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HANGIN   4'2m1f Hopelessness vs perseverance

STEVE -- (Edges along front edge of stage in front of podium, 
looks down in horror, clings to podium as if he were on a ledge 
outside a building)

ETHEL -- (Opens window right of podium, shakes out dish towel, 
notices Steve, screams, runs around with arms flailing) Help! 
Burglar! Help! Robber! Help! Ralph, where are you?

RALPH -- (Looks up from newspaper) What is it now, Ethel? You're 
always so dramatic!

ETHEL -- There's a burglar on the ledge outside the window.

RALPH -- A burglar? On the tenth floor? Right.

ETHEL -- Well, look for yourself. He's out there. I just saw 
him!

RALPH -- (Looks out the window) Oh, hi, Steve. My wife thought 
you were a burglar. It's not a burglar, Ethel. Come meet our new 
neighbor, Steve.

ETHEL -- (Cautiously approaches the window) How do you do?

STEVE -- Hi, nice to meet you.

RALPH -- Can I get back to my paper now? (steps back a few 
steps, reads)

ETHEL -- If you're not a burglar, Steve, what ARE you doing out 
on the ledge?

STEVE -- I'm going to jump.

ETHEL -- Oh, don't do that. We're ten stories up. You could hurt 
yourself.

STEVE -- That's the idea.

ETHEL -- Ralph! Stop him! Ralph! He's going to jump!

RALPH -- (approaching) What is it now Ethel? You're always so 
dramatic.

ETHEL -- He's going to jump!

RALPH -- He's not going to jump. He could kill himself doing 
that.

STEVE & ETHEL --  That's the idea. 

ETHEL -- Stop him, Ralph!

RALPH -- (Pokes his head out the window) You really going to 
jump, Steve?

STEVE -- I'm giving it careful consideration.

RALPH -- What is it? Did you get fired from your job?

STEVE -- No. I quit.

RALPH -- What did you do for a living?

STEVE -- I'm a lawyer.

RALPH -- Go ahead and jump.

ETHEL -- No! Ralph! Steve! Please don't jump! He was just 
kidding, weren't you, Ralph?

RALPH -- Right. Just kidding. (Reads newspaper)

ETHEL -- So, Steve, why do you want you end it all?

STEVE -- I only became a lawyer to please my parents. But I've 
always wanted to be a screen writer.

RALPH -- A screen writer, huh? Go ahead and....

ETHEL -- (covers Raplh's mouth) So, Steve, we still don't know 
why you want to jump.

STEVE -- Well, I sent writing samples to all the TV networks and 
movie studios. Finally, FOX called me and asked me to write a 
pilot for a sitcom. So, of course, I turned in my resignation to 
my law firm and moved out here to Hollywood. But now I've had 
writer's block for a month and no job. I can't even pay the 
rent. It's hopeless.

ETHEL -- Writer's block. Huh?

STEVE -- Yeah, I'm completely dry. I've been staring at my 
typewriter for a month.

ETHEL -- Are you a Christian, Steve?

STEVE -- I was real close to the Lord when I was in school, but 
when I started law school, I just drifted away from Him.

ETHEL -- Remember the story of Job, Steve?

STEVE -- Yeah. He lost his wealth, his family, his friends, 
everything. So?

ETHEL -- How did the story end?

STEVE -- He ended up with more wealth and happiness than before. 
So?

ETHEL -- So.... help me out here, Ralph.

RALPH -- Remember the story of Jacob's youngest son, Joseph?

STEVE -- Yeah. His brothers sold him as a slave, then he spent a 
long time in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

RALPH -- And he ended up...

STEVE -- ...he ended up as the second most powerful man in 
Egypt. I suppose this is all leading somewhere?

RALPH -- What do Job and Joseph they have in common?

STEVE -- They both never stopped trusting in the Lord.

RALPH -- Even though it SEEMED hopeless, they hung in there.

STEVE -- Oh. So, you think I should just trust in the Lord and I 
can move back home and get my job back at the law firm?

RALPH -- Or the Lord might give you some ideas for your script.

STEVE -- You think so?

RALPH -- He did it for Joseph and Job, why wouldn't he do it for 
you?

STEVE -- (looks up) Okay, Lord, you know I need to pay the rent. 
Help me, please. Help me to hang in there.

RALPH -- Please, Steve, come on in here, let's talk about it.

STEVE -- (Smiles, moves toward the window)
Oh, you don't have to talk me out of jumping anymore, Ralph. The 
Lord already gave me a great idea for a sitcom! It's about a 
guy who's standing on a ledge, about to jump, and is befriended 
by the old couple next door.

ETHEL -- Who you calling old?!

ETHEL -- Sorry. But isn't it great? When I put my trust in the 
Lord again, my waiting and worrying are over.

RALPH -- Do me a favor, would you, kid?

ETHEL -- Sure. Anything.

RALPH -- Don't tell anybody that I talked a lawyer out of jumping.


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