RANDOMODDNESS

The Usual

Saturday · January 07, 2006 · 12:37 PM

This was originally written as part of a script that I wrote in 1992 or so. I lost the full script, but somehow had a few pieces left laying around on eight-inch floppy disks.

Clearly this is a fantasy sequence – Jerry never worked in a corporate environment.

Fade to:

Int. jerry's office - morning

Jerry is sitting at his desk as Elaine walks in.

jerry

(with the air of a man that knows)

Elaine, taste this coffee, it's horrible.

elaine

Well, since you make it sound so attractive ... Yuk! You shouldn't put so much sugar in.

jerry

I didn't. The Coffee Guy did.

elaine

You bought this from the Coffee Guy out front?

She hands the coffee back to him as if it were radioactive.

jerry

Yes! I've been to Coffee Guy every morning for the past three years and he's always put in too much sugar.

elaine

Always?

jerry

Well, not the first couple of times. I would order the coffee and Coffee Guy would make it the way I wanted it.

elaine

So what happened?

jerry

After a couple of visits. My order became The Usual and he would make it when he saw me coming over.

He sips without thinking about it and makes a face.

elaine

Ohh ... The Usual.

jerry

Well one day he must have forgotten that I like it extra light and made it extra sweet instead.

elaine

You didn't bring it back?

jerry

I get the coffee downstairs, take the elevator up, get to my office, take the coffee out of the bag, pull the cover off, put the cover in the bag, use the little napkin he provides to wipe up the little coffee spills, throw the napkin in the bag, throw out the bag and then taste the coffee. It's too much trouble to go all the way downstairs and get a new cup of coffee. It would ruin the whole morning ritual.

He sips without thinking about it and makes a face.

elaine

If you don't complain the first time you get the wrong coffee, then by default that is your new Usual.

jerry

I know, I know. Now when Coffee Guy sees me coming, he makes a nice cup of too-sweet coffee for me. What can I do?

elaine

You have to tell him.

jerry

How can I? It's been three years! He thinks that I like my coffee extra sweet and that he's been a great Coffee Guy getting my coffee ready before I get there. It's like I've been living a lie all these years. I can't tell him the truth now - I've betrayed the customer-Coffee Guy trust.

He sips without thinking about it and makes a face.