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BLINDSAM 9'1m4f Jesus heals the blind beggar on the sabbath

(all characters wear tunics and sandals)

SAM -- (enters wearing a fedora with unlit cigarette in mouth,
crosses strolling, to audience) The name is Spade. Sam Spade.
I'm a private investigator. In fact, I'm the world's greatest
private investigator. I came here to Jerusalem because Jesus
came to Jerusalem. And wherever Jesus goes there's controversy
and controversy is good for the detective business.

WIFE -- (enters opposite, points over shoulder) They said a
private eye came to town. Are you him? (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) See what I mean? (touches nose) I have a
nose for this business. (to Wife) Yes, the name is Spade. Sam
Spade. I'm a private investigator. In fact, I'm the world's
greatest...

WIFE -- ...Save the sales pitch. You've got the job.

SAM -- I suppose this has to do with Jesus of Nazareth.

WIFE -- Say, you're not one of his disciples, are you?

SAM -- No. And I assume you're not a fan of his either.

WIFE -- No. My husband is... well, let's just say that he's one
of the Jewish elites.

SAM -- So, what has Jesus done this time?

WIFE -- He restored the sight of a blind beggar.

SAM -- Dreadful! How could he do such a thing?!

WIFE -- Save the sarcasm. You may not like the Jewish elites,
but you love our money. (tosses coin pouch to Sam) Here.

SAM -- (catches, shakes it) Nice retainer. Consider me retained.
Now what kind of dirt do you want me to dig up on Jesus?

WIFE -- Anything. Every time he does a miracle like this, he
gains disciples and my husband loses disciples. It's got to
stop.

SAM -- Just tell me where to find this blind beggar and I'll be
on my way.

WIFE -- He used to beg for money at the temple gate. He's been
begging there for twenty years.

SAM -- Got it. You'll have your dirt within a day or two.
(turns)

WIFE -- One more thing. (tosses second coin pouch)

SAM -- (turns, catches, shakes it) What's this for?

WIFE -- In case anyone asks, you and I never met.

SAM -- You think I'm going to find that much dirt on Jesus?

WIFE -- No. You're a dirt bag and my husband doesn't want to be
associated with the likes of you. (exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) Listen, I meant what I
said. I'm the world's greatest private eye. But even the world's
greatest private eye has a few slow periods. And during one of
my slow periods I investigated a few divorces. Messy divorces
can ruin a perfectly good reputation.

BEGGAR -- (enters opposite, holds out hand) Alms. Alms for the
poor. Alms for the poor.

SAM -- I'm looking for a guy.

BEGGAR -- Ain't we all. If I had a guy, I wouldn't be standing
here begging. (holds out hand toward audience) Alms. Alms for
the poor.

SAM -- The guy I'm looking for was a blind beggar.

BEGGAR -- That's nice. Step aside. I'm begging here. (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) Watch and learn how the world's greatest
private eye extracts information from a hostile witness. (to
beggar) You want to make some money?

BEGGAR -- No. I'm filthy rich. I'm just standing here because I
like the view. Alms. Alms for the poor.

SAM -- (reaches into coin pouch, pulls out coin, offers it)

BEGGAR -- (takes coin) Now you're talking! What do you want to
know? (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) You see, you just have to know what
motivates people. (to beggar) The blind beggar who used to stand
here begging?

BEGGAR -- Oh, him.

SAM -- Yeah, him.

BEGGAR -- He ain't here no more.

SAM -- I know he's not here. I can see he's not here. Where is
he?

BEGGAR -- Do I look like his administrative assistant?

SAM -- I just paid you a drachma. Don't I get something for my
money?

BEGGAR -- I don't know. I'm awfully hungry. Alms. Alms for the
poor. (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience, digging into pouch) Listen, I was right
about what motivates her. I was just wrong about the amount.
(offers coin, to beggar) Where was this blind beggar going last
time you saw him?

BEGGAR -- (takes coin) Down to the pool of Siloam. (moves to
exit)

SAM -- Wait a minute! The pool of Siloam!? Nobody begs for money
down there!

BEGGAR -- (stops, turns) You asked me where he went. I told you
where he went. End of transaction. (exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) I headed down to the pool
of Siloam. But I didn't expect to find a beggar there. The pool
of Siloam is only frequented by sick people who think that the
pool has some kind of magical healing powers. (to Paralytic) I'm
looking for a blind beggar who used to stand at the temple gate.

PARALYTIC -- (enters limping with gnarled hand) He left.

SAM -- So he WAS here?

PARALYTIC -- Yeah. But he left... as soon as he was healed.

SAM -- Healed?! You mean he's no longer blind?

PARALYTIC -- Yeah. He washed the mud off his eyes and then he
could see and then he left.

SAM -- So, the pool of Siloam does have some healing powers.

PARALYTIC -- Not a chance. I've been wading into this pool every
day for fifteen years and I'm still paralyzed.

SAM -- Well, if the pool didn't do it.... Did you say he washed
the MUD off his eyes?

PARALYTIC -- Yeah.

SAM -- Where did the mud come from?

PARALYTIC -- Didn't say. Just said "Praise Jesus!"

SAM -- So, he attributed his healing to Jesus?

