TITLE: Can I have that?
By Jack Finney
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Can I have that?
Props: A bench seat, two large bags (large garbage bags will work), stuffing for one of the bags, two paper mache rocks one larger than the other
Jay Ė Jesus, dressed in a way to give Himself away to the audience (robe, sandals, etcÖ), but the other characters ignore the way He is dressed, has an empty bag with Him
Joe Ė typical business man, kaki pants and a golf shirt, carrying a big, stuffed bag
Jennifer Ė typical business woman or student, casual dress, carrying the same bag Joe had
Scene: A man is sitting at a bus stop reading a paper. A second man, carrying a large bag, sits down next to him and begins to grumble about his day.
Joe (second man): (fidgeting and anxious) ...missed my ride, gotta take the bus...(mumble)...boss is gonna ride me when I get there...
Jay (first man): Good Morning.
Joe: (Distracted) Yeah, good morning.
Jay: Isnít it a beautiful day?
Joe: What? Yeah, I guess so.
Jay: Whatís the matter; not having a good day so far?
Joe: Not really. Missed my ride this morning so I have to ride the bus.
Jay: That big bag probably doesnít help, huh?
Joe: Itís ok. Iím kind of used to it I guess. Whereís the stupid bus? It should have been here by now.
Jay: It will be along. Marty takes his kids to school on Tuesdays. That puts him a little late on his route, but heíll catch up. He always does.
Joe: You take this bus a lot?
Jay: Not really. I just know the driver.
Joe: Hummm. Thatís nice.
Jay: My name is Jay by the way.
The two men shake hands
Joe: Joe, thatís my name.
Jay: So, what you got in the bag, Joe?
Joe: Whatís that?
Jay: The bag. Whatís in the bag?
Joe: Oh, the bag. Sorry, I forgot it was sitting there. Nothing much, just the usual odds and ends.
Jay: Really? Thatís a mighty big bag for usual odds and ends.
Joe: You think so? Well it has grown a bit. It used to be much smaller.
Jay: So what do you have in there?
Joe: Well, this one (pulling out a small rock) is new. I had a fight with my wife last night and I just canít let it go.
Joe: Yeah. Weíve been trying to save some money, you know, to buy a house or something, and last night she told me she spent some of it on a graduation present for her niece. That really set me off.
Jay: Why did it set you off? People graduate. People send them gifts. Itís not so unusual.
Joe: I donít know. (louder, angrier) She should have talked to me about it first. She disrespected me. Weíre a team and she should respect my feelings about things.
Jay: Ok, but do you think she did this just to spite you or did she just buy her niece a present and you are making more out of this than it needs to be?
Joe: Well, maybe. But she should think of me sometimes before making decisions.
Jay: Maybe youíre right. (Pause) Can I have that?
Jay: Your fight.
Joe: This fight? (holding up the rock)
Jay: Yeah, that fight.
Joe: I guess; keeps me from having to carry it around.
Jay takes the rock from Joe and puts it in his own bag. Confused, Joe stares at Jay for a minute then begins looking down the road for the bus.
Jay: (pointing in the bag) What about that one?
Joe: What one?
Jay: In the bag. That one right there. (Continuing to point)
Joe: (Taking a larger rock out of the bag) This one? (Jay nods) Oh, this one is a good one. This is grudge Iíve been holding against Beckís mom. Becky is my wife by the way. Her mom never really liked me. I wasnít good enough for Becky. Iím probably not, but thatís not the point. Itís none of her business and she should keep her nose out of our marriage.
Jay: So, she pokes her nose in there a lot, does she?
Joe: No, not really. (louder) But she made it very clear that she didnít like me. Just because I partied a lot in college doesnít mean I wonít be a good husband.
Jay: So she loves her daughter and was concerned about her future. I can see why youíre upset. Sounds like a terrible person.
Joe: Well, she isnít terrible. She actually has some good ideas about some things. Sheís the one who suggested we start putting away some money here and there.
Jay: (pausing) Joe, can I have that? (pointing at the rock)
Joe: (Lost in thought, snaps back) What? Yeah, I guess, here.
Joe is less agitated now. He isnít fidgeting or looking for the bus. He is quiet and seems a little self-reflective.
Jay: Whatís that one there (pointing in the bag)?
Joe: I know you want it too, but Iím not sure I can give you this one.
Jay: Letís talk about it. Hereís the bus. Let me ride along with you and we can talk about the rest of your bag.
The two actors stand up and move toward the audience as if boarding a bus and the lights dim down. As the lights come back up Jay is sitting on the bench. A woman runs up to the bench with a large bag.
Jennifer: Awww, did I just miss the bus? Can this day get any worse?
Jay: Have a seat.
Jennifer sits down.
Jay: Hey, whatícha got in the bag?
1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22
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