Krapp’s Last Date

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(An early evening in the present.

Krapp, an old man, and Sophia, a woman in her early thirties, sit at a table in FYI TGI Mc Faddens, a circus/vaudevillian-themed eatery. It’s Saturday night, and the restaurant is bursting with activity. Krapp is sullen and hunched over. He wears a sleeveless black overcoat with very deep pockets and a dirty white dress shirt, unbuttoned to the waist. Sophia is brimming with energy and optimism. A pimple-faced waiter of 16 approaches the table.)

WAITER: Hello and welcome to FYI TGI McFaddens, home of the never ending tower of greasy onion rings and the bottomless bucket of coffee-flavored gin. Can I take your order?

KRAPP: Order?…Yes…Whose order though?…In what way are we to…order.

(Pause.)

WAITER: Well, it’s your order, sir, and you should place it.

SOPHIA: I’d like a side of onion rings and a margarita.

KRAPP: By the light of the equinox, my scalp is no longer dry and itchy! I’ll have a glass of your best Irish whiskey…no ice.

(The waiter leaves. Sophia looks around nervously. Krapp begins making tiny boats out of the paper napkins on the table.)

SOPHIA: So, what do you do for fun?

KRAPP: You know, it’s my birthday…today.

SOPHIA: Oh really, happy birthday —

KRAPP: I’m 95.

SOPHIA: (appalled) What? You said you were 61 in the personals ad! I mean, I like older men, but you’re —

KRAPP: Ancient. Yes. Not as ancient as, say, Mesopotamia. Or even Dick Clark, who’s really 125. Not as ancient as, say, one of Phyllis Diller’s wigs.

(Krapp pulls out an old portable tape recorder from his coat pocket and begins playing a tape.)

TAPE: Eggs…flour…sugar…milk…pick up dry cleaning.

KRAPP: I recorded this when I was 70. I sounded more alive then. (Pause.) Don’t you think?

SOPHIA: I don’t really know. I just met you.

KRAPP: So full of promise.

SOPHIA: At 70? Well.

TAPE: Call doctor for check-up. Can one get taller as he gets older?…I’m 70 today. Still eating bananas. I ate 12 today. Can’t get off the toilet.

SOPHIA: That’s disgusting.

KRAPP: That reminds me. (Krapp pulls out a banana from his coat pocket and begins eating.) My 6:00 p.m. banana. Is that a banana in your coat pocket or are you just happy to see me?

(The waiter approaches with the drinks.)

WAITER: Sir, FYI TGI McFaddens does not allow any outside fruit.

KRAPP: Yes. Right. Understandable. (The waiter deposits the drinks on the table then leaves, eyeing Krapp and his banana.) You know, a few years back I owned a restaurant where everything on the menu was made from bananas: banana steak, banana l’orange, banana surprise.

SOPHIA: What was the surprise?

KRAPP: Banana. (Krapp eats more of the banana.) Even the furniture was made from bananas. Although everything got really mushy and brown really fast. And stinky. The restaurant was called the Banana Republic. Pretty clever wouldn’t you say?

SOPHIA: You know that’s the name of a chain of clothing stores.

KRAPP: Yes. We got sued. That was the end of that dream. Match. Game. Set.

(Krapp finishes the banana and then throws the skin on the floor. A passing waiter slips on the discarded peel, dropping a tray of food.)

WAITER 2: My back! Sweet Jesus, my back!

SOPHIA: (horrified) I can’t believe you did that!

KRAPP: Farewell to eaten bananas.

TAPE:…must call that woman I dated when I was 40. What was her name again? The one with the yellow coat. Hilda? Marge? Wendy? Wendy! Yes, Wendy! No, Flora. Yes. That was it. Flora, who I met in Florida: America’s penis. These pants itch. Itchy pants! Itchy pants! Why do you itch me so! Damn you itchy pants. (sound of a banjo being strummed in the background) Itchy pants, (singing) oh itchy pants, why must you itch me so?

(Sophia, along with other patrons, is trying to hoist the waiter up from the floor.)

KRAPP: (shouting at the fallen waiter) That’s nothing. I was in Korea!

(sings) I feel pretty! Oh so pretty! I feel pretty and witty and bright…

(Another waiter emerges from the kitchen and helps the injured waiter to the employee break room. Sophia sits back down at the table. Krapp rewinds the tape.)

TAPE: Itchy Shirt! Itchy shirt! Going to grocery store…need a list.

SOPHIA: I’m not sure if this is working out. And it’s not just the age thing.

KRAPP: Is it my erectile dysfunction? Because I’m taking pills, I’ll have you know. The doctor says I could be up in no time…no time like the present. Which is where we are. In the present. I bet you wouldn’t have a problem if Florida had erectile dysfunction!

SOPHIA: No, it’s not your erectile dysfunction, which I didn’t know you had. It’s your total self-absorption. You’re not aware of anyone else around you. I mean, you could have seriously injured that waiter! (Sophia drops a fork.) Crap!

KRAPP: Yes?

SOPHIA: What? No, I wasn’t — I just dropped something on the floor. Look, maybe this was a bad idea. These things don’t always work out. Everyone has their own quirks, their own eccentricities. Like my last boyfriend’s habit of referring to himself in the third person. And my boyfriend before that; he had this obsession with shaving the hair on his chest and stuffing pillows with it. Anyway, it was…well. Right. Have a nice…er, remainder of your life.

(Sophia grabs her purse and leaves the table.)

KRAPP: Call me! (Krapp mimes a telephone with his right hand. With his left hand he pulls a banana from his pocket and holds it to his left ear, like a telephone. Pause. He lowers both telephones.) Never knew such silence. I wouldn’t want her back. No. (Pause.) The aspirations!

(Krapp takes the tape out of the recorder, turns it over, then puts it back in, fast-forwarding briefly before hitting play.)

TAPE: –OK, where did I put the banana hat that I made the other day?…In the fridge. Yes, of course.

(Long pause.)

Ah, that’s what I did with those boxer shorts with the gooseberry print on them. In the freezer. Frozen stiff and flat as a pancake. Pancakes! That’s what I needed the flour, eggs and milk for.

(Krapp motions to a waiter for another glass of Irish whiskey, then retrieves a banana wedged in his grimy white dress sock and begins peeling it.)

CURTAIN

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