Jesus Christ died as our final sacrifice for all time.
I Corinthians 15:56-57
Executive boardroom, table, chairs, many scrolls, charts.
Board members of a corporation that has the monopoly on sacrificial lambs provided for the population count their money, project their expansion, and size up their competition. All forecasts look promising until some unsettling news about a man named Jesus makes business look bleak.
(as first performed by the Jigsaw Puzzle of Comedy, February
20th, 1981 at Glencoe Auditorium)
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH -- Phil Yarnell
PAIN-IN-THE-EYEAH -- David Ian
GRATIFIAH -- Jay Johnson
FORESTFIAH -- Judy King
TELEPHONWIAH -- Rick Francis
PACIFIAH -- Lisa Abel
CRUCIFIAH -- Wade Donaldson
(All characters are seated at table, they wear contemporary business attire with the exception of arabian head gear. Each character has various scrolls in front of them that they may refer to at different times, Holier-Than-Thiah for order of business, PAIN-IN-THE-EYEAH for the minutes, GRATIFIYAH for the quarterly report, etc. A general hub-bub goes on as HOLIER-THAN-THIAH brings the meeting to order.)
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: All right. I call this, the quarterly meeting of Sacrificial Lambs, Incorporated, Jeruselem Branch, to order. I am Holier-Than-Thiah, CEO and Chairman of the Board. Pain-in-the Eyeah will read the minutes from the last meeting.
PAIN-IN-THE-EYEAH: Minutes of the last meeting of Sacrificial Lambs Incorporated, owned by Terrifiah, son of Horrifiah, uncle of Rectifiah Moabite, eldest brother of I-deniah the Fliah-kite, son of Studdedtiah, best friend of Funeralpiah, cousin of Compulsivliah the ouch! (Pain-in-the-Eyah slaps his arm) Mosquitobite, son of Hachoo the (FORESTFIAH sneezes) Gesundhiet, grandfather of Sacrificefliah and sons, founder and patriarch of Sacrificial Lambs Incorporated. After a reading of the patriarchs, the minutes of the previous meeting was read, beginning with a reading of the patriarchs and a reading of the previous minutes--
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Yes, yes, get on to the business.
PAIN-IN-THE-EYEAH: Meeting was opened by Holier- than-Thiah, recognized leader of this the central Jeruselem branch. Old business was read. New old business was read, old new business was read, and new business with just a hint of staleness but still with the feel of a slight gentle breeze on a warm spring day blowing through the grass, with a babbling brook and (others look questioningly at each other, HOLIER-THAN-THIAH clears his throat) er, that business was read, followed by brand new business and business not yet thought of before read.
We discussed an executive parking lot for donkeys, voted in our quarterly 20% pay increase for each board member, and closed the meeting with stock futures quotes.
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Thank you Pain-in-the- Eyeah. Gratifiah. Do you have our quarterly shipping report?
GRATIFIAH: Yes I do. It seems that our biggest problem comes from the rural area. The uneven roads cause our carts to bump about with such violence that our product gets bruised. Obviously our clients must have perfect lambs for their sacrifices and many of our deliveries are resulting in losses.
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Loss of revenue? We can't have that! Gratifiah, as head of shipping, what do you intend to do?
GRATIFIAH: I checked with our consultants and they suggested indivdual wrapping. Camel hair cloths or goat's fleece should do the trick. Unfortunately, we haven't found a means to make it cost effective, yet.
PAIN-IN-THE-EYEAH: What about sheep's wool wrapping? We have plenty of shearings from our breeding pens.
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Interesting. Can it be done?
GRATIFIAH: Difficult to say. We would have to see if our current stock could create enough padding for our inventory and future shipments.
PAIN-IN-THE-EYEAH: We could put each fleece on a deposit basis with the customer, so that when the next shipment came, they merely exchanged fleeces.
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Excellent. You might be onto a whole new subsidiary, Pain in the Eyah! Put yourself down for a promotion. (to Gratifiah) You should have thought of that a long time ago. Forestfiah, do you have our financial reports?
