ASTHMATIC POPE
by Dan & Eric
(originally performed in "Polka,Mon")

LIGHTS UP

( The scene is a little greasy spoon. Two men sit at the lunch counter.  One short order cook is working the grill. Two waitresses, Debra and Sally,  are down stage pouring coffee.)

DEBRA:Its really great to have you here Sally.

SALLY:        I'm just glad to have the job.

DEBRA: It was a bitch workin lunch by myself.

SALLY:        Believe me. I was the only waitress on lunch at the last diner I worked at.

DEBRA: So you've worked in a greasy spoon like this before?

SALLY:        Oh yeah. This is the third one I've worked at.

DEBRA: Sorry to hear that. Well I gotta get out to my table before they start eating the menus. (They both laugh.) You'll be okay working the counter?

SALLY:        No worries.

DEBRA:Great. (Debra exits).

(Sally approaches MAN1. Hes looking at the menu.)

SALLY:        What can I get you?

MAN 1:        Could I get a Denver omelette. A side of hashbrowns and a large coke.

SALLY:        You got it.

MAN 1:        You new here?

SALLY:        Yeah. In fact you're my first customer.

MAN 1:        Well, well get to know each other pretty well. I'm in here 4 or 5 times a week.

SALLY:        You must like it here.

MAN 1:         I sure do. I'm Russell.

SALLY:        Hi Russell. I'm Sally.

(Debra reenters. She throws a ticket on the cooks counter. She begins fixing drinks. She yells over her shoulder.)

DEBRA: Rob!  Adam & Eve on a raft. Scrambled with oink.  Cheesy puck medium well with a hemmorage.

COOK:        Two scrambled with toast and bacon. Cheeseburger medium well with ketchup. You got it!

SALLY:        (To MAN 2)  What about you honey.

MAN 2:        Hey Toots. Gimme a cheeseburger with mayo and mustard, fries, a coke and a slice of pecan pie.

SALLY:        You got it. (She turns back to the cook.) Mountain fag straight up with a side of the turnpike twosome. Nix on the dribble.  And I need a drunk Martha with brains and paint, a side of frog sticks and a slab of lump.

COOK:        (Stares at her.) Um. Deb. I'd love to cook that stuff for you but I got no idea what it is.

SALLY:        I said I need a mountain fag….

COOK:        I heard you, I think, I'm just not sure what you mean.

SALLY:        Look. Here's the ticket. Are you new too?

COOK:        No I've been here for 6 years.

SALLY:        Okay then. (She goes to make drinks.)

DEBRA:Hey. Sally. Is everything okay?

SALLY:        Rob didnt seem to understand my "Counter Lingo".

DEBRA:That's weird. He's usually really good with that stuff. Oh well. I'm sure you guys'll get the hang of each other. (She exits)

SALLY:        I'm sure. (The phone rings. Sally answers) Franks. Sure. What can I get for you?  Okay. Okay.  How do you want that?  Okay.   What size?  You got it. Give it about 20 minutes. (Hands the ticket to Cook.) Hey! Rob! I need an asthmatic pope, 6 crispy sheep. A moo-face on its period and a plaster horse. And theyre goin for a ride.

COOK:        (Stares at her for a long time.) Sally. I dont understand what youre saying.

SALLY:        It's perfectly simple. I need a Gyro plate, an order of fried mushrooms and a large vanilla shake. To Go!

COOK:        How the hell did you get an asthmatic pope out of that?

SALLY:        Look. It's perfectly simple.

COOK:        Could you explain it please?

MAN 1:        Sally? How much longer on that?

SALLY:        Just another second Russell. Look, Rob. I don't have time to get into the finer points of "Counter Lingo" with you.

COOK:        But that's not Counter Lingo. Youre talking nonsense. Deb! Table 12 is up!

(Debra enters. She starts to load up the plates.)

SALLY:        Would please explain Counter Lingo to Rob.

