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Dirt Under Fingernails

In Dirt Under Fingernails, Gregory bumps into an old friend who happens to be stuck on the side of the road with his van.  Drama.  2 Men. 5 min scene.

Dirt Under Fingernails

GREGORY:  Hey, Ollie, Ollie it’s me, Gregory.  You ah, you remem—

OLLIE:  I remember you, course I know you.  Greg, right?

GREGORY:  You got it.  How are you?

OLLIE:  There’s some kind of wire here, wrapped around the front of my tire. I must have driven over it.  I can’t seem to get it off.  It’s all wrapped around the spoke of the wheel.  I think I need wire cutters.  I checked my toolbox in the trunk but best I can find is a pair of pliers.  You wouldn’t happen to—

GREGORY:  Wire cutters…hmmm, I don’t think I have those.  You have anything sharp, anything to—

OLLIE:  You could have another look, but best I found was these pliers.

Ollie extends his hand holding the pliers.

GREGORY:  Mind if I…

Gregory grabs the pliers from Ollie and bends down in front of the tire.

Maybe I don’t have to cut it, maybe I can untangle it, with some luck.

OLLIE:  How you been, Greg?  It’s Greg, right?

GREGORY:  Yeah.  I’ve been good, you know, working hard and stuff.

OLLIE:  How’s that candy business?  Was it candy?

GREGORY:  Oh, no, I’m a plumber.  I do plumbing.

OLLIE:  That’s right.  Don’t know why I said candy.  Plumbing!  You’re a plumber!

GREGORY:  Yeah.

OLLIE:  Have a leaky kitchen faucet.  Drives me nuts.  Must have used three pounds of that putty from the hardware store.  Anything to patch that damn pipe up from leaking.  Just had a whole new kitchen sink put in, not six months ago…it was as if the guarantee expired the day the sink started leaking.  Called the guy up who installed it and found out he died.

I mean, I feel bad for the poor guy that did my sink, but he did a real lousy job of it.

My wife cooks everyday and we have to keep a bucket under the trap to catch all the water.  I don’t want to pay another two, three hundred dollars for a measly leak…

GREGORY:  You want me to take a look at it?

OLLIE:  I don’t want to trouble you.  I could pay you a few dollars if—

GREGORY:  I don’t want any money.  You’re like family.

OLLIE:  Do you think it’s a good idea to come by?  You don’t think Sarabella would mind, do you?

GREGORY:  Sarabella?  Oh, no, I don’t think she’d mind.

OLLIE:  Do you mind?  I don’t wanna make you uncomfortable or anything—

GREGORY:  No, no, no, don’t worry, I’d be happy to help.  The past is the past.  Your granddaughter and me are friends now, anyway.

OLLIE:  I’ve always liked you, Greg.

GREGORY:  Thanks, Ollie.

OLLIE:  You’re a good boy, well, not boy, but a good young man.  Don’t know why my granddaughter; you should see the guy she’s with now…total jerk.  Imbecile.  Has two brain cells to rub together.  That’s if he doesn’t stay out in the sun too long.  All he cares about is the sun.  The guy is obsessed with tanning.  And the whitest teeth you’ve ever seen in your life.

Listen, it’s not a crime for a fella to take care of himself, to look well groomed, but even his nails—I heard he even goes to the salon with Sarabella to get his hands and feet done, yeah, they go together.

When I heard that—never in my life!  Back in my generation a guy wasn’t afraid to get dirt under his fingernails, know what I mean?

Today, I don’t know these kids today.  Maybe it’s me, it’s probably me.  There shouldn’t be anything wrong with good hygiene, but you get what I’m saying, don’t ya?

GREGORY:  Oh, no, yeah, that’s good.  I mean, if a guy wants to put more effort into taking care of himself or whatever, to each his own, right?

OLLIE:  Yeah, I guess so.  Say, you don’t think it’s a problem, you coming over to look at the sink?

GREGORY:  No, it’s fine.  I can look at it now, if you like.

OLLIE:  Now?

GREGORY:  While I’m off work.   Want me to swing by now?

OLLIE:  Oh, I, yeah, you could stay for dinner.  We’re having roast beef.

GREGORY:  Roast beef?

OLLIE:  Are you vegan, too?  Sarabella’s new boyfriend is vegan.  I’ve never seen the guy eat a chicken leg, steak, nothing.  He don’t touch it.

GREGORY:  I eat meat.

OLLIE:  Wait till you try my wife’s roast beef.

GREGORY:  Actually, I remember it vividly.

OLLIE:  Oh, that’s right, that’s right.

GREGORY:  Your wife is a great cook.

OLLIE:  It’s why I’ve put up with her for fifty plus years.  Ha, ha.  Come on over then.  I’ll tell my wife.

GREGORY:  If you can give me ten minutes, I’ll be right over.

OLLIE:  Sure.  You got that wire off then, huh?

GREGORY:  Yeah.  It was really on there but you’re lucky you pulled over when you did, cause it was really starting to tangle up.  I was able to pry it off.

OLLIE:  Thanks, Joe, I mean Gregory, it’s Greg, right?

GREGORY:  Yes, Greg.

Gregory hands Ollie back the pliers.

OLLIE:  Thanks.

GREGORY:  I’ll get rid of this wire, don’t worry.

OLLIE:  You sure?

GREGORY:  Yeah, go ahead. I’ll catch up with you back at the house in about ten minutes or so.

OLLIE:  Hey, you don’t think it’s a problem you coming over to fix the sink, do you?

GREGORY:  Ollie, it shouldn’t be a problem at all.  I’d be happy to help you out, especially if roast beef is going to be on the table.  Ha, ha.

OLLIE:  Ha, ha.  I’ve always liked you Gregory, that I remember.

GREGORY:  Drive back safe.  See you soon.

OLLIE:  (to himself) Good kid, really good kid.

Joseph Arnone

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