Play #20: After The Ice Man

The play takes place in a forlorn Chinese restaurant.  There are only four people in the restaurant--a young waiter who keeps himself busy by looking longingly out the front window, and three men, two of whom, Manny and Skinner, seem to be in their late 40s, and an older man, HorseBob, who is about 65.  Manny and Skinner sit nursing beers.  HorseBob is standing at their table.

Skinner (looking away abstractly and sighing heavily):  It’s been thirty years now.

HorseBob:  What has?

Skinner: Since I played hockey.

Manny (attempting to sound alert):  Thirty years?

Skinner:  No, MORE.  It’s been thirty-TWO years since I played hockey.

HorseBob:  Can you still skate?

Manny:  You never forget how to skate.

Skinner: That’s right.  Once you know how to skate, you never forget.

HorseBob:  Have you skated lately?

Skinner (getting vaguely angry): I told you, I haven’t skated for thirty-two years!

Horswebob:  Then how do you know?

Skinner (impatiently):  Know what?

HorseBob: That you can still skate.

Manny:  Hey listen, he said he hadn’t PLAYED HOCKEY for thirty-two years, he didn’t say he hadn’t SKATED for thirty-two years!

HorseBob: He DID say he hadn’t skated for thirty-two years.

Skinner (morosely): Yeh, I said that too.

Manny (apparently astounded):  No kidding!

HorseBob:  That’s what he just told us.  He just said that.

Manny (murmuring into his beer):  Long time.

HorseBob (to Skinner, brightly):  So you DON’T know.

Skinner:  Know what? 

HorseBob: That you can still skate.

Skinner (annoyed): I know, all right.

Manny:  Well, CAN you?

Slinner (disconsolately):  Yeh, probably.  Thirty-two years is a long time.

HorseBob:  It sure as hell is.