Thursday, 20 October 2011

Breakfast bar

Now for something quick and dirty. I don't really know what to say - is it a script for a sketch? Is it a vignette? Is it something whose only purpose is to exist? Who knows. What I can tell you is that the title gives a good clue as to what it's about.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here it is:

 A man sits at the counter of a busy breakfast bar. In front of him is a small carton of cornflakes, an enamel bowl, a cup of coffee, a plate of toast and a moist towelette. The man sips the coffee, bites a slice of toast, lifts the carton of cornflakes and pours its contents into the bowl. Then he stares forlornly at the results and reads the side of the carton. A busboy wanders over, coffee pot in hand.
 ‘You know they’re broken, don’tcha?’ says the busboy, pointing at the cornflakes.
 ‘I beg your pardon?’ replies the man. ‘Broken? I don’t believe I poured them too hard when I shook them from the box.’
 ‘No, not like that broken.  I mean they don’t work.’
 The man looks again at the cornflakes, takes a further sip of his coffee and returns his gaze to the busboy.
 ‘I’m afraid I don’t follow, young man.  The box says they’re high in fibre and vitamin enriched.’
 ‘Ah, but check out the tagline – “everything you need for a proper breakfast” ’
 ‘Uh-huh. I still don’t follow you.’
 ‘Well, for my money, a proper breakfast needs whisky and hookers. Certainly gets me going in the morning that does.’
 ‘Oh yes, I see, yes; I can understand why you might think that these cornflakes would be distressingly ill-equipped for that, yes.’
 ‘Mind you, if you pour milk on them...’
 ‘And that would get you whisky and hookers, would it?’
 ‘No, but it would give you moist soaks who won’t give you ‘no’ for an answer; close enough in my book.’
 ‘Hmm – I’m afraid I have no idea at all what you’re talking about.’
 ‘Nah, well, you wouldn’t mate,’ says the busboy. ‘And between you and me, I don’t trust your toast, neither.’
 ‘Well, I don’t trust our short order chef.’
 ‘Well, why on earth not?’
 ‘Cause he’s only got one leg.’
 ‘Surely that’s not a problem in this day and age?’
 ‘Nah, well, I’d normally agree with you, just yesterday he had two legs, and this morning we had a freezer full of chops.’
 ‘Oh, goodness, is that so? I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation.’
 ‘You mean, like, he’s been storing frozen meat down his trousers for the last eighteen months?’
 ‘Quite conceivably, I’m sure.’
 The man notices he has finished his coffee.
 ‘Pour me some more coffee, would you?’ he asks.
 ‘Coffee’s off.’
 ‘So what’s that in your pot?’
 ‘Well, our maitre d’s got to go the diabetes clinic as a result of eating too many blackjacks and this is his sample. Nah, I’m just messing with you; here you go.’
 The busboy pours some coffee and the man sips at it, then immediately spits it out.
 ‘This coffee is terrible!’ he says.
 ‘Yeah, I know. I was just messing with you when I said I was messing with you. Our poor maitre d’; he’s not a well man, as you can taste. But y’know, he thinks on his feet, leads from the front and that.’
 ‘Oh my – this really is...? Oh my!’
 ‘It’s a speciality, isn’t it? Like Kobe beef or shitake mushrooms. Waiter’s water we call it.  It’s got a lovely liquorice thing going on, don’t you think?’
 The man looks at his coffee cup in disgust.
 ‘Good god, no, I don’t want any more of this.’
 ‘Nah, well, it is a bit of an acquired taste.  I dunno – maybe it could do with more boiling. Say, you want some pancakes?’
 ‘There’s nothing wrong with them, is there?’
 ‘How do you mean ‘wrong’?’
 ‘Young man; by your own reckoning the cornflakes are broken, the toast is suspicious and the coffee is... watery, so the question is, will I be safe if I eat the pancakes?’
 ‘Well, if you mean, ‘No bad consequences as you sit here in this lovely breakfast bar,’ then of course not - they’re perfectly safe, oh to be sure, mate, yeah.’
 ‘Ah, good then.’
 ‘But if you mean, ‘Still alive tomorrow morning and not suffering from a severe and hideous mangling of your internal organs,’ I wouldn't guarantee it.’
 ‘Oh, right.’
 The man dabs at his lips with the moist towelette.  
 ‘Could you just get me the bill please?’ he asks.
 ‘The bill?’
 ‘Yes please.’
 From the kitchen emerges a short, one-legged short chef who swings at the man with an axe.
 ‘But he’s only got one leg!’ cries the man, and he runs out, screaming, the moist towelette reeling in his wake.
 'I did try to warm you!' says the busboy. He looks at Bill.
 ‘Axe over easy, you said,’ says Bill.
 ‘I do the jokes,’ says the busboy.
The End.

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