Though not the kind of company many people would like to keep, the two hoodlums are curiously–almost comically–human. While they wait dumbly, they get bored, hungry, and nervous. Their “orders” finally come down from above via the dumbwaiter and a speaking tube, but at first only food orders for dishes they have no way of fixing. However, the person sending the orders is presumably the boss (named Wilson, recalling former British prime minister Harold Wilson), so they must do something.
Their predicament in the basement room suggests human existence generally–life lived mostly without understanding but under pressure, especially when the orders come down from above. These thoughts lead to speculation about the nature of human beings and of God–or perhaps only about the dubious nature of organizations and governments (which seem largely to have replaced religion in modern life).