Ortho-no-you-don’t-ists

CAST
WILL – Trying to fit in, but overall nice guy.
RACHEL – Will’s gf, a periodontist, but still a good person
CASSIE – Alpha periodontist, condescending
MICHAEL – Kinda a dummy, but excited!
THERESA – Fun, and then aggressive.

(RACHEL and WILL are sitting on a loveseat on the left, while MICHAEL and THERESA sit on a couch on the right. CASSIE stands between the two groups. Everyone is holding drinks. Except for WILL, who is uncomfortable, everyone is having fun. CASSIE is finishing a wild story.)

CASSIE
-And so I spent the whole last semester at school thinking “Wait… so does ginger really cause gingivitis – cuz momma needs her cookies spicy!”

(EVERYONE except WILL laughs uproariously, WILL chuckles to fit in.)

MICHAEL
Good one, Cassie! Man, I love stories about our shared profession and dental specialty – periodontology!

THERESA
Remember the time I replaced all the teeth on the model jaw at work with red Skittles, and when the first patient walked in, I said, “Talk about red complex bacteria!”?

CASSIE/MICHAEL/RACHEL
(Together, playfully groaning)
Yes.

MICHAEL
Theresa, I’m even mentioning it in my book.
(To WILL, explaining, he continues)
The Ontology of Periodontology. It comes out fall 2016. Harper-Collins.

WILL
Oh. Okay.

CASSIE
Will, don’t you have any interesting stories about periodontology?

WILL
Uhh. Not really. I mean. I’m not that good of a storyteller.

RACHEL
(Trying to cover for him.)
Yeah, leave him alone, guys. He’s intimidated. It’s his first time meeting my work friends.

MICHAEL
Rachel, why would anybody be intimidated by being among the brothers and sisters of our shared dental specialty – periodontology?

WILL
Well, actually, uhh, I’m an orthodontist.

(CASSIE, THERESA, MICHAEL, and JOHN laugh uproariously. An orthodontist! Ha! RACHEL and WILL are confused.)

MICHAEL
(laughing)
An orthodontist – now that’s rich!

WILL
I really am an orthodontist. I mean, for real. In real life.

(MICHAEL, realizing WILL isn’t joking, runs offstage, screaming in fear.)

RACHEL
Michael, what? Guys, you can’t keep doing this – you’ve chased off my last 2 boyfriends. At least he’s still a dentist. We know orthodontists. We work with orthodontists.

THERESA
(Aggressive from this point on)
Know them. Sure. Work with them… not if I can help it.

CASSIE
(condescendingly confused from this point on)
So, Will, if you chose dentistry, why not periodontistry? Were you concerned you were unable to handle the emotional rigors?

WILL
What? No, I mean, it’s just that as a kid I needed braces and-

CASSIE
(Laughing)
-No one NEEDS braces, Will.

THERESA
(to WILL)
You… You’re so superficial. I can’t believe it. You’re just trying to straighten out everyone’s “imperfections” because you’re so perfect and everyone needs to be just like you.
(Spits at WILL disrespectfully)

RACHEL
(Surprised, trying to ratchet things down).
Hey! You know what, that’s enough. Really. There’s nothing wrong with being an orthodontist.

THERESA
Whoa whoa whoa. Look at Mrs. United Nations over here.

CASSIE
Will, do you know what a coalescence of bacterial biofilm is?

WILL
That’s just plaque.

THERESA
It’s just plaque.
(Laughing to herself, continues)
Okay. Tell me, if it’s just plaque, then tell me what you’d tell a patient who has just plaque.

WILL
I’d probably tell them to floss more.

THERESA
(Enraged, like scary enraged)
Probably tell them to floss more!? Do you even know what we’re talking about? We’re talking about a disease, okay, an actual disease, that, untreated, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

CASSIE
Are adults toys to you, Will? Toys for you to play with and laugh at as they lose all their teeth?

WILL
Toys? What. No – I’m just trying to stand up for my profession a little bit here.

THERESA
It’s not a profession if you don’t have to go to school for it.

WILL
(At tipping point)
You do have to go to a school for orthodontics. I went to school for orthodontics. I went to a good school for orthodontics. And also, there’s tons of professions you don’t have to go to school for… Plumbing, to start with. And I mean, NBA players for a certain time… Moses Malone…

(WILL takes a second to get back on track.)

Look, people need braces-

CASSIE
-That’s simply not-

WILL
-Yes! Some people need braces, and guess what, orthodontics has been around for two thousand years! And also… I mean…

RACHEL
(Wowed by WILL, wants to contribute)
-They’re people too!

WILL
(Gaining momentum with RACHEL’s contributions.)
Yes! We’re people too!

THERESA
Horseshit!

WILL
(Standing up, not loud, but gaining in intensity like a locomotive)
We’re orthodontists, okay. We forge steel to bone. We turn hillbillies into Hollywood stars and when God reached down from his throne and gave us his only son, Jesus Christ, we looked God straight in the eye and said “I hope you have dental insurance because he’s gonna need braces.”

(WILL sits down satisfied. RACHEL is psyched. THERESA is repulsed. CASSIE has already moved on in her head. An awkward silence begins.)

CASSIE
…and I thought Pediatrics was pretentious.

(Blackout.)

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Author: TVsJakeStern

Having spent a period of his life owning and wearing a Danny Wuerffel jersey, Jake's learned to regret nothing. He's also learned to write, having studied comedy writing at The Second City in Chicago. When not learning, Jake prefers eating chocolate chip cookies and watching people bake him more chocolate chip cookies.

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