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The way theyre going on about it in the magazines youd think it was just invented, and not only that but its something terrific, like a vaccine for cancer. They put it in capital letters on the front cover, and inside they have these questionnaires like the ones they used to have about whether you were a good enough wife or an endomorph or an ectomorph, remember that? With the scoring upside down on page 73, and then these numbered do-it-yourself dealies, you know? 'RAPE, TEN THINGS TO DO ABOUT IT' like it was ten new hairdos or something. I mean, what's so new about it?
Estelle - For smeg's sake Chrissy, what are you on about now?
Sondra - Receptionists don't always let you in on their secrets, you know. [Suggestive wiggling of the eyebrows towards Chrissy]
Chrissy - Take it down a notch Estelle, I was building up to the question...
Sondra - What question?
Estelle - Didnt you hear your beloved receptionist just now, Sondra, THE question!
Chrissy - [With a disdainful look towards Estelle] So, tell me ladies, do you have rape fantasies'?
Sondra - What fantasies?
Chrissy - Rape Fantasies! It says here that all women have rape fantasies.
Estelle - For Chrissake, I'm eating an egg sandwich!
Sondra - You mean, like some guy jumping you in an alley or something?
Chrissy - Yeah, sort of like that.
Sondra - Well, I sometimes think about, you know my apartment? It's got this little balcony, I like to sit out there in the summer and I have a few plants out there. I never bother that much about locking the door to the balcony, it's one of those sliding glass ones, I'm on the eighteenth floor and, I've got a good view of the lake and the CN Tower and all. But I'm sitting around one night watching TV and I see this guy's feet, coming down past the window, and the next thing you know he's standing on the balcony, he's let himself down by a rope with a hook on the end of it from the floor above, that's the nineteenth, and before I can even get up off the chesterfield he's inside the apartment. He's all dressed in black with black gloves on. And then he, well, you know...
Chrissy - You know what?
Sondra- Shut up Chrissy.
Rapist 1 - Yes, shut up Chrissy! [Turning to Sondra] And afterwards, I tell her that I go all over the outside of the apartment building like that, from one floor to another, with my rope and my hook... and then I go out to the balcony and toss my rope, and I climb up it and disappear. Pretty neat, eh?
Estelle - Like Tarzan!
Rapist 1 - Yes, quite like him, in fact. You! Which floor do you live in, missy? [Lecherous gazing]
Sondra - Anyways, your turn now, Chrissy!
Estelle- Always the prude, aren't you, Sondra?
Sondra- Oh please, Estelle!
Chrissy- My turn, bocks!
Estelle- Ooh sorry, didn't realise Miss.Give-me-all-your-attention, was waiting in the wings.
Chrissy- Oh please, Estelle! Anyway. I'm walking along this dark street at night and this short, ugly fellow comes up and grabs my arm, takes me into a chokehold and tries to unzip my dress. [Look of exasperation while Rapist 2 is struggling with the zipper] And fails miserably. [Eye-roll] Really? This is like one of the most important moments of a girl's life, like getting married or having a baby, and you screw it up, you loser!
[Rapist 2 starts sobbing loudly.]
Chrissy - What's the matter?
Rapist 2- That's what they all call me, "loser", "skunkboy", "stubby"... I have never been able to get anything right in my life. My job's gone; no girl would even glance at me. I am destined to die a virgin! This is the last straw. Tonight, I shall jump off a bridge!
Estelle - Tch, tch, poor snob!
Chrissy - Listen. I know how you feel. You really should do something about those pimples, if you got rid of them you'd be quite good-looking, honest; then you wouldn't have to go around doing stuff like this. I had them myself once.
Rapist 2 - Really?
Chrissy- I wasn't always a hot receptionist, you know!
Estelle - [out of the corner of her mouth] Typical...
Chrissy - Oh ignore her, she's just bitter. Here is the number of the dermatologist I had back then. His offices are in Lexington.
Sondra - Oh I know a better one, at...
Estelle - No, no, there's one in...
Rapist 2 - I am quite overwhelmed.
Chrissy - It's ok. Take all three cards.
Rapist 2 - Why, thank you!
Estelle - Attaboy!
Sondra - It's no problem at all!
Chrissy - Now, Miss.Been-there-seen-it-all-but-still-never-impressed, tell us about your fantasy!
Estelle - Should'nt we be getting back to work?
Sondra - Relax, the boss is off with his new girlfriend.
Estelle - What about Derrick? He's been strutting around like a peacock ever since he was made a Manager here.
Sondra - You know what, I never did like the look of that guy.
Chrissy - Yeah, he should really do something about those eyebrows!
Sondra - Err, that's not quite what I meant, but...
Estelle - Yes Sondra, he should REALLY do his eyebrows. And the nails too, Chrissy? What colour would you like to see his painted in? Fuchsia? Lavender? Or the one that Jennifer Aniston wore on the latest issue of cosmopolitan?
Chrissy - Very funny, Estelle. I know you have the hots for him!
Estelle - I do NOT!
Chrissy - Duh uh!
