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Characters: Mr. Peterson (park director), Gabe and Cody (show hosts), Millard Grover (industrial spy), Mabel Magoo (park guest), Miss Ryan (administrative assistant), Victoria Hathaway (TV network executive).
(Scene begins with MILLARD, in his sweep staff uniform, wearing his backpack and pushing a wheeled trash can. He looks left and right to make sure no one is around, then starts to pull trash out of the trash can and drop it on the ground.)
MILLARD: (loud whisper) Tsk, tsk, tsk . . . this place is such a pig pen! (as he laughs to himself, then, when he gets to the front of the stage, he stops to take a quick inventory of his prank supplies) Yesterday was so much fun. (as he takes off his backpack) Now for round two! But first, let’s see what goodies we get to play with. (as he rubs his hands together in anticipation)
(MISS RYAN enters from the IncrediWorld Offices. She’s looking for MR. PETERSON. When she sees MILLARD, she approaches him from behind.)
MISS RYAN: Uh . . . excuse me.
(MILLARD freezes, then slowly turns his head to see who it is.)
MISS RYAN: Sorry to bother you, but did Mr. Peterson come this way?
MILLARD: (flustered) Mr. Peterson? No . . . I don’t . . . I don’t think so. I mean, I haven’t . . . seen him . . . uh . . . Mr. Peterson, that is.
MISS RYAN: Well, that’s strange. I’m sure I saw him walk this way. (as she walks toward one of the backstage entryways and calls his name) Mr. Peterson?
MR. PETERSON: (from backstage) Yes . . . who is it?
(When MILLARD hears MR. PETERSON’S voice, he panics and quickly hides nearby.)
MISS RYAN: It’s Miss Ryan. I need to speak with you, sir.
MR. PETERSON: Okay. Just a moment!
MISS RYAN: (as she turns back toward MILLARD) See . . . I thought I saw him walk . . . (but stops when she sees that he’s gone) . . . Where’d he go?
(MR. PETERSON emerges from backstage dressed as a clown and holding a clown hat. When MISS RYAN turns back and sees him, she screams.)
MR. PETERSON: Tah-da!!
MISS RYAN: AHHHHH! Oh . . . I was expecting Mr. Peterson. I didn’t know anyone else was back there.
MR. PETERSON: Miss Ryan . . . I am Mr. Peterson.
MISS RYAN: (confused) What??
MR. PETERSON: It’s because of Mabel. She somehow has the idea that I’m her personal guide. And if I’m going to get any work done around here, I’ve got to disguise myself. Besides, I can’t keep up with her, anyway.
MISS RYAN: Okay . . . but why an IncrediClown costume?
MR. PETERSON: I know . . . I look ridiculous. But it’s all I could come up with on short notice. Just . . . don’t look at me.
MISS RYAN: Good idea. (as she turns to face the auditorium)
MR. PETERSON: Now . . . what did you want to speak to me about?
MISS RYAN: (as she hands him a note) We just received this email from Adventure TV. Our scores are down, and we’re in jeopardy of losing the award this year.
MR. PETERSON: That’s disappointing, but I’m not surprised. There have been a lot of strange things going on lately.
MISS RYAN: Any clue yet who’s responsible?
MR. PETERSON: No, not really. Perhaps just some pranksters.
MISS RYAN: But don’t you think it’s coincidental that it’s happening at the same time Adventure TV is here? I think someone’s out to get us!
MR. PETERSON: Well, that could be. And if so, we’ve got to keep our eyes open and watch out for any suspicious activity. But, in the meantime, we need to get to work and act like professionals! (as he dons his hat with some force and conviction, a Bonk and Bird Tweet [sfx] is heard)
MISS RYAN: (smiles as she looks at his costume) Right . . . act like professionals.
MR. PETERSON: I need you to prepare a memo right away to inform the staff.
MISS RYAN: (as she snickers and starts to walk back to the office) And who should I say it’s from . . . Petey, the Clown?
(MISS RYAN exits.)
MR. PETERSON: Ha, ha . . . very funny (in response, he squeezes his noise and a Honk [sfx] is heard, then he notices the trash on the floor) Speaking of getting to work . . . it looks like someone needs to clean up around here (he picks up some trash and deposits it into the trash can). Hmmm . . . Petey, the Clown . . . that’s not bad.
(MR. PETERSON exits the stage in the direction the IncrediWorld Offices. As soon as the coast is clear, MILLARD comes out of hiding.)
