Bloody Offal

A WHITE-TILED BUTCHERS SHOP WITH GLASS  FRONTED COUNTER TO FRONT.

BEHIND THE COUNTER THE BUTCHER IS CHOPPING MEAT.  A BELL RINGS AS A CUSTOMER ENTERS THE SHOP AND THE BUTCHER TURNS WITH A ‘TUT’ AND APPROACHES THE COUNTER.  HE IS CARRYING A CLEAVER AND HIS WHITE SMOCK IS COVERED IN BLOOD.

BUTCHER:           Ah, good morning sir.  Can I be of service?

CUSTOMER:       Yes.  Do you have any hearts?

BUTCHER:           Hearts?  Just give me a moment and I’ll have a look.

THE BUTCHER SLIDES THE DOOR AT THE BACK OF THE COUNTER AND LIFTS OUT A CLIPBOARD WHICH HE SCANS DOWN WITH A BLOODIED FINGER.

BUTCHER:           No, we’re right out of hearts I’m afraid.  Not a single heart in the place.  Who’s it for?

CUSTOMER:       It’s for me.

BUTCHER:          (Sharp intake of breath)  Do you smoke?

CUSTOMER:       No.

BUTCHER:          Pity, I’ve got a cracking pair of lungs here.  You’re certain it’s a heart you need are you?

CUSTOMER:       Well, the doctor said…

BUTCHER:          Only I’ve got the possibility of a kidney fairly soon.

CUSTOMER:       No, it’s my heart.

BUTCHER:          I could do you a nice lower leg.

CUSTOMER:       No…

BUTCHER:          Spleen?

CUSTOMER:       No.

BUTCHER:          What about a liver?  Got a half-decent liver here.  Go for the liver and I reckon we could have you sorted out before… well, before… Are you prone to coma at all?

CUSTOMER:       I don’t think so.  No, look, I’m sorry, but it’s definitely a heart I need.

BUTCHER:          I could put you down on the list I suppose.

CUSTOMER:       Could you?

BUTCHER:          Of course.  Now, how bad is it?

CUSTOMER:       Doctor reckons six months.

THE BUTCHER RIPS THE PAPER FROM THE CLIPBOARD, SCREWS IT UP AND THROWS IT AWAY.

BUTCHER:          We’ll not bother with the waiting list eh?  I tell you what I’ll do; I’ll write your name on this raffle ticket and drop it into the drum with the others.

HE INDICATES A RAFFLE BARREL.

CUSTOMER:       You mean it really is a lottery, whether I get a heart or not?

BUTCHER:          Good grief, no!  You’ve got no chance of getting a heart in six months.  It’s a little draw we do.  A sort of consolation prize.  If we pull your ticket out, you can get your piles done within weeks.

CUSTOMER:       I haven’t got piles.

BUTCHER:          What are you moaning about then?

CUSTOMER:       (Indignant)  Look, I’m forty three, I’ve never smoked, I rarely drink, I’ve always kept fit and the doctor’s told me I’m going to be dead within six months if I don’t get a new heart…

THE BUTCHER PUTS HIS HAND ON THE CUSTOMER’S SHOULDER, LEADS FORWARD OVER THE COUNTER AND WHISPERS CONSPIRITORIALLY INTO HIS EAR.

BUTCHER:          Look, I shouldn’t be suggesting this, but have you ever considered going private?

CUSTOMER:       Will I get a heart if I go private?

BUTCHER:          God no, but they will break the news to you in a more sympathetic manner.

CUSTOMER:       But I’ll still die?

BUTCHER:          The room will be much more comfortable…

CUSTOMER:       Is there no hope at all?

BUTCHER:          Do you want the truth or a bare-faced lie?

CUSTOMER:       I think I’ll go for the lie.

BUTCHER:          We’ll have a heart for you for the weekend.

CUSTOMER:       Thanks.

CUSTOMER EXITS WHISTLING.  BUTCHER RETURNS TO HIS CHOPPING BOARD.

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