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© THE TABLE
(Bruce is at the doctor’s office reception. He’s shifting in his chair nervously. He looks around the office wall to wall. His lips are moving as if he is taking deep breaths in and out. He sees the coffee table, he stands, takes the table and moves it away from him)
MEDICAL SECRETARY: Mr. Bruce Tea?.
BRUCE: (he stands and goes to the reception desk) Yes, it’s me.
MEDICAL SECRETARY: You may go in. The doctor is waiting for you.
(He enters the doctor’s office. Dr. Lier is at his desk)
DR. LIER: Good afternoon.
BRUCE: Good afternoon, doctor.
DR. LIER: Please sit down, (Bruce sits) and tell me what can I do for you.
BRUCE: (nervously) I have a serious problem, doctor, and I don’t know what to do. I am really worried!.
DR. LIER: Tell me what’s wrong.
BRUCE: I can’t eat anything, doctor.
DR. LIER: Do you have a problem chewing, or swallowing the food?.
BRUCE: None. I can’t eat at my dinner table. That’s the problem. The table!.
DR. LIER: What’s wrong with your table?.
BRUCE: Every time I’m getting ready to eat, I think there’s someone under the table. I’m really scared, and this is making me crazy.
DR. LIER: Mmmm…
BRUCE: What’s wrong with me, doctor?.
DR. LIER: I can’t give you a diagnosis right now. I’ll have to run some tests, and after that, you will begin your treatment.
BRUCE: How long will it take me to get well?.
DR. LIER: That depends on you. You must keep in mind that psychotherapy is a long-term process so don’t expect any instant solutions to you problem. BUT, if you come to therapy twice a week, I can reassure you that in approximately six months you will be cured.
BRUCE: And will I be able to eat at my table without being scared?.
DR. LIER: Of course!. All your fears and phobias will disappear. But I must tell you, that if you interrupt your treatment, you will not see any improvement in your symptoms. Is that clear?.
BRUCE: Yes, I understand. When can I start?.
DR. LIER: Come tomorrow morning to take some psychological tests. It is important to assess the presence of certain conditions.
BRUCE: Do you mean like schizophrenia?.
DR. LIER: Oh no. I’m talking about depression, anxiety, anger control, or stress.
BRUCE: How much will testing cost?.
DR. LIER: Three hundred dollars.
BRUCE: Oh my God, that’s a lot of money!.
DR. LIER: Do you want to get well, yes or no?.
BRUCE: Yes, I do. I was saving some money to buy a new car, but I prefer to invest it in my mental health.
DR. LIER: I congratulate you on your decision. Now, the weekly cost for two therapy sessions is two hundred dollars.
BRUCE: Two hundred dollars for two sessions a week?. That’s a hundred dollars per session!.
DR. LIER: That’s right. You’re good in Math!.
BRUCE: How long do therapy sessions last?.
DR. LIER: Fifty minutes.
BRUCE: That’s not even an hour doctor, but I’ll be here tomorrow.
DR. LIER: (he stands) Very well Mr. Tea. Now please, go with my secretary, she will schedule your appointment.
BRUCE: (he stands) Thank you very much. See you tomorrow. (he leaves the doctor’s office, approaches the secretary, and takes out his wallet) How much is it?.
MEDICAL SECRETARY: A hundred dollars.
BRUCE: A hundred dollars for a ten-ten minute talk to the doctor?. That’s what I earn in a whole week!.
MEDICAL SECRETARY: Dr. Lier is the best psychiatrist in town.
BRUCE: (yelling) I know that’s why I’m here!.
MEDICAL SECRETARY: You don’t have to yell at me.
BRUCE: (he gives her the money) Here’s the money.
MEDICAL SECRETARY: Do you need a receipt?.
BRUCE: Ha, ha, ha, a receipt is the last thing I need right now. If I knew how much it would cost me being afraid of eating at my dinner table just because I thought someone under IT was going to come out and get me, I wouldn’t have come to see the doctor…or better yet…I would have let him take me away and devour me!.
MEDICAL SECRETARY: What?. That’s the serious problem you have?. I can’t believe it!.
BRUCE: It’s easy for you to say. I have been starving for days, and I haven’t been able to sleep at night because I’m always hungry. But tell me…what would you do in my place?.
MEDICAL SECRETARY: Me?. I would cut the table legs!.
BRUCE: (surprised) Wow, I never thought of that. You have solved my problem. Thank you so much. You have saved me thousands of dollars. (Walks to the door) Now I see myself in my brand new car!.
MEDICAL SECRETARY: Hey wait!. What about tomorrow’s appointment?.
BRUCE: I won’t be coming. Tell the doctor I’m cured!.
(He leaves the stage)
MEDICAL SECRETARY: Oh no, another patient who cancels psychotherapy sessions because of my big mouth. I hope Dr. Lier never finds out!.
Author: K I D S I N C O
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Tags: doctor, fears, medical secretary, phobia, psychiatrist, secretary, table