92q: Jason Alexander / Peter Gabriel
African Tribal Representative.....Warren Hutcherson
[ open at a restaurant; colleagues Sharon, Pam, Darnell, and Steve are chatting at a table; Jeff enters ]
Jeff: Well, Sharon, Pam, Darnell... it's nice to meet you. Just let me hang up my coat, and I'll come join you! [ leaves ]
[ Raymond, a black man with a top hat and glasses, enters ]
Steve: Hey, Raymond! There he is! [ the whole table greets Ray ]
Sharon: How are you?
Raymond: I'm all right, lemme just get a chair.
Darnell: [ stands up ] No, take mine, I'm going to the bathroom. [ leaves; Raymond sits ]
[ Jeff returns and sits down ]
Jeff: So, you guys all work with Steve, huh? Now, Pam and Sharon, I know you guys work in accounting. [ To Raymond ] Where do you work, Darnell?
Jeff: Don't you work with these guys, Darnell?
Raymond: [ upset ] Yes, but my name's not Darnell, it's Raymond. I mean, what's the matter, can't you tell black people apart?
Jeff: [ embarrassed ] Oh... I'm sorry, man. I made a mistake. Listen, I'm buying a round of drinks, OK? Who's drinking what?
Sharon: 7-and-7 sounds good.
Steve: I'll take another margarita.
Raymond: And I'll have an Amstel Light.
Jeff: OK... [ leaves ]
[ Darnell comes back ]
Darnell: Hey, Raymond, that hat and glasses look sharp together. Can I try them on?
Raymond: Sure! [ stands up and gives Darnell the hat and glasses; Darnell puts them on ] Hey, hold my seat, will ya, I've got a phone call to make.
Darnell: OK, sure, go ahead. [ Raymond leaves; Darnell sits down ]
[ Jeff comes back with a tray of drinks; he sits and distributes them ]
Jeff: OK, here we are... 7-and-7's for the ladies, a margarita for Steve, and a Amstel Light for my main man Raymond! [ to Darnell ] Now, I hope the draft is OK, Raymond, and I'm really sorry about that mix-up.
Darnell: [ upset ] What the hell are you talking about, man?
Darnell: I'm not Raymond, I'm Darnell. What, do you think we all look alike or something?
Jeff: Well, I'm sorry, I saw the hat and the glasses...
Darnell: [ sarcastically ] Oh, well I guess there's only one black person in the whole world with a hat and glasses, huh.
Jeff: I'm sorry.
Darnell: Well look... you're a balding white guy with a blazer, I guess that makes you Bob Hope! Hey, look, everybody, Bob Hope's making a surprise visit to the Pig & Whistle, let's give him a hand, huh? Damn!
Jeff: Listen, I said I was sorry. Let me buy you a drink, what do you drink?
Darnell: Gin and tonic, alright? [ removes his hat ] But just remember, my name's Darnell. Look at my hair... [ turns around to reveal a letter D buzzed into his hair ] See? D for Darnell.
Jeff: I got it. [ leaves ]
Darnell: Jeez, man, what's up with that guy? He's an idiot!
Steve: He said he's sorry, it won't happen again, he's just a little stressed out...
[ Denise enters and walks over to the table, and is greeted by her colleagues ]
Denise: Oh, Darnell, I love your hair! Who did it for you?
Darnell: I did it myself! It's really easy with one of these buzz pens. Sit down and I'll show you!
[ Darnell gets up out of his chair and Denise sits down; Darnell uses the buzz pen to carve a D in Denise's hair ]
Darnell: There you go. D for Denise. Check it out. [ Denise turns around ]
Sharon: That's great!
Denise: Oh, I really wish I could see it!
Darnell: Hold on then, I'll go get you a mirror. [ leaves ]
Denise: You know, I'm really tired... I could take a nap right here! [ moves drinks out of the way and puts her head down ]
[ Jeff comes back with Darnell's drink ]
Jeff: Hey, wake up, Darnell, it's gin and tonic time!
Denise: [ sits up in disbelief ] Who are you calling Darnell?
Jeff: But you've got, in your hair... the D!
Denise: Ohhhh, that D is for Denise! You think Darnell is the only black person's name that starts with D?
[ Darnell and Raymond come back to the table ]
Darnell: Hey, what's he up to now?
Denise: He called me Darnell!
Raymond: What'd you do, Steve? Hire the stupidest white guy you could find?
Jeff: You guys, I'm really, really sorry. I've got it straight now... Denise, Raymond, and Darnell. I swear, I'll never get your names wrong again. [ to Denise ] Now Denise, what do you want to drink? This one's on me.
Denise: [ very upset ] I don't want anything.
Jeff: OK, but I'm buying champagne for the whole table. Now I'm serious, don't anyone go anywhere! [ leaves, taking his chair with him ]
[ an African Tribal Representative enters, wearing traditional African clothes and carrying some envelopes ]
African Tribal Representative: Denise! Raymond! Darnell! Good news! Your change of name petitions just came through with your new African names! [ hands envelopes to Denise, Darnell, and Raymond ] Denise, your name is Kalisha, Raymond, you are now Mbaté, and Darnell, your name is Wahid.
Raymond: My African heart beats proudly today!
Denise: Mine too, Mbaté!
Darnell: Mine too. Never again will I allow anyone to address me by my former European slave name!
[ Jeff returns with glasses of champagne, and passes them out to everyone ]
Steve: [ stands up ] Whoa, whoa, Jeff...
Jeff: Here we go! OK, I'm really sorry for the confusion about the names before, but I promise it won't happen again. So here's to my three new friends-
Steve: Jeff, before you start...
Jeff: Come on, now, this is important... I wanna drink a toast to my three new friends and colleagues, who's names are...
Steve: [ panicks] Uh... FIRE!!! FIRE, everybody! Get out! Run for your lives!
[ the whole restaurant clears out except for Jeff ]
Jeff: [ speaking to audience ] The little play let you just saw is about how easy it is to get angry at someone over a simple misunderstanding. This is true in real life as well. Soon, the Rodney King jury will release their verdict. And although, on the surface, I may look like one of the police officers who beat Mr. King, or like a member of one of the juries that tried them, I'm not. So please... don't hurt me or set my house on fire. Thank you.
[ end ]
Submitted by: Paul Buxton