Cough-y Talk

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January 8, 2016 by T. Gregory Argall

A short sketch I wrote a while ago for a project that didn’t happen.

MURRAY, TED and BEN are standing, talking quietly amongst themselves.

MURRAY
So then I hung these curtains that I found at B, B and B–

TED
Not cotton again.

MURRAY
No, these were a nice sheer, just lovely.

BEN
Blue? Red? Come on, give us some detail.

MURRAY
Kind of a soft orange with tasteful red highlights.

BEN
(hand over his mouth, smiling)  Oh. Divine.

TED
Did they bring out the accent pieces?

MURRAY
Wonderfully.

MARISSA enters, approaching the guys. BEN spots her first. He cough-talks to warn the others.

BEN
(coughing in his hand)  Girl.

MURRAY
What? Oh…  (realizing)  So the, uh, quarterback, he’s looking for an opening, right?

TED
Uh… Yeah, of course he is.

BEN
Did he find one?

MURRAY
Yeah, he spots an opening so he starts running around the bases and then he sees the goaltender–

MARISSA
Hi.

MURRAY, BEN and TED mutter greetings to MARISSA.

MARISSA
You guys talking about hockey?

MURRAY, BEN and TED all answer at the same time.

MURRAY
(indignantly)  Football.

BEN
(condescendingly)  Baseball.

TED
(proudly)  Sports.

MARISSA
(uncertainly)  Right. Okay. Whatever. What’s your favourite team?

BEN
The, um… Toronto… Uh…

MURRAY
Yeah, the Toronto…

TED
Sportsmen!

BEN
Right. The Toronto Sportsmen.

MURRAY
Yep. That’s our team. We love ’em. Like a team, I mean. Love that
team.

TED
They’re our favourite… team.

MARISSA
Riiight. Got it. Did you see the game last night when that player,
you know the one…

BEN
Oh, yeah, him.

MURRAY
He’s great.

TED
Love him.

MARISSA
Yeah. Him. When he threw the puck in the hoop for the overtime field goal? Did you see that?

MURRAY, BEN and TED look at each other for a moment, then
nod enthusiastically.

BEN
Yeah, that was great.

MURRAY
Awesome shot. Right in the bullseye.

TED
Love him… You know, as a player. ‘Cause I’m a fan. Yeah.

MARISSA
Riiight. I heard he got three strikes, a two spares, and free lap around the track for that.

Wide-eyed, MURRAY, BEN and TED stare uncertainly at each
other for a moment.

TED
(coughing his words)  She-knows.

MURRAY
(coughing his words)  You-sure?

TED
(coughing his words)  Yeah-pretty-sure.

BEN
(coughing his words)  Maybe-she-doesn’t.

MURRAY, BEN and TED stop coughing, smile and look at MARISSA.

MARISSA
You guys all right? Bit of a dry throat there?

They stare at her for a moment longer, then turn back
towards each other.

BEN
(coughing his words)  She-knows.

TED
(coughing his words)  Gee-you-think?

MURRAY
(coughing his words)  What-do-we-do?

BEN
(coughing his words)  Just-play-it-cool.

TED
(coughing his words)  Good-idea.

MARISSA
(coughing her words)  You-think-that’ll-work?

BEN
(coughing his words)  Why-wouldn’t-it-work?

MARISSA
(coughing her words)  ‘Cause-she’s-not-stupid.

MURRAY
(coughing his words)  Yes-she-is.

MURRAY stops, panic in his eyes. He turns to look at MARISSA. BEN and TED follow his gaze. MARISSA smiles at them and nods.

MURRAY
(coughing the word)  Shit.

MARISSA
Not so much with the sports, huh?

MURRAY
Uuhhhhh.

BEN
We, uh, we were just talking about, uh….

TED
Curtains! Murray got new curtains.

MURRAY and BEN look accusingly at TED. TED sheepishly cowers away from them.

MARISSA
Not cotton, I hope. Tell me they’re not cotton.

MURRAY
Uh… No. Sheers.

MARISSA
Nice. What colour?

BEN
A soft orange.

TED
With tasteful red highlights.

MARISSA
Cool. Does is bring out the accent pieces in the room?

MURRAY
Wonderfully.

FADE TO BLACK

Try to be nice to each other.

tga

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