The play begins with Troy and his friend Bono entering into Troy’s yard after a long day at work as trash collectors. It is Friday, which is payday, and they have started their weekly ritual of drinking and laughing and telling stories over a bottle of alcohol. It is revealed that Troy recently asked their white boss, Mr. Rand, why he only lets white men drive the garbage trucks, while the black men stay in the back and lift the trash. When Mr. Rand told him to take it up with the union, Troy filed a complaint, and they are waiting to see what becomes of it.
Troy and Bono also talk about a woman named Alberta whom they have seen out a few nights, and Bono questions Troy’s intentions with her. Troy denies that anything is going on, just as his wife Rose enters from the house. Troy tells the story of having first met Rose and they all laugh and have a good time reminiscing about the old days. Rose brings up that their son, Cory, is being recruited for a football scholarship,