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Alicia, an executive office worker
Cindy, Alicia's secretary
Mike, a local lawyer and acquaintance
Carl, Alicia's husband
Larry, one of Alicia's co-workers
Mr. Alexander, a high standing government official Marnie, me, Alicia's friend and confidant Josh, Alicia's son
ALICIA: Cindy get me Mike on five please.
ALICIA: (on phone) Mike, it's Alicia Van Kleef.
MIKE: (also on phone) Good morning Alicia.
ALICIA: Say...I wanted to ask if you've heard anything new about the Dreyer case? Any ground-breaking material I should know or any new releases?
MIKE: Dreyer...Martin Dreyer...yes. Another arraignment has been set for the fourteenth of next month with a few more pieces of evidence concerning the pre-event occurrences, and Judge Wilson is being replaced by Judge Lidboe.
ALICIA: Any word yet about the plaintiff's tax evasion claim?
MIKE: Other than the fact that they may have found more substantial material, I don't think their argument has changed.
ALICIA: O.K. So the new hearing is on the fourteenth.
ALICIA: Great. Any particular reason for Judge Lidboe stepping in?
MIKE: I heard that Wilson is taking another big case next week, and the court ruled that it was an open position for Lidboe then.
ALICIA: Is that that upcoming negligence case from that Richland couple?
MIKE: No, this is something out of down south.
ALICIA: O.K. Thank you so much for the info, Mike. MIKE: No problem.
ALICIA: I'll talk to you later.
ALICIA: Good bye. (She hangs up the phone.)
CINDY: (entering office) Alicia, this is some mail that came in late yesterday, and a few reminders of things you wanted for today.
ALICIA: Great. (paging through mail) Thanks Cindy.
CINDY: You're welcome. Larry made some flavoured coffee from home this morning. It's pretty good.
ALICIA: I'll have to give it a try before it's all gone. (mumbling to herself) I just hope Larry isn't hangin' around.
(phone rings, CINDY waves and leaves the office)
ALICIA: Hello, Alicia VanKleef speaking. CARL: Hey sexy.
ALICIA: Hi Carl.
CARL: How're you doin' so far?
ALICIA: Just fine sweetie. I just got my coat off.
CARL: Did you take anything else off?
ALICIA: No, dear. Strip shows aren't allowed in the office. You know that.
CARL: (laughing) Sorry.
ALICIA: Did Josh find his other shoe this morning?
CARL: Yeah, under his bed, like you said.
ALICIA: He gets so frustrated over little things like that.
CARL: He calmed down after he found it.
ALICIA: Good. It was his jacket last week.
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"A Mental Play About Everyday Language." 123HelpMe.com. 28 Jan 2020
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ALICIA: I don't know. Kids lose things, but...I don't know.
CARL: Hey babes?
CARL: I think he's O.K.
ALICIA: Me too. Hmmm...
CARL: What's "Hmmm..." for?
ALICIA: I have to have this thing ready for the boss man today, and there's one person who I have no contact with. I'm not sure if I should call her up or what.
CARL: I'm not sure I understand what that's all about, but I'm sure ol' chrome- dome will be satisfied with whatever you come up with.
ALICIA: Maybe I can get a hold of her stuff be e-mailing her future job site. CARL: Whatever. Hey! Speaking of e-mailing, did you ever get that web site address of my old school?
ALICIA: Not yet sweetie. I've been either doing other internet stuff, or Larry has been hovering over my shoulder whenever I log on.
CARL: What's up with this Larry guy?
ALICIA: I don't know, the guy's a creep. Ever since he's been back from his honeymoon with his Barbie doll wife, he's been stalking every female in the building.
CARL: He's been what every female?
ALICIA: Stalking, looming over, staring at, you know...creepy stuff.
CARL: You want me to kick his ass?
ALICIA: (laughing) No, tough guy. I can handle it.
CARL: Still, that should qualify as sexual harassment or something.
ALICIA: Thanks for your concern, but I've already got an eye on him.
CARL: What? You're stalking him too?
ALICIA: (laughing) Carl!
ALICIA: You know you're the only one I dream about.
CARL: Oh yeah?
ALICIA: Yeah. You're the only one who I have romantic, hot, steamy, and super- sexy fantasies about.
CARL: How come I never heard about any of these fantasies?
ALICIA: (in a lower voice) Are you going to be home tonight?
ALICIA: Are you going to be alone?
CARL: Kind of.
ALICIA: Can you meet me in your bedroom at nine-thirty tonight?
CARL: Um...let me check my book...I don't know...I may have to pencil you in for the thirtieth...
ALICIA: I'll be completely naked...
CARL: I could maybe squeeze you in on the eighteenth...
