"In the Same Boat"

Two characters 1 & 2 (Bert and Joe - though the names could be changed. The dialogue and names could be adapted to orient this skit in more of a female direction), sit together on the ground, as if in a lifeboat on the sea. An unseen voice (V) periodically speaks up in the middle of their conversation.

1 - Joe, I donít know how much more of this I can take. Weíve been in this stupid boat for days!

2 - Thirteen, to be exact, Bert.

1 - Iíve lost track of the days. It seems like forever.

2 - You got that right.

1 - When will it all end? Thereís got to be some other ship on this ocean which could float by and save us.

2 - Itís a pretty big ocean, Bert.

1 - I know itís a "pretty big ocean," Joe. But if something doesnít happen soon, Iím going to go bonkers.

2 - Itís only been thirteen days. We could be out here for weeks, months, even a whole year.

1 - NOOOOOO! (goes on for a while, as if stark raving mad)

2 - Get hold of yourself, Bert. Snap out of it. (Slaps Bert, who returns to reality)

1 - Thanks, Joe. I needed that.

2 - Any time, Bert.

1 - Itís just that Iím at a breaking point. Nothing against you, but too much more time in the same boat,
         and I just donít know what I will do.

2 - Weíve been friends since tricycle days.

1 - Yes, we have. But weíve been spending altogether too much time in the same boat lately.

2 - I suppose youíre right. Too much of a good thing.

1 - "Too much of a good thing"? Are you nuts. This is not a "good thing."

2 - Maybe it depends upon how you look at it.

1 - Thirteen days stuck in this stupid boat... How else am I supposed to look at it?

2 - I guess if you put it that way....

1 - Besides, sooner or later weíre going to run out of liquid refreshment. What are we going to do then?

V - "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. If anyone believes in me, out of his heart
         will flow rivers of living water." (John 7:37-38)

1 - Did you hear that?

2 - Hear what?

1 - That voice.

2 - What voice?

1 - The voice that just spoke.

2 - I didnít hear anything.

1 - You didnít hear that voice talking about "living water" for anyone who thirsts?

2 - No.... Youíre beginning to scare me now, Joe.

1 - Oh, man. Itís starting. First comes the voices in the head. It must be the thirst. My last Mountain Dewģ
         was days ago. Canít go without my Dew for that long.

2 - Weíve still got some water.

1 - Can a man live without his Dew?

2 - Youíre gonna have to. I just hope thereís enough to last us until we get rescued.

1 - If we get rescued.

2 - Donít think that way, Bert. Try to think outside this boat.

1 - Outside the boat.

2 - Yeah, outside the boat.

1 - Thereís just lots and lots of ocean outside this boat. Probably full of sharks, too.

2 - No, thatís not what I meant. Think beyond the ocean and the sharks.

1 - (scans the horizon, then:) Iím having a hard time doing that.

2 - (pause, then dejectedly:) So am I. Thereís probably not going to be enough, anyway.

V - "If you only knew the free gift of God ... you would just ask, and be given living water."  (both hear)
                                              (John 4:10)

1 - Did you it hear it that time?

2 - Hear what?

1 - The "living water" voice.

2 - Unfortunately, I did. This is getting really scarey now, Bert. Weíre both delusional.

1 - Whatís next?

2 - I donít know. I once read about a menís soccer team from Peru that crash landed in the mountains of South
         America. I think they started hearing voices, too.

1 - Oh, no. What happened to them?

2 - Some were eventually rescued, but they were so hungry they started eating each other.

(both look at each other in horror)

1 - I would never eat you, Joe

2 - Me neither.

1 - Besides, how could I build a fire on this boat to cook you?

2 - That was a joke, right?

1 - Of course it was!... I think.

2 - We still have some bags of chips. Iím not sure how long theyíll last, however.

1 - Small portions! Thatís the key. Eat just enough to get by. Make it stretch.

2 - You got it.

1 - Thinking about food makes me hungry, though.

2 - Maybe we should talk about something else.

V - "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me
         will never be thirsty." (John 6:35)

1 - Thereís that voice again. Where is it coming from?

2 - It must just be in your head, man.

1 - But you heard it, too, didnít you?

2 - Yeah. If weíre going psychotic, we must be doing it in sync.

1 - I donít know about that, but the voice didnít sound like it was just inside my head. It seemed to come
         from outside the boat.

2 - Youíre right. But if it wasnít just us, who or what was it?

1 - Maybe ... maybe it was God.

2 - God?

1 - Yeah, God.

2 - Are you starting to get all "religious" now that weíre stuck here.

1 - Well, you said we should "think outside the boat."

2 - I was talking about our rescue.

1 - God doesnít do "search and rescue?"

2 - Well ... I mean ... Yeah, he does, but ...

1 - So, the voice could be God talking.

2 - I suppose, if you put it that way, yes.

1 - Maybe thereís hope.

2 - Maybe.

1 - I donít know. It still seems like weíve been here forever.

2 - It could be a long time before we get out of this boat.

1 - Like a year.

2 - Or at least until next summer.

1 - I donít know if I can make it that long. The school year has only just begun. June is so far away!

2 - Weíve done it before.

1 - But itís different in high school. Back in elementary we had recess. Now weíve got Algebra and English
         and the History of Western Civilization. Aaargh!

2 - Donít forget "Health Education."

1 - Donít remind me... Then thereís all the other Ďstuff í that comes with being a teenager. Sometimes it all
         seems like a waste.

2 - Yeah - like an ocean surrounding us with no shore in sight.

1 - And here we are, you and me, stuck in the same stupid boat just floating aimlessly on this crazy sea.

2 - At least weíve got each other.

1 - And God?

2 - Yeah, and God.

V - "Come to me, all you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my
         teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest
         for your lives. The teaching I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is light."
                                                                         (Matthew 11:28-30)

1 - With that voice, I think I can do this.

2 - Maybe weíre not crazy, after all. Maybe weíre just thinking outside the boat.

1 - Itís going to take a lot of thinking outside the boat to make it through this year.

2 - Speaking of which, whatís Mr. Kovac yelling over there?

1 - I think heís saying, "three more laps."

2 - (stands and yells to the unseen distant P.E. teacher:) Yes, sir. We were just taking a breather.

1 - Back to the grind. (is helped up by the other)

2 - Now, I really am thirsty.

1 - How soon Ďtil lunch? My stomachís starting to growl.

2 - Not for three more laps, at least. (the two then jog off)

V - "Listen! I am standing at your door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will
         come in to you and eat with you, and you with me." (Revelation 3:20)

- end -

Written for a Youth Beach Retreat (theme: "Thinking Outside the Boat" - Matthew 14:22-33)

©2003, Peter L. Haynes

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