STEVE, a lean, handsome man in his early 30s who works as a loan officer.
MELANIE, a petite, cute woman in her late 20s who works as a bank teller.
PETER, the president of Consolidated Bank, a tall, silver-haired man in his mid-50s.
An employee party in PETER’s luxurious penthouse. STEVE, who has had a few drinks but who is still quite sober, approaches MELANIE, who is sitting at the end of a couch.
STEVE: Is something wrong?
MELANIE: (a bit startled) Oh, no. I’m just trying to think of the last time I fed my cat. I think I forgot his dinner. He gets upset when his schedule is disrupted.
STEVE: What do you see in cats? I just don’t un-der-stand how people can get along with them.
MELANIE: I suppose you’re a dog person.
STEVE: (nodding proudly) Why, yes I am.
MELANIE: I think cats are better pets than dogs.
STEVE: No way. Dogs are better.
MELANIE: (shaking her head and smiling con-fi-dent-ly) But dogs are so dumb! You go out for a second to get the mail and when you come back they act like they haven’t seen you in a week!
STEVE: (crumples his face skeptically) Come on! Cats never pay attention to you! Dogs are af-fec-tion-ate. When you come home from a long day at work, they’re so excited to see you!
MELANIE: Oh, yeah? Well at least cats groom themselves. A dog won’t ever clean itself.
STEVE: I’d rather own a pet that gets dirty once in a while than a pet that has to relieve itself in a box!
MELANIE: So I suppose you enjoy taking your dog (groans) outside a million times a day.
STEVE: Well how about the fact that cats have to be pampered? They’re so fussy!
MELANIE: Cats simply have finer, more sophisticated tastes—like their owners. (smiles and folds her arms triumphantly)
STEVE: Cat owners are icy and detached.
MELANIE: Dog owners are messy and simple-mind-ed!
PETER approaches their couch, attracted by MELANIE’s outburst.
PETER: (holding out his hands as if surrendering) Whoa, you two! Calm down! Sparring over the superiority of the dog and the cat has been a staple of conversational small talk for as long as polite society has existed. The playful debate which springs from our love for our two favorite—but very different—companion animals always results in a delightful exchange. But the argument will never be settled. Actually, that’s part of its enduring appeal.
STEVE: (slowly looks from PETER to MELANIE) I’m sorry for snapping at you. Hey, maybe we should mingle. We can’t let this party (pauses and smiles devilishly) go to the dogs!
MELANIE: (taking his hand and nodding) You’re right. That would be a cat-tastrophe!
STEVE and MELANIE rise from the couch hand in hand and walk off to rejoin the party.