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Characters: Mr. Harper, Terrie Underwood, Katherine Kent, Rob Henshaw, Storm Weathers, and Mr. Kendall.
(Scene begins with MR. HARPER entering from the rear of the auditorium as TERRIE enters from inside the Lodge Building.)
TERRIE: Oh, good . . . you’re back. Mr. Kendall called, and he’s on his way over.
MR. HARPER: Excellent. I was hoping he’d come before we left for the mountain.
TERRIE: Where are the others?
MR. HARPER: Oh, there were some Maasai warriors in town, so they wanted to stay a little longer. I had Joseph bring me back. And I’m glad he did because I’m anxious to hear what Mr. Kendall has to say. Well . . . I’m not exactly anxious. More like . . . eager.
TERRIE: Oh, no . . . don’t tell me he’s rubbing off on you already.
MR. HARPER: So, is everyone’s gear packed?
TERRIE: Yes. We just finished loading everything . . . including the food and . . . Katherine’s shoes. So . . . how do you think they’ll do on the climb?
MR. HARPER: Oh, they’ll be fine most of the way, I think. But when the oxygen level drops, that’s when it gets hard. I just hope I can make it. It’s been awhile since I’ve been up there.
TERRIE: Oh, you’ll do great. I know it. And by the way . . .
I thought your devotions this morning were excellent.
Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and
be wise . . . .” Who would have thought that you could
actually learn something from an ant!
MR. HARPER: Well, God did, of course.
TERRIE: You know, I’ve always been a hard worker, so I’ve never thought of myself as a sluggard, but then, when you talked about our relationship with God, it really got me thinking. Maybe I am lazy sometimes.
MR. HARPER: Well, we all need to think about how much effort we’re putting into our spiritual life—because you can’t be a spiritual sluggard and love God the way He wants us to.
(Then MR. KENDALL enters from the rear of the auditorium and proceeds toward the stage. He’s carrying a briefcase with a laptop computer and a clipboard with a list of animal names.)
TERRIE: Yeah . . . I see that now. (then sees MR. KENDALL) Oh . . . here he is.
MR. KENDALL: Good morning, Camp Kowabungo!
TERRIE: Uh . . . good morning.
MR. HARPER: And it’s Camp Kilimanjaro . . . not Camp Kowabungo.
MR. KENDALL: Really? When did you change it?
TERRIE: We didn’t. It’s always been Kilimanjaro.
MR. KENDALL: You don’t say. Well, it’s a strange name . . . but I like it. And, you know . . . all of a sudden it sounds familiar—like I’ve heard it before.
MR. HARPER: (sarcastic) Huh . . . imagine that. So . . . did you find anything?
MR. KENDALL: Find anything? Oh . . . as a matter of fact, I did. (as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a nickel) I’ve been looking for this forever . . . well, not exactly forever . . . just since junior high school.
TERRIE: What is it? A nickel?
MR. KENDALL: Yes . . . but not just any nickel. It’s my magic squirting nickel. Well . . . it’s not really magic. See the tiny hole? (as he holds it up to TERRIE’S face) You just fill it with water and then squeeze . . . (as he pinches the coin and accidentally squirts himself in the eye) ahhh . . . I did it again! I always end up squirting myself. Well, not always. One time I accidently squirted my seventh grade math teacher, Mrs. Peterjohn. Yep, it went right up her nose and made her sneeze. She didn’t think it was very funny . . . but we sure did!
MR. HARPER: Uh . . . Mr. Kendall. I’m happy that you found your squirting nickel, but I was wondering about the footprint.
MR. KENDALL: What footprint? Oh, right. (pause) What about it?
MR. HARPER: Don’t you remember? You were going to research what kind of creature would make such a large footprint.
MR. KENDALL: Oh . . . that must be what the pictures are for. (as he opens his briefcase, pulls out a laptop computer, and places it on a nearby table) They’re on this fancy computer. Well . . . they’re not exactly “on” it. More like “in” it. Now . . . if I can just figure out how to turn it on. (as he opens the laptop and finds the power button) There.
TERRIE: So . . . are these pictures of possible suspects?
MR. KENDALL: Oooo . . . sounds like a murder mystery when you put it that way. Okay . . . here we go. (A slide of a common goldfish appears on screen.)
TERRIE: (puzzled) Uh . . . that’s a . . . goldfish.
MR. KENDALL: Or more precisely, a “Carassius auratus auratus.”
MR. HARPER: But, Mr. Kendall . . . you certainly can’t suspect a goldfish!
MR. KENDALL: Of course not.
MR. HARPER: (relieved) That’s good. You had me worried there.
MR. KENDALL: No . . . as soon as I found out that he’d been in his bowl all week, I eliminated him. Well . . . I didn’t exactly eliminate him. I just crossed him off my list. (short pause) How ‘bout this one. (as he pretends to advance to the next slide)
(A slide of an ostrich appears on screen.)
