An Election Day Romantic Comedy in One Act

(HER walks through the door of the apartment located in the kitchen balancing a handbag and two chicken shawarmas in her hand.  HIM is reclining on a sofa in the adjoining living room in a ratty bathrobe, legs elevated by a stack of magazines upon the coffee table, video game controller in hand.  Her stares at Him in disbelief, the door swinging all the way open, keys still in the lock.)

(Him’s attention does not break away from the television screen.  The conversation is punctuated by the bleeps and bloops of the video game.)

HER: You’re still in your bathrobe.

HIM: Let’s order pizza, I’m hungry.  Where were you?

HER: I stopped on the way to vote.  You’re still in your bathrobe?

HIM: I’m in my bathrobe again.

HER: Did you at least remember to vote?

(Her walks to the kitchen counter which is covered in a thin layer of dirty dishes and empty pizza boxes.  With her free hand she moves some of detritus about, making a small clearing in front of her.)

HIM: I remembered. Didn’t vote, though.

HER: Why didn’t you vote? You have to vote!

HIM: Well, I was going to vote, so I left for the place, but I had plenty of time so I stopped for a beer.  For the first few, I drank and I didn’t vote.  After that, I couldn’t vote.  They don’t let you vote drunk.

(Her shakes her head and opens the cupboard, only to find one clean plate.)

HIM:  Is that shawarma?

(Her places one shawarma on a plate in front of her and tosses the other at him.)

HER: –It’s your civic duty!

HIM:  I shirk my duties all the time, you know that.  Look (pointing toward the sink), I said I’d do the dishes, and I didn’t do that either. (Looking away from the television screen for the first time, at her.)…Love you!

HER: What happens if that bastard wins?

HIM: Not in this riding. Everybody’s voting for the other one.  We’ll be fine.

HER: I can’t believe you didn’t vote.  It’s only, like, the most important thing you can do in a democracy.

(The game music speeds up.  Him stands up and leans toward the television, game controller held up close to his face, eyes staring intensely ahead while his fingers hammer at the buttons.)

HIM: Come on, it doesn’t matter.  One vote wouldn’t have changed anything.  It’s not like they needed a tie-breaker.

HER: What?  What if everybody thought like that? What if nobody voted?

(The game noises erupt into an epic victory-jingle akin to the 8-bit era.  Him raises his arms in a V, performs a celebratory hop, and puts the controller down on the sofa.)

HIM:  Oh, then I would vote.  Think of the power!

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