George Pappas: For me the Internet is just yet another way of being rejected by women.

Frank: What about you, is there someone else?
Kathleen Kelly: No. No, but… but there’s the dream of someone else.


Joe Fox: I like Patricia. I *love* Patricia. Patricia makes COFFEE nervous.


Joe Fox: What happened with that guy at the cafe?
Kathleen Kelly: Nothing.
Joe Fox: But you’re crazy about him.
Kathleen Kelly: Yes, I am.
Joe Fox: Well, why don’t you run off with him? What are you waiting for?
Kathleen Kelly: I don’t actually know him.
[cringes]
Joe Fox: Really?
Kathleen Kelly: I only know him through the, uh… you’re not going to believe this…
Joe Fox: Oh, let me guess. Through the Internet?
Kathleen Kelly: Yes.
Joe Fox: Hmm. You’ve… got mail.
Kathleen Kelly: Yes!
Joe Fox: Some very powerful words.
Kathleen Kelly: Yes…


Joe Fox: The Godfather is the I-ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” What day of the week is it? “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.”


Kathleen Kelly: Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, not small, but valuable. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.


Joe Fox: The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.
Kathleen Kelly: [exits]
Next customer in line: Tall decaf cappucino.


[Discussing the new FoxBooks superstore]
Joe Fox: Hey, you know what? We should announce ourselves to the neighborhood. Just let them know, here we come.
Kevin: Oh, no, this is the Upper West Side, man. We might as well tell ’em we’re opening up a – a crack house. They’re gonna hate us. Soon as they hear, they’re gonna be lining up…
Joe Fox, Kevin: – to picket the big bad chain store…
Kevin: – that’s out to destroy…
Joe Fox: – everything they hold dear.
Kevin: Yeah.
Joe Fox: Do you know what, we are gonna seduce them. We’re gonna seduce them with our square footage, and our discounts, and ourdeep armchairs, and…
Joe Fox, Kevin: Our cappuccino.
Joe Fox: That’s right. They’re gonna hate us at the beginning, but…
Joe Fox, Kevin: – but we’ll get ’em in the end.
Joe Fox: Do you know why?
Kevin: Why?
Joe Fox: Because we’re going to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants. In the meantime, we’ll just put up a big sign: “Coming soon, a FoxBooks superstore and the end of civilization as you know it.”


Schuyler Fox: Your father is getting married.
Joe Fox: Really?
Nelson Fox: Yes.
Joe Fox: Congratulations.
Nelson Fox: Thank you.
Joe Fox: Why?
Nelson Fox: Who knows?
Joe Fox: Love?
Nelson Fox: Possible.


Frank: [to TV interviewer] Thank your.


Christina Plutzker: [repeated by George and Birdie, to Kathleen] He stood you up?


Joe Fox: You know, sometimes I wonder…
Kathleen Kelly: What?
Joe Fox: Well… if I hadn’t been Fox Books and you hadn’t been The Shop Around the Corner, and you and I had just, well… met…
Kathleen Kelly: I know.
Joe Fox: Yeah. I would have asked for your number, and I wouldn’t have been able to wait twenty-four hours before calling you and saying, “Hey, how about… oh, how about some coffee or, you know, drinks or dinner or a movie… for as long as we both shall live?”
Kathleen Kelly: Joe…
Joe Fox: And you and I would have never been at war. And the only thing we’d fight about would be which video to rent on a Saturday night.
Kathleen Kelly: Well, who fights about that?
Joe Fox: Well, some people. Not us.
Kathleen Kelly: We would never.
Joe Fox: If only.
[pause]
Kathleen Kelly: I gotta go…
Joe Fox: Well, let me ask you something. How can you forgive this guy for standing you up and not forgive me for this tiny little thing of… of putting you out of business?
[Kathleen starts to cry]
Joe Fox: Oh, how I wish you would.
Kathleen Kelly: I really have to go.
Joe Fox: Yeah, well… you don’t wanna be late.


Birdie Conrad: [reading from Frank’s article in the Observer] Save The Shop Around the Corner and you will save your soul.


Kathleen Kelly: [Kathleen is excited at work and Christina thinks she’s in love] I’m in love? No! Oh, that’s right, I’m in love with Frank. I practically living with Frank.