MILLARD: Aww . . . their scores are down! Boo-hoo. Poor wittle IncwediWorld . . . whaah! whaah! whaah! (then, in a loud whisper, as he looks left and right to make sure no one is around) And now to make SURE they don’t get the award . . . Operation: Sabotage Theme Park . . . THE SEQUEL! If you thought yesterday was fun . . . just wait for today!! Ha! Ha! Ha! . . . (he gives a long sinister laugh followed by a couple snorts and then a cough) But first . . . let’s check our inventory (as he lifts each item out of his backpack, then puts it back in). Pancake syrup . . . sticky! Petroleum jelly . . . slimy! Itching powder . . . nasty! Duct tape . . . don’t leave home without it! (then he sees a Bible sitting on the floor nearby) What’s this? . . . (he picks it up and leafs through some of the pages) . . . A Bible? Hmmm . . . C’mon, Millard you’ve got work to do . . . (as he sets it back down and closes up his backpack).
(MILLARD slings his backpack over his shoulder and starts to leave, but then stops as curiosity about the Bible gets the best of him. He then turns to look at the Bible and struggles with what to do. Finally, he decides to just take it with him, so he grabs the Bible and exits toward the rear of the auditorium. As he heads up the aisle, CODY enters from backstage, walks over to the trash can and begins to unwrap a large candy bar. Then GABE enters with the contract in hand and walks up beside CODY.)
GABE: Well . . . so far, so good . . . just one small section to go, then I’m done with this bad boy. (then he looks into the trash can) Whoa . . . that’s pretty gnarly down there.
CODY: (accidentally drops his candy bar into the trash can) Oh, man! A brand new Yummo bar, wasted!
GABE: Wasted? What are you talking about?
CODY: Really? Should I?
GABE: If you don’t, I will.
CODY: Okay . . . here goes. (as he reaches in to retrieve his candy bar) Eww . . . (as he pulls it up, dripping with cheese sauce)
GABE: Dude . . . it’s a Yummo bar!
CODY: You’re right . . . .it’s worth it (as he takes a bite out of the candy bar).
(VICTORIA enters from the left rear of the auditorium and proceeds down the left side toward the stage. GABE and CODY are unaware of her presence until she interrupts them.)
GABE: (laughing) Oh, man . . . I was just kidding. I can’t believe you did that!
CODY: I know . . . I can’t believe it, either (as he takes one more bite and throws the rest away) . . . And you know what else I can’t believe?
GABE: What’s that?
CODY: That we’re actually going to have our own TV show. I mean . . . how cool is that?!
GABE: I know . . . I keep thinking it’s a dream.
CODY: Yeah . . . in a just few minutes we’ll sign that piece of paper, and then our lives will change forever. We’ll be rich and famous. So, what are you going to buy first?
GABE: I don’t know. I can’t decide between a new truck or a boat.
VICTORIA: (she interrupts) Maybe you won’t have to decide.
CODY: (pleased) Oh, you’re here.
VICTORIA: I told you I’d be here first thing. Now, let’s execute this contract and get down to business. Shall we? (as she hands CODY a contract)
CODY: Yes, we shall! (as he proceeds to sign his name)
VICTORIA: Very good, Cody. (as she hands CODY an envelope)
CODY: What’s this?
VICTORIA: It’s a signing bonus.
CODY: Sweet! (as he looks into the envelope and sees the paycheck) Hey Gabe, she’s right . . . you won’t have to decide! You can get the truck AND the boat!
VICTORIA: Next . . . (she holds out her pen toward GABE, but he doesn’t take it) . . . Is there a problem?
GABE: Well . . . it’s just that . . .
VICTORIA: Listen, I don’t have a lot of time here. And until we have a contract, none of those dreams you’re having can come true. No trucks, no boats, no houses, no expensive vacations, no nothing.
GABE: It’s just that I didn’t finish reading the contract.
VICTORIA: Well, Cody signed off on it. Don’t you trust your partner? He obviously read it.
GABE: Did you read it, Cody?
CODY: Well . . .
CODY: Well, not every single word.
CODY: Okay . . . maybe I skipped over some sections. But it was soooo long and boring! All that “party of the first part” and “party of the second part” stuff. Why do they talk like that??
GABE: (to VICTORIA) Can you just give me a minute? I only need to read the last section.
VICTORIA: (a little annoyed) Whatever . . . (After a brief moment of silence, GABE sees something he doesn’t like.)
GABE: Hey, Cody . . . come here.
CODY: (as he walks over to GABE) Yeah . . . what’s up?
GABE: Read that sentence. (as he points to a sentence in the contract)
CODY: (pause as he reads the sentence to himself) Uh-oh . . . I guess I skipped that part.
VICTORIA: Is something wrong?
GABE: (reading from the contract) “The Party of the First Part” . . . that’s us . . . “shall not quote from any religious book or scriptures nor make any reference whatsoever to God or a Creator.”
