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The Man 2 Dialogs: Dating Explained in 3 Acts s



Dark. Spot lights fade up on MAN 2 and MAN 1. They are in their traditional spots from Act I.

MAN 2                  So how was your date with my friend?

MAN 1                  I'm not sure it was a date.

MAN 2                  Where's the confusion?

MAN 1                  It's just so hard these days to tell when it's a date and when it's just two friends doing something together.

MAN 2                  True, true. A date is ultimately defined by having similar end games.

MAN 1                  What sort of end game?

MAN 2                  Sex of course.

MAN 1                  We didn't have sex!

MAN 2                  It doesn't matter. You'd eventually like to have sex with her?

MAN 1                  Yeah. Eventually. So does that make it a date?

MAN 2                  No. Her end game has to be, of course, wanting to have sex with you.

MAN 1                  Eventually.

MAN 2                  Eventually.

MAN 1                  And I suppose it would be way way out of line to ask her at any point "Are we going out because we merely have some common interests and enjoy each other's company or are these one-on-one outings a building process by which we set down emotional tendrils, grow the relationship, and eventually get it on?"

MAN 2                  You have learned well, my young padewan.

MAN 1                  So sex is like opening the box on Schrödinger's cat. What we do together is both a date and not a date. The question cannot be resolved until we, like, yee ha! ride 'em skipper! We're gonna use all the furniture tonight, baby!

MAN 2                  Absolutely. And whatever you do make sure you don't let the relationship evolve into a No-Girlfriend situation.

MAN 1                  A No what?

MAN 2                  A No-Girlfriend. She's yes to all sorts of boyfriend/girlfriend like activities: horror films, Christmas at your parents' place, rides to the airport. She is, however, no to one thing [holds up index finger then extends the rest of his fingers and flattens out his hand parallel with the bar] horizontalling. The only dimension that defines a relationship.

MAN 1                  Only you would reduce love to planar geometry.

Dark. Spot lights fade up on MAN 2 and WOMAN 1. They are in their traditional spots from Act I.

MAN 2                  So how was your date with my friend?

WOMAN 1           It was nice.

MAN 2                  "Nice" as in "he's a nice guy and I think we can be friends, nice?" or "nice" as in "some entirely new and unheard of female use of the word nice to describe a guy she just met and finds attractive, nice"?

WOMAN 1           "Nice" as in "he did nothing piggish and he knew how to keep a conversation going and I sort of wished he called me the next day but it was nice in a way he didn't, nice".

MAN 2                  Sounds nice.

WOMAN 1           Yes, very nice. One concern, if I may.

MAN 2                  Naturally.

WOMAN 1           He's not one of those Asian fetish guys, is he?

MAN 2                  What?

WOMAN 1           I never know initially if a guy is after me because he likes me or he's just one of those Asian fetish types.

MAN 2                  What's an Asian fetish type?

WOMAN 1           He likes Asian women.

MAN 2                  And if he disliked Asian women?

WOMAN 1           He'd be racist, of course.

MAN 2                  Well, then, let me make it clear at this juncture in our friendship, I like Asian women.

WOMAN 1           I always knew you were one of those Asian fetishers!

MAN 2                  Look, all I'm saying is I don't dislike Asian women. I don't care if she's white, black, Asian, or one of those green Star Trek women. An attractive woman is an attractive woman. Period! And what if I were to say I prefer Asian women? Hypothetically speaking, of course.

WOMAN 1           Hypothetically speaking then you just might probably be an Asian fetisher.

MAN 2                  That's entirely unfair. There are a lot of white woman that will only date like Latino guys or Jamaican guys. Why is that okay? No one slaps that woman with a label. People just say "oh, that's what she likes." But if a guy expresses some overt racial preference, he's got a fetish. And yet, if his tongue was hanging out every time a big breasted blonde woman walked by he'd be labeled "normal". I just so happen to like women with dark hair, who are intelligent, speak more than one language, like spicy food, work in the medical, accounting, or engineering fields. Okay so sue me if more Asian women match those criteria than Swedish women.

WOMAN 1           Okay, sorry, there are some exceptions. I'm just a little sensitive. If you met some of these creeps you'd understand. They seem like pretty nice guys at first. Then after about a date or two the guy announces that he "likes Asian women" as if it were some sort of magnanimous gesture on his part. He then drops such key phrases that he likes Asian women because they're "demure" (i.e. "subservient"), "feminine" (i.e. "no body hair"), and "exotic" (i.e. "in possession of secret sexual techniques unknown to white women"). My god, the lot of them are really nothing more than shallow, sex-crazed anal freaks who have written off an entire race of women because they got dumped on prom night!

MAN 2                  I had no idea.

WOMAN 1           No you don't, do you? You have no idea how hard it is sometimes. Not only do I have the normal problems of trying to weed out the married cheaters, the ax murders, and the future stalkers with anger management problems, but then I have to figure out if a guy is an Asian fetisher or even an egg.

MAN 2                  An egg?

WOMAN 1           Those are dudes who are white on the outside but yellow on the inside. They're not interested in dating me, per se. They're trying to date me and a thousand years of Korean history. They're not aggressively scary like the Asian fetish types. They just get boring really quickly. They're so predictable. Everything they want to do revolves around Korean or Asian culture. You know I really like eating Greek food and then seeing a German opera. I rarely want to spend every weekend eating Korean food, seeing a Korean film retrospective at the art gallery, and then going to Koreatown for no rae bang.

MAN 2                  No ray what?

WOMAN 1           At least you're not an Egg. It's Korean karaoke.

MAN 2                  I can assure you, he's not an egg or one of those Asian fetish types either.

WOMAN 1           Good. I think he has some possibilities.