Joe Fox: [about a sculpture on Nelson Fox’s desk] Porcelain?
Nelson Fox: Rubber.


Joe Fox: [refering to Kathleen Kelly] Oh, no, she’s beautiful, but she’s a pill.


Kathleen Kelly: [on “NY152”] What if he showed up, took one look at me, and left?
Christina Plutzker: Not possible.


Kathleen Kelly: People always say that change is a good thing, but what it really means is that something that you didn’t want to happen, has happened.


Joe Fox: Tweaking? A project that needs “tweaking”?
Kathleen Kelly: Yes.
Joe Fox: T-w-e-a-k-i-n-g.
Kathleen Kelly: -i-n-g. That’s what he said.
Joe Fox: I think he’s married. Married, three kids.


Kathleen Kelly: I could never be with someone who has a boat.
Joe Fox: I have a boat.
Kathleen Kelly: Oh.
Joe Fox: Which clinches it; we’ll never be together.


Joe Fox: [about Kathleen’s internet friend] He could be anyone! It could be that guy right there! And those flowers could be for you!


Joe Fox: [speaking to the grumpy cashier] Happy Thanksgiving… it’s your turn to say Happy Thanksgiving back.
Rose, Zabars Cashier: Happy Thanksgiving back.


Joe Fox: I think you’d discover a lot of things if you really knew me.
Kathleen Kelly: If I really knew you, I know exactly what I’d find: instead of a brain a cash register, instead of a heart a bottom line.
[gasps]
Joe Fox: What?
Kathleen Kelly: I just had a breakthrough.
Joe Fox: What is it?
Kathleen Kelly: I have you to thank for it. For the first time in my life, when confronted with a horrible, insensitive person, I knew exactly what I wanted to say and I said it.
Joe Fox: I think you have the gift for it. It was a perfect blend of poetry and meanness.


Kathleen Kelly: Is she a Republican?
Frank: I can’t help myself.


Kathleen Kelly: Oh, Birdie, what am I going to do? What would Mom have done?
Birdie Conrad: Well, let’s ask her.
[Birdie opens her locket, revealing a picture of Cecilia Kelly]
Birdie Conrad: Cecilia, what should we do?
[holds the locket to her ear]
Kathleen Kelly: Birdie…
Birdie Conrad: Shhh! She has no idea. But she thinks the window display looks lovely.


Joe Fox: How can you forgive this guy for standing you up but you can’t forgive me for this tiny little thing… of putting you out of business. How I wish you could.


Joe Fox: My father’s getting married again. For the past five years he’s been living with a woman named, Gillian who took interior decorating lessons at Caesar’s Palace.


Gillian Quinn: Kiss me, I’m going to be your wicked step mother.


Miranda Margulies: We can get the Times to write something. Or that nut from the Observer.
Kathleen Kelly: Wait, what… what nut from the Observer?
Miranda Margulies: Frank something? The one who’s so in love with his typewriter. This is just the sort of thing that would outrage him!


Joe Fox: Kevin, this is possibly the most adorable creature I’ve ever been in contact with, and if she turns out to be as good looking as a mailbox… I would be crazy enough to turn my life upside down and marry her.


Kathleen Kelly: [on closing her store] But the truth is… I’m heart broken. I feel as though a part of me has died and my mother has died all over again and nothing will ever make it right.


Joe Fox: [on Kathleen’s missing date] Will you be mean to him, too?
Kathleen Kelly: No, I will not. Because the man who is coming here tonight is completely unlike you. The man who is coming here tonight is kind and funny, he has the most wonderful sense of humor…
Joe Fox: But… he’s not here.
Kathleen Kelly: Well… if he’s not here, he has a reason, because there is not a cruel or careless bone in his body. But I wouldn’t expect you to understand anybody like that. You with your theme park, multi-level, homogenize-the-world mochaccino land. You’ve deluded yourself into thinking that you’re some sort of benefactor, bringing books to the masses. But no one will ever remember you, Joe Fox. And maybe no one will remember me, either, but plenty of people remember my mother, and they think she was fine, and they think her store was something special. You are nothing but a suit!
[pause]
Joe Fox: [crestfallen] That’s my cue.


