Fernando and the Butler
Fernando is a Hispanic man who is well off financially but maintains a humble lifestyle. His neighbor, an Englishman who is out of work, would like to become Fernando’s butler. The would-be butler and Fernando are in a room and there is a table with some articles of clothing, a pair of slacks, a tie, a dinner jacket, top hat and a few other items.
Butler – Okay, where will we start?
Fernando – (Sarcastic) Surprise me.
Butler – Yes, well, as you know, as your butler, it is my duty to give you the benefits of my experience, to make you the man we both know you can be.
Fernando – You’re saying I’m not a man?
Butler – I never said that.
Fernando – You’re not my butler.
Butler – (Raises his eyes) Do we have to go through that again? I said I would like to become your butler and you said you would consider it.
Fernando – I said that?
Butler – Yes you did. We can work on your memory later.
Fernando – Well I don’t remember saying it. I will let you know when you can buttle me.
Butler – Today we are going to learn how to dress.
Fernando – I know how to dress. I’m 64 years old.
Butler – Yes. No I mean…..how to dress in this case is……how to dress…for success.
Fernando – Are you saying I’m not successful?
Butler – Yes. No I mean, what I mean is…..as your butler……..it is my duty to make sure that we present you to the world as a man of refinement…to dress for success.
Fernando (Agitated) – Listen amigo I’m successful, I’ve been successful undressed too just ask my wife.
Butler – (Snooty) I’m sure you have. But don’t you want to be a man of distinction?
Fernando – Why would I want to stink then?
Butler (Shakes head and chuckles) - No..no..no you don’t understand, don’t you want to be a patrician?
Fernando – What is this patrician?
Butler - You know, an aristocrat, a nobleman ……
Fernando (Puzzled) Aris-to-cat?
Butler – You know, I meant well-to-do.
Fernando – Well to do what?
Butler – Be rich.
Fernando – (Nods) Oh! You mean El patron.
Butler – (Nodding) Yes, a patron.
Fernando – I’m already that. I am the boss. You are my butler….. maybe.
Butler – Yes, but you must also have style, be suave,debonair, have class….be a gentleman.
Fernando – (Agitated) I’m a gentle man. Ask my wife. Let me tell you how gentle I’m so gentle….. one time I tried to revive a fish I caught so I could let him go.
Butler – You mean CPR?
Fernando – No, pumping him up with air from my mouth so he could swim away.
Butler – Let’s get on with it. We have a few cummerbunds here to let you choose one, any one that strikes your fancy.
Fernando – Strikes my what?
Butler – Fancy.
Fernando – What does this fancy mean?
Butler – You know, elaborate.
Fernando – No I don’t know. E-lab-rite?
Butler - Fancy means, well, spiffy, showy, frilly…..
Fernando – (Mocking in a whining voice, he pretends to kiss himself) Oh I am frilly! I am showy! Love me! Love me! I love myself! Strike my fancy! (Threatening) I’ll strike your fancy.
Butler – (Looks at Fernando dismissively like he’s a child) Can we move on?
Fernando – (Puzzled) You said; a cucumberbund?
Butler – No, repeat after me. Cum….
Fernando – Cum….
Butler – Ber….
Fernando – Ber….
Butler – Bun….
Fernando – Bun…..
Butler – Cucumberbund.
Fernando – (Excited) That’s the way I said it.
Butler - (Rubbing head) No look, you’ve got me confused. (He thinks for a moment) Just cummerbund.
Fernando - (Puzzled) - Cummer……
Butler – (Irritated) This thing that goes around your waist.
Fernando - (Grudging) Okay.
Butler – You place it here. (Butler steps behind Fernando,presses against his back, and with his hands places the cummerbund around Fernando’s waist. The two look into each other’s eyes).
Fernando – If my wife sees this…you are not my butler.
Butler – (Stepping back) A cucumberbund…I..I mean a cummerbund,when worn with an evening jacket like this, and a tuxedo, makes a fashion statement that marks you as a sophisticate, an aristocratic, and an urbane dandy,a Beau Brummel.
Fernando (Looks at camera skeptically, then turns back to Butler) How can I be all these people?
Butler – Trust me. Now the cummerbund has pleats.
Fernando – (Makes a mocking face) Pleats, pleats, da pleats,what do I care about pleats?
Butler – They can be very useful. They face upward. They catch crumbs.
Fernando – They do?
Butler – In the British Army they were famous for it.
Fernando – I thought you said I was rich. I have to save up and store crumbs?
Butler – They hold theater and concert tickets too. You don’t have to rummage through your pockets.
Fernando – (Laughing) I never go to the theater only the bull fights and the boxing matches. I need something that will keep me dry from spilled beer.
Butler (Exhausted) - Oh alright we’ll talk about this later I’m going out on your patio to sun myself. If you don’t want these things I’ll take them back. (He turns to go). Oh they slim your waist also. (Butler leaves).
Fernando – He scoffs and throws up his hands. Then he thinks. He steps to a mirror with the cummerbund. He puts it around his waist and pulls it hard, and sucks in his waist. He walks off camera.
(Fernando’s voice off camera).
How slim did you say it could make me?