Curtain opens, revealing the interior of a small underground snack shop. KATY leans across the checkout counter, eyes closed, nodding her head to unheard music.
Several customers in business attire, including LAWYER and LAWYER’s FRIEND, wander through the aisles. Eventually, LAWYER and FRIEND, in the midst of a heated discussion, approach the checkout counter with arms full of chocolate bars, birthday cards, 20 oz. Coca-Colas, and small bags of artificially flavored potato chips.
KATY rises to check out the customers.
KATY: Good afternoo-
LAWYER: (continuing his animated discussion with FRIEND, ignoring KATY) I am not shitting you! If they keep this up, I will walk away from it all!
LAWYER: Yes! Yessir! I will… I will… (He looks up at KATY at last) Why, I will trade places with the cashier girl here!
(FRIEND laughs heartily.)
(KATY rolls her eyes, smiles, and continues adding up LAWYER’s purchase.)
LAWYER: Tell you what: Let’s go tell them right now. This cashier girl can go and take my place as partner at the firm, and I will come down here and sit behind this counter all day!
FRIEND: (laughs convulsively, slapping at leg and gasping for breath) Oh, I can see it now! “Stewart, I’d like you to meet my replacement. We found her in tunnel snack shop!”
(KATY bags LAWYER’s purchase. LAWYER and FRIEND continue laughing.)
LAWYER: In a heartbeat, bubba! In. A. Heartbeat.
(Still laughing, LAWYER swipes his credit card)
(KATY pulls a ring of keys out of her pocket, drops them on the counter.)
KATY: (raising her voice above the laughter.) Okay!
(Laughter stops. LAWYER and FRIEND turn to look at KATY.)
LAWYER: Excuse me?
KATY: Okay. Let’s trade. Here are my shop keys. I usually try and be here to open the gate by 5:45 at the latest, and-
LAWYER: (chuckling.) That’s cute. But I’m not sure how you’d make it at my law firm, dear.
KATY: (with blank expression.) That’s okay. I’m a fast learner, and I did pretty well in law school.
(LAWYER and FRIEND burst out laughing again.)
FRIEND: See? The cashier girl IS qualified!
LAWYER: (glancing around the snack shop.) YOU went to law school?
LAWYER: And what is the first case you studied at this law school in, say, your Constitutional Law class?
KATY: Marbury vs. Madison. Same as everybody does, I think.
LAWYER: And the most important case in Civil Procedure is...?
KATY: Erie Railroad vs. Tompkins, which basically says there’s no such thing as general federal law, so any federal court that has a case involving residents of two different states under diversity jurisdiction must apply state law as it has been determined by the highest state court that has ruled on it.
(LAWYER and FRIEND stop laughing.)
LAWYER: United States vs. Lopez…
KATY: Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, said the Gun Free Schools Act was unconstitutional because there was no proof that the guns in question had ever traveled in nor affected state commerce. It therefore became the first law in generations to be knocked down by the Court for being outside of Congress’ powers under the Commerce Clause.
LAWYER: You went to law school.
KATY: I went to law school.
LAWYER: You’re waiting for your bar results.
KATY: I have no plans to sit for the bar exam.
LAWYER: But WHY, my dear? Why would you do that? Why in the hell would somebody go to school for all of those years just to sit down here listening to their iPod all day?
KATY: I’m just staying one step ahead of you. Why should I take the bar if I’m just going to want to work down here in a few years anyway? I’m living YOUR dream, buddy!
(LAWYER and FRIEND silently pick up their bag and EXIT.)
KATY: (calling after them.) What? Did you change your mind? (She shakes the ring of keys.) It’s up to you, but I’m going to need to train you in how to rotate out the perishables if you decide later you want to trade up after all…
KATY shrugs. She puts her earbuds back in her ears. She leans across the counter again and resumes moving her head to the unheard music.