Ups and Downs
By Walt Scheiman
Two people are stuck in an elevator. One is very agitated at the
circumstances. The other tells him of a way that he can have peace.
Very agitated business person
Christian, carries Bible
(SET: Imaginary elevator. The scene starts with the two men standing
with their backs to the audience. One keeps pushing an imaginary elevator
button. When the doors finally open they both enter and face the
1--(speaking to 2) Floor? (ignored, impatient) Floor? (ignored, yelling)
2--Oh, sorry, nine please. (one pushes button)
(Both just stand there. Suddenly they jerk at the same time.)
1--Hey . . . What’s goin on?
2--It looks like we stopped.
1--(staring at him in disbelief, sarcastic) No kidding? (starts to
push buttons frantically) Come on, come on . . .
1--(looks at him again, pushes buttons again) Please, please please
. . .
2--Why don’t you let me try? (1 moves aside and 2 approaches the buttons
and takes time choosing a button then pushes it, looks around, 1 is very
agitated) Nothing (chooses another button) Nothing (chooses
another) Nothing (starts to choose another)
1--(taking all he could) Would you knock it off! Try the
1--The one behind that little door!
2--(opens door) Oh, is that what it is?
1--What did you think the phone on the outside meant?
2--Well, mom always said it was to remind people to call their mothers.
1--(exasperated) Just pick it up.
2--(picks up phone and listens) Hello? Hello? Oh
hi . . . yeah . . . yeah . . . (looks around elevator) two, I guess . .
. yeah . . . yeah . . . hang on (covers receiver with hand) Do you want
pepperoni or mushroom?
1--WHAT? Gimme that (pushes him out of the way and grabs the
phone) HELLO . . . What? NO. BUT. HEY WAIT I
. . . (head down dejected) they’ll be ready in twenty minutes.
2--Good. I hope we’re out of here by then.
1--What am I gonna do? I have a meeting in five minutes.
LET ME OUT OF HERE!
2--Hey, just relax. They’ll get us out.
1--Ya think so?
2--Sure. No one stiffs Dominoes.
1--(looks at him, pause, then blows up trying to force the doors open)
LET ME OUT! (breaks down) First my car won’t start this morning.
Then the kids miss the bus. So I get in my wives car and she’s out
of gas. Now this.
2--Sounds rough. Since we’re here anyhow . . .
1--(ignoring him) Well at least things can’t get any worse!
2--Do you mind if I tell you about Christ.
1--(looks at him and starts to cry) Guess I was wrong.
It does get worse.
2--Hey, listen I don’t love this either but, it seems to me you could
use a little Christ right now.
1--Let me guess, you’re a Christian, right?
2--Born again in ‘76
2--Yeah it is. But as I was saying . . .
1--Yeah, yeah I heard you. I always here you guys. Christ
will change my life. Christ will Get me into heaven. Christ
will yadda, yadda yadda!
2--Wow, you’re pretty anti-God huh?
1--I’m not anti-anything. But no one has ever proved to me that
He has the answers.
2--Have you ever asked him any questions?
1--(irritated) Of course I have. That’s what I have been doing
all morning. WHY ME? WHY ME? WHY ME?
2--Sometimes it’s just because.
1--Oh good answer. (getting very upset again, starts pounding
buttons and screaming into the phone) LET ME OUT OF HERE! (takes
a deep breath, talking to himself) Calm down. Take it easy.
Someone will get me out of here. (progressively gets more upset, looks
up) WHY ME?
2--(taps him on the shoulder) Because.
2--Say would you like to know how you can calm down?
2--You want to know how you can calm down?
1--(giving up) Sure. Why not?
2--Great (he opens his bible)
2--Here it is Phillipians 4:8&9. “Finally, brothers,
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy--think about such things.” Then it says “And the
God of peace will be with you.”
1--Nice words. But how is that suppose to make me calm down?
2--You said you have kids, right? How many?
1--Two, boy and a girl.
1--13 & 16.
2--Great now I want you to think back to your sons first real baseball
1--What? This is stupid!
2--Hey, we’re not going anywhere soon anyhow. Now just concentrate
and think back to his first game.
1--(giving in, closes his eyes) OK I’m there
2--Did he get a hit that day?
1--Yeah, he did.
2-- Now remember him hitting the ball and getting to first.
2--Now try to remember the look on his face as he stood there on first.
1--(smiling) He was pretty happy!
2--And how did you feel?
1--I was pretty happy.
2--OK now keep your eyes closed and think about the first time your
daughter made you breakfast in bed.
2--But you ate it, didn’t you?
1--Because she made it just for me.
2--Remember the look on her face as you gagged it down?
1--(smiling) She was very proud of herself.
2--(pause) How ya feelin?
1--(opening eyes) Pretty good. No real good.
2--See you did what God told you to do. You thought of things
that were good, right and pure. And then your God gave you peace.
See he does have answers. All you have to do is listen.
1--It did work I have to admit.
2--And that’s just the start. He has all the answers to all your
questions. Including “How do I get to heaven?”
1--I could use some answers. (puts out his hand) Bill Shears.
2--(shakes his hand) Earl Gray
1--Think maybe you could help me find some of those answers sometime?
2--(pats him on the back) Anytime!
1--(takes a deep breath) Could be worse I guess.
2--Why don’t you try the phone again?
1--(picks up phone) Uh huh . . . yeah . . . no . . . hang on.
Do you need any aluminum siding? (black out)
© 6/97, Walt Scheiman, all rights reserved
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