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CHUMS

An Alleged Play

by
Greg Ott

Greg Ott
1909 N Lincoln Ave #1S
Chicago, IL 60614
CHARACTER NAME BRIEF DESCRIPTION AGE GENDER

GREG Deeply cynical. 28-ish Male


AJAY Hot tempered. 30-ish Male
RANDEY Collapsing under pressure. 40-ish Male
WAITER High strung. 29-ish Male
MANAGER Couldn’t care less. 30-ish Male
A RESTAURANT.

(GREG, RANDEY, and AJAY are seated at


a table. A order placeholder with the number
“370” is in the center of the table. GREG
and RANDEY are wearing FUBU shirts. All
are laughing.)

AJAY
All right, so what happened?

GREG
Right, so anyway, Cuban looks at Randey...

RANDEY
Mark Cuban.

GREG
Yeah, Mark Cuban. We’re not talking about cigars.

RANDEY
Easy.

GREG
Mark Cuban looks at Randey.

RANDEY
Yeah, he looks me right in the eye and calls me a “wantrepreneur.”

GREG
A wantrepreneur.

RANDEY
A wanna-be entrepreneur.

GREG
Might as well have been talking to me.

RANDEY
He was talking to both of us.

AJAY
Get to the point.
2.

GREG
Yeah, come on, Randey.

AJAY
Yeah, you fuck!

RANDEY
You asked me to tell this.

GREG
So I tell Cuban, “My friend’s not a wantrepreneur. My business partner is not a
wantrepreneur.”

RANDEY
“We didn’t come here to want to be entrepreneurs.”

GREG RANDEY
We are entrepreneurs. We are entrepreneurs.

GREG
And the only thing we want...

RANDEY
Mr. Entrepreneur.

GREG
Is a partner.

RANDEY
A partner that wants us.

GREG
And a partner that wants us...

RANDEY
To be entrepreneurs.

(WAITER enters.)

WAITER
Gentlemen, how was everything?

GREG
How was everything what?
3.

RANDEY
Where the hell’s our food, waiter?

WAITER
Your food?

AJAY
Yeah, you know. The thing people order in restaurants.

WAITER
Your food should be here; I figured you were finished eating . Most of our kitchen staff
has gone home.

GREG
They must live with our entree.

WAITER
Of course they don’t. Strange. Look, give me a minute, okay? I’ll get to the bottom of
this.

(WAITER exits.)

RANDEY
What an asshole! I’m starving.

GREG
Been waiting forever.

AJAY
Probably forgot to put the order in, that sponge.

RANDEY
Should have got the charcuterie.

GREG
You want dog food, go to Aldi.

AJAY
Where were we?

RANDEY
Well, Barbara leans over in her seat and tells us we need her help.
4.

GREG
And I say, “Ms. Corcoran, with all due respect, you turned a thousand dollar loan into a
real estate empire in the shark-filled city of Manhattan. Of course we’d like your help.
But we don’t need your help.” We’re not doing this for our health.

RANDEY
We just want your money! And real estate expertise.

GREG
I mean, what is this: the Tank, or the gym?

AJAY
It’s a restaurant.

RANDEY
It’s the Tank!

GREG
We’re swimming deep into the tank.

RANDEY
Balls deep.

GREG
This is sea level, and this is our balls.

RANDEY
We’re talking about the Tank.

GREG
ABC’s hit reality show “Shark Tank.”

(WAITER enters.)

WAITER
Has your food arrived?

GREG
You tell me, Kreskin.

WAITER
That sounds like a no.

RANDEY
Good ears, pud!
5.

WAITER
Your food should have been here over an hour ago.

AJAY
Thanks, “clock.”

WAITER
What was your order?

GREG
It was a giant order! The Signature wet spring rolls... *

RANDEY
Trademark chicken curry... *

AJAY
Yeah, the rice! Authentic white rice...

WAITER
The Malaysian Plate. *

RANDEY
Yeah!

GREG
Yeah! The Malaysian Plate. *

RANDEY
We’re waiting for our Malaysian Plate to arrive. *

WAITER
I don’t know, forgive me. I’ll go back to the kitchen and try to track down your... missing
Malaysian Plate.

(WAITER exits.)

RANDEY
What the hell was that?

GREG
That was weird.

AJAY
No shit! Guy’s not wearing a belt.
6.

