Who’s Scruffy Looking?
By Kate MacCluggage

It’s the park. Bart and Aram walk in sharing a homemade bag of popcorn. There’s a bench, maybe they’ll sit on it at some point. Bart sighs a lot. Aram holds the popcorn bag. The coolest thing they could possibly be wearing is a Homestar Runner shirt or something. They are geeks. A long silent munching moment.

ARAM: Do you want to talk?

BART shrugs.

ARAM: … have you changed all your statuses yet?

BART: Everything but Orkut.

ARAM: Well, that’s OK. Nobody worth it is on Orkut anyhow.

BART glares at him.

ARAM: I mean, like girls.

BART shrugs.

ARAM: I’m sorry, man. Celeste was pretty cool.

BART: That helps.

ARAM: Well, I’m not going to lie to you! She was!

BART: … yeah.

ARAM: She got dressed up when we went to Comic-con.

BART: I was there.

ARAM: And she was cute! I mean really cute!

BART: Dude, please…

ARAM: And a programmer!

BART: Aram…

ARAM: And she read sci fi. Like the real stuff.

BART: Well, she’s my ex now, so—a little bashing would be appropriate!

ARAM:… oh. Right. (he thinks) Coruscant was her favorite Star Wars planet. That’s prequel shit, man.

BART: That is the lamest attempt to bash someone, Aram.

ARAM: No way, think about it. How can you ever trust someone who chooses Coruscant??? It’s all planned out and imperial and decadent. There’s no room for outsiders or… the messiness of life and love, man. Give me an outer rim girl…

BART: That… doesn’t sound right…

ARAM: Someone like Tatooine: strong and resilient. Or Endor, full of joy and simplicity. Or, oh man, give me a Dagobah girl… someone mysterious and lush and…

BART: Swampy?

ARAM: I’m making a point here, Bart. I’m starting to really dislike Celeste the more I think about it.

BART: Because she cheated on me and then dumped me or because she liked a Core World?

ARAM:… both.

A really hot girl enters, earphones in, and rolls out her yoga mat. She takes her sneakers off and begins salutations—something simple and strong and lots of downward dog is good. She is dressed super athletic-cute and is honestly just working out.

The boys eat popcorn. And watch.

BART: I should take a yoga class.

ARAM: Yeah. Me too.

BART: No I’m serious. I want—that. I want to be right for that. I want to stop trying to find girls with Ender’s Game references in their email passwords…

ARAM: How do you know Celeste—

BART: Do not ask me that right now, but please tell her to change it, because I can’t stop myself.

ARAM: Right.

BART: Geek girls aren’t right for us, dude. Especially the cute ones. They are surrounded constantly by guys like us and they just leapfrog from lily pad to lily pad.

ARAM: Hey at least you were getting something for a while. I have to make do with Famke Janssen pics.

The girl does a particularly attractive move or pose.

BART: Go talk to her.

ARAM: You talk to her.

BART: I don’t want to interrupt her… flow.

ARAM: But you want me to interrupt her flow.

BART: Yes.

ARAM: … well what should I… (she does something even more impossible for them to understand) do? Say? What?

BART: Tell her you’re from Girls Gone Wild.

ARAM: Frak you.

BART: Girls eat that up.

ARAM: If they’re drunk first.

BART: Then tell her you’ll buy her alcohol.

ARAM: What will you give me?

BART: You need me to bribe you to talk to a hot girl?

ARAM: Yes.

BART: I’ll support your Warcraft coup against Anupam.

ARAM: Done.

(Aram taps the girl on the shoulder. She takes her earphones out to listen to him)


(The girl smiles, confused.)

ARAM: I’m Aram. I’d like to buy you alcohol.

GIRL: (in a very thick indeterminate accent) I no…sorry.

ARAM: You…

GIRL: (apologizing) No.

ARAM: Dude, she doesn’t speak English!

BART: Shhh!!

ARAM: Dude, I think she knows.

BART: (rushing over to grab Aram back to the bench) I’m sorry about my friend. Real-ly sor-ry. (away from her now) Don’t make fun of her!

ARAM: I wasn’t! She’s… (he looks at her, she’s watching, he waves, she waves, she’s very nice) see? She’s really nice!

BART: I’m trying to drown my sorrows in out of my league pussy, would you just stop being so weird??

ARAM: Ok, fine, I’ll leave you to it. (he checks his watch) I gotta go anyway. There’s a Dhalgren meeting tonight– it’s Delany’s birthday and I’m making punch—so if you want to come hang out—

BART: April first is Samuel R Delaney’s birthday?

ARAM: Yeah, dude. Remember last year?

BART: It’s Anne McCaffrey’s too.

ARAM: Dude, nothing with a dick over age twelve should know that.

BART: Sorry… Celeste was a real Pern fan.

ARAM: (disgusted) That’s what I’m saying about her…

BART: Done. Go.

ARAM: Hey, find out what foreign girl’s favorite planet is.

BART: Yeah, that’s going to be easy to explain with elaborate hand gestures.

ARAM: You should know what you’re getting into.

BART: Why are you still here?

(Aram leaves, Bart saunters up to the girl, who has gone back to yoga.)


GIRL: (with nary a trace of accent, in downward dog) 917-477-5799.  (comes through to upward dog, looks at him) And Hoth.