Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pearls before swine

(Scene: Morning. A reasonably attractive woman in her early thirties boards a city bus and finds a seat across from several other riders, including a man about her age reading a newspaper.)

Man (looking up from newspaper): Hey, you have some dirt on your pants, yeah, right there.

Reasonably attractive woman: Oh, thanks. (Rubs at dirt with fingers.)

Man: I think it's actually from your purse -- it's all dirty on the bottom.

Woman (turning an impossibly large purse to look at the bottom): Oh, no, I must have set it down at the bus stop. Thanks for pointing that out.

Man: If I were you, I'd wait until I got to work and use water on it; otherwise you'll just rub it in.

Woman: Ah. Good point. (Sits still, feeling uncomfortable, wanting to rub dirt from her pants and planning to do so as soon as man gets off bus.)

(Pause.)

Man (looking up from newspaper): You have more self-control than I do. I would have been rubbing at that dirt like crazy by now.

Woman (laughs self-consciously): Well, really it's just par for the course for me. I'm always having minor mishaps -- it's kind of a way of life for me. My friends tell me I'm like the heroine of a romantic comedy who's always falling down and hitting her head, but who gets the guy in the end. Like Sandra Bullock or Meg Ryan or something.

Man: Do your friends always lie to make people feel better about themselves? (Laughs at his own joke; woman laughs confusedly.)

Man: I'm Tyler.

Woman: Nice to meet you. Allison.

Man: Hey, do you read the comics?

Woman: Yeah, sometimes.

Man: My favorite one is this one about a pig and a zebra. Last week, they had a really funny one where the pig ...

(Man keeps talking. Woman's mind wanders to other riders on the bus who are trying to appear as though they are not eavesdropping, which, of course, they are. "Is he hitting on me?" the woman thinks. "Are all these people laughing inside, like I do when I see someone hitting on someone else in public? Is this awkward? Or not? AND -- did he really just say that my friends are *lying* to make me feel better when they say I'll get the guy in the end?"

Man finishes story and laughs, looking expectantly at woman. Woman realizes she wasn't listening and has no idea what he just said and pretends to laugh awkwardly.)

Another reasonably attractive woman (sitting next to the man, laughing loudly): Oh, that's a good one! I love that comic!

Man: It's called "Pearls Before Swine." I have no idea what that means, but it's my favorite comic.

First woman: It's from the Bible.

Man sitting next to woman #1: Yeah, it means, like, not tellin' people your personal business 'cause they don't understand. Like, if I believe somethin', and I know people don't respect that, then I ain't gon' tell those people, 'cause it's special to me.

(First woman stands as the bus pulls up to the metro.)

Man: Hey, nice to meet you.

Woman: You too. Have great day. (Exits bus with a sigh of relief.)


Uh huh. Welcome to my world. :)


3 comments:

matt b said...

Awesome. Weird metro conversations are the best; one of these days remind me to tell you about the time I was asked to adjudicate a contest of strength between the guys on the back seat.

And perhaps this is only the beginning of strange Tyler encounters. Was this your regular bus?

Kim said...

that just made my day. in fact, i think i'll use it in the "right before the turning point in the story where things start clicking" scene in my next romantic comedy screenplay. classic.

Allison said...

Matt -- a very prescient comment. I did see "Tyler" again, like two days later. We chatted for a few minutes, and this time he got off at my stop, almost like he wanted to keep talking longer. Then he found me on facebook, based only on my first name and the place I work. He invited me to be friends, making some joke about the bus and the bus number so I'd know it was him. I checked out his profile and ... turns out, he's engaged. True story. Stick that into your screenplay, Kim :)