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Part 8. “All Is Fair in Love and War”

The trick on her

Saturday morning        

Carmen, Ana and Maria. 

It is Saturday morning, and Carmen and Ana are in a supermarket near their hotel. They are looking for shortbread, Bourbon biscuits and fruit cake to take back to Madrid.  They are also looking for Maria. Finally, they see her in the next aisle behind some large packets of breakfast cereals.   

CARMEN: (Quietly, to Ana) Maria’s just behind those cornflakes!  (Loudly) You’ve heard about Olly, haven’t you?

ANA:           No, what’s the latest?

CARMEN:  Well, it’s a secret really.  Promise not to tell anyone else?

ANA:           Yes.

CARMEN:  Promise?

ANA:           Yes, of course.  Go on!

MARIA:     (To herself) Yes, go on! (She takes down a large packet of cornflakes to hear better.)

CARMEN:  Well, it seems that Olly is crazy about Maria!

ANA:           What does “crazy about Maria” mean?

MARIA:     (To herself) Yes, what does “crazy about Maria” mean?

CARMEN:  He’s in love with her!  Poor man! He said she was so beautiful!

MARIA:     Ah!

ANA:          But she’s not really very beautiful, is she!

MARIA:     Oh!

CARMEN:  Then he said she was so vivacious.

MARIA:     Ah!

ANA:          But she’s not really very vivacious, is she!

MARIA:     Oh!

ANA:           Poor Olly!  You know what Maria’s like.  She’ll just laugh at him!

CARMEN:  She’s so proud!  She’ll just laugh in his face!  She’ll say, “I’m going back to Madrid!  When is the next plane to Barajas? You English are so strange!”  The best thing is to tell Olly to forget all about her.

 ANA:         Yes, Maria’s so insensitive.  For his own good, we’ll tell Olly to think of someone else. Maria doesn’t like England.  She doesn’t like London, and she certainly doesn’t like Olly.

CARMEN:  Poor Olly!  He’s so unlucky!  Of all the women in London, he has fallen for Maria, and she’s the one woman who isn’t interested in him!  (To Ana) I think that’s done the trick!  I think she’s got the message! (Carmen and Ana go out of the supermarket, laughing.)

MARIA:    (She is still clutching the packet of cornflakes as she sees Carmen and Ana leaving.) Poor Olly?  Unlucky?  He is in love with me?  That’s not unlucky. Me proud?  Laugh in his face?  Insensitive, me? I must find Olly.  I wish I’d taken his mobile number!  Why didn’t I take his mobile number?  I can’t ask Carmen or Ana for it.  They’d just laugh at me!  Where is he now?  What is he doing?  Why didn’t I take his number?

(Realising that she is walking away with the packet of cornflakes, she runs back. She quickly puts it on the shelf without really looking at what she’s doing and brings down the whole stack of cornflake packets.  A man runs up to replace them.)

I’m so sorry. I really am. I wasn’t concentrating! I was thinking of something else!

(Maria turns and walks into a pile of sardine tins which also come crashing to the ground.)

I’m really very sorry!

(She runs out of the shop.)

Saturday lunchtime      The trick on him.

Calum, Harry and Oliver

Calum and Harry have arranged to meet Oliver for lunch in a pub near the river. As they enter the pub, they see Oliver sitting on his own with a pint of Guinness on one side of a large bookcase, and they quietly sit down at a table on the other side.   

CALUM: (Quietly, to Harry) Olly’s just behind this bookcase!  (Loudly) Harry, you’ve heard about Maria, haven’t you?

HARRY:     No, what’s the latest?

CALUM:    Well, it’s a secret really.  Promise not to tell anyone else?

HARRY:     Yes.

CALUM:    Promise?

HARRY:     Yes, of course.  Go on!

OLIVER: (To himself) Yes, go on!

CALUM:    Well, it seems that Maria is crazy about Olly!  (Oliver removes a couple of books to hear better.) The poor girl is in love with him! (Olly grabs his glass and spills his Guinness down his shirt.) She said he was so handsome!

OLIVER:    Ah!

HARRY:     But he’s not really very handsome, is he!

OLIVER:    Oh!

CALUM:    She said he was so intelligent!

OLIVER:    Ah!

HARRY:     But he’s not really very intelligent, is he!

OLIVER:    Oh!

HARRY:     Poor Maria!  You know what Olly’s like.  He’ll just laugh at her!

CALUM:    He’s so proud!  He’ll just say,”Ah Maria. The best thing for you is to take a plane back to Madrid!” We must tell Maria to forget all about him.

HARRY:     Olly’s very insensitive in these matters.  Yes, for her own good we’ll advise Maria to think of someone else.  Olly doesn’t like Spain.  He doesn’t like Madrid, and he certainly doesn’t like Maria.

CALUM:    Poor Maria!  She’s so unlucky!  Of all the men in London, she has to fall in love with Olly!  Head over heels in love!  From what Carmen and Ana say, she can’t sleep!  She babbles his name at night!   She has all the symptoms!   (To Harry) I think that’s done the trick!  He’s staring into what’s left of his glass of Guinness as though he’d been struck by lightning! I think he’s got the message!

(Harry and Calum go out of the pub, laughing.)

OLIVER:    Poor Maria?  Unlucky because she loves me?  That’s not unlucky!   Proud? Me?  Laugh in her face?  It’s a beautiful face!  I must see her.   Insensitive?  Me?  Pretentious? Moi?  No, that’s something else! Now come on! Concentrate! I wish I’d taken her mobile number!  Why didn’t I take her number?  I daren’t ask Calum or Harry because they’d laugh their heads off.  She’s very attractive, that’s true.   Now, be rational! Rational!  Right, in these troubled times we must take the larger view, the wider perspective!  Yes, we must build bridges! An Anglo –Hispanic connection is a good example for the rest of mankind!  We could even sort out Gibraltar!  No, perhaps not.  No, we could never sort out Gibraltar!  But there’s another thing.  “The world must be peopled!” as someone or other once said.  Now why didn’t I take her mobile number?