RANDEY
I wonder where the Malaysian Plate is. *

GREG
Well, it’s got to be somewhere. This place is huge.

RANDEY *
I’m so hungry. I get nervous about eating sometimes. *

GREG
Your girlfriend’s asshole told me the same thing.

RANDEY
Easy.

(WAITER reappears and approaches the front of the


stage. He begins to look around. At first, the other three
do not notice him.)

GREG
So anyway, Kevin O’Leary wants this royalty...

RANDEY
“Mr. Wonderful.”

GREG
Wonderful my ass.

(WAITER exits.)

RANDEY
And don’t get me started on Robert Herjavec!
GREG *
Guy’s tearing apart our business model. *

RANDEY
That Croatian fuck!

GREG
Might as well be Milosevic and the Helsinki Accords. *

RANDEY *
Guy gives immigrants a bad name. *
7.

GREG
Who gives immigrants a good name?

AJAY
Cesar Chavez, Albert Einstein, Madeline Albright…

(MANAGER enters and approaches the table.)

MANAGER
Is this table 370?

RANDEY
Who’s the suit?

MANAGER
I’m the manager here at Thank George It’s Zimmerman’s. Your waiter has filled me in on
the situation and I have some new information about the Malaysian Plate. *

GREG
Oh, yeah?

MANAGER
Based on our evidence, at this time, the plate’s whereabouts are unknown.

RANDEY
Yeah, we already know that. What else?

MANAGER
We’ll return when we have more information.

GREG
Who’s “we?”

MANAGER
Me.

(MANAGER exits.)

RANDEY
This guy sucks!

GREG
This is taking forever. I’m hungrier than Putin for territory! *
8.

RANDEY
What if the plate never arrives?

GREG
Impossible. I’ve eaten at a million restaurants. You don’t just lose a plate, you fucking
moron.

AJAY
Yeah! Slob my knob, you tenacious bitch.

RANDEY
Easy! I’m just saying, what if someone else ate our plate?

GREG
What do you mean?

RANDEY
It’s happened before; some Egyptian restaurant back in the eighties. Table ordered a
plate, no big deal, and a couple of guys in the restaurant commandeered it.

AJAY
And they ate it?

RANDEY
That’s the fucked up part. They didn’t know what they were doing it and it just ended up
on the floor. Baba Ghannoug and shawarma all over the place. *

(WAITER enters.)

WAITER
I just checked MICROS.

RANDEY
MICROS?

WAITER
MICROS. Standard culinary software. Any trained food service professional has logged
thousands of hours in MICROS. It’s an industry standard, just like ALOHA.

GREG
Hey.

WAITER
Your plate was ticketed and scheduled at approximately 9:11.
9.

RANDEY
Oh, shit!

GREG
What?

RANDEY
I forgot to do my laundry.

(MANAGER approaches the table.)

MANAGER
I have prepared a statement about your missing Malaysian Plate: at this time, our *
investigation has concluded that the location of your food is unknown. I’d now like to
take your questions, but I won’t be doing that.

(MANAGER exits.)

RANDEY
It’s like the plate never existed. Like it’s invisible. *

WAITER *
Like KONY’s children. *

GREG *
Who? *

RANDEY *
Where’s the Malaysian Plate, fleabag? You said it was ticketed. Where’d it go? *

WAITER
I confirmed that I punched your ticket into the terminal. Once it leaves the terminal, it’s
out of my control.

GREG
That’s it? You don’t track where orders go?

RANDEY
This is a major restaurant!

WAITER
Well, the chefs turned off the stove. Once the stove’s off, we assume everything’s good to
go until the plate touches down.
10.

GREG
That’s the problem with assumptions, pal. When you make an assumption, you make an
ass out of you and the hundreds of innocent people on that plate.

WAITER
People?

GREG
I mean food or whatever.

WAITER
I’ll be back with more information.

(WAITER exits.)

GREG
Where the hell is he going?

RANDEY
This is getting spooky.

AJAY
Guy’s got no belt.
GREG
Why did we even order the Malaysian Plate? *

RANDEY
I thought it was popular! Everyone’s always talking about this Malaysian Plate. *

GREG
Should have just eaten dinner at home. *

RANDEY *
Eating at a restaurant’s a lot safer than eating at home. Hell, more people lose their fries *
in cars than they do in restaurants.

