Paying The Price

In the comedic monologue Paying The Price, Mark sits on a chair appearing as though he were a human pretzel, while attending an outdoor wedding.  

Mark screams in pain.

Mark(to himself) Ahgod!  Uh, hhh, haaa…(strained voice to the woman beside him) It’s okay, I’m okay, please don’t be alarmed.  (exhales in relief)  Got my wind back, I’m good, I’m good.  (sighs)

(normal voice)  I helped my best friend move yesterday and as you can see, I now look like a human pretzel.

Believe me, I truly mean no disrespect having my rear in your face like this—if you want to move seats, I will totally understand…

…Enjoying the party?  (beat) Oh, good, good…from what I gather it seems as if everyone is having a grand old time….do you mind if I ah, could you be so kind as to pass me that napkin?  (beat) Thank you…it’s the drool, this posture leads to drooling and in order to avoid looking any more than a twisted hunk of metal, I must wipe—you get it.

Pain reliever?  I’m on everything.  I think I’m gonna go ahead and hire a few guys with shovels to beat me with the hopes of realigning my body…

You know what the problem is?  Loyalty.  I’m too loyal of a friend to say no and I’m always paying the price.

(sarcastic infomercial voice) “Need to push a car up a mountain?  Call MARK!”  “Need to borrow a ton of cash without paying back?  Call MARK!”  “Need a place to crash for a few years?  Call MARK!”

I’m Mark by the way, in case you—but you can call me Pretzel…CATHY!  Hi, Cathy, nice to meet you, wish I could see more than just your profile but from this angle you have a very friendly face.

Come here often?  I mean, that is to say, have you ever been at this location for a wedding before?  (beat) Neither have I.  Had no idea we’d be in a meadow this deep into the forrest, during a record breaking heat wave!  But who’s checking, right?

…Rash?  Oh, yes…yes, my ankles.  I must have stepped into some poison ivy on the long hike up here. Oh look!  There goes Jenny and Todd who promised to give me a ride.  Guess it slipped their minds.  But here I am.

Wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Joseph Arnone