FORESTFIAH: Since we have the monopoly on all the sacrificial lambs in the temple and outlying regions of Judea, we don't have to worry about competing prices. So, we propose to pay for our new multi-storied executive donkey parking lot by a 15% increase per lamb, 30% increase in shipping charges, with 50% increase in tax collector's insurance coverage.
Of course, 20% of our net profits must be skimmed off the top and sent to the local high priests in the areas of our operations. Being good, religious people, providing a religious service, we wish to make sure that our piety is in proper order.
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Thank you, Forestfiah. Now, Telephonwiah, do you have our marketing program outlined?
TELEPHONWIAH: In a word, I certainly do. If I can direct your attention to this chart. (Telephonwiah points to a bar graph that Pain in the Eyeah holds up) Now as this chart will show you, according to our surveys, 25% of soldiers have soldiers for sons, 45% of merchants have merchants for sons, 95% of farmers have farmers as sons, but 100% of sinners have sinners for sons. Therefore, it is upon this last demographic that we must concentrate our efforts. You see, although we have this fantastic percentage working for us, it is only helpful if these people understand that they are guilty of breaking the law, but also that something can be done about it.
Therefore, we need to increase the awareness of sin, and with that, the awareness of atonement through our product. Our previous slogan: "If you find yourself in a jam, try ours, the Sacrificial Lamb!", gave a negative connotation to needing our product. What we must now do is make the populace feel good about their sin, so that they would want to use our product.
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Brilliant! What have you got?
TELEPHONWIAH: So far we have two winners I'd like to put past you: "With our baby sheep, pile your sins in a heap," (general nodding of approval by all) Or, "One good lamb, for all the day's sin you can cram!" (cheer from all)
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Well, I think you have your answer there, Telephonwiah, I'll be expecting that campaign out soon. "All the day's sin you can cram!" I like that. Pacifiah, do you have our competition report?
PACIFIAH: When our founder Sacrificefliah landed the historic contract with the major temples, that allowed us to buy out our smaller compettitors. Since then, we have undermined our bigggest rivals by having their board members on our payroll and with judicious use of company spies and strong arm methods, we have been able to leverage out or absorb all other businesses and enjoy unparalleled prosperity. However, we have come up against a new source of competition, something unique and very formidable. It's about this man Jesus. You may have read my memos earlier this month? It seems he's going about cities preaching against sin, promoting love, healing people, and, I have just learned, forgiving sins with an authority previously unkown.
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Forgiving sins? Are you certain of this?
PACIFIAH: I don't have my friends in the Sanhedrin on the company payroll for nothing. The problem: if this man continues to go about the countryside forgiving sins, we may find ourselves run out of business, since our product would no longer be in demand.
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Sounds serious. What actions have you taken?
PACIFIAH: We have hired false witnesses to testify against him, and I, by pulling a few strings, have arranged to have a trial to condemn this man on charges of treason against the Roman government--and if those charges don't stick, we will have him tried under the Judaic law for blasphemy as well. Either way, we have him.
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: How will you be able to get him arrested?
PACIFIAH: I have also, through intermediaries, contacted an inside man in his group to name the time and the place to turn him over. It cost a bit, but considering the threat, it is money well spent. We should be receiving word any time. Here are my receipts for services rendered. (PACIFIAH hands to HOLIER-THAN-THIAH a numBer of small scrolls)
(CRUCIFIAH comes into the boardroom and hands HOLIER-THAN-THIAH an ornate scroll)
CRUCIFIAH: Pardon the interruption. This just came in. It's marked urgent.
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Thank you, Crucifiah. Why, this seal is from corporate headquarters! (he reads the scroll, looks shocked) Oh, no, this is terrible! We're ruined!
FORESTFIAH: What happened? Did a plague wipe out all our lambs?
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: No, worse.
GRATIFIAH: Are the Romans asking for more protection money to travel the roads?
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Much worse.
PAIN-IN-THE-EYEAH: A roving band of wolves fell upon our breeding stock and tore them all to pieces and carried them off leaving nothing but...but... (everyone is staring at PAIN-IN-THE-EYEAH) Or maybe not.
PACIFIAH: What is it?
HOLIER-THAN-THIAH: Listen to this Speed-O-Gram: "All is lost STOP Business ruined STOP This day, Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins of the world STOP He is the ultimate sacrifice STOP"