Bob and Poppy #2
Bob sits on a park bench. It is a cold autumns morning and he waits as if he is waiting for someone who he doesn't think will come. Poppy sits next to him.
Poppy: Hi stranger.
Bob: Hey Pops, long time no see.
Poppy: Whatever. I've been busy.
Bob: With what? Let me guess. Stuff.
Poppy: I will have you know I have been organising, keeping up with my studies and... you know.
Bob: I know you want to say it. Say it for the love of god! The Earth's fate and humanity's survival depends on it.
Poppy: Fine. Stuff, I have been doing stuff. Stuff. Stuff-ti-stuffiti-stuff.
Bob: You mean have been doing nothing.
Poppy: Well. Yes, I mean nothing. Studies, stuff and nothing.
Bob: I see. Quite a collection of stock answers there.
Poppy: Well yeah, I decided to mix it up a little. You know, live in the moment.
Bob: I'm disappointed. I expected at least a try at pretending you'd been busy.
Poppy: I can be busy.
Bob: Face it Pops, you aren't really a very interesting or busy person.
Poppy: I will have you know I lead a very interesting and busy life.
Bob: Okay, okay, okay. I believe you. Now, just to support my hypothesis I need to ask you one question.
Poppy: I don't know, Bobby, I think it is just a fact that needs no proving.
Bob: Well, that is debatable. Every fact needs proving. And, if it is true you will have no problem proving what a spontaneous lifestyle you posses.
Poppy: I don't know.
Bob: It will prove your inner pizazz.
Poppy: Oh alright, Mr. Interrogator, go easy on me, I can't handle going back to jail after all these years.
Bob: Ok. One question.
Poppy: Ok then, begin your interview. I'm ready. I think.
Bob: Can you please recount today's events for me?
Poppy: Sure I can. What an easy question.
Bob: Ok then. Will you?
Poppy: Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey, mister. Don't try to slide one past me. We only said one question. I answered it and it is proven my lifestyle is ever so spontaneous, and filled with overflowing pizazz.
Bob: You are so pedantic.
Poppy: I may be pedantic but I am ever so spontaneous.
Bob: Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up all you like but at the end of the day, the blatant refusal to answer my question changes my hypothesis.
Poppy: Hey. Wait a second. That wasn't the deal Bobbie-o, we live in a serious world and if you want to make trouble I will set my dogs on you.
Bob: You mean dog.
Poppy: I bought a new one just to kill you. How does that make you feel?
Bob: Special. Although, that is a little homicidal and cruel to the dog.
Poppy: What do you mean?
Bob: That dog's soul life purpose is violent. How do you think people would get that kind of behaviour?
Poppy: I dunno.
Bob: Animal cruelty. Sure, the odd homicidal incident is fine, but, animal cruelty that crosses the line in my book.
Poppy: I will simply have to write my own book then.
Bob: If we all just decide we are gods and can write fate no one really is ever god.
Poppy: You are just saying that so that you can be god and write fate, whilst I try to take a killer dog and train it to like you. I am not that stupid. Bro. This just got serious, bro.
Bob: Don't do that.
Poppy: What? Bro.
Bob: Never say that again.
Poppy: What do mean? Bro.
Bob: Fine. You can win the hypothetical god scenario, but, I want an imaginary mansion off the coast of Brazil, god dammit. And, if I don't get one you are not going to be invited to my hypothetical wedding.
Poppy: Oh dammit. I'll have to kill off all your family now. Sorry, bro.
Bob: Why do you always end up killing my family in these hypothetical situations, Pops?
Bob: Yeah, that definitely makes me feel a whole lot safer.
Poppy: It did escalate quickly I have to say. What happened to the dog again?
Bob: Didn't it kill me or something? I was too invested in the drama.
Poppy: I am sure that kind of thing wasn't very important at all.
Bob: Yeah, except my death of course.
Poppy: We all gotta die some day.
Bob: Pops, I don't think being mauled by my best friend's dog is really a common way to die.
Poppy: You'd be surprised, my dog is quite violent.
Bob: Did you actually get a new dog or, was it all part of the hypotheticals? Because I got a little confused about what was real after a while. Can I still have my mansion?
Poppy: The dog is not real and sure you can have a mansion but it will have to be imaginary because I am on a budget.
