And now, a short play, detailing one man’s harrowing experience with a well-known television personality at a local home improvement store.
(A man enters his house through the garage. He looks confused, and a little sad. His wife calls to him from upstairs.)
Woman: Honey, that you?
Man: Yeah, dear. Just got back.
Woman: You get the topsoil at Lowe’s?
Man: What’s that? No, uhm. I went to…uh…sorry, went to Home Depot.
Woman (comes down the stairs): You okay? You sound distracted.
Man: Hm? Oh, yeah. No, just…had kind of a weird experience in the parking lot.
Woman: Why, what happened?
Man: Well…I paid, and I pulled up my truck, and…y’know how I was saying my back was kinda sore from working out in the yard yesterday…
Woman: …I TOLD you you didn’t have to go back out today.
Man: No, it’s not that, that was fine. But when I went to load up the truck, I just didn’t want to be hopping up onto the bed and back down again. So, I actually used that little fold-out step.
Man: I know, I know -
Woman: I knew you’d end up using that thing. I knew it! When you bought that truck, you said, ‘Oh, it’s just a stupid little feature,’ and what did I say?
Man: You said you thought it was actually sort of clever.
Woman: Yup. I get bragging rights.
Man: Well, hold on. So, I use it – and YES, it IS a handy little device – and after I’ve finished, I turn around, and who do I see, but Howie Long.
Man: Howie Long. You know who I –
Woman: I know who Howie Long is, yes. The sports commentator in the pinstriped suits and the bristle haircut.
Woman: What’s he doing at our Home Depot?
Man: I know, right? That’s exactly what I’m thinking, I’m just gawking at him, thinking, “Oh wow. How weird is that, Howie Long at our Home Depot,” when he looks at me, and he says, “Hey BUDDY!”
Woman: He called you ‘buddy’?
Man: Yeah, but not in a friendly way. Like code, for ‘Hey JACKASS’. And then he points at my truck, and he goes, ‘You left your little man-step down.’
Woman: …What the hell did he mean by that?
Man: I have no idea.
Woman: Does Howie Long just hang out in parking lots, waiting to heckle other shoppers about their trucks?
Man: It seems so.
Woman: Well, what did you say to him?
Man: I just…I couldn’t think of anything, I was so taken aback by the whole thing.
Woman: Did you point out that maybe guys who spend their working hours being fitted for designer pinstriped suits while using a buzz-saw to cut their hair maybe shouldn’t be so cavalier with their opinions?
Man: I think I just mumbled something, and put up the gate, and I left. It was just such a bizarre situation.
Woman: I’ll say. ‘Man-step’? What does that even mean? If I was using it, would it be a ‘lady-step’?
Man: Anyway, my back’s still kinda killing me, so I think I’m gonna go lie down for a while.
(The Man leaves the room.)
Woman (to herself): Wow. Howie Long…what a dick. Who knew?