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Characters: JESS, RAINA, MOOSE, BUDDY, MYLES
(With jungle sounds [SFX] playing in the background, JESS is sitting near the ziggurat writing in her journal.)
JESS: (PRE-RECORDED) Dear Journal . . . It’s now our fourth day stranded in the jungle, and we’re all longing to be rescued. Buddy and Moose are still expecting to get back in The Incredible Race somehow, and I have to get to Manaus before Sunday or I’ll miss the boat to the Amazon interior. As the hours pass, it’s getting harder to remain patient, and Myles’ constant complaining isn’t helping the situation one bit.
RAINA: (upset) Oh, I wish the Captain would hurry up and get here! That kid is driving me up the wall! (as she sits down near RAINA)
JESS: Why don’t you take a break and walk down to the stream?
RAINA: That’s a good idea. (Then MYLES enters, wearing a poncho.)
JESS: Hey, Myles . . . you expecting rain?
MYLES: No . . . mosquitos! I can’t keep them off of me! It’s like I’m hosting a blood drive!
RAINA: (says to herself) You should be thankful. At least mosquitos like you.
MYLES: What did you say? (as he bats a mosquito away)
RAINA: Oh, uh . . . I said . . . you should be thankful Jess has mosquito repellent.
JESS: Yeah . . . sure you don’t want some?
MYLES: I told you before, I don’t like the smell of it! It makes me gag.
JESS: Okay . . . suit yourself.
RAINA: I think I’ll take that walk.
JESS: Sounds good.
(RAINA exits. JESS continues writing in her journal as MYLES removes his watch and places it on the ground. Then he searches for a large rock.)
JESS: What are you doing?
MYLES: Nothing. (when he finds a suitable rock, he proceeds to smash his watch with it)
JESS: Myles! Why’d you do that?!
MYLES: I don’t need it anymore. What use is a watch in the jungle?
JESS: Listen, I know you’re frustrated with the situation . . . we all are . . . but you don’t need to start destroying your stuff. I’m sure that was a pretty nice watch.
MYLES: Just a Rolex.
JESS: What?? You destroyed a Rolex watch?!
MYLES: Yeah . . . so what? I’ve got three more at home.
JESS: But those are super expensive, aren’t they?
MYLES: I don’t know. Is $40,000 expensive?
JESS: $40,000?? That watch right there . . . that you just smashed with a rock for no good reason . . . cost $40,000??
JESS: I can’t believe it! You might as well have smashed up a really nice car!
(Then BUDDY enters.)
BUDDY: (to MYLES) Hey, Myles . . . you expecting rain?
MYLES: No, I’m not expecting rain! Leave me alone!
BUDDY: Okay. (to JESS) Do you know where Miss Raina is?
JESS: She’s taking a walk. Why?
BUDDY: Oh, we’re just hungry, that’s all.
(MOOSE enters with two small bags of chips.)
MOOSE: (to MYLES) Hey, Myles . . . you expecting rain?
MYLES: Okay! Okay! I’ll take it off since it’s obviously bothering everyone so much! (as he yanks it off and throws it on the ground) There! Are you happy now??
(IMPORTANT: MYLES must now keep from turning so the tarantulas don’t become visible to the audience prematurely.)
MOOSE: What’d I say?
JESS: You’re fine. He’s just having another bad day.
MYLES: You can say that again!
MOOSE: (he tosses a bag of chips to BUDDY) Sorry, that’s all I could find.
BUDDY: Hmm . . . you know what I thought I’d never hear myself say? “I’m sick of eating potato chips.”
MOOSE: I know—me too.
JESS: Makes you appreciate all the varieties of food God gives us, doesn’t it?
MOOSE: Sure does.
BUDDY: I just wish we had some variety here.
MYLES: That’s the understatement of the century!
JESS: Hey, at MTA, I learned all about the things you could eat in the jungle. In case you’re interested.
BUDDY: What’s MTA?
JESS: Missionary Training Academy.
MOOSE: So, what’d they say?
JESS: Well, you’ve basically got four categories: plants, animals, fish, and insects.
BUDDY: Bugs?? No way!
JESS: Oh yeah . . . believe it or not, insects are eaten every day in many countries around the world. And really . . . they’re not as bad as you think . . . and they’re nutritious, too.
MOOSE: Seriously? They’re actually good for you?
JESS: Yep. In fact, I’ve got a pouch in my backpack right now if you’d like to try some. (as she pulls a pouch of cooked insects from her backpack)
BUDDY: You have bugs in your backpack?
JESS: Sure do. I wanted to get used to eating some unusual things, so I brought them along. Here . . . help yourself. (as she holds out the pouch of insects)
BUDDY: No thanks.
JESS: It’s okay . . . they’re fully cooked.
MOOSE: I’d much rather go fishing.
JESS: Okay, but just remember, on The Incredible Race, you often have to eat things you’re not used to. So, it might be smart to get some practice beforehand.
MOOSE: Hmm . . . she’s got a point there, Buddy. We gotta think about the race.
BUDDY: (pauses, then gets a sick look on his face) What kind of bugs are they?
JESS: Let’s see, I got the variety pack. (she pretends to read the label on the package) Crickets, rhino beetles, giant water bugs, and silkworms.
MOOSE: (to BUDDY) I’ll eat one if you will.
BUDDY: I was afraid you were gonna say that. The things you talk me into.
(MOOSE and BUDDY each take a large “insect” from the pouch.)
JESS: Looks like you both got rhino beetles.
BUDDY: (he looks closely at it) It’s staring back at me. I think I’m gonna be sick.