Bob: Seems reasonable enough.
Poppy: When it comes down to it I am a very reasonable imaginary mansion seller.
Bob: So, now that you've had your little hypothetical show down can you please answer my question?
Poppy: I thought I won that god scenario.
Bob: That was what I had you believe.
Poppy: Sure, sure.
Bob: Well, what did you do today?
Poppy: Well. In the morning until about 7.30 I slept. Then I woke.
Bob: What a riveting start.
Poppy: Shut up. Would you like me to continue?
Bob: Yes. Okay. I'll be quiet.
Poppy: Then I thought what a sunny day it is. Then I remembered my book and read that for a while. I had cornflakes for breakfast and sat on my front porch on that scraggly old couch. I was watching neighbours go by and deciding what this morning's greeting should be. Good Morning. Hiya. Hello. What a nice day? Etcetera. Then I got your call and changed out of my Pyjamas. Then I walked down to where you said and had a very interesting, busy and spontaneous hypothetical conversation that led to your whole family dead.
Bob: So, the usual.
Poppy: You got me, Bobby, but one of these days I will do something really spontaneous.
Bob: And, I won't believe you.
Poppy: Probably. So, Mr. Bobster, what did you do this morning?
Bob: Honestly, I thought yesterday was today and I sat on this park bench thinking you stood me up. I stayed until sunset and slept here last night. Then with my phone's last breaths I called you and saw it was today not yesterday.
Bob: No! Who do you think I am? I wouldn't stay out here in the night. Really, I woke up at 6, felt restless and went for a walk. I sat at this bench and because you are so very un-spontaneous and I didn't want to wake you I waited, then called, then waited some more.
Poppy: Yeah, well.
Bob: I win.
Poppy: Win what? There is no game here.
Poppy: You are playing with people's lives Dr. Bobbie.
Bob: It's not a god complex if it's for a good reason.
Poppy: That's what they all say.
Bob: Yeah, well, in a world like this it is hard to be original sometimes.
Poppy: I am utterly appalled at your quickness to give up. Originality is easy. Just change a few words.
Bob: Pops, I will be honest here. I think you are describing how people think they can get away with plagiarism.
Poppy: Plagiarism, originality, all the same to me.
Bob: Am I the only one really worried about your mindset?
Poppy: Says the person asking no one, but the accused mentally unstable person next to him.
Bob: What did you say Pops? I was listening to one of my hallucination's opinion on global warming.
Poppy: Sorry. Didn't mean to interrupt.
Bob: It's okay. They blew up.
Poppy: Not worrying at all.
Poppy: I might need to be going soon.
Poppy: I have Le cross practice.
Bob: Do you even know what Le cross is?
Poppy: Do I need to know?
Bob: Kind of.
Poppy: Yeah, well.
Bob: Why do you want to go, Pops?
Poppy: I have finally decided this morning's greeting and I want to test it out.
Bob: What a great use of your time! Very productive.
Poppy: I know.
Bob: What did you decide on?
Poppy: Good day kind sirs and madams.
Bob: Really? And, you have been thinking about this since this morning.
Poppy: Fine. I just won't say hello to my neighbours.
Bob: Seems reasonable.
Poppy: The sacrifices I make.
Bob: Well, good friendships are hard to find.
Poppy: Yeah. And, I hate all these new technology things.
Bob: You do realise these 'new technology things' are from your generation, right?
Poppy: A small technicality.
Bob: And, what does technology have to do with good friendships?
Poppy: Well. I guess I will explain it then.
Bob: I guess you will. So?
Poppy: Well, we all know that I would never just go hunting around for friends with random diseased people on the street.
Bob: I guess. You do think think so highly of street people.
Poppy: So, after our broken friendship, I would have to get in contact with people via online services.
Bob: Hence the technology insult.
Poppy: Damn technology!
Bob: Don't worry, you'll make up. I'm sure you're just going through a rough patch.
Poppy: But, technology is so mean sometimes.
Bob pats Poppy on the shoulder twice.
Bob: There, there. If you and technology stay estranged you can always be friends with me again.
Poppy: So kind.
Bob: Yeah, well. Least I can do.
Poppy: So. What is your plan for the inevitable broken friendship?
Bob: I am glad you think so highly of our friendship lasting powers.
