Last Stop Coffee Shop

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Online Dating Skit

Cast:

Leading Man – Max

Max is has been a widower for well over a year now, and is ready to find a new companion to share time with. Tall and fit for his age, he still has all of his hair, and takes pride in his looks. Max is an actor, who when in his prime, had a successful career in Europe. He starred in quite a few epic films, always as the leading man, and dashing love interest.

3 Ladies – (Dates)

Joan – 80-ish- retired nutritionist/herbalist from Los Angeles – interested in good conversation and “ sexual communication”. Very spontaneous, creative and youthful.

Marie-Louise – German born, 60-ish woman living in San Diego with two live-in grown children.

Cheryl– 55 – retired postal worker. She was postmaster of a small office in the mountains outside of LA.

Waiter– Male or female – this character is in the background, but he needs to have great expressive features, since he is observing the exchanges happening in the coffee shop.

Stage is set with a small table – two chairs. There is a coffee cup in front of the man. A candle, and simple flower in a tiny vase sit in the center.

Lighting consists of two “spot lights” – and a soft glow in the background to suggest a café window. A simple curtain dresses the window, through which can be seen the slice of a neon sign in the darkness.

The spotlight is consistently on the man on one side of the table, while the other side is lit only when a woman is seated across from the man. Once she gets up to leave, the light dims and fades. The next time it goes back up, is to reveal another woman seated across from the man.

Music plays in the background – the music changes to suit each character taking a seat across from the man.

Although Max is older- he is still handsome – He has retained his movie star good looks. Well-dressed, but not too formal – he has an effortless style about him. Groomed, but still natural. He seems relaxed and open to whoever sits down at his table.

As the light comes up on the man, Max sits looking at his laptop computer. He writes a few notes on a small pad of paper.

Sipping coffee and setting down the cup, he takes a deep breath, and begins to review the recent online conversations aloud. As he looks over the photos of a woman, he runs a hand through his hair, and adjusts his shirt.

 

Max.

Joan….Joan. It’s really not the prettiest name, but what’s in a name anyway. Hmmmm…..what’s in a name….

Looking for good conversation and sexual communication….a nutritionist and herbalist….she certainly does look healthy and that smile…..such a sweet smile.

He traces his fingertip over an image on the screen. He softly utters, Joan….

Suddenly there is awkward music, and a lot of clatter, followed by heavy footsteps. A couple of items fall to the floor ahead of a woman, who enters quite disheveled. She wears a scowl, and is very irritated. She’s breathing heavily, and sweating profusely.

Joan.

You couldn’t have picked somewhere more convenient My God….is this place hard to find! And, the parking….I had to walk a block! Do you know how hard it is to walk in these shoes! I wore them to impress you, but some impression I’m making after breaking a sweat!

She quickly manages to pick up her fallen belongings from the floor, before Roger has a chance to help her. He sits quite stunned by her brash tone. She tosses two booklets in front of him on the table.

Joan.

Here! You didn’t seem to understand what I meant by “sexual communication”. Well, now you can read up on it! I mean, really, where have you been living all of your life? Under a rock?!

She settles into her chair and begins to calm down as she tidies up her outfit, and composes herself.

Max hasn’t said a word yet. He smiles at her and extends his hand.

 

Max.

Pleased to meet you, Joan. I’m really sorry for the inconvenience. Uh…umm, (trying to be light and positive) but once you try the coffee here, you will understand my choice. It really is the best coffee in town…and, I’m sorry about the parking.

Joan.

(Abruptly interupts him.) I hate coffee! It does a number on my bowels. You really shouldn’t drink it either, you know. What time is it?

Max.

(Glancing at his watch) It’s only 6:38, so you’re still early in spite of the parking situation. We did say 6:45.

Joan.

(with an audible exhale) I need to take my pills. Can you get me some water?

(again, in a more demanding tone) Get me some water! Now! Joan starts to hyperventilate.

Max nervously looks around and discreetly motions to the waiter to get some water.

She takes out a long pillbox and starts to count out a myriad of multi-colored pills, and then takes out a tea bag.

Joan.

I brought my own tea. Just get me a cup of hot water, please. (demanding again)

Max motions to the waiter once more for the hot water, which arrives right away.

Joan stirs her teabag into the hot water. She takes a deep breath. She lifts her chin and offers up a mild smile to Max. She seems to be genuinely interested now.

Joan.

So, how are you?

Max.

I’m fine thank you. I was ..

 

Joan.

(cutting him off) well, I’m not! This damned weather is giving me headaches. My dandelion tea isn’t working as it should, and even though I take all these herbs, I still can’t get a good night’s sleep!

Max.

Have you tried meditation? I hear it’s very helpful. I’ve found it great way to relax. Or you can count backwards. It’s simple, but effective, if you start at 100…99, 98…

Joan.

