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COST     7'?m3f Count the cost of your salvation

SUE -- (enters in business suit, crosses to podium, picks up 
phone receiver, punches imaginary buttons) Hi, good morning, 
Amy. It's me. Can you bring in the advertising layouts and the 
marketing plan for our new ad campaign? Yes, now. I'll talk to 
you about it when you get here. My office. Well, then bring what 
you have. Yes. Thanks, Amy.

(punches imaginary phone buttons) Good morning, Liz. It's me. 
Can you bring in the expense ledgers for this year and last 
year? The expense ledgers, yes. No, nothing is wrong. I'll 
explain it to you when you get here. No, Liz, your job is not in 
jeopardy. It's nothing like that. I'm contemplating a change in 
our business strategy. Just bring the ledgers, please. Thanks. 
(puts down phone)

LIZ -- (enters wearing business attire, carrying print-outs, 
crosses to Sue) You're scaring me, Susan. What's going on?

SUE -- Why am I scaring you?

LIZ -- You never want to read my ledgers. Something's wrong, 
isn't it?

SUE -- I told you, nothing is wrong. Everything is perfectly 
fine. Nobody is in any kind of trouble. I just need your help in 
making a decision.

LIZ -- You've sold out to a conglomerate, haven't you? I knew 
it!

AMY -- (enters wearing business attire, carrying pictures and 
papers, crosses to Sue)

SUE -- Elizabeth, will you relax, please? Nothing is wrong.

AMY -- You're selling out?! Oh, no! What's going to happen to 
us?

SUE -- (holds up hands, shouts) Time out! Take a deep breath. 
Let me repeat. Noone is selling out. Noone will loose their 
jobs. And noone will have a pay cut, least of all you two. 
However, I am contemplating a change in our business strategy.

(Amy and Liz exchange quizzical glances)

AMY -- Why? What's going on?

LIZ -- Are you sure everything is alright?

SUE -- Everything is fine. It's just that I am considering 
becoming a Christian.

AMY -- A what?!

LIZ -- You're kidding!

SUE -- You heard me right. I am considering turning my life over 
to the Lord Jesus Christ.

AMY -- Well, that's very nice. But what does that have to do 
with your marketing strategy?

LIZ -- Or your expense ledgers?

SUE -- Well, the woman who shared the gospel with me told me to 
count the cost.

LIZ -- What cost? (holds up print-outs) You don't make any 
donations to any churches. Is this a cult? How much does this 
person want you to give to the church?

SUE -- No. You don't understand. When she told me to count the 
cost, she was not talking about donating to the church. She was 
talking about what I will have to give up to become a Christian.

(Amy and Liz exchange glances)

LIZ -- Didn't I hear some televangelist say that Jesus will 
take you just the way you are? You don't have to give up 
anything to be a Christian.

AMY -- Unless it's one of those cults.

SUE -- Well, this isn't one of those cults. And you're right. 
Jesus will take me just as I am. I confirmed that when my friend 
was sharing the gospel with me. I asked her if Jesus would 
accept a person who uses misleading advertising and who skims 
profits.

LIZ -- You didn't tell here about your special expense account, 
did you? You didn't admit anything, did you?

AMY -- Yeah, you could get us all in a lot of hot water, if...

SUE -- (holds up hands) Relax. I didn't implicate anybody. I 
just wanted her to know that she wasn't talking to Mother 
Theresa. But she told me that if my commitment to Jesus was 
genuine, the Lord would accept me even if I was serial murderer.

LIZ -- So, why are WE here?

AMY -- Yeah, what does counting the cost have to do with the 
company?

SUE -- She told me that if my commitment is genuine, my sins 
would soon weigh heavily on my heart and I would probably 
eventually give up my ill-gotten gains. 

LIZ -- In other words...

SUE -- In other words, she said that I should go into this with 
my eyes wide open and not ignore the down-side of becoming a 
Christian. (sigh) So.... Let's count the cost. Let's see how 
much ill-gotten gains I have received from false advertising and 
skimming profits. Let's have a look. (points to AMY's pictures 
and papers) 

AMY -- Well, let's see.  (lays down pictures and papers one at a 
time, points) I think this is what you're talking about. When we 
started making this claim about the deluxe product, our sales 
increased eight percent.

SUE -- Liz, how much net profit is there in eight per cent on 
the deluxe product in terms of annual sales?

LIZ -- Let's see... That translates to somewhere between ten and 
fifteen, depending on the final product mix this year.

AMY -- Between ten and fifteen THOUSAND?

LIZ -- Yes.

SUE -- This Christianity could end up being expensive.

AMY -- Tell me about it.

SUE -- Okay, Liz, what are the figures from S.B. Enterprises?

AMY -- S.B. Enterprises? What's that?

LIZ -- I'm not sure you want to know.

AMY -- Oh. Is that Susan's....

SUE -- ...call it my tax avoidance account. Liz?

LIZ -- (lays down print-outs, flips pages, points) Read it an 
weep.

SUE -- Extend that number to a full year and then....

LIZ -- ...In your tax bracket, if your reverse those entries, it 
will cost you another twenty-five.

AMY -- Thousand?!

LIZ -- I told you, you don't want to know.

AMY -- Susan, you're not really thinking of giving up FORTY 
THOUSAND DOLLARS....

LIZ -- Per year.

AMY -- Per year?! Just to become a Christian?

SUE -- (sigh) You should meet this woman, Amy. She is so calm 
and so happy. She has a love of live that just oozes out of 
every pore. I want to be just like her. I mean, she knows 
exactly who she is and where she's going.

AMY -- You're really thinking about doing this aren't you?

SUE -- (sigh) Did you ever wonder why you exist?

AMY -- (to Liz) She's actually going to do this.

SUE -- I mean, you're born, you work yourself into a frazzle and 
make a ton of money and for what? I've already got more money 
than I ever thought I wanted. Think about it. We were all put on 
this earth for something besides money and power.

AMY -- She is actually going to blow off forty thousand dollars 
a year.

LIZ -- Are you?

SUE -- (sigh) I was not put on this earth to accumulate money 
and then die. I am convinced that the Lord created me to serve 
him. To answer your question, YES. (points to Amy) Amy, I want 
you to rewrite the marketing campaign without the false claims.

AMY -- Wow! I mean, sure. Yeah. Hey, it's your company. 

LIZ -- Susan, are you sure about this?

SUE -- As sure as I can be. Can you imagine how magnificent life 
will be once I discover what my real purpose in life is?

AMY -- Wow.

SUE -- Liz, I want you to reverse the entries to S.B. Enterprises 
and rewrite the P & L's.

AMY & LIZ -- Wow.

SUE -- (whisks Amy and Sue away with her hand) Well, get busy! 

LIZ -- (exiting) Okay.
AMY -- (exiting) Right away.

SUE -- (exiting) The Lord is running this company now. Let's see 
how great he can make it.

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