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MAFIA    8'3m0f The Sanhedrin before and after the crucifixion

(Three speaking hoodlums and an unspecified number of 
non-speaking hoodlums enter, sit at conference table)

BOSS --- Alright, dis meetin' of the Sanhedrin will come to orda. 
Hey, all you priests and Pharisees, listen up. 

BENNIE - Sure, boss. 

BOSS --- Owa first order a business is owa financial report from 
Vinnie da Weasel. Vinnie? 

VINNIE - Tanks, Boss. Owa books show record earnin's from 
throwing poor widows and orphans outa der homes and sellin' der 
property. We also show a definite uptick from our new  
reinvestment strategy. 

BENNIE - What's he talkin' about, boss? 

BOSS --- Tell 'em, Vinnie. 

VINNIE - Bennie, you was not here at the last meetin' of da 
Sanhedrin when we decided to take the money that we would 
normally use to support owa aging muddas an' faddas and invest 
it elsewhere. 

BENNIE - You mean, we ain't supportin' owa poor muddas an' 
faddas no more? You mean day may hafta beg for money in da 
streets and at da temple gates? 

VINNIE - Dat is correct. 

BENNIE - What a marvelous idea! Where was I when yous made dis 
decision?

VINNIE - You was out of town trying to organize the rank and file 
Jews to stone Jesus to death. 

BENNIE - Oh, yeah, sorry he slipped tru my fingas. 

BOSS --- And now we will cover new business. The chair recognizes 
Bennie da tooth. 

BENNIE - Boss, I would appreciate it if you would stop callin' me 
Bennie the tooth. 

BOSS --- What else do you call a guy with only one tooth? 

BENNIE - Whateva. I would like to report on the earnin's from owa 
newest scam. 

BOSS --- Oh, you mean the fasting in public? 

BENNIE - Yeah, da fastin', that's it. We got Pharisees hangin' 
out on all da street corners and public squares lookin' hungry 
and prayin' out loud. They attract large crowds and... 

BOSS --- Skip da details. What's da bottom line?  

BENNIE - I am almost ashamed to announce that the suckers are 
buying da scam in record numbas. The fastin' Pharisees took in 
253 talents and 22 drachmas yesterday alone (chuckles) for da 
homeless widows and orphans fund (chuckles) 

BOSS --- Yeah, for da poor widows and orphans. right (all laugh)

BENNIE - Deez early results is so encouragin' that we are now 
makin' plans to roll out the public fastin' scam nation wide. I 
tank yous for your kind attention. Boss? 

BOSS --- Owa next order a business is temple operations. Again, 
we'll hear from Vinnie da weasel. 

VINNIE - It is with a heavy heart that I report on temple 
operations, Boss. 

BOSS --- Save da editorial comments for later. What's today's 
take from da temple? 

VINNIE - Dats just it, Boss. We git nothin', zero, zip, nada!

BOSS --- It's dat Jesus punk again, ain't it? 

VINNIE - Dat is correct. Dis mornin' he came into da temple and 
drove out all da money changes and sacrifice sellas. He says to 
dem, he says, "You have made my faddas house a den off thieves."

BENNIE - (stands) Hey, I resemble dat remark. We're legit. We 
ain't no thieves. Who does he tink he is, anyways? Why, dat, 
lousy...

BOSS --- Sit down, Benny. I'll handle dis. We are respectable 
religious leaders. 

BENNIE - Yeah, but, Boss, we can't let dis guy take over owa 
turf. 

BOSS --- I said, I'll handle dis. We got us a stool pigeon inside 
his organization, who is at dis moment schmoozin' with dis punk. 
By tomorrow mornin' Jesus will be hung out to dry, all nice an' 
legal. Den owa temple operations can return to normal. 

VINNIE - Whata you got in mind, Boss? Whata you gonna do? 

BOSS --- (chuckles) WE don't DO nothin'. (chuckles) We let the 
Romans do da dirty work. All we have to do is come up with a few 
eye witnesses, if you catch my drift. 

(all laugh) 

VINNIE - You mean a frame up, Boss? 

BOSS --- Vinnie! We're da Sanhedrin. We would neva do dat. Would 
we fellas? 

BENNIE - Nah, we're da goodfellas. 

(all laugh) 

BOSS --- Alright, dis meetin' in adjourned and will reconvene at 
Omar's Bar and Grill. I'm buyin'.

(all rise, move to exit)

VINNIE - But, suppose sompum goes wrong, Boss? 

BOSS --- Well, lemme ask you dis, Vinnie. Once day nail him to da 
cross and put a spear into his heart, what's he gonna do, raise 
from da dead? 

BENNIE - (laughs) Raise from the dead. That's a good one boss.

(all laugh and exit) 

ACT 2

(all enter, not smiling, sit)

BOSS --- Alright, dis meetin' of the Sanhedrin will come to orda. 
Hey, all yous priests and Pharisees, listen up. 

BENNIE - Sure, boss. 

BOSS --- Owa first order a business is owa financial report from 
Vinnie da weasel. Vinnie? 

