Creative Writing

Good Ol Days

A short One-Act play about Nihilism, Religion, The United States, and good intentions from unexpected places. Currently a work in progress. This play has not currently been performed. It was written for a playwrighting class.
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  1 (AT RISE: There is a park bench in the middle of the stage. There are ambient nature sounds in the background. When there is silence, the sounds of crickets  should be heard. JESUS is sitting on one side of it, looking around impatiently as if he’s waiting for somebody  , then checking his imaginary wrist-watch.) JESUS Daddammit! He was supposed to be here by now. (He stands up, getting ready to leave.) Well, Whatever…  UNCLE SAM (Offstage.) WAIT! I’m here! It’s just  getting harder and harder for me to move around in my old age! (UNCLE SAM slowly shuffles on stage with his cane. He is walking while nearly bent over at a ninety degree angle.)  JESUS It’s about time. I was just getting ready to leave.  UNCLE SAM I’m glad you didn’t! There are many important things we need to talk about.  JESUS You’re not going to ask me for another favor, are you? You know my policy. I quit doing miracles after   —   UNCLE SAM (Sarcastically.) You lost your self- esteem. I know, you’ve only  been telling me that for the past two-hundred years. JESUS Well actually… I’m a nihilist now. I don’t believe in anything, not even myself. UNCLE SAM (Sitting down.) Are you sure about that? Nihilism seems kind of   —   JESUS (Sitting down.)  Unfitting? You think just because I’m the son of God that I can’t be a nihilist?    2 UNCLE SAM That’s about the same direction I was headed. Are you sure about this? It seems like the last time I saw you, you were just a little depressed. What made you decide to reso rt to nihilism? You’re not having any sort of troubles back at home, are you? JESUS  No, it’s not that. I just figured that since so many people have stopped believing in me, I might as well stop believing in myself   —   UNCLE SAM But that’s just low self-esteem. Nihilism is  —   JESUS I know! Let me finish… I also decided to stop believing in everyone else as well. It’s kind of like my own little way to feel like I still matter. Because, you know… If Jesus doesn’t believe in you, who will? UNCLE SAM (Puzzled.) But if you don’t believe in yourself… Isn’t that blasphemy?  JESUS I don’t believe in blasphemy.  UNCLE SAM Oh … Well, I guess that helps explain that a little.   (JESUS sighs a depressed sigh and stares off into the distance.)  JESUS So what was it that you wanted to see me about? UNCLE SAM Well, my old friend, I had some important things to tell you but I don’t think you’re emotionally  prepared to deal with it. JESUS I can handle it. I don’t believe in emotions.  UNCLE SAM I don’t think you know what you’re saying.  JESUS I don’t think you really know who you’re talking to.    3 UNCLE SAM Okay, fine. You know that contract between us? The one where you side with us for all of the wars? Well it just ended  —   JESUS Medammit! (JESUS stands up furiously and kicks at the ground.) Can’t we just renew it? Isn’t there some way to renew it? UNCLE SAM I’m sure there are a lot of people left who’d  love it if we did. But unfortunately, I have decided that we don’t need you anymore. It’s for the  good of the people. Many of them are becoming obsessive. JESUS Oh my dad! Now all of the guys are going to make fun of me! Whatever you do, don’t let Buddha find out. And especially   don’t let any of the Greeks find out! I’ll never hear the end of it! The last thing I need is Zeus and his crew taunting me. (He sits back down harshly and crosses his arms.) I might as well shut myself off from the world and never come back out. UNCLE SAM Jesus? JESUS What? UNCLE SAM It was great doing business with you. JESUS Yeah, Whatever. UNCLE SAM  No, seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever had a better business partner. You helped get us through quite a few wars over the years. (Silence.)   You can’t let something like that bring you down so badly. I thought you were a nihilist now.  Nihilists don’t get upset at things like that. Quite frankly, because they don’t care.  JESUS Sure. UNCLE SAM If it makes you feel any better, my people have also stopped believing in me lately.  4 JESUS Really? UNCLE SAM Yes. So I know exa ctly what you’re going through. No matter what I do I can’t seem to make everybody happy. They all seem to have forgotten what freedom means. Everyone is becoming so negative. It’s driving me crazy. I don’t know what to do, Jesus. I feel like there’s nothing I can do but watch my beautiful country tear itself to pieces. JESUS Don’t look at me. There’s nothing I can do. I have my own problems. UNCLE SAM Well, I just figured yo u’d understand, since you’ve been dealing with a similar problem for the  past thousand years. JESUS That’s why I dec ided to become a nihilist. UNCLE SAM You’re not helping.  JESUS I never said I would. (Pause.)   You know… I really miss the good ol’ day s. Back then, I was the most popular guy around. Everyone wanted my attention, you know. UNCLE SAM Yeah, I know what you mean. I was a lot more popular when I was young. Nobody wanted to mess with me. Now it seems like everyone wants to take a stab at me. I don’t get any breaks.  JESUS (Burying his head in his arms.) I could really use a little bit of burning bush about now…  UNCLE SAM (Consoling JESUS.) I hear ya…   (MR. STAN strolls in very casually.) MR. STAN (Tipping his hat.) Hey there, fellas! What are you two up to on this fine day?  
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