A Thing Came Up

A phone RINGS. STEVE is on one end of the call, JOHN is on the other.

STEVE: Hello, John! The wife wanted me to call you up for some wholly fictitious reason she is utterly failing to make up on the spot. But I assure you we’re looking forward to seeing you and the family tomorrow! Gonna start that drive first thing in the morning!

JOHN: Oh, good. So it shouldn’t hurt much when I tell you the wife asked me to call you just now and let you know that we have to suddenly cancel for some reason I’m not at liberty to say.

STEVE: You’re pulling my leg.

JOHN: If only I could, but, alas… it’s true. It’s a community thing.

STEVE: A community thing?

JOHN: Yeah. We sorta got tied-up in it after moving up here.

STEVE: Is that right?

JOHN: Yeah, yeah. The wife got to talking with this lady at the supermarket who owns another compound who knows another lady.

STEVE: Compounds, John?

JOHN: Yeah… Yeah, this thing’ll hold up real good when things start to… it’s a whole thing. But it’s really great for social gatherings. Lots of space in the pens and cages.

STEVE: You’re scaring me, John.

JOHN: You’re not the first person to tell me that.

STEVE: That’s not helping.

JOHN: No, no. Probably not. Everyone’s gonna be here – trailers, tents, everything. Even the barn’s gonna be full up, what with the ceremony and all.

STEVE: Ceremony?

JOHN: It’s just this… it’s like a whole play and songs and human sacrifice, ya know?

STEVE: I’m sorry. Did you say “husband-wife swap party”?

JOHN: No, I said “human sacrifice.”

STEVE: My mistake.

JOHN: “Husband-wife swap party”… Sounds nothing like “human sacrifice.”

STEVE: I’m sorry.

JOHN: Right. Sorry. Where were we?

STEVE: Human sacrifice.

JOHN: Yeah. It’s not really my thing. But I’m trying to be supportive of her…

STEVE: Do  you need help John?

JOHN: I mean, probably. Yes. But I probably shouldn’t say that outloud. Or even think about it. Really wish you hadn’t… Anyway. I guess it kinda depends on how tomorrow goes. That sort of thing.

STEVE: I completely understand.

JOHN: Cool, cool.