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STEWARD  6'4m0f The parable of the dishonest steward

(all characters wear suits and fedoras, speak with Brooklyn 
accents; when LEN speaks his asides, all other characters on 
stage freeze until he finishes)

LEN -- (enters, crosses casually, sees Ben) Benny! You're just 
the man I wanted to see!

BEN -- (enters opposite, sees Len, turns to exit) Oh, oh.

LEN -- Freeze, dirt bag!

BEN -- (without turning) Lenny! I didn't see you there....

LEN -- ...Save it, scum bag. Where's the money you owe me?

BEN -- I'll get it for you, Lenny, I swear.

LEN -- Benny, do you know why they call me Lenny the Leaner?

BEN -- Because you lean on people.

LEN -- Do you know what I'm supposed to do if a customer fails 
to repay his loan?

BEN -- Please don't break my knees, Lenny. I'll pay you, I 
swear.

LEN -- Benny, I happen to know that today is pay day.

BEN -- But I've got to buy groceries for my five children.

LEN -- That slow dripping sound you hear is my heart bleeding 
for you.

BEN -- Please, Lenny. You wouldn't take food out of the mouths 
of my children.

LEN -- Benny, did you know that sometimes when knee bones break 
they go (in Ben's ear) CRACK. And sometimes they go CRUNCH.

BEN -- (cringes, pulls a wad of money from pocket) Oh, 
alright, you can have your mon...

LEN -- (takes money, holds it in Ben's face) You did the right 
thing, Benny boy....

DON -- (enters, begins crossing to Len) Lenny, you scum bag.

LEN -- (aside) I suppose you're wondering what a bunch of 
non-Christians is doing here in your church. (looks both ways) 
Well, none of the other guys know it, but this is a parable: the 
parable of the dishonest steward. See, Benny, here, is a 
customer of my boss (points), Don Calzone. Don Calzone is in the 
loan business. (looks both ways) Alright, just between you's and 
me, he's a loan shark. And my job, as his steward, is to collect 
loan payments from his customers in a timely fashion. And, if I 
do say so myself, I am very good at what I do. 

LEN -- Boss! ....(holds up money where Benny can reach it, 
distracted) What... What are you doing here, boss?

BEN -- (snatches money, exits quickly)

DON -- Lenny, if you were not like a brother to me, you would 
now be taking deep water swimming lessons with concrete swim 
fins. 

LEN -- Is something wrong, boss?

DON -- Do not try to schmooze me, Lenny. I know that you have 
been skimming money from the loan payments.

LEN -- Boss, how can you accuse me of such a thing....

DON -- Button it, meat head. You have two hours to make your 
collections and make a final accounting. Then, you will no 
longer be under my employ.

LEN -- But, boss, I....

DON -- (exiting backward) Meet me in the back room of the Cafe 
Milano in two hours or you are fish food. Got it?

LEN -- Yeah, sure. See you, boss. (aside) It's a cruel world. 
One day you eat the bear, the next day the bear eats you. In 
exactly two hours I join the ranks of the unemployed. The 
problem is, there are not a lot of job openings out there these 
days for knee breakers. Fortunately, I still have stewardship of 
the boss's money for a while. 

(sees Richie enter, to Richie) Richie! You're just the man I 
wanted to see!

RIC -- (enters, turns to exit) Oh, oh.

LEN -- Freeze, dirt bag!

RIC -- (with back turned) Lenny! I didn't see you there....

LEN -- ...Save it, scum bag. Where's the money you owe me?

RIC -- I'll get it for you, Lenny, I swear.

LEN -- Fortunately, Richie, this is you're lucky day.

RIC -- (turns) It is?

LEN -- Yes, it is. How much do you owe me, Richie?

RIC -- Is this a trick question, Lenny? You know exactly how 
much I owe you. You've been after me for it for a week. I owe 
you fifteen large.

LEN -- For a limited time only, Richie, my boy, I will discount 
your loan to TEN large.

RIC -- What a minute. Let me get this straight. You will cancel 
my debt if I pay you TEN?

LEN -- That's right, I said TEN.

RIC -- Ten G's?

LEN -- Ten thousand. That is correct.

RIC -- Lenny, are you feeling alright?

LEN -- This offer is available for limited time only.

RIC -- Ten G's is what I borrowed from you. You're not going to 
collect the interest?

LEN -- Tic Toc. Tic toc.

RIC -- Okay! Okay! (pulls a wad money from pocket, counts it) 
What's the catch?

LEN -- Don Calzone is downsizing his organization. I've got to 
settle accounts with him in two hours. And then I'll be out of a 
job.

RIC -- (finishes counting) So, you'll take a discount on my loan 
in exchange... for what?

LEN -- I need a job. And minimum wage won't even pay for my dry 
cleaning.

RIC -- I can hook you up with a guy downtown who runs a 
night club. I can't guarantee anything but....

LEN -- Richie, may I remind you that I just saved you five G's?

RIC -- Alright, alright, the guy who runs the night club owes my 
uncle a favor. I'll pull some strings. The job is yours if you 
want it. (holds up money)

LEN -- (takes money, begins counting) Well, look at this! You're 
loan is paid in full! Congratulations.

RIC -- (exiting toward Benny's exit) It's been a pleasure doing 
business with you, Lenny.

LEN -- Likewise, I'm sure. (aside) See, what you Christians 
don't seem to grasp is that money COMES and money GOES. A good 
steward should use the money at his disposal to invest in the 
future. 

BEN -- (enters) Lenny! Richie just told me that you were 
discounting your loans.

LEN -- (smiles to audience, turns to Benny) Did he also tell you 
that I was looking for a job?

BEN -- As a matter of fact, I happen to have a direct line on an 
excellent job downtown. (turns away) unfortunately, at this moment 
my mind is encumbered by the excessive interest on a certain 
outstanding loan.

LEN -- Well, I would think that if you were to pay only the 
outstanding principle of said loan WITHOUT the interest....

BEN -- (holds up a wad of money) Done! 

LEN -- (takes money, counts it) Another loan paid in full! So, 
tell me about this job.

(both move to exit)

BEN -- Well, my Uncle Al has this Jewelry business.

LEN -- (smiles to audience) Jewelry! No kidding!

BEN -- Diamonds, actually.

LEN -- (aside) Listen people, stewardship is all about using 
money to buy things that will last beyond the here and the now. 
I'm just sorry you had to hear it from a non-Christian. (exits 
with Ben) So, Benny, tell tell me more about this job...

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