Counter, stool, photo album, pen, paper.
Receptionist: Long sleeves, one covering a photograph of a child stuck to a forearm.
Customer: Male. Forearms exposed. No tattoos evident.
(Receptionist seated behind counter. Customer approaches with a sway.)
Receptionist: Good morning and welcome to Dermapasty.
Customer: It’s morning?
Receptionist: Sure is, thirty minutes into a new day.
Receptionist: How can I help you?
Customer: What? Oh, I want a snake! Down my arm!
Receptionist: A thick one?
Receptionist: With fangs showing?
Receptionist: Maybe about to bite something.
Receptionist: And driving a car.
Customer: Yea… No! Not driving a car.
Receptionist: In the passenger seat?
Customer: No! No cars.
Receptionist: Hugging a knife then?
Receptionist: Wrapped around a knife?
Receptionist: What kind of knife would you like?
Customer: Don’t know. Just a knife.
Receptionist: Bread knife, paring knife, fillet knife?
Receptionist: You’ll want a bowie knife, Sir. Like the one in Rambo.
Receptionist: And Mick Dundee.
Customer: Who’s that?
Receptionist: Paul Hogan… Crocodile Dundee… “That’s not a knife?”
Customer: I want a knife! And a snake.
Receptionist: Okay, very good, shall I show you some other pictures?
Customer: Yeah! What’s that one!
Receptionist: That’s a rose with thorns that we can make look like it’s drawing blood.
Customer: What’s that!
Receptionist: They’re letters. It’s the cursive alphabet.
Customer: Cool. Can you make it spell words?
Receptionist: Yes. Excuse me for asking, Sir, why do you want dermaplasty?
Customer: I want something cool on my arm.
Receptionist: Have you considered an iphone watch?
Receptionist: An iphone watch, or maybe a donation receipt from World Vision?
Receptionist: See, I have a photograph of a boy named Kepling taped to my arm. I pay $5 a month and he eats and learns to read and write. Every time I wonder why I’m here I look at my inner arm and think of Kepling.
Receptionist: As motivation.
Receptionist: They wont let us have picture frames on the desk. I’m told their glass is a shatter hazard.
Customer: I don’t understand. I just want something cool to look at.
Receptionist: Have you considered breast enlargement?
Receptionist: I know it’s gone out of fashion but believe me, improving your body image never appears more natural than enhancing what you have. Plus the work hours are better, and I’d hate for you to regret getting something permanent on your skin when there are alternatives.
Customer: A boob job!
Receptionist: Yes, they can be reduced or added to later.
Customer: But I’m a bloke.
Receptionist: I’m not judging your gender, Sir.
Customer: I don’t want a boob job.
Receptionist: It’ll be amazing for your social life, and all the new clothes you could wear!
Receptionist: Different tops, dresses. Let’s fact it, you are limited with what you have right now.
Customer: I don’t want a boob job. I want a picture of something on my arm.
Receptionist: Not just until the fashion fades or your sponsor child can afford their own food?
Receptionist: So you would like a bloody rose with words on it.
Receptionist: (Resignation) What do you want the words to say?
Customer: Snake was here.
Receptionist: (Writing) Snake was here?
Customer: Yeah! Spelt with a zed.
Receptionist: As in “waz”, Double U, Aay, Zed?
Customer: Yeah, and no Ee.
Receptionist: On the end of “here”?
Receptionist: You want it to read “Snake waz her”?
Receptionist: I’ll just leave it as “Snake waz here”. Do you know someone named Snake?
Customer: Someone named Snake? Na.
Receptionist: Who are you going to show this to?
Customer: My friends. We like snakes.
Receptionist: I have a range of t-shirts, some of them are blank, we could draw a snake on one of those. No?
Customer: I want one on my arm.
Receptionist: Not something you can take off, put on, change as your interests grow and mind expands? Will your mind expand? Is your mind expanding now?
Customer: Yeah. Kind-of. I want it to say…I want it to say… Snake. That’s it.
Receptionist: Will your friends like that?
Customer: We’re all getting one.
Receptionist: Oh I see.
Customer: Julie’s getting one that says she loves Brian. Brian doesn’t love her. He’s getting one in Japanese and he’s just going to tell her it says he loves her.
Receptionist: What will it really say?
Customer: (sniggering) I don’t know.
Receptionist: Sounds quite cruel. (Beat) Ok let’s wrap this up. You want dermaplasty on your arm of a rose that looks like your skin is bleeding with the word “Snake” written under it.
Receptionist: I’ll tell you what we can do. For you, half price if you put this skin-lift on your neck.
Receptionist: On your neck.