MAN 2                  Oh yeah?

WOMAN 1           Yeah. But don't tell him I said so. I don't want him to think I'm easy.

MAN 2                  Your secret is safe with me.

Dark. Spot lights fade up on MAN 2 and MAN 1. They are in their traditional spots from Act I.

MAN 2                  Dude, good news, she likes you!

MAN 1                  Get out of here.

MAN 2                  Yes. But you didn't hear it from me.

MAN 1                  No probs. Unless you have a problem with this.

MAN 2                  Why would I have a problem with this?

MAN 1                  You spend a lot of time with her. I feel like I'm stealing one of your women. We're best friends. I don't want this to come between us.

MAN 2                  When did anything like a life-long friendship ever stop a man from trying to steal another man's woman?

MAN 1                  True. So, now that it's looking like I'll be off the market, I guess I can devote a bit of time finding you a woman.

MAN 2                  Why couldn't you do that before?

MAN 1                  Because I was single too. We were both competing for the same pool of available, attractive women. You know, now that I'm not in competition with you, I find your wit and stylish clothing less irritating.

MAN 2                  Thanks.

MAN 1                  [motions to audience] Hey, what about her. She's cute. She looks like Julia Roberts.

MAN 2                  [Does not even look] Forget it, I hate Julia Roberts. The woman is fugly.

MAN 1                  She's a helluva lot cuter than that co-op you were slobbering over last month.

MAN 2                  Which co-op?

MAN 1                  The short one with the facial hair.

MAN 2                  Oh yeah her. She was sort of cute. Sue me for noticing.

MAN 1                  You're trying to tell me a five-foot one-inch tall bearded woman is more attractive than Julia Roberts?

MAN 2                  No. What I'm saying is it's all relative. At a software company where there are more stalls in the women's restroom than there are actual women in the company, a five-one bearded woman looks pretty good. If Julia Roberts was an intern at work, you can bet I'd take the long way to the coffee room just to go by her cubicle every day. But against the pantheon of Hollywood goddesses, a fantasy world where I could have any woman, Julia Roberts wouldn't get a second look from me.

MAN 1                  Oh well, excuse me, Hef.

Dark. Spot lights fade up on MAN 2 and WOMAN 1. They are in their traditional spots from Act I.

WOMAN 1           I was thinking about fixing you up with my coworker Cheryl.

MAN 2                  Have I ever met Cheryl?

WOMAN 1           No. She's fairly new.

MAN 2                  Do you have a photo?

WOMAN 1           No, I don't. But I've told her a lot about you and she's pretty keen to meet you.

MAN 2                  Hrm. So this would be like a blind date?

WOMAN 1           I guess. But the way you say "blind date" makes it seem like I'm suggesting lung surgery.

MAN 2                  I've never had much luck with blind dates. You ever go on a blind date?

WOMAN 1           You know once my dad tried to fix me up on a blind date.

MAN 2                  Your dad? How weird is that?

WOMAN 1           Yeah, it's kind of embarrassing, actually. I was 21. My father and mother had been married at 18 so in their minds, I was rapidly approaching old maid status. I had come home from a night class. My dad was sitting on the living room couch with a stack of letters in front of him on the coffee table. He called me over. He explained he had run an ad in the local Korean paper requesting letters from young men of noble character between 21 and 25 who might be interested in dating his daughter, a smart, traditional lady with traditional Korean values and American citizenship. He received over two hundred and fifty letters. He told me he spent a week narrowing it down to these seven letters. He offered them to me. I should now choose.

MAN 2                  Did you?

WOMAN 1           No! He totally picked the wrong time. It had been a bad day for me. The kind of bad day only a hormonal woman in her early, early twenties can have. On top of trying to grapple with issues of school, friendship, romance, fertility, work, and the frightening, ever looming future, I was retaining water and none of my friends had noticed my new shoes, which were hurting my feet, possibly because they were new or possibly because I had gained an enormous and obvious amount of weight since I bought them three days ago. My friends were purposely avoiding commenting on my shoes because then they would have to tell me "you're too fat to wear those shoes". And now this. Now here was my father in my face trying to tell me... tell me what exactly? Tell me that the only hope I had of ever finding a man was by taking out an ad? My own father was telling me this? I ripped the letters from his hands, burst into tears, and ran to my room. I bunched the letters into a big ball and threw them into my garbage pail. I crawled into bed and cried myself to sleep.

MAN 2                  Sounds traumatic.

WOMAN 1           Yeah, well, around two in the morning I woke up and began thinking. "Dad read through two hundred and fifty letters and found only seven men worthy of me? What sort of men does dad think are worthy of me?" I got out of bed, removed the letters from the trash, and got back into bed with them. I smoothed out the letters in front of me and started reading. Four of the letters had pictures and three of them were really, really cute. One was an intern at a children's hospital. Another just started work as a commodities broker. The third, Peter, was 24 and in law school. Peter was a third generation child of the family that controls the Samsung empire.

MAN 2                  Good work, pa!

WOMAN 1           You're telling me! In the morning, I put the law student's letter in front of my dad and sort of mumbled "He seems okay."

MAN 2                  Did you ever meet him?

WOMAN 1           Oh yeah. He became my first serious boyfriend. For having the kind of looks, brains, and old money that let you get away with being supremely cocky, he lacked a dominant asshole gene typically found in his type. When I finally had to break up with him, it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

MAN 2                  Why did you break up with him?

WOMAN 1           He was bucking to get married and I couldn't conceive of marriage until I was in my early 30s. Ever try to break up with someone that your parents love like a son? I had to tell them he was getting all creepy and that's why I broke up with him.

MAN 2                  Was he getting creepy?

