• Document: The Sure Thing (1988) by David Ives
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The Sure Thing (1988) by David Ives (from a collection of six short plays published together as a collection called All in the Timing) How to cite on your works cited page: Ives, David. The Sure Thing. 1988. “English 101: Critical Reasoning, Reading, and Writing.” Marilyn Kennedy’s Course Web Site. 2 Nov. 2007. McGraw-Hill’s PageOut. Date of access. <www.mjknndy.pageout.net>. Characters: Betty Bill (Photo from Coffeyville Community College Theatre) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Scene: A café. Betty, a woman in her late twenties, is reading at a café table. An empty chair is opposite her. Bill, same age, enters.) BILL: Excuse me. Is this chair taken? BETTY: Excuse me? BILL: Is this taken? BETTY: Yes it is. BILL: Oh. Sorry. BETTY: Sure thing. (A bell rings softly.) BILL: Excuse me. Is this chair taken? BETTY: Excuse me? BILL: Is this taken? BETTY: No, but I'm expecting somebody in a minute. BILL: Oh. Thanks anyway. 1 BETTY: Sure thing. (A bell rings softly.) BILL: Excuse me. Is this chair taken? BETTY: No, but I'm expecting somebody very shortly. BILL: Would you mind if I sit here till he or she or it comes? BETTY: (Glances at her watch): They do seem to be pretty late... BILL: You never know who you might be turning down. BETTY: Sorry. Nice try, though. BILL: Sure thing. (Bell.) Is this seat taken? BETTY: No it's not. BILL: Would you mind if I sit here? BETTY: Yes I would. BILL: Oh. (Bell) Is this chair taken? BETTY: No it's not. BILL: Would you mind if I sit here? BETTY: No. Go ahead. BILL: Thanks. (He sits. She continues reading). Every place else seems to be taken. BETTY: Mm-hm. BILL: Great place. BETTY: Mm-hm. BILL: What's the book? BETTY: I just wanted to read in quiet, if you don't mind. BILL: No. Sure thing. (Bell.) Every place else seems to be taken. BETTY: Mm-hm. 2 BILL: Great place for reading. BETTY: Yes, I like it. BILL: What's the book? BETTY: The Sound and the Fury. BILL: Oh. Hemingway. (Bell.) What's the book? BETTY: The Sound and the Fury. BILL: Oh. Faulkner. BETTY: Have you read it? BILL: Not...actually. I've sure read about it, though. It's supposed to be great. BETTY: It is great. BILL: I hear it's great. (Small pause) Waiter? (Bell.) What's the book? BETTY: The Sound and the Fury. BILL: Oh. Faulkner. BETTY: Have you read it? BILL: I'm a Mets fan, myself. (Bell.) BETTY: Have you read it? Bill: Yeah, I read it in college. BETTY: Where was college? BILL: I went to Oral Roberts University. (Bell.) BETTY: Where was college? BILL: I was lying. I never really went to college. I just like to party. (Bell.) 3 BETTY: Where was college? BILL: Harvard. BETTY: Do you like Faulkner? BILL: I love Faulkner. I spent a whole winter reading him once. BETTY: I've just started. BILL: I was so excited after ten pages that I went out and bought everything else he wrote. One of the greatest reading experiences of my life. I mean, all that incredible psychological understanding. Page after page of gorgeous prose. His profound grasp of the mystery of time and human existence. The smells of the earth. . . . What do you think? BETTY: I think it's pretty boring. (Bell.) BILL: What's the book? BETTY: The Sound and the Fury. BILL: Oh! Faulkner! BETTY: Do you like Faulkner? BILL: I love Faulkner. BETTY: He's incredible. BILL: I spent a whole winter reading him once. BETTY: I was so excited after ten pages that I went out and bought everything else he wrote. BILL: All that incredible psychological understanding. BETTY: And the prose is so gorgeous. BILL: And the way he's grasped the mystery of time-- BETTY: --and human existence. I can't believe I've waited this long to read him. BILL: You never know. You might not have liked him before. BETTY: That's true. BILL: You might not have been ready for him. You have to hit these things at the right moment or it's no good. BETTY: That's happened to me. BILL: It's all in the timing. (Small pause.) My name's Bill, by the way. BETTY: I'm Betty.

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