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TRIAL    6'4m5f Salvation: Works, keeping the law, or faith

SCENE: A court room in heaven.

CHARACTERS: 
JERRY -- an avid golfer. 
WALT -- a supermarket produce manager. 
PROSECUTOR -- a former patent attorney. 
JUDGE -- an old geezer. 
CLERK -- efficient. 
BEATRICE  Beancounter -- very efficient. 
LADY 1 -- prim and proper 
LADY 2 -- prim and proper 
LADY 3 -- prim and proper

JERRY -- (dressed in flashy golf attire, a putter slung over his 
shoulder, enters as all others in the court room stand frozen in 
position, he looks at his watch, then listens to the watch)

My watch stopped.

(shakes the watch, listens to it, looks around)

What's going on here?!

CLERK -- Hear ye ...

(all in the court room resume normal activity)

...hear ye, hear ye. The Superior Court of HEAVEN is now in 
session. Please come to order. All rise.

(Jerry, Walt stand)

JERRY -- Heaven!? Does that mean I'm....

WALT --- As a door nail, Jerry.

JERRY --(swallows hard) How did you know my name? Hey, haven't I 
seen you before?

WALT --- Yeah, I am ... er I WAS the produce manager at your 
supermarket.

JERRY -- Wait a minute! He... you... died last summer. (pauses) 
This IS Heaven ... and I AM dead! What a time to go. I just 
holed out a 40 foot putt to go up by two strokes!

WALT --- A personal best?

JERRY -- No, but if I made the putt, Bruce was going to buy 
breakfast! How did I, you know, die?

WALT --- Massive heart attack. You never won before. Your heart  
couldn't take the excitement.

JERRY -- (looks around) What am I doing in a court room?

WALT --- Well, this is the first of two hearings. The judge 
will decide if there's enough evidence to have you summarily 
removed from heaven.

JUDGE -- (enters, shuffles papers) Be seated.

(Jerry, Walt sit)

JERRY -- (points at the judge) If this is Heaven, then... 
that must be...

WALT --- No, he's just a magistrate.

JERRY -- But, the CLERK said this was SUPERIOR court.

WALT --- (laughs) Oh. Well, in Heaven there is no other kind.

JERRY -- Ah, what about the SECOND hearing?

WALT --- Well, if you don't get by this one, there won't be a 
second one. If you know what I mean.

JERRY -- (swallows hard)

JUDGE -- (clears his throat) What is our first order of 
business?

CLERK -- Heaven versus Jerry.

JUDGE -- Jerry, have you had a chance to discuss your case with 
your counsel?

JERRY -- Why, no, your honor, I haven't met him yet...

WALT --- (Interrupting) The defense is ready to proceed, your 
honor.

JERRY --(to Walt) YOU'RE my counsel?! (to the court) Your honor, 
he's a produce manager! Don't I get a lawyer?!

JUDGE -- Sorry, Jerry, but there are no lawyers in Heaven.

PROSECUTOR -- (raises his hand apologetically, clears throat)

JUDGE -- (acknowledging prosecutor's hand) Ah, beg your pardon. 
There are no lawyers, except for the prosecutor ... but he 
wasn't a trial lawyer. He was a patent attorney who patented a 
way to shrink a camel to the size of the eye of a needle.

PROSECUTOR -- The counsel for the prosecution is ready to 
proceed, your honor.

JUDGE -- Call your first witness.

PROSECUTOR -- We call Beatrice Beancounter to the stand.

BREATRICE -- (enters with file folders in hand, sits)

PROSECUTOR -- What is your occupation?

JERRY -- Hey! Wait! Aren't you going to swear her in?

JUDGE -- No need to, Jerry. Nobody in Heaven would ever lie. (to 
Beatrice) You may answer the question.

BEATRICE -- Ah, I'm a compiler of sins and good deeds for the 
bureau of records here in Heaven.

PROSECUTOR -- And for whom do you compile sins and good deeds?

BEATRICE -- One of my assignments was the defendant...Jerry.

PROSECUTOR -- And can you tell the court what good deeds and 
works you have collected on behalf of the defendant?

BEATRICE -- (holds up a file folder and lets it fall open. A 
small card falls out)

PROSECUTOR -- (smugly) No more questions.

WALT --- Ah, let the record show that ONE good deed fell from 
the file folder. (picks up the card, hands it to Beatrice) And 
what good deed was that MS Beancounter?

BEATRICE -- Ah, it's a ticket to the Orange County Latino Peace 
officers' Association Variety Show.

JERRY -- I liked the tap dancer.

WALT --- No further questions.

PROSECUTOR -- Your honor, I'd like to save the court any further 
time and embarrassment by moving to have Jerry bound over to the 
archangels for immediate expulsion from Heaven.

