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by Julianne Homokay

PENNIE, 30s, married; the type of eternally popular, timeless beauty who can still pull off the latest trends.
ALLISON, Pennie's best friend, 30s, single; always a step behind, slightly frumpy, a bit overweight, yet cute because she's so infectious.

Afternoon; a typical brass-and-fern restaurant where two women friends would meet for lunch without thinking twice about it.

[Lights up on a typical brass-and-fern restaurant. PENNIE and ALISON are mock-arguing over the check.]

PENNIE: No let me get this.

ALISON: You got the last one.

PENNIE: You don’t have a job.

ALISON: I told you, I just got hired at Office Depot.

PENNIE: Take your dirty hands off that bill before I clobber you.

[ALISON relents. Beat.]

So why won’t you do it?

ALISON: You were serious?


ALISON: Well think about it, Pennie, Jesus.

PENNIE: You need a job.

ALISON: I told you, I found a job.

PENNIE: That job’s beneath you.

ALISON: And this isn’t?

PENNIE: That blue smock they make you wear?

ALISON: I don’t have an issue with the blue smock.

PENNIE: You’ll look even fatter than you do normally.

ALISON: You still wear jelly shoes, for Christ’s Sake.

PENNIE: At least jelly shoes don’t make me look fat.

ALISON: Nothing makes you look fat, geez. Thanks for picking me up when I’m down. What an awesome best friend.

PENNIE: If you really were my best friend, you’d do this for me.


ALISON: Just say for a second.


ALISON: Just say I considered it.


ALISON: Not that I am.

PENNIE: Of course.

ALISON: How much would it pay?

PENNIE: Double what you’d make at Office Depot.

ALISON: That’s... (calculates) 760 a week?


ALISON: You’d pay me 760 dollars a week.

PENNIE: Yes I would.

ALISON: You’d pay me 760 dollars a week to sleep with your husband.

PENNIE: And I’d take taxes out.


ALISON: Is he that bad?

PENNIE: Oh, no.

ALISON: Small dick?

PENNIE: Well, it’s not the size, it’s what they do with it.

ALISON: That’s a myth.

PENNIE: No, it’s not.

ALISON: So Brad’s got a small dick, you never told me that before.

PENNIE: No, he doesn’t, I’m just saying.

ALISON: If it’s not the dick, then what is it?

PENNIE: It’s just that...

ALISON: Just what?

PENNIE: I’m so tired, you know?

ALISON: I think we’ve already established that I don’t.

PENNIE: Lingerie is scratchy.

ALISON: I wouldn’t know about that, either.

PENNIE: Some positions are a lot of work.

ALISON: So I’ve heard on Jerry Springer.

PENNIE: I’ve got a thong callus in my butt smile.

ALISON: That’s the price you pay.

PENNIE: So I’m tired is all I’m saying.

ALISON: For love.

PENNIE: I want to wear flannel jammie bottoms.

ALISON: For companionship.

PENNIE: I want to binge-watch “Gilmore Girls.”

ALISON: For having a gorgeous husband who loves you.

PENNIE: I just want my body to myself for awhile.

ALISON: Oh. Do you not....? You know.


ALISON: You know what I mean.

PENNIE: You mean?


PENNIE: Every time.

ALISON: Now you’ve really lost me.

PENNIE: He makes sure that I do, which is totally generous, but when I’m done first it gets painful, and when he’s done it’s done as far as he’s concerned. So it’s not like reversing the order is an option. So I’ve been foregoing. Because I can’t take it anymore. He’s about to go outside the marriage, Alison. Which believe it or not, I’m fine with, but I want it to be with someone I trust, and you need a job, a better job, so why don’t you goddam do this one goddam thing for me, goddammit?


ALISON: I’m not saying I’ll do it.


ALISON: I’m not saying I won’t. How would this work?

PENNIE: Well. We could set a schedule at the beginning of every week.

ALISON: How can you guarantee he’ll be in the mood?

PENNIE: He’s always in the mood.

ALISON: Fair enough. What kind of, you know, landscaping does he like?

PENNIE: Clean. With like a landing strip.

ALISON: That will require some Nair. Positions?

PENNIE: We’d put the standard three in the contract. Anything beyond that you’d earn hazard pay.

ALISON: Good, ‘cause I don’t think I can get my legs behind my head.

PENNIE: Remember I was a cheerleader. How about I attach a rider for yoga classes?

ALISON: I could shoot for the knees up by the ears.

PENNIE: And you’d get a per diem. For accoutrements.

ALISON: DVDs, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Trojans—

PENNIE: Magnums, I might add.


