob and Dick, now best friends, are in high school at their senior prom.  They have retreated to the bathroom and are the only ones in it.  Dance music is muffled but can be faintly heard through the bathroom door.

Dick:    (At a urinal. Back to the crowd, talking over his
shoulder) This prom sucks!
Rob:     (Checking his hair in the mirror, facing the audience) Why do you say that, man.

Dick:    Because all there is to do is dance.
Rob:     That’s what a prom is, stupid, a dance.
Dick:    Well what about people who don’t dance?  Shouldn’t they have something else to do?  Pin-the-Tale-on-the-Donkey, Bingo, something!  (Flushes and joins Rob at the mirror)  And it’s not only that, my date sucks too.  She goes outside to smoke every five minutes, I’ve been timing her all night.  I haven’t even talked to her since we got here.

Rob:     That would roughly be because you won’t dance!  In fact I’ve been dancing with Rachel, your date, all night.  You think your date sucks!  Jennifer repulses me!  at dinner she kept doing that disgusting thing with her teeth.

Dick:    What thing?
Rob:     You know, that thing.  Sucking the meat out of her canines.  Which is exactly what she is -- a canine.  Why do you think I’ve been with your date all night?

Dick:    But Jennifer is so hot!
Rob:     Are you kidding me? Your date is hot.  Jennifer is a complete hound.

            Everything again is exactly simultaneous-- the two are looking down washing their hands when they realize what they should do-- a trade.  They both slowly raise their heads looking at themselves in the mirror and quickly turn to face each other.

Dick:    Forget it it will never work.
Rob:     But you said yourself, (mockingly) “Jennifer is so hot!”
Dick:    You’re crazy!
Rob:     C’mon its worth a shot, what have we got to lose?  We get our dates, and just ask them if they want to trade.  They’ve probably been thinking the same thing.  In fact they’re probably plannint it right now.  You better act quick to save yourself a lot of embarrassment.

Dick:    (Consenting, laughing) You’re crazy!

            The two walk out of the bathroom ready to put their plan into effect.  When the bathroom door opens the dance music can be heard clearly.
            Almost immediately the door opens again and Rob and Dick enter with their hands covering one eye.  They stumble to the mirror.

Dick:    I told you it would never work.
Rob:     How was I to know.  They’re both psychos anyway.
            As they reach the mirror, they uncover their eyes at the same time, revealing their large shiners given them, upon the request, from their dates

Rob:     Just don’t worry about it.  It’ll heal.  We’ll be laughing about it tomorrow.

Dick:    Let’s go get something to eat.
            They exit the bathroom rubbing their eyes.

Scene III
            Rob and Dick have now graduated high-school and are attending the same college.  Dick just looks very normal.  Rob, however, now has long hair and hippie-style dress.  Rob is sitting down leaning against a tree reading when Dick approaches.

Dick:    (Kneeling down by Rob) Hey Robby.
Rob:     I told you to stop calling me that.  (Enlightened) My name is now (rolling the “R”)    R-r-r-roberto.

Dick:    Oh, come on. I’ve known you for almost twenty years. 
I don’t see why I have to call you something different
now.

Rob:     Its a cultural thing, ya’know.  I’m rediscovering my
roots.

Dick:    Robby, you’re Irish!
Rob:     So, no one knows that here!  And stop calling me Robby.  It’s R-r-r-roberto.
Dick:    Robby.
Rob:     R-r-r-roberto!
Dick:    Rob.
Rob:     (Thinking) I suppose that’ll work.  And what should I
call you?

Dick:    Same thing you’ve always called me.
Rob:     (Rising to his feet, inspired) Don’t you ever want to expand yourself.  It feels great to have a new name.

Dick:    I expand (Making obvious the innuendo by a quick glance to, and slight thrust of, his crotch) myself all the time.  And besides, I like my name.

Rob:     But it’s just so...so... drab.
Dick:    Drab!  What’s wrong with it, I can’t believe you’re
saying this.

Rob:     Well, can you really be comfortable being named after a
sexual organ?

Dick:    I can’t believe you. (Shouting) I’M HAPPY WITH
DICK!

            Two girls several feet away look at Dick in amazement.  He gives and embarrassed wave as the two girls turn their noses up and walk awa.  Rob and Dick crack up, rolling in the grass for a while.  After the comic relief passes they begin talking a little more seriously.

Rob:     So what’s on your mind, Dick? (Taking his place at the tree again.)

Dick:    Oh, I’m just having a lot of trouble with this Lit class.
Rob:     I hear ya’, my algebra class is killing me.
Dick:    Oh, come on, Algebra is easy, you just have to take good notes.  Its all these papers that kill me.

Rob:     This coming from a Pre-Med student.  Now, I can turn out papers left and right, it’s natural for me.  I dunno.

            They look down to draw in the dirt.  Then they realize the solution at the same time and slowly lift their heads to look at each other.

Rob:     How ‘bout an agreement?

Dick:    I don’t know, I’ve had enough of your agreements.  Don’t you remember prom night!  We had to tell everybody we got in a fight with each other!  And besides I’ve got a lot riding on this old college, what if we got caught?

Rob:     Hey man, it all worked out, right?  By the way, how is
Jennifer?

Dick:    She’s great!  You and Rachel?