GREG
What about that plate from that French restaurant? Took almost two years to find.

AJAY
We could speculate for weeks.
11.

RANDEY
I don’t know if I have that long to live.

AJAY
Oh, my god.

GREG
What a revelation, Randey, my good friend and business partner. *

RANDEY
It’s the main reason I wanted to get dinner tonight, and it’s why I need the Shark Tank
money.

GREG
I’m sorry we were so mean to you.

AJAY
Speak for yourself, four eyes.

RANDEY
Easy. They say it’s benign, but it’s metastasizing...

(WAITER enters.)

WAITER
Our bartender reviewed our security tapes and noticed something unusual.

GREG
Your bartender knows about this?

WAITER
He’s the one who told me about the plate. He said Courtney Love’s looking for it, too.

GREG
Courtney Love? Plate might as well be in a black hole.

AJAY
Or her Hole.

(A very long pause.)

RANDEY
What’s on the tape, waiter?
12.

WAITER
It appears to be a trail of sesame oil off the coast of... your table. It’s about as wide as a
plate and consistent with a Boeing wok.

GREG
Okay, sesame oil. Does that mean the food is there?

WAITER
I’m afraid we don’t have that information.

GREG
Just walk over there and see if it’s there.

WAITER
I don’t have those resources at my disposal.

RANDEY
Walk your ass over there and see if that’s where it is!

WAITER
It could take several seconds, maybe even a minute. Besides, it may not even be there. *

AJAY
You see what he’s doing? Pistorius over here is giving us the run around. He’s stalling
because he doesn’t know anything. Why aren’t you and everyone else in this restaurant *
over there looking for it?

WAITER
That’s not how this works.

AJAY
Bullshit, garçon! If that’s the oil from the plate, where’s the rest of it, huh? Where’s the
soy sauce? Where’s the chili paste? Where’s your fucking belt?

GREG
He’s right.

AJAY
Of course I’m right. You wear black pants, you wear a black fucking belt. Period!

GREG
Oil doesn’t mean anything. It’s why nobody wants to live in the Middle East.

(WAITER exits. MANAGER enters.)


13.

MANAGER
I have new information regarding the Malaysian Plate.

RANDEY
Finally!

MANAGER
We’ve detected a trail of jet fuel in the vicinity of the restaurant.

RANDEY
Yeah, we already know that!

MANAGER
Well, now it’s official.

GREG
Do you mean sesame oil?

MANAGER
Yeah!

(MANAGER exits.)

GREG
This is going nowhere. Nobody knows anything!

RANDEY
What if some disgruntled delivery guy took the plate to another restaurant? Huh? Maybe
he was in cahoots with the chefs and they dropped it off in the middle of nowhere.

GREG
I don’t want to talk about the food, okay? Let’s get our mind off the missing Malaysian
Plate for a minute.

(Pause. All try to move on.)

GREG
All I can think about is that missing Malaysian Plate.

RANDEY
It’d be such a massive loss of rice.

(WAITER enters.)
14.

WAITER
Any updates on the plate?

RANDEY *
You tell me! *

AJAY
It might as well be wrapped around your waist!

WAITER
I’m just as much in the dark as you are.

GREG *
How? You work here, we don’t! *

RANDEY *
Yeah, like, what about the guys who cooked our plate, huh? Where are they? *

WAITER
Well, it’s late. They turned off their oven and left. I remember them saying something *
before they left but I couldn’t make it out. *

(BARTENDER enters.)

BARTENDER
Hey, I’m taking off.

WAITER
All right, good night.

GREG
All right, good night.

AJAY
All right, good night.

RANDEY
All right, good night.

(BARTENDER exits.)

WAITER
All right, good night.

(WAITER exits.)
15.

RANDEY
Well, I can see where this is going. Good thing I’m dying. *

GREG *
What, you’re going to give up hope? Even if they don’t find it, at least this is kind of *
interesting!

RANDEY
No, it’s not! *

GREG
This plate could be anywhere, Randey. Maybe it’s with different people. At a different *
table. Hell, a different restaurant.

AJAY
Enough with the conspiracy theories! I don’t want to think about this belt anymore. Guys,
what happened on Shark Tank?

RANDEY
Who cares about Shark Tank?

GREG
Someone made an offer for us, AJAY, and they wanted to buy us.

AJAY
Who?

GREG
They made an offer for us. And they want to buy us.