MR. HARPER: An ostrich? I know it’s large, but . . . you can’t be serious!
TERRIE: Besides, it only has three toes, and the footprint has six.
MR. KENDALL: Hmm . . . good point. I hadn’t thought of that. There goes another one. (as he grabs his clipboard and crosses a name off his list then pretends to advance to the next slide) Next.
(A slide of an orangutan appears on screen.)
MR. HARPER: Oh, good. An orangutan. We’re finally getting somewhere.
MR. KENDALL: Well . . . that’s not really an orangutan . . . it’s my boss.
MR. KENDALL: Well . . . it’s not really my boss. It’s just a picture of him. This was at our annual costume party last year. Pretty good, huh? He sure fooled a lot of people! Ha! I guess he fooled you too!
MR. HARPER: Uh . . . Mr. Kendall . . . I want to thank you for coming out this morning.
MR. KENDALL: Oh, but I’ve got a couple more.
MR. HARPER: Yeah, well, I think we’ve seen enough . . . and, uh . . . we don’t want to take up any more of your valuable time.
MR. KENDALL: Wow . . . that’s very thoughtful of you. You know, it has been busy at the office lately. Well . . . not lately. More like early. I had to clock in at 6:00 am this morning! (he yawns as he closes his laptop and puts it in his briefcase) Well . . . is there anything else I can help you with?
MR. HARPER: No . . . no . . . I think you’ve helped quite enough.
MR. KENDALL: (flattered) Oh . . . well, as the boss always says . . . that’s what we’re here for! You folks have a nice day.
(MR. KENDALL gets confused and exits into the Lodge Building.)
TERRIE: I wonder how he got the park ranger job.
(Realizing his mistake, MR. KENDALL peaks through the door, and then returns to the stage.)
MR. KENDALL: (confused) I guess I made a wrong turn somewhere.
MR. HARPER: Yeah, I think you want to go that way. (as he points the way)
MR. KENDALL: Thanks. Have a nice day.
(MR. HARPER and TERRIE watch as MR. KENDALL exits toward the rear of the auditorium.)
MR. HARPER: And I was so hoping he’d shed some light on this footprint mystery. (as he looks at the footprint, then stoops down, and studies it)
TERRIE: I guess that was too much to expect. Well . . . I’ve gotta get back to work.
(As TERRIE exits into the Lodge Building, MR. HARPER remains briefly at the footprint and then also exits. Then ROB, with his video camera, but without his backpack, enters from the rear of the auditorium along with STORM and KATHERINE, with her pink shoes and large pink tote.)
STORM: Those Maasai warriors were sooo cool!
ROB: Yeah . . . I got some great footage of the jump dance. Can you imagine what they’d be like on the basketball court jumping like that? I couldn’t stop salivating.
STORM: They sure took a liking to you, Katherine.
KATHERINE: Well, of course. Sparkling eyes, perfect smile, charming personality . . . what’s not to like?
ROB: (looks as his watch) Okay, guys. We need to get the footprint interview done before we leave. Can someone go find Terrie or Mr. Harper?
(As ROB starts to set up, TERRIE enters from the Lodge Building with a broom in hand.)
STORM: Here’s Terrie.
ROB: Oh, hi . . . we were wondering if we could interview you about the footprint.
TERRIE: Oh . . . well . . . I don’t know. I don’t think Mr. Harper would want me to do that. He doesn’t want any bad publicity right now. We’ve already lost three group reservations.
ROB: Okay . . . I’ll make a deal with you. You let us do the interview, and we promise not to use it without Mr. Harper’s blessing.
TERRIE: Well . . . all right. But . . . do I look okay?
KATHERINE: (cold) Hmm . . . well . . . I guess it’ll do (as she sizes her up).
ROB: You look fine . . . don’t listen to her.
TERRIE: Wow . . . all of a sudden I’m getting nervous.
STORM: (dramatic) Oh, man . . . I remember the first time I was on TV. I was so nervous I threw up all over myself—right in the middle of my weather report!
KATHERINE: Eeeuww . . . disgusting!
STORM: Yeah . . . and then the next day . . . I did it again!
TERRIE: Storm! You’re not helping the situation! Go take a nap or something.
STORM: (pretending to be offended) Okay, fine. I know when I’m not wanted.
(STORM exits toward the Men’s Quarters.)
TERRIE: Now I’m REALLY nervous!
KATHERINE: (to TERRIE) It’s okay. I’m an Emmy award-winning news professional, and interviews are one of my many specialties. All you have to do is follow my lead. I’ll make it easy for you.
TERRIE: (apprehensive) Well . . . I don’t know.
ROB: Don’t worry . . . this isn’t live TV, so if you freeze or make a mistake, it’s not a problem. We can cut around it. (pause) Okay . . . let’s get this show on the road. Terrie . . . you stand here (as he points out the location) . . . and Katherine . . . here’s the mic (as he hands her a mic, then puts the camera to his shoulder) okay . . . whenever you’re ready.
