The Prayer Restaurant

By Cliff Hunse

Summary

The Prayer Restaurant is the latest craze in town. It has super specials - but you can only pray for yourself.

Characters

Maitre De (waiter),  upscale restaurant type, somewhat snooty
Everyday married Couple, Fred and Anne Campbell

Script

(Scene opens in upscale restaurant)
Waiter: Good evening sir, and welcome to St. Frances.  Do you have a reservation?
Fred: Uh, yes, under Campbell? (starts to point his name out in the book, but the waiter slams the book on him)
Waiter: Ah, yes,  Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, table for two, non smoking.  Your table will be ready momentarily.
Fred: Thank you.  (waiter moves off)  (to Anne) So, what do you think, isnít this great?
Anne: Well, it certainly is classy.  Is it really as good as they say?
Fred: Better.  Jim was here last week, and he said it was more than just an evening out, it was a whole experience!
Anne: (a bit sarcastically)  ďA whole experienceĒ?  Whatís that supposed to mean?  You sound like a TV commercial.
Fred: (a bit defensive) Iím just telling you what he told me, thatís all.  I donít know what he meant, and you donít have to get so nasty about it.
Anne: Iím not getting nasty, itís justÖLook, Fred, letís not fight, ok?  Weíve been under a lot of stress lately, and I just want an nice evening out, not a whole experience.
Fred: So whoís fighting?  Thisíll be great, I promise.  Oh, look, here comes the waiter.
Waiter: Mr. and Mrs Campbell, so sorry for the wait, but your table is ready now.  This way, please.
Fred: Thank you.  (they both follow the waiter, and are seated)
Waiter: I trust this table is to your liking?
Fred+Anne: Yes, this is just fine, etc.
Waiter: Excellent!  Now, would you like to hear the specials for this evening, or would you like to see a menu?
Fred:  I think weíll hear what the specials are before we see the menus, is that ok, dear?
Anne: Yes, thatís fine, thanks.
Waiter: Very good, madam.  For this evening, we start off with a small order of Daily Bread, or your Childrenís Health.  The main course this evening is either a Better Group of Friends, done any way you like, or perhaps I could interest you in a Higher Standard of Living than you have now.  And for dessert we have a choice between No Visits from your in-laws for one year, orÖ
Anne: Iím sorry, can I cut in for a moment?
Waiter: Of course, madam,  would you like me to start again?
Anne: No, I heard you, but what about our dinner?  This special sounds more like, well, wishes or something.
Waiter: Perhaps the madam is unclear as to the nature of our service.  This is a prayer restaurant, you see.
Anne: A prayer restaurant?  Fred, whatís going on here?
Fred: Waiter, could we have few moments please?  I think I need to clear some things up.
Waiter: See to it that you do, sir.  Otherwise weíll have to give your table to someone else.
Fred: No, no, please, that wonít be necessary.
Waiter: Very good sir.  Iíll be back in a few moments to take your orders.  (moves away)
Fred: (calls after him)  Thank you.  (to Anne)  What are you doing, trying to get us kicked out?  It took me forever to get these reservations.
Anne: Me?!  No, of course not, Fred, but whatís going on here?  What kind of a restaurant is this?
Fred: You heard the waiter, itís a prayer restaurant.
Anne: So whatís a prayer restaurant?   Iíve never heard of such a thing!
Fred: Thatís because itís completely new, and very exclusive.  They donít just let anyone here, you know.  You have to know the right people.
Anne: So we just come here to pray?  Why not just go to a church on Sunday, or just close your eyes and fold your hands?
Fred: Oh, thatís the old way to pray, and it never works anyway.  This is better.
Anne: It is?  How does it work?
Fred: All you have to do is give your prayer order to the waiter, and he takes it from there.
Anne: Takes it to where?
Fred: I donít know, to the back somewhere.  They donít let anybody back there, liability issues I guess.
Anne: Oh.  So, does it work?
