The Pet Shop
(A young man is working behind a counter at a PET SHOP. On the counter there are a few displays selling gum etc. The man is dusting and whistling)
Eric: (Another man, quite a bit older enters the shop. His hair is wet and he is wearing a completely wet trench coat. As he enters, he closes his umbrella and shakes the water off it. The door rings DING-A-LING)
Todd: (The store clerk) Oh. Is it raining out?
Eric: (Flatly) No.
Todd: (Slightly puzzled) … Can I help you with anything specific?
Eric: I would like to buy a pet.
Todd: That’s lucky. This IS a pet shop. People come here to buy pets. All kinds. I mean all kinds of pets: not all kinds of people. In fact, just this morning a woman came in and bought a cat.
Eric: Good for her. I hope she enjoys it.
Todd: I’m sure she will. She spent quite a bit of time selecting it. We have a very large selection of cats. She seemed to be pleased with her decision. It was a cute white one.
Eric: Did you happen to know her name?
Todd: No. We don’t usually name our cats. I’m not sure but I think she mentioned she was going to call it Snowflake.
Eric: Rather an unoriginal name for a white cat don’t you think; however, I was referring to the lady… do you happen to remember what her name was?
Eric: Are you quite sure? Did she pay cash?
Todd: No, she paid with a card, but why are you-
Eric: Good. Then you’ll be able to read her signature from your copy. I would like to have her name.
Todd: Just wait a second. (He ducks behind the counter)
Eric: (casually browsing around the imaginary store) You don’t have any camels do you?
Todd: (Comes back up) Pardon me?
Eric: Ahh. I see you’ve found the slip. Can you read the name?
Todd: Mrs. B Ashley.
Eric: Any address?
Todd: Yes, but why do you want to know all this?
Eric: I thought I might drop in on her later this afternoon and see how pleased she is with her new cat Snowball- Ha! What a stupid name for a white cat!
Todd: Snowflake actually.
Eric: Snowball. Snowflake. Snowhead… what’s the difference. Anyway, give me her address. (He pulls out a pad and pen ready to write) Has anybody else bought any pets here?
Eric: You said this WAS a pet shop! Have any other customers bought any pets here?
Todd: Well of course.
Eric: Would you happen to have the names and addresses of any of them?
Todd: Hey. What is this? Are you putting me on? Did Ron put you up to this? Come on. This is my first day.
Eric: I assure you sir, there is nothing unusual about this. I merely wish to speak to some of the customers who have shopped here. Was Mrs. Ashley the only lady in the store today?
Todd: Well no, not actually. A kid came in here and bought some gum about 11:30.
Todd: I don’t know. That type there. (He points)
Eric: I see. I don’t suppose there is any chance you’d know his name?
Todd: Look Mister! I would like to know why you are asking me all these questions about customers. Are you with the police? Is there something wrong. Stop beating around the bush and maybe I can help you out.
Eric: Calm down young man. Nothing is wrong . I’m not with the police. I’m just interested. I thought I’d like to speak to a few customers, that’s all. You don’t expect me to make a purchase without speaking to a few people first do you? I want some recommendations. I don’t buy a pet everyday. I want to check out the establishment. I just want to find our if they had any problems. I don’t shop just anywhere!
Todd: I’m sorry. Perhaps I did get a little irate. I apologize. But you must understand that it is against our company policy. I cannot go around giving out the names of all our customers. I am sure that you would not welcome your name and address given out to just anybody.
Eric: Are you saying that I am just anybody?
Todd: Well, that’s beside the point. I would not give addresses out to the queen if she asked. It’s against policy.
Eric: Okay. I respect your position. I suppose I can live with that. But as far as you are concerned… this is a good pet shop.
Todd: Well obviously sir, I’m not is a position to comment. I work here. I think it’s the BEST pet shop.
Eric: Yes but, would you say that if you worked for… say the pet shop down the street.
Todd: I don’t think that’s a fair question. I DON’T work for that stop. Look sir. We are a pet shop. We sell pets. LOTS of them. We have been selling pets for over fifteen years. The owners of this shop are Mr. and Mrs. Beemish. The business has been owned by the Beemishes since the second year. The Beemishes own three show dogs, and one budgie named Simon. Our pets are all purchased from kennels and all of our dogs are supplied with papers showing their exact ages and breed. We have one of the widest selections of fish in all Ontario. If you tell me what kind of animal you are in the market for, I may be able to assist you in finding what I’m sure you will be convinced is the ultimate home companion. Now …may I help you SIR?
Eric: One more question…what kind of a SERVICE CONTRACT do you offer?
Todd: Get out.