Avoid, Ignore or Quit

By Joanne Miller


A man interacts with a narrator, his wife and co-worker in a few vignettes that show how passive he is in living his life.  He is confronted with immaturity in conflict, laziness and giving up.


Pete Ė a man who tries to avoid confrontation, responsibility
Susan Ė Peteís wife
Jim Ė Peteís co-worker


(Scene: Pete is seated in an outdoor lounge chair with sunglasses, a drink and a newspaper up in front of his face.)

Narrator: Meet Pete Passive.

Pete: (Peering around newspaper) Pete who?

Narrator: Passive, Pete Passive.

Pete: Thatís not me.  Iím Pete Manning.

Narrator: Your name is Pete Manning, but you really are Pete Passive.

Pete: What are you talking about?

Narrator: Iím talking about how you live your life, how you behave and handle conflict.  Take for instance last night with Susan.

(Susan is sitting at a table in the background.  Lights up on Susan and Pete walks into scene.)

Susan: Look at this, Pete.

Pete: What is it?

Susan: Itís a brochure on camping at The Grand Canyon.  Letís take the kids on a real vacation this year.

Pete: Susan, you know we always go to my parentsí house on our vacation.

Susan: I know, Pete, but after 12 years of that I think itís time we had a vacation for our family.

Pete: My parents would never forgive me if I didnít go to their house for my vacation.

Susan: Pete, youíre a grown man!  You donít have to do everything your parents want you to do!  Weíre a family.  We need family time together.

Pete: My parents are our family too.  Weíre going there and I donít want to hear anymore about it.  (Plugs his ears and walks out of scene making noise to cover Susanís voice.)

Narrator: Now thereís a real mature way to handle conflict.

Pete: So maybe I didnít handle that the best way, but I usually do very well with other people.  Iím good at work.

Narrator: Oh, really.  Did you ever consider that laziness is just another form of passivity?  Letís take a look.

(Scene comes up on a coworker.)

Jim: Hey, Pete, come over here, will you?

Pete: Sure, Jim.  Whatís up?

Jim: I think thereís a mistake here.  If we go ahead with these plans weíll be putting siding over two windows and a door in this house.

Pete: Yeah, I know.  Thatís the way I laid it out.

Jim: You did?  Why would you want to cover up a door and two windows?

Pete: Do you know how much easier it is to just go right over the top of things like that?

Jim: Yeah, but wonít the owners be mad?

Pete: Nah, they wonít ever know unless we tell them.  They bought the house sight unseen and hired us to fix it up at our discretion.

Jim: Do you think this is right though, Pete?

Pete: Trust me, Jim.  Itíll be a lot easier, and no one will be the wiser if you just keep quiet about it.

Jim: Well, youíre the boss.  I just hope the neighbors donít tell them.

Pete: You worry too much, Jim.  Take life easy, thatís my motto.   Iíll get the plywood.  (Walks out of scene.)

Narrator: See what I mean?

Pete: Hey, I work hard enough.  Whatís wrong with taking an easier way?

Narrator: Yeah, the easy way sounds good, doesnít it?

Pete: Sounds good to me.

Narrator: Kind of like that race you were in, huh Pete?

Pete: Yeah, well I never should have signed up for a 2-mile race.  Iím really a short-distance runner.  You know what I mean?

Narrator: Yes, I know.

(Lights up on Susan and Jim holding poles with finish line tape.  Pete runs in place pretending he is running a race.  Part way there he sits down on the ground and pulls out a coke and chips.  He begins to cheer the ďotherĒ runners on.)

Susan: Come on, Pete.  Get up.  You have to finish the race.

Jim: Run, Pete.  You donít have far to go.

Pete: I went as far as I wanted to go.  Iím done running.

Susan: Then get up and walk.  Just finish the race.  Little Petey is waiting for you over here.

Pete: Tell him to come to me.  Iím tired.

Narrator: Nice example to set for your kid, Pete.  Just quit when the going gets tough.

Pete: Hey, who are you anyway and why are you on my case today?

Narrator: Iím just an interested bystander.

Pete: Yeah, well I donít want to hear anymore from you.  Go bystand somewhere else.

Narrator: Thereís just one more thing Iíd like to mention.  (Pete plugs his ears and walks offstage making noise as he did with Susan.)

Copyright John & Joanne Miller, all rights reserved.
This script may be performed free of charge, provided no charge is made for entrance or for programmes. In return, the authors would like to be notified of any performance. For further information regarding performance rights, they may be contacted at: NIJWMiller@aol.com.