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BACKSLID 5'?m2f Backsliding, using God's name in vane

(scene: a conference room or table and chairs)

LIZ -- (enters cautiously wearing business suit, dials cell
phone, speaks into phone) Yeah, hi, it's me. I'm back. (pause) 
No, the reason you can't see me in my office is that I'm in the 
conference room. The conference room, yes. Could you bring my 
phone messages here? (pause) Why here? I have a meeting here. 
(pause) I know my meeting doesn't start for fifteen minutes. The 
reason I don't want to be in my office right now is I'm 
expecting some rather unpleasant calls or visits and I'd just 
like to avoid... (pause) ...they already called. Well, just
bring the messages here okay?  (begins putting away phone,
rethinks) Oh, could you please bring me a little scotch and soda 
to calm my nerves? Make it a double. I have a splitting
headache. (sits, stands, paces, sits, stands, paces)

AMY -- (enters wearing business suit, carrying pink phone
messages and a glass of milk) This should calm your nerves...

LIZ -- ...I asked for scotch and soda! And you bring me milk?

AMY -- I thought it would be better for your ulcer. (offers two
pills) Here take these for your headache.

LIZ -- (paces) You know I just wish that my employees would
follow orders sometimes and not try to be a substitute for my
mother! Just give me my phone messages! (takes pills, sips milk)

AMY -- (offers messages singly, summarizing the message on each)
You got a call from a person named Madaline Phillips....

LIZ -- (takes message) ...oh no.

AMY -- She threatened you with bodily harm if you come near her
husband again.

LIZ -- I never touched her husband! (stands, turns away) She
wouldn't leave me alone with him long enough...

AMY -- She's apparently heard about your reputation. (offers
another) Here's a call from Bernard Rawlings...

LIZ -- (takes message) Did he say what he wanted?

AMY -- He says you promised him when you bought his company that
you would keep his loyal employees on the payroll.

LIZ -- ...How did he find out I was going to fire them?
Somebody's got a big mouth.

AMY -- Then, the rumor is true. You ARE going to fire them.

LIZ -- (paces) You know, retaining those employees was not
written in black and white in the contract.

AMY -- Here's another message from Mr Rawlings. And another. And 
another. And here's a message from Mr Rawlings' lawyer
announcing that he will be suing you.

LIZ -- (paces) You know, those employees were making several
dollars over the prevailing wage for similar jobs elsewhere.

AMY -- He says you were not negotiating in good faith. He says
you made plans to fire his employees BEFORE you signed on the
dotted line.

LIZ -- That's life in the big city.

AMY -- The lawyer calls it breach of oral contract. He's going
to court to void the sale.

LIZ -- He can't do that! I already have buyers for the
liquidation of the company assets. I've already signed the
contracts.

AMY -- Are you admitting that you sold the assets of Bernard 
Rawlings BEFORE you bought his company? That's illegal, isn't 
it?

LIZ -- (stops points a finger) You signed a confidentiality
agreement. Not a word of this to anybody!

AMY -- Speaking of confidentiality... (offers message) The
I.R.S. called. You're being audited.

LIZ -- (takes message, slumps into chair) What else can go
wrong?!

AMY -- Here's your last message. (exiting) Can I get you
anything else?

LIZ -- (reads, looks up) Wait! It says this message is from
Jesus Christ.

AMY -- (turns) Yes.

LIZ -- It says I'm not supposed to tell people I'm a Christian
anymore.

AMY -- I think that would be a good idea.

LIZ -- This message can't be from Jesus. YOU wrote this message,
didn't you?

AMY -- Yes. I thought the name of Jesus would get your
attention.

LIZ -- Why don't you want me to tell people I'm a Christian?

AMY -- Because associating your sinful behavior with Jesus is
misusing Jesus' name. Besides, I'm pretty sure you're not a
Christian.

LIZ -- How can you say that? I went to church with you. I said
the magic prayer.

AMY -- "What good is it, my brothers, if a man CLAIMS to have
faith and yet has no deeds? Can such faith save him?"

LIZ -- That's from the Bible, right?

AMY -- The Epistle of James.

LIZ -- I have deeds. I gave some money to the church.

AMY -- "Good deeds" are not the only deeds James is talking
about in his epistle. James is saying that Christians don't ruin
themselves with alcohol and drugs. Christians don't sleep with
other people's husbands. Christians don't make promises they
will purposely violate. Christians don't cheat on their taxes.
Shall I go on?

LIZ -- No. I thought that all I had to do to be saved was say
the words. I guess I did the same thing to Jesus that I did to
poor old Bernard Rawlings. I entered into the contract
fraudulently. (sighs) Look at me! My life is a mess! What am I
going to do?

AMY -- Well, you're the one in charge.

LIZ -- Yeah, that's my problem. I was supposed to yield my life
to Jesus.

AMY -- That's the problem with being a living sacrifice. You can
crawl off the alter.

LIZ -- Not anymore. This time I'm going to make the commitment
and I'm going to mean what I say. Can you... Would you help me?

AMY -- Sure. Come on. Let's go into your office where we can
have a little privacy.

(both exit)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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