I am pretty sure this concept is stolen from “Who’s Line is it Anyway?”, but hey, most intro to improv courses do it too, right? In “Well, In That Highly Unlikely Situation” the premise is a discussion of what would you do in the aforementioned unlikely situation. There are only a handful of objects at one’s disposal to help in the solution to the problem too. For example, the situation is your car breaks down in the path of a tornado and you have a physics book, a toothbrush and a your lost cat’s collar; what do you do? Situations and tools will be selected by google’s auto-complete search options, suggested by my wife, brother, or anyone else that wants to play. Let’s have some fun.
The situation: There’s a horse in the house and it seems to want coffee.
Character elements: your fingers are all prune like, you love the smell of fresh baked bread, your shoes have a rock stuck in them.
Well, in that highly unlikely situation…
The air was damp. Like standing in a shower with only hot water. Steam covered the window in front of me and every breath felt like sucking on a moist towelette. It was gross.
I had just finished hand washing the dishes. My fingers were pruney and drying out. The distinct smell of lemon grass soap invaded my nose. I couldn’t decide which was worse; the soap or the air. Looking out the kitchen window, I saw the incoming cloud bank; gray and billowing. It was like a Stephen King book come to life. Lightning flashed in the distance, but no thunder sounded.
I wanted to check the weather. Find out just when the storm would hit and how hard. Like prepping for a heavy weight title, I needed to know my opponent. A shout and a slammed door stopped me in my tracks.
“We have a problem,” she said as calm as a clam. My neighbor stepped into the kitchen a beat after the jarring sounds from the front room.
“Can it wait?” I asked, hoping to sound as collected as she.
“It’s urgent. You know what urgent means, right? It means hurry up, kid,” she said turning out of the kitchen.
I followed of course. Loud noises, neighbors suddenly appearing in my kitchen; it was the stuff detective stories were made of and this story was unfolding fast. I tossed my dish rag to the counter and walked to the living room.
My eyes betrayed me. Standing in the front room, eating my couch, was a stallion, a mustang, a regular Mr. Ed. Four legs, four hooves and no regard for personal property this thoroughbred of disaster had entered my home.
“Well isn’t that something?” I said. My neighbor nodded her agreement and pulled out a slim cigarette.
“Do you mind?” she said, but did not ask. She lit up right there. I couldn’t blame her.
The horse ignored us, probably thinking the mere mortals on the other end of the room were no threat. He had a couch to eat after all.
Smoke filled the room. Combined with the ever present lemon grass and the horse’s wet tail, the whole place stunk. The only thing that could make matters worse would be a rock in my shoe. I thought too soon. I took a step toward the horse and felt the earth wobble beneath me. A rock. In my shoe. Irony was a cruel beast. Much like the beast eating my couch.
“Where ya’ going, flat foot?” my neighbor asked before taking a long drag.
“I’m serving an eviction notice to our friend here,” I said taking another step.
The beast neighed, fearing its couch feast was under threat. I stepped back.
“New plan then,” I said.
“Why don’t you bake a cake, rookie?” My neighbor suggested in a tone most sarcastic. I could not figure out the nicknames of choice.
“I don’t have any cake,” I told her, “but I can bake bread. I love that smell of fresh baked bread as a storm is coming in.”
She huffed and blew smoke rings my direction.
I returned to the kitchen, still smelling to high heaven of dish soap, but the wet horse smell was not yet there. Looking for flour, another crash sounded from the living room.
“What is it this time?” I shouted in that direction.
“Our four legged friend likes your coffee mug, hon. You should pick up after yourself,” my neighbor said full of judgement.
Thunder clapped outside and I heard the sound of hooves against tile floor. I ran to the living room to see what sort of destruction followed.
Once more my eyes betrayed me. No horse. No neighbor. I wondered if everything had been a dream, some sort of mental mirage my brain concocted to force me to make a loaf of bread. Was I losing my mind?
I looked up to make sure the world was real and saw a cloud of smoke clinging to the ceiling.
Maybe my neighbor just has really odd habits.