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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, sneaking out from behind the set with his backpack full of prank supplies. When he gets to the front of the stage, he looks left and right to make sure no one is around, then quickly takes inventory.)
MILLARD: (in a loud whisper, as he lifts each item out of his backpack) Laundry detergent . . . check; baby powder . . . check; scary music CD . . . check; “Out of Order” signs . . . check; super glue . . . check; and last but not least . . . the key to the animal cages. Operation: Sabotage Theme Park is about to begin! (he gives a long sinister laugh followed by a couple snorts and a cough, then exits toward the rear of the auditorium)
(As MILLARD exits, GABE enters from backstage carrying a sack lunch and a water bottle.)
GABE: (he takes a deep breath then looks out at the beautiful sky) Thank you, Lord, for a beautiful day!
(Then CODY enters carrying a large box.)
CODY: Hey Gabe! We got a package. I think it’s from Raja.
GABE: (as he studies the package) Well, whadaya know . . . all the way from Madagascar.
CODY: Wonder what it is.
GABE: There’s only one way to find out. (as he pulls out a pocket knife, opens the box, and pulls out a piece of paper) There’s a note.
CODY: What’s it say?
GABE: (as he reads the note in “broken” English) Greetings from Madagascar! We just discover new species of termite. Thought you like to see one. It has been too long since you visit island. Raja.
CODY: Ah . . . what a great guy.
GABE: Yeah . . . we’ll have to remember to thank him.
CODY: (as he reaches into the box) This is awesome . . . a new species! It’ll make a great addition to our live bug collection.
GABE: Oh, wait . . . there’s more. P.S. Watch fingers . . . we name new termite “THE LITTLE PIRANHA.”
(CODY quickly pulls his hand out of the box and GABE laughs.)
CODY: Nuh-uh! Does it really say that?
GABE: See for yourself! (as he shows CODY the note)
CODY: Wheeew! That was a close one.
GABE: Hey, let’s give it something to eat. I think I have a peanut. (as he reaches into his pocket)
CODY: No . . . that’s way too big.
GABE: Maybe . . . maybe not. (as he drops the peanut into the box)
(A Termite Eating Peanut [sfx] sound is heard.)
CODY: He ate the whole thing. I can’t believe it!
GABE: Let’s give him something bigger. (as he reaches into his lunch sack) I’ve got an apple in my lunch.
CODY: An apple? Are you kidding me?
(GABE drops the apple into the box and then a Termite Eating Apple [sfx] sound is heard.)
CODY: If I hadn’t seen it, I never would have believed it.
GABE: Okay . . . time to try some wood. After all . . . he is a termite. (as he runs backstage)
CODY: I’m starting to see why they call it “The Little Piranha.”
(GABE returns with a block of wood.)
CODY: You’re going to feed him that?! What’s next . . . a roll top desk?
GABE: Watch this!
CODY: C’mon Gabe, you’re going to make him sick!
(A Termite Eating Wood [sfx] sound is heard as GABE slowly “feeds” the board into the box.)
GABE: That was incredible! This little guy will be great for the show! We can call him “Woody.”
CODY: Okay, but I think he’s had enough for now, don’t you?
GABE: (as he talks into the box) Hey, Woody . . . Uncle Cody says you’ve had enough. What do you think?
(A Burp [sfx] is heard.)
GABE: All right, you win . . . (talks into the box just before he closes it) I guess it’s time to find you a cage, little buddy.
CODY: And a good strong one. That bug could do some serious damage around here.
(GABE exits with the box toward backstage as VICTORIA enters from the rear of the auditorium and proceeds toward the stage. Meanwhile, CODY sees GABE’S lunch bag and starts to open it.)
GABE: (from backstage) And stay out of my lunch!
(VICTORIA stops at the front of the stage.)
CODY: Oh, hi . . . can I help you?
VICTORIA: Yes, I’m looking for The Extreme Team.
CODY: Well, I’m half of The Extreme Team. The other half is backstage, but he’ll be back in a minute. My name’s Cody, by the way.
VICTORIA: Pleased to meet you, Cody. I’m Victoria Hathaway from Adventure TV. We’re kind of a big deal.
