Inappropriate Response: I’d Like to Report a Robbery

As my very first Second City class comes to a close, I’ve already started pre-preparing (is that even a thing?) for next term, when I’m taking Beginning Writing with The Onion. In one of the first articles I’ve pre-written, Tom Hanks makes a cameo as a cannibal. (Have I mentioned how much fun taking classes at Second City is yet?)

My last assignment for Writing I was to create an ‘inappropriate response’ scene. It’s a classic comedic scene where you take a situation everyone knows — a wedding, a funeral, a job interview — and give either one or all but one of the characters an inappropriate response to a sane character or situation. I decided to poke a little fun at two situations in the media these days: police competence (or lack thereof) and not believing victims.

The apex of police competence: the Blues Brothers.
The apex of police competence: the Blues Brothers.

CAST

Amber Benson– robbery victim, 20s

Smith – police officer, male, 40s

Anderson – police officer, female, 40s

(Police station)

AMBER

I … I’d like to report a crime, officer!

SMITH

(shuffling paper, barely looks at Amber)

Yeah, so would I! Overworking!

AMBER

(stares at Smith)

What? What? I don’t understand, Officer!

SMITH

It was a joke; get it? Sheesh.

AMBER

(Looks at Smith quizzically) I’m sorry, but it’s hard to laugh right now. My house was just robbed.

SMITH

Fine. Jeez. Just trying to lighten the mood. Your vibe’s all, “Ooh, I’m a robbery victim!” Kinda a downer, you know?

AMBER

I’m … sorry?

SMITH

(not paying attention, filling out paperwork)

Tha’s better. ‘kay, go ahead. Report your “crime” Miss … ?

AMBER

Yes, that’s right, Officer … (looks at name tag) Smith. Officer Smith. My name is Amber Benson.

SMITH

(Absentmindedly.) So, you say you invited some people into your house for cookies and milk?

AMBER

What? No, no one came to my house for cookies and milk. I was robbed! My front door was broken in and–

SMITH

Sure it was. Twenty-third house this week, apparently. Just in the North Greenville precinct alone. What do you think the odds of that happening are?

AMBER

Well, now that I’m in the North Greenville Police Station trying to report a robbery, a little higher than I would have suspected. Is there someone else here who can help me?

SMITH

(exasperated)

Sure. (Sighs, audibly annoyed. Turns backwards toward precinct, shouts out) Anderson! Come on out here! We got a live one!

ANDERSON

Yeah, Partner? What do you want?

SMITH

Lady here says her house was robbed.

ANDERSON

Well, that sounds like a pretty serious crime, Smith.

AMBER

Ah, thank god. Hello, Officer (looks at name tag) Anderson. I’d like to report a robbery.

ANDERSON

I’m so sorry this happened to you, Miss … ?

AMBER

Amber Benson, ma’am. Thank you for helping! (Glares at Smith)

ANDERSON

Of course, Amanda.

AMBER

My name is Amber, ma’am. Amber Benson.

ANDERSON

Got it, Andrea. Okay, Miss Beauregard, I’m going to ask you a few questions about your robbery.

AMBER

Okay, well, at least it seems like we’re getting somewhere.

ANDERSON

First, and I want you to know you can trust me. I’m here to help, okay?

AMBER

Yes, ma’am. (Sigh.) Thank you. This has been very difficult for me, and I appreciate your understanding.

ANDERSON

I completely understand. I want you to feel like you can tell me anything. … Now, was it a “real” (air quotes) robbery?

AMBER

I don’t understand. I mean, someone broke into my house, stole my jewelry box, iPhone and laptop. I guess that’s a real robbery, right?

ANDERSON

You guess? Hmm. Here, let me clarify.

AMBER

Please do!

ANDERSON

I meant, was it a, you know, “robbery-robbery” (air quotes emphasized)? Or did you just, you know how it is, just kinda sorta forget to lock your door one night? You can tell us.

AMBER

What?!

ANDERSON

It’s okay if you did. You can confess to us, Agatha. In order to proceed, we need to know whether or not this was what we in the biz call a “legitimate” robbery. Did you leave your laptop in your house? Maybe sitting out on the open on your desk?

AMBER

I mean, I guess. My laptop was on my desk where it always is. But my house was locked– and, well, it’s MY house!

ANDERSON

Uh huh. How’s they get in the front door, Allison?

AMBER

Amber. They smashed a window to open the front door from inside.

ANDERSON

(Looks at Smith knowingly)

So, the entire front window or just a window pane?

SMITH

Ten dollars it was the window pane.

ANDERSON

You’re on, Smith.

AMBER

Actually, yes, you’re right. It was one window pane. They must have reached in and turned the lock from the inside. There’s a ton of blood on the broken glass and dripping onto the floor all over my house! Surely you can get DNA evidence from this!

SMITH

(Slapping the table hard) Yes!

AMBER

Yes, you’ll be able to get DNA evidence? Can you catch the guy who did this?

SMITH

Yes, I knew it was just the pane! Pay up, Anderson!

ANDERSON

(Pulling $10 out of her wallet) You win this time, Smith. But I’m still in the lead, 7 to 5.

AMBER

You guys take bets on robberies? What sort of police station is this?

SMITH

Oh, we only do it when it’s, you know, “certain” kinds of robbery.

ANDERSON

So, let’s get back to our interrogation, Aurora Borealis.

AMBER

Amber. My name is Amber Benson.

ANDERSON

Sure it is. Now, about your insurance policy … How much was your laptop insured for?

AMBER

I didn’t even have insurance! Can you just help find the robber? I’d really like to be able to sleep tonight.

SMITH

Hold on, there, Miss Robbery Victim. Why so nervous?

AMBER

You know what? I think I’m going to just call 911. (Leaves as SMITH and ANDERSON shuffle paper, organizes precinct desk. Smith puts something on counter.)

ANDERSON

What’s that?

SMITH

Oh, have you not seen my new iPhone yet?

ANDERSON

(Bends down to look closer) Nice!

SMITH

Hey, are those new earrings?

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