This was the first sketch written for The Fifth Duck. I wrote it as a sort of sample of some of the stuff that we might be including in the show, in order to try and attract funders and production staff. It was actually somewhat personal to me at the time of writing.
BOB and JANET ENTER, and sit on the floor back-to-back in a single spot, CENTRE. There is a brief silence before they start speaking.
Janet That was ... interesting
Janet And instructive
Janet Did you get that assignment done?
Bob [Puzzled] Yeeess?
Janet Handed it in on time?
Bob [Still puzzled] Yes?
Janet Me too.
BOB turns half-around
Bob Sorry - we've just seen your boyfriend with his tongue down another woman's throat, and you want to know about an assignment we're supposed to have done?
Janet Well - it's kind of a lot to take in, isn't it? Takes a while to sink in.
Bob Yes [He turns back, but not all the way]
Janet Will you stop saying "Yes" to everything?
Bob ... Maybe
JANET turns slighty forward. PAUSE, then both try and speak at once
Janet Why did you-
Bob I didn't want to-
Janet Sorry, you were saying?
Bob No, you first.
Bob Ladies first
Janet Why did you show me, instead of just telling me?
Bob I thought you should see it for yourself
Janet So you showed me.
Bob Well, I knew the when and where, and I thought you deserved to know.
Bob I didn't want you to find out by yourself.
Bob It might have been messy.
PAUSE. They both turn a little more forward
Janet Why though?
Bob Why what? Why him? Why her? Why do it? Why not tell you himself?
Janet Any of them!
Bob No idea. If it's any consolation, I think he made a poor choice.
Bob Yeah. [Sighs] Look, I know you're feeling pretty crappy right now, and probably want to hate me for showing you-
Janet I don't hate you
Bob Good. But, y'know, you were too good for him anyway. I mean, look at the sort of girl he prefers, right?
Janet Yeah. What?
Bob Tall, blonde, E-cups, studying astrophysics - what's to like?
Janet [Laughs] Yeah!
Bob I mean, you screw one blonde genius, you've screwed 'em all. Far better to go for someone interesting and fun, like you.
Janet Dirty little prostitute blonde genius.
Bob I sit corrected.
Bob There are other options available, y'know
Janet I'm not becoming a lesbian!
Silence from BOB as he stares blankly into space. JANET turns and waves in front of his face
Bob Sorry! I was ... thinking of something.
Janet [Turns back] I'll bet.
Bob Yeah. Er, look, I didn't mean that sort of of "other option"
Janet What sort of "other option" did you mean? You?
Bob No - we already know that you and me as a couple doesn't really work, don't we?
Bob Well then.
Janet [Stands] Who then? You know I can't afford to go out and meet people, not with my loan.
Bob [Also stands] This is the 21st century, there are hundreds of ways to meet a boyfriend or girfriend without spending money!
Janet Such as?
Bob Dating sites, newspaper ads - or how about, just developing a relationship with someone you already know?
Janet But the only men I know are at this uni!
Bob Well then, there's your answer.
Janet [Scornfully] Like who?
Bob [Brief thought] There's Dave.
Janet Dave? Isn't he with Lucy?
Bob They were never really together.
Janet Oh? Okay. I suppose Dave's okay. Might be worth a try. Everyone else half-decent is taken.
Bob Oh, thanks!
Janet Apart from you, but you did just take yourself out of the running.
Bob Yes, that was a bit stupid of me, wasn't it?
Bob What about Ian?
Janet He's not what anyone would call half-decent
Bob I'll take your word for that. James? Alistair?
Janet All the single blokes are single for a reason! They're all either football mad, leering morons, or both!
Bob Apart from Dave.
Janet Apart from Dave. And you.
Bob Thank you. And hey, it's not exactly looking good from over here, either.
Janet What do you mean?
Bob I've scoped out every chick at this college, and as far as I can tell, there's only five hot women here, and they're all unavailable for one reason or another.
Janet Five!? From three hundred?
Bob I have high standards
Janet So - which five?
Bob [Sighs] Look, I know I'm gonna regret this, so I'm going to have to ask you not to repeat this to anyone else, okay?
Janet Okay. Who are they?
Bob In no particular order: Annette, Beatrice, Kate, Claire and you.
Janet Me, my best mate, and three of the lecturers!?
Bob Like I said, high standards
Janet [Snorts] Brain damage, more like. How can you only find five women attractive in this whole college?
Bob It wasn't easy.
Janet Well, four. You and me as a couple doesn't really work, hey?
Bob More's the pity
Janet [Beginning to be affected] And Claire's not gonna break up with Eric any time soon.
Janet And Annette, Beatrice and Kate are all married!
Bob So you see my predicament?
Janet Yeah, you're an idiot!
Bob That as well, yeah.
Janet [By now clearly distraught] Look, Bob, you're a nice bloke, and thank you, really, for letting me in on Mike's cheating. But - right now, I'm not sure I know what to do.
Bob You're asking for advice?
Bob Crying usually helps
JANET breaks down into tears, putting her head in her hands. BOB comes over and hugs her. FTB.
© Brian Wakeling