1ATwo Minute Comedy

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

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


 

Street Shrink

A Two Minute Comedy

 

CAST:

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.

 

BLACKOUT