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JOB3     8'1m5f The story of Job

(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.

WIFE -- (follows silently)

SAM -- I was going to invite you all to join me in my next
investigation, but I had a bad dream about it last night and so
I decided to tell the client that I would have to refuse the
case. While I'm thinking about it I wonder if maybe the best
course of action might be to just not show up at all. (turns,
gasps)

WIFE -- Are you the private eye?

SAM -- Ah, yeah, I, ah was just coming to see you. Listen, I,
ah, I don't know how to tell you this, but I had a bad dream
about this case.

WIFE -- Me too.

SAM -- You did?!

WIFE -- Yes. That's why I want to hire you.

SAM -- What kind of dream did you have?

WIFE -- Like something bad was going to happen.

SAM -- Yeah. Mine too. Sorry, it looks like I'll have to pass on
this one. (turns)

WIFE -- What's your fee?

SAM -- (turns) Excuse me?

WIFE -- What's your fee?

SAM -- Well, I usually charge a hundred drachmas per day plus
expenses, but under the circumstances, I... (turns)

WIFE -- I'll pay you one thousand.

SAM -- (turns) You what?!

WIFE -- I said, I'll pay you one thousand drachmas per day plus
expenses. (freezes)

SAM -- Okay. (to audience) I know what you're thinking. You're
thinking that I'm not a man of my word. That I can be bought for
a price. Well, I'll have you know that the detective business
has it's ups and downs. And right now I'm in one of my down
periods. Bill collectors are beating down my door. (to wife)
Say, how can you afford a thousand drachmas per day?

WIFE -- My husband's name is Job. He is the richest man in the
world. (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) Just my luck. I could have probably
negotiated TWO thousand per day. (to wife) Alright, well, what
do you want me to investigate?

WIFE -- In my dream, my husband lost everything. I want you to
tour our vast estate and look for suspicious people and
situations so we can head off disaster before it strikes.
(exits)

SAM -- I'm your man. You can count on me. (turns, strolls, to
audience) My first stop was to Job's vast herds of beasts of
burden. I was told that Job own 500 oxen and 500 donkeys. (to
herder) Hey, you!

HERDER -- (enters opposite, stops, gasps) Please don't kill me!
Please don't kill me!

SAM -- Kill you?! Why would I kill you?

HERDER -- Oh. You... You're not one of them?

SAM -- Them? Who's them?

HERDER -- The rustlers from Arabia.

SAM -- Rustlers?

HERDER -- Yes. They swooped in and stole all the oxen and
donkeys!

SAM -- All of them?! 500 oxen and 500 donkeys?!

HERDER -- All of them. And they killed all the other herders.
I'm the only one who survived! You don't suppose Job will be mad
at me, do you?

SAM -- Naw. He'll be a little peeved at the Arabs, though. Wow.
It's already started.

HERDER -- Started? (exits)

SAM -- Yeah, I was hired to head off a disaster, but it looks
like I was a little too late. (turns, strolls, to audience) I
hurried up to the mountain meadows where I expected to find 7000
sheep and goats and several dozen shepherds. But instead, all I
found was a charred ruin. (to shepherd) Hey, what happened here?
Did you have a brush fire? Let me guess. It was the Arabs.

SHEPHERD -- Wrong.

SAM -- Well, what was it?

SHEPHERD -- Well, near as I can tell it was an asteroid.

SAM -- A what?

SHEPHERD -- And asteroid, a meteor, a fireball from outer space.

SAM -- Bummer. Looks like you have to move your sheep to greener
pastures.

SHEPHERD -- If I had any sheep.

SAM -- What happened to the sheep?

SHEPHERD -- The fireball landed smack dab in the middle of the
herd. Killed them all.

SAM -- All 7000 sheep and goats?!

SHEPHERD -- Shepherds too. I'm the only survivor. (exits)

SAM -- (turns, pumps arms as if walking fast, to audience) I
hurried to the valley below, hoping to warn the camel drivers to
protect the camel herd.