COOK:        I know Counter Lingo!  I just don't understand your mongrel version!

DEBRA:Cmon guys. Its lunch can we all get along?

SALLY:        I'm trying Deb.

COOK:        I'd love to but I need to understand whats being ordered.

DEBRA:Okay. Sally. Read me your last order.

SALLY:        (Sighs) An asthmatic pope, 6 crispy sheep. A moo-face on its period and a plaster horse. And theyre goin for a ride.

(LONG PAUSE)

COOK:        How fucked up is that?

DEBRA:        Wow.

SALLY:        What?

DEBRA:        I've never heard anything like that before.  I get the "goin' for a ride" part but the rest is a total mystery to me.

COOK:        Thank you.

SALLY:        I can't believe you don't get it. What do you call a gyro platter.

DEBRA:A gyro platter.  The whole purpose of Counter Lingo is  to make the order easier to say. Gyro platter comes out pretty easy. Asthmatic pope is harder to say than gyro platter.

SALLY:        This is so weird.

DEBRA:Look. Let me get this order out. Then Ill be back.

COOK:        Sally. Your "mountain fag" is up.

SALLY:        There you go. Now you're getting it.

COOK:        I dont even know what I'm saying.

SALLY:        (Hands it to MAN1) There you go.

MAN 1:        Thanks. Hey, ya know I couldn't help but over hear youre having a little trouble with the counter lingo.

(MUSIC STARTS, UNDER)

SALLY:        Well, I dont know what everyones problem is. Its like I'm speaking Greek.


MAN1:        Dont be so hard on yourself Sally. Counter Lingo is a lot like…well, a lot like a dilaect. Travel to a different part of the country, it's like a whole new language. Let me show you what I mean:

(SINGING)        Out east they call it a soda
                But here we call it a pop
                Down south hes a smokey
                But up here hes a cop

                It's really all the same thing
                Just different words we choose
                So when in doubt, just work it out
                Just stay cool, and heed the rules of
                The Counter Lingo Blues

DEBRA:        Make sure the words you're using
                Make sense in context
                Just get a few main terms
                youll figure out the rest

                Then it'll be a breeze
                Youll be ordering with ease
                Youll never get fucked out of
                Your Philly Steak and cheese

SALLY:        (Spoken) You mean a bicycle rack and cram it in the back.

ALL:                No!

COOK:                Listen.
                A burger is a puck
                With ketchup we say hemmorage
                you get the drinks
                so don't call out the beverage
        
DEBRA:        Can I get an omlette

COOK:                We call that a fold

SALLY:                Yeah, but what about pancakes

COOK:                Thats just griddle gold

SALLY:                Its all so confusing,
                I dont know what to use

MAN1:                Just break it down and lose that frown

DEBRA:        These particulars won't get you down

ALL:                With the Counter Lingo Blues
        
                

MAN2:        Why'd she have to leave me
        I'm a handsome, charming man
        I guess I shouldn't have jacked her cat
with that fyring pan

(ALL STOP AND LOOK AT MAN2)

MAN2:        (LOOKS AT THEM) Check please.

DEBRA:        A root beer float's a black cow

COOK:                A rueben is a rick.

MAN1:                A chicken is a clucker

DEBRA:        A Jumbo Dog's a dick

COOK:                "With everything's" a messy one

MAN1:                Plain is "Please refrain."

DEBRA:        Bacon's oink which is too the point

MAN2:                I think I'll move to Spain

ALL:                Ya!         

SALLY:                I think it's coming to me
                This lesson that you sing
                About faulty Counter lingo
                and the consequence it brings

COOK:                By jove I think she's got it

DEBRA:        Some info she can use.

ALL:                We broke it down she lost that frown
        
MAN1:                This greasy spoon is gettin' down!!

ALL:                With the ab- so - lutely
                bare e-ssen-tial
                Counter Lingo Blues!!!

        COUNTER LINGO BLUES! YA!

BLACKOUT!