The Argument Sketch


Man: Good morning, I'd like to have an argument, please.
Receptionist: Certainly, sir. Have you been here before?
Man: No, this is my first time.
Receptionist: I see, well we'll see who's free at the moment. Mr. Bakely's free, but he's a little bit concilliatory.
No. Try Mr. Barnhart, room 12.
Man: Thank you.

He enters room 12.

Angry man: WHADDAYOU WANT?
Man: Well, Well, I was told outside that...
Angry man: DON'T GIVE ME THAT, YOU SNOTTY-FACED HEAP OF PARROT DROPPINGS!
Man: What?
Angry man: SHUT YOUR FESTERING GOB, YOU TIT! YOUR TYPE MAKES ME PUKE! YOU VACUOUS STUFFY-NOSED MALODOROUS PERVERT!!!
Man: Yes, but I came here for an argument!!
Angry man: OH! Oh! I'm sorry! This is abuse!
Man: Oh! Oh I see!
Angry man: Aha! No, you want room 12A, next door.
Man: Oh...Sorry...
Angry man: Not at all!
Angry man: (under his breath) stupid git.
The man goes into room 12A. Another man is sitting behind a desk.
Man: Is this the right room for an argument?
Other Man:(pause) I've told you once.
Man: No you haven't!
Other Man: Yes I have.
Man: When?
Other Man: Just now.
Man: No you didn't!
Other Man: Yes I did!
Man: You didn't!
Other Man: I did!
Man: You didn't!
Other Man: I'm telling you, I did!
Man: You didn't!
Other Man: (breaking into the developing argument) Oh I'm sorry, is this a five minute argument, or the full half hour?
Man: Ah! (taking out his wallet and paying) Just the five minutes.
Other Man: Just the five minutes. Thank you. Anyway, I did. Man: You most certainly did not!
Other Man: Now let's get one thing perfectly clear: I most definitely told you!
Man: Oh no you didn't!
Other Man: Oh yes I did! ___
Man: Oh no you didn't!
Other Man: Oh yes I did!
Man: Oh no you didn't!
Other Man: Oh yes I did!
Man: Oh no you didn't!
Other Man: Oh yes I did!
Man: Oh no you didn't!
Other Man: Oh yes I did! > very fast
Man: Oh no you didn't! /
Other Man: Oh yes I did! /
Man: No you DIDN'T! /
Other Man: Oh yes I did! /
Man: No you DIDN'T! /
Other Man: Oh yes I did! /
Man: No you DIDN'T! /
Other Man: Oh yes I did! ___/
Man: Oh look, this isn't an argument!
(pause)
Other Man: Yes it is!
Man: No it isn't!
(pause)
Man: It's just contradiction!
Other Man: No it isn't!
Man: It IS!
Other Man: It is NOT!
Man: You just contradicted me!
Other Man: No I didn't!
Man: You DID!
Other Man: No no no!
Man: You did just then!
Other Man: Nonsense!
Man: (exasperated) Oh, this is futile!!
(pause)
Other Man: No it isn't!
Man: Yes it is!
(pause)
I came here for a good argument!
Other Man: AH, no you didn't, you came here for an *argument*!
Man: An argument isn't just contradiction.
Other Man: Well! it CAN be!
Man: No it can't! An argument is a connected series of statement intended to establish a proposition.
Other Man: No it isn't!
Man: Yes it is! 'tisn't just contradiction.
Other Man: Look, if I *argue* with you, I must take up a contrary position!
Man: Yes but it isn't just saying "no it isn't".
Other Man: Yes it is!
Man: No it isn't!
Other Man: Yes it is!
Man: No it isn't!
Other Man: Yes it is!
Man: No it ISN'T! Argument is an intellectual process.
Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.
Other Man: It is NOT!
Man: It is!
Other Man: Not at all!
Man: It is!
>DING!< The Arguer hits a bell on his desk and stops.
Other Man: Thank you, that's it.
Man: (stunned) What?
Other Man: That's it. Good morning.
Man: But I was just getting interested!
Other Man: I'm sorry, the five minutes is up.
Man: That was never five minutes!!
Other Man: I'm afraid it was.
Man: (leading on) No it wasn't.....
(pause)
Other Man: (dirty look) I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to argue any more.
Man: WHAT??
Other Man: If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.
Man: But that was never five minutes just now!
(pause... the Other Man raises his eyebrows)
Oh Come on! Oh this is... This is ridiculous!
Other Man: I told you... I told you, I'm not allowed to argue unless you PAY!
Man: Oh all right. (takes out his wallet and pays again.) There you are.
Other Man: Thank you.
Man: (clears throat) Well...
Other Man: Well WHAT?
Man: That was never five minutes just now.
Other Man: I told you, I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid!
Man: Well I just paid!
Other Man: No you didn't!
Man: I DID!!!
Other Man: YOU didn't!
Man: I DID!!!
Other Man: YOU didn't!
Man: I DID!!!
Other Man: YOU didn't!
Man: I DID!!!
Other Man: YOU didn't!
Man: (unable to talk straight he's so mad) I don't want to argue about it!
Other Man: Well I'm very sorry but you didn't pay!
Man: Ah HAH!! Well if I didn't pay, why are you arguing??? Ah HAAAAAAHHH! Gotcha!
Other Man: (pause) No you haven't!
Man: Yes I have! If you're arguing, I must have paid.
Other Man: Not necessarily. I *could* be arguing in my spare time.

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