VINNIE - Tanks, boss. It is with deep remorse that I report a 
rather significant drop in earnings from all da scams in our 
organization.

BENNIE - Hey, wait a minute. The guy who was turning over the 
tables of the money changers and sacrifice sellers, didn't we 
bump him off? He was the messiah, right?

BOSS --- That is ALLEGED messiah, Bennie.

BENNIE - Sorry, boss. But I thought we bumped him off, didn't 
we?

BOSS --- I was under the same impression, Vinnie. Did we punch 
the wrong ticket?

VINNIE - Oh, we got the right man, alright, Boss. It was Jesus 
of Nazareth hanging on the cross alright. I seen him with my own 
eyes. I even had the guard run a spear through his heart before 
he took him down to bury him.

BOSS --- Well, then how do you explain the continued drop in 
earnings from our operations?

BENNIE - Yeah, if he was the guy who overturned the tables of 
the money changers and sacrifice sellers, how come we ain't back 
to normal again?

BOSS --- I'll ask the questions around here, meat head.

BENNIE - Sorry, boss.

BOSS --- Okay, if he was the guy who overturned the tables of the 
money changers and sacrifice sellers, how come we ain't back to 
normal again?

BENNIE - Good question, boss.

BOSS --- Thank you, Bennie.

VINNIE - Word is this Jesus guy raised from the dead.

BENNIE - (Laughs hysterically) Raised from the dead! That's a 
good one, eh, boss? Raised from the dead. (laughs until 
interrupted)

BOSS --- Put a sock in it, Bennie.

BENNIE - Yeah, sure, boss. It wasn't that funny, anyways.

BOSS --- No, it wasn't. I had to personally engineer a cover-up 
when his body disappeared from the tomb.

BENNIE - You mean he did raise from the dead?

BOSS --- Button your lip. Nobody is supposed to know. 

VINNIE - We was gonna to whack everybody what saw Jesus after 
the resurrection. But we found out that Jesus appeared to more 
than 500 people after the resurrection.

BOSS --- That's ALLEGED resurrection, meat head.

VINNIE - Sorry, boss.

BOSS --- Resurrection or not, he should no longer be an influence 
on the earnings of this here organization.

BENNIE - Why not, Boss? Did somebody punch his ticket again?

VINNIE - You been hiding under a rock, Bennie? Jesus ascended 
into heaven.

BOSS --- He ALLEGEDLY ascended into heaven, meat head.

VINNIE - Sorry, boss. 

BENNIE - Holy smokes! Where was I when all dis happened?

BOSS --- I sent you down to Jericho to stir up some civil unrest 
as a diversion, so as nobody would pay much attention to the 
ALLEGED messiah ALLEGEDLY raising from the dead.

BENNIE - Oh, yeah, I ain't had so much fun stirring up a riot 
for a long time.

BOSS --- What I don't understand is why, after Jesus disappears 
into the clouds, we are still suffering financially as if he 
were still on earth.

BENNIE - Yeah, so, who is overturning the tables of the money 
changers and sacrifice sellers?

VINNIE - Oh, nobody is doing nothing like that.

BENNIE - Then what's going on here?

BOSS --- I'll ask the questions here, meat heat.

BENNIE - Sorry, boss.

BOSS --- Then what's going on here?

VINNIE - People just aren't sacrificing anymore, boss. They say 
that Jesus was the sacrifice for their sins and so no other 
sacrifice is necessary.

BENNIE - We can't let them get away with that can we, boss?

BOSS --- What about our other scams? What about the collections 
for the widows and orphans out on the street corners?

VINNIE - The disciples of Jesus are selling their property and 
sharing with the poor directly. People with extra space in their 
homes are inviting widows and orphans to live with them. The 
homeless ain't homeless no more.

BENNIE - We can't let them get away with that can we, boss?

BOSS --- What about our scam called "prayers for healing". That 
was always a money maker.

VINNIE - The apostles is all healing everybody they touch.

BENNIE - We can't let them get away with that can we, boss?

BOSS --- Put a sock in it, Bennie.

BENNIE - Sorry, boss.

BOSS --- We can't let them get away with that. Let's have the 
apostles arrested.

VINNIE - We just arrested Peter and John after they healed a 
lame beggar. They spent the night in jail. But we couldn't 
charge them with nothing. There's no law against healing lame 
people.

BENNIE - Well, at least it slowed them down, huh?

VINNIE - Not really. While Peter and John was in jail, the 
Christians had 5000 more converts.

BENNIE - (laughs) Talk about stupid. (laughs)

BOSS --- What are you laughing about?

BENNIE - 5000 people is following a guy who ain't even here no 
more. Talk about stupid. (laughs)

BOSS --- One of them stupid people was my mother.

BENNIE - (stops laughing) Oh.  Sorry, boss. 

(Boss grabs Bennie by the collar, lifts him out of his chair) 
Where you taking me, Boss?

BOSS --- (both toward exit) I'm gonna give you deep water 
swimming lessons with concrete swim fins. This meeting is 
adjourned.

(all exit)


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