Drug Store

A corner store. The owner (Rory Ewins) stands at the counter; a customer (Robert Terry) comes in.
CustomerGood morning.
OwnerGood afternoon, sir.
CustomerI'll have a pint of milk and the Daily Telegraph, please.
Owner(Brings out pint) Your pint of milk, sir. I'm afraid the Telegraph's gone off.
CustomerOh. Thank you. (He leaves.)
Another customer (James Pooley) comes in. He carries a bag of items.
Customer(Abrupt) Hello.
OwnerGood afternoon, sir.
CustomerNo, not really.
OwnerI beg your pardon, sir?
CustomerIt hasn't been a good afternoon at all, I'm afraid. (Lifts bag) These items you sold me this morning are no good!
OwnerWhat do you mean?
CustomerWhat I mean is, I distinctly remember saying "I fancy a few hours of wild drug-induced orgasmic frenzy—I'll have some of your best-quality prohibited substances, please".
Owner("I remember you...") Yeees.
CustomerAnd you said "Certainly sir, here you are".
OwnerYes, that's right.
CustomerBut what do I find when I spend the afternoon dropping and popping these tasty morsels? Plenty of taste, all right, but no pay off!
OwnerSurely not.
CustomerWell, look at this, then! (Takes box of Smarties from bag and holds aloft.) You swore to me that this was A-grade Ecstasy. Fourteen packets I bought from you! And ate! And all I got was constipation!
OwnerAll right, so there was a slip-up in the formula. It does happen, you know.
CustomerSlip-up in the formula, eh? How about this, then? (Brings out a large mushroom, and says in a Paul Daniels voice:) Magic, you reckon.
OwnerD'you like it?
CustomerNot a lot! A load of old fungus, I reckon. I've experienced more hallucinations listening to Barry Manilow records!
OwnerPerhaps it's gone off! I'll get you a fresh one.
CustomerAnd this! (Brings out can of Coke and holds it up.) I tried snorting this and almost drowned!
OwnerWell, sir, I did tell you it was the "crack" form, which is meant to be smoked.
CustomerSmoked! That reminds me! (Brings out packet of cigs.) Best Moroccan, you said! A subtle high like no other! As recommended in "Dope Fancier's Weekly", "Time Out", and the "Sun"—"Phew what a scorcher"!
Owner(Nodding) It's been advertised in various prestigious locations.
CustomerI coughed for half an hour! If I didn't know better I'd say they were... Well look, I may be inexperienced in the shadowy world of narcotics, but I'm not naive. These things you sold me... they're not the real thing at all, are they?
Owner(In control now) Now, sir, you don't seriously think I'd take £600 of your hard-earned money and knowingly provide you with inferior product?
CustomerWell it sure as hell looks like it.
OwnerWhy, I'd be the last one to disappoint a customer! Look, here's what I'll do. I will, no questions asked, allow you to return everything in your bag (takes bag from customer) in exchange for anything in the store.
CustomerThat's more like it. Well then, I'll have...
OwnerBut before you say another word, allow me, if I may, to recommend this. (He brings out a large bottle of liquid laundry detergent.)
CustomerUh... what is it?
Customer(Eyes light up) No kidding!... But I thought heroin was, like, a powder.
OwnerWell, yes, the undiscerning customer may prefer a powder, but I think you'll find that more and more people are going for this new "ready to inject" form.
CustomerOh. Well, all right. (He takes bottle.)
OwnerOf course it does cost slightly more than the goods you've exchanged...
CustomerOh, what do I owe you then?
OwnerAnother £150 will do nicely.
Customer(Hands over lots of notes) There you go.
Owner(Hands back 2 p) And there's your change.
OwnerThank you, sir. And remember, a nice large dose with this one. I think it says on the side.
CustomerOh yeah... "one cup per load". That ought to get me well smashed, eh?
Owner(Sinister) Oh yes.
Customer(Assertive again) Just as long as I don't have to come back to complain about this one!
Owner(Sinister) Don't worry, sir. You won't be coming back.


First performed by Three Men and a Penguin at the Cambridge Playroom, January 1992.
This page: 11 February 2000; last modified 16 February 2001.

©1992, 2000 Rory Ewins