Nelson Fox: First there was your mother. Then there was Lorette, the ballet dancer.
Joe Fox: My nanny.
Nelson Fox: She was the nanny?
Joe Fox: Yeah.
Nelson Fox: [laughs] I forgot that. Ironic. Then there was the ice skater.
Joe Fox: Also my nanny.
Nelson Fox: Really? That’s incredibly ironic. And then there was Sybil, the… uh… it’s an “A” word…
Joe Fox: Astrologer.
Nelson Fox: That’s it.
Joe Fox: Whose moon turned out to be in someone else’s house, as I recall.
Nelson Fox: Just like Gillian.
Joe Fox: Gillian ran off with someone?
Nelson Fox: The nanny.
Joe Fox: Nanny Maureen?
Nelson Fox: Yes.
[Joe bursts out laughing]
Joe Fox: Well, well, well… Gillian ran off with Nanny Maureen.
Nelson Fox: Yes.
Joe Fox: That’s *amazingly* ironic.


Annabelle Fox: Oh, that’s not my Dad. That’s my nephew.
Kathleen Kelly: You know, I don’t really think that HE could be your nephew.
Joe Fox: No, no, no, it’s true. Annabelle is my aunt. Isn’t that right, Aunt Annabelle?
Annabelle Fox: Uh-huh, and Matt is his…
Kathleen Kelly: No, no, let me guess. Are you his uncle?
[Matt giggles, shakes his head no]
Kathleen Kelly: His grandfather?
[Matt giggles harder, still shaking his head]
Kathleen Kelly: His great-grandfather?
Matthew Fox: [laughing] I’m his brother!
Joe Fox: [answering Kathleen’s very confused look] Matthew is my father’s son, Annabelle is my grandfather’s daughter. We are… an American family.


Kathleen Kelly: I love daisies.
Joe Fox: You told me.
Kathleen Kelly: They’re so friendly. Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?


Joe Fox: So what’s his handle?
Kathleen Kelly: Uh…
Joe Fox: I’m not going to write him, if that’s what you’re worried about. You think I’m going to e-mail him?
Kathleen Kelly: All right… NY152.
Joe Fox: N-Y-one-five-two. One hundred and fifty-two. He’s… one hundred and fifty-two years old. He’s had one hundred and fifty-two moles removed, so now he’s got one hundred and fifty-two pock marks on his face.
Kathleen Kelly: The number of people who think he looks like Clark Gable.
Joe Fox: One hundred and fifty-two people who think he looks like a Clark BAR.
Kathleen Kelly: [laughing] Why did I ever tell you this?
Joe Fox: One hundred and fifty-two stitches from his nose job. The number of souvenir shot glasses that he’s collected in his travels.
Kathleen Kelly: No! The number… his address? No, no, he would never do anything that prosaic.


Joe Fox: You can forgive this guy for standing you up, but you can’t forgive me for this little thing… of putting you out of business?


Kathleen Kelly: [on learning Joe’s identity] God, I didn’t… I didn’t realize. I didn’t… I didn’t know…
Joe Fox: Who you were with? “I didn’t know who you were with.”
Kathleen Kelly: Excuse me?
Joe Fox: It’s from The Godfather.
[laughs]
Joe Fox: Sorry, it’s from The Godfather. It’s when the… uh, when the movie producer realizes that Tom Hagen is an emissary of Vito Corleone. It’s just before the horse’s head ends up in the bed with all the bloody sheets, you know, wakes up and it’s… AAHH! AAAHH! AAAHH! AAAHH!
[pause]
Joe Fox: Never mind.


Joe Fox: It wasn’t… personal.
Kathleen Kelly: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. It’s *personal* to a lot of people. And what’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?
Joe Fox: Uh, nothing.
Kathleen Kelly: Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.


[trapped in the elevator]
Veronica Grant: If I ever get of here, I’m gonna start speaking to my mama. I wonder what she’s doing right this very minute.
Charlie: If I ever get of here… I’m marrying Oreet. I love her. I should marry her. I don’t know what’s been stopping me.
Patricia Eden: [rummaging through her purse] If I ever get out of here, I’m having my eyes lasered.
Joe Fox: If I ever get out of here…
Patricia Eden: Where are my Tic-Tacs? Ugh!
[pause]
Patricia Eden: What?


