by Lachlan Meurer
Three friends of Bob chat to him in an internet chat room about his life and
why bad things have been happening to him. When the mysterious papabear enters
they all react differently to his perception of the situation. This short play
is a look at different views of suffering in the world in the context of today's
(Note: The play requires 5 swivel chairs, five computer keyboards and any other added props to help. The characters are based on the book of Job. It was written for an Australian audience so may need to be altered slightly for an international audience. It also has a subplot of materialism.)
Inspired by the book of Job.
neoistheone - rich restaurant owner who believes in God's blessings. Opinionated,
materialistic but sincere.
cyberspunk- funny, abrupt and clueless. Friendly but ultimately an immature Christian.
meloncholy17 - convinced that God is punishing joebob for some secret sin. Likeable, misguided but open.
Joebob- a guy who's has had serious misfortune and is confused about it all.
Papabear - God. Sits back and listens to most of it then speaks at the end.
(We see five in swivel chairs all in a line. L-R cyberspunk, joebob, papabear, meloncholy17, neoistheone. Backs to audience. When logged out, backs are to audience; when logged in they face the audience. They each have computer keyboards on their laps. Each character is at his own home, so they are sitting and acting as if no one is looking. Some are eating, etc. As they speak, their hands are typing. They speak the words in brackets, as they are speaking what they are typing.)
(Papabear turns around first. Then cyberspunk, then neoistheone.)
Neoistheone: Logon neoistheone Is anyone in here (question mark)?
Cyberspunk: Hey there Dooby. It's quiet in here tonight. I just came in here myself I'm waiting for Newlyweds to start.
Neoistheone: Hi cyberspunk, I'm glad it's you.
Cyberspunk: I'm listening (dot dot dot).
Neoistheone: Have you heard from Bob. I got a call from him tonight -
Cyberspunk: Oh poor Bob. Insert sad face. He's been through so much, what now (question mark)?
meloncholy17: Login meloncholy17. Good evening dooby and cyberspunk. Of all the Gin joints in all the world (dot dot dot)
cyberspunk: Hey good lookin' (exclamation mark)!
Neoistheone: Have you heard from Bob (question mark)?
Melancholy17: I hadn't heard from him in ages (stop). I did speak to him last weekend; he did tell me about his wife wanting a separation (stop). It's a shocker
Cyberspunk: Well, as Christina would say, what a girl wants, what a girl needs, what ever makes you happ-
meloncholy17: She never did get over their daughter dying, did she.
Cyberspunk: That's so sad.
Neoistheone: But how do you (dot dot dot)
meloncholy17: What do you type to someone like that, I just froze. I didn't know what to do, so neither of us typed for like a minute. Sometimes silence says so mu-
cyberspunk: Did either of you guys watch "Newlyweds" last week (question mark)?
Neoistheone: Bob rang me tonight to say he was made redundant. But don't let him know that I told you.
Cyberspunk: Insert crying face.
joebob: Logon joebob.
meloncholy17: Speak of the (dot dot dot)
cyberspunk: Hey Bob. We we're discussing how our jobs were going. How is yours (question mark)?
neoistheone & meloncholy17: cyberspunk (exclamation mark)!
joebob: Hi everyone. Not good, cyberspunk, but I have a feeling news travels fast.
meloncholy17: Someone upstairs, I think, has it in for you.
neoistheone: Sorry Bob, I thought we could pray for you.
joebob: Thanks, but I think anything that could go wrong already has (dot dot dot) insert puzzled face.
meloncholy17: Hey, you still have breath in your lungs, he could take away.
Neoistheone: Actually, I meant we could pray so God can reveal to you what you are doing so wrong.
Joebob: What do you mean (question mark)?
Neoistheone: Look, it's pretty obvious that you are a good guy. But bad stuff doesn't happen to good people, God has good stuff for us and he wants us to be blessed.
meloncholy17: Have you been flogging stuff from the office (question mark)?
Joebob: No (exclamation mark)! God has given me lots of stuff in the past (dot dot dot)
Neoistheone: And now he has taken it away. Think about it
Joebob: I have been, believe me. I'm not perfect but I've been pretty darn close to God recently.
neoistheone: Ahhh, pride.
meloncholy17: But it is the subconscious that does all the damage. Your thought life, your temptations
joebob: Well, I have been struggling a bit lately with temptation.
meloncholy17: Porn, I knew it (exclamation mark)!
Joebob: No, I've been sad.
Cyberspunk: Like derr (dot dot dot). Like Christina says, it makes you a little bit stronger, makes you a little bit smarter, thanks for making me a fighter.
meloncholy17: Something is making God angry
neoistheone: God wants us blessed, to have lots of stuff and you are not and do not. He doesn't change.
Cyberspunk: Just gotta chuck a tape in for newlyweds. BRB.
meloncholy17: Come on Bobby, you're holding out on us. What have you been up to (question mark)?
neoistheone: Its quite simple, Bob. People will see we are blessed and they will want to be too, and become Christians
joebob: (dot dot dot) I thought it was the love that we showed for each other.
neoistheone: and when people are getting saved, then God's pleased and we are Blessed.
Cyberspunk: Jessica just thought Buffalo wings came from buffaloes, capital LOL.
joebob: I don't know, maybe God IS angry but I don't know why.
meloncholy17: Of course he is. And if you don't know why you are obviously not in right relationship.
Cyberspunk: All things work for the good of those who love him Bobby. I have the perfect picture to send you
Joebob: Alright then.
Neoistheone: I have the largest TV set in the church now and the richest people in town come to my restaurant. Councillors come into my restaurant regularly.
Cyberspunk: Attach photo16. Send.
