"Give us Two Minutes... We'll Give You Too"
A Series of Two Minute Comedy Sketches for short attention span theatre
A Two Minute Comedy
Phinneus – 50, homeless guy
Rubin – 30s, business guy
Lights up on a street in a busy city. Upstage center is makeshift desk made of plastic crates and old wood. Behind the desk sits Phinneus, a scruffy, fifty-something homeless guy. Prominent on the desk is a hand painted sign that reads: “Psychiatric Help – Only $1 Dollar.”
Enter Rubin, a gentleman wearing a nice suit, carrying a briefcase. He passes Phinneus desk, pauses, considers, and then returns to look at the sign. Phinneus glances up from his reading.
Phinneus: Good afternoon sir. How may I be of service?
Rubin: Ah don’t know… It says Psychiatric Help one dollar. Is that right?
Phinneus: It ain’t right, but it’s cheap.
Rubin: Yeah. How much time does that buy me?
Phinneus: Ten minutes. Most people only need five.
Rubin: So, you’re offering “Psychiatric Help” for ten cents a minute?
Phinneus: Wednesdays there’s a discount.
Rubin: That’s five days away. I’m in crisis now.
Phinneus: (shrug) Pay the full freight. Why suffer?
Rubin hands Phinneus a dollar.
Rubin: What qualifies you to be a psychiatrist?
Phinneus holds up a copy of the DSM.
Phinneus: I got a copy of the bible - DSM-IV TR manual.
Rubin: You make a living doing this?
Phinneus: Sure. You’re on the meter now.
Rubin: Okay… Here’s the thing. I got a problem with my girlfriend.
Phinneus: Ah, a luxury problem.
Rubin: It’s not a luxury. The woman is killing me.
Phinneus: You look fine. How’s she killing you?
Rubin: She lives with another man.
Phinneus: And she’s your girlfriend?
Rubin: Yes… Well, she may not know it.
Phinneus: (pause) Okay, so what’s really going on is you have a thing for a girl who lives with another man and doesn’t know that you fantasize her as your girlfriend. Is that it?
Rubin: You make it sound cheap.
Phinneus: Ten cents a minute. Brevity matters.
Rubin: I love the girl and she’s in love with someone else.
Phinneus: (shakes head) Ah, misbegotten love….
Phinneus leafs through the DSM-IV manual…
Rubin: (stares) You’re supposed to know this off the top of your head.
Phinneus: Yeah I do, but I’m a little fuzzy on misbegotten love.
Rubin: So just tell me. Do you think I’m crazy?
Phinneus: No. I think you’re in love which makes people do crazy things.
Rubin: It kills me to be around her.
Phinneus stares. He closes book and rustles through some trash nearby. He fishes out a dog-earred brochure and hands it to Rubin.
Phinneus: Maybe this will help.
Rubin: (dry) This is a tourist brochure for Niagara Falls.
Phinneus: A little getaway can do wonders.
Rubin: (irritated) I don’t want to run away from my problem doc! I want to know how I can make another man’s wife my girlfriend!
Phinneus: (stares) The girl is married to the other guy??
Rubin: Yeah. So?
Phinneus grabs the brochure from Rubin’s hands and tears it up. He leans close and whispers…
Phinneus: I can get you a deal on a hand gun. No serial numbers.
Rubin: Oh man! What would I need a handgun for??
Phenneus: When the pissed off husband finds out and tries to run you down with his car!!
Rubin: Jesus! Lotta goddamned good you’re doing me!
Phinneus: Hey, I’m workin’ on a budget here! (confidentially) How about a script for valium?
Rubin: You’re offering me drugs??
Phinneus: (indignant) I’m a psychiatrist.
Rubin: (leaving) Alright! What did I expect!
Phinneus: Just tell her. (pause) That you love her.
Rubin: (pause) Yeah?? That’s it?
Phinneus: You want more, it’s another dollar.
Rubin: Just tell her?
Phinneus: And come back and see me…. (checks schedule) Wednesday.
Phinneus smiles. A beat.
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