The start of a short play from A Dash of Currie

Wayne Currie

There is always someone who knows all the answers to your problems, However, at the same time, you may know all the answers to their problems. In this play it’s all about who you are, where you are and when you’re there!

A Guy Walks Into a Bar

​​
 

Time

The present

 

Setting

A simple barroom with a bar, three stools and a coat rack holding an apron and a coat.

 

Cast

JOE

HARVEY


 

JOE the bartender is behind the bar. He has on an apron and he’s cleaning the top of the bar and shining glasses. HARVEY ENTERS and hangs his hat on the coat rack. He walks over to the bar talking as he takes off his jacket and hangs it on the back of the bar stool. He sits down

 

JOE
Hey, Harvey. How’s it hanging?

 

HARVEY
(taking off his coat)
Oh, you know, Joe, hanging low and heavy. How you doin’?

 

JOE
Same old, same old. Mixin’ drinks, cleaning glasses, solvin’ problems.

 

HARVEY
Yea, ha, ha….I know what you mean.

 

Harvey looks around the bar.

 

HARVEY
Man, it’s quiet in here today.

 

JOE
Tell me about it, I almost fell asleep four times. Oh, well, my shift’s up soon, so I’m outa’ here and then it’s someone else’s problem.

 

HARVEY
Come on, Joe, you love it here. Where else would you rather be?

 

JOE
Hawaii!! No, you’re right of course....Anyway, what can I get you? The usual?

 

HARVEY
No, not today, my friend. I’m turning over a new leaf and I’m determined to cut back my alcohol intake.

 

(Beat.)
 

So just make it a triple scotch on the rocks with a large beer chaser.

 

JOE
Man, that’s really a drastic cutback, but, hey, it’s your life.

He starts mixing the drink and pouring a beer into a glass.

 

JOE
So, speaking of your life, what’s new?

 

HARVEY
Well, truthfully Joe, things are confusing. My kids don’t seem to be living on the same planet as me, my wife doesn’t understand me, my car’s been acting like a nagging grandmother and I can’t seem to get excited about anything these days. I really need some help and advice.

 

JOE
Well, my friend, you have come to the right place!

 

HARVEY
Really, why do you say that?

 

JOE
Look, Harvey, as a bartender I speak to everyone who comes in here and after a few drinks, they like to unload. I’ve heard it all, there’s no story that hasn’t been repeated. And after all these years, I think I actually have some valuable advice. Most people leave here a little more upbeat than when they arrived. So go ahead, buddy, unload!

 

HARVEY
OK….but it’s going to be a long night for you.

 

JOE
Don’t worry, lay it on me, I’m used to this and I’ve got all the time in the world.

 

HARVEY
Right. Let’s begin with my kids. They already know more about today’s technology than I will ever know. Plus they think they know more about anything else than I will ever know. I mean, Justin keeps talking about twitter and Facebook and WhatsApp. And Emily says that if I want to get a hold of her when she’s not home, I should just tweet her. Hell I can’t even find the
(He spells it out)
O N – O F F
switch on my smart phone, and it also, by the way, appears to be smarter than me. Oh, and as far as my kids are concerned, someone called Siri and Google has all the answers and poor old dad is out of touch with the world.

 

JOE
Well, bud, that’s a common affliction among parents today. You are definitely technological impaired. Don’t forget, that thing you’re using to make calls, it’s the equivalent of a Pentagon computer from the 70s. It really has to dumb itself down to make a phone call for you. I’m surprised that when we pick it up to make a call it doesn’t say, “Oh, really”. As for Siri and Google, just tell your kids to ask Siri or Google what is the meaning of life. That’ll confuse the computers, and perhaps make your kids think a bit. But whatever you do, don’t give them your version of the meaning of life unless they ask. Kids are not normally interested! Anyhow, there is a simple solution to sorting out technology. You call my buddy Oliver, and ask him to give you a one day immersion course on the smart world of phones.

 

HARVEY
Hey, I am impressed. I don’t know if all of that’ll work, but I’ll give it a try. Tell your bud Oliver, I’m his next student.

 

JOE
Okay, my man, but you may have to get in line. I hand out a lot of advice on a daily basis, and the technologically impaired parent is my biggest customer, and Oliver is my go to man.

 

HARVEY
No problem: I’m a patient guy. Do you think he knows anything about Facebook, Messenger, Linkedin, Chrome, Ipad, Ipod, Apple TV, Roku or Sonus? What about
LOL, BTW or any of the other letters which apparently stand for words and sentences?

 

JOE
You do have it bad, friend. I hope it’s not too late. I’ll phone him today and get you to the top of his list! Now what else can I help you with?

 

HARVEY
This one’s a bit tricky. I’m a firm believer that what goes on between a man and his wife is their business and other folks should just butt out. However, lately, I am at a complete loss with Gloria. I don’t understand most of the things she’s complaining about and when I try to sort things out it just pisses her off. We never had this problem when we were younger and in lust, er, I mean, in love. She was happy to do most things I wanted to do, and I just said yes dear to everything, even when I didn’t understand. Also when the kids don’t like what I’ve told them to do, they go to their mom and she takes their side as if I’m some sort of outsider

 

JOE
Stop right there, buddy. I know this is going to go a lot farther than you would like and you might regret it tomorrow. My marriage counselling skills are limited, but I will say that I have been instrumental in saving a lot of marriages for my customers. It usually is a simple matter of cutting them off and sending them home early. I get thank you calls from the wives when I do that. But you sound as if this is going deeper than just you hanging around bars.

 

HARVEY
You are so correct. We used to do lots of things together. We’d watch hockey together on Saturday night, she’d come and watch me play pool at the legion on Thursday evenings, and Mondays we always watched Monday Night Football. We spent these incredible weekends at car shows, visiting all the hunting gear stores, and she would even hang around while I did a lube job on the car in the garage. But lately all that seems to have soured and she isn’t fun like that anymore.

 

JOE
Okay...uhm...tell me more.

 

HARVEY
So how about this? The other night she comes to me and says, “Honey, we should go to a play this weekend.” A play! What the hell is a play? People running around on stage pretending to be somebody else and disappearing behind curtains where you don’t even know what’s going on. I mean, shit, if I want to see actors I’ll rent a movie and watch Die Hard or Nightmare on Elm Street or Vampires in the Suburbs...you know, something with a little class.

 

JOE
Yeah…okay, go on. What else?

 

HARVEY
Last week was the big shocker. I thought I would be nice to her and take her out to dinner for her birthday. So I phone Frank’s Diner down on 41st and make a reservation for Friday. You know the place, Joe, a great restaurant with the best fries in town. I hear he’s doubled up on the cole slaw for each meal these days, and his friggin’ hamburger steak is like the best. And you don’t want to eat too late on Friday at Frank’s because its so popular with the bowling league gang that it gets crowded after six. Plus I like to be home by about 7 to watch the Archie Bunker reruns. Anyway so I made a reservation for 5 pm and I tell Gloria about it, thinkin’ she’d be over the moon. But no, you woulda’ thought I shot the cat. She starts moanin’ and drippin’ and tellin’ me she just bought a new dress to go out to dinner and now what was she supposed to do? Well, shit, who buys a new dress to go out to Frank’s Diner? Honestly, I just don’t understand and I really don’t know what to do any more.

 

JOE
Okay...let’s break this down. Have you ever taken Gloria to any other restaurant besides Frank’s Diner?

 

HARVEY
Well, none as nice as that. When we travel, sometimes we pull into a fast food joint and once we actually went to one of those Chinese all-you-can-eat buffets. Now that was a treat.

 

JOE
Harvey, I think I see the problem here.

...

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