Karma Proof (A Short Play)

31 Plays in 31 Days #30

(A city street.)

LADY
Ahh. Time to earn some karma points.

(The LADY jogs across the stage to catch up with the OTHER LADY.)

LADY
Excuse me, you dropped your wallet.

OTHER LADY
Hey, what?
Hey!
You stole my wallet!

LADY
No no no, it fell out of your purse-

OTHER LADY
I’m calling the police.

LADY
I didn’t steal your wallet!
Check it, the money is all there.

OTHER LADY
I’m sure it is.

LADY
Well go ahead and check it.

OTHER LADY
I’m not doing what you say, thief.

LADY
I’m not a thief if you look and see the money is still all there!

OTHER LADY
It’s probably fake.

LADY
What?

OTHER LADY
Counterfeit. It’s not like I memorize the serial numbers on the bills I have. You probably replaced them with fake ones. It’s a clever scam.

LADY
You had four dollars in there!

OTHER LADY
Ah-ha, so you looked!

LADY
Jesus Christ.

OTHER LADY
Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.

LADY
You’re wearing a Star of David.

OTHER LADY
What’s your point?

LADY
Look, go into that store over there, they probably have one of those pen-things-

OTHER LADY
Oh, I’m sure these are immune to those pen-things.

LADY
You think I outsmarted the Secret Service with better improved counterfeit one-dollar bills that will not get caught by the pen-thing and yet somehow felt the need to put them in your wallet in order to have legitimate one-dollar bills in my wallet.

OTHER LADY
You said it, I didn’t.

LADY
Whatever. There’s your wallet. I’m leaving.

OTHER LADY
Oh no you don’t. I’m calling the cops.

LADY
Fine! Call the cops! I look forward to them yelling at you for being an idiot when they get here and see your money all there.

OTHER LADY
I thought you said something about doing this for good karma, and now you’re cursing me out.

LADY
You heard me?

OTHER LADY
Yeah, you said it loud enough for me to hear all the way over here.

LADY
So what’s your problem then?

OTHER LADY
You obviously said that to throw me off.
Calling.

LADY
Oh my god.
Do a good deed…

OTHER LADY
Nothing is worse than doing a bad deed and pretending it’s a good deed.
Hello, police. This woman tried to steal my wallet.

(Lights down.)

(Lights up.)

OFFICER
Okay, ma’am, you stand over there. I’ll get her statement then yours.

LADY
This should be exciting.

OFFICER
Go on, tell me what happened.

OTHER LADY
My ex-husband is tormenting me.

OFFICER
I don’t see-

OTHER LADY
He sent this woman! He keeps sending strange people to harass me in clever ways that look like nothing you could arrest someone for.

OFFICER
Like what?

OTHER LADY
There was the guy who pretended to be drunk and fell over in front of me, and I had to carry him to the stoop and call the ambulance, but he ran off before they got there and I missed my bus. There was the old woman who kept insisting I was her grand-niece and kept trying to give me cupcakes all the way down the street, acting like she was confused. A few others. Then, yesterday, he made a mistake and let me figure it out, he sent an old high school buddy of his that he didn’t figure I’d recognize from photos. This guy was way younger and better looking than my dumpy-ass self and he kept hitting on me. I was flattered until I recognized him and then I played along. Then he asked me on a date which I knew he would end up not showing up for, and I confronted him about it, and he got really indignant and it was a whole mess. So I didn’t confront this woman about it. Be sneaky and draw it out from her.

OFFICER
That’s quite a story.

OTHER LADY
It’s true! Go, talk to her.

OFFICER
I need your statement of what happened with the wallet.

OTHER LADY
I was walking along, I heard her say “now I’ll get some good karma” which I assume was to throw me off the trail by making me think I wasn’t supposed to hear it even though it was out loud, and she came up to me after that and said here is your wallet, the money is all inside. And then I called you.

OFFICER
That’s it?

OTHER LADY
Yes.

OFFICER
Was anything missing?

OTHER LADY
Nothing I can *see.* Who knows what she did with it.

OFFICER
Okay. You’re sure?

OTHER LADY
Yes, all four dollars are there, and my ID and cards and everything.

OFFICER
Okay. Stay here.

LADY
What did she say? That seemed… involved.

OFFICER
Do you know this woman?

LADY
Never seen her before in her life.
I mean, in my life.

OFFICER
What happened?

LADY
I was walking along, saw her drop the wallet, gave it back to her-

OFFICER
Hold on. What were you doing on this street?

LADY
I work up the road there at the white building. I left for lunch and got lunch at the deli down there. I have the receipt.

OFFICER
Let me see it.

Okay, so this happened about 1:30.

LADY
Yeah, apparently.

OFFICER
Go on.

LADY
I gave it back to her, and she FLIPS OUT on me. She calls me names, uses some weird religious slurs and says I’m being anti-Semitic-

OFFICER
Anti-Semitic about what? Did you say anything that might have triggered that response?

