Play # 11: Plums

Scene: The lobby of the Sunrise, a small hotel in Paris, frequented by the Impressionist painters.  There are pots of paint sitting on the carpets, and a number of encrusted easels leaning against the walls.

CONCIERGE (talking to the second-floor maid, who sits primly on his knees):  And you say you heard a quarrel in Monsieur Manet’s apartment?

MAID:  Yes sir, a violent one.  Monsieur Manet was very upset.

CONCIERGE:  Do you know what he was upset about?

MAID:  Yes sir, he was fighting with Monsieur Degas about black.


MAID:  The colour, sir.

At this point, Edgar Degas comes storming down the stairs and into the lobby.  The concierge hastily stands up, dumping the maid onto to the carpet.

DEGAS:  Idiot!

CONCIERGE (all discomfiture):  Why monsieur Degas!....

DEGAS (shouting back up the stairs): Black is not a colour!

MANET (from upstairs):  It is the only colour!

DEGAS:  Absurd!  And by the way, Manet, I AM SENDING BACK YOUR PLUMS!!