RANDEY
For us. Buy us.

GREG
For us. Buy us.

RANDEY
For us. Buy us.

GREG
You see where we’re going with this?

AJAY
I don’t watch Shark Tank.
16.

GREG
Daymond John.

AJAY
Oh, Daymond John! *

(MANAGER and WAITER enter with a presentation.)

MANAGER
Good evening. I understand you are all awaiting information on for Table 370. The
missing Malaysian Plate. *

GREG & RANDEY


Yes!

MANAGER
First of all, I, George Zimmerman, would like to acknowledge the extraordinary amount
of help we’ve had in trying to locate this plate. The Chinese restaurant next door has
been uncharacteristically cooperative and, at this moment, the Australian restaurant is
also conducting an extensive sweep off the coast of the Indian Ocean.

RANDEY *
Do you mean Indian restaurant?

MANAGER
Yeah. *

(MANAGER flips over a page to reveal the “plate path.”)


You see, your plate left here and was supposed to go here. But it’s not here. Because it’s
been a couple of hours, it could be in any of these places. Who knows.

GREG
Great. So, now what?

MANAGER
We’ve narrowed down the situation to three possibilities. First, the chefs. *
RANDEY
The chefs? *

MANAGER
I looked up the chefs on Facebook. According to some photos, one of the chefs had been
spotted protesting the Seamless-GrubHub merger.
17.

(MANAGER reveals a picture of two men.)

GREG
Delivery is dead?

WAITER
What, you work in a restaurant and you can’t have political opinions?

RANDEY
Not if you’re a chef and you’re against delivery!

WAITER
Sous chef.

GREG
I don’t care what his name is!

MANAGER
There’s more.
(MANAGER reveals a picture of a kitchen.)
We checked out the chef’s home and found a kitchen. And recipe books.

RANDEY
Good lord. A full-fleged bite simulator.

GREG
What’s a chef doing simulating bites at home, huh?

WAITER
Maybe he’s a plate enthusiast.

AJAY
Bullshit! Home is home and work is work. You get home, relax, take off your coat, take
off your belt...

MANAGER
And, finally...

(MANAGER reveals a picture of two men.)

WAITER
Those two.

GREG
You know those guys?
18.

WAITER
Barely Biblically. They were eating here right before you arrived. They ordered the same
plate.

RANDEY
So what?

MANAGER
It turns out these men were Iranian.

AJAY
You have got to be...

MANAGER
Dining with stolen menus.

AJAY
Shitting on my...

MANAGER
In fact, they ordered the very same Malaysian Plate... *

AJAY
Toilet.

MANAGER
As the three of you.

GREG
You have go to be shitting on my toilet.

RANDEY
Okay, so these Iranians ordered this plate using stolen menus.

MANAGER
Yes. They boarded the plane using stolen passports.

GREG
Well, it sounds like you’ve figured out a lot. Do you know where the plate is?

MANAGER
Of course not.
19.

AJAY
Enough! I want answers! And my friends want answers. And I want answers! And my
friends want answers! And I want answers! We’re not asking for a replacement;
we’re not even asking for our money back. We just want to know what happened to our
plate. I mean, good lord: if you tuck a shirt into a pair of pants, and have dress boots to
shoe, you wrap a piece of black leather around your god damn waist! We want answers,
we want them now, and we want you to wear a fucking belt.

WAITER
I am wearing a belt.

AJAY
Oh, yeah.

MANAGER
You want to know what I think? I think you need to get on with your lives. Before you
got here, you didn’t really care about the plate. You cared about it because it sounded
cool. And it was cool, for like a half hour. But it’s time to move on. You’ll eat again.
Now, get the hell out of here.

GREG
But we haven’t paid for our drinks.

MANAGER
Water’s free.

RANDEY
Well, that’s a relief.

(MANAGER exits. AJAY stands up and his pants fall


down. He’s not wearing a belt. WAITER removes his and
gives it to AJAY. WAITER exits.)

RANDEY
So, now what?

GREG
Let’s get something else to eat.

AJAY
Sounds good to me. Hey, what was your Shark Tank business?

RANDEY
We patented a method on beating dead horses.
20.

AJAY
And it works?

RANDEY
Not as well as you’d think.

(RANDEY, GREG, and AJAY get up to leave.)

GREG
Hey, did they ever find that Malaysian plane?