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DAGON    7'2m0f The Ark of the Covenant destroys Dagon

(PRIEST & SMITH raise phones to their ears simultaneously, 
standing on opposite ends of the stage)

SMITH -- Ashdad police. This is detective Smith.

PRIEST -- (standing on a chair, cups hand over mouth) Hello, 
this is the priest from the Temple of Dagon.

SMITH -- (looks over at PRIEST) Why are you cupping your hand 
over your mouth?

PRIEST -- I thought it would make me sound like I was on the 
phone. 

SMITH -- You're holding a phone in your hand. I think the 
audience gets the point.

PRIEST -- Oh. Yeah. Okay. 

SMITH -- Besides, it doesn't sound anything like a phone.

PRIEST -- It doesn't?

SMITH -- No, it doesn't.

PRIEST -- (drops hand) How's this? Better?

SMITH -- Good.  So, what can I help you with your priestness?

PRIEST -- I'd like to report a vandalism.

SMITH -- Okay, I have just one question.

PRIEST -- Sure. What is it?

SMITH -- How do you spell vandalism?

PRIEST -- V... A... N...  Vandalism... V... A... N... D... 
Vandalism... V... A... N... D... A... Vandalism....

(both put down phones simultaneously) 

SMITH -- (picks up writing pad and pen, strolls toward PRIEST, 
talking to audience)  Three hours later, I hung up the phone I 
drove out to the Temple of Dagon.

(to priest) Hello, my name is Detective Smith. I'm with the 
Ashdad police department. You called about a vandalism?

PRIEST -- I think I've got it now. VANDALISM, V... A... N... 
D... A.... VANDALISM V... A... N... D... A....

SMITH -- It's okay, I looked it up in the dictionary.

PRIEST -- Oh, man! I had it! Let me see if I got it right. 
(looks at SMITH's pad)

SMITH -- (pulls pad away) Let's get on with the investigation. 

PRIEST -- Yes, of course.

SMITH -- First question. Why are you standing on that chair?

PRIEST -- The Bible says I'm a HIGH priest. Get it?

SMITH -- Got it. Now, if you'll just clear (motions broadly 
toward floor) all this mess out my way, I'd like to comb the 
area for evidence.

PRIEST -- But, this mess IS the evidence, Detective Smith. It's 
a vandalism, remember?

SMITH -- Oh, yes, of course. So, did you get the license number 
of the truck that knocked over this big sculpture?

PRIEST -- It was no truck, Detective Smith. I know that for 
sure.

SMITH -- How do you know?

PRIEST -- This is the Old Testament. Trucks won't be invented 
for another 3000 years.

SMITH -- Yes, of course. So, tell me all you know.

PRIEST -- All I know.... Well, let's see. Men don't understand 
women. I'm not the same man my wife married ten years ago. I 
never help around the house...

SMITH -- I was referring to the vandalism.

PRIEST -- Oh, sure. This is the second time this has happened 
since we stole the Ark of the Covenant from Israel.

SMITH -- The Ark of the Covenant. You mean that big gold box 
there with the angels on the lid? (points)

PRIEST -- Yes. The first morning after it arrived, we found the 
statue of our great god Dagon, face down in front of the arch of 
the covenant, just like it is now. It looked like Dagon was 
bowing down to the Ark of the Covenant. Isn't that silly?

SMITH -- But the statue didn't break the first time?

PRIEST -- No, sir. But this time, both arms and the head of 
Dagon broke off.

SMITH -- Ahha!

PRIEST -- Did you discover something?

SMITH -- Yes, all this debris. This was a statue! I thought it 
was a sculpture of a baseball bat.

PRIEST -- A baseball bat? What's a baseball bat?

SMITH -- It's a little hard to explain. So, where are the head 
and the arms from the statue?

PRIEST -- They rolled all the way over there to the doorway. 
(points)

SMITH -- There's something funny going on around here.

PRIEST -- Funny? Well, if it's funny, then it's probably not 
this comedy sketch. We're dying here.

SMITH -- No, it has to do with the Ark of the Covenant. How 
could a big gold box with angels the lid be connected to the 
vandalism? Unless... Unless there were some midget hidden inside 
the box. Can you see the possibilities there?

PRIEST -- No possibilities there at all. There's just two stone 
tablets inside the Ark.

SMITH -- I wasn't talking about possibilities inside the Ark. I 
was talking about possibilities for SHORT jokes. We could have 
saved this comedy sketch from disaster. But you blew it.

PRIEST -- Sorry.