PENNIE: I told you it wasn’t the dick. But we’ll supply the birth control, that won’t have to come out of your per diem.

ALISON: And Brad’s okay with this?

PENNIE: Brad thinks it’s a great idea. He’s always thought you were cute.

ALISON: Brad thinks I’m cute?

PENNIE: Especially since the Jenny Craig.

ALISON: Guys like him usually don’t think girls like me are cute. I mean, he was our high school’s star wide receiver. I was in the Home Economics club.

PENNIE: You’re in a higher league than you think you are, Alison.

ALISON: Thank you.

PENNIE: And anyway, when’s the last time you had a good roll in the hay?

ALISON: “Roll in the hay?” Is there a bright golden haze on the meadow, too?

PENNIE: Since college, I bet.

ALISON: I’ve had sex since college, Pennie.

PENNIE: Oh yeah? When?

ALISON: You don’t know everything about my life.

PENNIE: Yes I do. You tell me everything. I bet it was college. I bet it was that Gavin guy from MIT. That geek.

ALISON: Who you and Buffy and Clare made me break up with.

PENNIE: So here’s my chance to make that up to you. Don’t you miss that physical intimacy with a man? Wouldn’t that feel nice? C’mon, Alison. Whadya say. This is win-win here.




I’ll throw in a 401K.


ALISON: Why me, Pennie?

PENNIE: Haven’t I gone through like a thousand reasons?

ALISON: It’s not like he’ll be banging his secretary. The three of us have some history. What if this starts messing with your relationship?

[PENNIE cackles.]


PENNIE: You’re afraid Brad might fall for you?

ALISON: People bond when they have sex on a regular basis.

PENNIE: Wouldn’t you be more worried about the reverse?

ALISON: So you’re saying there’s no way a guy like him could fall for someone like me.

PENNIE: Basically, yes.

ALISON: There’s no way in the infinite universe he’d ever want to leave you for me if we became involved.

PENNIE: It’s not “involved,” it’s a paycheck. And no, I’m not worried. Mating is an exact science.

ALISON: Again with the league theory.

PENNIE: That’s right. If you mate outside your league, the person in the league below will always be insecure that the person in the league above will stray for something better.

ALISON: And the person above will resent that they settled, I remember.

PENNIE: So you’ll do it? So to speak?

ALISON: Fuck you, Penelope.

PENNIE: What’s wrong?

ALISON: You basically sat there and told me Brad would never fall for me because I’m too ugly for him and you’re still thinking I’m gonna do this?

PENNIE: Yeah, I do.

ALISON: You’re jacked.

PENNIE: No one says “you’re jacked” anymore, Alison. And that’s exactly why you’re gonna do this. People like you need people like me to have any sort of meaningful social life at all. And you’re getting a chance to fuck a guy you wouldn’t be able to get on your own in a million years, and we both know it. Because I love Brad, but I simply can’t fuck him for awhile, I just can’t, and if I lose him because of that, it will be your missed opportunity. I don’t know why it’s such a crime to acknowledge all this. We all know it’s true.


ALISON: Okay. Here’s the deal.

PENNIE: Okay you’ll do it?

ALISON: Not under the current terms.

PENNIE: You’re making a mistake.

ALISON: You’re my friend, and I love you, Pennie, so I’m gonna tell it to you straight. You might think you’re extending me this great opportunity here, but what you’re forgetting is that there’s a blessing in not being gorgeous. Oh yeah. We have to work a whole lot harder at being real human beings. And it seems readily apparent that the bottom line is your husband is getting sick of your high maintenance, shallow ass. Now as I said, I love you, but I don’t like you all that much. And you’ve pissed me off enough today that I’m willing to prove it to you. I’ll still fuck your husband, if you’d like. But I’ll do it because I want to, not because you’re paying me. I’ll do it because I can. As long as we establish who’s doing who the favor here.

[ALISON extends her hand.]

We still on?

[They shake on it.]

PENNIE: You bet.

ALISON: Good. I’ll start tomorrow. I’ll come over after work. I’ll be wearing the blue smock. Only the blue smock.

[ALISON snatches the check away from PENNIE.]

You’re going to live to regret this.

[PENNIE snatches the check back.]

PENNIE: Oh yeah?

ALISON: Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

[ALISON snatches the check back one more time and exits to pay it.]

PENNIE: Keep dreamin, my friend.

[PENNIE slings her purse over her shoulder and follows ALISON off.]

[End of play.]

* * *


Copyright © 2006 by Julianne Homokay

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Favors is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at julianne.homokay@gmail.com



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