LADY
No. I’m Jewish myself! Half-Jewish, anyways. But you talked to her, she’s a little bit off. Who knows what she thought, maybe she just lost control because she thought she was robbed, and then it was too late for her to take back what she said and say “oh thank you for your good deed, kind citizen,” and so she kept… going. And that’s no excuse for-

OFFICER
Did you take anything from the wallet?

LADY
No. I looked inside to see how much was there, just in case she accused me of taking anything, I could say for sure that I’d seen how much was inside when I picked it up.

OFFICER
Smart. How much was in there?

LADY
Four dollars.

OFFICER
What else?

LADY
ID, credit cards, stuff like that. A hairpin.

OFFICER
What’s her name?

LADY
I don’t know.

OFFICER
You didn’t see it on the ID?

LADY
I didn’t look that close.

OFFICER
Go on.

LADY
Um. Yeah so she like flipped out on me. She started hitting me with her purse-

OFFICER
Hold on, she assaulted you?

LADY
I mean, just like with her purse… It’s not a big deal, I shouldn’t have said it.

OFFICER
Did she or didn’t she hit you?

LADY
Well, she did, for a certain value of “hit.” My head isn’t damaged by a little purse. Although she did catch me in the boob and that one stung a little. It might have a bruise, do you want to see?

OFFICER
Did you see any witnesses around?

LADY
I didn’t see anyone, I was too busy being confused!

OFFICER
Do you know a Mr. Waterson?

LADY
Who? No.

OFFICER
Really?

LADY
Yes.

OFFICER
That’s her ex-husband. She claims you know him.

LADY
…A Mr. Waterson, she said?

OFFICER
…Yes?

LADY
She said Mr. Waterson?

OFFICER
Yes. Do you know him?

LADY
Oh. Uh. No, I don’t know her or him at all. But it’s strange, Mr. Waterson works at my building over there. A Mr. Waterson, at least.

OFFICER
I know, he’s head of security. I talk with him now and then.

LADY
Oh.
Is…
Is he her ex-husband? Wow.

OFFICER
No, he’s happily married.

LADY
Coincidence, then!

OFFICER
Actually, I was trying to see whether you would reveal that you know her ex-husband by using the wrong name.

LADY
Oh.
I swear I don’t.

OFFICER
Hmmm.
Her ex-husband is a Mr. Kaminsky, do you know him?

LADY
Doesn’t ring a bell.

OFFICER
If we discover a connection later…

LADY
Is it illegal to know someone without knowing they happen to know the woman you tried to help on the street and got purse-bashed for your trouble?

OFFICER
So you know him?

LADY
It doesn’t ring a bell. I can’t say definitively no, I guess.

OFFICER
I see.
What time do you normally eat lunch?

LADY
Oh you can ask Mr. Waterson, I leave at random times every day. Pretty much when I can get a break.

OFFICER
All right.

LADY
Are you going to do anything about the purse hitting?

OFFICER
Do you want me to?

LADY
No.

OFFICER
What do you want to happen here?

LADY
I want her to go home happy that she got her wallet back. I want my karma points. And I want to get back to work cleared under the law.

OFFICER
Okay.
Hold on.

OTHER LADY
What did she say? Was she saying I hit her?

OFFICER
Did you hit her?

OTHER LADY
I pushed away from her with my purse when she tried to stuff my wallet back in, but I didn’t hit her!

OFFICER
Oy.

OTHER LADY
What?

OFFICER
Hold on.

(The OFFICER steps aside.)

OFFICER
[Police radio talk], I’ve got a situation here.

RADIO
What code?

OFFICER
No code. Just a weird one.

RADIO
Backup?

OFFICER
No.

RADIO
Can you wrap it up quickly?

OFFICER
Why?

RADIO
We want to add you to a search. Seems there was a big counterfeit operation busted across town, Secret Service wants anyone free to come in, get a briefing on how to spot these new bills.

OFFICER
You know what, that sounds great. I’ll be in.

RADIO
Ok.

OFFICER
Ladies, I have your statements and your contact information. The department will be contacting you for further information shortly.

OTHER LADY
But-

OFFICER
She’s cooperating, and she’s not going anywhere. If we find foul play involved, we’ll make sure the law is followed through.

LADY
But-

OFFICER
GOOD DAY ladies.

(The OFFICER exits.)

OTHER LADY
Well.

LADY
Well?

OTHER LADY
Tell me ex-husband FUCK HIMSELF UP THE ASS WITH A SLIMY SPIKED BAT. Congratulations, I missed my meeting because of you. Goodbye!

LADY
Hey-

(The OTHER LADY exits.)

LADY
Dammit.

(The LADY sighs.)

LADY
Now I’ll never get into heaven.

(End of play.)

writing time: :30

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One comment

  1. […] of the idea behind the genie play [i.e. no, you idiots, a zombie apocalypse would NOT be fun] 30) Karma Proof – a woman gets berated for returning a dropped wallet Came from having NO IDEA what to write and […]

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