Rolling her eyes and interrupts him again. I get it, I get it already! What time is it?

Max.

6:45, Joan. Only a few minutes have passed since the last time you asked…

Joan.

Oh my god, I have to go! I forgot to feed the meter! If I get a godammned ticket, I ..will …be… livid! My head is about to explode from this headache!

She stands up to go, grabs her purse and shoves the pillbox into it. She feigns a smile.

Joan.

Read these booklets, and, let me know what you think.

Max begins to stand up to say goodbye as a formality. Joan raises a hand in a gesture to stop him.

Joan.

Sit down, and next time let me pick the place! She swiftly turns, and heads to the exit.

 

Max looks perplexed, and exhales. He takes a sip of coffee, and the waiter stops by to refill his cup and remove the items from Joan’s whirlwind visit.

He opens his laptop and makes some notes on the pad on the table. He says the name, Marie-Louise a few times. He attempts to say it with a German accent. “Hello Marie-Louise, how are you?”

He reads aloud from her profile

Max.

German born beauty. Looking for male companion to enjoy good food, good company, as well as someone who doesn’t mind spending time with my little ones.

He pauses and seems to drift off in thought.

Max.

Little ones…I wonder whether she has cats or dogs? Looking for a man of taste and quality who appreciates the finer things in life. Yes, I like her already. A breath of fresh air…..a refined lady…cultured….European. Good food. Music…Romance…

He stares off dreamily….

Suddenly, the air is filled with soft, sweet, musical notes, the tinkle of a charm bracelet, and the delicate click of high heels. Max perks up to see Marie-Louise making an entrance with her cotton candy blonde fluff of hair. She is all ruffles and lace. Marie-Louis is a rather large woman. Much larger than her profile implied, but she is very well put together and attractive.

Marie-Louie.

Overly polite and soft-spoken, with a German accented, child-like voice.

Hello Max, what a pleasure to finally meet in person, you look just as your picture.

She smiles, and settles into her chair. She is very particular, rearranging the placemat, small vase and candle carefully.

Max.

Hello Marie-Louise, what a pretty blouse. Would you prefer coffee or tea? (He asks this with mild trepidation…residual nerves from the “Joan” encounter)

 

Marie-Louise.

Coffee, for sure, coffee. Yah, I just love coffee. This is a very nice place. I have been here before, when my kinder were so small, we used to go for long walks down by the park and stop here for pastries. Yes, so very long ago.

Max.

How many children do you have?

Marie-Louise.

I have two. Two beautiful childrens. Brigitte, and Bernard. They are my twins. My babies. My life.

Max.

(slightly perplexed) How…u, mm, how old are the twins?

Marie-Louise.

(Sighing) They are now already 45. It seems like just yesterday I was strolling them in the carriage. That reminds me, I can’t forget to take them a little treat. They love to have sweets. I must bring the sweets for them. My kinder.

Max.

(Shifts uncomfortably in his chair )Where do they live?

Marie-Louise.

Didn’t you read in my profile? About my little ones? They live with me, of course! They are my love and my life.

Max.

Oh, hmmm, do you have a picture?

Marie-Louise.

Why, yes, yes. Of course! Here, look, I will show you. (she rustles in her purse to pull out a wallet which she opens, revealing a photo)

Max gasps and quickly composes himself.

Max.

They are identical?

 

Marie-Louise.

No, they are fraternal. A boy and a girl. My beauties. They must be hungry. It is so late. I didn’t make desert tonight. I will bring treats, yes treats!

Max.

So, what do they do for a living? I mean, where do they work?

Marie-Louise.

No, uh, no, no, but they don’t work. No need, never! Their father left enough money for all of us. We are quite comfortable with everything we will ever ask for. And, I prefer to keep them close to me. I don’t want them to get hurt. It’s better this way.

Max.

Oh, I see. Do they have boyfriends…um girlfriend…significant others?

Awkward silence…

Marie-Louise.

No, no, no….they have each other! We have each other! It is a special bond with the twins. And, look at them. They are both so, oh, they are so…so, well, fat. I suppose it is my fault for always feeding them so very well, but they really are better off staying with me. You will see, when you come over to our house. We spend a lot of time together. (she pauses and looks away momentarily) We only need one thing. One thing that is missing from our life.

Max.

(Speaking slowly with subtle dread.) What is that?..

Marie-Louise.

A man for completion of the picture, of course! I like life to be a fairy tale, you know? Someone like you! Just like you…

 

Marie-Louise.

You will come for dinner at our home. I will ask Bernard and Brigitte, and let you know. Can I order some desert now? I’m so hungry. I love to have a sweet now. What time is it?

Max.

It’s about 7:30

Marie-Louise.

oh, dear, I must run, …waiter!

The waiter comes by.

Marie-Louise.

I vould like a dozen, no, no, make that 2 dozen of your very freshest mixed pastries to go, please.

