Two people stand onstage. One wears 4 or 5 ties at once.
Mr T(In an "I don't believe it" voice) One pound. One pound! One pound! One... pound. (Pause.) A pound. Only one pound! Ninety-nine pence—plus a penny! One point seven-oh-one three dollars! ONE... POUND! (Another pause; then, in a "did you know, right" voice) Do you realise how cheaply you can buy a good tie?
Bloke(He's been watching this dubiously) What? A tie? What about it?
Mr T(Suddenly eager) Do you want to buy one?
BlokeDo I look like I want a tie?
Mr T("Is the Pope Catholic?") Do I look like a travelling tie salesman?
BlokeWell... yes.
Mr T(Nodding) Been the family trade for years. Travelling ties... stationary ties... we sell the lot.
BlokeHow much are your ties then?
Mr T gives him an "are you kidding" look
BlokeYes, all right, a pound. But isn't that a bit cheap for a tie? How do I know it's not made of shoddy materials?
Mr TShoddy materials? All our ties are made of the finest quality... (he brings out a very stiff tie-shaped object with a grainy finish. You could make this out of corrugated cardboard)...wood.
Mr TI detect a note of disbelief, sir, but it is true. Best quality mahogany, oak, and teak, for an attractive appearance and a long-lasting finish. Varnish extra.
BlokeBut—wood... how do you wear it?
Mr TJust nail it to your throat. You get a cheap, fashionable tie, and a free tracheotomy thrown in.
BlokeWon't it look a bit, well, stupid?
Mr TStupid? Just look at that workmanship... look at that quality grain effect!
BlokeYes, but... just hanging there like that?
Mr TOh—don't like the long tie? How about a bow tie, in beech, elm, or ebony? (Holds up a stiff bow-tie shape; looks at it and does a double-take.) Oh I am sorry, that's one of our wooden butterflies. "Your own insect in durable pine".
BlokeAre all your things made out of wood?
Mr TOh yes, we've got wooden cravats, wooden cummerbunds, wooden pants; wooden sandals...
BlokeMade of...?
Mr TWell, those are in sandalwood, obviously.
BlokeNo, all of them... they're all made of wood. It's not very sensible, is it? What about silk? Or polyester?
Mr T(Serious) Sir, wood is the only choice in these environment-conscious times. A safe, clean, renewable resource harvested from Swedish forests. By buying wood, you're protecting the Amazon, saving the elephant, repairing the Ozone layer, and supporting a poor homeless tie salesman with a wife and two kids.
BlokeOh, I hadn't realised. Well then, I'll take two.
Mr T(Hands over both wooden ties.) There you are sir. A sound choice. You'll be able to hand these on to your grandchildren, you will, and with a clean conscience!
BlokeYes... what do I owe you.
Mr TTwo pounds. Two pounds! Two pounds. Two... pounds! Three dollars forty... Two... pounds... (Fades out with lights.)


This page: 12 February 2000; last modified 16 February 2001.

©2000 Rory Ewins