LIKE A CHILD
A brief stage play illustrating a cautionary tale of how to inadvertently alienate a stranger and do nothing to mollify the situation
The Horseshoe Casino Steakhouse waiting area, Hammond, Indiana, Summer 2009.
MARK, a 30-year old.
A nice family (MAUREEN, Tom, TJ)
STRANGER, a balding, short-pants-wearing middle-aged stranger
A Casino Steakhouse Staff Member
Immediately behind MARK stands a middle-aged, short-pants-wearing STRANGER, who has for several minutes not been getting satisfaction from staff regarding a table reservation. His considerable ire is a fact MARK can hear but not see. Immediately before the journey to the casino, MARK changed his attire from shorts to pants on account a misguided sense of decorum.
At the outset of the play we hear a brief muttering of disconcert from the STRANGER to the Staff Member. MAUREEN notices MARK’s change of clothing attire.
Oh, you changed from shorts to pants!
Oh yeah I did, back at the house before we left. Ugh, otherwise I’d be standing here in shortpants, LIKE A CHILD.
These last three words are not yelled but uttered with such slow, deep contempt as to warrant capitalizing. Off MAUREEN’s reaction of shock and bottled amusement, MARK turns around. He and the STRANGER regard each other briefly, the STRANGER has clearly overheard. MARK looks down, turns back, looks briefly and blankly at MAUREEN, puts his hands on his hips. There is a loud exhale before he turns and stares absently at Lake Michigan through a nearby window, while the group is mired in thick, lengthy silence.