Neoistheone: And they always say, open quote "you have so much stuff" close quote. They are so close to coming to church.
Cyberspunk: Get the picture yet
meloncholy17: What's the picture (question mark)?
joebob: It's of a kitten and a puppy lying upside down hugging each other with a verse saying "God is love."
Cyberspunk: I hope you're blessed by it. Very appropriate I think.
Neoistheone: If you pray and get your life together God won't be so angry.
cyberspunk: You'll get back together with your wife and you can always have lots more babies to make up for the one that died.
meloncholy17: cyberspunk, you're as subtle as Fahrenheit 911.
Joebob: Actually, I can't.
Cyberspunk: Why, is she barren (question mark)?
joebob: No (exclamation mark). I just got a little procedure-
Neoistheone: You mean you got a-:
meloncholy17: You went to the -
joebob: Yes, I did and got a-
Neoistheone: Did you really, does it-
meloncholy17: so what does that mean -
cyberspunk: What (exclamation mark)!
Jeobob: Look, I don't want to talk about it anymore.
Neoistheone: Well those things are reversible anyway.
Cyberspunk: Oh you had the snip (exclamation mark). Teehee.
meloncholy17 & neoistheone: cyberspunk (exclamation mark).
Cyberspunk: Oops, I did it again.
joebob: Conversation closed. We've chatted a lot in this room, cyberspunk, but I don't know what your real name is.
Neoistheone: Yeah, cyberspunk, fess up.
Cyberspunk: Well, it's Christina.
meloncholy17: We don't believe you.
Cyberspunk: It's Brittany Delta Anniston.
Neoistheone: What is your real name?
Cyberspunk: Alright, alright, it's Valrai
meloncholy17: well, we know she's not lying, cause that name's too silly to be made up.
papabear: Logon papabear. Ah hi, can I join in.
cyberspunk: Oh, you have one of those things where we can hear through the speakers. How cute!
neoisthone: Sure can, who are you (question mark)?
meloncholy17: Can hear you loud and clear.
papabear: Oh, I have all sorts of names.
Neoistheone: Who are you (question mark). I don't recognize your voice.
meloncholy17: Are you a regular?
Papabear: I'm around a lot.
Cyberspunk: Ooh, elusive, I like that.
meloncholy17: Your voice is familiar but I haven't heard it in a while.
Joebob: I know who you are (dot dot dot).
Papabear: I know you do.
Cyberspunk: We've been talking about Bobby's probs.
meloncholy17: Didn't your mother ever tell you not to talk to strangers Valroo, Vacree (dot dot dot) cyberspunk..
Joebob: Its okay, we've known each other for years. He knows all about it anyway.
Neoistheone: After me though, right (question mark)?
Neoistheone: I guess you didn't like his advice so you came to me dot. What did he say (question mark)?
Papabear: I asked him who was he to know the mind of God.
Cyberspunk: What's Fahrenheit 911?
Neoistheone: It's certainly implied in the Bible, mate, what God's mind says. We are blessed
papabear: By Gods grace, not by your hard working.
neoistheone: True, but we can earn that favour and he obviously hasn't, right meloncholy17 (question mark)?
meloncholy17: He's done something to provoke God's wrath.
Cyberspunk: Well, as Christina would say, actually Christina doesn't have anything to say about this situation.
All: Hallelujah (exclamation mark).
Papabear: Why do you think God is angry?
Neoistheone: You are a dim, dim, man papabear. I'm outta here. This chat room is not big enough for the two of us.
meloncholy17: You don't have to get upset about it.
Neoistheone: Call me, Bob. Logout neoistheone.
Cyberspunk: So how old are you papabear (question mark)?
Papabear: Older than you
Cyberspunk: Can you speak up; I can't hear you over my music I'm listening to.
Papabear: I have waiting for you to turn it down so you I can get a word in.
Cyberspunk: Waiting for what (question mark) (question mark)??
Papabear: I'll tell you when you're able to hear me.
Cyberspunk: Look, I've gotta go and watch Australian Idol. I know you, I just can't put a finger on where from.
meloncholy17: Where you ever on Newlyweds?
Papabear: No, but I'm friends with Paulini and Guy from last season. I'm on there when they are.
Cyberspunk: What's Fahrenheit 911?
Joebob: It's a documentary, cyberspunk.
Cyberspunk: Really? I don't get it. Talk to you all later anyway. Insert smiley face.
Cyberspunk: Logout cyberspunk.
meloncholy17: So why do you think God's angry, papabear?
papabear: How would you know God's angry? Would you know him if you heard him?
meloncholy17: It would be evident around you, and it is evident around Bob.
Papabear: The only thing evident is that you were not there when the stars were formed. You were not there when God made animals. Heck, you weren't even alive when computers were invented.
meloncholy17: It's all too much for me.
Papabear: Think about it.
meloncholy17: I'm off to bed. I will. Cheers. Logout meloncholy17.
joebob: So why has all this happened, God? What have I done to deserve this?
Papabear: Do you know the number of sand on the beach? Can you count the stars? How many hairs do you have on your head?
Joebob: How many?
Papabear: Eighty seven thousand three hundred and six.
(joebob pulls some out)
papabear: and three. Don't test me.
Joebob: Sorry God.
Papabear: All you need to know is I am God and I love you.
joebob: That's enough. Thank you. What now (question mark)?
Papabear: Trust me. That's it.
Joebob: Thanks, God, for reminding me of who I am and who you are. Logout joebob.
Papabear: Logout papabear
Copyright Lachlan Meurer, all rights reserved.
This script may be used with royalty payment, provided no charge is made for admission to the performance. In return, the author would like to be told of any performance. He may be contacted at: email@example.com