Theme: The love of Christ is incomparable. When you rest in His grace, you don’t need to compete.
Synopsis: Two grandfathers rooting for opposing soccer teams make it personal in a social competition of one upmanship that ends in friendship.
Don: A middle class grandfather
Bill: A senior adult resident at a retirement home
John: A spectator
Judy: A spectator
Tom: A spectator
Running Time: Around 20 minutes
Don ENTERS carrying an old, fold-up lawn chair. He’s dressed informally and comfortably. He also has a small cooler with drinks and snacks. He unfolds the chair, and sits. He pulls out a little hand towel, drapes it over the chair handle to use as a napkin, pulls out a soft drink, and a box of cracker jacks.
Bill ENTERS carrying a collapsible chair in a carry bag over his shoulder. He looks dapper, dressed in a coat, tie, and sporting an umbrella. Don watches as Bill very carefully puts the chair down and moves it several times to position it just right. He pulls a feather duster out of the inside of his coat and carefully brushes it off. Then he sits down in a proper manner. But as he settles, it doesn’t feel right so he stands up and moves the chair again. He starts to sit again and remembers something else. He pulls a large can of lawn and garden bug spray out of his coat and methodically sprays a circle around the chair. Don watches it all curiously, but says nothing. Bill notices Don’s look and explains.
Bill: The red ants around here are ferocious. And they sneak up on you so I always put down a protective circle.
Don: I have a shovel in the trunk of my car if you want to dig a moat.
Bill: This works just fine for little pests. (He pulls a small wooden bat out) This is for big pests. (He pulls out another can from his suit coat) And the heavy artillery for back-up. Has a 15-foot range. (Looks disdainfully at Don’s stash of food as he takes his seat.) You can almost guarantee they’ll be attracted by…your recreational diet.
Don: (Pulls out a hostess Twinkie) Let the game begin.
(He takes a huge bite, holds up the remaining portion, and talks with his mouthful.)
Don: Hmmm, good. (Nods at Bill) You comfortable?
(Bill looks at Don’s chair condescendingly)
Bill: Guess you’re going old school today.
Don: How’s that?
Bill: Your lawn chair…looks like backyard barbecue 1960. You find it in an antique shop or pick it up at a garage sale?
Don: I bought it brand new at Wal-Mart…in 1965.
(Bill nods smugly and pulls out a healthy snack from the inside of his coat. Trying to redeem himself, Don holds up his cooler.)
Bill: This cooler, however is another thing. Made of space-age material developed by NASA. Where’s your cooler?
Bill: I just bring a few things and mostly dine at the concession stand.
Don: How elegant of you.
Bill: Unlike some people, I don’t settle for mediocre. (indicates his chair) You see this? Top of the line from Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Don: Well, Wal-Mart, 1965 is just fine with me. Besides, it’s taken me that long to finally know my way around the store. And the best part? No matter where you are in the country they’re all the same. At my age, you can only handle so much challenge.
(There’s silence as Bill gazes at the field with an air of superiority and Don is suddenly unhappy with his chair. He looks at his and then Bill’s and begins to shift uncomfortably. He gets up, moves it into different positions to sit, but can’t get it right. He next tries folding and unfolding it and moving it again until finally, he simply sits, determine to act comfortable in spite of it. He’s dissatisfied with his chair but refuses to admit it.)
Don: So which team are you rooting for?
Bill: The winning one, of course.
Don: The game has just started and you know who’s going to win?
Bill: Of course.
Don: Seem pretty sure of yourself. They sell crystal balls at Dick’s too?
Bill: Confidence is the precursor of success.
Don: That’s a pithy little proverb. Who said it?
(Don makes a mocking face and repeats silently, “Me.” Bill hands Don a business card, which Don uses to fan himself, floss his teeth, then read.)
Don: Charles Remington the Third. Entrepreneurism consultant. When your business is nobody’s business, but yours. You think that one up too?
Bill: (shakes his head) Heard it on Oprah.
Don: Remington, huh? Guess that makes you…a son of a gun. And as a kid I bet you were…quite a pistol. Hey, when you rode in the car with your friends…did you ride shotgun?
(Don laughs at his jokes, but Bill stares at him deadpan.)
Don: You may have heard those jokes a few times.
Bill: (Rolls his eyes) Just a few.
Don: So what’s the umbrella for?
Bill: So I don’t get wet.
JOHN and JUDY ENTER stage left. They both carry drinks and walk towards Don and Bill, talking and pointing at the game.
Don: (looks up) Okay. Although there’s not a cloud in the sky. And the forecast doesn’t call for rain either. But it’s good to be prepared. Which is why I always carry this.
(Don fumbles in his bag and pulls out a poncho. As he does John stumbles and spills his drink on him, but Bill puts the umbrella up and shields himself. John picks up the towel from the chair and hands it to Don. Then he and Judy quickly exit. Don wipes his face and turns his attention back to the field.)
Don: There’s my grandson with the ball. Hey, nice move, Tommy. Keep going with it. That’s it. Now take the shot! Whoa…what was that? Are you kidding me? You’re not going to call that? That big oaf practically mauled him.