PARALYTIC -- Yup.

SAM -- Are you sure he was healed? How do you know he wasn't
still blind?

PARALYTIC -- He told me I was beautiful.

SAM -- That's convincing.

PARALYTIC -- He said he liked my blue eyes.

SAM -- So, he really could see!

PARALYTIC -- Yup. Blind as a bat since birth, then, bam, he can
see.

SAM -- Where did he go from here?

PARALYTIC -- Said he was going back up to the temple to give a
thank offering to God.

SAM -- Thanks. (turns)

PARALYTIC -- If you see Jesus, tell him I'm ready for MY
miracle. (exits)

SAM -- (turns) Sure. (turns, strolls, to audience) I headed back
to the temple to see if one of the priests could confirm the
story about the healing and the sacrifice.

ADMIN -- (enters carrying clipboard) You're number
three-twenty-nine. Have your sacrifice ready for the priest when
he calls your number.

SAM -- I'm not here to make a sacrifice. I'm here to...

ADMIN -- If you want to set up a table to sell animals for
sacrifices, the line forms over there. (points) If you want to
set up a table to change foreign currency into drachmas,
(points) the line....

SAM -- I'm not here for any of that. The name is Spade. Sam
Spade. I'm a private investigator. In fact, I'm the world's
greatest...

ADMIN -- I'm sorry, sir, this is a very busy temple and I'm a
very busy administrative assistant. If you don't have any temple
business, please step outside. (holds out hand, freezes)

SAM -- (reaches into pouch, to audience) Here's a tip from a
seasoned professional detective: There's only one language
spoken by these bureaucrats, it's the language of money. (offers
coin) Here.

ADMIN -- (takes, bites, pockets coin) So you do! You may go to
the front of any line.

SAM -- I don't want to cut in any line. I need some information.

ADMIN -- Make it snappy. The bribes are coming in hot and heavy
today.

SAM -- The blind beggar who used to stand at the temple gate?
(points over shoulder)

ADMIN -- Came in here yesterday. Gave a thank offering for a
healing. (shouts) Next!

SAM -- I need some more information.

ADMIN -- I'm sorry, sir, this is a very busy temple and I'm a
very busy administrative assistant. If you don't have any temple
business, please step outside. (holds out hand, freezes)

SAM -- (reaches into pouch, to audience) Did you notice that she
didn't really ASK for a bribe? That way she can't be accused of
bribery, just accepting a gift from a grateful visitor. (offers
coin) Couple more questions?

ADMIN -- That's TWO questions but only one coin? (holds out
hand, freezes)

SAM -- (reaches into pouch, to audience) I think I might be in
the wrong business. (offers coin) Here.

ADMIN -- (bites coins) I am your humble servant. How may I serve
you?

SAM -- The blind beggar?

ADMIN -- Not blind anymore.

SAM -- Are you sure its the same guy who...

ADMIN -- Been blind from birth. Been begging at the temple gate
for years.

SAM -- So, it WAS a miracle!

ADMIN -- (leans forward) Just between you and me, yeah.

SAM -- So, maybe this guy Jesus really is the son of God as he
claims to be.

ADMIN -- (leans forward) Just between you and me, yeah.

SAM -- So, why aren't YOU one of his disciples?

ADMIN -- I couldn't afford the pay cut.

SAM -- So, where is this guy now?

ADMIN -- I'm sorry, sir, this is a very busy temple and I'm a
very busy administrative assistant. If you don't have any temple
business, please step outside. (holds out hand, freezes)

SAM -- (reaches into pouch, to audience) I'm down to the last
two coins in this pouch. This bureaucrat is eating into my
profits. I'll have to be careful about which questions to ask.
(offers coins) Two coins for two questions.

ADMIN -- (bites coins) I am your humble servant. How may I serve
you?

SAM -- Where?

ADMIN -- The temple guards just hauled him into the Sanhedrin.
He's being interrogated by the chief priest and the Sanhedrin as
we speak. Next question.

SAM -- I need some dirt on Jesus.

ADMIN -- Jesus healed the blind beggar on the sabbath. (shouts)
Next!

SAM -- Wait a minute! That's not dirt! The sabbath is a day of
rest for man, not the son of God. The son of God can work all
day long on the sabbath if he wants to.

ADMIN -- I'm sorry, sir, this is a very busy temple and I'm a
very busy administrative assistant. If you don't have any temple
business, please step outside. (shouts) Next. (exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) I went back to the wife of
the Jewish elite. Hoping for a reimbursement. (to WIFE) Oh,
there you are. I got some dirt on Jesus. And I was hoping for a
reimbursement for expenses. (holds up pouches)

WIFE -- (enters opposite, snatches pouches) You get nothing. We
already got dirt on Jesus. The blind beggar told the Sanhedrin
that Jesus performed his miracle on the sabbath. (turns)

SAM -- That's not dirt! The Son of God is exempt from the
Sabbath.

WIFE -- (turns) Doesn't make any difference. All we need is a
charge against him. We don't even care if the charge is true.
(exits)

SAM -- Wait a minute. I had expenses! Don't I.... (pauses,
turns, exits opposite) I think I'll apply for the job of
administrative assistant.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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