WOMAN 1           No, that's just a story I made up to convince my family I was making a rational choice. He was a prince to the end. About the only thing that bothered me about him was he would say odd things. I think they were meant to sound romantic in their original Korean. However, when he said them in English they lost a lot in the translation. I can still picture him leaning over a restaurant table and saying to me in this bedroom voice "I want to wrap my loving arms around you like seaweed around well-prepared sushi rice".

MAN 2                  Do you ever regret breaking up with him? I mean, a young, good-looking, nice, rich lawyer doesn't come along every day.

WOMAN 1           Yes, many times I do regret breaking up with him.

MAN 2                  You'll have a helluva time finding better.

WOMAN 1           Sometimes a woman doesn't care about doing better. Sometimes you just want to do differently.

Dark. Spot lights fade up on MAN 1 and WOMAN 1. WOMAN 1 is in her traditional seat from Act I. MAN 1 is in MAN 2's spot again.

MAN 1 and WOMAN 1 are laughing a bit, discussing something between themselves

Spot light fades up on MAN 2. MAN 2 is in MAN 1's traditional spot from Act I.

MAN 2                  So now where'd you two little love birds get off to tonight?

WOMAN 1           We went for Thai food.

MAN 1                  It was great. It was really spicy.

WOMAN 1           That wasn't at all spicy. I suspected it wasn't going to be that good. I was the only Asian in the place.

MAN 1                  You know you do that a lot.

WOMAN 1           Insult your favorite restaurants?

MAN 1                  No. You have this habit of counting Asians.

WOMAN 1           Hey?

MAN 1                  No matter where we go, you always give me an inventory of the number of Asians in the place.

WOMAN 1 begins to protest but she's cut short by MAN 2

MAN 2                  He's right. You're always making comments like 'lots of Asians at this mall' or 'I think I've doubled this town's Asian population'.

MAN 1                  [to MAN 2] Well, I liked it. We'll have to go there for lunch one day.

MAN 2                  What's it called?

MAN 1                  Magic Thais.

MAN 2                  Magic Thais. Magic Thais. Why does that sound familiar?

MAN 1                  Did you ever read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

MAN 2                  Of course. It's a pun on Majicthais. He's one of those two philosopher in Hitchhiker's that were bested by Deep Thought.

MAN 1                  Exactly. All their menu items are named after Hitchhiker's characters. There's dishes like Marvin the Paranoid Android Pad Thai and Zaphod Spicy Chicken with Peanut Sauce.

MAN 2                  Errr... on second thought maybe I'll pass on that. Sounds a bit too cutesy. I love Thai food but I'm growing a little tired of these Thai puns restaurant reviewers load up their headlines with. "Thai one on!" [shakes head in disgust]

MAN 1                  The food is Fan-thai-stick!

WOMAN 1           Indulge your Fan-Thai-see!

MAN 1                  Hold the rosemary, give me the Thai menu!

WOMAN 1           Thai me up, Thai me down this food is good!

MAN 1                  Make thai-er tracks to this place!

WOMAN 1           A great place on a Thai-ght budget!

MAN 1                  It's a Thai-dy little place!

MAN 2 is glaring at them

MAN 2                  Are you guys having fun?

MAN 1                  I have to use the little boys room.

MAN 2                  Me too.

MAN 1                  If you'll excuse me.

WOMAN 1           Certainly.

MAN 1 gets up and moves towards the back of the stage, into the dark. MAN 2 whistles to self and taps fingers on bar top.

WOMAN 1           I thought you said you had to go to the bathroom too?

MAN 2                  Yes.

WOMAN 1           So why aren't you going?

MAN 2                  Men never go to the bathroom together. It's polite to give another guy at least a ten second lead. [looks at watch] Okay, safe.

MAN 2 gets up and moves towards the back of the stage, into the dark.

Lights fade up behind the bar. There are four evenly spaced urinals. A row of sinks and a hand dryer is further towards the back of the stage.

Lights on the bar fade out.

MAN 1 is facing the audience, standing behind the left-most urinal. MAN 1 is in the process of relieving himself. To the far right, perpendicular to the line of urinals is a group of sinks and an electric hot air hand dryer. MAN 2 enters the restroom from the left. MAN 2 considers the row of urinals and takes up a position behind the right most urinal and begins relieving himself. MAN 1 finishes and flushes. MAN 1 turns to MAN 2.

MAN 1                  So I need new eyeglasses --

MAN 2                  [gives MAN 1 a dirty look] -- excuse me I'm urinating here. Do you mind waiting?

MAN 1                  You can talk and piss at the same time, can't you?

MAN 2                  Do you know nothing about male bathroom etiquette?

MAN 1 is about to answer but MAN 2 cuts him off by raising his index finger to indicate "one minute". MAN 2 finishes urinating and flushes. MAN 2 moves to the sinks. MAN 1 follows. With great dramatic flare MAN 2 presents his hands to MAN 1, as if to show he's unarmed. MAN 2 begins washing his hands and MAN 1 then follows.

MAN 2                  When two males are in a public washroom, it is customary to a) avoid eye contact b) avoid conversation until such time as both men's flies are firmly in the upright position. It is preferable that both men's right and left hands are clearly visible in the non-threatening act of hand washing. Conversation must be strictly limited to sports or work. You were saying?

MAN 1                  I was about to say I need new eyeglasses and I was thinking of taking her with me. Any potential pitfalls there?

MAN 2                  No. I think that's a brilliant idea. There are two things no male should buy without the advice and consent of a woman. Eye glasses and a leather jacket.

MAN 1 presses his face closer to the mirror. MAN 1 teases his eyebrows a bit.

MAN 1                  Good god, these eyebrows are growing out of control. They're going Brezhnev on me.

