A bus. ALBERT and DAN are seated in front of DOLORES.]
ALBERT: Says here on the front page of the Wall Street Journal that my friend George, who lives in apartment 803 of the Melwood apartment building, is selling a glass-top coffee table.
[DOLORES taps ALBERT on the shoulder.]
DOLORES: For how much is he selling the table?
ALBERT: Just $10.
[DOLORES reveals a $10 bill that had been tucked in the left cup of her bra.]
DAN: Glad to see that you have cash. According to the Journal, George doesn’t accept checks.
ALBERT: The Journal has an editorial that says the table is “super cool.”
Outside of the bus, attendees of an astronaut convention pour onto sidewalk, inquiring of locals if they’re on the right track to get to the Melwood.]
BUZZ ALDRIN: Since coming back from space everything has been kind of a letdown except for the thought of purchasing George’s glass-top coffee table. Speaking to Neil Armstrong We’re going to the Melwood! This time I get to take the first steps on hallowed ground.
A furniture store. ALBERT and BETTINA stand with a salesman before an attractive glass-top coffee table.]
SALESWOMAN: We just sold a table like this to some people who previously had never found happiness in material objects.
ALBERT: My friend George is selling a glass-top coffee table like this for just $10.
SALESWOMAN: That’s unheard of in the industry.
ALBERT: Yep. He even used the table, so it has character and magnificence. It’s a gem.
BETTINA: I have $10 right here. (She pulls a $10 bill from her pocket and snaps it tight between her hands.) Where does your friend live?
ALBERT: He lives in the Melwood building, apartment 803—right across the street.
[BETTINA streaks from the furniture store, falls into an open manhole in the street and dies.]
ALBERT: Bettina! Are you okay?
[BETTINA’S ghost rises from the sewer.]
BETTINA’S GHOST: On my tombstone, chisel this in a Gothic style: “I am gone, so I was not able / to buy George’s glass-top coffee table.”
ALBERT: Your end is tragic, Bettina, especially since you had cash. George doesn’t accept checks.
Lobby of the Melwood building. ALBERT and ROD speak while waiting for the elevator doors to open.]
ALBERT: Have you heard that George in apartment 803 is selling a glass-top coffee table?
ROD (patting his chest): Be still my heart. I hope this table has some character.
ALBERT: It displays normal wear—and he’s only asking $10!
[ROD’S heart explodes from over-excitement; he collapses, dies. ALBERT shakes ROD’S lifeless body, then spots ROD’S ghost hovering just below the ceiling.]
ROD’S GHOST: Death has granted me all-encompassing knowledge. I now fully realize the glory of the table. Looking back on my life, I have just one regret: I wish I’d lived to own this glass-top coffee table. Tell my wife I love her.
ALBERT (in soliloquy): Don’t be like Rod. Bring $10 to apartment 803 for a glass-top coffee table. No personal checks.
The Melwood apartment building. ALBERT and SARA have broken into Apartment 803 and stand before GEORGE’S attractive glass-top coffee table. In the background we hear a shower running.]
SARA: What an awesome glass-top coffee table. When I was a little girl I would tell adults of my dream of one day owning a glass-top coffee table like this and they would snort and say, “Dream on, kid!”
ALBERT: Since I don’t live in the Melwood, I don’t think I should take it. Odds are, I’d be mugged while carrying it home.
SARA (wipes away a tear): It’s just so cool. Not counting us, I bet it even enhances home security.
ALBERT: For just $10!
We hear the shower stop, then GEORGE emerges from the bathroom, nude.]
GEORGE: What are you doing here?!
SARA (to George): You resemble Michelangelo’s David if only he was pudgy and way better endowed.
ALBERT: By “way better endowed,” I assume that you’re referring to his glass-top coffee table.
SARA: Of course. (To George) All I have is a checkbook. Is that okay?
GEORGE: Sorry, cash only.