JERRY --(to walt) Aren't you going to object or something? We're 
talkin' ETERNITY here.

WALT --- (motions for silence and restraint)

JUDGE -- Due to the precedence of the case of Apostle Paul 
versus the Ephesians ... (picks up and reads a reference) Ah, 
section 2 and paragraphs 8 and 9... (puts down the reference) 
Access to Heaven may not be denied for lack of good deeds or 
works. Deeds and works evidence will be acceptable at the awards 
hearing, if any, following this hearing, but is of no value 
here... (to prosecutor)...as the prosecutor is well aware. 
Motion denied. Proceed with your case, Mr. Prosecutor.

PROSECUTOR -- Ms Beancounter, have you also compiled a file of 
evidence of Jerry's mistakes, misjudgements, and bad 
behavior? 

BEATRICE -- Yes, I have. Jerry's sins could not be contained in 
one file folder. I filled several files with his misdeeds.

(hands the files to Judge)

JUDGE -- We'll mark these as prosecution's exhibit A.

PROSECUTOR -- The prosecution calls all three remaining 
witnesses.

(Beatrice exits, as the 3 Ladies enter)

Jerry -- (to walt)  Why, that's the two Biddy sisters who lived 
across the street from me for years. And that was my mail carrier 
until last year.

PROSECUTOR -- Ladies, have you ever seen Jerry, here, do 
anything SINFUL?

LADY 1 -- HE took office supplies home from the office.

LADY 2 -- HE got drunk.

LADY 3 -- HE reads MEN's magazines.

JUDGE -- (opens a magazine from the file folder, fascinated)
So I see!

(all men gather behind judge, gawk over his shoulder, as judge 
unfolds the centerfold)

PROSECUTOR -- Shameful!

WALT --- Awful!

JUDGE -- Sinful!

JERRY -- You oughta see the one on the next page!

(all men self-consciously resume their positions & demeanor)

PROSECUTOR -- (clears his throat) Ah, continue, please, ladies.

LADY 1 -- HE drives faster than the speed limit!

LADY 2 -- HE is impatient with his children!

LADY 3 -- HE mistreats his wife.

WALT --- (Quickly, calmly, confidently) The defense will save 
the court several days of testimony by stipulating that the 
defendant has a long history of sinful behavior.

JERRY -- Wait a minute! What kind of a defense strategy is that?

WALT --- (calmly motions for silence and restraint)

PROSECUTOR -- Your honor, in light of the defendant's admission 
of guilt in these matters, I move for immediate expulsion from 
heaven.

JERRY -- C'mon, counselor, do yer stuff!

WALT --- (calmly motions for silence and restraint) I'm sorry 
Jerry, I don't have any stuff to do.

JUDGE -- Jerry, in light of the overwhelming evidence of your 
sinful nature, with no redeeming...

BEATRICE -- (enters hurriedly) Your honor, there's been a 
terrible mistake!

(Judge and Beatrice mumble in conference, then judge
motions to counsels to approach the bench)

JUDGE -- Counsels will please approach the bench.

(all mumble)

PROSECUTOR -- (aloud) On what grounds?!

BEATRICE  -- (aloud) The certificate got misfiled.

(all mumble)

JUDGE -- (Motions for the counsels to step back) Step back.

(all resume their positions)

BEATRICE -- (to Jerry, as she exits) I'm so sorry.

JERRY -- What's going on here?

WALT --- (motions for calm, quiet)

JUDGE -- I will now entertain new motions.

WALT --- The defense moves to suppress all evidence of sinful 
behavior heretofore stipulated.

JUDGE -- (handing CLERK the files) Motion granted. This 
evidence will not only be suppressed but destroyed. Shred this 
evidence and burn the pieces.

WALT --- Motion to dismiss.

JUDGE -- Motion granted. Case dismissed. Welcome to Heaven, 
Jerry.

JERRY -- Did I miss something?

WALT --- Your certificate of TRUST was misfiled.

JERRY -- My What?

WALT --- At some time in your adult life you apparently placed 
your life into the hands of God. Your sins were all forgiven.

JERRY -- Yeah, I remember that! Life was good then.... talkin' to 
the Lord everyday. But, you know how it is: I got a new job. We 
moved. All the worry and fuss ... next thing I know it's been 
weeks since I've had my morning quiet time with the Lord.

WALT --- Well, you can spend as much time with God as you like 
up here ... Oh, speaking of that, we've gotta prepare for your 
REWARDS hearing tomorrow.

(Beatrice enters, hands Walt file with big letters: "DEEDS")

JERRY --I always pictured Heaven as a place where I could play 
golf every day. You know, La Costa, Augusta, Palm Springs ...

WALT --- (Lets the folder fall open again, lone card falls out) 
(to Jerry as they exit) Ah, Jerry, ya better plan on miniature 
golf.


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