MAN 2                  You look like a bad Star Trek makeup effect.

BOTH finish washing their hands. BOTH move simultaneously to the single hand air dryer. MAN 2 is just a little bit quicker and bumps MAN 1 aside. MAN 1 reflexively looks around for another air dryer but sees none and stands there with his hands like a surgeon who has just disinfected his hands.

MAN 1                  This is the problem with public washrooms. They'll put in twelve sinks but only one hand dryer. Wouldn't you think if twelve people were washing their hands, they'd all get done about the same time?

MAN 2 presses the hand dryer lever but it doesn't turn on. MAN 2 pounds it a few more times. Nothing.

MAN 2                  Great.

MAN 2 thrusts his right hand under his left arm pit and his left hand under his right arm pit. He lowers his arms and quickly removes his hands, wiping them dry under his arm pits.

MAN 1                  That's just a little disgusting.

MAN 2                  Hey, why do you think God gave us arm pits?

MAN 1 shrugs and wipes his hands in the same manner.

Dark. Spot lights fade up on MAN 2 and WOMAN 1. They are in their traditional spots from Act I.

MAN 2                  You sure your parents won't have a problem with you dating a white guy?

WOMAN 1           Not so much these days.

MAN 2                  Don't they want full blooded Korean grandchildren?

WOMAN 1           Luckily I have a younger brother and that responsibility seems to have fallen on him.

MAN 2                  How did you swing that?

WOMAN 1           Some luck and some chutzpah. For a couple years my mother was putting on the full court press about marrying and producing grandkids. Meanwhile I was sort of seeing this white guy named Dave at school. I kept it a secret for a few months but knew eventually I'd have to let mom know. So what I did was acclimatize her. I started hinting I was hanging out with a group of school friends that may include a white guy named Dave. Then I started showing her group photos of my friends and I would casually point out Dave. At some point my mother commented Dave looked like an intelligent young man. Emboldened I then showed her a picture of Dave and I sitting on top of a picnic table together.

MAN 2                  My god, sitting with a man on top of a picnic table! You may as well have told her you were sleeping together!

WOMAN 1           Hey, I left some wiggle room. In the picture a picnic basket was between us.

MAN 2                  Ah yes. I believe the nuns in Catholic school used to insist the width of a picnic basket was ethical distance between a man and woman. Or was it the width of a baptismal font? I can't remember anymore.

WOMAN 1           The thing is, my mom fixated on the picnic basket. She wanted to know whose it was and the contents. I said it was Dave's and he packet it with ham sandwiches and potato salad from the deli. What happened next I'm still not sure of. Either mom suggested maybe Dave would like to try some traditional Korean cooking or I suggested Dave's diet was bland and could be enriched with some of her wonderfully spicy dishes. In any regard, a dinner invite was extended and dinner invite was accepted.

MAN 2                  Ah, dinner. Was it one of those Joy Luck Club moments?

WOMAN 1           The dinner was a painless affair. Dave actually managed to make my father laugh. But after Dave left, my mother started raising the customary objections. I was not about to let months of prep work go down the drain. I stared directly at my mother and said "Mom, is he my boyfriend or your boyfriend?" She had no answer and never raised an issue with who I was dating ever again. I think she feels I'm somehow lost and it is better to concentrate on my poor brother Timmy.

Dark. Spot lights fade up on MAN 2 and MAN 1. They are in their traditional spots from Act I.

MAN 1                  Did you know rice isn't a vegetable?

MAN 2                  Says who?

MAN 1                  Says my girlfriend.

MAN 2                  If it requires sun, soil, and water to grow and it does not taste good mixed with yogurt, it's a vegetable.

MAN 1                  People mix rice and yogurt.

MAN 2                  Ever try rice yogurt?

MAN 1                  [ponders] Yeah. Still, it doesn't make yogurt taste bad. Actually it doesn't really add any taste.

MAN 2                  It doesn't add taste; it adds weird. It adds crunchy, which is as bad.

MAN 1                  Anyway, on the food pyramid rice is considered a grain.

MAN 2                  Screw the food pyramid. I eat so many processed microwaved foods my diet is better described by the bottom rung of the Periodic Table of Elements.

MAN 1                  We're reaching that age where we have to start thinking about our health.

MAN 2                  Suddenly you're a health nut. It's her influence isn't it?

MAN 1                  What do you mean?

MAN 2                  Nothing is more unsettling to a woman than being in a relationship with a man who's cavalier about his health. Not only does it piss her off that men have nothing comparable in terms of the pain and degradation of a visit to the gynecologist, but if she starts seeing you as a potential life partner, it adds another thing she has to worry about at night.

MAN 1                  Like what?

MAN 2                  She begins to think "Is this guy going to die of a heart attack at age 55? Because when I hit my 50s, I'll be old and crusty and I'll never be able to find another man."

MAN 1                  You know what goes on at those gynecologists?

MAN 2                  Only what I saw in that Jeremy Irons movie "Dead Ringers".

MAN 1                  You been to a doctor lately?

MAN 2                  Why, need the name of one?

MAN 1                  Not really. I'm just wondering if I'm at that age where I need regular rectal exams.

MAN 2                  I don't know, man. I've not been to a doctor since the end of the Reagan Administration.

MAN 1                  You should probably start going to a doctor yourself. You're at that age.

MAN 2                  What age?

MAN 1                  36.

MAN 2                  What's so special about 36?

MAN 1                  Given the average male life expectancy is 72, you're, well, you're half dead.

MAN 2                  You're such a pessimist. I prefer looking at it from the optimist's point of view. I'm not half dead. I'm half alive.

MAN 1                  You won't get any arguments from me.

