My dinner with insanity

Scene: INT. of a restaurant, early evening. The year is 2067. ROWAN, a man in his early 60s, sits alone at a table, waiting for his dinner companion to arrive. ENTER ISAAC, also in his early 60s. The brothers recognize each other. Rowan stands and they embrace. ROWAN: I was here first! Happy birthday, brother!

ISAAC: Thanks! You were not here first! I was just in the bathroom.

ROWAN: Was too. I can’t believe you’re sixty!

ISAAC: Were not. Me either — where has the time gone?

ROWAN: Was too. It’s crazy. But you know what else is crazy? It’s crazy that I am still two years older than you. You’re 60, and I’m 62. And when you turn 61, I’ll be 63. And when you turn 62, I’ll be 64! And when—

ISAAC [has clearly heard the math before]: Yes, yes, I know, I know. You’re older than me. But I have a third-degree black belt in judo!

ROWAN: Thirty-one months. Thir Tee One. Months. All the black belts in the world can’t erase those 31 months. [The WAITER appears. ROWAN addresses him] Tell me, sir, who do you think is older: me or my baby brother here?

WAITER: Ahem. Would you like anything to drink to start?

ISAAC: Um, do you have any apple juice?

WAITER: No, only water.

ISAAC: No fair! You’re mean!

WAITER: Excuse me, sir?

ISAAC: Okay, I’ll have a glass of water and — hey, what the hell, it’s my birthday — a glass of your finest Manischewitz wine. The sweeter the better.

ROWAN: I’ll have the same.

WAITER: Very well. And are you ready to order your main course?

ROWAN: I believe so. [He runs a finger down the menu.] I’ll have the onion rings, a slice of pepperoni pizza, the hamburger, and the french fries. Oh, and also the macaroni and cheese. And if I’m still hungry after that, I can have more.

WAITER: Very good, sir. [He turns to Isaac.] And for you, sir?

ISAAC: I’ll have the plate of sliced cucumber.

[There is a small silence, until the WAITER realizes that ISAAC is done ordering.]

WAITER: …Oh! Very good. [He leaves.]

ISAAC: So, how are the kids?

ROWAN: You mean Haos Clawsaurus, Ventus Drago, Aquas Hydranoid, Subterra Farakspin, and Pyrus Dragonoid? They’re great. Although Subterra is now insisting that we call her just plain “Tara” and Ventus will only answer to “Jim.”

ISAAC: I guess that’s the risk you take when you name all your kids after Bakugans.

ROWAN: Who knew?

ISAAC: Still, I’ve got to admire you for sticking with your passion. You’ve been obsessed with this thing since you were what? Four?

ROWAN: Yes, and you were two. And then you turned three and I was five. Because I’m two and a half years older than you.

[ISAAC glowers. ROWAN continues:]

You know, it’s funny, I was talking to Aquas Hydranoid the other day on the phone and he was complaining that the twins are giving him attitude. And I just laughed and said, “Aquas, you should have heard the stuff that came out of your mouth when you were their age! My parenting partners and I had no idea where it came from!”

ISAAC: Yeah, moms had easy with us, didn’t they?

ROWAN: No kidding.

[The WAITER arrives with a trolley cart. He sets the wine and water in front of the men. ISAAC raises his, and ROWAN follows suit.]

ISAAC: To moms!

ROWAN: To moms!

[They clink glasses, and raise them to the heavens before drinking.]

WAITER: You guys have two moms? Hey, me too!

ISAAC: Yeah?

WAITER: Yeah! About half my class at school did, too, though. We always wondered but it would be like to grow up with just one mom and a dad.

ROWAN: Must make things a whole lot more complicated.

WAITER: I’ll say! All those names to remember…

ISAAC: All those gender stereotypes to enforce…

[The WAITER continues to place dishes on the table: everything that Rowan ordered, and then…]

WAITER:… And your cucumbers, sir.

[Small pause. The WAITER leans in expectantly, cups one hand to his ear as though waiting for something…]

ROWAN & ISAAC [together]: Thank you!

WAITER: You’re welcome! [Exit.]

[The brothers begin to eat. ISAAC sits up on his knees on his chair, while ROWAN sits with only one half of his butt on the chair, wriggling back and forth, and occasionally leaning back on the back two legs of his chair. Both wipe their mouths on their sleeves.]

ROWAN: After this, want to play lava pit?

ISAAC: No, monsters versus zombies! [He raises his hands above his head, makes clawlike gestures with his fingers.] Brains! Braaaiiiinnnns! I want to eat your brains!

ROWAN: No, I know! Bakugan!

ISAAC: [quietly] No.


ISAAC: Because you always send me to the doom dimension. Every time.

ROWAN: I won't this time. I’ll let you win.

ISAAC: That’s what you say every time.

ROWAN: No, really, I won't. It’s your birthday!

ISAAC: [brightening slightly] Well, maybe.

ROWAN: And then we can paint the basement in non-washable acrylics!

ISAAC: Yeah!

The WAITER arrives with dessert. He begins to place dishes on the table.

WAITER [placing a bowl in front of Isaac]: All right, sir, here you go: a plain bowl of whipped cream. And for you, sir [turns to Rowan and begins to place dishes in front of him], one piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top of it, one piece of plain pumpkin pie, and one piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream next to it — just like you ordered.

ROWAN: Thank you, but I believe you forgot the bowl of plain whipped cream.

WAITER: And so I did. My apologies. I’ll go get that. [He scurries away.]

[The brothers clink spoons. Curtain falls.]