By Martin McDonagh
James Hanley, don’t keep going on about your stupid fecking toenails! The way you talk it sounds as if I took off a rake of them, when it was only two I took off, and them only small ones. If they’d been big ones I could understand, but they weren’t. They were small. You’d hardly notice them gone.
If I hadn’t been such a nice fella I would’ve taken one toenail off of separate feet, but I didn’t, I took two toenails off the one foot, so that’s the only foot you’ll have to be limping on and not the two. If it hadn’t been the two you’d’ve found it a devil to be getting about. But with the pain concentrated on the one, if you can get hold of a crutch or a decent stick, I’m not sure if the General Hospital does hand them out but they might do, I don’t know. You could phone them up and ask, or go in and see them would be the best thing, and make sure them toes won’t be going septic at the same time. I didn’t disinfect the razor at all, I never do, I see no need, but they’d be the best people to ask, sure they’re the experts. You’ll probably need a tetanus jab too, oh there’s no question. I do hate injections, I do. I think I’d rather be slashed with a razor than have an injection. I don’t know why. Of course, I’d rather have neither. You’ll have both by the end of the day. What a bad day you’ve had. But, erm ... I have lost me train of thought now, so I have.
By Douglas Maxwell
Did I tell yous that Tina’s pregnant?
Came as a bit of a shocker I can tell you. I’d been away at a battle re-enactment thing. I’d been helping out some of the English Civil war mob down in the black country somewhere. Their organisation was an absolute disgrace. Really it was a fiasco. Most folk don’t even know what side they were on and the kit was just bits of cardboard and Halloween costumes. Anyway, I was meant to be away all weekend but I just headed home Saturday night. I got home to find Tina lying on the bed, greeting her face off. Just crying and crying and crying. She wouldn’t say what the hell was wrong. My heart was beating man, I tell you, I thought she’d got cancer or something. She eventually told me she was up the duff. Well I said that’s good news! We can afford it, we’ve got room, good job, we’re happy and everything. She ... she said she didn’t want my baby. She loves me and everything, she just doesn’t want my baby. (Pause) Dr McCulloch says it happens all the time. Chemicals released into the body and everything. It’s difficult. I’ve to give her room. So I’m in the hut most nights building stuff and thinking about things. She’ll come around. Hope.
By Paul Sellar
So this is it, then. Our last dance.
You didn’t really expect me to leave the key in a plant pot, did you?
Not a day has gone by when I’ve not thought about you.
I’m feeling fragile now. So...handle with care.
You’re really going then, are you?
I’ve been going mad in here. You sneaked off without a word. You just left...I woke up and you were gone. Nobody said anything. Your parents wouldn’t let on. Your friends clammed up. I couldn’t stop wondering where the fuck you were. Know what kept me going? Knowing you’d have to come back for your stuff. That kept me going. Took me ages to find the note. It must have slid under the fridge. But even when I dug it out I was none the wiser. You may as well have written it in Japanese. “You’ll always be with me, somehow.” The fuck does that mean? What does that actually mean?
I know I was difficult but there were good times too. And I miss them. And you. I was so content with you. And so proud and...all the...I miss the little things. Those little walks, feeling your hand grab mine whenever you wanted to cross the road. You choking on that falafel. There were so many things...so many little things which-we were happy. We were...and we just let it slip through our...Where did it go?
I was a mess. I’d gone to pot. This place was a pigsty. But I got up this morning with a spring in my step. Found some bin liners. Cleared the whole place up. All because you were coming round.
All I’m saying really is that...I love you, Kat. I love you with every last drop of love in me. Don’t go.Stay. I want to make you happy. And I’m taking steps, you know. I am taking steps...and that’s why I was looking forward to seeing you again. To show you how much I was going to change. And to tell you how much I’m going to improve everything for us by taking steps; because I love you. And I know that now. And now that I know that, we’ll change things. All I’ve got to do is...grow up. That’s all. And I can do that. I’ve done it. Today. Well, not earlier...but now. In this moment. I’ve grown up. All I want now is for us to...get on with it all.
And with you...the most beautiful...clever...magical girl that I’ve ever met...together with the right attitude...we could do anything...we could go anywhere...and we could make it all happen...anything at all...and it would be wonderful.
If you happen to see the kat who you used to be...the one who came with me to France, and sat next to me on the night train, hand in hand, or the Kat who jumped in the fountain in the square...if you see that Kat do you think...if you happen to come across her, do you think you could let her know that I’m sorry, and that I’ve turned over a new leaf, and that I’m sorry for hurting her, and for letting her down. So sorry. Will you tell her?
By De Filippo
Doctor, look at that girl you’ve just examined. Look at her. She’s just a bit of skin and bone strung together, just a bit of rubbish anybody might pick up off the floor...(pretends to pick something up) and say: This is useless rubbish...Away into the dustbin. Look at her. Is she wearing smart clothes? No, sir. What about silk stockings? Oh, no. Does she go to the hairdresser’s? She doesn’t. And yet that little bundle of skin and bone, just as it stands, with those lovely eyes...that bit of rubbish is...my woman. And look at me. Look at me. Look at my shoes. (Lifts a foot and shows the underside of his shoe. The sole is in shreds). Look at this suit...(Bends his arm and lifts it, showing a gaping tear at the elbow) Would you care to look at my shirt? (Takes off his jacket and shows the innumerable repairs and patches on his shirt) What would you say I am? Another useless heap of rubbish? Yes. The sort of thing one shoves to one side in the street. Into the dustbin with you as well! And yet, do you know what this revolting sight represents for her? Her man. I occasionally do portering work at the docks...but more often than not, as there is so many of us, they shut the gates in my face. I turn my hand to anything when there’s work going, I’ve been a labourer, porter, watchman, odd-job man, lavatory attendant...I give her what little I earn. We share food when we can afford it, and when we can’t, we go without.
By Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna
Please don’t make me marry you! I know this wedding is costing your parents a lot of money, but I’ll pay back every penny of it...Look, I’ve got about twenty quid on me. Here, take it as a deposit...and take my watch...and I want you to keep the ring. I know when a fella breaks up with a girl, he’s supposed to get the ring back, but you can have the ring. That’s fair, isn’t it? Please stop looking at me like that. You shouldn’t take it personally. It’s nothing against you.
I know what you’re trying to do – make me look like the bad one. Well, it won’t work. You knew I was a confirmed bachelor. You knew I had trouble getting involved, but that didn’t stop you. No, not you, baby. You decided to marry me and that was it. Well, who do you think you are, playing God with another person’s life?
All right, Susan. I’ve got to put my cards on the table. I didn’t want to tell you this because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. You’re just not dream girl. I’m sorry. I wish you were, but let’s face it, Susan. My heart doesn’t beat when you come into a room. I don’t get goose pimples when I touch you. I’m just not nervous when I’m with you. You’ve got too many problems. And, Susan, there’s something about you that really bothers me. Maybe it wouldn’t be important to another guy, but I think about it a lot. Susan, you have very thin arms.
So, I don’t think I could be faithful. I mean, I want to be faithful, but I just don’t think I can. Ever since we got engaged, I walk down the street and I want to grab every arse I see. That’s not normal. If you were my dream girl, I’d never give other women a second thought. Don’t you understand, I need somebody more perfect, then it wouldn’t be so much work for me to love and be faithful. I could just show up.
Look, you’ll get over me. After a while, you’ll find another boy. Just promise me you won’t sleep with anyone until you get married. Will you promise me that, Susan? Will you?