Poppy: Come on. The only things keeping us together are these constant hypotheticals, otherwise I would be gone before you could say lemon juice.
Bob: Lemon juice. Lemon juice. Lemon juice. Damn! It didn't work.
Poppy: Why did you think saying it three times would be any better?
Bob: I got a little carried away.
Poppy: Well, what is your plan?
Bob: Until you came along with your “Wanna be friends?” I had serious plans at becoming a hermit.
Poppy: It's not too late, Hermit Bob.
Bob: Nah. I prefer little to no human contact, not just no human contact all together.
Poppy: Bobby , I think you gave up the hermit plan when you decided to attend school.
Bob: Wasn't a decision. I was forced I tell you. Forced!
Poppy: Say it to the judge.
Bob: It is compulsory to attend school.
Poppy: Is that what they told you? Don't believe everything people say. God dammit. I thought you would know better, Bobby.
Bob: I was too young to know any better.
Poppy: Excuses won't get you any where. The damage is done.
Bob: No. No, please no. Don't say it.
Poppy: You are a functioning person in society.
Poppy: Yes, I am afraid so. You might even be in the work force one day, you may have a friend called Tom or Joe. Bob, I am afraid to say this but you haven't succeeded in becoming a burnout.
Bob: It's not too late. I can change. I can be stupid. See look, I don't know anything.
Poppy: This is irreversible.
Bob: Damn. So close.
Poppy: Not really.
They sit in silence for a few seconds.
Bob: Hey Pops.
Bob: Want to know what I did yesterday?
Poppy: Not especially.
Bob: I swear it's interesting.
Poppy: Oh alright. Bedazzle me.
Bob: So I went through my morning routine, right? Ate, slept, etc. Then I decided to make myself a hot chocolate. You should know, I hate the bits left at the bottom when I'm finished because I find it so wasteful. So I put in the powder, then boiled the water, put in the water and then the milk.
Poppy: So far not bedazzled, son. It better get better from here.
Bob: Trust me it will. So, then I stir it up until I think all the stuff wouldn't be on the bottom. I drink
almost all of it and then when I'm finished I see a huge lump of unmixed hot chocolate powder stuck in a protective bubble. I went to specific lengths to stop this happening,so naturally I am quite annoyed.
Bob: So, I swirl around the still hot water to break the bubble and release the sweet powder. I swirl and swirl but it won't pop. This is terrible. My plan B isn't working. No matter how much swirling I do it doesn't seem to break.
Poppy: And how much of your day did this take up?
Bob: Shut up. I'm swirling and then I come up with a plan, to shake it. So, I start to shake the mug but the powder bubble is still intact. This is really getting on my nerves now so I shake it harder. It has to pop eventually so I stand up and pace outside while I shake. Then I get so mad that I crack the mug. Sure enough the bubble breaks but so does the mug. The scolding water is drenched over my hands and it must've looked as if I had had a fit or something because my neighbour, who works in a mental ward, hands me a card through the fence.
Poppy: Now I am interested, what did the card say?
Bob: It said “It isn't too late. Get in before it gets too bad. Be housed in Mac Margery Mental facility before you are a danger to yourself and others.” And guess what I do?
Poppy: Hand yourself in to the bedlam.
Bob: No. I have a fit of laughter and end up on the ground slamming my hand against the dirt.
Poppy: That ought to help your case.
Bob: I know. All the neighbours are giving me really funny looks now and trying not to upset me.
Poppy: You know what you should do?
Bob: No. What?
Poppy: You should mess with them to freak them out. You know, pretend to have fits and stuff.
Bob: What a good and productive influence you are.
Poppy: Who's talking mug shaker?
Bob: Is that my new nickname, because I like it better than hermit Bob?
Poppy: I think I will stick with Bobby for the moment but mug shaker will be the next one if it ever comes to it.
Bob: If what comes?
Poppy: The apocalypse of course, haven't you been keeping up with history?
Bob: I am more of a philosophical man myself.
Poppy: Well, we are bound for another war and if one happens your code name will be mug shaker and mine will be the amazing popcorn.
Bob: Did you chose that yourself?
Poppy: Yeah. What is so unbelievable about that?
Bob: That you would call yourself popcorn.
Poppy: I see. To normals like you future super heroes seem outlandish and peculiar.
