CELEBRITY – Part Three

BARNEY

Here’s what you’re gonna do: take your name back–be proud of it! 

 

GLORIA

Well, I can think about it.

 

BARNEY

Next, move back to your original apartment!

 

GLORIA

They went co-op.

 

BARNEY

You can lift up your chin and tell everyone who you are! Go ahead: tell everyone in the restaurant.

 

GLORIA

I couldn’t.

 

BARNEY

How about this guy here?

 

GLORIA

I can’t.

 

BARNEY

I guess I always knew.

 

(In his most seductive voice)

 

When I saw that picture of “Gloria Shulklepper, Hemorrhoid Sufferer,” I knew she was a sweet, sincere person. And I was right.

 

GLORIA

(glowing)

 

Thanks, Barney. Thanks a lot.

 

BARNEY

(handing her a business card)

 

In fact, give me a call real soon. You could quadruple whatever you’re making now as a distributor of our household cleaning products.

 

(As she hears him and reads the card, she is crestfallen.)

 

With your charm and personality–and that special electricity your customers would get from dealing with a bona-fide celebrity–you could buy a co-op on Easy Street!

 

GLORIA

You want me to hustle detergent?

 

BARNEY

You’re offending me, Gloria. To become one of the select legion of Brosco distributors is not to hustle detergent. In no way.

 

(She is looking down at her plate. Carried away as he is, he hardly notices.)

 

It’s too good of an opportunity to pass up, Gloria. A chance like this only comes once, so don’t miss the brass ring by keeping your hand in your pocket. You could be great.

 

In fact, I’m pretty tight with Mr. Brosco, the big guy, the owner of the entire manufacturing and distribution network. He’s well known himself for overcoming adversity in his personal history.

 

We could go far, kid. We’ll make you the spokesperson for Brosco products. Your face could be on every wall–in every magazine–in America.

 

(Getting inspired)

 

Maybe for our bubble bath . . . Yes, just imagine it: “Who would know better than Gloria Shulklepper how wonderful it is . . . to sit and soak for long, soothing hours in a Brosco Bubble Bath bath?”

 

First, of course, you’ll want some first-hand experience as a direct-sales representative . . .

 

GLORIA

I get your drift. You talked to me all this time, put me through agony going over my entire past life, so you could sign me up as one of your pathetic soap sellers. Listen, Barney, just because I was used and manipulated by one creep doesn’t mean that every creep on the Eastern seaboard can try to turn me into a certified dishrag!

 

Barney, you I could set on fire with gasoline! You I could shrink without surgery! I’d be more than happy to put you in the microwave or in a gruesome private hell! You are far worse than the ugliest, itchiest hemorrhoid I ever met!!!

 

BARNEY

I’m so offended by your innuendo, Gloria, I will say no more and will leave you to your plate of cold liver.

 

GLORIA

Good!

 

BARNEY

You may not realize how deeply your cavalier words can wound a sensitive guy.

 

GLORIA

Good God!

 

BARNEY

What?

 

GLORIA

Do you have absolutely no insight? No humanity?

 

BARNEY

Gloria! It’s my middle name! Nevertheless, my wife and the other deductions are waiting for me at my home. It’s been super having this opportunity to share insights with you.

 

(He gets up, leaves coins for a tip.)

 

And don’t forget to call!

 

(He goes. Gloria is dumfounded. She studies his card, then rips it deliberately into tiny pieces. The Waitress comes by to clear Barney’s dishes. She takes the tip.)

 

 

WAITRESS

He talked your ear off, didn’t he? And I notice he leaves me a big 30 cents.

 

(Takes an autograph book from her apron pocket.)

 

I heard him say you’re famous . . .

 

GLORIA

Oh God, no.

 

WAITRESS

With a voice like that, how couldn’t I hear? He wasn’t an agent, was he?

 

(Posing)

 

Sometimes they give a part in a commercial to someone who resembles a real person. Well, look, I collect autographs. You’d be surprised who comes in here. We’re not any good, but we’re the only coffee shop this stretch of Broadway. I’ve got Lesley Gore, Ed McMahon . . .

 

(Handing her the autograph book and a pen)

 

Please?

 

GLORIA

(holds chin up high and decides proudly)

 

Okay. Okay–I will.

 

(Takes book, writes in it. Gives book to Waitress.)

 

WAITRESS

So that’s who you are . . . ? “Gloria Shulklepper, Hemorrhoid Sufferer”??? What? Are you some kind of–Oh, wait–I remember! Sure: the subway, right? Gee, that’s something!

 

(To the Man or to someone in the audience)

 

You know who’s here? Gloria Shulklepper, Hemorrhoid Sufferer!

 

(Gloria looks down, smiling modestly. He goes back to his book. To Gloria)

 

I mean, everyone gets Lesley Gore or Leonardo DiCaprio [or some recent celebrity]. But who gets Gloria Shulklepper?–Thanks, Gloria. Let’s see what else you wrote . . .

 

GLORIA

You don’t have to read it now.

 

WAITRESS

(taking her hand)

 

No, I feel this is a significant moment. Let me see . . . Oh, Gloria, I’ll always remember

this: the night we had Gloria Shulklepper, and the words that she wrote: “Live life to the fullest–“

 

GLORIA & WAITRESS

–“the pain, the swelling, and the itching!”

 

 

(Gloria is proud and exultant.

 

(Dimout.)

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