Playella | Unexpected Item in Bagging Area by Jonathan Skinner

Unexpected Item In Bagging Area

Unexpected Item in Bagging Area by Jonathan Skinner

A supermarket. FRANK (20s) at a self-service scanner.  A steady series of beeps as he scans his purchases. Then, a longer beep.

ELECTRONIC VOICE: Error – please ask for assistance.

FRANK: Excuse me.  The machine.  It’s playing up.

JANE (20s) a shop assistant, turns.

JANE: Sorry, it’s having a bad day. (a beat)  Frank!

FRANK: Jane!  I didn’t recognise you.  The uniform.  And your hair’s different.  What are you doing here?

JANE: I work here. I had to get a job, so…

FRANK: Of course…  How’s the er…  Our um…?

JANE: Jack’s just fine.  He’s doing well at school.  Some people say he has your eyes.  He’s nearly four now.  So.  How was Hong Kong?

FRANK: It was…  Yeah…  You know…  Anyway, I’m back now.  Maybe we should…  Maybe we could…                                   

JANE attends to the self-scanner. A few more beeps.

JANE: (briskly)  There.  I’ve re-set everything.  You just need to start again.

FRANK: Right.  Yeah.  Well, good to see you.  And, you know, say hello to little —

JANE: — Goodbye, Frank.

Another beep.

ELECTRONIC VOICE: Unexpected item in bagging area.


Illustration by Guy Warner.

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