Bob: No. It is just you are referring to yourself to cooked corn kernels.
Poppy: Yeah but, you're a bloody hermit, you can't talk.
Bob: Not in the apocalypse. Everyone will want to stay in my bunker.
Poppy: Do you have a bunker?
Bob: Oh, hey, on an unrelated note, did I mention I'm saving up for a bunker?
Poppy: You didn't. This is why you aren't allowed in the survivors group.
Bob: Well, surviving was too much to hope for anyway.
Poppy: Well, ain't you depressing?
Bob: It ain't depressing if it's true.
Poppy: Now, that is just lying.
Bob: Lying, truthfulness. All the same to me.
Poppy: What a bunch of funny fellows we are?
Bob: I don't think two people classify as a bunch.
Poppy: Okay. What do you propose we are?
Bob: Mug shaker and amazing popcorn girl. Super heroes that save the day for killer dogs.
Poppy: Now you're just exaggerating.
Bob: What am I supposed to do?
Poppy: Be blatantly honest with no defence mechanisms.
Bob: I disagree.
Poppy: It wasn't a question.
Bob: What was it?
Poppy: An order. Now, if you don't start being blatantly honest I will have to send you to the chief.
Bob: I am the chief.
Poppy: No. I'm the chief.
Poppy: No! The position is mine.
Bob: How about a small competition to decide it?
Poppy: Let me guess, you decide the competition.
Bob: No. I will ask my mum.
Poppy: As if that is unbiased.
Bob: Fine. What do you suggest?
Poppy: I suggest we each get to decide one thing about the competition.
Bob: First the name. Do you want that?
Poppy: You can have it. So?
Bob: It will be called the “chief showdown undeniably unbiased amazingly simple selection competition”.
Poppy: What next?
Bob: What it is first too. As in how many parts of it you need to win.
Poppy: Best of three.
Bob: You decided the first two, I decide the last one.
Poppy: The first one will be...
She reaches for a mini acorn.
Poppy: As a show of strength. Who can throw the acorn the furthest.
She passes an acorn to Bob.
Bob: Shall we?
She grabs a stick and draws a line in the dirt.
Poppy: We must throw it straight from behind this line.
Bob picks up an acorn and throws it, then he follows it and stands next to it.
Poppy throws an acorn further.
They sit back down.
Poppy: I win. Me one, you zero.
Bob: You got to pick the competition, when I pick I will win.
Poppy: Okay. The next one will be a competition of spontaneousness.
Bob: How can you measure spontaneousness?
Poppy: In exuberant and unnecessary ways.
Bob: Okay. In this instance, how are we measuring it?
Poppy: We need a judge.
Bob: That is something we do not currently posses.
Poppy: Okay. Then, we will get up.
They both stand up.
Poppy: And, stand facing one another.
Bob: I have a bad feeling about this.
Bob: Are you just making this up on the spot?
Poppy: I had no time to prepare, when do you think I would've thought up ways to find out who is the chief when we decided to do it in a sporadic competition format?
Bob: I always assumed you could stop time? Guess that's just me.
Poppy: Okay. Then, okay. We will have one round of this. Long round mind you.
Bob: Of what? I hope you aren't speaking bullet rounds because that was my idea.
Poppy: Shut up and let me finish. We make up a scenario, for example, walking to the shop, and then the other person has to do something spontaneous within the scenario.
Bob: So, you say we are walking to shop and then I suddenly strip and run around nude.
Poppy: Yes. Then the scenario has to escalate until someone dies, or someone gives up.
Bob: Okay. Your game, you decide who does the scenario.
Poppy: I will. So, the scenario, hmmm... We are going to catch a plane to New York and we are in the cab driving up there.
Bob: I decide to shoot the driver.
Poppy: You can't do that. You don't have a gun.
Bob: Fine. I strangle the driver.
Poppy: Okay. I grab onto the steering wheel and stop the cab. Then I walk outside and steal someone's baby.
Bob: Police would be notified and after you, because I called them the moment you stole the child. We hear sirens. I pull your hair and start to say “Where is Maggie?” over and over again giving people the impression that I am mad.
Poppy: By the way, you are mad. And, I drop the baby and take off your left shoe and throw it at a rock.
Bob: The police have come and we have been sent to prison, me charged with murder. You charged with conspiracy of murder and kidnapping. We sit in the prison yard.
