First Class

by Ellen Koivisto

 

On an airplane, in first class.

CHARACTERS:

FLIGHT ATTENDANT
FEMALE PASSENGER
PIG — perhaps human looking?

 

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Welcome aboard. Your ticket, please. Seat 4A, here you are. Would you like me to stow that for you?

FEMALE PASSENGER

No, thank you.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Do you have anything you wish secured in the suit compartment? A guaranteed, Green, steam pressing is also available if you have pressing business scheduled for the minute you disembark.

FEMALE PASSENGER

No, thank you.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Any jewelry, gems, or electronics you’d like locked up in our eight kiloton explosion proof, water tight, scrambled code, tracking device equipped safe?

FEMALE PASSENGER

No, thank you.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

We have approximately eight minutes thirty-five seconds before we begin taxiing toward the runway and another fifteen minutes six seconds in queue before take-off. Perhaps you’d like to use the phone to make some last minute arrangements at your destination?

FEMALE PASSENGER

But, everything’s already planned out. That’s what they said. They said there’ll be a driver, and I have a room at a hotel already and —

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

What about an escort?

FEMALE PASSENGER

What?

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

There is a special video file stored on the fold down laptop on the seatback of the seat in front of you. In that file, labeled Good Times and highlighted in pink, you will find pictures, phone numbers, vital statistics, and some audio and video clips of escorts available at your destination, all recommended by previous first class passengers.

FEMALE PASSENGER

No, thank you.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Complimentary bottle of Chateau Cordon Brunsdul Cort de Gal Neuf Blanc Champagne? It’s a 1928.

FEMALE PASSENGER

Oh, champagne. Oh, but I don’t think I better have any. Thank you.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Allergic?

FEMALE PASSENGER

No. Can someone be allergic….? No, thank you.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

In that case, my name is ____________. Just remember, ___________. If you need anything, press your right index finger into the armrest with slightly increased force, and I’ll come running. And, once again, welcome aboard.

(FLIGHT ATTENDANT exits.)

FEMALE PASSENGER

(to PIG)

Boy. I didn’t know first class would be like this. Boy. I was listening to the radio, and my favorite DJ on my favorite station all of the sudden started saying to call in, and so I did, and they answered, and they asked me what my favorite radio station is, and I told them, and then they started yelling and said I’d just won this vacation, with a hotel reservation and a limousine ride to drive me to the airport, and a first class round trip ticket. Boy. I’ve never even seen first class before. I’m just a receptionist at an orthodontist’s office. Boy. First class. What do you do?

PIG

I’m a pig.

FEMALE PASSENGER

A big . . . ?

PIG

A pig.

FEMALE PASSENGER

Oh. What’s that? Is it something to do with computers, or finance, or something?

PIG

No. (snorts)

FEMALE PASSENGER

(pushing call button)

Oh. That’s nice.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

(entering)

Yes? What is it? How may I help you?

FEMALE PASSENGER

Is he — ? Is that really — ? Is he crazy?

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Him? That’s just a pig. Never mind him. Now, is there anything else I can do for you?

FEMALE PASSENGER

Do you always get pigs on . . . ?

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Yes, yes, of course. Tons! Some of the other attendants in business and cargo class even call first class “the Pig Pen” but that’s just because they’re jealous.

(turns to PIG)

Souee! Souee!

(throws food to PIG which he gobbles and snorts over)

Really, this is such a rewarding job some days. Would you like some food, too, an appetiser perhaps? Caviar? Lark’s tongues in aspic? A slice of gold leaf covered rum cake?

FEMALE PASSENGER

Ah, ah, no, no thanks.

(FLIGHT ATTENDANT exits.)

FEMALE PASSENGER

So. So. You’re a pig, Mr. . .

PIG

Just call me pig.

FEMALE PASSENGER

Pig.

PIG

(grunts)

Pig.

FEMALE PASSENGER

Mr. Pig?

PIG

No, just pig, you goddamn slop for brains, pathetic excuse for a flea-male!

FEMALE PASSENGER

Excuse me?

PIG

Why do women have less brains than chickens? Because hair takes up more room than feathers! (laughs) If I ever met a flea-male with half an ounce of common sense, I’d die of a coronary.

FEMALE PASSENGER

I . . . . There’s no reason to be insulting.

PIG

Insulting? I’ll tell you what’s insulting — you hens wandering around without keepers, that’s what’s insulting. “Kinder, Kutch,” and whatever. In the kitchen, seen and not heard.

FEMALE PASSENGER

That’s about children.

PIG

It’s about anyone with baby brains. Baby brains, baby brains. Flea-male. God, what an eyesore. You don’t even make the looking worthwhile.

FEMALE PASSENGER

You, you pig!

PIG

Better believe it, Femi-Nazi witch!

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

(entering)

Yes, yes, can I get you something? A down comforter if you’re chilled? A little Indian boy to fan you if you’re heated? Or maybe I should call in Maurice, the Masseuse? Or is the pig bothering you?

(to PIG)

Souee! Souee!

(throws PIG food, which he eats.)

Would you like a relaxing back rub, or a dip in our hot tub?

FEMALE PASSENGER

No! No, nothing. Thank you.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

I’m here to serve. Please don’t hesitate to call me for the least whim, or the faintest stirrings of desire.

(to PIG)

Souee!

(throws PIG food, exits.)

PIG

Oh, the die-away airs of low-class poseurs. ”No, nothing. Thank you.” When hungry, you order comestibles … if you can. But a menu’s a mystery to the illiterate.

FEMALE PASSENGER

But … (rising) I can read.

PIG

Oh, the plebeians are rising. Don’t expect me to get out of my seat for you.

