Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Overheard Conversations #2

Location: Bus (Number 36, though any number will do. The Clapham Omnibus, even, should the Producer wish to make a point).

Interior. Day.

Man - early 20s. Smart, trendy clothes, reads The Guardian
Woman - mid 50s. Dressed in navy and beige (Wardrobe - try BHS. They do a good line in navy and beige). Sensible shoes. (Also navy and beige). Peach lipstick.
They share a seat; the man sitting by the window, the woman by the aisle.
Woman: You'll make yourself travel sick.
Man: What?
Woman: You'll make yourself travel sick. Reading.
Man: I'll be fine.
Woman: Your dad ordered The Telegraph for you. I said Our Graham will only read posh papers.
Man: The Guardian, Mum. I read The Guardian.
Woman (SHRUGS): They're all the same.
Man (FOLDING NEWSPAPER): Actually, there's no simil - oh, forget it.
Woman (RUMMAGES INSIDE HANDBAG): We had another funny phone call last night.
Man: What?
Woman: When you were out. Funny peculiar not ha ha. She rang three times.
Man: Who?
Woman: The woman.
Man: What woman?
Woman: The one making the funny phone calls. Your dad had to raise his voice.
Man: What did she say?
Woman: He said, "You've got the wrong number, love." (CLOSES HANDBAG). Loudly.
Man: No, not what did Dad say. What did the woman say?
Woman: I don't know. You'll have to ask him. (BEAT). She rang on Sunday, too. Silly woman keeps dialling wrong.
Man: What does she want?
Woman: She's very well-spoken.
Man: You've spoken to her?
Woman: Yes, the other Friday.
Man: Friday! (SIGHS). Well?
Woman: Well what?
Man: What did she say to you?
Woman: Nothing very exciting, so I don't know why you're taking that tone. She said, "Ask Luke to phone Alice, please."
Man (QUIETLY): Luca.
Woman: Has your dad told you already? I thought it was Luke, but your dad said it was foreign.
Man: It's Luca.
Woman: How do you know?
Man: Alice was ringing to speak to me.
Woman: Who's Alice?
Man: The silly woman.
Woman: Who's Luca?
Man: I'm Luca.
Woman: Give over!
Man: They called me Luca at University.
Woman: But your name's Graham.
Man: It's something they do in London.
Woman: Call people Luca?
Man (MUMBLES): I asked them to.
Woman: Why? Why would you do that?
Man: I -
Woman: You've got a perfectly good name. Graham Michael Platt. Why would you ask people to call you Luca? (BEAT). Are you leading a Double Life?
Man: I wanted a name that was unusual.
Woman: But we gave you an exotic name!
Man: What?
Woman: We gave you an exotic name. An exotic name and an ordinary name so that when you were older you could choose which you liked best.
Man: I've got an exotic name?
Woman: I was worried. I thought you'd feel different.
Man: An exotic name?
Woman: It was your dad's idea.
Man: Dad?
Woman: He said in the Births & Deaths that we couldn't tell looking at an 8lb baby whether you'd go into business or do something more artistic. He wanted you to have choice.
Man: Choice?
Woman: Your father didn't choose to be a book-keeper. (BEAT). He went to pottery classes at night school when I was expecting you. (BEAT). The Registrar said it was very far-sighted.
Man (EXCITED): So what's my exotic name?
Woman (THOUGHTFUL): Though she might have been referring to the pottery rather than your name because prices shot up that year.
Man: Mum!
Woman: What?
Man: What did you call me?
Woman: You know what we called you! Graham Michael. Michael was for your great-grandad. He was a sturdy chap, short-legged like you.
Man (SLOWLY): What's my name?
Woman: Michael's a solid name. Sensible. If you hadn't liked your exotic name, then you could've changed to Michael.
Woman: Graham, of course.
Man: Graham?
Woman (FIRMLY): Graham.


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