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PRODIGA2 8'1m4f The parable of the prodigal son

(all characters where 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 know what you're thinking. You're
thinking that ANYBODY can claim to be the world's greatest. But
just so you know, I (points to self) was the investigator in the
parable of the prodigal son. Now, I know what you're thinking.
You're thinking there was no investigator in the parable of the
prodigal son. But here's how it REALLY happened.

WIFE -- (follows, whispers) Pssst. Hey, you!

SAM -- (turns) Huh?

WIFE -- (looks both ways, approaches) You're that detective guy,
aren't you?

SAM -- Yeah, I'm Sam Spade. You got a mystery that needs
solving?

WIFE -- Yes. Here. (offers small pouch)

SAM -- (takes pouch, shakes coins near ear) Hey, this is a lot
of money! I'm not a hit man, you know! If you want someone
killed....

WIFE -- ...I don't want you to kill anybody. I need you to FIND
somebody.

SAM -- And someone else will do the killing.

WIFE -- (looks both ways) No! Just find him.

SAM -- Then, what's with all the secrecy? Why are you
whispering?

WIFE -- I don't want my husband to find out.

SAM -- Find out what?

WIFE -- It's my son. (offers scroll) Here. I drew a picture of
him.

SAM -- (takes scroll, unfurls it briefly) Well, if he can be
found, I'll find him for you. But why don't you want your
husband to find out?

WIFE -- Well, it's kind of a long story. See, this is a parable.
My husband represents God and my son represents sinful humanity.
My son rebelled against his father's authority and my husband
has removed his protective hand from him. I'm afraid something
terrible will happen to my boy!

SAM -- Isn't that the idea? Isn't the object of this parable to
teach your son a lesson?

WIFE -- Yes. Of course. But I don't want him to die. Find him...
before he dies.

SAM -- Can do. But what do you want me to do with your son when
I find him?

WIFE -- I'll pay you an equal about of money if you bring him
home.

SAM -- (shakes coins near ear) You mean an amount equal to this?

WIFE -- Yes. IF you bring my boy home.

SAM -- The kid is as good as home. (turns)

WIFE -- Remember.

SAM -- (turns) Yes?

WIFE -- You only get the bonus if my husband thinks his son
learned his lesson and came home on his own. (exits)

SAM -- Piece of cake. (turns, strolls, to audience) I made my
way to Sin City in Babylonia. This is the place I'd go if I was
a rich kid rebelling against my parents. I went into the
swankiest casino in town.

PITBOSS -- (enters opposite, shuffling a deck of cards) Howdy
Stranger. Looking for a game of chance?

SAM -- No thanks.

PITBOSS -- We got craps and slots, dice and roulette. What's
your pleasure?

SAM -- Just need some information. A worried mother is concerned
about her wayward son. (offer scroll) You seen this kid?

PITBOSS -- (opens scroll) Yeah. He came in here couple weeks
ago. (returns scroll) Poor kid had a bundle of money and
absolutely no common sense.

SAM -- Yeah, his folks are apparently pretty well off.

PITBOSS -- The kid said his dad gave him his share of his
inheritance BEFORE he died. Can you beat that?

SAM -- Yeah. The old man apparently wanted to teach the kid a
lesson.

PITBOSS -- Well, he sure got a lesson here.

SAM -- How's that?

PITBOSS -- Three card sharks spotted the kid as soon as he
walked through the door. They sat him down at the poker table
and took turns draining his money pouch.

SAM -- So, his money is gone already?

PITBOSS -- Would have been if I hadn't stepped in. I held half
of his money in the the casino safe. When he came to me for a
refill, I let him know that he had been cheated. He took his
remaining money and headed down the street (points to opposite
exit) to try other pursuits, if you know what I mean. (exits)

SAM -- Thanks for the info. (turns, strolls, to audience) Using
my considerable skills, I chose the night club where the kid
would most likely seek out wine, women and song.

