76 Cents- A Tale in One Act

The Scene: Target Checkout kiosk

The Player: Incredibly witty and attractive woman of a certain age

The Action: The Incredibly witty and attractive woman is using the kiosk to check out her purchases

  1. Woman approaches kiosk.
  2. She tells the screen that she is using her own bags
  3. She takes the scan gun from its holder
  4. Uses scan gun to scan first item, laundry detergent- hears BEEP
  5. Woman puts detergent in her reusable bag
  6. Uses scan gun to scan T shirt- BEEP
  7. T shirt in bag
  8. Woman continues to use scan gun to scan next five sundry items, and place them in reusable bags that she has brought- BEEP- BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-
  9. Last item in woman’s cart are bananas. Bananas can’t be scanned because they are considered grocery
  10. Woman finds bananas on the screen in front of her. she punches in code and number of bananas-
  11. 4 bananas- BEEP
  12. Woman taps screen to pay.
  13. Total owed flashes up:
  14. AMOUNT OWED: .76
  15. Woman looks aghast at screen- her mouth drops open at the sight of her bill being 76 cents.
  16. Woman scratches her head and then realizes that the only thing she was actually charged for was the bananas
  17. Woman concludes that there is a problem with scan gun
  18. She stares at the screen for a few seconds

The audience sits with bated breath:

Does the woman pay only .76 cents for all her things?

The camera above the kiosk clearly shows her scanning every single item. Will the store even know the items didn’t register?


Will our heroine take every item out of the reusable bags and rescan everything, paying the full amount for her items?

If you were writing this play, how would you end it?