A Short Play

Tensions rise during a long wait in the checkout line of the Trader Joe’s in Union Square.  Semi-famous food blogger “Vegan Dad” tries to flirt with the semi-impressed Jessica in front of him, while dodging judgmental comments from an Obnoxious Upper East-Side Mother from behind.  Just when he thinks things might be going his way with Jessica, he is forced to confront a line-cutting frenemy from his UPenn days… and basically all of his life choices.


VEGAN DAD
How are your kids, Tripp?

TRIPP
Bear is doing a summer camp at Dartmouth. My daughter, Lake, is at a camp in Nevada.

VEGAN DAD
Nevada? Why Nevada?

TRIPP
She would only eat those instant mashed potatoes for months. We tried everything.
Grounding her, screaming at her, locking her in her room with no electronics… Finally my
wife found this program.

OBNOXIOUS MOTHER
So, she struggled with an eating disorder?

TRIPP
She just needed to toughen up a bit.

JESSICA
Rehab for eating disorders can be really effective.

TRIPP
She’s not in rehab. She’s on a ranch.

VEGAN DAD
Like a relaxation retreat?

TRIPP
No, they teach kids to get back in touch with their survival instincts by making them hunt
and kill their own food.

OBNOXIOUS MOTHER
Oh my fucking god.

TRIPP
Deer. Buffalo. Wild hogs. She was hungry for the first few days…but then she got the
hang of it and now she’s shooting stuff left and right. She says it helps if she pictures my
face….Dear old Dad!

VEGAN DAD
Wow, Tripp, I really don’t know what to say. That’s, um. I mean, we’re in no place to judge your parenting.

JESSICA
(visibly upset) Um…

VEGAN DAD
To each his own. Right? A different cup of tea for everyone?

TRIPP
So Janica, what do you say? How does that lasagna date sound?

JESSICA
Jessica. Aren’t you married?

TRIPP
Yes I am… Jessica? Is that what you just said?

JESSICA
I have plans.

VEGAN DAD
I already told you she already told me she had plans.

TRIPP
My wife is at that spa in Holland where all they give you is laxatives and flax seeds.

JESSICA
I’m still not going to go out with you.

TRIPP
She’s literally sitting on a toilet for six weeks.

JESSICA
How does that change anything?

TRIPP
I thought it would make you easier to dismiss her as insignificant.

VEGAN DAD
Tripp, maybe you should just leave Jessica alone.

OBNOXIOUS MOTHER
She’s very clearly not interested in either of you.

TRIPP
What do even do? Live off your parents’ money?

JESSICA
I work for a non-profit.

TRIPP
So, that’s a yes.

OBNOXIOUS MOTHER
I used to work for a non-profit. Amnesty International? Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s the best one.

TRIPP
Before you met your husband?

OBNOXIOUS MOTHER
Well, yes, but I did really well while I was there.

TRIPP
Jessie here hasn’t found one yet. Getting a bit old to still be putting together goodie bags for fund- raising galas.

JESSICA
You’re an asshole.

TRIPP
What did you major in? Art History?

JESSICA
Gender Studies.

TRIPP
Welcome to the real world. You’re living off your parents money and working for a women’s charity until you find a man to take care of you because you literally just proved you can’t take care of yourself.

JESSICA
You know what? I’m trying my best here. It takes time.

TRIPP
Oh, come on. I’m sure you spend most of your time at the office editing your Match dot com profile.

JESSICA
Sorry for wanting a love life.

TRIPP
If all you wanted was a love life, you’d have that already. You want someone wealthy because you need to maintain your current lifestyle and your parents are getting tired of paying for your West Village apartment.

JESSICA
Oh, like you didn’t get a job on Wall Street from your connections. Daddy set you up?

TRIPP
Irrelevant. My economics degree is practical. Your Gender Studies degree is ironic.


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