Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Great Day of Service Skit, 2004

This skit was written in advance of Dunwoody United Methodist Church's annual Great Day of Service. It was performed to glowing praise in front of a live audience by the DUMC Drama Group. Feel free to plagiarize.

Scene opens with Ebenezer Scrooge sitting center stage.

Offstage voice: Mail for Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge!

Scrooge walks stage left and retrieves mail.

Scrooge: [going through mail] Let’s see what we have here. Bill [toss] bill [toss] bill [toss] you may have already won [considers, then puts in pocket]. Hmm, what’s this? [Unfolds GdoS application] The Great Day of Service. Bah. Humbug. [toss]

Marley: [floating in stage right. Marley is dressed in work clothes and covered in tools] Ebeneeeeeezer!

Scrooge: [startled] Jacob Marley? You again! I thought we went through all of this last Christmas!

Marley: What? You think I have a lot of other things to do? It’s not like I have a life after all. Being dead that is. Get it? Have a life? [laughs]

Scrooge: Yes, yes. I see that your sense of humor hasn’t improved either. What do you want this time?

Marley: There’s more to being a good person than just Christmas, you know. The vow we all recited says that we’ll give our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service. How are you doing on the service part?

Scrooge: What. You mean the Great Day of Service? Is that what this is all about? Is that why you’re dressed like that?

Marley: Yes, do you like it? I only wear the chains at Christmas. This is my Great Day of Service ensemble. Are you prepared for the Great Day of Service?

Scrooge: Bah! There are lots of people that work on that. They won’t even miss me.

Marley: You are wrong, Ebeneezer. Today you will be visited by three ghosts.

Scrooge: Oh, not them again.

Marley: Yes, them again. You know the drill. Past, present, future, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Scrooge: What if I just promise now to sign up for the Great Day of Service. Can we just skip the whole ghost thing?

Marley: Well, the thing is, the three ghosts really don’t get much work this time of year. Halloween and Christmas is about it for them. I promised them some action … so, no. No skipping the ghosts.

Scrooge: All right, all right. Send in the first one and let’s get this thing over with.

Marley: [yelling stage left] Helen! You’re on! [exits]

Past enters stage left. She, too is dressed to work.

Past: I am the ghost of the Great Day of Service Past. Waaay back when it was still called STARS Day.

Scrooge: Yea, I kind of figured that. Good to see you again. I like the new outfit.

Past: What, this old thing? It’s not quite as fancy as my Christmas outfit, but much more comfortable.

Scrooge: I like it. It looks nice on you. Have you lost weight?

Past: Why yes, thanks for noticing. Atkins, you know.

Scrooge: Really? Well, you look great.

Past: Thank you, thank you.

Both pause and sigh.

Past: Oh, yes! The Great Day of Service. Here, hold my hand. I want to show you something.

They grasp hands. Past points into the audience. Scrooge squints, then recognizes something.

Scrooge: Look! There’s me! This must be years ago. I’m so thin! And I have so much more hair!

Past: Um, this was last year.

Scrooge: Oh. Never mind then.

Past: Look! You’re helping someone by fixing their ceiling. You’ve made a real difference in their life. Now they have a warm, safe place to sleep. And look over there! There are people sorting clothes and planting flowers. Children and their parents. Singles and couples. Old and young. It’s not a huge group, at least compared to the size of the church, but they’re all so happy.

Scrooge: Yes, it did make me happy to help out. I really had a good time.

Past: Then why did you throw away the form this year?

Scrooge: Well, no one I know is going this year. And it’s so early on a Saturday, and …

Past: Wait, wait. That sounds like a problem for the Present.

Scrooge: But, but I want to watch some more. Please, wait!

Past: Sorry. You know the rules. [floats out stage left]

Scrooge: Wait! Come back! I …

[Present enters. Large and in charge with a huge turkey leg in one hand.]

Scrooge: [obviously less then enthused] Oh. It’s you.

Present: Ha, ha, ha, ha! Yes! It is I! The Ghost of the Great Day of Service Present!

Scrooge: Kind of a long name. Can I just call you “Present”?

Present: Ha, ha, ha! Sure! Knock yourself out! I have come to show you scenes from the Great Day of Service this year. Take my hand. [puts turkey leg in pocket and offers hand]

Scrooge: Ewwww. [tentatively grasps Present’s fingertips]

Present: Look! Over there! See those people? Those are the small group of volunteers that put together the Great Day of Service this year.

Scrooge: Wow. That’s all?

Present: Yes! They’ve been working hard for months. The needs are so great and there are so many projects that need volunteers.

Scrooge: Hmmm. I never thought of it that way.

Present: And look over there!

Scrooge: Why, it’s Bob from my Sunday School class. He’s throwing away his Great Day of Service form.

Present: Yes, he doesn’t know anyone who’s signed up, and he’s uncomfortable going alone.

Scrooge: But, I had a great time going alone the first time! I met so many wonderful people. Besides, he doesn’t have to go alone. I’m going!

Present: Are you? Have you told him? Have you told anyone?

Scrooge: Hmmm. I never thought of that either. You know, you’re right. I am going to sign up. And I’m going to invite Bob. In fact, I’m going to invite my whole Sunday School class. You’ve convinced me, Present! I’ve changed! [pause] Can we just skip the future ghost? He really creeps me out.

Present: Sorry. I’m afraid not. Get it – afraid. Marley taught me that one. Funny guy, that Jacob Marley. Has he told you the one about having a life? Ha, ha, ha, ha.

Scrooge: Yes. I’ve heard that one. Very funny. He kills me.

Present: [exiting] Afraid not. Afraid. Ha, ha, ha, ha.

[Scrooge looks away and shakes his head. Behind him, Future enters Future is dressed all in black with a black hood or balaclava and a baseball cap – the louder the better.. Scrooge senses something looks around, and jumps.]

Scrooge: Ahhhhh…. Just kidding about the killing me, you know. Heh … heh. [swallows loudly] So, you’re the ghost of the Great Day of Service Future, right?

Future: [nods]

Scrooge: I like the hat.

Future: [shrugs]

Scrooge: And you have to show me things before you’ll leave, right?

Future: [nods]

Scrooge: OK. Let’s get it over with. [holds out hand]

Future: [ takes his hand, then points.]

Scrooge: I see .. an empty chair by a small table. And a crutch that has no owner. [pause] Wait a minute. [Stops, they look at each other.] You brought the wrong tape, didn’t you? This is the Christmas one, isn’t it?

Future: [hangs his head, then nods]

Scrooge: It’s ok. I understand. It happens to the best of us. Let me take a guess here. [counting on fingers] You were going to show me a Great Day of Service where no one whose up, people in need who aren’t being served, and maybe some sort of gravestone with my name on it.

Future: [nods vigorously]

Scrooge: Got it. Consider it shown. Really, I understand. [Future is trying to show how sorry he is] It’s ok. You can go now. Really. I got it.

Future: [Slowly backs out stage left]

Scrooge: Bye! You did just fine! Don’t worry. [Future exits] Phew! Let’s see here. [looks at watch] Only 10 minutes! They’re getting faster. Now, where’s that sign-up form? [picks it up] I have to get this filled out right away, then I have to start making some calls. I can’t wait for the Great Day of Service this year. I wouldn’t miss it for anything. [exits stage right]


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