Poppy: I decide to start a fight. I look out for the toughest person and spit on them.
Bob: I join you. We get sent to the infirmary and I try to steal an opioid to sell to other prisoners for cigarettes.
Poppy: I didn't know you smoked.
Bob: I am just that spontaneous. Ready to give up yet.
Poppy: No. You get caught and I take the blame, I get a lot of credit. Then I decide to murder the head criminal.
Bob: You succeed and now you are the head criminal but you have a target on your back and life is dangerous.
Poppy: What do you do? Or are you ready to give up?
Bob: I sneak into the chief of the prison's office and say I have information on a certain popcorn girl.
Poppy: You snitch. You wouldn't dare.
Bob: No, I wouldn't. Instead I sneak in a screwdriver and stab it in his brain then twist it around a little. I press the huge red button that opens all the gates and lets everyone escape.
Poppy: Everyone escapes. Unluckily you get killed by an unrelated piano-falling-on-you incident and you die. I win.
Bob: That is definitely unfair.
Poppy: Life is unfair. It just so happens that I become empress of Earth and eventually rule the galaxy. Thanks for freeing me.
Bob: Whatever. But, now it is my turn to decide the competition.
Poppy: I have already won. But, I suppose I can humour you.
Bob: Thanks. Appreciate the sympathy.
Poppy: You aren't going to chose some bloody philosophical garbage are you?
Bob: Now that you mention it.
Poppy: Please don't. What's the fun in an unfair competition.
Bob: You call an unrelated piano-falling-on-me incident fair?
Poppy: Well, no. But, I think that sporadic hypotheticals aren't my speciality but you say philosophies are!
Bob: Fine. Let's play a game for the first of my competition.
Poppy: Can you tell me how to play first?
Bob: I guess if it is necessary.
Bob stays quiet for ten seconds.
Poppy: So... are you going to tell me or just leave me in the dark?
Bob: Okay. This will test memory and trust. A chief needs to know how he can sort the truth from the lies.
Poppy: And how she can. Not just he.
Bob: Oh, I guess. So. You may have heard of this before. It's a game where there are two truths and a lie. We take it in turns to come up with truths about ourselves and one lie out of the three, then the other players or in this case player have to guess which is a lie. I have changed it a little. These ones can only be about the two of us and they have to be memories. So, I might say remember the times when I broke a mug and my neighbour basically said I was crazy, then another one where you said the most boring attempt to be sporadic and finally the time when the killer dog killed me.
Poppy: Then I would say that the killer dog never did kill you.
Poppy: Say one round each?
Poppy: If we tie we can have another round.
Bob: I will do the third round.
Poppy: Okay. You start.
Bob: So. I remember that time at school when everyone thought you ate a live bird, the rumour, you mightn't have actually eaten a bird but I heard the rumour. The time when you convinced me to nurse a slug back to life. And, the time you stole my laptop.
Poppy: Bird rumour. For sure.
Bob: No. Laptop. You planned to steal it but never did.
Poppy: Oh whatever.
Bob: Your go.
Poppy: The time when I ate a leaf to prove to you I wasn't a tree. Then you said I could just be a cannibal. I remember when we went riding in Plains brow hills, we saw a black snake and you said you weren't frightened even though you were. And, I definitely remember the time when you helped me paint a picture of a water lily for art.
Bob: When you ate a leaf. Never happened.
Poppy: Actually it did. It was when we saw a black snake. You said you were scared out of your wits.
Bob: Oh yeah. I remember that. Okay my go again. Last go. Ummm... That time when you stole my paper clip and fried it somehow, and you said “It's radioactive, I'm doing you a favour”. The time when you did a lobotomy on my pet mouse. And, the time when I clogged your toilet with news paper as a prank but I forgot about it and ended up pranking myself.
Poppy: Paper clip. I'm not that daft.
Bob: No. Newspaper prank. You are that daft.
Poppy: I am the chief. Why did I want to be the chief anyway. I resign.
Bob: Well, that was a pointless waste of time.
Poppy: You say waste, I say spontaneousness practice.
Bob: Well, you would say that wouldn't you.
Poppy: And you would say nothing of interest.
Bob: Well, we can't all be as good at small talk as you.
Poppy: I know. It is a very good skill.