ALICIA: You'll be completely naked...
CARL: I could cancel my dentist appointment on the seventh...
ALICIA: I'll be your love slave...
CARL: Um...let me see...
ALICIA: I'll do whatever you want me to do...
CARL: Um...yeah, tonight sounds good.
ALICIA: It's about time you said yes! I was running out of temptations.
CARL: Hearing your sexy voice is turning me on already.
ALICIA: You're a nut.
CARL: When will you be home my lovely?
ALICIA: Shortly after four, I think.
CARL: Why so late?
ALICIA: I'm having lunch with Marnie this afternoon.
CARL: That's right.
ALICIA: We have to catch up the monthly gossip, you know.
CARL: Yup. I better let you go then.
ALICIA: O.K. Thanks for the call sweet cakes.
CARL: I'll be thinking of you all day.
ALICIA: I love you.
CARL: I love you too. Have a great day today.
ALICIA: I will.
CARL: And say hi to Marnie for me.
CARL: Bye babes.
(ALICIA gets up from her desk and exits her office for the lounge. The lounge is empty so she pours herself a cup of coffee from a large thermos and stirs in some sugar. LARRY saunters in.)
LARRY: Some pretty tasty java, huh, Leese?
ALICIA: I haven't tasted it yet. Hang on...(she sips the coffee) yeah...good brew.
LARRY: I picked up a pound or so while I was in Chicago last weekend.
ALICIA: You make it sound like it's an illegal drug.
LARRY: It wasn't cheap. Hell, this stuff just about is drugs. It's got something in it that gives it a kick.
ALICIA: Are you serious?
LARRY: I think it's got some weed in there.
ALICIA: Larry, why the hell did you bring this to work?
LARRY: To loosen everyone up around here. God, everyone's so uptight and bureaucratic, stiff-collared, bullshit these days.
ALICIA: Larry, this is illegal. What the hell are you doing?
LARRY: Just another example of the government's oppression on us.
ALICIA: I don't think so. Thanks but no thanks. I can't believe this.
(ALICIA tries to leave the lounge but is blocked by LARRY'S arm.)
LARRY: Loosen up, Leese.
ALICIA: Larry, what are you doing?
LARRY: You can't let this out, Leese.
ALICIA: Why not? I think it's part of my job to report such behavior.
LARRY: You can't let this out.
(ALICIA turns to look him in the face, pulls back his arm heavily, and exits the room. She walks briskly back to her office where she straightens her vest and sits down at her computer. She reaches for the phone but stops. In her doorway stands LARRY. He gives her a commanding stare and then walks off. She reaches for the phone again and this time MR.ALEXANDER enters her office.)
ALICIA: (a bit shocked) Good Morning Mr. Alexander.
MR. ALEXANDER: Ah, good morning Mrs. VanKleef. It looks as if fall is finally gone for the year.
MR. ALEXANDER: I assume that you've approached all of your clients concerning the upcoming merger agreement.
ALICIA: All but one, sir. She is in between jobs at present and may need to be translocated to another firm. I have demanded of her a statement of her plan by the end of tomorrow.
MR. ALEXANDER: Alright. I'd like a list of all of those for whom you hold cases.
ALICIA: Yes sir.
MR. ALEXANDER: And the bureau has asked that each case worker submit a report of any problems they encounter when moving through this merger process.
ALICIA: I received your memo last week and will everything for you by tomorrow.
MR. ALEXANDER: Very good. See my secretary if you've any questions.
ALICIA: Thank you sir. Have a nice morning once again.
MR. ALEXANDER: And the same to you.
ALICIA: Thank you.
(ALICIA reenters her office, shuts the door behind her, and sighs. She begins to sort through the papers on her desk and she works from them to her computer as the lights fade to black.)
(six hours later)
ALICIA: Cindy, I'm grabbing a late lunch with my friend at the Red Brick and then I'm going home from there. If you need anything immediately call me there or at home, otherwise leave a note for me for tomorrow.
CINDY: O.K., have a nice lunch. I'll see you tomorrow morning.
ALICIA: Thanks Cindy.
(ALICIA drives to the restaurant and meets her friend, MARNIE, in the lobby.)
MARNIE: (giving her a hug) Happy Wednesday.
ALICIA: Thanks. Boy it feels good to be out of that office.
MARNIE: Larry driving you up the wall again?
ALICIA: Just about. Mr. Coffee Bean himself. You won't believe what he did today. But...I really don't wanna talk about it.
MARNIE: (laughing) That's O.K.
(The two womin are seated at a private table and catch up on the week's events.)
MARNIE: I've been reading this book recently called...oh, now I can't remember. Anyhow, it's about linguistics, and diction, and politically correctness stuff.
