A one-act play
By Elliot Snodgrass
Written March 18, 2012
[No set. Three middle-aged men (NIGEL, BRUCE, and ARCHIE), very well-dressed, standing in the (assumed) entry of a diner.]
ARCHIE: He is quite the architect, Nigel.
BRUCE: Yes! For his age, he has created quite a number of worthy building designs.
NIGEL: Yes, well, I've always kept my eyes open for talent, gentlemen, even in the youth of our great nation.
BRUCE: And when exactly- no, WHERE exactly was it that you found out abut this young man?
ARCHIE: The Collinsworth convention was it?
NIGEL: Collingsworth, my good man, Collingsworth. Don't you be getting to the point of confusing names already.
[all three laugh]
NIGEL: The parodies section.
BRUCE: As in, ancient architectural parodies?
NIGEL: No. Modern.
ARCHIE: Modern? Oh, my. And he still caught your eye?
NIGEL: Exactly that! There was just something about the way he re-created his subject buildings that stood out to me dramatically.
BRUCE: I'll bet you wondered what-
NIGEL: [cutting off BRUCE] What his originals, look like, yes!
ARCHIE: Why, of course. Anyone noteworthy doing parodies is likely to be either bland or genius.
NIGEL: Well, you exaggerate the stereotype, but...
BRUCE: This diner alone is something of a creationed wonder.
NIGEL: Watch your terminology, good man.
BRUCE: What? Oh, pardon me. Tongue slipped.
ARCHIE: Even so, the word is for once fitting, as the young architect has created quite a mood in this building. Notice the bar and stools against the wall, no windows.
BRUCE: And the particular -or should I say peculiar- two-toned tile floor, the longer depth of room versus the relative narrowness and the semi-low ceiling.
NIGEL: I'll be honest with you, gentlemen. Even I was reasonably pressed by the design to assume the mood that our young architect has presented.
[ARCHIE and BRUCE look surprised and give some light applause.]
ARCHIE: Well done to him!
BRUCE: Yes, well done!
BRUCE: Um, Nigel...
NIGEL: [looks at BRUCE surprised and a little upset] My good man, since when have you been a user of such base language as "UM"?
BRUCE: Possibly since I entered an establishment with such... odd connotations attached to it.
NIGEL: [Confused and still a little upset] What in Earth's name can you mean?
ARCHIE: Wait a bit, Nigel, I think I recognize what he intends.
NIGEL: Go on.
ARCHIE: Nigel, have you noted how... pleasant- no, fitting it feels to stand in this room?
NIGEL: If I have noted your odd use of "feel", then absolutely.
ARCHIE: Even despite the bars facing away on the left and right, the peculiar tile, the ceiling, the lighting-
BRICE: [cuts off ARCHIE] Dare I say the "Mood" of the whole room, if not the whole establishment?
NIGEL: For I humor you, I follow.
ARCHIE: Oh, come, my good man, is it not odd that the two factors should clash, and yet don't.
NIGEL: Yes, the appropriate expression that ought to be conveyed would be that of one "loner" stereotype.
BRUCE: But that is not conveyed.
ARCHIE: Then you agree that there is a disconnect?
NIGEL: [reluctantly] Y-yes...
BRUCE: This establishment manages to be intolerant without being in the least bit oppressive.
NIGEL: [pondering] Hmm, I do find that to be dubious.
BRUCE: It just doesn't add up.
ARCHIE: If I may-
NIGEL and BRUCE: Eh?
ARCHIE: I might note that our young architect, who presides over this diner, does not allow for more action than is "suitable" for "just friends" within these four wall.
BRUCE: [Chuckles] Oh, well that's just too bad.
[pause, all three ponder]
ARCHIE: [puts hand to his mouth] Oh, dear it couldn't be. [turns his back to the rest of the group (and audience)]
NIGEL: What, What? What is it, my good man?
BRUCE: [holds up a hand] I think I know what it is that has his concerned.
NIGEL: Well, do tell.
BRUCE: Is it possible that our young architect...
NIGEL: Well? Tell me!
BRUCE: Could he have ...morals?