George Pappas: I’m going to get some eucalyptus candles ’cause it makes my apartment smell moss-ay!


Frank Navasky: Name me one thing, ONE, that we’ve gained from technology.
Kathleen Kelly: Electricity
Frank Navasky: That’s one.
[points to computer]
Frank Navasky: You think this machine is your friend but it’s not.


Joe Fox: Brinkley is my dog. He loves the streets of New York as much as I do. Although he likes to eat bits of pizza and bagels off the sidewalk and I prefer to buy them.


Kathleen Kelly: What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you.


Kevin: The electrical contractor called. His truck hit a deer last night, so he’s not going to be here until tomorrow. And the upstairs shelves are delayed because the shipment of pine we ordered has beetles.
Joe Fox: Very good. *Very* good.
Kevin: And we got a fifty-thousand dollar ticket for construction workers peeing off the roof.
Joe Fox: Great, that is great!


[in the backgroud horns are honking, tires are skidding and people are shouting in the street]
Kathleen Kelly: [seriously] Don’t you just love New York in the fall?


Joe Fox: Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.


Kathleen Kelly: Is it infidelity if you’re involved with somebody on email?
Christina Plutzker: Have you had sex?
Kathleen Kelly: No of course not. I don’t even know him.
Christina Plutzker: No, I mean CYBERsex.
Kathleen Kelly: No
Christina Plutzker: Well, you know what? Don’t do it- ’cause the minute you do, they lose all respect for you.


Joe Fox: Hey. This fabric on the couch, does it have a name?
Nelson Fox: Money.
Joe Fox: Huh?
Nelson Fox: It’s name is MONEY.
Joe Fox: Ah, Gillian selected it…


Birdie Conrad: What are you girls talking about?
Christina Plutzker: Cybersex.
Birdie Conrad: I tried to have cybersex once, but I kept getting a busy signal.


Nelson Fox: How much son? How much you payin’?
Joe Fox: Well, whatever it costs it won’t be as much as that exquisitely uncomfortable mohair episode there, which is NOW ALL OVER MY SUIT.


Kathleen Kelly: Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one. It got on at 42nd, and off at 59th, where, I assume it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake – as almost all hats are.


Frank Navasky: Kathleen, you are a lone reed. You are a lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce.
Kathleen Kelly: I am a lone reed.


Annabelle Fox: Maureen’s getting a divorce.
Joe Fox: Oh. I’m sorry to hear that.
Maureen: [giggling] It’s my own fault. Never marry a man who lies.
Joe Fox: That is so wise, yes. Annabelle, remember that.


Joe Fox: I’m sure you must be late for something – volunteering at the Henry Street Settlement, or rolling bandages for Bosnian Refugees.
Gillian Quinn: I AM – I’m having my eggs harvested.
Joe Fox: And getting those eggs harvested.


George Pappas: Who belongs to this fish?


Nelson Fox: Perfect. Keep those West-Side liberal nuts, psudo-intellectuals…
Joe Fox: Readers, Dad. They’re called readers.
Nelson Fox: Don’t do that, son. Don’t romanticize them.


George Pappas: The, uh, illustrations are hand tipped.
Joe Fox: And that’s why it costs so much?
George Pappas: No, that’s why it’s WORTH so much.


Kathleen Kelly: What is THAT? What ARE you doing? You’re taking all the caviar? That caviar is a garnish.


Kathleen Kelly: [to Joe] What is that? What is that? What are you doing? You’re taking all the caviar? That caviar is a *garnish*!
[Joe scoops up more caviar and dumps it on his plate]


Joe Fox: Is it about love?
[voice over]
Joe Fox: Please say no.
Kathleen Kelly: No.
[voice over]
Kathleen Kelly: How sweet is that?


Matthew Fox: F-O-X
Kathleen Kelly: That is amazing – you can spell ‘fox’? Can you spell ‘dog’?
Matthew Fox: F-O-X


Joe Fox: Whatever you do, just don’t listen to anything I say.


Kathleen Kelly: When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.