Sondra - Let's not steer off the topic, guys.Your turn now, Estelle.
Estelle - All right, let me tell you one. I'm walking down this dark street at night and this fellow comes up and grabs my arm. Now it so happens that I have a plastic lemon in my purse, you know how it always says you should carry a plastic lemon in your purse? So I open my purse to get the plastic lemon, and I can't find it! My purse is full of all this junk, Kleenex and cigarettes and my change purse and my lipstick and my driver's licence, you know the kind of stuff; so I ask him to hold out his hands, like this, and I pile all this junk into his hands.
Rapist 3 - Did you find what you are looking for? I don't have all night, you know!
Estelle - Just a sec. Ah, here it is. Damn!
Rapist 3 - What happened now?
Estelle - The lid. I can't unscrew it.
Rapist 3 - Silly nymphet/girl. Here, I'll oblige.
Estelle - Oh thank you, good sir.
Rapist 3 - Oh...No, no, madam, the pleasure is ALL mine. Let's see, you will squirt me in the eye now, won't you?
Estelle - I'm afraid so.
Rapist 3 - Well, then get on with it lass, I really haven't got the whole night.
Estelle - Oookay, here we go. [Takes a deep breath and gets into position]
Sondra - Hold on, hold on.
Estelle and the Rapist - What?!
Sondra - This man has been so nice to you. Why on earth would you want to squirt him in the eye with the plastic lemon?
Chrissy - Seriously, THAT's your concern Sondra? And seriously, THIS is your rape fantasy, Estelle?
Estelle - [enthusiastically], Yeah, it is. I am rather proud of it, if I may say so myself.
[Sondra and Chrissy shake their heads in exasperation.]
Why? What's wrong with it? I think it's quite creative, you know.
Rapist 3 - I don't. Women take unfair advantage of chivalry these days.
Chrissy - Ummâ€¦I don't mean to be rude, but I believe that chivalry serves no other purpose, other than being there to be taken advantage of.
Estelle - Well, following that line of thought, could I instead appeal to your sense of chivalry, O most courteous gentleman, toâ€¦I don't know, NOT rape me?
Rapist 3 - [Sighs] See what I mean?
Sondra - It's been nice chatting, ladies. But I have to get back to work now. The boss might not be here, but he left his puppy behind. No room for slacking!
Estelle - Would that be Derrick you are referring to, Sondra?
Chrissy - Moving on Estelle, about your crush on Derrick-
Estelle- I do NOT have a crush on Derrick!
Chrissy- Course you don't. Which is exactly why you DON'T keep your file work absolutely impeccable, or which is why you DIDN'T go ahead and buy an expensive green dress when he mentioned that green is his favourite colour.
Estelle - Excuse me! that was a gift! And I am always up-to-date with my filing. Some of us do take our work seriously, you know.
Sondra - whatever, I am off.
Estelle - Yeah, let's all get back to work, including [looks over at Chrissy who has taken out her make-up kit and is busy checking her make-up] you, Chrissy.
Chrissy - I AM already at work, Estelle.
[All three exit.]
[Chrissy is at the reception table. She's seen poring over the same magazine as the day before. She seems to be entranced by the article on rape fantasies. Enter Derrick.]
Derrick - Excuse me, mam, but I am looking for the receptionist that used to work around here. But, I see that she is obviously not here. Instead, there is a slacker who thinks that it is perfectly okay to engage herself in reading cheap trash during work hours.
Chrissy- [Not lifting her head from the magazine] You need not take on that cheeky tone with me Derrick. I am no slacker.
Derrick - I see. So, if a customer were to call at the reception table just now-
Chrissy - They would be attended to, of course. [Derrick gives a snort of disbelief. Putting down her magazine] What's the matter, I thought you liked me, Derrick. [Flirtatious winking]
Derrick - Don't try those tricks on me, Chrissy. You know perfectly well, that the boss comes down hard on me if any of you don't do your job well enough.
Boss - Did I hear that someone is NOT doing their job well?
Chrissy - Oh no, boss, we wouldn't dream of it. You pay us so well for our work; we wouldn't have the heart to slack off.
Boss - Really Chrissy, you need to watch your tongue around your superiors. [With a dismissive gesture towards Derrick] Hurry up and finish that report that we had to submit to the tax department.
Boss - So, I have been hearing rumours, Chrissy.
Chrissy- [Who has gone back to her magazine] What rumours?
Boss - I have heard that the women at work have been gossiping.
Chrissy - And? Do you mean to tell me that is unusual? Or a behavioural aberration?
Boss - No. In fact, I am more concerned about the topic that you ladies have been allegedly discussing.
Chrissy - Allegedly. I love that word. It has such a scandalous feel to it, don't you think? [Looks sharply at the Boss]
Boss - I have heard that you people have been talking about rape, Chrissy.
Chrissy - Not really, but what if we were?
Boss - Now, Chrissy, you do remember the agreement we had made, right?
Chrissy - Refresh my memory, darling, won't you?
Boss - Chrissy, don't take those tones with me, I am warning you!
