Two Minute Comedy8

"Give us Two Minutes... We'll Give You Too" 

A Series of Two Minute Comedy Sketches for short attention span theatre 

Welcome to Tell Gus
“Customers Serve Us”

A Two Minute Comedy

Rufus Wainscott -  middle management - 40
Operator 739 - officious, starchy woman - 40s

The conversation takes place between the two characters positioned on opposite sides of the stage.  Operator wears a telephone headset.  Rufus speaks on a regular telephone.

Operator: Hello welcome to Tell Gus, Customers serve us…

Rufus: Yes, hello I am having a problem with my billing.

Operator: Oh? What are you billing for?

Rufus: Well, it’s not my billing but the Consolidated Utilities billing.

Operator: I see.  Tell Gus what you think is the problem.

Rufus: Well, there are charges that are completely unnecessary.

Operator: What do you mean “unnecessary?”

Rufus: They are for things I have never used.

Operator: “Things you have never used?”  You mean like a slide rule?  A dictionary? A hair comb?

Rufus:  No no.  For example there’s a charge here for something called “Latency Compensation Fee?”  What in the world is that?  I have no idea.

Operator: Obviously sir, if you did have an idea you would not be calling Tell Gus.  People who call Tell Gus do so because they are lazy, slothful, lonely and without the simplest abilities to function in life. 

Rufus: Excuse me?  Do you mean to say that you think I am lazy and slothful…??

Operator: And lonely. 

Rufus:  Look, I called to get some help in understanding why it is this bill is more than twice what it should be. 

Operator: Why do you think it is twice what it should be?

Rufus: I use only two services: water and gas.

Operator: You don’t use electricity?

Rufus: Of course I use electricity.

Operator: Do you actually pay for your electricity or do you steal it like so many others?

Rufus: I beg your pardon Madam. Did you just accuse me of stealing electricity?

Operator: No.  I asked if you did steal electricity.  Many people who call Tell Gus are not only lazy, they are also thieves, robbers, or confidence men.

Rufus: (stunned) I’m sorry, maybe I don’t understand this process.  Are you supposed to help me with this problem??

Operator: I am supposed to help you help yourself if you have even a margin of intelligence left, which apparently you do not given the content of this conversation.

Rufus: (irritated) Well, don’t mind if I tell you that I do not care for your attitude Missy.

Operator: My name is not Missy and my attitude is carefully controlled.

Rufus: I’m sorry, what is your name?

Operator: Operator 739.

Rufus: Well, Operator 739 please explain why it is that your company is charging me double what I should be paying?  Why the bill is filled with obscure, unintelligible accountings, confusing enumerations, undefined fees, charges and taxes for which there cannot possibly be justification?

Operator: Have you taken the time to do the necessary work to understand what the billing items are Mr. Rufus?  Or have you been picking your bum and watching online porn?

Rufus: (agitated) Listen lady, it’s entirely obvious that these numbers are some kind of half-wit deception designed to over-complicate a simple billing process in a vain attempt to “make work.”

Operator: If you would bother to analyze your bill Mr. Rufus you might have a better chance of figuring out what it is that you do not understand.

Rufus: (angry) It is not what I do not understand!  It is a question of why your company finds it necessary to make customers jump through these patently contrived, utterly lame hoops??  Are you completely bereft of original ideas?? Have you ever heard of honest billing practices? 

Operator: Ours are creative  billing practices Mr. Rufus. But only those with discerning analytical minds will be able to survive them - yours is clearly not one of these minds.  Sorry.

Rufus: You mean to say you manufacture these ridiculous bills as some kind of a test Missy?

Operator: Yes.

Rufus: So you value mathematics more than morality?

 Operator: How does that make you feel Mr. Rufus?

Rufus: (exploding) Who gives a flying bugger how I feel you bumbling twit!!  I called “Tell Gus” to get some clarification and all I am getting is a pain!

Operator: Would that pain be focused in your chest or right arm?

Rufus: (gasping) YES!

Operator: Shortness of breath?  Tingling in the extremities?

Rufus: (groaning) Yes… Yes… Ahhh….

Operator: Just one moment please.  (CLICK) This is Operator 739, TG Cardiff. Caller is Mr. Rufus Wainscott, Surrey - our online EKG shows elevating cardiac infarction and oncoming arrest.

Voice OS: Thank you Operator 739.  Waisncott Surrey… Yes.  Looks like that’s your third one this morning.  Good work 739.  Keep this up and you’ll be in line for the Caribbean Retreat!

Operator:  Why thank you Central.  I’m not authorized for water recreation, but I love the sun. 

Voice OS
: You’re a capable worker 739.

Operator: You know my motto - “Only the best will get the arrest.”  Good day Central.

Voice OS: Good day 739.  (CLICK.)