Frank Navasky: Joe Fox?
Joe Fox: F-O-X.
Frank Navasky: The inventor of the superstore, of course. The enemy of the mid-list novel, the destroyer of City Books. Tell me something: really, how do you sleep at night?
Patricia Eden: [walking up] Ah, I use a wonderful over-the-counter drug, Ultradorm. Don’t take the whole thing, just half, and you will wake up without even the tiniest hangover.


George Pappas: This place is a tomb. I’m going to the nut shop where it’s fun.


Joe Fox: Hello it’s Mr. Nasty.


Kathleen Kelly: I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly.


Joe Fox: [while in Kathleens store buy books for his Brother and Aunt] May i ask who you are…?
Kathleen Kelly: [not realising that Joe is the owner of Fox Books that she is about to belittle] I’m Kathleen Kelly and this is my store… and you are?
Joe Fox: [now in full realisation that she does’nt know who he is, wanting to get out as fast as he can] Joe… Just call me Joe… I’ll take these books…


Joe Fox: [about “NY152”] Maybe he’s fat. He’s fat. He’s a fatty.
Kathleen Kelly: I don’t care about that.
Joe Fox: You don’t care that he’s so fat, he’s one of these guys that has to be removed from his house by a crane? You don’t care?
Kathleen Kelly: [snickering] That is very unlikely. That is completely ridiculous.


Joe Fox: [a video on the news] I sell cheap books, I do. So sue me.
Joe Fox: Hey!
Kevin: That’s what you said?
Joe Fox: Well… yeah, that’s not *all* I said. I said – aww, I can’t believe those bastards! I said we were great. I said you could sit and read for hours and no one will bother you. I said we have a hundred and fifty thousand titles. I showed them the New York section. I said we were a goddamn Piazza! A place in the city where people can mingle and mix and be.
Kevin: Piazza?
Joe Fox: I was eloquent. Shit!
Kevin: Piazza…


Birdie Conrad: If you need more, ask me, I’m very rich. I bought Intel at six.


Joe Fox: I hope she doesn’t have one of those high squeaky voices like the mice in ‘Cinderella’, I hate that.


Kathleen Kelly: You poor, sad, multimillionaire. I feel so sorry for you.


Kathleen Kelly: [about “NY152”] He couldn’t possibly be the Rooftop Killer!
Christina Plutzker: Remember when you thought Frank might be the Unibomber?
Kathleen Kelly: That was different.


Birdie Conrad: You are marching into the unknown armed with – nothing.


Frank Navasky: [about Birdie] She fell in love with Generalissimo Franco?
Kathleen Kelly: Don’t say that. We don’t know that for sure.
Frank Navasky: Who else could it have been? It was probably around 1960. I mean, it’s not like he was something normal, like a socialist or an anarchist or something.
Kathleen Kelly: It happened in Spain. People do really stupid things in foreign countries.
Frank Navasky: Absolutely. They buy leather jackets for much more than they’re worth. But they don’t fall in love with fascist dictators!


Kathleen Kelly: [about her store] Soon it will be something really depressing. Like a ‘Baby Gap’.


Person in Theatre: Do you mind?
Frank Navasky: A HOTDOG is singing. You need quiet while a hotdog is singing?


Kathleen Kelly: You don’t love me.
[Frank shakes his head ‘no’]
Kathleen Kelly: Me, either.
Frank Navasky: You don’t love me?
[they both laugh]
Frank Navasky: But we’re so right for each other!
Kathleen Kelly: I know! I know.


Joe Fox: Mr. 152 Felony indictments.
Kathleen Kelly: Mr. 152 insights into my soul.
Joe Fox: Oh yeah. No competing with that.


Kathleen Kelly: I hope your mango’s ripe.
Joe Fox: I think it is. Hey, you wanna bump into me on say, Saturday around lunch time? Over there?


Nelson Fox: I just have to meet someone new, that’s all. That’s the easy part.
Joe Fox: Oh right, yeah, a snap to find the one single person in the world who fills your heart with joy.
Nelson Fox: Well, don’t be ridiculous. Have I ever been with anyone who fit that description? Have you?


