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A: Does that look like quicksand to you?

B: Yeah, I guess it does.

A: Hmmm. Quicksand has caused a lot of trouble in this town. A lot of heartbreak. A lot of… I don’t want to say tragedy…

B:  Right, no. Tragedy has elements of free will and irony. Quicksand just causes…

A: Agita? No. Bad outcomes. Nothing tragic, but nonetheless, nothing good.

B: Our town never really had the time to heal, I guess. But, no, I still never expected anything like this. This is a nice town, full of nice houses, and nice cars, and nice pets, nice streets and roadways, that nice little diner, and the nicest bar. Everything about this town is nice.

A: It even has people.

B:  Even if you don’t get into the people, about which I could go on, the town is very nice. Do I have to bring up that list of nicest towns in the region, where the town was listed three times for nicest nightlife, outdoor life, and cuisine in the category for towns with fewer than three restaurants? Do I?

A: No. This is a nice town. You don’t ever expect to see this kind of thing here.

B: Quicksand sucks.

A: I agree, my friend. I agree fully. And yet, here we are. Quicksand in a nice town. Again.

B: Maybe our town isn’t as nice as we think it is. If this can happen, there’s probably a lot else going wrong. We’re comfortable, after all, we’re complacent and we don’t imagine things like this can happen and then we act badly when they do. Maybe we don’t notice the little things that lead to this. That lead to the ruination of a town that’s frankly nicer than we deserve.

A: You never know what bubbles up from underneath, you mean.

B: So to speak, yeah, so to speak.

A: But I wouldn’t hold us responsible for this.

B: The town? I surely would.

A: I mean you and me.

B: Oh, as separate from “us,” as in the town? You and I?

A: “You and me.”

B: I was using a collective “we.”

A: A collective “we.”

B: Yes, a collective we that includes everybody in town, except for you and I.

A: Except for “you and me,” you mean.

B: Right. Not you and not I.

A: Oh, so “we,” as in “the town,” got it all wrong.

B: Yes, they did. They’ve become complacent and they take life for granted and this is a problem that we as a community have to deal with, just as soon as you and I tell them about it and get them to get us, by which I mean “themselves” off their asses.

A: We are lucky to have people like you and I in this community.

B: Yes they are.

A: Quicksand. Never thought I’d see Johnny “Quicksand” Rohrbacher in this town ever again, after what he pulled.

B: If that even is Quicksand.

A: Hard to tell since somebody shot his face off.

B: Well, it’s not our business, anyway.

A: Good point. Better you and I don’t get involved. It’s a community issue, after all. I’m sure we’ll all figure it out together.


Michael Maiello

Michael Maiello is a New York-based playwright, author and humorist. His work has appeared in McSweeney's, The New Yorker, and Weekly Humorist. He has two plays available through

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