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Playhouse: The plays you've seen on ZOOM

Too Early, Too Late

By Erin and Bretta of Westfield, MA

2 counters; 2 cash registers; a red line going down the middle to separate the time zones; 2 watches; 2 handbells; clothing racks with clothes on hangers; signs that say "SALE - 50% OFF! 4-5pm Today!" and "Closed". Costumes: woman shopper costume; cashier costume; manager's hat; name tags that say "Cashier" "Clerk" and "Manager".

SETTING: A clothing store with a rack of clothes on hangers, two cash registers on two counters with a sign over one of them that says, "SALE - 50% OFF! 4-5pm Today!". There is a red line down the middle of the store between the two registers.

(Lady walks to an empty checkout line in a clothing store, holding a shirt on a hanger that she expects to buy. No cashier is at the counter, but the Lady sees a sign: SALE - 50% OFF! 4 to 5pm Today!)

Perfect! Oh my goodness, 50% off, from 4 to 5 today!

(Looks at watch. )

It's 4:58, I still have a couple of minutes before the sale ends -- if I can find a cashier!

(Lady waits for a little while at the cash register, but no one helps her. A Cashier from another register calls to her.)

Oh, Ma'am, I can help you over here.

Ok, thanks.

(The Lady walks to the other register and walks over the red line on the floor. The Cashier rings her up.)

There you go. That'll be $11.95.

Miss, you didn't take 50% off this shirt. The sign over there says that this shirt is on sale from 4 to 5 today, and it's 4:58, so I still have a couple of minutes before the sale ends.

Sorry, Ma'am. It's 5:58, so you're almost an hour too late.

It's 4:58!!

Oh, I guess you don't know about the time zone. See, over there it's 4:58, but since you crossed that red line you're in a different time zone.

(Cashier points to a large red line going down the middle of the store.)


The sale is over in this time zone. But there still might be some time left over in that time zone. Thank you!

(Cashier rings a bell on the counter. Lady looks blankly at the Cashier.)

(Bewildered, picking up the clothing.)

I better hurry.

(Lady runs back over to the cash register on the other side of the store, looking at the red line as she crosses it. She then puts the shirt on the counter. The same Cashier pops up from behind the counter with a new nametag and scans the shirt.)

Can I help you, Miss?

You're the same cashier from over there! I want to buy this shirt!

OK, Miss. That'll be $11.95 please.

Now, wait. This shirt is on sale and you didn't take 50% off!!

That's because the sale just ended. It's one minute after five.

(Cashier pulls sale sign off the wall.)

Sorry! You missed the sale. Next time you shouldn't be so slow.

What?! This is ridiculous! I want to see your manager!

Ok! The manager's on that side of the store. Thank you!

This store is a little wacky. I mean, a time zone? Give me a break.

(Cashier rings the bell. Lady crosses the red line again and stomps back to the other register in a huff. She rings the bell. The same Cashier pops up with a manager's hat.)

You again?! I want to speak to the manager!

On this side of the store, I AM the manager!

(Cashier looks at watch.)

Oops! We can't answer your question. We closed at six!

(Cashier puts a "Closed" sign on the counter and rings the bell.)

(Lady runs out of the store.)


Some people.


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