BALLISTIC BATTLESTAR BOB

JANET:
Hi you guys, come on in. Merry Christmas.

SANDY:
Hi Janet, Merry Christmas. (Hands Janet a present) We're not too early are we?

JANET:
Oh no you're fine. You didn't need to bring anything.

JOE:
Hey come on, It's Christmas. That's what it's all about isn't it.

JANET:
You two are just too sweet. Here let me take your coats.

JOE:
Thanks. Hey, where's Steve?

JANET:
Oh he's out doing his annual panic shopping.

SANDY:
On Christmas Eve?

JANET:
He always says that he shops better under pressure. But that's just his excuse for procrastinating.

SANDY:
I'm a nervous wreck, if I don't have my shopping done by the 15th of December.

JOE:
Good thing too. We're usually out of money by then. This woman goes absolutely nuts buying gifts for people.

JANET:
I can relate.

SANDY:
Well there are so many people I want to get presents for…

JOE:
Yeah, but it seem's like a guilt thing. There's relatives back east we haven't seen in years. People that would be happy to get a card.

SANDY:
Well if I send a gift to one, I don't want the others to feel left out.

JOE:
When the kids were younger, she would get out the calculator, to make sure she didn't spend more on one than the other.

SANDY:
They could tell.

JOE:
When they were two and four?

JANET:
Oh I've been there. If we buy Cindy something, then we have to get Johnny something of equal value or else he might feel cheated. Then we get the stuff home and add it up and Johnny has more than Cindy so we have to go back out to get her one more gift to even it up.

SANDY Then try to get most of what's on their lists.

JANET:
We never know which will come first, the end of the list, or our credit limit. It just kills me to think of disappointing them on Christmas morning.

JOE:
Tis the season to feel guilty fa la la la la la la la la.

ALL:
(Adlibbed laughter)

JANET:
Speaking of guilt, that's the main reason Steve's out there now. One of the major toys on Johnny's list was out of stock, and the store was supposed to get some in today. What is it, uh Bobby Star, or Battling something or other.

JOE:
Ballistic Battlestar Bob!

JANET:
That's it!

JOE:
Good luck.

SANDY:
Joe got that for Joe Jr. back in November.

JOE:
And there weren't many left back then.

JANET:
Oh I hope Steve can find it. Johnny's got his heart set on it. I told him not to procrastinate so much.

SANDY:
I think those companies purposely don't ship enough, to create a phony shortage, and a rush on them. Remember the Cabbage Patch dolls?

JANET:
Yeah, and Tickle Me Elmo.

JOE:
You'd practically have to sell your soul to get one before Christmas, then wham right after Christmas, the shelves are filled with them. Imagine that.

JANET:
Well, I hope Steve can find it. It'll just kill me if Johnny's Christmas is ruined.

JOE and SANDY
(Ad lib in agreement and sympathy)

JANET:
Oh, here he is now.

STEVE:
(Enters. Shirt is torn, possibly has knee torn in pants. Missing a shoe. Possibly has a black eye. Walks with slumped posture. Looks defeated.)

JOE:
What happened?

JANET:
(Rushes to him) Honey, are you all right?

STEVE:
There was a riot.

SANDY:
A riot?

STEVE:
There were 15 Ballistic Battlestar Bob toys that came in on the truck.

JANET:
So what happened?

STEVE:
There were 200 of us trying to get them. It was horrible. I got trampled five feet from the counter. People were screaming, I saw a guy with someone's foot in his mouth. Elbows were flying. This little old lady punched me in the eye.

JANET:
That's awful.

STEVE:
That's not the worst of it.

JOE:
What could be worse?

STEVE:
You see, I had one in my hands. I took the punches, and the elbows, even ducked a few kicks. I pounced like a lion in the hunt. I had Ballistic Battlestar Bob in my hands. Then as I walked toward the counter to pay for it, this little girl was standing in front of me. She looked like one of those paintings of the kids with the over sized eyes. She told me that her brother only had a month to live, and that lis only wish was for a Ballistic Battlestar Bob. I couldn't help myself. I handed it to her…

JANET:
How could you be so gullible?

SANDY:
Janet!

STEVE:
No, she's right. After she paid for it she ran out shouting "Sucker" This is awful. What am I gonna tell Johnny?

JANET:
He'll be heartbroken.

JOE:
Hey they'll be back on the shelves by New Years.

STEVE:
Yeah but It's just not the same.

JOE:
Yeah you're right. There's something special about seeing your kid's eyes bug out when they open the presents.

STEVE:
(Slumps a little more.)

JOE:
It's so cool. I already put batteries in it, and I programed it to talk. When the box gets picked up he says, " Lemme outta here before I go balistic!"

SANDY:
(Slaps Joe on arm) Joe!

STEVE:
He didn't mean anything by it. He's just excited. That's what Christmas is about. (To Janet) What am I gonna do? How am I going to tell Johnny that his dad ruined his Christmas?

JANET:
I think I can break it to him gently. I'll just say Johnny…

JOHNNY:
(Enters) What?

JANET:
Oh! Hi Honey. I was just going to tell you that uh that well, umm that your father has something he wants to tell you.

JOHNNY:
What's up, Dad?

STEVE:
Son, I'm afraid I've got some bad news for you.

JOHNNY:
Oh no! Not Grandma!

STEVE:
No, no. Not Grandma, she's fine. It's just that sometimes in our lives we have disappointments. Sometimes things don't work out the way we want them to. Sometimes… You know what you wrote on the top of your Christmas list…

JOHNNY:
You mean Ballistic Battlestar Bob?

STEVE:
(Sobbing) They sold out of them. I was too late, oh I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have waited so long. I'm so sorry I've ruined your Christmas! Can you ever forgive me? Please forgive me I…

JOHNNY:
Dad, get a grip. That's not what Christmas is about.

STEVE:
Huh?

JOHNNY:
It's about the birth of Jesus. You know, it's the time when we honor Him for coming to earth to be our savior. It's the time to tell Him how grateful we are for what He's done for us. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
That's the real gift.
(Adults stand there dumbfounded)
Besides they always have them after New Years, we can get it then.

STEVE:
Uh, yeah sure. After New Year

JOHNNY:
Oh hi Mr. and Mrs. Anderson. Joey can't wait to see his gifts under the tree; Especially the Commando Carl, anti terrorist brigade.

JOE AND SANDY :
Commando Carl!

SANDY:
We'd better get our coats.

JOE:
Do you think Kmart is still open. (Both run off stage)

JOHNNY:
What's with them?

STEVE:
Well, I guess they just don't know what Christmas is all about.

Copyright © 1999 by Robert J. Lee

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