Rob:     Goin’ strong!  You see we wouldn’t have our
relationships with them if we wouldn’t have attempted
that trade that night.  Even Rachel and Jennifer laugh
about it now.

Dick:    (Consenting) You’re crazy!

Rob:     That’s my buddy!  We’ll be laughing about it next year.

Dick:    Maybe so, but it has to be planned perfectly.  Let’s talk
about it over lunch.

            They walk off stage as lights dim discussing the plan.

 

Scene IV

            Approximately fifteen years later.  Rob and Dick are now middle aged.  They have long since married Rachel and Jennifer and are still best friends.  They are talking in the den of Dick’s house; their wives are out to a movie.  There is a large window reviealing an unfinished, in ground swimming pool in the back yard.  They both have short hair and are dressed sensibly.  There is a shovel proudly mounted on the wall which has been bronzed; a vial of drugs sits on the coffee table in the middle of the room.  Rob is sitting on the couch and Dick is standing at the other side of the room looking out the window at the unfinished pool.

Rob:     (Pointing at the bronzed shovel) What is that?

Dick:    You see this big hole out here? . . . I dug it.

Rob:     (Walking toward the window) Oh, you’re building a
pool.  (Amazed) You dug that!

Dick:    Yep.  I've been digging every weekend for about six
months now and tomorrow I've got some guys coming
in to lay the cement.

Rob:     Are you insane?!  I can think of a lot of things I would
rather do on weekends.  Like a vasectomy.  Or maybe
intentionally breaking my femur . . . and then having       a
vasectomy reversal.

Dick:    Well, it was just something to get me out of the house. 
Nearly did break my back        though.  You see those
pills on the coffee table?  Those are some potent little    guys now.  Just one of the advantages of being a doctor.

Rob:     Don't get too high on your horse now.   If you'll
remember, it fno for our little     agreement, you would
 never have even finished your undergraduate work.

Dick:    Well, neither would you've without my help.

Rob;     I didn't!

Dick:    Oh, yeah.  Anyway, you take too many of those and     you're a gonner.  But you know what the scary part
is?—They dissolve almost instantly in liquid; tasteless,    too.  You just drop one in you tea at dinner; never know
you took it.  And let me tell you, you will be flying high   'til morning.  No pain at all.  (Looking at Rob)  It's             good to see you Rob.

Rob:     Same here.

Dick:    So, how are you?

Rob:     Oh, all right I guess.

Dick:    You don't sound very convincing.  The truth now.

Rob:     The truth?

Rob:     My life is a mess.

Dick:    Really?

Rob:     You know I don't make much money, Dick.  Non of my
work has hit it big yet.

Dick:    You time will come, Rob.  I'm sure of it!

Rob:     But that's not the worst part, Dick.  It's Rachel.  She
drives me nuts!  She spends      all my money on
cigarettes.

Dick:    Oh, come on.

Rob:     (Starts out calmly but slowly crescendos into insanity)          No, it's true.  (Stands and
begins to pace)  She smokes like a carton a day!  You
know how much those things cost, Dick?  She's milking
me dry.  I don't love her anymore, Rob!  We     never had
kids because I was afraid they would have birth defects! 
I knew she couldn't stop smoking for nine nimutes, let
alone nine months!  (The peak of this insane fit.  Eyes
drilling into Dick with a deranged look)  But soon they
learn!    Sometimes I wish she would just keel over. 
(Rob breaths deeply and frantically    for awhile until he
cools off.  Dick just looks on in amazement, speechless. 
Rob smoothes his hair, sits back down on the couch,
and is suddenly calm and collected.)

Rob:     So, . . .  how are things, Dick?

Dick:    Oh, I guess they're OK.

Rob:     You don't sound very convincing either.  Come on, the
truth now.

Dick:    The truth?

Rob:     The truth.

Dick:    I'm miserable!  It's Jennifer. . . . I don't think I love her
anymore.

Rob:     What?  Why?

Dick:    (Progressively growing more insane just like Rob's
episode)  Well, it's just that we fight incessantly.  And I
mean all the time.  But I really think it goes deeper than that.  I really think I hate her.  Yes, I hate her!  She
never bore me any children!      She can't cook!  And for
twenty years, Rob, thenty years, I have listened to that   woman suck the meat out of her teeth.  It's driving me
crazy!  I mean really crazy!       In the morning it's bacon. 
Afternoon, it's cold cuts.  At night, there's prok chops,   steak, roast, even pizza!  I'm telling ya', if it used to
belong to an animal, it will get lodged in that woman's
teeth!  At night I think of wys to kill her!  (Suddenly
calm and collected)  Is that crazy, Rob?

Rob:     (Frightened)    No, of course not.

Dick:    (Continuing)    Then I tell myself, "Well, I'll just ask her
to become a vergitarian."  I don't want to be crazy, Rob.

Rob:     I know, Dick.  I know.

            Rob sits on the courh twiddling his thumbs; Dick again looks out the back window.  At the same tine, the wheels start rolling intheir deceptive little minds.  Dick looks at the pool; Rob looks at the pills.  The Kick looks at the shovel, and Rob looks at the pool.  Then Dick turns to look at the pills while Rob looks at the shovel.  Then they both look at the pills, the shovel, and the pool at the same time, and finally they llook at each other and give a little smile.  The lights flash out.