Marie-Louise.

Leans in closer towards Max, speaking in a hushed voice. I will invite you over to have dinner with us next week. I can’t wait for you to meet the children!

Max stands up out of formality to say goodbye and she jumps up and hugs him as she trills in her German accent

Marie-Louise.

How happy we will all be!

The waiter gives her the order to go, and drops the check on Max’s table.

Marie-Louise glides out the door on her fragrant pink cloud, carrying the large box of pastries for her kinder.

Max looks baffled, and seems to be laughing to himself. He scratches a couple of notes, and opens the laptop once again. The waiter comes by to reset the table and refill his coffee cup.

 

 

 

Max.

He reads aloud again, the third and final description from the computer screen.

Cheryl, retired postal worker, 55. Avid swimmer, collector and investigator. No fuss, no nonsense type of gal. Looking for a companion to share my interests and introduce me to new hobbies. Cheryl. She looks so cute! Cute as a button, and I like her down to earth attitude. Investigator…intriguing. Collector. I wonder what she collects?

Max sits back and tries to stifle a yawn. He checks the time and looks around anxiously. It’s getting late.

The sound of heavy footsteps approaches. Wooden clogs thumping along.

A deep voice breaks the rhythm of the footsteps.

Cheryl.

Max?….Hello, Cheryl here.

Max looks up to see a solid built woman with a very cropped haircut. She wears a leather jacket and jeans. She extends a hand to firmly shake his from over the table.

Cheryl.

How are you? Sorry, but I was swimming and didn’t realize the time. She rubs her damp hair with a hand and wipes it on her jeans where it leaves a dark mark.

Cheryl.

See that? Still wet from the pool!

Max.

Well, why don’t you have a coffee to warm up or tea, if you prefer.

Cheryl.

Sure, sure. I’ll take a coffee, black. She reaches into her jacket pocket and pulls out a small flask. Opening it deftly, she takes a quick swig, not even attempting to be discreet.

 

Cheryl.

I always bring my own flask, it’s great after a work out!”

Max.

I’ll have to keep that in mind, next time I go to my gym.

Cheryl laughs loudly. As her coffee is set down in front of her, she pours from the flask into the cup, takes a quick sip, then adds a bit more.

She reaches over to pour some into Max’s coffee cup, but he is quick to cover his cup with his hand, and declines the offer.

Max.

So, Cheryl, I am so curious, what do you collect. Your profile was very intriguing.

Cheryl.

Well, it’s complicated, Max. You see, there’s a lot you don’t know yet about me. I’m pretty excited about American history, and I know just about every detail there is about our civil war. I got really into it in high school, and then it became more of a full-blown hobby as an adult. I, well, I’m a re-en-actor!

Max.

A what re-actor? What type of acting do you do?

Cheryl.

Well, Max, I dress in civil war costume – with all the details and muskets, and we do full blown re-enactments down in the fields by the abandoned train station on the west side. You know where I’m talkin’ about?

Max is quiet…thinking.

Max.

Um, I think I do, yes. I sometimes go to the organic farmers market on weekends over in that area.

Cheryl.

I don’t put these details in my profile, ‘cause last time I put something about dressing up in costume, the guy took it the wrong way. I’m pretty darn serious about my history, so I figured I better let you know up front. What do you think about that, Max? Do you think it is something you might be interested in?

 

Max.

I do like history, but it sounds very involved. Maybe I can come by to watch first. Are visitors allowed?

Cheryl breathes heavily, and opens the flask once again to pour some more alcohol into her coffee cup.

Cheryl.

Well Max, either you’re in or you’re out. I worked for the P.O. for 35 years and I got a good sense of folks you know. I can read a person in 2 minutes flat. Either you’re in or you’re out. It’s ok. History isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of guts to get out there in full regalia and fire a musket, believe you me. I don’t get the impression that you could get down and dirty with the troops in the field. It’s all right though, you’re all right, Max. I like you. Have a sip.

This time she empties the flask into Max’s empty coffee cup.

He looks at it, and picks it up to meet Cheryl’s cup over the table in a quick gesture that she initiates.

Cheryl.

Bottoms up!

Max.

Cheers.

Cheryl starts to get up and looks at Max, she smiles and stretches out her hand. They shake hands and she does a “re-enactor” salute, and an about face as she heads for the exit.

Max finishes the cup of whiskey-laced coffee, and laughs to himself.

He stretches his legs, and reaches down for the notebook, scratching off another note, and writing something else. He opens the laptop, and logs back onto the dating site.

Aloud to himself, he reads a profile:

Max.

Kathleen, 73. Canadian bred, California grown, Columbia educated. Tall and slender. Enjoys travel, cooking Indian food, looking for an energetic, fun-loving, established gentleman to share the finer things in life. Must like cats. I have a few….

 

 

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