FEMALE PASSENGER

(sitting)

I wasn’t —

PIG

I only stand for ladies. Not that you’d notice missing social niceties. Is it true your ilk consider MacDonalds and a postprandial stroll in the mall the epitome of elegance?

FEMALE PASSENGER

I never go to MacDonalds. Almost never.

PIG

You don’t belong here. I’m sure your ticket says stowage.

FEMALE PASSENGER

It does not. I have as much right to be here as you.

PIG

Oh? I suppose you believe in the Tooth Fairy as well? You have no rights, none at all, my dear peon. All rights and privileges are reserved to me and my kind.

FEMALE PASSENGER

That’s not true. Who made you ruler of the world?

PIG

My poor dear peasant, who did it isn’t important. I do rule the world. As it was, as it is, as it always will be.

FEMALE PASSENGER

That’s not true, that’s not — You swine, you.

PIG

Don’t use words you don’t understand, peasant.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

(entering)

For entertainment, I can offer you a choice of three movies, all of which won’t have theatrical releases until next month. One is by Spielberg, the second is an edgy number adapted from a Hemingway short story, and the third is a newly discovered Orson Welles masterpiece. I also have secret videos from the Oval Office, the Congressional Cloak Room, and the Capital Hill subway. Or I could call out our male lap gogo dancing squad —

FEMALE PASSENGER

No, no, thank you, no.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Souee!

(throws food to PIG)

Remember —

FEMALE PASSENGER

I know.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Goodie.

(exits)

PIG

I’ll buy that seat from you for twenty dollars. OK, thirty dollars. Come on, sweetie. You don’t need it. What? You’re too good to make a deal? Everyone has a price. I’m doing you a favor, standing’s good exercise. What about it? Fifty dollars?

FEMALE PASSENGER

I’m not selling my chair.

PIG

You’ll regret it.

FEMALE PASSENGER

No, I won’t.

PIG

Hey, no skin off my teeth. All I gotta do is call the flight attendant and buy it from her, and you’ll be standing there anyhow and with no profit.

FEMALE PASSENGER

You can’t do that! That’s illegal.

PIG

Illegal? Hey, that’s funny. Illegal! What about your pillow? Five dollars?

FEMALE PASSENGER

No.

PIG

Come on, baby. You’re not using it, and this way we both make some moola. OK, tell you what, twenty dollars for your air.

FEMALE PASSENGER

My what?

PIG

Air, air, you know, this stuff. (waves hands) No? OK, I know, sixty dollars.

FEMALE PASSENGER

No! You, you capitalist pig.

PIG

Am I supposed to be ashamed?

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

(entering)

A rosewater manicure, or a pedicure with frankincense and myrrh are both available by request. A full salon facial, an acupressure treatment, access to the captain’s exercise room including the lap pool — what can I do for you?

FEMALE PASSENGER

I’m sorry, I accidentally keep pressing —

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

(to PIG)

Soueee!

(throws food to PIG, then to FEMALE PASSENGER)

Popcorn, perhaps, to stave off PM puckishness? Kettle corn? Candied corn? Corn from exotic cobs?

FEMALE PASSENGER

Nothing. Thank you.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Souee!

(throws food to PIG, exits)

(PIG is snorting, grunting, farting, belching.)

FEMALE PASSENGER

Stop that.

PIG

(burps)

What’sa matta, lady?

(farts)

FEMALE PASSENGER

Stop that, you pig.

PIG

(laughs, picks nose, wipes it on clothes)

Yeah, I’m a pig, all right. So why don’t you come over here and eat me.

FEMALE PASSENGER

That’s disgusting.

PIG

Eat me, baby. Come on over and have a sausage. Let me show you my big, salty ham.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

(entering)

Music, maybe? A string quartet, a soul duet, an old blues road warrior for your listening pleasure?

FEMALE PASSENGER

I’d like an apple. Please.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

You want an apple? You want something? An apple? Willingly! Gladly! Be still my heart! Is that all? Served on an Irish linen serviette? A crystal bowl to hold your treat? A decanter of fresh pomegranate juice to wash it down?

FEMALE PASSENGER

No, thank you.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Or a dessert? Whipped green tea gelato on a chocolate mousse made from virgin goat cream and Alaskan chocolate?

FEMALE PASSENGER

No! No, nothing else. Thank you. Just an apple. Please. Hurry.

(FLIGHT ATTENDANT exits)

PIG

What’s the rush, fatso? You’ll get stuck in your seat, porking out the whole trip. Oink, oink. Gotta watch the waistline, like me, if you want a long life. Or get your jaws wired shut, and the stomach operation.

(FLIGHT ATTENDANT runs in with an apple.)

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Here’s your —

FEMALE PASSENGER

(grabbing apple)

Good.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

I have a lovely —

FEMALE PASSENGER

Just the apple.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

And the pilot asked me to mention —

FEMALE PASSENGER

No.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

There is —

FEMALE PASSENGER

Just. The. Apple. Thank you.

(FLIGHT ATTENDANT exits. PIG opens his mouth. FEMALE PASSENGER stuffs the apple in it. Pause. FEMALE PASSENGER presses armrest. FLIGHT ATTENDANT enters.)

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

How can I help you?

FEMALE PASSENGER

That complementary bottle of champagne? You did say it was complementary. It’s part of my ticket. My radio station paid for it and I want some, now, right now.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Coming right away. Souee!

(FEMALE PASSENGER opens her mouth in surprise, FLIGHT ATTENDANT throws food into it and exits. PIG is chomping away, no hands, at the apple.)

Ellen Koivisto

First Class by Ellen Koivisto first appeared in Issue 1 of Bare Fiction Magazine (December 2013)First Class had a staged reading at Playground, directed by Katja Rivera, and was a finalist in the Manhattan Theatre Source Estrogenius Festival.

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