MAN 2                  I'm not scared of death.

MAN 1                  Bull crap.

MAN 2                  It's true. I went to the dentist last year and he put me under the gas. One moment I'm in the dentist's chair and counting backwards from ten. The next thing I know I'm being woken up and told the procedure was done. Something like an hour passed but as far as I knew, no time had passed. There was zero perception during that hour. I got to thinking that's what death is like, except you're under the gas forever. It's nothing more than a deep, dreamless sleep from which you never wake up.

MAN 1                  Sounds horrible.

MAN 2                  Why does that sound horrible?

MAN 1                  Because you're dead.

MAN 2                  What's so bad about being dead?

MAN 1                  As you said, it's the cessation of all thoughts, feelings, pleasures. It was like working for that

MAN 2                  What's so bad about a cessation of thought and feeling?

MAN 1                  Dude, why do I have to keep coming back to this? You're dead!

MAN 2                  You're arguing in circles. Think a second: before you were born, you experienced no thoughts, no feelings, no pleasures. Weren't you technically dead for millions of years before you were conceived? You didn't seem to mind then.

MAN 1                  When I was in my mother's womb, I was wet, naked, and fed through an umbilical cord. In the same way I don't want to go back to sucking food out of a slimy appendage, I no longer want to give up the consciousness I know I possess. In fact, I so fear losing that, I'm more than willing to entertain the idea that, as boring as it seems, there is a heaven where people sit around on clouds playing harps for eternity.

MAN 2                  That's your vision of heaven?

MAN 1                  No. I said I was willing to entertain the idea. I don't necessarily believe it. My vision of heaven is a nudge weirder.

MAN 2                  Weirder, huh?

MAN 1                  Yeah. In Catholic school in grade 4 a priest came to my class. He mentioned that in heaven you will know everything. Cool. But I figured just simply having the knowledge beamed into my newly acquired super consciousness couldn't be that fun. The acquisition of knowledge shouldn't be so boring, especially in heaven. So what I envisioned was your first couple centuries are like an extended episode of Leonard Nimoy's "In Search Of". Everything you've ever wondered about is covered in an episode.

MAN 2                  Everything?

MAN 1                  Absolutely. Everything from "Who broke my Rock 'm Sock 'm Robots?" to "Who shot JFK?" Everything you ever wondered about would be presented in the form of an "In Search Of" episode except, and this is the appealing part, they actually give you the damn answer, not just leave you with a disclaimer in the credits claiming the ideas put forward were based on conjecture.

Dark. Spot lights fade up on MAN 2, MAN 1, and WOMAN 1. They are in their traditional spots from Act I.

MAN 1                  Length.

MAN 2                  Thickness.

MAN 1 and MAN 2 both look at WOMAN 1

WOMAN 1           [shakes head] Cleanliness.

Dark. Spot lights fade up on MAN 2 and WOMAN 1. They are in their traditional spots from Act I.

WOMAN 1           Aren't there any women you're attracted to?

MAN 2                  Yes.

WOMAN 1           Who?

MAN 2                  Most of them.

WOMAN 1           Hey Brigham Young, pick one.

MAN 2                  The woman I keep seeing at the bank.

WOMAN 1           A teller?

MAN 2                  No. A customer. We always seem to do our banking at the same time. Either I'm in front of her in line. Or she's in front of me in line.

WOMAN 1           Why don't you talk to her?

MAN 2                  Forget it.

WOMAN 1           Why not? Take a risk.

MAN 2                  At the risk of making a woman feel uncomfortable?

WOMAN 1           You're infuriating.

MAN 2                  Here's my glitch. When I see a woman in a bank line, I think she's there to do banking. When I see a woman in a book store, I think she's there to buy a book. When I see a woman in Starbucks, I think she's there to enjoy her short double shot half decaf half soy half skinny extra hot with light foam. In sum, I don't believe women leave the comfort and privacy of their home so they can constantly endure men picking up on them.

WOMAN 1           Look at it this way, if you don't hit on her, the next guy will. And I'm pretty certain you're a far nicer guy than the creep that will hit on her.

MAN 2                  It's a good, if familiar logic. What would I say to her?

WOMAN 1           Since you see her regularly, engage her in small talk that will determine if you have some common interests. Like, ask her what her weekend plans are or how her weekend went. It's a great way to determine if you have common interests.

MAN 2                  No can do. I do my banking on a Wednesday.

WOMAN 1           And Wednesdays are bad because?

MAN 2                  Because as far as weekend chit chat goes, it's a conversational dead zone. The earliest one can possibly ask a person their weekend plans without looking desperately lonely or insane is end-of-day Thursday. And Monday is the only day you can legitimately ask a person how their weekend went. If you're lucky enough to have missed seeing the person on Monday, Tuesday mornings are permissible. But Wednesday? Never on a Wednesday.

Dark. Spot lights fade up on MAN 2, MAN 1, and WOMAN 1. They are in their traditional spots from Act I.

MAN 2 and MAN 1 have paper and pencils in front of them. They're making checks on a piece of paper. MAN 1 holds up his piece of paper and looks troubled.

MAN 1                  [to MAN 2] For your football picks, who do you like? The Buffalo Bills or the NY Jets?

MAN 2                  Good, question. Hard call.

MAN 1                  [to WOMAN 1] You got any ideas?

WOMAN 1           I don't know much about football.

MAN 1                  [to WOMAN 1] I need some beginner's luck.

WOMAN 1           [frustrated] I really don't know much about football.

MAN 1                  Just tell me which team you think has the cutest quarterback. I'll go with that.

