Scripts

Shopping

Content & purpose - A slightly humorous look at how people are willing to accept stuff without considering what it really means.

Cast - 2 people, Assistant (A), and Customer (C)

Starting Positions - A shop, behind the counter is an assistant who, although very 'helpful' and 'smiley' she does not act in a 'cheesy' way. In fact there is almost something sinister about her. She is whistling a carefree, happy tune.

A customer enters. He nods an acknowledgement. She smiles. He is clearly browsing. Pause.

A:
Can I help at all sir?
C:
Just having a look round, thanks. (He continues, then mimes picking something up)
A:
Very nice that one, sir.
C:
Yes. (Puts it back, mimes choosing another 'object') How much is this one?
A:
Ten pounds sir
C:
There's a lot isn't there?
A:
We aim to give our customers maximum choice, sir.
C:
I didn't realise there were so many…
A:
What sort of religion were you looking for , sir?
C:
(worried) Religion? No! Religion… no I was just after more a sort of belief… actually.
A:
Oh I see! Forgive me sir… not everyone's cup of tea is it? Religion. Mainly for the religious eh?
C:
Yes… I suppose…
A:
May I ask you a question, sir?
C:
Of course.
A:
What sort of thing were you after? We do an excellent line in the tooth fairy.
C:
What?
A:
Belief in the tooth fairy - for the little ones you understand. An excellent gift for the more inquisitive child.
C:
I was thinking more for me actually.
A:
Oh I see, sir. Forgive me. (she finds an object) Well how about this one, sir? A relatively new package.
C:
(interested) Really? What is it?
A:
Nothing.
C:
What?
A:
A belief in nothing. For the discerning atheist.
C:
How can you believe in nothing? What kind of belief is that?
A:
(Puzzled) Well, it's this kind of belief sir. The full package. It's very popular - comes with it's own meaningless book and blanket of depression. (She sees the look on the customers face and hastily picks up another object) Or what about this sir - much more perky and optimistic. You see the luminous, fluffy wrapping. It does my heart glad, sir… I don't mind telling you… my heart glad!
C:
Well that sounds much more like it
A:
Of course it is sir, much more like it. Shut your eyes sir.
C:
What?
A:
Shut your eyes, sir.
C:
Really?
A:
(Firmly) Really. (Customer does so) Take a deep breath of the sweet smelling air (Customer takes deep breath) prepare for a life of happiness and enchantment… prepare for a life of charming care free ease… prepare for everything.
C:
(Opens eyes) Everything?
A:
A belief in everything. What a wondrous thing. Everything you've heard is true. The earth is round, aeroplanes exist, bunny rabbits talk, her from No 42 is having an affair…
C:
Hold on!
A:
The moon is made of green cheese, Chelsea are the best, Elvis was a girl…
C:
Now wait a minute. Elvis was a girl! Bunny rabbits talk!
A:
Yes sir (Puts her hand to ear in an exaggerated gesture) Can you hear them? Chatting with the vegetables and fairy trolls that live in the bottom of my garden. They sing to me, do they sing to you sir?
C:
This is insane (He goes to leave, the assistant stops him)
A:
Yes sir, of course it is sir! If you believe it's insane then it is! Of course it is. But if I believe it's insane then it is! Of course it is. But if I believe it to be true then it is true. That's the beauty of this package… it suits everyone.
C:
Well it doesn't suit me. I wanted something real. I want something real, something I can believe in truly… not some fairy tale everything's lovely in toy land belief. I want the truth.
A:
The truth sir? I don't quite follow.
C:
(Exasperated) The truth, you know.
A:
I'm sorry sir… people usually just come in and take what they like. What do you like sir?
C:
Look, it's not a question of what I like, it's a question of which of these are right. Which of these are real?
A:
Well, they're all real, sir. So they must all be true. We can't discriminate, that would make us narrow-minded sir. Nasty, arrogant little people, like those mathematicians who say 2 plus 2 equals 4. Oh, the arrogance of it, makes me sick.
C:
Well, they can't all be true. (Picks up an object) I mean look at this…
A:
(Reads) England exists. Yes, sir.
C:
And now this…
A:
(Picks up another object) England has never existed it is merely imagined in the mind of Doris Perkins. Yes sir.
C:
There you see. They contradict each other.
A:
It exists for Doris sir… so it must be true.
C:
Why? Isn't it possible that she could be wrong?
A:
Beg pardon
C:
Wrong. Incorrect. Mistaken… wrong!
A:
Well, I suppose it's possible… but does it really matter?
C:
Well of course it does. What if I believe in this (Picks up an object off the shelf at random).
A:
There is no such thing as life after death.
C:
Yes. What if I believe that and then die and discover there's a heaven and a hell and my whole life has been lived completely wrong?
A:
Oh you don't want to think about that, sir. Not very nice thought.
C:
No, it's not very nice, but what if it's true?
A:
Nasty little Christian belief, sir. Very old fashioned.
C:
But what if it's true?
A:
Everything's true, sir.
C:
No it isn't. Don't you understand? Don't you question anything?
A:
Ours is not to question why, sir?
C:
Well of course it is. That's why we've got minds. To question, to find out what's true.
A:
Perhaps you'd like to try our pick and mix selection. Make your own up… bit of Buddhist meditation, cargo cult expectation, choose our Hindu god of the month… anything you want!
C:
I don't want to make my own up. I want the reality.
A:
Everything's real, sir… if you want it to be.
C:
I'm going.
A:
Yes sir. If you believe you're going then you are, sir.
C:
Goodbye (exits).
A:
But if I believe you're staying then you are (becoming like a machine, talking to thin air). Glad you could stay sir. Yes, sir. Glad you could stay. So glad you could stay. Thank you for staying. What's that you say, sir. Belief, yes… would you like a particular one, or do you want the lot?

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This page last updated 22nd Nov, 2003.
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