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GADGET   6'?m3f Don't blame demons for human nature

(scene: a courtroom or bare stage with podium)

(note: all characters wear black)

NEWBY -- (enters looking around, sings) Hello. Is anybody here?
Boss? Are you here?

BOSS  -- (enters opposite) Yeah, I'm here. Did you bring the
gadget?

NEWBY -- (removes TV remote control from pocket) Yeah, it's
right here. (looks around) Where is everybody?

BOSS  -- Who were you expecting?

NEWBY -- The press core. I thought sure the success of my new
device (waves remote control) would draw the news media like
flies.

BOSS  -- Sorry, kid, there ain't going to be no press here.

NEWBY -- Well, I think I know why. You called the press
conference here in the court house instead of city hall. City
hall would have been a better place for a press conference.

BOSS  -- What makes you think this is a press conference?

NEWBY -- To announce my promotion. Isn't that what this is all
about? To announce my promotion because of my new invention?

BOSS  -- Ah, no.

NEWBY -- (not listening) Because I thought sure that with the
success of this amazing new invention I was sure to get promoted
to Demon First-Class or even Demon Supervisor.

JUDGE -- (enters wearing black robe, crosses to podium)

BOSS  -- Ah, no.

NEWBY -- Then what are we doing here?!

JUDGE -- (pounds gavel) This court will come to order.

NEWBY -- Is someone on trial here?

BOSS  -- (puts finger to lips)

JUDGE -- Is the prisoner present?

BOSS  -- Yes, Your Honor.

NEWBY -- (looks around, whispers) Where?!

JUDGE -- The charge is misrepresentation and fraud. How does the
defendant plead?

BOSS  -- (nods at Newby, motions toward Judge) How do you plead?

NEWBY -- Me?! (shouts) I'm on trial?!

JUDGE -- (pounds gavel) Order in the court.

NEWBY -- What am I being charged with?!

BOSS  -- I thought we covered that. Didn't we cover that?

JUDGE -- We covered that. How do you plead?

NEWBY -- I'm being charged with misrepresentation and fraud?!

BOSS  -- I'm sorry, Your Honor, the defendant is a little slow
on the uptake.

NEWBY -- I know what this is about! This is about (points at
Boss) you being afraid that I will be promoted and that YOU will
be out of a job!

JUDGE -- (pounds gavel) Order in the court.

NEWBY -- I'm sorry, Your Honor. But this is an ambush! I was
under the impression that I was coming here today for a press
conference about my new invention. (shows TV remote)

JUDGE -- So, you admit that the gadget belongs to you.

NEWBY -- Well, of course.

BOSS  -- The prosecution offers (takes remote, gives it to
Judge) the gadget in evidence as people's item number one.

JUDGE -- And you admit to weilding this gadget in front of
Christians?

NEWBY -- Well, of course. I designed this "GADGET" to be used
against Christians to keep them from being useful to God.

JUDGE -- And how does it do that?

BOSS  -- Correction, Your Honor, the question should be "How
does the gadget ALLEGEDLY do that?"

JUDGE -- Alright, how does this gadget ALLEGEDLY keep Christians
from being useful to God?

NEWBY -- Well, when a Christian is about to do something useful
to God, the demon aims the device at the Christian and pushes
one of the buttons.

JUDGE -- Let the record show that the buttons are labeled
(reads) "selfishness", "ambition", "busyness", "resentment",
"fear"....

BOSS  -- ...The prosecution will stipulate that the gadget is
appropriately labeled.

JUDGE -- Very well, as you were saying, the demon pushes the
appropriate button and the Christian... does what?

NEWBY -- Well, the Christian then becomes selfish or busy or
resentful or whatever and ceases to be useful to God.

JUDGE -- Sounds ingenious to me.

BOSS  -- IF the gadget actually works.

JUDGE -- So, you're alleging this gadget...

NEWBY -- ...I prefer to call it a device...

JUDGE -- This device doesn't work as advertised?

BOSS  -- I'm alleging that the GADGET doesn't work at all!

JUDGE -- And how do you know that?

BOSS  -- Open the battery compartment.

JUDGE -- Very well....(begins prying at latch)

NEWBY -- Ah, you really shouldn't. Only an authorized service
agent of the manufacturer should service the device or the
warrantee will be voided.

JUDGE -- (shows empty battery compartment) No wonder you didn't
want me to open this gadget....

NEWBY -- ...I prefer to call it the device, Your Honor?

JUDGE -- There are no batteries in it!

NEWBY -- I wonder how that happened. (scans floor, edges toward
exit) I'm sure the batteries must have fallen out somewhere.

JUDGE -- Seize the prisoner!

BOSS  -- (grabs Newby by the elbow) Oh no you don't!

NEWBY -- Listen, Your Honor, I can explain!

JUDGE -- I'm sure you can. But you won't.

NEWBY -- I won't?

JUDGE -- Not in my courtroom. This court finds the defendant
guilty as charged of misrepresentation and fraud in the devious
use of an inanimate object to make Christians think that demons
have control over such human sins as selfishness, ambition,
resentment, busyness, and all the others. The sins cannot be
controlled by demons, but are part of man's own fallen nature!
We will now proceed with the penalty phase of the trial.

NEWBY -- Oh oh.

BOSS  -- The prosecution recommends an early trip to the lake of
fire, Your Honor.

NEWBY -- Isn't that a little harsh?!

JUDGE -- (pounds gavel) Order in the court.

NEWBY -- I'm sorry, Your Honor. I'll take whatever punishment
the court is willing to give me.

JUDGE -- I hereby promote the defendant to Demon First Class.

BOSS  -- You what?!

NEWBY -- A promotion?!

JUDGE -- I think the prosecution has forgotten that the business
of us demons is misrepresentation and fraud. If we can make the
Christians think we have ANY real control over their lives,
they're rendered powerless to do the work of God. This court is
dismissed. (pounds gavel, exits arm in arm with Newby) Let's
hold a press conference!

BOSS  -- What about me? (follows) What kind of world is it if
there's no room for an honest demon?!

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