Bob: Sometimes you are quite annoying, you know.
Poppy: Trust me. The feeling is mutual.
Bob: I think I will do some thinking now. Enough sociability for one day.
Poppy: I will think with you then.
Poppy: What's so funny, Bobby.
Bob: You even being able to stay silent for that long. Pops, face it. You aren't very quiet.
Poppy: Well, that's not very nice.
Bob: Now is usually the time when someone leaves and I can think.
Poppy: Uh, no. I think I will stay and think because this is public land, not your own private spot, and I can think wherever I want.
Bob: That's fine with me. Let the thinking commence.
They sit in silence for a few moments and Poppy picks up a stick and starts to fidget.
10 more seconds.
Poppy: I bet I can get you to talk.
Poppy: Well, let the new competition commence.
Poppy: I bet you...
Poppy picks up a leaf.
Poppy: This leaf. That I will get you to talk.
Poppy: Okay. Let's start with embarrassing moments. I swear this isn't blackmail. If you don't talk now I will tell the whole school that you nurse slugs back to life and then eat them when they are healthy.
Poppy: Okay. I see that didn't loosen your tongue. How about, I will tell everyone you are secretly a girl.
Poppy: I can see somehow that isn't believable. Thanks to the streaking dare of 2013. But, I have other moments or lies, whatever you prefer.
Poppy: I tell everyone you hate puppies, and ice cream, and happiness. God dammit, why won't you talk.
Poppy: I can see blackmail isn't working so well, but, I can change that. I will think of something.
Poppy: Fine. I give up.
Ten seconds of silence and more fidgeting from Poppy.
Poppy: Seeing as you are busy thinking and more like a wall than anything else I have something to tell you. I like you. As in like like you.
Bob: Really, because I have something to say as well. I like like you too. I can't believe it's mutual. What do you want to do?
Poppy jumps up and puts her hands on her head and starts pacing, and after a while she stops and stares at Bob.
Poppy: What! Uh, how can I put this Bobby, I was messing with you to win the dare.
Bob's cheeks turn red. Poppy sits down.
Poppy: This won't change anything.
Bob: I think I should go. Um... Mum will be worrying.
Bob gets up and starts walking away.
Poppy: Don't you dare. Sit back down here.
Bob obeys and sits at the far end of the bench.
Bob: Yes chief.
Poppy: No time for jokes.
Bob: Yes chief.
Poppy: Quit it. Okay.
Poppy: Are you being serious?
Bob: Of course not. Why would I...
Poppy: Don't lie to me.
Bob looks at the ground.
Poppy: Okay. We can deal with this.
Bob: Can I say something?
Poppy: Go ahead.
Bob: I sorta. Kinda. Love you.
Poppy stands up again.
Poppy: This is a little different but nothing we can't handle.
Bob: Sit down. We can talk this through.
Poppy sits down.
Poppy: Okay, Okay, Okay. This is fine. Fine. Fine. Fine.
Bob: Somehow I don't believe you.
Poppy: I guess the deal is up.
Poppy: You really aren't messing with me?
Poppy: I like you too, okay.
Bob: Oh, alright.
Poppy stares at Bob.
Poppy: Is that all you had to say?
Bob: Sums it up quite nicely I think.
Poppy: Well, umm.. No.
Bob looks questioningly at Poppy.
Poppy: That's it? I confess I love you and that's it.
Bob: You didn't say love.
Poppy: Oh whatever. Our friendship is completely destroyed, why not add everything to the mix.
Bob: Okay. We love each other apparently. Am I the only one thinking this is a little rushed?
Poppy: I suppose.
Bob: Probably more like a puppy love if you ask me.
Poppy: Yeah lets stick with that.
They both sit in awkward silence for a while.
Poppy: So now what?
Bob kisses her on the cheek.
Poppy: You missed.
Poppy kisses Bob on the lips. After a few moments she moves her head away.
Bob: That escalated quickly.
Poppy: What happened again. Did you profess your love for me?
Bob: You said it first.
Poppy: Excuses won't get you anywhere, the damage is done.
Bob: Guess you need to look for a new best friend.
Poppy: And your plan of becoming a hermit is out the window.
Bob: I have an idea.
Bob: Wanna be friendless together?
Poppy: Sounds like a plan.