The Dilemma

By Dave Marsh
April 21, 2011

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A drama about Tithing

Director's Notes:
The original everyman in church, trying to figure out what in the world tithing is all about. Pretty funny stuff if you ask me...

I like to do pre-recorded voice over (V.O.) in some dramas. It's really effective because it allows us to hear what someone is really thinking. So, just record the actor speaking into a mic, add some reverb to it so it sounds like it's hollow and you're good to go...

Dave: A normal guy at church
Mark: An offering collector

Pre-recorded V.O. tape
Offering basket
Handful of change
Twilight Zone theme (if possible. BTW, you can find this on the internet...)

(LIGHTS UP CENTER STAGE where Dave is standing after just singing the last song. Note that all audio is strictly pre-recorded V.O.)

Dave: Ah, here it comes. Here it comes. This is where Ray wants people to shake hands and say hi to one another. Doesnít he know that itís early Sunday morning? Iím barely alive let alone able to speakÖOkay, here goesÖ (starts shaking imaginary hands).

Dave: (sits down) Okay, that wasnít so bad. I survived. Okay, letís look in the program. Whatís coming up? Letís seeÖ. Ďtithes and offerings.í (Suddenly has a panic attack) Oh no, the dreaded Ďtithes and offerings!í What am I going to do? Alright now, donít panic. Letís just think this thing through and weíll get through it. Okay? Okay!

Dave: (takes deep breath) Now assess the problem. Think. Think. Think. Okay, the basket comes round and what? I feel guilty. Do I tithe? Do I not tithe? TitheÖ.hmmm. I mean, what does that word really mean? Itís kinda hard to pronounceÖTyythheee. Sounds like Tie with a lisp. "Hey, tithe that man up!" "After one quarter, the game is tithe!" Kinda hard to do something that sounds so weird.

Dave: And whatís the tithe anyway? Something like 10% I think. 10%? 10% of what? 10% of my salary obviously but is that gross or net? Well it canít be gross cause gross also means disgusting and God wouldnít want me to tithe something disgusting. I mean, he made the word gross for a reason and even if the word has two meanings, I donít think it should be used in tithing. Nope, thatís wouldnít be right.

Dave: Maybe he wants 10% of my net earnings. Yeah, he must want me to pay the government first. I mean, if I donít pay the government first, I could go to jail! Ack! I donít want to go to jail! And I mean, werenít the disciples fishermen or something? They used nets right? And doesnít God want me to be a fisher of men? So my tithe should be net so I can catch stuff. Yeah. Okay, I think thatís settled.

Dave: Now, what is technically my net? I mean, God doesnít want me to starve right? Not much good to Him if Iím starving to death! (pulls out calculator). Okay, take my net and subtract groceriesÖ okay, now Iíve got to pay the mortgage. I mean, I canít sleep outside and freeze to death!Ö How will I do Godís will if Iím dead? Subtract mortgage. Now, Iíve got to drive a car so I can get to church so I can tithe so letís subtract that paymentÖ And what about my cable bill? I mean, how am I going to watch those preacher guys if they shut off my cable? Speaking of, what time is that Virginia game on? Is it 1 or 4? I can never get these things right. I donít know, the Hoos are struggling lately. Though they did pretty okay last gameÖ (wakes up) Okay, anyway. Letís make a few more subtractions here of things that I know God would want me to make...

Dave: (keeps punching buttons) Alright, here we go. $64.89. Hmmm. Thatís a weird number. Not very round. I mean, it should be round right? Like the Earth that God made. So, letís round it off to whatÖ? Whatís the rule of rounding? Do you round up all the time? I think you round up only in school. This is a church. In church, you round down, like you are kneeling or something. Okay, round down. That brings it to $60.

Dave: $60? Hmmm, itís got a 6 in it. God doesnít like 6ís. Could you imaging if I had to tithe $6.66? No way! Gotta get rid of that 6. Gotta cut that 6 off! So letís cut it in half! Letís see, that would be $30. Thirty sounds okay I guess. Except it rhymes with dirty. I mean, it would be like giving God dirty money! Like Iím some sort of drug dealer or something! No way, Iím not going to do that to God. So, whatís a good number? Hmmm. Letís just make it $20.

Dave: (Beginning to panic as he sees Mark walking in with the basket) Oh no, here he comes! Is $20 right? I mean, oh, I donít know! Didnít I give like $40 last week? Didnít I reach my quota? Wait, Iím due for a refund or something right? (pulls out calculator) okay, hmmm, yes and then multiply that and divide by..yesÖandÖandÖ

Dave: (plate comes by and Dave (now in a frenzy) reaches into his pocket and dumps some change in there.) Arghh!!! (He then passes it back and hangs his head panting. Mark looks into the basket, rolls his eyes and walks off.)

Dave: (puff, puff) Okay, okay, itís over. I did it. Okay, letís lookÖ whatís next? Drama. "The Dilemma." (Twilight Zone theme comes up and Dave freezes!)



(c) 1999 Dave Marsh

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