Bill: (stands) That big oaf is my grandson, Bruce. And that was a legal tackle. His foot was on the ball.
Don: (stands) Maybe his foot was on the ball, but his elbow was in Tommy’s stomach.
Bill: (steps forward) Well if your little Timmy can’t handle physical contact, maybe he should take up badminton.
Don: (steps forward) And maybe your Brutus should be playing with all the other big oafs held back 3 years in a row.
Bill: (steps forward again) You want to make something of it?
(Don steps forward so they’re practically touching stomachs)
Don: Do you?
(They both raise their fists when a voice sounds from offstage)
Voice: Down in front!
(They both move quickly to sit in their chairs. They exchange sidewise looks, but slowly calm down and focus on the game. Don pulls a cell phone and starts texting a message. Bill looks over, curious)
Don: I’m sending a text message to my wife. She’s at home watching the other grandkids. You know, not many people our age text. But if you want to keep up with your grandkids you have to speak their language. (holds up his phone) And it’s spoken right here. We talk face to face…they talk thumb to thumb.
(He puts his two thumbs up as if they’re having a conversation. As he does, Bill takes out his cell phone, uses it to snap a picture, and begins pushing buttons to e-mail it.)
Don: Hello there, Tommy. Hi, Grandpa. So how did your soccer game go today? Great, Grandpa…we really kicked—(Grandpa’s thumb quickly covers Tommy’s thumb) Watch your language young man. Your grandma might be listening.
(Don looks over at Bill who is busy on his phone and not paying any attention to him.)
Don: Thumb to thumb. Get it?
(Bill nods as he continues working on the cell phone and it raises Don’s curiosity)
Don: So what are you doing?
Bill: Posting a picture of the game I just took on Facebook. (shows off his phone) My new Smart Phone. Shoots video too, which I’ll add to YouTube later. Texting is good for beginners. I embrace all of social media.
Don: Oh, yeah…me too. And I plan to get a Smart phone just as soon as…
Bill: They dumb it down for you?
Don: The price drops.
(John & Judy walk by carrying bigger drinks. Don sees them coming and quickly stands and puts his poncho on. He keeps one eye on them, watches the game, and talks to Bill. John and Judy pause by his chair to watch the game, John puts his hand on the back of John’s chair for support, and without knowing, slightly moves it. He and Judy move on.)
Bill: Well if you’re on Facebook, send me a friend request. I’m already over 500 friends you know.
Don: Sure thing. (goes to sit and misses his chair) I’m down with that.
Bill: Another thing about social media–
Don: (stands and looks at the field) Wow, did you see that? Oh, wow, what a great play! A great play!
Bill: What happened?
Don: My grandson, Tommy…he just…oh, wow, that was amazing. Way to go, Tommy. Keep up the good work!
(Don throws a handful of cracker jacks in his mouth and munches angrily, struggling to hide his anger.)
Bill: Yeah, I enjoy keeping up with technology. I can enjoy a soccer game…and still communicate to the outside world. Of course you have to be able to multi-task. Not many people our age can do that. I make calls, send e-mails, surf the Internet. (holds out his phone) Planned my whole vacation. I leave next week.
Don: (To himself) Why don’t you leave right now?
Bill: (nods smugly) Surfed online until I found where I wanted to go…made a hotel reservation…booked the airline. Really something isn’t it?
Don: (fuming with his arms folded) Yeah…really…something. Go straight to the head of the class. And when you get there you can take your smart phone—
(Bill leaps to his feet with his hands as goal posts, but Don completely missed it.)
Don: What? What happened?
Bill: We just scored! What shot! And Bruce made the assist.
(Bill goes through several celebration routines)
Bill: Our team is winning, our team is winning. Sorry, Bruce knocked your little Timmy to the ground in the process. But look, he’s only limping a little bit. I’m sure he’ll be fine tomorrow.
Don: It’s Tommy.
(Bill pulls the can of spray from out of the inside of his coat. He sprays around his chair again and puts up an extra barrier between his and Don’s chairs. Then he sits and resumes watching so Don slowly sits as well and they resume watching the game. Then Bill pulls a container of Turtle Wax out of his coat pocket and using a handkerchief, waxes the legs of his chair.)
Bill: Keeps the legs slick. The insects slip right off. Between that and the spray…I remain bug free.
Don: (to himself) You out-pest them anyway.
Bill: So where are you going for vacation this year?
Don: Camping down at Cumberland Lake in Kentucky. They have a nice state park there and we have a little pop-up camper.
Bill: Camping. How…common of you. What night of the week is your bowling league?
Don: Tuesday. (Realizes he gave himself away and snaps his fingers) How about your vacation?
Bill: Caribbean Island off the coast of Venezuela. Warm climate, white sandy beaches, beautiful blue sea. The ultimate relaxing getaway.
Don: Aruba, huh?
Don: (a dog howl) Aruuuuba!
Bill: Are you mocking me? Because it’s not my fault that you’re jealous.
Don: Jealous? Are you kidding? I’m not jealous.
Bill: Sure sounds like you are.