Monday, November 14, 2005

A Quick Personal Favor

[podcast play for two voices]

Sally: Hey there!

Tom: Hey! I haven’t heard from you in a while.

Sally: So, so busy! I’m really sorry I fell off the face of the earth there. You know how it is.

Tom: Yeah. I was wondering about you …

Sally: Wonder no more!

Tom: So how you been?

Sally: [sighing] Oh, you don’t even want to know. One thing after the other …

Tom: That’s how things happen. In sequence like that.

Sally: [laughing] Tell me about it!

Tom: It’s been crazy here too.

Sally: I bet. God, we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. But, look, I really have to ask a favor.

Tom: Sure, no problem. Whatever.

Sally: I can’t explain why or anything, but I need you to do something for me.

Tom: You know I will. What is it?

Sally: It’s going to sound weird, but trust me, okay?

Tom: When have I not?

Sally: [laughing again, this time a little forced] True, true! I guess I know who to call, huh?

Tom: I should hope.

Sally: Yeah …

Tom: So?

Sally: Okay, I won’t keep beating around the bush. It’s just that I need you to … well, bascially, I need you to set yourself on fire.

Tom: … uh …

Sally: I know, I know! I totally wouldn’t ask if there were any other way. I swear I wouldn’t! But this is the only thing left. Please?

Tom: Set myself on fire?

Sally: Just for a little while.

Tom: My whole self?

Sally: Well, yeah. But not like a total self-immolation or anything. I mean, that’s just crazy …

Tom: And this is what?

Sally: [sighing wistfully] A favor for me?

Tom: Well …

Sally: I swear I won’t ask you for anything else for the whole rest of the year! I swear I won’t. But I really need you to do this, okay? You’re the only one I can trust.

Tom: I … guess. I guess I can do it. For you.

Sally: [clapping] Yay! You are the best!

Tom: Hold on a sec.

Sally: Sure, of course.

[Liquid splashes unevenly to the floor. A match strikes.]

Tom: [tortured, anguished screams as flames crackle]

Sally: Oh, not now, not now! I meant later!

Tom: [voice quavering in pain] Not … now?

Sally: No, sorry I wasn’t clear. I meant tonight. Can you do it again tonight?