WOMAN 1           [She does not like being talked down to, takes pick sheet from MAN 1. She considers the pick sheet for a moment and hands it back.] The Jets' coaching is in turmoil over the arrest of its head coach for soliciting prostitutes. The Bills are currently trying to get city council to foot the tax bill for a new stadium. While the TV market in upstate New York is a strong one for the Bills, I think everyone concerned realizes there's opportunity in emerging southern TV markets, possibly in an Atlanta edge city. So I'd count on the Bills to cover the spread for the next few weeks in hopes of increasing their bargaining position.

Stunned silence

MAN 2                  Wow, I thought you said you didn't know anything about football?

WOMAN 1           I don't. I just know a lot about political intrigue.

Spot lights go dark then fade up on MAN 2 and WOMAN 1

WOMAN 1           Well that's it. My last female friend from university is married. I'm officially friendless. I hate this. I can never have a life in balance. I have the boyfriend, I have the career, but now I have no meaningful female friends.

MAN 2                  Just cause they're married doesn't mean you can't hang with them, right?

WOMAN 1           I'm afraid it means exactly that. They all married these lunk heads. I tried for a while to keep up my friendship with my best friend from university. We'd go out for dinner and coffee and talk about books and subtitled films. But when we did that after her marriage, she would always have her husband in tow. I guess the guy would whine if she left him home alone. When he came out with us, he would just sit there starring at us, his mouth's open, unable to add anything of substance to the conversation. When they got home, he'd start freaking out on her for ignoring him and she'd call me later in tears. It just all became too much to deal with. [pause] You know what's harder sometimes then finding a man? Finding a woman friend.

MAN 2                  I know. It's not that easy to find a male friend either. By a certain age everyone has their set of friends.

WOMAN 1           There are a couple women at work I wouldn't mind gal palling with but other than the occasional drink after work I've had no luck getting better acquainted.

MAN 2                  Would it seem rude or desperate to ask if they have a waiting list? "In the event of a death or job transfer and a space becomes available on your friends list, please consider me as a candidate for trips to antique shows and celebrity chef cookbook signings."

WOMAN 1           I keep thinking I should run an ad on one of those personals web sites advertising for a straight woman friend.

MAN 2                  It won't work. You'll only get men responding.

WOMAN 1           I figure I could put in a line like "ABSOLUTELY NO MEN NEED APPLY".

MAN 2                  [laughs like WOMAN 1 just claimed she was going to open a frogurt stand on Mars] Good luck with that. Any man reading that ad is going to think "Yes, but clearly she doesn't mean me because I have a twelve inch penis." In his mind, he's practically doing you a favor by responding.

WOMAN 1           I'm doomed.

MAN 2                  Not quite. I suggest a better alternative to "ABSOLUTELY NO MEN NEED APPLY TO THIS AD" would be something like: "Absolutely no men need apply to this ad. If you're a man and you do respond I will email you back immediately and engage in months of online flirting. After you've professed your total undying love for me and you've sent me numerous expensive gifts to my PO Box, I will demand you fly to a remote city to meet me and then I will not show up and never respond to another email of yours again. So you can waste my time now or I can waste the next year of your life and the greater part of your disposable income. Don't say I didn't warn you."

WOMAN 1           Think that would work?

MAN 2                  There's a slim chance.

WOMAN 1           You're noticeably single. Would you run an ad on the net?

MAN 2                  No way!

WOMAN 1           Never?

MAN 2                  Never!

WOMAN 1           Oh come on.

MAN 2                  Well, actually...

WOMAN 1           Yes...

MAN 2                  I've tried it once or twice. Just to see. Of course.

WOMAN 1           Oh, where'd you run your ad.

MAN 2                  Yahoo personals.

WOMAN 1           Yeah?

MAN 2                  And

WOMAN 1           Right.

MAN 2                  Plus,,, and

WOMAN 1           Meet anyone.

MAN 2                  One or two people.

WOMAN 1           And?

MAN 2                  And I learned there are six different kinds of people you will meet online. One, people you'd never meet. Two, people you'd meet if they lived down the street. Three, people you'd meet if they lived on the other side of the city. Four, people you'd meet if they lived in another city in your state. Five, people you'd meet if they lived in any city in North America. Six, people you'd meet if they lived any place in the world.

Spot lights go dark then fade up on MAN 2, MAN 1, and WOMAN 1

WOMAN 1           I'm thinking about making that salmon dish again for Sunday dinner.

MAN 1                  Ah yes. That was an amazing dish.

WOMAN 1           You think so?

MAN 1                  Absolutely. Except the asparagus was a bit over cooked.

WOMAN 1           What do you mean over cooked?

MAN 1                  Your asparagus is mushy.

WOMAN 1           You know, I really hate when you do that.

MAN 1                  Do what?

MAN 2 begins to look increasingly uncomfortable. He begins to look around for some excuse to flee the scene, get away from this burgeoning lovers' quarrel.

WOMAN 1           You know exactly what you do!

MAN 1                  No I don't. If I did, I'd not ask.

WOMAN 1           You can never just say something good about me or what I do or what I like and leave it at that. You always have to add in a little nit pick. "It was great but..." "Fantastic except..." "The best ever if it hadn't been for..."

MAN 1                  I'm sorry. That's just my nature. It's got nothing to do with you. I'm like that with my friends all the time. [turns to MAN 2] Ain't that right?

MAN 2 draws back, puts his hands up to communicate "don't pull me into the middle".

WOMAN 1           I'm not your buddy. I'm your girlfriend. And a fairly new one at that. In case you're unclear, there is a difference. You don't place your whole sense of self into the hands of a friend. I expose to you every vulnerability, including my... my deformity.

MAN 1                  Your what?

WOMAN 1           Oh, please, don't tell me you haven't noticed.

