For this one, you must prove yourself innocent of arson.
DINER (any gender, mid teens through late forties)
No, you're right. I'm NOT upset. I'm EXCITED. I'm looking forward to finding out who DID torch the diner. And I've never been interrogated. So that's kind of FUN.
No, not upset. You want the truth that's it. Sorry.
Look: That place either needed a wakeup call or a mercy kill. Last week, customers were finding cigarette ash in the coal slaw. The other night, Sammy was being left to tend bar, wait tables AND work the kitchen, even though he'd never cooked in his life.
And mom... well some kid saw her in the back while she was... well, ha! Let's just say the kid had diabetes and then asked HIS mom "why that old lady back there... why is she taking HER insulin through her ARM?"
Yeah, I'm not the least bit sorry that place is toast.
But... I mean that's just my FEELINGS. You guys get that, right?
Right? I mean, come ON. That's just what's inside my BRAIN... I'd never actually DO anything. Or even HIRE someone to- and I DIDN'T. For GOD'S SAKE. That's just the first idea that came to me here. The most obvious thing.
Guys, guys, guys... isn't it proof of my innocence? That I'm just open about my ideas? If I did it, why would I TELL you all this--
okay, okay, let's take a step back, okay? I'm a smart ass. All that stuff I said before? Just nonsense. I'm a SMART ASS. I say things I don't mean because, because, because... I'm still TAKING IT IN. I mean I LOVE that diner. The fact that it's gone breaks my heart. THAT'S the truth, okay. OKAY?
Copyright 2016 by Matt Haynes.
If you would like to use this piece, please credit: "Courtesy of Matt Haynes and The Pulp Stage"