Fred: Well, Jim did say that it was a whole new experience.
Anne: (sarcastically) And we canít question Jim, now, can we?
Fred: Honey, please, just give it a try, ok?
Anne: All right.  But this had better work.
Fred: It will, I promise.  Shh, here comes the waiter.
Waiter: So, would you like to order now, (stuck up) or does Madam need more time?  At home?
Fred: No, no, itís ok, weíll order, please.
Waiter: Very good sir.  Madam?
Anne: Well, I guess Iíll have, um, World Peace.
Waiter: Oh, please, madamÖ would you like fries with that?
Fred Anne, whatís the matter with you?
Anne: What is it now?
Fred: You canít order prayers like that!
Anne: Why not?
Fred: Because itíll never happen, thatís all.  (to waiter)  Sheíll haveÖMore Money,  Good Hair, and a side order of Sucessful Children.
Waiter: Very good, sir, and for yourself?
Fred: I think Iíll just have the special.
Waiter: Would you like Higher Standard of Living, or Better Friends?
Fred: Uh, which do you recommend?
Waiter: The Better Friends main course is excellent  this evening, sir.
Fred: Ok, Iíll go with that.
Waiter: Very good sir.  If youíll excuse meÖ
Anne: Fred, what was that all about?  Did I ask for something wrong?
Fred: Well, for Peteís sake Anne, you donít just ask for World Peace.
Anne: Why not, it was on the menu, wasnít it?
Fred: Sure it was, but but thatís not the point.  You can only order prayers that will only benefit you, you see.  I mean, what good is World Peace to you anyway?
Anne: I donít know, I just thought that it would be a good thing to pray for, thatís all.
Fred: Honey, it is a good thing, weíre just not going to get it, and it doesnít help us anyway.  Just be happy when you get your Good Hair order.
Anne: Ok, if you say so.  But would it be alright to order a prayer for the Johnsonís at the end of the street?  One of their kids is pretty sick.  And Jake and Sandraís marriage is in trouble, so maybe it would be a good idea toÖ
Fred: No, Anne, arenít you listening?  We can only order prayers for ourselves.  Look, if those people want to come in here and order a prayer, they can do it themselves.  Thereís no point in our doing it for them.
Anne: But Fred, what kind of people would we be if we didnít at least pack a prayer doggie bag for them or something?
Fred: The kind of people with no class, thatís what kind.  You canít put extra unused prayers in a doggie bag, anyway.
Anne: Why not?  It could mean a lot to them.
Fred: Look, Anne, prayers for these people wonít work any better than world peace.  That kidís always going to be sick or even worse, and Jake and Sandraís marriage has been a sham from the beginning.  Thereís no point in ordering prayers for hopeless cases.
Anne But these are people,  not hopeless cases, so how dare you talk about them that way?  And how do you know that prayers for them wonít happen?  Did your fancy ďprayer restaurantĒ tell you?  If we can pray for ourselves, we can certainly pray for them!  (pause) This place makes me sick, Iím leaving.
Fred: But, Honey, be reasonableÖ
(Waiter comes in with a tray, and smoothly exits again as Anne cancels good hair order)
Anne: No, I wonít.  And you can cancel my order for good hair, too, how do you like that!  (messes up her hair)  Goodbye! (exits)
Fred: (calls after her, pleading, whining)  Anne!
Waiter: Sir, will you be ordering prayers for one this evening?
Fred: Yeah, I guess so.
Waiter: Then allow me to suggest our latest special, sir.
Fred: And whatís that?
Waiter: We call this prayer, ďMake my wife see things my wayĒ.  Would you like to try it?
Fred: Sure, in fact, Iíll take two!
Waiter: Very good sir.  Iíll just leave you with the menu in case you see anything else youíd like.
Fred Thank you. (waiter moves off)  World Peace, what a nutjob. (lights fade)
......................................
Copyright Cliff Hunse, all rights reserved.
This script may be used without payment, provided no charge is made for admission to the performance. In return, the author would like to be told of any performance. He may be contacted at c.hunse@3web.net