BUILDERS 6'2m0f The parable of the wise and foolish builders

ED ---- (enters with armful of lumber, cross to C)

FRED -- (Overconfident, enters with armful of lumber, cross to 
C) Hi, neighbor. (turns)

ED ---- Hi. (turns) Oh, you must be the new guy in town that 
everyone is talking about.

FRED -- Sure am.

ED ---- My name is Ed Flanders. Welcome to Pleasanton. (extends 

FRED -- (drops lumber, grabs Ed hand) Hi... (lumber falls on 
foot, dances around in pain) Ah! Oh, I hate when I do that.

ED ---- You do that often?

FRED -- Only since I started building my house. Everybody wants 
to shake my hand when I'm carrying lumber.

ED ---- This is a very friendly town. Let's start again. My name 
is Ed Flanders.

FRED -- (bends down picks up two pieces of lumber, notices Ed's 
hand, drops lumber on toe again, extends hand) Ah! Now that was 
nearly stupid.

ED ---- Listen, let's just dispense with the hand shaking.

FRED -- Good idea. My name is Fred Nillman. (crouches, picks up 
lumber) So, everybody is talking about me huh?

ED ---- They sure are.

FRED -- What are they saying about me? Are they saying what a 
fast worker I am?

ED ---- Well, actually....

FRED -- I'm sure everybody noticed that I started building my 
house when you were half way through building yours, and I'm 
going to finish my house first.

ED ---- Some of them did mention that you were hurrying.

FRED -- I knew it. I'm a good builder.

ED ---- Well, actually,...

FRED -- See part of the strategy to building a house quickly is 
chosing the right land to build on.

ED ---- Yes, I noticed that you're building your house in 
Thunder Acres.

FRED -- You know, that's an odd name for a real estate 
development. But the land was real cheap. 

ED ---- Yes, that was one of the things the townspeople 
mentioned. You're building your house on sand.

FRED -- Easy as pie to level the ground when the soil is all 

ED ---- Yes, but...

FRED -- See, you, on the other hand, chose to build up on the 
hill there. 

ED ---- Yes.

FRED -- Bad choice.

ED ---- How so?

FRED -- Well, it's solid rock up there. You can't level your 
land at all. You have to do a whole lot more construction if you 
build on solid rock. 

ED ---- Yes, I do, but...

FRED -- I suppose you built up on the hill so you could have a 
nice view of the valley from your front window.

ED ---- Well, actually, no I didn't. I...

FRED -- See, there's a another mistake. 

ED ---- A mistake?

FRED -- Because the land is so cheap down here in the valley, I 
could buy three acres for the cost of just one acre up on the 
rocky old hill. To me, the view is just not worth the extra 

ED ---- But I didn't buy the lot for the view.

FRED -- You didn't?

ED ---- No. I bought it for the foundation.

FRED -- The foundation.

ED ---- Yes, building a house on solid rock, means the house 
won't suffer any damage from wind or rain... or flood.

FRED -- A lot you know. See, I figure that with all the lumber 
I used on the floors and the walls and the ceilings and the roof, 
my house will be too heavy to be blown around by the wind and 
the rain.

ED ---- But not the flood.

FRED -- The flood. Now, that's the second time you said the word 

ED ---- Yes, you see this area has really severe rain storms. If 
a house is not built on a foundation of rock, the wind and rain 
will virtually destroy it.

FRED -- See, that's where you're wrong. When I build a house, 
it stays built.

ED ---- And how many houses have you built?

FRED -- (sheepishly) Actually, this is the first house I ever 

ED ---- Obviously.

FRED -- Obviously? What do you mean obviously?

ED ---- You asked me what the townspeople were saying about you?

FRED -- Yes?

ED ---- They said that you were foolish.

FRED -- Foolish?!

ED ---- Well, actually, some of them said you were stupid.

FRED -- Stupid?!

ED ---- Yes. Anybody with any building experience at all knows 
that even the sturdiest house will fall apart sooner or later if 
it has a foundation on sand.

FRED -- Well, I'm not going to live in my house forever, you 

ED ---- Actually, you may not get a chance to live in your house 
at all.

FRED -- What do you mean?

ED ---- There's a storm coming.

(cue: lightning and thunder)

FRED -- Yeah, so there's storm coming, so what? My roof is 
completely finished. I'm just building on the inside of my 

ED ---- I'm afraid your roof won't help you now.

FRED -- What do you mean?

ED ---- Did you ever wonder where your real estate development 
got its name?

FRED -- Thunder Acres? Yes, where did the name come from?

ED ---- Your house is not only built on sand, but it's built 
smack dab in the middle of a dry wash.

FRED -- A dry wash? What's a dry wash?

(cue: lightning and thunder)

ED ---- During the rain storms. Thunder acres turns into the 
Thunder River.

(cue: lightning and thunder)

FRED -- (looks toward his house behind him) Oh, no. What's that 
shadow coming down the canyon there?

(cue: lightning and thunder)

ED ---- That's not a shadow. That's a wall of water.

(cue: lightning and thunder)

BOTH -- Thunder River.

FRED -- And it's headed right toward my brand new house. 

(cue: lightning and thunder)

ED ---- (exiting) You'd better head for shelter.

FRED -- Well, I'm not going into my house. It's built on sand. 
(drops lumber on toe, hops off stage on one foot) Ah! Hey, wait 
for me!

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