Rachel, Clare and Samantha haven't seen each other since high school. They rediscover each other via Face Book and arrange to meet for lunch in a wine bar.
Rachel arrives first, wearing a smart Versace dress. She orders a bottle of chilled Chablis.
Clare arrives shortly afterwards, in grey Chanel. After the required ritualised kisses she joins Rachel in a glass of Chablis.
Then Sam walks in, wearing a faded old Barbour anorak, blue jeans and Wellington boots. She, too, shares the wine. Rachel and Clare look at her, then look at each other.
Rachel explains that after leaving school and graduating from Vassar in Classics she met and married Timothy, with whom she has a beautiful daughter. Timothy is a partner in one of New York's leading law firms. They live in a 4,000 sq ft house in Connecticut, where Susanna, the daughter, attends drama school. They have a second home in the dunes above Hilton Head.
Clare says that she graduated from Sorbonne medical school and became a consultant gynecologist. Her husband, Clive, is a leading A&E consultant. They live in Beverly Hills and have a second home in Aspen.
They both turn to Samantha. Sam explains that she left school at 17 and ran off with her boyfriend, Ben. They run a tropical bird park near Daytona Beach and grow their own vegetables. Ben can stand four parrots, side by side, on his Johnson.
Half way down the third bottle of Chablis, several hours later, Rachel blurts out that her husband isn't Tim, he's Tom and he's a county tax clerk in Red Bank, NJ. They live in a town house and have a travel trailer on a lot in Pensacola.
Clare, chastened and encouraged by her old friend's honesty, explains that she and Clive are nurses in L.A. They live in Oakland and have a timeshare in Denver.
Samantha says that the fourth parrot has to stand on one leg.
Doctors give drugs of which they know little,
into bodies, of which they know less,
for diseases of which they know nothing at all.