By Judith Twani
Two people are on the phone to each other. One is asking advice of someone they respect. The other is not what he appears to be - nice on the phone and then covering the phone to shout at the family.
(James has just phone Steve, who has his arm in a sling and head bandaged.)
STEVE: Hello, how are you?
JAMES: I'm fine thank you and yourself?
STEVE: Never been better. (covers mouthpiece and coughs profusely)
JAMES: I was phoning to ask your advice actually
STEVE: Fire away. I'm always happy to help out, you know that. (Covers mouthpiece and shouts "I've got that pain in the neck on the phone and he'll go on for hours so come and interrupt me in 10 minutes")
JAMES: Well, I'm having a bit of trouble at home. It seems like we're always fighting with each other. - me and the wife and the children as well. It's like world war three. And I always look at you and wish things could be more like they are at your house.
STEVE: Yeah, I'm listening…that sounds really hard. (covers mouthpiece "Would you turn that racket down and you two stop using each other as a dart board. Just shut up!") To JAMES:…sorry, what were you saying?
JAMES: I just wondered whether you have any tips that have helped you.
STEVE: Hmm…well I think developing good listening skills is really important. (Cover phone: "No I can't talk about it now…You're always nagging me, woman. You just go on and on about the same things. You just don't stop.")
To JAMES: Sorry, you were saying?
JAMES: Yes, I am always jumping in and interrupting people. I tend not to really listen.
STEVE: And I think showing your family that you love and accept them is vital. (Cover phone: "Are you stupid or something? Why did you only get a C for this? Just get out of my sight - go to your room".) To JAMES: Yes, love and acceptance are very important.
JAMES: Thanks for that - I get in a huff if I don't get hugs, but I'm not too good at giving them out. And I do tend to be a bit harsh on the kids and give the impression that they are only loved if they do well at something. This is really helping me. Thanks.
STEVE: Oh it is such privilege to be a blessing to someone else. I will spend some time praying for you as soon as we put the phone down.
JAMES: Thanks for your time. I'll phone again and let you know how it's going.
STEVE: Bless you, and I will pray for you. (puts phone down - "Thank goodness he's gone." Shouts to family: "I'm off to the pub while you lot sort yourselves out.")
Copyright 2005 Judith Twani, all rights reserved.
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