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Characters: Mr. Harper, Terrie Underwood, Mr. Kendall, Rob Henshaw, Storm Weathers, and Katherine Kent.
(The scene begins as MR. KENDALL, the new park ranger, enters from the rear of the auditorium. With confidence, he wanders toward the stage, looking at the surroundings as he goes. He’s visiting Camp Kilimanjaro for the first time.)
MR. KENDALL: (to himself, as he looks at the welcome sign) Welcome Truck . . . ers “Welcome . . . Trekkers?” (confused, he shakes his head) Hmm . . . (TERRIE emerges from the Lodge Building with a broom and quickly notices MR. KENDALL.)
TERRIE: Oh, hello. May I help you, sir?
MR. KENDALL: (startled, he removes his hat) Uh . . . yes! I mean, no. I mean . . . uh . . . I was just noticing the misspelling on your sign.
MR. KENDALL: Yes . . . you spelled “Truckers” wrong.
MR. KENDALL: Yes . . . and I oughta know. My dad drove a truck for 42 years. (starts to reminisce) Yeah, I miss those days. He used to let me talk on his CB radio. Well . . . he didn’t exactly let me. I . . . uh . . . did it when he wasn’t around. (makes a static screech with his voice) “Breaker, breaker 1-9 . . . gotchur yer ears on, Good Buddy? . . . That’s a big 10-4!” (ends with another static screech) Pretty good, huh?
TERRIE: And you are . . . ?
MR. KENDALL: (short pause as he looks around) Are you talking to me?
TERRIE: Yes . . .
MR. KENDALL: Oh . . . (short pause) . . . What was the question?
TERRIE: I was asking who you are.
MR. KENDALL: Who you are? Well, I have no idea who you are . . . you haven’t introduced yourself yet. But my name is Hank Ranger, the new Park Kendall. (short pause) I mean Hank Park, the new Kendall Ranger. No . . . that’s not it, either. (pauses, then proceeds a little slower) I’m Hank Kendall, the new park ranger. There . . . that’s better (as he extends his hand to shake).
TERRIE: (as she shakes his hand) It’s . . . nice to meet you . . . Mr . . . KENDALL is it?
MR. KENDALL: Yes, that’s right. Kendall . . . spelled K-E-N-D-A-L-L. I’ve always been a good speller. Well . . . not always. In third grade, I misspelled the word antediluvian. I used an i instead of an e. Can you believe that? It still torments me to this day. Well . . . it doesn’t exactly torment me. It’s more like a minor irritation.
TERRIE: Mr. Kendall . . . regarding our sign . . . it’s actually not a misspelling. It’s supposed to say “Trekkers” because that’s what people who come to Camp Kilimanjaro do. They “trek” up the mountain.
MR. KENDALL: Oh . . . well . . . I guess it’s my mistake then.
TERRIE: (after an awkward silence) Was there a reason you came by this afternoon, Mr. Kendall?
MR. KENDALL: A reason? Oh . . . uh . . . yes, I’m sure there was. (as he tries to remember, but then gets distracted by the sign) Hmm . . . you know, I still think “truckers” would have been much better. (then he dons his hat and starts to leave) Well . . . maybe not MUCH better. Have a nice day.
TERRIE: (puzzled as she watches him leave) You, too.
(MR. HARPER emerges from the other side of the stage and sees MR. KENDALL exiting toward the rear of the auditorium.)
MR. HARPER: Who was that?
TERRIE: The new Kendall ranger.
MR. HARPER: What?
TERRIE: I mean . . . the new park ranger.
MR. HARPER: Park ranger. What did he want?
TERRIE: Your guess is as good as mine. (with a smile) I can’t wait for you to meet him.
MR. HARPER: Really? Well, it’ll have to wait. Our guests have landed, and they’re on their way.
TERRIE: Good. Well, everything should be ready. Any update on our “monkey problem?”