SERVER -- (enters opposite carrying tray with glasses) Hiya,
handsome. What kind of pleasure can I interest you in? (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) Just so you know. I really am a handsome
guy, but this waitress is not acknowledging the truth as much as
she is fishing for a big tip. When you've been in the detective
business as long as I have, you get a feel for people who are
money motivated. (to Server) Hiya, dollface. Of all the delights
in this watering hole, I'd guess that YOU are the most
delightful. But I didn't come here to drink. I came here to get
some information.

SERVER -- Oh, look, across the room!

SAM -- What's across the room?

SERVER -- A PAYING customer. (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) What did I tell you? I can spot money
motivated people a mile away. (pulls coin from pouch, to Server)
Did I mention that I'd PAY for some information? (drops coin
onto tray)

SERVER -- Well! What do you want to know?

SAM -- (opens scroll to Server) You seen this kid?

SERVER -- Couldn't hold his liquor. Two girls carried him out of
here after two drinks.

SAM -- Two girls, you say?

SERVER -- (sings) Party time!

SAM -- Which way did they go?

SERVER -- Toward the hotel. But you won't find him there.

SAM -- Where is he?

SERVER -- As soon as the kid passed out, the girls stole his
money pouch. Last I saw, the kid was living in the streets
looking for work.

SAM -- Anybody in town hiring rich kids with no job skills?

SERVER -- Oh, look, across the room!

SAM -- What's across the room?

SERVER -- A PAYING customer. (freezes)

SAM -- (drops another coin on the tray, shrugs to audience)

SERVER -- Well! What was your last question?

SAM -- Anybody in town hiring rich kids with no job skills?

SERVER -- Try the pig farmer north of town. (exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) The only advantage of
paying for information is that the information usually pays off.
I headed out of town toward the pig farm.

FARMER -- (enters opposite) Howdy stranger. I'll bet you're
looking for that young rich kid from Israel.

SAM -- How could you possibly know that?!

FARMER -- All you guys from Israel dress alike.

SAM -- How did you know that he was a rich kid? He didn't have
any money.

FARMER -- His clothes were covered in vomit and smelled like
booze. But they were nicer clothes than yours when they were
new.

SAM -- You're pretty observant for a farmer's wife.

FARMER -- Pretty generous too.

SAM -- How's that?

FARMER -- I paid the kid a week in advance. But he only worked
in the pig pens for three days before he bolted. You know, Jews
don't do so well around pigs.

SAM -- Do you know where he went?

FARMER -- (holds out hand) Did I mention that the kid owed me
most of a week's wages?

SAM -- (pulls coin from pouch, drops it in Farmer's hand)

FARMER -- He went back home.

SAM -- He what?!

FARMER -- You make it sound like a BAD thing.

SAM -- It is. I get a bonus if I bring the kid home! If he goes
home without me, I get zip!

FARMER -- I can tell you how to get back to Israel ahead of him.

SAM -- You can?!

FARMER -- (holds out hand) For a small share of your bonus.

SAM -- (pulls coin from pouch, drops it in Farmer's hand, shrugs
to audience)

FARMER -- The kid went that way this time yesterday. (points
toward audience) But you can save a day -- day and a half maybe
-- by going that way. (points to opposite exit, turns, exits
biting coins)

SAM -- Pleasure doing business with you. (turns, strolls, to
audience) I hurried back to Israel and arrived at my client's
house just a few minutes ahead of the prodigal son.

WIFE -- (enters hurrying, whispers) Did you find him? Did you
find my boy?

SAM -- I not only FOUND him, I talked him into coming home.

WIFE -- Bless you! (offers pouch, looks both ways) Not a word of
this to my husband.

SAM -- (takes pouch) Mum's the word. (shakes pouch near ear)

WIFE -- So, where is he?

SAM -- (nods toward opposite exit)

WIFE -- (passes by Sam, exits hurrying) Sonny! Sonny's home.
(stops, turns, shouts) Mordecai, your son is coming home!
(turns, exits) Sonny! Sonny!

SAM -- (to audience) So, that's the story of the prodigal son.
That's the whole story. (shakes pouch near ear) But I have been
sworn to secrecy, so you'll probably never hear the name Sam
Spade when Jesus tells the story. (exits)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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