FAQ

A play for two characters.
Performed at the Staffordshire Drama Festival, the Progress Theatre Festival, Reading and the Orange Theatre, Birmingham.

A, motorist.  B, car-park attendant. 

 

A walks over to B.

 

A:  ‘Scuse me, is this a private car park?

B:  Does it look public?

A:  (gestures behind him at his car) Would it be all right to leave my car

      here?

B:  You here for the meeting?

A:  Is there a meeting?

B:  Can’t you read the signs?

A: When does it start?

B: So you are here for the meeting?

A: Could I just park here before it starts?

B: So you’re not here for the meeting?

A: Twenty minutes, half an hour, would that be ok?

B: What’s the purpose of your parking?

A: It is late-night shopping tonight, isn’t it?

B: So that’s your purpose?

A: So would twenty minutes be ok?

B: How about one of the designated car-parks?

A: This isn’t designated, then?

B: Did I say it wasn’t designated?

A: So it is designated?

B: And what did I say it was designated for?

A: (slight pause) For the meeting?

B: Can’t you read the signs?

A: So where are the designated car-parks, then?

B: Where were they last time?

A: Last time?

B: Where did you find them last time you went shopping?

A: But are they the same?

B: The same?

A: For late-night shopping?  Can you use the same ones you use for

     daytime?

B: Why wouldn’t you?

A: Mightn’t they be coned off?

B: Why would they be coned off for late-night shopping?

A: Special regulations?

B: And who goes round keeping folk from parking in car-parks?

A stares momentarily at B.

A: Look, would fifteen minutes here be ok?

B: Can’t you find one of the designated car-parks?

A: Are they near this one?

B: Can’t you read a map?

A: Do you have one?

B: Do I look like I have one?

A: Where’s the nearest one?

B: Map?

A: Car-park?

B: Do you know Bullivant Street?

A: Is that off Spring Lane?

B: Where on earth is Spring Lane?

A: Between the precinct and the old church, isn’t it?

B: Which precinct do you mean?

A: I’d only be ten minutes, ok?

B: Nippy shopper, are we?

A: Aren’t you, when you know what you want?

B: Does that make any difference?

A: To what?

B: Can you do it in ten minutes?

A: Why wouldn’t I?

B: What about dawdling?  Using your mobile?  Bumping into a friend?

A: Do I look like I’d dawdle?

B: Do I look like I’d know if you would?

A: Barely ten minutes, is that ok?

B: So you think you can make it?

A: Do I look like I couldn’t?

B: (holds hands up) Have I demanded to give you a health check?

A: Can’t you trust me?

B: Feel your pulse?

A: Can’t you have faith?

B: Hear your heartbeat?

A: Can’t you give me a chance?

B: Tap your knees?

A: Can’t you let me try?

B: So you know which shop?

A: Why would I say ten minutes–?

B: Barely ten minutes, wasn’t it–?

A: –if I didn’t know?

B: And one of the other car-parks?  It wouldn’t be nearer?

A: Would you say it’d be nearer?

B: Which shop is it?

A: Does that matter to you?

B: Mightn’t another car-park be better?

A: So where’s the nearest to here?

B: Do you know Bullivant Street?

A: Will you let me go?!?

Pause.

B: Seven minutes?

A: There and back?

B: Shall I time you?

A: Do you think you’ll need to?

B:  (produces watch)  Are you ready?

A: What does it look like?

B: Are you steady?

A: You think I’ll need as much as seven minutes?

B: Will you go like the clappers?

A: Has any other car arrived since we’ve been talking?

B: Fly like the wind?

A: Is there really a meeting?

B:  (holds watch ready)  Like a bird in the sky?

A: Are those notices your way of coning this car-park off?

B: Shall I press the button . . . ?

A: (turning, running)  Shall I show you a clean pair of heels?

A exits.  B looks after him.  Smiles.  Walks over to where A indicated his car was.  Takes out book, starts to write ticket.

B: Do you think I’m a fool?

Tears ticket off.  Freeze.

 

Curtain.