CODY: Adventure TV! (to GABE) Hey, Gabe! Get out here, quick!
(GABE returns from backstage.)
GABE: Yeah . . . what’s up?
CODY: This is Victoria Hathaway. She’s from Adventure TV!
GABE: Wow, that’s kind of a big deal. Welcome to IncrediWorld. I’m Gabe.
VICTORIA: Nice to meet you, Gabe.
GABE: I suppose you’re here about that theme park award?
VICTORIA: Well, no . . . actually, the reason I’m here is to talk to you.
GABE: Really? What about?
VICTORIA: Well, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how popular your show is.
CODY: Is it really? I mean, I guess the people seem to like it.
VICTORIA: Are you kidding? Your show’s been talked about in all the trade magazines. It’s all over the industry. In fact, it’s probably why IncrediWorld has won the “Best Theme Park” award the past three years!
CODY: Wow! Do you really think so?
VICTORIA: Yes . . . I really do. So, let me ask you something. Have you two thought much about the future?
CODY: What do you mean?
VICTORIA: I mean, what’s next for you. What are your career goals? You do have goals, don’t you? You’re certainly not planning to stay here forever, are you?
GABE: Well, I don’t know. We’ve only been doing the show for three years, and we really like it here.
VICTORIA: IncrediWorld is a very nice park . . . no doubt about that. But, if you really want to be successful, you’ve got to keep moving up. As they always say, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.” (pause as she lets them think about what she’s said) Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have your own television show?
CODY: Our own show? You mean on Adventure TV?
VICTORIA: Yes. That’s exactly what I mean. We want to add an animal show for kids to our line-up, and we think The Extreme Team would be perfect.
(GABE and CODY “high five” each other.)
GABE and CODY: When do we start?
VICTORIA: I knew you’d be excited, so I brought the contracts with me. No sense in delaying things, right? (as she pulls out a very long contract and a pen) Just sign there at the bottom, and then we can talk about schedules.
(CODY takes the pen and starts to sign his name, but GABE stops him.)
GABE: Wait a second. Shouldn’t we read it first? I mean, we need to know what we’re signing, right?
VICTORIA: Well . . . if you really want to take the time to read all that . . . that’s up to you. However, I can assure you that it’s all standard language. Nothing unreasonable.
GABE: What do you think, Cody?
CODY: It’s pretty long, but . . . I guess you’re right. (to VICTORIA) Can you come back tomorrow afternoon?
VICTORIA: (slightly annoyed) Let’s make it first thing in the morning, shall we? I don’t want to waste any more time. To succeed in show business, gentlemen, you have to move quickly. You do want to be successful, don’t you?
CODY: Well . . . of course, we want to be successful.
VICTORIA: Good . . . just checking. Here’s my card and some information about our company (as she hands them a brochure). I think you’ll like what you see. (as she shakes their hands) Congratulations! I just hope you realize how fortunate you are. You know, most people would give their right arm to be in your shoes right now.
(As VICTORIA exits, a very flustered MISS RYAN enters from the IncrediWorld Offices.)
CODY: Oh, man . . . can you believe it, Gabe? We’re going to be big stars!
(MISS RYAN interrupts them.)
MISS RYAN: (upset) Have either of you seen Mr. Peterson??
GABE: He’s not in his office?
MISS RYAN: No, he’s not. Somehow, Mabel talked him into riding roller coasters with her, so I guess he’s still out in the park somewhere. And of all days, it had to be today!
GABE: Wait a second . . . Mr. Peterson’s riding roller coasters??
CODY: But he hates big rides. They make him sick.
MISS RYAN: (discouraged) I know, and now he’s out there throwing up, and I’m back here having to deal with all these problems!
CODY: What problems?
MISS RYAN: Oh . . . all over the park, terrible things are happening! Like ketchup in the mustard containers, salt shakers glued to tables, fountains overflowing with soap bubbles, and then, listen to this . . . I just got a call from Kiddie Land. Someone switched the music CDs and now scary music is making all the kids run for their lives!