MR. HARPER: Actually, yes . . . Joseph just informed me that he finally caught the little rascal. So, hopefully, our problems should be over.
TERRIE: And not a moment too soon, with a new group coming in. (as she starts to broom the area) You know . . . I’m really looking forward to this one—a TV news team from Ohio climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity.
MR. HARPER: Yeah . . . it should be interesting.
TERRIE: Imagine them coming all that way to raise money for Children’s Hospital. That’s why I love this place! It brings out the best in people.
MR. HARPER: Yeah . . . it’s good to see people doing things for others. But then, I’m reminded that a person’s best still isn’t good enough to get them to heaven. They need the gospel, and they need it desperately.
MR. HARPER: Hey, that reminds me. Let me show you something that just came in this morning.
(MR. HARPER quickly steps inside the Lodge Building, grabs a box, and returns to TERRIE. Then she sets the broom aside as he pulls out a small book and hands it to her.)
MR. HARPER: It’s a little book of Proverbs. We’re going to put them on all the nightstands.
TERRIE: (as she looks at the book) That’s a great idea! I
love the book of Proverbs! (reading from the book) “
fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom . . . ” I love
that. (short pause) Or this one, “
Listen to counsel and
receive instruction, that you may be wise . . . .” Hmm . . .
if only more people would do that.
MR. HARPER: Yeah . . . and you know what else Proverbs says about wisdom? That happy is the man who finds it . . . that it’s more precious than silver or gold . . . and that nothing you could ever want can compare with it.
TERRIE: Wow . . . that’s quite an endorsement! I’m going to put them out right now (as she grabs the box).
(Then STORM and ROB, wearing his backpack, enter from the rear of the auditorium and wander down the aisle toward the stage, looking around as they go.)
MR. HARPER: Wait . . . I think our guests just arrived. We’ll do that later.
TERRIE: Weren’t there supposed to be three of them?
MR. HARPER: You’re right. Must have been a last minute change.
STORM: Wow! Just wait until the viewers see this! Our ratings are going to be as high as that mountain!
ROB: Yeah . . . eat your heart out, Channel 5!
STORM: (to MR. HARPER and TERRIE) This sure is a beautiful place you’ve got here!
MR. HARPER: Well, thank you . . . and welcome to Camp Kilimanjaro. We’re so glad you’ve chosen to stay with us. I’m Mike Harper, the director, and this is Terrie Underwood, my assistant.
(STORM enters the stage first, followed by ROB.)
STORM: Nice to meet you. I’m Storm Weathers.
MR. HARPER: Storm Weathers. Let me guess . . . the weatherman?
STORM: Yep! And that’s snow joke! Get it . . . “sNOw” joke?
(MR. HARPER and TERRIE laugh.)
ROB: Please don’t laugh; it’ll just encourage him.
STORM: Now that’s what I call a storm warning. Get it . . . “Storm” . . . warning?
(MR. HARPER and TERRIE laugh.)
ROB: See what I mean?
STORM: Hey . . . what can I say? I’m just a walking joke factory. And weather puns . . . well, they’re really a “breeze!”
ROB: Here’s one . . . why couldn’t the weatherman talk?
STORM: Because he had a fog in his throat? (as he laughs at his own joke)
ROB: No! Because the sportscaster taped his mouth shut!
STORM: That wasn’t funny.
ROB: (to MR. HARPER and TERRIE) I’m Rob Henshaw . . . Channel 9 Sports.
TERRIE: So nice to meet you.
STORM: Hey . . . why’d the sportscaster cross the road?
ROB: (to STORM) Would you stop?! We’re here five minutes and you’re already driving everyone crazy!
STORM: I am not. They were laughing.
TERRIE: (feeling awkward) Oh, look at the time. (as she looks at Mr. Harper’s watch) I’ll see if dinner’s ready.
(TERRIE exits into the Lodge Building.)
STORM: (as he looks around) So . . . where’s Katherine hiding?