SMITH -- (strolls back to opposite end of stage, talking to 
audience) The mystery of the broken Dagon statue remained a 
mystery until after I transferred from the Ashdad Police 
Department to the Ekron Police Department.

PRIEST -- (looks to see who he's talking to, shouts) Excuse me. 
Who are you talking to?

SMITH -- I'm talking to the audience. This is how we connect one 
scene with another. This way you don't have to build expensive 
scenery.

PRIEST -- Oh. Well, don't let me interrupt.

(both raise phones to ears simultaneously)

SMITH -- Ekron Police Department. This is detective Smith.

PRIEST -- (speaking into a styrofoam cup) Please, you've got to 
help us!

SMITH -- Why are you talking into a styrofoam cup?

PRIEST -- To make it sound like I'm on the telephone. You didn't 
seem to like it when I cupped my hand over my mouth, so...

SMITH -- Ixnay the upkay. 

PRIEST -- (pulls cup away) Please help us! We have tumors!

SMITH -- Tumors?!

PRIEST -- Yes, everyone in Ekron is breaking out with tumors. 
Please help us!

SMITH -- I'm afraid you've got the wrong number, buddy. You want 
the health department.

PRIEST -- No, the people at the health department are dead too. 
They're all dead. They died of tumors.

(both put down phones simultaneously)

SMITH -- (strolls back toward PRIEST speaking to audience) I 
hopped into my chariot and drove to the complainants residence.

PRIEST -- (steps down from chair, attached one tumor to his 
face)

SMITH -- (to priest) Hello, I'm detective Smith. Are you the 
person who called about the tumors?

PRIEST -- Yes, I am, officer. 

SMITH -- Say, haven't I seen you somewhere before? 

PRIEST -- Me? No. I, ah, I, ah,... I was never a priest in 
Dagon's temple over in Ashdad. (pushes chair away with foot) I 
was never a high priest either. You must have mistaken me for 
someone else.

SMITH -- Good, because if you were the same guy as in the last 
scene, people would think that this is a low-rent comedy sketch. 

PRIEST -- No, it's not. I swear it's not. You have to believe 
me.

SMITH -- So, you called about tumors. I only see one tumor one 
your face

PRIEST -- Well, what do you expect? Your transition between 
scenes was only a couple seconds. How many tumors could YOU put 
on in a couple seconds?

SMITH -- Where were we?

PRIEST -- So, are you going to help me with my tumors or not?

SMITH -- This wouldn't just happen to have anything to do with 
the Ark of the Covenant, would it?

PRIEST -- What makes you ask that?

SMITH -- Well, the script was running a little long, so I 
thought we'd save a little time.

PRIEST -- Oh. Why, yes, Detective Smith, as a matter of fact the 
tumors started the day we brought the Ark of the Covenant here 
to Ekron from the Temple of Dagon in Ashdad.

SMITH -- Where was the Ark of the Covenant BEFORE it went to 
Ashdad?

PRIEST -- It all started when Eli, the leader of the Hebrews, 
allowed his two sons to lead a life of debauchery in public. So, 
the God of Israel turned his back on Eli. And when we went into 
battle against the Hebrews, there was noone to protect them. In 
the battle, we killed both of Eli's sons and stole the Ark of 
the Covenant from their tabernacle. When Eli heard about it, he 
fell off his chair, broke his neck and died. Now, apparently, 
the God of Israel is cursing us for having stolen the Ark of the 
Covenant.

SMITH -- (beat) There's got to be a law against that.

PRIEST -- Against stealing the Ark?

SMITH -- No, against one actor speaking that much expository at 
one time.

PRIEST -- They do it on BAYWATCH all the time.

SMITH -- Oh. Okay. So, as I see it, your only choice is to send 
the Ark of the Covenant back to the people of Israel with some 
gifts of pure gold as an apology.

PRIEST -- Good idea. We'll send five gold rats and five gold 
tumors.

SMITH -- I was thinking of fishing lures or bowling trophies. 
But rats and tumors could work.

PRIEST -- Yes, thank you, Detective Smith. You saved our lives.

SMITH -- (turns, strolls toward opposite exit, talking to 
audience) So, there you have it. The Ark was returned to the 
people of Israel and the TUMOR cleared up.

PRIEST -- (follows) That's TUMORS, plural.

(They argue as they exit)

SMITH -- I saw one stinking tumor on your face. And that one was 
falling off.

PRIEST -- I thought I explained that to you. You didn't give me 
enough time to put on more than one tumor.

SMITH -- And what's with that styrofoam cup? I thought we 
discussed that.

PRIEST -- It sounded just like a phone. Ask them. Ask anyone. It 
sounded just like a phone.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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