GABE: Wow! Someone’s been busy!
MISS RYAN: Listen . . . if you see Mr. Peterson, tell him he’s needed in the office immediately!
(MISS RYAN quickly returns to the IncrediWorld Offices.)
GABE: Poor, Miss Ryan.
CODY: Hey, Gabe. I just had a bad thought.
GABE and CODY: (as they look at each other) The animal cages!
(As GABE and CODY quickly exit backstage, MABEL enters from the rear of the auditorium pushing MR. PETERSON in a wheelchair.)
MABEL: Whoo-wee! Wasn’t that a fun day?! You know, I think I could have ridden that Behemoth ride a hundred times!
MR. PETERSON: (as he groans in pain) Just wheel me to the stage. I think I can walk from there.
(When they arrive at the stage, MR. PETERSON slowly gets up from the wheelchair, revealing an “Out of Order” sign on his back.)
MABEL: (as she starts to remove the sign from his back) Hey . . . you’ve got a sign stuck to your back. I wonder how that got there?
MR. PETERSON: What’s it say?
MABEL: “Out of Order.”
MR. PETERSON: Keep it there . . . that’s exactly how I feel . . . (as he starts to walk away) . . . Oh, my aching back.
(MR. PETERSON exits toward the IncrediWorld Offices.)
MABEL: Well, I hope you had as much fun as I did! Hey, maybe we can do some water rides, tomorrow! It’s supposed to be another beautiful day. (pause, then to herself) Gee, I hope he’s going to be all right.
(Then MILLARD enters from stage right all happy and content. He’s got ear buds on as he dances around to the music he’s listening to. MABEL walks toward him and watches him. As soon as he notices her, he stops and removes his earbuds.)
MABEL: Hi-de-ho! My name’s Mabel, what’s yours?
MILLARD: It’s Millard.
MABEL: Well, Millard, you sure seem happy.
MILLARD: Oh, yes I’m happy . . . very, very happy!
MABEL: Well, that’s grand . . . but are you joyful?
MILLARD: Joyful? What’s the difference?
MABEL: Oh . . . there’s a big difference, my friend. Happiness depends on your situation, but joy—and I mean REAL joy—comes from knowing that your sins are forgiven and you’re going to heaven when you die. Do you think you’re good enough to go there?
MILLARD: To heaven . . . well . . . not right now. But . . . sometimes I do.
MABEL: You know, I used to think I was good enough. I worked hard, did nice things for people, and even went to church every Sunday. But then someone showed me from the Bible that I was wrong. I WASN’T good enough . . . and never could be!
MABEL: That’s right . . . never! Just like everyone, I had disobeyed God’s commands over and over, and there was absolutely nothing I could do to fix it. And you know what that meant? I was headed for hell.
MILLARD: Really? You mean (as he points downward)?
MABEL: That’s exactly what I mean! And talk about feeling hopeless! It was awful!
MILLARD: Wow . . . then what happened?
MABEL: Well, then came the good news! My pastor explained how Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead. He paid my penalty so I could go free! And all I had to do was admit that I had broken God’s laws, turn away from my sins, and trust in Jesus to save me!
MILLARD: So that’s what you did?
MABEL: You’d better believe it! And so now I’m part of God’s forever family, and it gives me so much joy that I just want to jump and shout!
(MABEL jumps and shouts [or a cartwheel would be even better!])
MILLARD: Wow . . . how did you do that?
MABEL: (somewhat surprised herself) I don’t know. (short pause) So, Millard . . . let’s talk about you.
(Suddenly, MILLARD’S Cell Phone [sfx] rings.)
MILLARD: (as he looks at the screen) Oh . . . it’s . . . it’s Mr. Romano. I can’t talk with you anymore . . . I’ve got to go. (as he quickly exits toward backstage) Hello? Yes, Mr. Romano, this is Millard . . .
(MILLARD exits backstage.)
MABEL: (frustrated) Oh . . . and I was just getting warmed up! (then she prays) Dear God, please help Millard understand how much he needs You . . . just like You did for me. And Lord, thanks for a wonderful day at IncrediWorld! Amen.