MR. HARPER: Katherine?
ROB: Yeah . . . Katherine Kent . . . the third person in our group. She’s here, right?
MR. HARPER: Uh . . . no . . . I don’t think so.
STORM: Oh, you’d know if she was here . . . believe me.
ROB: She took a different flight, which ended in Nairobi. But her taxi should have been here a long time ago.
MR. HARPER: Do you know what taxi service she was using?
ROB: No idea.
MR. HARPER: Okay . . . well, I can call the airport. Maybe the flight was delayed. What airline was she flying?
ROB: Don’t know that either.
STORM: (sarcastic) Wow . . . we’re looking sharp, aren’t we?
ROB: Guess we’ll have to call the station.
(Suddenly, an Elephant [sfx] is heard.)
STORM: What was that?!
MR. HARPER: (concerned) An elephant . . . and it sounds awfully close!
(MR. HARPER starts to walk toward the steps.)
ROB: Cool! I want to see it! (as he drops his backpack)
STORM: Me too!
(ROB and STORM quickly pass MR. HARPER and start to run up the aisle, but then stop abruptly when they see KATHERINE toward the rear of the auditorium laden with 3 or 4 suitcases. She’s exhausted, sunburned, dirty, smelly, and her hair is a mess. She's also holding a shoe with a broken heel. Meanwhile, TERRIE enters from the Lodge Building.)
ROB: Who is that? Is it Katherine?
STORM: Hmm . . . there is a resemblance.
KATHERINE: Well?! Are you just going to stand there, or is someone going to come and get my suitcases?!
ROB: Yep . . . that’s Katherine all right.
(As ROB fetches her suitcases, KATHERINE, with one shoe on and one shoe off, hobbles, somewhat bowlegged, to the stage. MR. HARPER, not sure what to do, offers an awkward greeting.)
MR. HARPER: Uh . . . welcome to . . . Camp . . . Kilimanjaro.
KATHERINE: (extremely sarcastic) Thanks! And I’m just SO delighted to be here! Can’t you tell?!
STORM: What happened to you?
KATHERINE: (extremely sarcastic) Oh nothing. My brilliant taxi driver decided to be clever and take a shortcut, and then the car broke down in the middle of nowhere. That’s all. Why do you ask?
STORM: So, how’d you get here?
KATHERINE: Ha! You want to know? Do you REALLY want to know?
STORM: Uh . . . well . . . now, I’m not sure.
KATHERINE: On the back of a filthy, dirty, stinking, hot elephant for the past 3½ hours!
STORM: (envious, to ROB) Oh, man! Did you hear that, Rob? She got to ride an elephant!
(KATHERINE immediately gives STORM a nasty look.)
STORM: (quickly changes his tune) Which, of course, sounds absolutely dreadful! How, on earth, did you survive?!
KATHERINE: I have no idea. I’ll probably be scarred for life. And worst of all . . . my favorite pink shoes are RUINED!! (as she holds up her broken shoe)
(Then one of the suitcases ROB is carrying suddenly opens, and nothing but shoes fall out.)
ROB: Well, look on the bright side. At least you have a replacement . . . or twenty! (as he puts them back in the suitcase)
KATHERINE: Well, that shows how much you know about women’s shoes! Nothing can replace a pair of Rocco Vias! (as she holds up a broken shoe)
MR. HARPER: May we show you to your room?
KATHERINE: Yes . . . and I would appreciate not being disturbed . . . so no photos, interviews, or autographs. As you can see . . . I just need some “me time” right now. (short pause) I will be requiring room service, however.
TERRIE: And it will be our pleasure to serve you. Please follow me.
(TERRIE leads KATHERINE toward the Women’s Quarters, while ROB follows with the suitcases.)
KATHERINE: (as she walks away) This . . . has been the WORST day . . . of my life!
STORM: (to MR. HARPER, with sarcasm) Well . . . I think she’s really going to like it here, don’t you?