Friday, July 20, 2007

Two Scenes From An Autobiographical Play

TOM WRENCH: About ten years ago I was slaving away in the corporate library of a Wall Street firm which shall remain nameless, but whose initials are Smith Barney; and one day all fifteen of us get together in a conference room and our supervisor says, "We're going to play a game that will help morale in the office." And this cute brunette at the end of the table goes, "Shoot the supervisor?" So like already I'm in love. "Oh no," says the supervisor, who wouldn't know a joke if she hired one. "We're going to find out how well we know each other. We're going to go around the room and we're all going to say three things about ourselves -- two that are true, and one that's a lie. And the rest of us are going to guess what the lie is." And I'm thinking, how about “I’m really looking forward to this?” ‘Cause that would be my lie.

So we go around the room, and the lies people are telling are all pretty obvious, until they get to me. And I say, "Number one -- I didn't go to Viet Nam because I was 4-F. Number two -- I lost my virginity at 21 when my boss bought me a call girl for my birthday. Number three -- I have a bachelor’s degree in theatre."

And the brunette, whose name is Luisa, says, "All right; so who thinks Tom has never had sex period, never mind sex with a hooker?" And seven people raise their hands. "Okay, who thinks Tom can't even spell 4-F, never mind that he was old enough to get his ass drafted in 1972?" Seven more hands go up. "And how many people think that Tom has a bachelor's degree in lying, not theatre?" And Luisa raises her own hand.

So everybody looks at me and I look around the room and I give them all a big smile, and then I look at Luisa and I say, "We are gonna be friends for life; 'cause I never went to college."

Scene 2: Tom and Luisa in a restaurant

LUISA: That's not how I remember it. The way I remember it, nobody raised their hand for the bachelor's degree. I know I didn't. I raised my hand on the hooker.

TOM: Yeah, but it makes a better story this way.

LUISA: I think the truth is a better story.

TOM: The truth is not dramatic.

LUISA: Oh you want drama. [waving for the waiter] Check, please.

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