The Inconvenient Shoe Recorder

Cover Image

EXT. STORE FRONT - AFTERNOON – DAY (needs to be a cliché 80s tv exterior of a generic store – I suggest this feel for the series as a whole)


A CUSTOMER enters the store carrying what appears to be a stick just short of the length of his arm. A CLERK busies himself behind the counter whistling or humming something cheerful. The CLERK drops what he is doing immediately upon noticing the presence of the CUSTOMER and beams with helpfulness as the dialogue begins. The scene should be played with a Monty Pythonesque sense of proper politeness and innocent obliviousness. Please note that either role is gender nonspecific and that pronouns are used simply for convenience at time of writing.

CLERK: Hello and good day sir! How can I be of little help to you today?

CUSTOMER: Well, yes. You see I bought this, ah shoe horn last week and...

CLERK: Oh, I don't mean to be insolent, ah, ah, no? Well, that is to say, that that is a shoe clarinet or shoe flute, possibly a shoe recorder.

CUSTOMER: Yes, thank you, I understand. But you see I purchased this item under the explicit provision that it would fail to aid in shoe, uh, in shoe application as it were.

CLERK: And right you are sir, it should have been completely ill-suited to said purpose, utterly inconvenient, that is our way. We aim to serve very little or, of course, not at all.

CUSTOMER: Yes, I understand completely. It should have been highly ineffective as the packaging rather inexplicably detailed.

CLERK: Oh yes sir.

CUSTOMER: Yes, well. Here's the thing.

CLERK: Oh yes.

CUSTOMER: You see, it works.

CLERK: (incredulous) It does?

The CUSTOMER demonstrates multiple times the removal and reapplication of his loafers in simple rapid succession with the shoe ‘horn’ to the complete astonishment of the CLERK as he leans over the counter to see. Clearly, this tool is indeed rather convenient. Upon straightening up, the CUSTOMER shrugs in apology for pointing out the functionality of the shoe ‘horn’, while the CLERK shakes his head also gesturing in apology.

CLERK: My goodness, no.

CUSTOMER: So you see.

CLERK: I'm terribly, terribly sorry sir. That should be no more than a shoe stick at best.

CUSTOMER: And yet.

CLERK: May I? (gestures to take the shoe ‘horn’ and receives it delicately, examining from all angles) And yet it functions precisely as if it indeed has a tumblehome or a suitable rocker, which it clearly does not, in actuality, there is no...

CUSTOMER: Tumblehome?

CLERK: Why yes, the curvative aperture of the shoe horn, or in the common vernacular, a rocker.

CUSTOMER: Ah, are not those parts of a canoe?

CLERK: Are they? That’s not very helpful.

CUSTOMER: No. It is not.

CLERK: (still enthralled by the device) And yet it functions...

CUSTOMER: That it does.

CLERK: (snapping to) Oh this is completely unacceptable and we will of course refund most of your purchase price and as well promptly dispose of all of these effective items immediately. (tossing shoe ‘horn’ aside) I assure you that had we known ...

CUSTOMER: Yes, yes, of course. (beat) Most of a refund?

CLERK: Well of course. A full refund would be rather convenient wouldn’t you say?

CUSTOMER: It would, yes.

CLERK: And so we will do no such thing.

CUSTOMER: Of course.

CLERK: Of course.

In keeping with the 80s sitcom trope, a closing laugh track should come up as the actors pantomime the filling out of a stack of forms for the appropriate return of goods – an inconvenient process to be sure. End with the exterior shot from opening. 

Created: May 12, 2017

Tags: script, dialogue, story, inconvenience store script, satire, fiction

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