VICTORIA: So, what’s the problem?
GABE: We can’t say anything about God?
VICTORIA: Well, no . . . you can say anything you want about God . . . just not during a show, that’s all. You understand, of course . . . we’re a television network. We have a large and diverse viewing audience.
CODY: And you don’t want to offend anyone.
VICTORIA: That’s correct. Can’t we just enjoy learning about animals without always having to bring God into it?
GABE: No . . . we can’t. Because that’s the ONLY reason we do our show. Animals are great, but there’s a much bigger picture, here. We want kids to learn about God by studying animals. We want them to see that their Creator is an incredible master designer . . . that He’s wise and powerful and good. And we’re not about to let them leave with the idea that it all just happened by chance.
CODY: Think about it . . . wouldn’t it be strange to talk on and on about some excellent painting and never even mention the painter? That’s why we give credit to God. So . . . (hesitates for a moment as he struggles to give up the check) . . . I guess you can have your check back. (as he holds out the check)
VICTORIA: (astonished, she refuses the check) Excuse me? You mean you’re backing out of the deal?
GABE: No God . . . no contract. It’s as simple as that.
VICTORIA: (offended) But we’re Adventure TV, and in case you need to be reminded, we’re kind of a big deal! (as she finally takes the check back) I can’t believe this! You’re turning down the opportunity of a lifetime! You know that, don’t you?! The opportunity of a lifetime!!
(Suddenly, the sound of Wet Sneakers [sfx] is heard.)
VICTORIA: What’s that sound?
(Then MABEL enters from far stage right soaking wet and talking on her cell phone. GABE, CODY, and VICTORIA watch her as she walks and talks.)
MABEL: (talking on her cell phone) Oh, it was wonderful! I was walking through the park and saw this new water ride and . . . wait, I need to take my wet shoes off (as she stops to take off her wet shoes).
CODY: Look at her, Gabe. She’s soaked!
MABEL: (she continues on her cell phone) There, that’s better. (as she proceeds barefoot across the front of the stage) Oh yes! One minute dry as a bone and the next minute wet as a fish! (pause) Yeah, well, I’ve got to go. (short pause) Okay, bye, Edna. (as she closes her phone, she greets GABE, CODY, and VICTORIA) Hi, everybody . . . don’t I look spiffy?!
CODY: Hi, Mabel. Looks like you found White Water Explosion.
MABEL: (happy) And drank most of it, too! Remind me to keep my mouth closed next time! (then she notices VICTORIA all dressed up) Gee, I hope I’m not interrupting an important meeting or something.
VICTORIA: (coldly) No, that’s . . . quite all right. We just finished.
MABEL: Oh, good. Say, don’t you just love their show?
VICTORIA: (clears her throat) No comment.
MABEL: Boy, I sure do . . . especially their bird show. I learned so much. You know, I never knew how wonderfully designed birds were, but now, it’s so obvious. Why, you can just see God’s fingerprints everywhere!
VICTORIA: Well . . . that’s nice. I have to go. Good-bye, Gentlemen. It’s been very . . . interesting.
(GABE and CODY respond cordially while VICTORIA exits toward the rear of the auditorium.)
GABE: Thanks for the encouragement, Mabel.
(Suddenly, MR. PETERSON emerges from the IncrediWorld Offices. He’s going to retrieve his watch which he left backstage. When he sees CODY, GABE, and MABEL, he freezes against the end panel hoping they won’t notice him, but MABEL does, of course.)
MABEL: Oh, you’re welcome. I tell everybody about your show. I think it’s wonderful what you boys do . . . and that you talk about God all the time. We should never be ashamed to do that, you know. (she sees MR. PETERSON) Oh, my! Look . . . it’s Mr. Peterson in a clown costume!
CODY: What?? (to MR. PETERSON) Hey . . . is that really you?!
MR. PETERSON: (embarrassed, and with no need to keep up the charade, he pulls off his clown wig) Yes, it’s me. I was just going to get my watch. I think I left it backstage.
GABE: (curious and amused) So, uh . . . what’s the occasion? You going to a birthday party or something?
MR. PETERSON: It’s a long story. You wouldn’t be interested (quickly changes the subject) . . . But Mabel, look at you! You’re all wet. What happened?
CODY: She went on White Water Explosion.
MR. PETERSON: You’re kidding? By yourself?
MABEL: Well, it was so nice of you to spend all that time with me yesterday, so I thought I’d give you the day off today.
MR. PETERSON: (trying to be charitable) Oh . . . well, you didn’t have to do that.
MABEL: (with new excitement) Really?! Oh, I was hoping you’d say that! C’mon, let’s go! We’ve got lots to do! (as she grabs his arm and drags him out of the auditorium)