The Perfect Woman

for Jennifer

Author's Note: The three main characters should be spaced evenly apart so as to give the impression that each character is isolated from the others.  Steve should be placed at center stage.  The characters should be seated on stools if possible.  Characters should be hidden from view until their first lines and should remain near their seats.  It is essential that Steve appear oblivious to other character's remarks.  The only prop needed is a wallet, which goes to Claire.  Voice Offstage should be played by the geekiest person available or anyone familiar with the works of Steven King.  Or a clown.  Clowns make good Voice Offstages.  As do goats, especially the Bolivian variety.

Steve: I met the most amazing person yesterday.  See, I work as a grocery sacker at the local Piggledy-Wiggledy Food Mart ...[giggles] "Piggledy-Wiggledy", what a funny word...anyway, I was working at...the grocery store and I was...sacking groceries...yesterday when she comes up to the register.  Now my buddy Todd is cashiering and stuff, and so when she, you know, pushes her cart up, he's like checking her out, and hey, why not, she's good looking and everything.  So anyway, she pushes her cart up and, you know, moves out of the way, like over towards me, so I'm like, 'Hey, would you like' - and right there she cuts me off and says

Claire: Plastic.

Steve: It was like she knew what I was gonna say before I even said it! So I'm thinking "Man, this chick is like psychic or something. I mean, I am stunned.  So I look over at Todd, and he's like, just scanning her groceries like nothing's up.

Todd: What am I missing here?  The first thing any sacker says is "Would you like paper or plastic?" That's just how it is.

Steve: Never, ever, has anyone answered that question before I finished it. Never. And I've been here what, like almost two weeks?  So anyway, I know I am in the presence of greatness.

Claire: The sacker guy is totally flipping out.  His face is all red and his eyes are kinda bulging.  I though he was about to start drooling or something.  Actually, I thought maybe he had something against plastic.

Steve: Not only is this chick mentally gifted, but she's into plastic bags, just like me.  So I like know we're on the same wavelength.

Todd: So the groceries are piling up on his end and what does he do? He says

Steve: Are you like an alien, or an angel or Mother Teresa or something?

Claire: Yes, that's it. I'm the Celestial Extraterrestrial Formerly Known As Momma Terry.  What the hell is that?

Steve: It seemed so natural, right?  I mean, she's got the whole, you know, super human knowledge thing going, and she's like super hot too.

Claire: Mother Teresa?!

Steve: Okay, maybe Mama T was a bad choice, but an angel, hey, why not.  Angels are hot, right?  I mean, Touched By an Angel, that chick's pretty hot.

Todd: She's like forty!

Steve: I mean, this girl's got the whole long, flowing hair dazzling smile perfect skin size nine

Claire: Eight.

Steve: Thing going on, so I'm thinking, yeah, this chick is from God...or maybe an interdimensional portal.  But then she says

Claire: I'm not an angel, and I am certainly not Mother Teresa!

Steve: She didn't say anything about alien...but that got me thinking - what kind of profession would a woman, or gender neutral non-humanoid, of this caliber and mental ability be involved in?

Todd: Meanwhile the groceries are piling up.

Steve: I mean, she's obviously a good hardworking person.

Claire: I've never worked a day in my life.

Steve: Very independent.

Claire: I live off men!  What's not to love?

Steve: She's the kind of person who's worked for what she has.

Claire: Free food, free cable, free money.

Steve: The kind of person who's faced her share of difficult situations.

Claire: Did I mention free cable?

Steve: Very stable, very committed.

Claire: If, when, I get tired of  a guy, I move on to another.

Steve: I bet she enjoys her work.

Claire: Oh, the guy I'm with now has the best Jacuzzi.

Steve: Yeah, so...she's a doctor maybe.  Scientist?  Self help guru?

Todd: Whore.

Claire: Hey!

Todd: Oh, I'm sorry. "Call girl."

Claire: Okay, Toad, you wanna start something?

Todd: Oh, I know you did not just call me

Steve: Or maybe...she's a psychic.  Yeah, so I'm thinking, man, here is my chance to learn the answers to all the deep questions that have nagged me all these years.

Todd: So he looks over at her and says

Steve: Why is it that hot dogs come in packs of ten and hot dog buns come in packs of twelve?

[Claire & Todd groan]

Steve: She must not have heard me, so I was gonna ask her about the whole driveway-parkway thing, but I don't think anyone knows the answer to that one.  So I say "Is there anything I can do for you?"

Claire: It's at this point that I figure out that I've got this guy wrapped around my finger, which is what I do, it's what I'm good at.

Todd: Meanwhile, I'm trying to scan groceries and listen to this conversation simultaneously [looks over at Steve] at the same time, and all the while [switches to fake "Scottie" accent] the groceries are building up like a looming edible Matterhorn!

Voice Offstage: Eat more Maine beans!

Claire: I'm thinking this guy's got 'free money' written all over him.

[Black light on Steve, revealing "FREE MONEY" written on his shirt. Steve is oblivious to this]

Claire: Yeah, exactly.  So I say "Actually, I'm a little short on cash.  Could you maybe lend me twenty bucks?"

Todd: (giggles) Twenty bucks.

Claire: Screw you.

Todd: No, I'm not the one with the money.  Anyway, so what does Stevie-O do?

Steve: I reach into my pocket, fish out my wallet [underwater/ bubbling sounds] and give her a twenty.

Todd: (To Claire) Bet you're used to that.

Steve: I mean, hey, why not?  This is a possible alien psychic we're talking about here.  What's twenty bucks when she can give me winning lotto numbers...or take me apart atom by atom.

Claire: Dude gave it up, just like that. [Todd giggles] (To Todd) Get your mind out of the gutter! (To Audience) So now I've got twenty bucks and I'm thinking, "What the hell, why not just go for it?" So I say, "Hey, what's your Social Security Number?"

Steve: Now, I realize I'm not the smartest person in the world

Claire: That's for sure.

Steve: Or my neighborhood...or my house

Todd: You live alone!

Steve: In fact, some people have said that I'm a

Todd: Bumbling idiot

Steve: Or told me that I'm

Todd: The stupidest person I know

Steve: Now that I think about it, I think both of those people were Todd.  Anyway, I'm not too bright, but even I know better than to give out my Social Security Number to a total stranger, even if she is an interdimensional planes-walking psychic babe, so I decided to play a little trick on her.

Claire: He just gave it up, just like that.  (To Todd)  No comment from you!

Steve: I told her the number, but I, get this, left out the dashes so she couldn't figure it out!  See, I'm not so stupid.  So I say, "Hey, can you give me some lotto numbers?" and she says

Claire: I'll get back to you.

Steve: So she gives me this really weird-feeling pat on the butt and walks out.

Todd: Just leaves all her groceries.

Steve: See, I think she is an alien, because aliens don't need food.  See, I got it all figured out.

[Claire removes wallet from her pocket and begins flipping through it]

Steve: So anyway, I went home and waited by the phone for her to call.  In retroprect, or, retterspect, or...looking back, I think it might have been a good idea to give her my number, but if she's got a spaceship, you think she could afford a phone book.  She hasn't called yet, but I figured she's got all that feed-the-poor-children-carry-out- God's- holy-orders- fix-that-tear-in-the-timespace-continuum thing to deal with, so she's probably busy, but she'll call eventually.  My bank called though. They wanted to know why I had withdrawn all my life's savings.  I told them I didn't know, but as soon as I figured it out I'd call them back.  Funny, I don't remember even going to the bank recently.  You think you'd commit something like that to memory.  If I have gone to the bank, I'd have the transaction slip in my wallet...which I can't seem to find...yeah.