Kevin: [At Cafe Lalo, spying on “Shopgirl”] You know what? She looks… I mean, she almost has the same coloring as… that Kathleen Kelly person.
Joe Fox: Kathleen Kelly with the little bookstore?
Kevin: Well, why not? You said you thought she was attractive.
Joe Fox: Absolutely, yes, why not. Who cares about Kathleen Kelly?
Kevin: Well… if you don’t like Kathleen Kelly, I can tell you right now… you ain’t gonna like this girl.
Joe Fox: Why not?
Kevin: Because it *is* Kathleen Kelly.


Joe Fox: I brought you flowers.
Kathleen Kelly: Oughhh… thank you.


[last lines]
Joe Fox: Don’t cry, Shopgirl. Don’t cry.
Kathleen Kelly: I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly.


Kevin: I always take a relationship to the next level. If that works out, I take it to the next level after that, until I finally reach that level when it becomes absolutely necessary for me to leave.


Kathleen Kelly: [in an email to Joe Fox] The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.


Kathleen Kelly: Why did you stop by again?
Joe Fox: I wanted to be your friend.
Kathleen Kelly: Oh.


Shopper: We should bomb Fox Books.


Joe Fox: [sitting behind Kathleen in the coffee shop] You know what that hankie reminds me of? The first day I met you.
Kathleen Kelly: The first day you lied to me.
Joe Fox: I didn’t lie to you.
Kathleen Kelly: You did too.
Joe Fox: No I didn’t.
Kathleen Kelly: Yes you did.
Joe Fox: No, I didn’t.
Kathleen Kelly: You did too.
Joe Fox: I did not.
Kathleen Kelly: You did too.
Joe Fox: I did not
Kathleen Kelly: You did too, I thought all that Fox stuff was so charming. F-O-X.
Joe Fox: Well, I didn’t lie about it.
Kathleen Kelly: Joe? Just call me Joe? As though you were one of those stupid 22 year old girls with no last name? Hi, I’m Kimberly, hi I’m Janice. Don’t they know you’re supposed to have a last name? It’s like they’re an entire generation of cocktail waitresses.
Joe Fox: Look, I’m not a 22 year old cocktail waitress.
Kathleen Kelly: That is not what I meant.


Kathleen Kelly: [Kathleen is in a daze after receiving an email from NY152. She comes into her shop and picks up a roll of Scotch tape] Can you beat that?
Christina Plutzker: Scotch tape? What is wrong with you?


Kathleen Kelly: I have something to tell you, Frank. I didn’t vote.
Frank Navasky: What?
Kathleen Kelly: In the last mayoral election, when Rudy Giuliani was running against Ruth Messenger, I went to get a manicure and forgot to vote.
Frank Navasky: Since when do you get manicures?
Kathleen Kelly: Oh, I suppose you could never be with a woman who got manicures…
Frank Navasky: Never mind. It’s okay. I forgive you.
[pause]
Kathleen Kelly: You *forgive* me?
[Kathleen gets up and leaves]


Joe Fox: [holding a drink] I better go deliver this. I have a very thirsty date. She’s part camel.


Joe Fox: [talking via email to “Shopgirl”] Do you ever feel you’ve become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora’s box of all the secret, hateful parts – your arrogance, your spite, your condescension – has sprung open? Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and walking away, you zing them? “Hello, it’s Mr Nasty.” I’m sure you have no idea what I’m talking about.
Kathleen Kelly: [talking via email to “NY152”] No, I know exactly what you mean, and I’m completely jealous. What happens to me when I’m provoked is that I get tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said. What should I have said, for example, to a bottom dweller who recently belittled my existence?
[stops and thinks]
Kathleen Kelly: Nothing. Even now, days later, I can’t figure it out.
Joe Fox: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could pass all my zingers to you? And then I would never behave badly and you could behave badly all the time, and we’d both be happy. But then, on the other hand, I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.
[pause]
Joe Fox: Do you think we should meet?
Kathleen Kelly: [shocked] Meet? Oh my God…


Birdie Conrad: You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life. Oh, I know it doesn’t feel like that. You feel like a big fat failure now. But you’re not. You are marching into the unknown armed with…
[pause]
Birdie Conrad: Nothing. Have a sandwich.