By Ruth Seadon
A play examining the significance of the Easter message through a parable of two financial institutions.
Man and wife in family home.
Man: (tapping at calculator,) sighs
Woman: Is it that bad?
Man: The problem is we have got more going out each month than coming in.
Woman: I'm sure we can cut back somewhere, give up broadband, turn down the thermostat, eat out less often, shop at Aldi.
Man: I'm afraid that won't be enough. Most of our things are on credit so even if we sell them we still have to pay the credit off. I checked with the small print. There's this nasty little clause I didn't notice before that states we only have to miss one repayment and the interest rate doubles. The annoying thing is that every agreement is underwritten by the same finance company so every loan carries the same clause. Even selling the house won't work because with house prices falling round here we are probably in negative equity. No matter how I do the figures the result is the same; we are in serious debt.
Woman: Oh!…… (Idea) I wonder……(rummaging for paper) Yes, here it is. Do you think this might be any good? It says no debt is too great.
Man : ( reads) The JC Family Bank. No matter how big your debt is we can help you. With the right advice you can be debt free today. Place your account with us and see your debts disappear.
Man: (dismissively) Never heard of them.
Woman: Surely it can't do any harm to give them a ring?
Man: I suppose anything is worth a try. (Dials the number) "Yes…Yes.. That's right…..You can?….. Yes please…It's Mr Down ,18 Darkside Street. (Replaces the phone) That's amazing. I got straight through to a real person. They say all we have to do it transfer all our accounts to them and they can get us a zero interest rate. We've got an immediate appointment with them to talk it through.
Office of De-vil Global Corporation.
Two businessmen. Managing Director and financial Director
MD is on the phone FD: (bursting in brief case in hand.) MD: Don't you ever knock? FD: Sorry Sir. I've got wonderful news! MD: (into phone) Excuse me. I call you back. FD: Our main competitor has over extended himself. My sources tell me that he's taken on so many of our bad debt customers that he hasn't got he reserves to back them.
MD: At last! Now all we have to do is call in those debts and he's finished. We'll hang him out to dry.
FD: As the main creditor we'll own him and every last penny in his bank. We'll get all our old customers back as well.
MD: Let's set the wheels in motion. As soon as we have the legal papers sorted out we can access the individual accounts. We'll need to assign extra staff to contacting all his customers to inform them of the change in management and the new interest rates they now have to pay on their loans.
FD: Sir I'm afraid I have some bad news. We're going to be the subject of a hostile take-over.
MD: Rubbish! Once we have all the JC accounts there won't be any company big enough to be a serious competitor. We can withstand any take-over.
FD : That's the problem Sir, we won't be getting the JC accounts.
MD: You'd better explain. That money is ours.
FD: Well we knew that The JC Family Bank was only a subsidiary of Eternal Creative Union. When JC proved such a financial disaster and Eternal Creative Union made no attempt to rescue Him, we assumed they were going to let him go under.
MD : Which is exactly what happened. Look, I know all this. What's your point?
FD: We didn't allow for them mounting a belated rescue. JC is up and trading again, more strongly than ever.
MD: So we lose the JC customers but at least their loans will be repaid.
FD: Oh yes. We've been paid, in full, at the highest rate of interest. JC Family Bank have paid the debts of all their customers and all of ours as well.
MD: But that's crazy.
FD: I know Sir but they did it. We don't have any outstanding loans on which to collect, not from anyone.
MD: That rather spoils our long term plans. We'll need a new strategy. Let me think.
FD: I'm afraid there's more.
FD: Well it seems that the way we went about calling in the loans and accessing the JC accounts once the bank suspended trading was.. well.. to put it bluntly sir, was illegal. Eternal Creative Union are suing us for malpractice. I've no doubt they will win. When they do well be finished.
MD: Hmmm. It will take ages to go through the courts so we have a little time. How many people know that our customer's loans have been repaid?
FD: Well, the people over at Eternal, The JC Family Bank and our directors.
MD: So our customers don't know?
FD: No Sir, not yet.
MD: Good, Lets keep it that way shall we? That way we can still collect the interest.
Head Office of Eternal Creative Union. Two business men
Gd: Welcome home son.
JC: Hello Father, It's good to see you.
Gd You did a good job. I'm proud of you.
JC: Thank you Father. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Especially when I couldn't make contact with you and I had to let the business go under. But I knew you wouldn't really let me down.
Gd. : Never! Well, now you're back at Head Office what are your plans?
JC: Our first task is to inform all De-vil's customers that their loans have been repaid and should they wish to transfer to us they automatically become shareholders.
Gd : That's a big task. What strategy will you use?
JC: I've been training eleven men. I'm going to make them Directors. Mainly we'll rely on word of mouth. The recommendation of a satisfied customer is very powerful.
© Copyright R Seadon 2006, all rights reserved. The script may not be
reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on
the Internet, without written permission of the author.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. She may be contacted at: email@example.com