Somewhere there is a master script and somewhere else, Central Casting. A producer puts together the script, the actors from Central Casting and a director. And then, drama is “set.”

The director, really, does not have much to do. As long as the actors can learn their lines, the director can have coffee. Or, if we’re no longer drinking coffee, a more appropriate and inoffensive beverage. Water? Probably not. Depletes the planet’s scarce resources, ya know.

Central Casting figures out the actors for each of the script’s roles, determining which thespian best suits the characters the script’s author drew.

Well, the point is, once we’ve been cast, we actors play our roles. And since Central Casting is never wrong about such stuff – they are, after all, CENTRAL Casting – the performances are pretty predictable and flawless.

A raised eyebrow here, a quirky gesture there. But, once the wash is done, the character comes alive and off the page thanks to the actor.

When you go to a surgeon, they recommend surgery. Anyone surprised?

Dentists, we can confidently predict, will go on at extraordinary length about flossing and picking. Numb me with novocaine if you’re astonished at that.

And, at estate sales, sellers and buyers likewise have perfected their performances.

The estate sale manager and, especially, the sale cashier, will kibbitz and kvetch about – who else? – the annoying customers. This one’s too cheap. That one breaks stuff. The third guy switches price tags. In general, customers are a colossal pain in the rump.

If only we could get rid of them altogether, the estate sales people together moan.

Good idea. Would certainly cut down on all those pesky expenses incurred by estate sale companies. Like hiring worker bees to price the merchandise and schlep it from one room to the next. Or ticket-writers who total-up customer purchases on a receipt slip. No customers, no receipts.

The estate sale customers are every bit as predictable as the sale managers. The prices are outrageous, they exclaim to one another and at every single sale. And the merchandise is, uniformly, terrible. Worse than junk. And there’s so little of it!

Sidebar: the two individuals who return from dinner out at a restaurant. One complains, “The food was terrible!” The other, not to be outdone, says: “And the portions were so skimpy!”

I think it was the existentialists who said, “Hell is another person.”

And it was some British guy who muttered something about all the world’s a stage and we’re merely extras from Central Casting.

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