Real Estate

A house. Real Estate Agent Mr Gent (Rory Ewins) and customer Mr Brown (Robert Terry) are looking around it.
GentSo there you have it, Mr Brown, the ideal self-contained flat. All the amenities, shops around the corner, marvellous views—everything you could possibly wish for.
BrownIt's a bit close to the sun.
GentThere's plenty of shade, Mr Brown...
BrownNo, no, no, you don't understand... it's close... to the sun (points upwards)
Gent(Getting his drift) Close... as in distance.
GentMr Brown, the sun is 100 million miles away!
BrownA bit too close for my liking.
GentToo close? What do you mean, too close? You can't be too close to the sun, that's ridiculous!
BrownIt's dangerous.
Gent(Incredulous) Dangerous?
BrownWell—what if it goes supernova or something?
Gent(Disbelief) Supernova.
BrownYes, you know, the sun consumes all its energy, and in one last defiant gesture it explodes, BOOOOOOOOMMMM, and its heat envelopes the earth and destroys all known life. A supernova.
GentIn one billion years.
GentThis isn't supposed to happen for one billion years.
BrownWell you never know.
GentReally Mr Brown, I don't think so...
BrownWell look, it might not be supposed to happen, but what if it does? History's full of unexpected occurrences! No, I'm not going to take any chances, I'm afraid. I'm buying a nice little flat which is completely removed from the sun.
Gent(Sarcastic) Well if you're so worried about the sun exploding, what about when we were coming in from the car just now, in broad daylight? The sun was right overhead, just waiting to explode!
BrownWell of course I can risk a few minutes... the chances of the sun exploding at that instant were fairly remote, I just wouldn't want to put it to the test for years on end. I mean, you'd visit a dormant volcano, wouldn't you, but you wouldn't want to build your house on one!
GentReally, Mr Brown, I don't think it's a fair parallel. After all, most of us live quite happily under the sun for all of our lives! Surely Mr Brown—surely you've been the same! (With a laugh:) Where on earth doesn't get any sun?
BrownI'm from Manchester.
GentOh... point taken! Oh well... (suddenly inspired—talks to Mr Brown as they both walk off) Perhaps I could interest you in some of our new Icelandic properties. Ideal in the winter, there's continual darkness...
BrownAny penguins?
GentThat can be arranged...

1988, 1992

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