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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Media (in any form) (11/11/10)

TITLE: Bob and Marcia get Mesmerized
By Tim Pickl
11/13/10


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Characters:
BOB – Crabby “Archie Bunker” type character
MARCIA – Bob’s curious, sweet wife
NARRATOR – Introduces the scene and gets involved in it

Summary:
Bob and Marcia begin Thanksgiving Day with their new television.

(Marcia is sitting on one of two comfortable chairs, center stage. A small table sits between the chairs. There is an old “tube” television in front of the chairs. Bob enters from stage-right and sits down; Narrator stands reading his script stage left, introducing the scene.)

NARRATOR
It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.A: a time to thank God for our many blessings, a time to spend with family and friends, a time to enjoy food, and a time to enjoy football.

MARCIA
Good Morning Bob, isn’t it just a wonderful day?

BOB
(to himself) Family, friends, food, football…

MARCIA
What did you say?

BOB
Oh, it was nothing. I thought I heard something.

MARCIA
Ohhhh, I see. So what’s the surprise you have hiding in the garage?

BOB
What!?! How did you know about that?

MARCIA
One-a my sheets was missing, and I saw it in the garage, covering a big box.

BOB
Arrrrgh! I’ll be right back (exits stage left, bumps into Narrator)
Get outta my way.

MARCIA
Husbands these days, whadya gonna do, hey?

NARRATOR
While Bob is out in the garage, Marcia gets an idea. She stands up and moves the old television to another spot on the stage. Just as she moves it, Bob enters the room again, rolling in a huge, new flat screen television covered with plastic.

BOB
(to the Narrator) Get outta my way.

MARCIA
I’m sorry Bob.

BOB
I wasn’t talkin’ to you. Here it is. (hands Marcia the bedsheet)

MARCIA
Oh, thank you Bob, I was a-lookin for that sheet.

BOB
(mocking Marcia) Oh, thank you Bob— no, this, Marcia, (dramatically points at the television) this is our new television!

MARCIA
Ohhh, Bob….that is nice, very nice. But, Bob—

BOB
Oh, no here comes the But, Bob—

MARCIA
I thought you wanted to keep your old television?!? You always said you would NEVER change from your old black and white set that has NO remote control. In fact you were proud of it, because you always said that the new televisions MESMERIZE people and they turn into zombies—

BOB
Now hold on just a minute, I know I said that in the past, but Marcia—

MARCIA
Oh, no, here comes the But, Marcia—

BOB
These big flat TVs have come way down in price, and I want to watch the game with my brother when he comes over later.

MARCIA
(nodding affirmatively) Okay, Bob, I understand. Did you get a good deal?

BOB
Did I get a good deal? No Marcia, I got a rotten deal! What do you think? I got a great deal! We went to the “Pre-Black Friday Super Special Sale” last night.

MARCIA
Ohhh, I see. Who did you go with?

BOB
(removes the plastic from the new television) I went with Murray.

MARCIA
I thought you an’ Murray weren’t speaking? He made you mad when he borrowed your truck to move his son and they thew out the transmission—

BOB
Yeah, yeah, yeah—well we worked it out.

MARCIA
Ohhhhh, I see. What changed?

BOB
(picks up remote and presses it, as if to turn the television on) We forgave each other.

MARCIA
Oh, thank God… What’s on television now?

BOB
The Pre-Game Show is on.

MARCIA
Ohhhh, I see. Wow, what a nice picture.

BOB
Yes, it is, very nice.

(Bob and Marcia sit there for almost 30 seconds, just staring, mesmerized. Narrator interrupts.)

NARRATOR
Ahem. As you can see, Bob’s lifelong observation that the fancy new color televisions causes people to be mesmerized. (steps over to where Bob and Marcia are sitting and waves his hand in front of each of their faces) As you can see, they are sitting here, but their minds are captured. Now, watch this. (picks up the remote and presses it, as if to turn off the television.)

BOB
(blinks his eyes several times) Hey, hey—whaddya doin’? I was watchin’ that!?

MARCIA
What’s goin’ on here? Who are you?

NARRATOR
(presses the remote control as if to power the television back on)
Okay, okay—here you go.

BOB
Ahhh…much better.

NARRATOR
As you can see, the communication between Bob and Marcia has gone to almost zero. We must ask ourselves, is getting a good deal on a new television worth the cost?

Turn it off sometimes.



+++

Reference: Psalm 101:3 (New King James Version)
I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me.


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This article has been read 523 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Troy Manning11/18/10
Enjoyable read. :) I especially liked your use of narrator in the action! On future versions, you may want to fix his sentence about Bob's observation that color "televisions causes" people to be mesmerized. I'm also not so sure about the Bible reference application to televised sports. :) Nice take on the topic.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/18/10
Hmm now you're making me rethink my planned Christmas present for my husband. You do make a good point it is important to turn it off sometimes.
Theresa Santy 11/20/10
I'm a big fan of this screenplay set up! Loved the 'but, Bob' and the 'but, Marcia'. And I loved the interruption from the narrator.

:)
Noel Mitaxa 11/20/10
Must've been a 3D TV if the narrator got in on the act!!!
I like the sense of animation in how your characters interacted.
A good fun approach to a thought-provoking issue.
Lollie Hofer 11/22/10
I, too, like this format. Great story, funny with strong characterization.