KATHERINE: (she first does a strange “warm-up” ritual, then looks into the camera) Hello, everyone. Katherine Kent here at Camp Kilimanjaro, located at the base of Africa’s highest mountain—Mt. Kilimanjaro. Today, our focus is not on the famed mountain, but on something more mysterious. And to share with us, I’m pleased to have with me, Terrie Underwood, who’s on staff here at the camp. Good morning, Terrie.
TERRIE: Good morning.
KATHERINE: Can you tell us briefly what you found the other day?
TERRIE: Yes, I’d be glad to, Katherine. (as she gets a sudden boost of confidence and becomes increasingly dramatic) But brace yourself, because what you’re about to hear will definitely astound you and may even frighten you. (dramatic pause) It was a dark and stormy night here at the camp (Thunder [sfx]) and our guests were having trouble sleeping. But, not because of the wind and rain (Wind [sfx]). No . . . it was the persistent, eerie howling sound that penetrated the darkness like a knife and sent chills up everyone’s spines (Bigfoot Howl [sfx]). And although we were told it was just a monkey, somehow we knew, in the deep recesses of our minds, that it had to be something much larger and more terrifying. (Then she unconsciously grabs the mic from KATHERINE) And then we found it—the largest, most hideous footprint ever seen by mortal man. A footprint so dreadful that it was everything we could do just to look at it. So . . . what was it that ventured into our camp on that dark and stormy night? (Thunder [sfx]) Was it Bigfoot? We may never know. At this point, we can only imagine what the giant creature must have looked like.
KATHERINE: Uh . . . (as she pries the microphone from TERRIE’S hand) . . . well, I’d say that just about covers it. Thank you, Terrie, for that very . . . disturbing account. (then she pushes TERRIE away as she looks into the camera) Well . . . I guess you can draw your own conclusions. This is Katherine Kent at Camp Kilimanjaro reporting for Channel 9 news. Now back to you.
ROB: Cut! (then he lowers the camera from his shoulder) Wow . . . I wasn’t expecting that.
KATHERINE: (to TERRIE) Nervous, huh? Thanks for the nightmare!
TERRIE: Sorry . . . I guess I got a little carried away. I don’t know what came over me. May I go now?
ROB: Uh . . . yeah, sure. We’re done.
KATHERINE: I’ll say we’re done!
(As TERRIE exits into the Lodge Building, STORM enters from the Men’s Quarters.)
ROB: Well, that was interesting.
STORM: What’d I miss?
KATHERINE: Frankenstein meets the Wolfman.
(MR. HARPER enters from the Lodge Building.)
MR. HARPER: Okay, everyone . . . the guide and porters are at the front gate, and everything’s loaded in the van. So if you’re ready, it’s time to head out. (he notices KATHERINE wearing shoes inadequate for hiking) Uh . . . Katherine . . . about your shoes . . .
KATHERINE: I know . . . aren’t they fabulous?! (as she shows off her shoes then throws her pink tote over her shoulder and exits toward the rear of the auditorium)
(MR. HARPER shakes his head as he watches her leave.)
STORM: So we’re really going to do this, huh?
ROB: (teasing) You’re just not looking forward to a grueling eight-day long hike up the highest free-standing mountain in the world where it’s 0 degrees at the top and very little oxygen! (Then ROB starts to look around the stage for his backpack.)
STORM: (sarcastic) Thanks . . . that makes me feel much better. You know, next time we decide to do something for charity, I vote for lying on the beach in Hawaii!
(Then STORM exits toward the rear of the auditorium.)
MR. HARPER: (to ROB) Is something wrong?
ROB: Yeah . . . I can’t find my backpack. I had it yesterday, but today it’s nowhere to be found.
MR. HARPER: Hmm . . . that’s too bad. Do you need it for the climb?
ROB: Probably not. But I did have that Proverbs book in it, and I really wanted to take it along.
MR. HARPER: (pleasantly surprised) Oh, so you’ve been reading it?
ROB: Yeah . . . I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said this morning, and I’ve decided I don’t want to be a spiritual sluggard any more.
MR. HARPER: That’s wonderful! I’m so glad to hear that! Well, we’ve got more Proverbs books . . . or better yet, just take the Bible that’s in the top drawer of your nightstand. And Terrie can look for your backpack while we’re gone.
ROB: That’ll work. And you don’t have to wait for me. I’ll meet you at the van.
(ROB exits toward the Men’s Quarters.)
MR. HARPER: All right. I’ll see you in a couple minutes, then. (as he watches ROB exit, then looks up to heaven and prays) Thank You, God for what You’re doing in his heart . . . You’re amazing!
(MR. HARPER exits toward the rear of the auditorium. Then ROB returns with a Bible and a small piece of fur.)
ROB: Hey, guys! I found something! I think I found a piece of Bigfoot!