By Andy Lund
A Monty Python-esque skit in which a young man goes to a jeweller looking for a gift for his girlfriend.
(Scene: Jewellers shop. Customer enters and looks at several trays, shakes head, in thought.)
Jeweller: Can I help you, sir.
Customer: I hope so. I'm looking for something for my girlfriend... (embarrassed) something, err, nice.
Jeweller: Quite so, sir. I think you'll find we have several, err nice, things here. Is it a piece of jewellery you had in mind, sir.
Customer: Yes. Something to show her how I feel.
Jeweller: Might I ask, sir, is this an occasion like engagement or...
Customer: Oh no. We're not that far. Just to show her I care for her.
Jeweller: So a ring might not be the right thing. We have several very nice stone settings.
Customer: No, I think not. We've only been going out for a few weeks and it might look a bit over the top...a bit pushy, if you know what I mean.
Jeweller: Well, how about some earrings, then sir.
Customer: That would be a good idea but I do know she's not that keen on earrings. So there's a bit of a problem
Jeweller: Right... so not earrings and not a ring with a stone... um. (pause) I have it! I've just had a delivery as well. These are going to be very popular this year and you'll have the benefit of being some of the first in the area to purchase. Your girlfriend is going to love you for this.
Customer: What exactly did you have in mind. Can I see?
Jeweller: Certainly, sir. I have the tray right here. (Goes to counter drawer. Pulls out tray with selection of gallows. Holds one up.) So what do you think?
Customer: (Cautiously) Oh, right. Very interesting. Very... unusual. It's just ... well... what is it?
Jeweller: Well, I'd have thought it was obvious, sir. It's a gallows. It's going to be all the rage. Very fine craftsmanship. Some lovely etching and not over the top price wise.
Customer: I see. A gallows, you say?
Jeweller: Yes, that's right.
Customer: What... like they used to hang people on... like thieves and murderers in the 18th century.
Jeweller: You've got it in one. My understanding is that there is going to be quite a demand this year and manufacturers are preparing themselves for follow up lines like a guillotine, an electric chair, a gas chamber and a tiny little hypodermic needle and syringe with the wording 'lethal injection'. I could see them all taking off in a very big way.
Customer: And you think that the gallows might be an appropriate present for my girlfriend?
Jeweller: Oh, absolutely. I'm sure you'll never look back. I'd say it could be the beginning of a deeper and more fulfilling relationship. In fact, if you really wanted to impress we do have a gallows with a dangling man on the end of the rope. Now that would say something rather special, wouldn't it?
Customer: (Diffidently) You bet! It's just... well...
Jeweller: Yes, sir. Is it the price? I can assure you we have quite a range. Not all are solid silver. (Sneeringly) We do have a silver plated range, if that would suit better.
Customer: No, it's not the price. I've been saving up.
Customer: It's just... you don't think.. she... my girlfriend.. might think it a bit offensive?
Jeweller: Offensive? Surely not. How could it be offensive?
Customer: Well, being a gallows and all that. It's like a reminder of ..well...violent death really. And I was looking more for a reminder of my affection. My commitment to her.
Jeweller: Sir, I'm sure she'd be delighted. It will go with casual and formal wear - even on the beach with swimwear. I am sure you won't regret the purchase.
Customer: No, I'm not sure. I don't want to make a mistake right at the beginning of our relationship. I'll leave it, if you don't mind.
Jeweller: (trying to persuade) Well, don't be hasty, sir. Just think a lovely silver or gold gallows. (Customer edges away) . Or how about the guillotine? Or the electric chair? Oh, sir, do take the electric chair. We could even do one with the voltage dials in the background (Customer shakes head determinedly). Tell you what, sir... it's just come in today. A hooded executioner with axe in hand together with the sweetest little chopping block you've ever seen and just a hint of blood dripping off the edge. How can you say no to that? (Customer goes)
Jeweller: Some people have no taste.
© Andy Lund
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This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged.
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