MOOSE: Then don’t look at it.
BUDDY: I can’t help it!
(JESS takes BUDDY’S beetle and turns it around so it’s facing the other way.)
JESS: There. Is that better?
BUDDY: Not really.
MOOSE: (pause) Okay, let’s do it together. On the count of three . . . ready? One . . . two . . .
BUDDY: Wait! I’m not ready yet. (pause, as he tries to muster his courage) Okay, I’m ready.
MOOSE: All right . . . on three. One . . . two . . .
BUDDY: Wait! Are we going to eat on “three” or is it “One, two, three” and then eat?
MOOSE: “One, two, three” and then eat.
MOOSE: All right . . . here we go. One . . . two . . . three . . .
(MOOSE and BUDDY both bite into their beetles with a big crunch and chewing sounds [SFX].)
JESS: Not so bad, huh?
(MOOSE and BUDDY continue to chew. Then they look at each other and shudder as they swallow.)
JESS: Well? What do you think?
BUDDY: What do I think? I think I’m not hungry anymore.
MOOSE: Buddy . . . you took the words right out of my mouth. C’mon, let’s walk it off.
(MOOSE and BUDDY exit toward the rear of the auditorium.)
JESS: (laughing) Just let me know, if you want any more! (as she grabs a small insect from the pouch and eats it) Mmm . . . not bad.
MYLES: So you’re a missionary?
JESS: I guess so.
MYLES: You guess so?
JESS: Well . . . I haven’t been to the field yet. I just graduated, and now I’m headed to my first assignment deep in the Amazon jungle.
MYLES: Amazon jungle. You mean you’re going to live in a place like this?
JESS: I suppose it’s similar to this, without the ziggurat, of course.
MYLES: That sounds absolutely dreadful.
JESS: I’m sure it does. And you probably think it’s a waste of time, too.
MYLES: I just can’t figure out why you’d care about a bunch of people you don’t even know.
JESS: Because God cares about them. And they need to hear the gospel just like you do.
MYLES: The only thing I need to hear right now is that we’ve been rescued.
JESS: But that’s exactly what the gospel is. It’s the good news about Jesus coming to rescue us from the penalty of our sins. And believe me, there’s nothing you need more than that!
MYLES: I’m a good person. I’ll be fine.
JESS: No, you won’t, Myles. The Bible says that no one is good except God alone. Which means no amount of “being good” is going to get you to heaven. God isn’t going to grade on a curve, and he’s not going to weigh your good deeds against your bad deeds. The ONLY way to deal with our sin problem is to trust in what Jesus did for you.
MYLES: I don’t want to think about it right now. Besides, don’t you need to get back to your journal?
JESS: The journal can wait, but you shouldn’t. No one is guaranteed his next breath. I mean, what if we hadn’t survived the plane crash? You really should get right with God now.
MYLES: I’ll take my chances.
JESS: Okay . . . but if you change your mind—and I hope you do—let me know.
MYLES: That’s unlikely.
(JESS shakes her head in frustration as she goes back to writing in her journal.)
MYLES: (starts to squirm) I can’t stand this place! It feels like things are crawling on me all the time! (he stands up) I’m going back to the plane.
(JESS doesn’t respond as MYLES exits. As he turns, the audience sees several large tarantulas on his back. Then, after he’s backstage for three seconds, he screams.)
JESS: What now??!! (as she rolls her eyes, then goes to see what the matter is)
(JESS exits toward the plane as MOOSE and BUDDY enter from the rear of the auditorium and race to the stage.)
BUDDY: We’re a good team, aren’t we, Moose?
MOOSE: No, Buddy . . . we’re not a good team . . . we’re a GREAT team!
(Then RAINA returns from her walk.)
BUDDY: Where were you?
RAINA: Just down at the stream . . . taking a much needed break.
(Then MYLES’ voice is heard from backstage.)
MYLES: Where is she?! Where’s that flight attendant?! I’ve got something to say to her!
BUDDY: Oh, boy.
RAINA: Yep . . . here it comes.
(Then a distraught MYLES bursts onto the scene wearing an undershirt. He ditched the shirt he’d been wearing because of the tarantulas.)
MYLES: There you are!
RAINA: (trying her best to maintain composure) Hello, Myles. What can I do for you?
(Then JESS enters.)
MYLES: Oh no . . . it’s not what you CAN do for me . . . it’s what you WILL do for me!
JESS: Myles . . . calm down!
MYLES: You know, I’ve tried to be patient and I’ve done my best to be kind, but now I’ve had it! My patience has finally run out! I’ve put up with this nightmare long enough! So, I’m not asking—I’m demanding that you get me out of this hot and sweaty, bug-infested misery immediately! Do you understand? Not tomorrow . . . not next week . . . not next month . . . RIGHT NOW!
RAINA: And how on earth am I to do that??!
MYLES: (suddenly becomes light-headed) Well . . . that’s . . . that’s your concern . . . not . . . mine. (as he faints)
(MYLES falls into RAINA’S arms as JESS rushes over to aid.)
JESS: Oh no!
RAINA: Myles! (pause) Myles! (pause) Quick! Someone get the medical kit! It’s in the cockpit of the plane!
MOOSE: We’re on our way! C’mon, Buddy! (as they start to run in the opposite direction from the plane)
JESS: Not that way! The plane’s over there! (as she points to the plane)
BUDDY: Oh, yeah.
(Then MOOSE and BUDDY change directions and run toward the plane.)
JESS: Just hurry!
RAINA: (concerned) He’s burning up, Jess! He’s burning up!