OLIVIA: A young, intelligent, well-dressed woman waiting for her date.
JASON: A young man, who is less refined, who happens to be Olivia’s date.
CALVIN: A waiter.
PLACE: A BBQ restaurant somewhere in the USA
Synopsis: A young man meets a strange girl in a new strange restaurant for a first date.
A sparse restaurant.
The place is fairly empty except for a woman sitting a table. She stands out in the environment in a red dress, her hair big, teased, and backcombed, resembling a lion’s mane. Over her shoulders she wears a fur stole. This is OLIVIA.
In front of her is a glass of something white and sparkling
that she twirls and occasionally takes a delicate sip from.
As she sits and waits a young man, obviously in a rush,
bursts through the door and makes his way to the table out
of breath. This is JASON. He is not dressed nearly as nice
as Olivia but still put in some effort.
Before he sits down he begins to apologize.
Hi, Olivia. Sorry I’m late. The freeway was completely backed up.
You look great.
Oh thank you.
I hope I’m not under dressed.
Oh no. Not at all. You look good tonight.
Well, thank you.
Not to be superficial, but that’s why I talked to you that day at the gym. I saw you running
on the treadmill with those calf muscles. How could I resist?
Do you do calf raises? Squats?
No. Just running.
Well, whatever you’re doing it’s working. They’re so plump and defined like a drumstick.
I bet they would be a delicious meal for someone higher up on the food chain.
You mean like a lion?
Yes. Like a lion.
Well, let’s hope I’m not chased by a lion anytime soon.
Lionesses are the ones that do the hunting.
All this talk is making me hungry. Let’s order.
Oh, I haven’t even had a chance to look at the menu yet.
It doesn’t matter. Everything here is just so delicious. You can’t go wrong.
She elegantly holds up her hand and a WAITER approaches. He is a thin man with his hair conservatively slicked to one side.
Good evening. My name is Calvin. I will be taking care of you this evening.
Yeah, hi. Good evening.
So have we been here before, sir?
No, this is my first time.
So have you explained how it works here?
I haven’t. Shall I?
Only if you’d like to.
I’ll let you.
I’m sorry, have you been here before?
I have. This is my favorite place. To eat.
It sounds like you’re practically local. Like a regular.
We see a lot of the lady. She has an exceptional appetite.
Olivia raises her eyebrow and licks her upper lip.
I see. What do you need to explain to me?
Well, we’re very particular about how we prepare our food.
Everything is fresh, made the same day it is delivered. We freeze nothing and only serve
what we cook that day. So once we are out of a particular dish we are out for the day.
That sounds economical.
Very. We’re extremely proud of our kitchen and our cooker. In fact, we like to give all firsttimers a tour of the kitchen. If the lady approves?
Oh Jason, you simply must.
I think I’m okay.
But I wouldn’t want you to miss out. It could be romantic.
Oh! That reminds me. I got you something. Here.
He reaches into his inside jacket pocket and pulls out a
single red rose and hands it to her.
Oh Jason! It’s beautiful! How sweet of you. Thank you!
It’s the least I could do. Especially since I was so late.
Olivia takes a moment to admire to admire the flower
before seeming to come to a decision.
You know, I think we’ll hold off on the tour of the kitchen. Just for now.
Are you sure?
Would you care for a drink?
Sure! What are you having?
A little odd for a BBQ place, but sound delicious. I’ll have what the lady is having.
Very well, sir. Will there be anything else? Nothing I can prepare for dinner?
Not just yet.
Not even an appetizer?
As you wish.
The waiter leaves to get Jason’s drink.
Wait, he didn’t give us any menus.
It doesn’t matter. I know what’s good here.
They are my favorite.
Right. I have to admit I was a little nervous for a minute there.
For a moment there, the way you were both looking at me, I thought you two were going to eat me.
I mean I only just met you. I know it sounds silly, but you never know.
We wouldn’t both eat you. He is only the waiter, after all.
Right, right. Anyway, I was thinking after this, since it’ssuch a beautiful night, maybe we
could go play mini golf. Or do something outside.
That sounds wonderful. I love mini golf. I just have to stop at home real quick and change.
And feed my cat.
Oh. You have a cat?
You don’t like cats?
No, no, it’sjust that I’m more of a dog person. You know?
The waiter returns with Jason’s glass of prosecco.
You know, I think he will take the tour after all.
Delighted to hear it!
I’m really okay.
But it’s part of the experience. I would feel simply horrible if you missed it.
Okay, sure, why not. Where do we go?
This way, sir.
The waiter gestures back towards the kitchen.
Jason gets up from his seat and starts to follow the waiter.
Olivia remains seated.
Aren’t you coming?
Oh, I’ve already taken the tour. But don’t worry, I’ll see you when you return.
Jason looks back to the waiter, then back to Olivia. Neither
offers him much comfort.
He starts to leave again but before he does he grabs his
drink and chugs it in one swig.
Follow me, sir.
With a little guidance from the waiter Jason hesitantly goes
back towards the kitchen.
Olivia watches him as he exits.
Such a shame. The food here is delicious, but the wait is killer.
She sips her drink.
FADE TO BLACK
Peter Nemenoff is a playwright based out of Denver, CO. He has had his works produced by the Lakeshore Players out of Bear Lake, Minnesota, the Gi60 one-minute Play Festival, and most recently published in the international literary journal, Literature Today.