A series of mini-dramas based on public conversations, as overheard and rewritten by local playwright/director Aurora Stewart de Peña.
Overheard at the Ikea checkout at Kipling and QEW
Andrea and Lorna, mid-thirties, hold hands while waiting for the self-scan checkout.
They have many large, flat boxes on their shopping dolly. The boxes are stacked higher than either of their heads. The scan codes on the boxes have been arranged so that they’re all facing the same direction.
On top of the boxes is a hurriedly assembled collection including, but not limited to, soap dishes, toilet paper holders, candle votives, shower curtains in primary colours, throw pillows, small potted plants, Ikea-brand Tupperware, and plastic bags full of jasmine-scented tea lights in their own aluminum holders.
Lorna, in a leopard-print peacoat and torn jeans, licks a 99-cent soft serve vanilla frozen yogurt cone. With wide eyes, she stares at the other shoppers in line. Her mouth twitches.
The self-scan checkout beeps, signaling that it’s ready for the next customer.
Andrea, whose hooded zip-up has been unzipped, and whose ponytail is coming loose, peers around the highly stacked shopping dolly. She begins to push toward the check out.
Lorna drops Andrea’s hand.
Lorna: [mouth twitching] No, don’t.
Lorna licks her frozen yogurt.
Andrea shoves the dolly, putting her back into the effort. A small package of bubble-shaped solar-powered patio lanterns falls from the collection on top of the boxes.
Lorna picks it up, she begins to cry.
Andrea: What’s wrong?
Lorna: [wiping tears from her eyes] We can’t afford any of this.