MAN 1                  Noticed what?

WOMAN 1           Oh my god! Haven't you noticed when I fold my arms my right hand is like this.

WOMAN 1 demonstrates, folding her arms and covering her left breast with her right hand.

WOMAN 1           Or when I wear a purse, the strap always crosses over my left side. Or when I wear a shirt with double front pockets, I always put my sun glasses in my left pocket.

MAN 1                  Uh! Uh!

WOMAN 1 points directly at her tits.

WOMAN 1           You can't have not noticed my right breast is bigger than my left!

MAN 2 makes facial contortions like he is definitely hearing too much information

MAN 1                  We're barely at that stage where you let me see you naked in good light! How can I tell that!

WOMAN 1           You sure feel them enough!

MAN 1                  When I touch them I'm not exactly trying to compare them by doing four-pie-r-squared.

WOMAN 1 looks at MAN 1 with a "what the fuck are you talking about?" look.

MAN 2                  [Interrupts] You mean pie-r-r-squared-plus-h-squared-raised-to-the-power-of-point-five.

MAN 1                  What?

MAN 2                  Four-pie-r-squared that's how to calculate the surface area of a sphere. Wouldn't the formula to calculate the surface area of a cone be more appropriate?

Spot lights go dark then fade up on MAN 2 and WOMAN 1

MAN 2                  I've been having the worst possible luck with dating.

WOMAN 1           How so?

MAN 2                  Remember that cute co-op I was talking about last month?

WOMAN 1           The one with the beard?

MAN 2                  Not her! A guy finds one woman with some excess facial hair cute and suddenly he's branded as a guy with a bearded woman fetish.

WOMAN 1           Sorry, I can only recall the odd ones. Like the woman who used to always email you pictures of her dog in different hats.

MAN 2                  Oh yeah, her. I crafted a new rule after her. Never date a woman who treats her dog better than you.

WOMAN 1           You pine over so many women, I have a hard time keeping track.

MAN 2                  I'm talking about the curly haired blonde.

WOMAN 1           Oh dear. You mean Tina. Wasn't she in a bad car accident?

MAN 2                  Actually, she got hit by a truck.

WOMAN 1           Ouch.

MAN 2                  Before her accident, I bumped into her in a Starbucks and we got to talking. We exchanged emails and made plans to catch a movie or something. The next bloody day, she got hit by the truck.

WOMAN 1           That is bad luck.

MAN 2                  It wasn't totally bad. I sent a little Get Well Soon ecard to her email address. When she got out of the hospital, she picked it up. She thought it was pretty cute, two bears hugging each other and holding balloons. She emailed me to say thanks. We got to talking and somehow we made plans for that coffee date.

WOMAN 1           Great!

MAN 2                  That's what I thought. The poor woman suffered some bad head trauma and still wanted to keep our date only a few weeks after being released from the hospital after brain surgery.

WOMAN 1           So what happened on this coffee date?

MAN 2                  In my effort to power charm her, I went a bit too far.

WOMAN 1           Oh?

MAN 2                  She still had all these scars from the accident. Lots of her hair was shaven away from surgery, half of one of her incisors was chipped away, and she had an eye patch.

WOMAN 1           Oh, lovely.

MAN 2                  You know, despite all that, I thought to myself, "she's still pretty cute".

WOMAN 1           Of course.

MAN 2                  Yeah so I asked her a bit about the accident and that's where it went wrong.

Stage lights go dark and then spot light an area of the stage to the right of the bar.

To the right there is a small round table with two chairs. MAN 2 and TINA sit on either side. TINA has bandages on her head and she is wearing an eye patch. There are paper Starbucks coffee cups before them.

MAN 2                  What did you think of the movie?

TINA                    I can't believe I let you take me to see a slasher film!

MAN 2                  What? "Torso Versus the Axe Men"? A slasher film?

TINA                    Yes.

MAN 2                  It's a classic! The director mentored Kubrick! The ax scene in "The Shining" was a total homage to "Torso Versus the Axe Men"!

TINA                    What's classic about a film that continually repeats the same two scenes: woman takes her top off; woman gets her head cut off?

MAN 2                  They were different women. I like art films. I've seen "Das Boot" and "Mallrats" fourteen times. But sometimes I like to see a movie where I can just sit back and eat popcorn.

TINA                    You ate all your popcorn during the Pepsi ad. What were you left with?

MAN 2                  Ninety minutes of silent, non-judgmental companionship. [fumbles for some conversation, points to bandages] Any lasting effects from the head injury?

TINA                    Just some double vision. I'll have to wear this eye patch for a few months

MAN 2                  Anything else?

TINA                    What do you mean anything else?

MAN 2                  Like, you got psychic powers now?

TINA                    What?

MAN 2                  If I suffered a head injury the first thing I'd do is check for psychic powers.

TINA                    What?

MAN 2                  Yeah like can you see my future or read my thoughts?

TINA                    What?

MAN 2                  Here try to move this coffee cup with your mind.

TINA                    I'm cold. Take me home.

Stage lights go dark and then spot lights come back on WOMAN 1 and MAN 2 in their traditional seats at the bar.

MAN 2                  She stopped returning my emails after that.

WOMAN 1           Perhaps it best you didn't get involved with a woman who lacks a robust sense of humor.

MAN 2                  I don't know. I was intrigued by a woman with double vision.

WOMAN 1           In what way?

MAN 2                  I figured she would be a cheap date. You know, you take her out for sushi, order her six pieces, she thinks she has 12.

WOMAN 1           I'm so stressed. I have to meet his parents tomorrow. I look horrible.

MAN 2                  No you don't.

WOMAN 1           Yeah, I've gained weight.

WOMAN 1           How much?

