Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dialogue Snippets

During long drives, which are now a daily occurrence in my life, I often find myself writing scenes in my head - snippets, perhaps, from a novel struggling to be born. Sometimes I don't know anything about the characters or their situation except what their brief exchange reveals. Here are some of these snippets, just for archival purposes....

SON: Mother, I would like you to meet my fiancee.

MOTHER: Really? What a surprise. Isn't it customary to wait until after the wedding before you introduce the bride to her mother-in-law?

SON: Now, mother, I...

MOTHER: What is its name? Can it talk?

GIRL: My name's Harlow.

MOTHER: Enchanted, my dear. I trust you spell it in the French fashion, with a silent t at the end?

SON: Mother!

GIRL: Au contraire, madame. It's spelled just like the film star of your generation.

SON [gasps in shock]

MOTHER: Oooh...I like this one!


[Scene: An airport. At an appointed place, an arriving child meets a parental unit, who is impatiently pacing. The boy's clothes are soiled from a mishap that happened in flight.]

BOY: Been waiting long?

MAN: Only since half past the fall of the Hittite empire. What happened to your clothes?

BOY: It's a long story.

MAN: Well, you're not getting into my car like that. Have you got something to change into?

BOY: What, here?

MAN: Bathroom.

[Later. In the car.]

BOY: Why did you...?

MAN: Did it do any harm?

BOY [confused]: No, but...

MAN: Then let it go, all right?

BOY: I was just...

MAN: I'm not going to argue about this.

BOY: I know, but...

MAN: And I have no interest in listening to you argue by yourself. So I suggest that you drop it.


BOY: I'd like to kiss you.

GIRL: I'd like to see you wear a necklace of your own teeth... but we can't have everything we want.

[Later. The girl desperately needs a favor from the boy.]

BOY: Anything?

GIRL: Whatever you want.

BOY: How about that kiss?

GIRL: Don't press your luck.

BOY: You said anything.

GIRL: All right, but if...

BOY: No ifs, ands, or buts. These are my terms.

GIRL: O brother... I shouldn't have asked.

BOY: Five seconds. Open mouths. My hand on the back of your head.

GIRL: [Sigh.] Go on.

BOY: And no biting!

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