By Christin Kuck
Two men meet by "accident" on a lonely road one evening. Joe Dogooder learns a lesson from Ima Cheater.
Matthew 20:1-16 (God is no respecter of men. It doesn't matter when you begin believing in Christ. Grace is grace is grace.)
(Scene opens on a dark stage. Two chairs are set up center stage. Lights flash brightly with the sound of squealing tires and a loud crash. Stage is dark for several seconds then slowly lights up. Two men enter, led by a woman in a long flowing white robe.)
Woman: Please be seated gentlemen. You will be attended to shortly (exits stage)
(Men sit in the chairs looking around the room dazedly)
Joe: What happened?
Ima: I dunno.
Joe: I was driving down highway 584 in my Chevy truck...
Ima: I was crossing highway 584 in my Lamborghini...
(Men pause, look at each other.)
Joe: Where do you suppose we are.
Ima: I dunno
(Lights brighten, flicker like a movie theater)
Joe: Why, would you look at that! Hey, that's me when I was a kid! I remember that. The neighbor's cat got stuck up in a tree. I crawled up in the tree and got it down. Had string all wrapped around it's tail. Mrs. Olmstead offered me a reward, but I turned it down. I loved that cat.
Ima: Hey, look up there. I remember that day. I must of been eight, no... nine years old! He, he, he. Yeah, I tied empty coke cans to the tail of some strange cat in the neighborhood. I chased it around on my bike. Never saw a cat run so fast! Every time I saw that cat after that it had a nervous tick. Hmm.
Joe: (points at imaginary screen) And that's when I became an Eagle Scout. Had to do a service project to earn that. I chose to build a park for under privileged children. Ahhh, I can still remember the bright, smiling faces pouring through the gate when the ribbon was cut. I received a citation from the President!
Ima: Hey, lookit that, will ya. That's probably some of the best graffiti I ever painted! Brand new park or something. That brick wall was just begging for some color.
Joe: And theres my first date. Irene MacGregor. I married her, you know. She was the most beautiful woman on the planet.
Ima: Hey, hey, hey! Theres my date with Gloria DiMagio! Met her in Humanities Class. Got her pregnant. She had to drop out of college.
Joe: Weve really lived different lives. Havent we. (Reaches over to shake hands), Hi, Im Joe Dogooder
Ima: (Ima shakes hand) Ima cheater. What do you do for a living?
Joe: Im a Social Worker. I just love people. Love helping them solve their problems.
Ima: Is that right?
Joe: So what do you do.
Ima: Im a lawyer. Corporate. I do pretty nasty things to get what I want. Just seemed like my calling in life.
(Joe nods at Ima as if he understands.)
Joe: Well. Hey look. Theres my wedding day. It was wonderful. Irene was gorgeous. Dont you think?
Ima: I spose. Look. Theres my wedding day! We flew out to Vegas. Divorced three days later.
Joe: Hey, theres the Thanksgiving day when I invited all the homeless people over to my house. Thats Lucy. Shes a bag lady. Irene made the best sweet potato casserole that holiday.
Ima: Oh, boy. I remember that Thanksgiving. I got tanked! Jack Daniels, I think. Had a fight with my Grandmother. Kept harpin on me about gettin married.
Joe: And there I am at work. Carmen Espinozas house burned down and I put together a pool to raise money for him and his family.
Ima: Yeah? Hey. I remember that day! I made Joe Krizan look bad and got a promotion for it! Lots of money. Made lots of money cuz of that.
Joe: Oh, thats a good memory. I gave a kidney to the boy next door. Boy, that was something. I cant tell you what it was like to see him when he was up and around again.
Ima: Oh, look at that. I help that old bat that lives next door across the street.
Joe: And look at--- huh? What did you say.
Ima: I help Mrs. Twilliger across the street.
Joe: What are you talking about?
Ima: The lady next door. Shes really not all the bad. Once you get to know her. Makes great chocolate chip cookies.
Ima: Mrs. Twilliger. The lady next door.
Joe: The lady next door?
Ima: Yeah. You got a problem with that?
Joe: No. Its just... Well. The whole time weve been sitting here youve basically been looking out after yourself and Ive been ... well doing good stuff.
Ima: Yeah. Youre basically right.
Joe: Well, What made the difference? What made you change?
Ima: Its stupid really. You dont want to hear about it.
Joe: Sure I do. Something happened. What was it.
Ima: Someone drag me to this thing.
Ima: Yeah. A pageant or something like that. It was Easter. You know. All my life, I never thought Id amount to a whole lot. Oh sure. I was a fancy attorney. I had lots of money. I had women, a hot car. At the pageant I saw Christ on the cross and there was this guy next to him. The guy was a thief. Like me, see. And Christ said to this guy something like, "Today, Ill see you in paradise." All cuz the guy believed. Nothing but belief. So I said to myself, "Hey. I can believe!" I realized, I could amount to something. I could be more than what Id been. That was it. That was all.
Joe: Belief. That was all?
Ima: Yep. Belief. Hey, Joe Dogooder. What do you believe in?
Joe: What do I believe in? Well, I just do good. Thats all. I dont really believe in anything.
Ima: Thats all? Isnt there more?
Joe: I dont know. I havent really thought too much about it...
Ima: Since I started believin it really made a difference in my life. I mean, I want to do nasty stuff, but I cant help myself. I just seem to end up doing good.
Joe: I dont get it.
Ima: Maybe you don't. But you will.
Woman: Gentlemen. Its time to go. Apparently theres been a mistake and you two need to go back.
(Both men stand up. Start walking off stage.)
Joe: Just belief, right?
(Lights dim. Suddenly lights are flashing. Hear sirens and voices in the background. "Heres one. I think hes still alive. We need assistance over here. Heres another one. Hes still breathing! Over here! STAT!")
© Christin J. Kuck - 1999. All rights reserved. This script may not be altered without permission from the copyright holder. This script may be freely copied and distributed, providing it is done so in its entirety. This copyright notice and the performance license information must be reproduced on all copies of the script.
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