WOMAN 1           A pound, maybe two pounds by now.

MAN 2                  Yeah, you're really packing it on.

WOMAN 1           Jerk.

MAN 2                  Look, I can sit here and argue you've not gained weight and you're looking better today than you've ever looked before and you can sit there and argue I'm just saying all that to be nice. We can go back and forth like this for most of the night.

WOMAN 1           You're right.

MAN 2                  Whenever you're down about your appearance, always remember Rule Number 3A for living: You're always more attractive than you think you are.

WOMAN 1           Rule 3A? Why A?

MAN 2                  Because 3A applies to women only. Rule 3B applies to men.

WOMAN 1           What's rule 3B?

MAN 2                  Rule 3B for Living is: Dude, get over yourself already. You're not all that.

WOMAN 1           What's with men? Almost every guy I know has this inflated sense of self.

MAN 2                  I think it's because early on in a guy's dating life, he had one girlfriend that told him he was great in bed and he assumes forever more all women will come to that conclusion.

WOMAN 1           That's so hurting. What I find enjoyable in bed is not necessarily the norm. Actually I don't think there is a norm. There's a lot my girlfriends and I can never agree on. Some like men who are slow, attentive lovers. Some like men who are really aggressive and bend them every which way.

MAN 2                  Which do you prefer?

WOMAN 1           Not telling.

MAN 2                  See there's rarely any disagreement between men what we find sexy. Hence most men assume what one woman likes all will like.

WOMAN 1           One thing I've always liked about you is you're not very hung up on yourself.

MAN 2                  Yeah, well, it's through no fault of my own. The thing is, I don't feel sexy. No woman I've ever dated has ever told me what she found sexy about me. I think this is a problem endemic to women kind and maybe the root of many of your own problems with men. You're very good at telling us what you don't like about men. But you never articulate what you actually like about men. In the absence of this information, we're forced to conclude women like about men what we like about ourselves, namely our penis and our car. Possibly in that order.

WOMAN 1           You really don't feel sexy?

MAN 2                  I don't feel sexy enough.

WOMAN 1           What do you mean enough?

MAN 2                  I always assume if a woman wanted sex, there are always better, available candidates out there.

WOMAN 1           Not in my experience.

MAN 2                  You're just not really looking. It's undeniably true that your average woman can go into a bar and if she was bold enough, she could go up to the best looking man in a bar, offer him a night of no-strings sex, and there's a ninety percent chance he'll say yes. However, with the exception of rock stars, few men could ever do that. And I'm no rock star.

WOMAN 1           But you've had women in bed. What do you think they were doing there if they didn't find you sexy?

MAN 2                  As best I can figure, committing acts of charity, compassion, and self sacrifice.

WOMAN 1           If I were single, I'd do you, and not for reasons of charity.

MAN 2                  Now you tell me! How come we never got together?

WOMAN 1           I didn't mean to imply that I'd have had casual sex with you. I just mean, you've always been boyfriend material.

MAN 2                  [Sounds a little disappointed] That's what I meant. Over the years I've seen you drift in and out of relationships. How did we always avoided hooking up?

WOMAN 1           You never really asked me.

MAN 2                  Is that all I had to do, was ask?

WOMAN 1           No. If you had come out and asked straight out I would have been spooked. But you know, we've always done friend-like things together.

MAN 2                  Ah, right. I'm in, as they say, "the friend zone".

WOMAN 1           I don't believe in the friend zone. Because I've dated guys who were friends. It's sort of nice to have that familiarity and security.

MAN 2                  So what do I lack?

WOMAN 1           Honestly?

MAN 2                  Yeah.

WOMAN 1           Magic.

Spot lights go dark and remain dark for longer than normal. They then fade up on MAN 2, MAN 1, and WOMAN 1.

MAN 2                  Well, I'm going to call it a night.

MAN 1                  Dude, it's Friday. It's only 10 pm.

MAN 2                  I know. I've been finding it hard to stay up late on weekends.

MAN 1                  Since when?

MAN 2                  Since... since I don't know. It's weird how these things just creep up on you. It's like when did every band on the radio start sounding like Green Day?

MAN 1                  Yeah. Or when did I start seeing the adult humor in The Flintstones?

WOMAN 1           Or when did I stop bursting into tears after throwing up?

MAN 2                  When did I start needing coffee?

MAN 1                  When did my parents stop being able to answer all my questions to my satisfaction?

WOMAN 1           When did I stop being able to eat two pieces of cake in a bowl of chocolate milk and whip cream and not gain any weight?

MAN 2                  When did I stop thinking the guy at the Sunoco station had the neatest job in the world?

MAN 1                  When did the cashiers at McDonald's stop looking like bosomy women and started looking like pimply girls?

WOMAN 1           When did I stop liking Toy R Us and started liking the housewares department at Sears?

MAN 2                  When did I start thinking family portraits make a nice gift?

MAN 1                  When did I start thinking that the government doesn't necessarily know the best way to spend my tax money?

WOMAN 1           When did non-matching living room furniture become a worry that keeps me up at night?

MAN 2                  When did I start worrying about my credit rating?

MAN 1                  When did my friends and I stop planning a social renaissance and started planning our retirement?

WOMAN 1           When did I start worrying about if the mustard in my fridge is past its expiry date?

MAN 2                  When did I start saying "youth is wasted on the young"?

MAN 1                  When did I start thinking of a year as January to December and not September until school lets out in June?

WOMAN 1           When did I get so grumpy?

MAN 2                  When did I grow up?

All nod in agreement and sigh.






Play Home Page | Act I | Act II

The Man 2 Dialogs: Dating Explained in 3 Acts s



By Karl Mamer

(c) 2003





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