Friday, October 2, 2009

Week 37, Day 257 - "Come Again"

“Come Again”

Written by Joe Janes

10/2/09

257 of 365

CAST:

Father Ritchie, 40s

Donna, 20s

Jesus, 33

(Lights up on Father Ritchie pacing around his church’s lobby. Donna enters carrying a box.)

DONNA

Father Ritchie. I brought everything you asked me to bring.

FATHER

Oh, thank you, Donna. Thank you.

DONNA

What’s the big occasion?

FATHER

Donna, he’s coming.

DONNA

Tom Cruise?

FATHER

No. Jesus. Jesus is coming.

DONNA

Father Ritchie, that’s just a bumper sticker we give out at Sunday coffee.

FATHER

No, Donna. I had a vision. He came to me during the night. My room filled with light and this figure of a holy man came down from the heavens and stood before me.

DONNA

What did he say?

FATHER

Hi. I’m Jesus. I’m coming back. He was very to the point.

DONNA

Wow. That’s amazing. Did he give any more details?

FATHER

He did. He said how’s 10am in the church foyer?

DONNA

Jesus used the word “foyer”? He’s so wise. What did you say?

FATHER

It’s a Thursday. I’m free all day. And then he floated away.

DONNA

It’s almost 10. I’m going to meet Jesus.

FATHER

Yes, Donna. We both are. Live and in the flesh.

DONNA

Why me? Out of all the people in the world, Father Ritchie, why me? Why was I chosen?

FATHER

Oh, it’s a Thursday morning. You work nights at a 711. I knew you were available.

DONNA

My lack of ambition has finally worked in my favor.

(Jesus enters dressed in standard savior garb, robe and sandals.)

JESUS

Father Ritchie.

FATHER (kneeling)

Jesus Christ, my Lord.

(Donna kneels, too.)

JESUS

You really don’t need to do that. Please get up. Really, please.

(They do so and stand for an awkward moment.)

FATHER

So…welcome back. What brings you here?

JESUS

Well, I have big plans, Father Ritchie. My father and I have a message of peace and understanding-

FATHER

Oh! We got you a few things.

JESUS

Not really necessary.

FATHER

Oh, but it’s our pleasure. Good pleasure. Not pleasure pleasure. Donna, the box. (Donna brings the box over.)

DONNA

I’m Donna. But you probably already knew that.

JESUS

Actually, I didn’t. Nice to meet you.

FATHER

I had Donna stop by the church gift shop and pick up a few things-

DONNA

I thought you knew everything.

JESUS

That’s my dad. I’m just smart.

FATHER

We got you one of our finest Bibles.

(Father hands him a Bible.)

JESUS

One of your finest. There’s more than one.

FATHER

Oh, hundreds. This one is written in modern vernacular so everyone can enjoy it.

(Jesus flips through it.)

JESUS

Nice binding. (Reads) “Iron Box Mary.”

FATHER

Slang for “virgin.”

JESUS

My mother was a virgin? I don’t think that’s accurate. Doesn’t make much sense.

DONNA

Haven’t you read the Bible?

JESUS

Just the Old Testament. Of course, back then; we just called it The Testament. Anyway, my plan is to spread the word of God to all corners of the world-

FATHER (handing it to Jesus)

And we got you the Lord’s Prayer pressed into a penny.

JESUS

Oh, look at that. You mutilated a coin in honor of Christianity. I can get behind that.

DONNA

This way, you can keep the Lord’s Prayer with you at all times.

JESUS

I already do.

DONNA

You mean in your heart.

JESUS

I mean up here. (Points to his head) It’s pretty easy to memorize. Just don’t ask me the Ten Commandments. I always blank out on one or two.

FATHER

Me, too!

DONNA

I’m that way with the seven dwarves.

JESUS

So, Father Ritchie, and Donna, you two are the start of my plan. You represent my flock. I was gone for a while. Haven’t really been paying much attention, either. I’m ready to come back. But I will need trustworthy disciples-

FATHER

Oh, there’s one more gift. You can put it on your wall-

JESUS

I don’t have a wall-

FATHER (pulling it out of the box)

It’s a crucifix-

JESUS

What the fuck! Are you a fucking lunatic! Get that thing away from me!

FATHER

But, look, it’s you. Right there!

DONNA

Jesus is a vampire.

JESUS

I’m not a vampire. That was the worst day of my life! What makes you think Id want to relive that?

DONNA

But you died for our sins.

JESUS

I didn’t have a choice. That thing is sick. You people are sick. You people put that up on your walls?

FATHER

We have a huge one over the altar. (He points. Jesus notices.)

JESUS

Me nailed to a cross bleeding is above your altar? You guys working for Satan?

DONNA

We drink your blood and eat your flesh.

JESUS

And you called me a vampire. Fucking cannibals. Are you all like this?

FATHER

Well, just the Christians. The Jews don’t do that. They don’t believe in you.

JESUS

Great. You guys treat me like some Halloween party decoration and the Jews think I’m Santa Claus. Screw it. I’m outta here. (He looks up as he exits) I tried, Dad. I tried. Nice work.

(He throws the Bible at them and exits. Father Ritchie considers the crucifix.)

FATHER

This thing is a bit hideous.

DONNA

I don’t know. I think he has nice hips.

(Blackout)

3 comments:

Chris Othic said...

Joe,

I really really liked this up to the point of the crucifix. The problem I had with it is that this joke has been done before. I'd really like to see this one end differently, not in such a cliche.

But like I said, up until that point I loved it. There are some great lines in there. I think it just needs a last page rewrite, and you can find that ending organically.

Joe said...

Jesus recoiling from a crucifix has been done before. I suppose everything's been done before, but where did you see that?

Chris Othic said...

I don't know, I saw a comedian do it as a joke once, and I think I saw or heard it someplace else.

I think more than anything it's the sudden shift in Jesus' tone in the scene that gets me. I was liking him all laid back and then he goes a little nuts (justifiably so).

This is probably just one of those jokes that everyone else loves but I don't.