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Our helpful stage directions inform us that it's the same day.
We meet two men named Roy and Joe, who are in Roy's office.
An elaborate phone system with tons of beepy flashy things is the only object on Roy's desk. Roy conducts business on his crazy phone system while Joe sits in a chair and waits for him to finish.
"I wish I was an octopus," Roy tells Joe, as he presses a button to put somebody on hold. "Eight loving arms and all those suckers. Know what I mean?" (1.2.2.).
Joe has no idea what he means.
Roy flies through a million other people on the phone, pressing buttons and cursing all the way.
Eventually he stops and gets all profound with Joe: "I see the universe, Joe, as a kind of sandstorm in outer space with winds of mega-hurricane velocity, but instead of sand it's shards and splinters of glass" (1.2.14).
Joe doesn't seem to really get what he's talking about.
Roy asks Joe how things are working at the Appeals Court.
Joe says it's good.
It comes out that Joe does most of the work for the judge down there, some of which it seems like the judge ought to be doing.
Roy starts flying through people on the phone again.
Mrs. Stopper pops up. It looks like Roy borrowed $87,000 that he may or may not be able to pay back.
Roy spews one obscenity after another as he talks to the different people on the phone.
Tentatively, Joe asks him to stop taking the Lord's name in vain.
This seems to take Roy totally off guard. He laughs and apologizes.
On the phone, Roy asks his secretary to tell everybody to leave him alone. All of Roy's attention is suddenly on Joe.
Roy asks Joe what religion he follows.
Joe says he's Mormon.
Roy offers Joe a job in the Justice Department in Washington.
The sudden offer surprises Joe, and he says he'll have to think about it. It seems like a great opportunity, but he's got to see what his wife has to say about it.