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The Missing Zucchini Balls

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a short play

A balmy summer eveing in Brussels. A quaint and hip Greek taverna and deli shop in a quiet backstreet. Woman and Man are finishing their Greek tapas dinner.

Woman [sighing contentedly]: This was unexpectedly lovely!
Man [finishing his glass of wine]: It was! I’m thinking about getting a bottle of this wine. Joonas will like it.
Woman: You should! [looking around the shelves stacked with Greek goods] I’m wondering about getting the orzo pasta we had in the “risotto”. [takes a nibble from the unfinished pan of seafood risotto in the middle of the table]
Man [placing his hand on Woman’s knee under the table]: Shall we?
Woman: Sure.

Enter Waiter.

Man [beckoning to Waiter]: Waiter! May I have the check?
First Waiter [caught by surprise, then offended]: The check?
Man: Yes, please.
First Waiter [suspicious]: Okay.

Exit First Waiter. Enter First Waiter with check, placing it on the table in front of Man. Man inspects the check curiously, then whispers something to Woman, who shakes her head in disbelief. First Waiter does not notice their interaction.

Man [handing the check to Waiter]: I will pay by card, and please take the zucchini balls off the check.
First Waiter [shocked]: Take them off?!
Man: Yes. We ordered them, but we didn’t get them.
First Waiter [shocked]: you didn’t get them?!
Man [kindly]: No, and it’s okay.
First Waiter [offended]: But why?!
Man: Well… you didn’t bring them!
First Waiter [appalled, looking at the check, then at Man]: We didn’t bring them?!
Man  [amused]: Nope.
First Waiter [suspiciously]: But did we bring you the seafood risotto?
Man [not looking at the gigantic pan of seafood risotto on the table]: Yes.
First Waiter [at a loss]: Ah… we are so sorry.
Man: It’s okay.
First Waiter: Sadly, the kitchen is closed. Because you really should have tried the zucchini balls.
Man: It doesn’t matter.
First Waiter: Maybe next time.
Man: Yes, maybe.
First Waiter [having a brainwave]: But the menu could change!
Woman: Then you’ll have to make zucchini balls just for us!
First Waiter [relieved]: Yes. We will keep the zucchini balls.
Woman: Good!
First Waiter: But the recipe might change! You know?
Woman: I’m sure the new recipe will be just as good.
First Waiter [disappointed, sighing]: Yes, we will keep the recipe, too.

Exit First Wiater. Enter Second Waiter with the check and a card machine, followed by First Waiter.

Second Waiter [taking Man’s card]: You wanted to take the zucchini balls off the check?
Man [downing his espresso]: Yes.
Second Waiter: And the espresso, yes?
Man [putting his cup of espresso on the table]: No.
Second Waiter: Ah… okay.

Exit Second Waiter, followed by First Waiter.

Woman [to man]: Didn’t you want to get the wine, as well?
Man [shakes his head vigorously]: Never mind. Did you want the pasta?
Woman [chuckling]: No. Let’s just get out of here!
Man [smiling]: I would, but I they took my card.

Enter Second Waiter with the check and the card machine, followed by First Waiter. Second Waiter punches some numbers into the card machine, inserts Man’s card and hands the machine to Man. First Waiter is eagerly peering over his shoulder the entire time. Man punches his PIN into the machine. A receipt rolls out of the machine, Second Waiter tears it off and hands it back to Man with his card.

Second Waiter: Thank you, sir and madam.
First Waiter: Thank you!
Man [rising from the table]: Thank you!
Woman [rising from the table]: Thank you, goodbye!
Second Waiter: Goodbye. Have a lovely evening.
First Waiter [mumbling as Woman and Man exit]: Goodbye! Sorry about the risotto…

Exit Woman and Man. 

The End


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