ALICIA: Any good?
MARNIE: Actually, yes. It brings up some neat correlations between how we use words and what we mean when we say them a certain way in a given situation.
ALICIA: It sounds pretty complex.
MARNIE: In real life it is very complex, but the theory itself is quite simple. ALICIA: How's it laid out for you?
MARNIE: Oh, that's the fun part. It gives you all these weird, but ultimately cool tests to try on yourself and other people. You just listen a little more carefully to what you and the people around you say. It's amazing all the stuff you pick up on once you've been shown it's there.
ALICIA: Kind of like those 3-D poster things.
MARNIE: Yeah. Take your office for example. What's the most you say to your secretary-what's her name?
MARNIE: Cindy, right. Anyway, on a normal basis, do you ever really pour your heart out to her or even talk about things other than work or weather.
MARNIE: Do you speak formally to her, or informally?
ALICIA: Kind of in the middle I'd say. Maybe more formal? I'm guessing.
MARNIE: O.K....Now how about Carl. Surely you talk about more than the weather with that hunk-a-roo of yours.
ALICIA: (laughing) Surely.
MARNIE: O.K., now just think about how weird it would be if you spoke to Cindy like you speak to Carl, and the other way around.
ALICIA: I don't think I'd catch myself dead telling Cindy to wait up for me so we can have wild sex at night!
MARNIE: Or discussing the mundane with Carl like it was going out of style.
ALICIA: Yeah, that's pretty weird.
MARNIE: Even if you just said "blah, blah, blah" to everybody you see, you'd probably say "blah" a different way to your boss than you would to me.
ALICIA: I know Carl would still get turned on if all I said in bed was "blah, oh blah."
MARNIE: (as both laugh) Right on.
ALICIA: So how'd you hear about this book?
MARNIE: I heard the author talking about it on public radio a few weeks ago and...I still can't remember the name of it.
ALICIA: Did you find it in town?
MARNIE: At the library of all places. I've got it checked out for another two weeks, if you'd like to take a look at it.
ALICIA: That'd be cool. I'd like to try it out.
MARNIE: I took a couple of the personal tests and it said that I was a giving, open- minded person willing to comprehend the ideas of other people, or something like that.
ALICIA: That'd be you I guess.
MARNIE: At least I didn't turn out to be a super sex-freak or something.
ALICIA: Is that one of their categories?
MARNIE: Kind of. I think they put it as more of a Freudian behavior where you translate everything into something to do with sex.
ALICIA: That would be Carl.
(The two laughed and their server came to them telling ALICIA that she had a phone call. ALICIA excused herself and followed their server to the desk phone.)
ALICIA: This is Alicia speaking.
JOSH: Hi Mom.
ALICIA: Hi Josh-boy, what's up?
JOSH: Um, Mom, um, would it be O.K. if I spent the night at, um, Marcus's house tonight?
ALICIA: Who's house?
JOSH: Marcus's, my friend from school.
ALICIA: Honey, it's a week night. What's the rule?
JOSH: But there's no school tomorrow.
ALICIA: Says who?
JOSH: Well, um, you know that field trip that Mrs. Flanner's class is taking?
ALICIA: The one to the history center right?
JOSH: Um, yeah, well, that got canceled 'cause of something and so we don't have school.
ALICIA: Why did they cancel the field trip?
JOSH: I dunno.
ALICIA: I don't understand why they would cancel school then. Did Mrs. Flanner tell you that there was no school tomorrow?
JOSH: No, but Marcus said that his teacher said that there wasn't none.
ALICIA: Wasn't any, Josh. Well, Josh-boy, I don't know what to say. I tell you what.
ALICIA: I'll be home real soon and we'll get this straightened out. You can tell me all about it and if it turns out that you don't have school tomorrow, and if it's O.K. with Marcus's parents, then I'll let you spend the night over there.
JOSH: Marcus's parents said it was O.K. already
ALICIA: That's good, but just wait 'til I get home. I want to give you a big hugger before you go anywhere. O.K.?
ALICIA: O.K. Thanks for calling sweetie.
JOSH: O.K. Bye Mom.
ALICIA: Bye Joshua. See you soon.
(ALICIA hangs up the phone, walks back to her table and begins to laugh a bit.)
MARNIE: What's so funny? Who was it?
ALICIA: It was Josh asking if he could spend the night at a friend's house. But the funny part was that, after I hung up, I thought about that book you were talking about and I thought about how funny it would be if I talked to Mr. Alexander like I talk to Josh, or vice-versa.
MARNIE: I think that's called getting a pink slip and spoiling your child in one day.
ALICIA: I guess so.
MARNIE: But that's definitely what this book's about. Weird stuff, our language.