DRIVER -- (enters opposite wielding a big stick) If you're a
Chaldean, I'm going to bash your brains out.

SAM -- Wo, Nelly! I work for your boss! What's with the stick?

DRIVER -- The Chaldeans swooped in out of the hills and stole
all of the camels.

SAM -- All of them?

DRIVER -- Every one.

SAM -- I was told there were 3000 camels in this valley!

DRIVER -- There were. But they're all gone.

SAM -- Actually, I don't see ANYTHING here. Where are the camel
drivers?

DRIVER -- All dead.

SAM -- Man! I did it again.

DRIVER -- (raises stick) So, you ARE one of them!

SAM -- No. No. That's not what I meant. I meant I just missed
saving the sheep and the donkeys and the oxen and now the camels
too.

DRIVER -- You mean, the Chaldeans stole the other herds too?

SAM -- No. That's the funny part. The Arabs got one herd and a
fireball from outer space burned up the other herd.

DRIVER -- What's going on?! (exits)

SAM -- I don't know. (backs away) But I have no time to loose!
(turns, pumps arms, to audience) I hurried to my next
destination which was the house of the oldest adult son of Job.
(to maid) I'm looking for the house of Job's oldest son.

MAID -- (enters with a broken plate) This is it.

SAM -- I'm sorry, I thought you said this is it.

MAID -- I did. The house was right where you're standing.

SAM -- WAS? What happened to it?

MAID -- A tornado happened to it.

SAM -- A tornado?! There are no tornados in this part of the
world!

MAID -- Until today.

SAM -- What happened to Job's son?

MAID -- He's dead.

SAM -- Dead?!

MAID -- The tornado came so fast that none of them had a chance
to evacuate.

SAM -- You mean there was more than one person killed here?

MAID -- They were having a birthday party for Job Junior. All
the brothers and sisters and their families were all here when
it happened.

SAM -- So, they're all dead.

MAID -- All of them. I was the only survivor. I went down to the
wine cellar to fetch more wine for the party and when I came
up... well... (motions broadly, exits)

SAM -- (turns, pumps arms, to audience) I hurried back to Job's
house, not really expecting to find Job or his wife alive.

WIFE -- (enters opposite) I hope you have good news, because all
I have is bad news.

SAM -- What bad news?

WIFE -- Job has this contagious skin disease. He's got tumors
and open sores all over his body. Give me some good news.

SAM -- Sorry.

WIFE -- How bad is it?

SAM -- Bad.

WIFE -- I'm listening.

SAM -- All your herds are either dead or stolen.

WIFE -- Which herds?!

SAM -- All of them. The Arabs stole your oxen and donkeys. The
Chaldeans stole your camels. And a meteor creamed your sheep and
goats.

WIFE -- What about my kids?! They're alright aren't they?

SAM -- Sorry.

WIFE -- All of them?

SAM -- A tornado wiped out Junior's house and all his brothers
and sisters and their families.

WIFE -- (sighs)

SAM -- You want me to break the news to the old man?

WIFE -- No. He'll just tell you (sings) "It's God's will!"
(snarls) Jerk! I wish he would curse God and die!

SAM -- The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

WIFE -- That's what Job says. He says that this is just a test,
that God will restore our wealth and make us even wealthier than
before.

SAM -- (long pause)

WIFE -- Something else?

SAM -- There was just the matter of my fee: four days at 1000
drachmas per day for a total of 4000 drachmas.

WIFE -- You're kidding, right?

SAM -- Kidding? Why would I kid about money?

WIFE -- We lost everything. We don't have four drachmas, let
alone four thousand.

SAM -- You mean you're completely broke?

WIFE -- Kind of makes you want to curse God and die, doesn't it?
(exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) Okay, people, there's two
lessons in this investigation for those of you thinking of going
into the investigation business: First, trust your instincts. If
your instincts tell you your next investigation is going to be a
bummer, run, don't walk to the nearest exit. Second, collect
your fee up front. (exits)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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