A Play in One Act
THE PERSONS OF THE PLAY:
22, tall, with glasses and dashing good looks.
23, short and soft-spoken.
17, female, blonde.
Various PARENTS, CHILDREN, and TEENAGERS, all non-speaking roles.
The scene is Sal’s Pizzeria, a small wood-paneled eatery in an outdated shopping plaza off of Main Street in Concord, New Hampshire. Several families sit eating at tables. Framed newspaper articles and photographs of past customers adorn one wall. A female CLERK, bored, stands behind the counter beneath a menu listing pizza and calzone toppings. It is nearing the end of the night. IAN and TIFF enter and approach the counter, IAN in mid-sentence.
IAN. If I’d known you had never been here we would have come sooner. The pizza’s almost as good as Ramunto’s, and the selection’s still superb.
Tiff stands silent. They study the menu.
IAN. (Cont) There’s only two of us, and I know you won’t eat much. Would you rather get slices, or order a full pizza and have lots of leftovers?
TIFF. (Shrugging) It doesn’t matter.
IAN. Let’s get a full pizza then. I could use lunch for tomorrow.
TIFF. All right.
IAN. What would you like for toppings?
TIFF. (As before) It doesn’t matter.
IAN. All right. (To CLERK) What’s the Sal’s Special?
CLERK. It’s got olives, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers.
IAN. That sounds great. What do you think? (Tiff makes a face in reply.) Or not. Do you see anything that you like?
TIFF. I don’t like a lot.
IAN. (Not giving up) But what do you like?
TIFF. Whatever you want is fine. I really don’t care.
IAN. (Scanning menu) How about garlic? The garlic pizza’s wicked strong; it’s great.
TIFF. (Disgusted) No thanks.
IAN. How about pineapple then? Do you like Hawaiian pizza?
TIFF. I like pineapple, just not on pizza.
IAN. (In disbelief) Have you ever tried it?
IAN. Do you have any other suggestions?
TIFF. I don’t really care.
IAN. (Slightly frustrated) Why don’t you suggest something then?
TIFF. I don’t really have a preference.
IAN. (Searching for something simple) How about pepperoni? Tell me you like pepperoni?
TIFF. (Finally, deadpan) Pepperoni’s fine.
IAN. Success! Now, what about something else? Pepperoni and bacon go well together.
TIFF. That’s too much meat.
IAN. (Astounded) Too much meat? What’s wrong with too much meat? How can you have too much meat on a pizza?
TIFF. I’m sorry!
IAN. How about peppers? Do peppers and pepperoni go well together?
TIFF. When I said that I don’t like a lot, I mean that I don’t like a lot of toppings on one pizza.
IAN. I thought you meant that there weren’t many toppings that you liked at all. (The CLERK snickers)
TIFF. Well, that too.
IAN. You should have said so! (Starting all over again) Is there anything that you like with pepperoni?
TIFF. (As before) It doesn’t matter.
IAN. (Resisting the urge to be sarcastic) What about pepperoni and extra cheese? That’s simple. Would you like that?
TIFF. That’s fine.
IAN. (To CLERK, who is already writing) We’ll have that then, for here. And I’ll take that bottle of Moxie in the cooler. (To TIFF) What would you like?
TIFF: I’ll have a water.
They pay and IAN chooses a table in the center row. They sit in silence until IAN can no longer contain his frustration.
IAN. (Almost at a shout) There are so many good kinds of pizza here, and we just ordered the plainest kind imaginable! What was that all about!?
TIFF. (Ignoring his tone) It’s because I’m Irish. I like simple things.
IAN. Then you should have asked for potatoes! Why do you have to be so indecisive all the time? Is it that hard for you to say what kind of pizza you like? You could have just told me outright and saved us all that trouble! What do you do when you go somewhere alone and order a pizza?
TIFF. I usually just get cheese.