By Peter Marshall
Monty Python-style version of Jesus and the woman at the well.
CUSTOMER - Must be female. Very agitated due to lack of clean water.
PR ASSISTANT - Uses a disguise during scene changes. Must be male. Androcentric bigot.
Mr JESUS - Pleasant, calm, collected, caring. Not obviously him to start but progressively more obvious.
(Scene: Customer and Public Relations Assistant sit stage middle at a desk. When Customer exits, he walks around the stage or audience and takes his seat at the table once again.)
CUSTOMER: Good morning.
PR ASSISTANT: Good morning. Would you like a drink? Orange juice, apple juice, vodka, white wine, Schnapps? I have some tea. (to himself) Women all like tea.
C: No thanks. I'm having a problem with my water works.
PR: Your water works? Oh, well, I don't know if I can deal with that. You should see a doctor.
C: Not that sort of water - tap water.
PR: Well, in that case you may have come to the right place. How can I help you?
C: I've written it all down on this sheet. I can give you more information if you need it.
PR: Hmm. Interesting. You'll forgive me but I can't make out some of this writing. It is yours?
PR: Ah, that would explain it then. When was the first time you noticed the colour of your water change from transparent to, if I may use your language, "a putrid yellow colour like post night club vomit"?
C: After we had the new pump fitted.
PR: I see. And who, exactly, fitted the new pump, madam?
C: Well, actually, it was a friend. A friend of a friend. A friend of a friend of my husband actually.
PR: Typical. And what sort of pump did this person fit exactly?
C: I dunno.
PR: You don't know. Do you know the make?
PR: What does it look like exactly?
C: I don't know...
PR: Well, I can't really help you. It was a bit of a waste of time you coming up here. It's always the same with you housewives. To be frank it's down to the friend of a friend of your husband to sort this out. As far as I can tell it's nothing to do with the supply.
C: Well, what am I supposed to do for water, exactly?!
PR: I don't know, madam. That's not my department.
C: Well, which department should I go to then?
PR: Emergency Supplies.
PR: Down the corridor and down to the left, second on the right, past the woman with the glasses on the front row, down the third aisle, jump the wide chasm, turn left off the M1 at junction 3, grab a taxi...
C: Oh.. okay. I'll find it.
PR: I doubt it.
(Customer exits and wanders around and enters again.)
PR : Good morning.
C: Good... hey, you're the guy I was just talking to!
PR: No madam, you must have me confused with someone else.
C: Well, I'm here to ask for an emergency supply.
PR: I have a twin in Public Relations.
C: Excuse me?
PR: An emergency supply. And why is that madam?
C: Because my water has turned putrid yellow.
PR: Of course it could be my friend Norris in room 274.
PR: Indeed! Putrid yellow. I see. Well, you need to fill out this blue form, cross check it with this form, use this carbon paper to make a second copy on form A15. I have a similar hair style to a man on the third floor.
PR: Hand this to PR, hand this to Finance, hand this to Production and do buy a coffee for me would you from the cafeteria, darling, come back up here and ask to see Giles, or Sandra if you prefer, I know what you women are like.
C: Excuse me?
PR: Off you go darling.
C: Oh for goodness sake.
[Exits and wanders around. Enters again.]
C: Hello, I've come for an emergency supply.
PR: Well, I'm sorry I can't give you one.
C: Why not?! What the heck am I supposed to do now?!
PR: I don't know - that's not my department. Besides, Jesus Unlimited is, shall we say, better dealt with mano a mano.
C: Oh. Whom do I speak to then? Can't I speak to them.
PR: I'm afraid Mr Jesus is a little bit busy today. He's seeing a veritable crowd of men this evening and a little later he is to see the President about a possible well installation on Golgotha. Ghastly place. No place for a woman. Besides, I've heard the installation rate is high even though satisfaction is guaranteed and water is on tap 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I doubt whether a woman of your profession - if you have a profession -would be able to afford it.
C: Sounds marvellous. Where do I sign?
PR: As I said, Mr Jesus is busy but if your husband would like to give us a call back on this number I'm sure they'll speak to him.
C: I can deal with it, you know.
PR: I'm sure you could, my dear lady, but the fact is that Mr Jesus deals only with men. Tall men, thin men, short men, fat men. Whatever man you care to mention, he deals with them all. Not women.
C: Excuse me? And why is that? From what you've been saying it seems that the purifying water of Mr Jesus' would be most use in the typically androcentric bigot's view of a demoralised depressed beaten housewife with no decent man to look after her children. Wouldn't you say?
PR: To be honest, madam, people in your position are the people who need it most.
C: You agree then.
PR: Yes, madam.
C: Sounds like it.
PR: I do have a problem with women asking for things to which they can have no claim and Mr Jesus' water is included. It is an exclusive club, madam, and your type are not welcome. Now leave this office before I call security.
PR: Good bye.
[Woman turns and exits energetically. Man sits down and continues with his work. "Outside" she pours a drink from a jug.]
Mr J: Would you mind?
C: Are you sure you won't catch anything?
Mr J: Excuse me?
C: Well, according to the rest of your fellow staff, women are the most unclean thing ever in the existence of humanity.
Mr J: Oh, I doubt that.
Mr J: Really. Do you like the water?
C: It's fine.
Mr J: We have more you know.
C: Well, I would like some more but it seems that I can't get any. I've been through 5 departments and had several heated discussions with the stupid guy over there.
Mr J: I see. Whom did you speak to exactly?
C: That guy in there.
Mr J: Ah. Simon Peter?
Mr J: If you want some water, I can get you a supply. You do want a supply, I take it?
C: Yes. Yes. But.. how much will it cost?
Mr J: Hmm. Well, life time commitment to the cause..
C: The cause?
Mr J: My cause.
C: Your cause?
Mr J: Yes. Mr Jesus. Nice to meet you.
(Both exit, continuing...)
Mr J: The plan to supply the whole world with my water.
C: A bit of a monopoly on a public resource, wouldn't you say?
(Continue talking to exit)
© Peter Marshall
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