Chrissy - Ohâ€¦offended, are you? As far as I can remember, you loved it when I took on these tones before. I thought you found them...What were the wordsâ€¦yes! "So damn hot"!
Boss - Well, let me refresh your memory a little more. I have on my phone, the number of a certain doctor in Lexington, who specialises in...
Chrissy - No, no, no. That's not fair.
Boss - Oh, what's that, eh? Is our little Chrissy flustered? Does she remember how her dear boss footed the bill for the very expensive surgery that she went through so that she could continue beingâ€¦what were the wordsâ€¦yes, "so damn hot"?
Chrissy - [in bitter tones] Oh stop it! As if you did not make me pay dearly for it.
Boss- I thought you had a rather nice time. You told me so yourself.
Chrissy - Women talk boss, they gossip. Didn't you know?
Boss- Very well. Whatever it maybe, we've both got secrets, Chrissy. Remember that. BOTH of us.
Chrissy- Fine! [Goes back to her magazine]
Boss - I will be expecting you at my apartment tonight.
Chrissy- Same time as always?
Chrissy- I'll be there. Now if you will excuse me, I have work to do.
[Boss takes a last, long look at her. And exits]
Chrissy - [Reading aloud from the magazine] If you are being blackmailed into doing it, would it be rape? [In a sad, sombre voice]After all, you got yourself into the situation to begin with. [Irritably] Now, which page had the answer to this Goddamn questionnaire?
[Gets up and wanders off, with the magazine]
[Sondra is busy with some documents. Enter Derrick.]
Derrick - You know, I have always admired how diligently you work, Sondra.
Sondra - [Absent-mindedly] Yes, kid. What do you want?
Derrick - [In hurt tones] Don't call me that! I am not a kid.
Sondra- I am nearly 37, Derrick. With two teenagers. AND a husband. To me, everybody is a kid.
Derrick - You didn't think so that evening, on your lovely balcony.
Sondra - We had agreed NEVER to bring it up again.
Derrick - Yes, but do you think we could...
Sondra - No, we couldn't. That was just once, Derrick. I had had a fight with my husband. He had hit me, and it was hurting pretty bad. I needed sympathy and you happened to come along with some official work. That's all.
Derrick - Really? That's all?
Sondra - Yes, there's nothing more to it. Don't delude yourself, kid.
Derrick - Don't call me that!
[Exits in anger]
[Sondra glances at a magazine amongst the documents, and takes it out. It is the same magazine that Chrissy has been reading. She flips through it, till she comes to the same article.]
Sondra - If you did it to take revenge on someone you love, and really didn't want to do it, would...it...be..
[Estelle is seen talking on the phone.]
Estelle- No, Dad. I am NOT going to marry some snot-nosed Ivy League nerd, just because you think that I will never have any luck with men. [Falls silent as her father is talking. Grows increasingly annoyed] Oh, for god's sake Dad, that was years ago. I was fifteen whenâ€¦when that happened. There must be a Chinese takeaway in that alley now. No, Dad, I don't hate men because of that incident. Jeez, Dad, you don't have to be so melodramatic. I am NOT scarred for life. I was, [in lower tones] I was just raped Dad, it happens everywhere. It is not as uncommon as you think it is. Yes, father, I am very matter-of-fact about it. I had decided that I will be, a long time back. Now, I have to get back to work. Bye. [Stares at the phone for a moment, before putting it away]
[Derrick enters. It seems that he had been eves-dropping.]
Derrick- Interesting conversation there, Estelle.
Estelle- Have you added eves-dropping to your other vices, derrick?
Derrick- What vices?
Estelle - Oh, you know, the usual ones. Excessive sincerity in your work, suspiciously genuine admiration for the boss, strict disciplining of your colleagues...
Derrick - I prefer the term "sub-ordinates", Estelle.
Estelle - [Sighs] There's no changing some people.
Derrick- Did you really mean all that?
Estelle - All what?
Derrick - That conversation, on the phone, aboutâ€¦you knowâ€¦
Estelle - The word is "Rape", derrick. Say it out loud. Gosh, such prudes you all are!
Derrick - Whatever. Is it true?
Estelle - Yes, so?
Derrick - Is that really not the reason why you are...you are...
Estelle - I am what?
Derrick - You know, so disapproving of men.
Estelle - Really? Is that what you think of me, Derrick?
Derrick - Umm...yes, I have never seen you with a date at the office parties. You spend most of your time with your girlfriends. You always kind of avoid the company of men. I thought you were a dyke or something.
Estelle - A dyke? Seriously?
Derrick - Well...
Estelle - I don't know where you get such fancy ideas from, Derrick. I do not disapprove of men. And I certainly do not disapprove of you. [Takes a step closer to him]
Derrick - Ooo...kay. It was nice chatting, Estelle. Maybe we could meet up somewhere...
Estelle - [Dismissively] I will give you a call.
Derrick - [looks a bit disheartened] All right then, I shall get back to work.
Estelle - [Walks over to a table and sits down in front of it. Picks up the magazine lying on it and flips through the pages] If you refuse to acknowledge that it happened to you, would it be...?