.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

UNDIVIDED ATTENTION –(video example) written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        be considerate to others
SCRIPTURE:    Matt.7:12, Phil.2:1-5
Style:        drama/conversation:  a couple is out
.             on their first date, but the woman
.             ignores the man by constantly
.             answering her cellphone
Cast:         MARK, ANNA, WAITER
Set & Props:  table, 2 chairs, menus, 2 glasses of water,
.             purse, cellphone, wallet, 5 dollar bill,


(WAITER ushers MARK and ANNA to a table.)

W   Here are your menus.  I’ll give you a moment
.   to look them over.

M   Thank you.

A   Well, this sure is nice.  I’ve never been to this
.   restaurant before.

M   (a little nervous)  Neither have I.
.   I just - hope - it’s as good as everyone says.

A   (laughing a little)  Are you nervous?

M   A little.  Aren’t you?

A   Of course.  First dates are always nerve-wracking.
.   Trust me, I’ve been on so many.

M   So many?  Do you mean, dates, or FIRST dates?

A   First dates!  Yes.  It’s such a struggle these days
.   to find a guy who wants to commit.

M   Well, the only reason why I date, is - to-

(ANNA’S cellphone rings and she pulls it from her purse.)

A   Oh, excuse me!  (answering)  Hi Carol, I’ve been
.   waiting for your call.  What took you so long?...
.                                                      2
(MARK wonders at this but goes to study the menu.
WAITER enters to bring them glasses of “water.”
Seeing ANNA on phone, WAITER nods and walks away.)

A   I’m on the date right now.  Yes – yes – YES!
.   Okay-Talk to you later.

(ANNA hangs up and leaves her phone on the table.)

A   I think Carol loves to live vicariously through me.
.   So you were saying?

M   Ahhh, yessss, oh - ah – the main reason why I date –
.   is to find the right person –
.   (ANNA’S cellphone rings again) to – commit – to –

(ANNA puts up a finger and answers.)

A   Doug!  (puts a hand over the mouthpiece)
.   It’s my brother!

(MARK nods an unsure “okay” then studies the menu again.
WAITER enters, sees ANNA on phone and exits.)

A   Did you pick up the gift from the engravers?
.   Did you make sure they spelled everything correctly
.   BEFORE they wrapped it all up?... Awesome!
.   I’ll be calling the caterers later tomorrow
.   to confirm... Fantastic!  I can’t wait.  Ta.
.   (hangs up, to MARK)  My brother, sister and I
.   are planning a surprise party for our parents’
.   30th anniversary.  They’ve been married 30 years,
.   can you believe it?  It’s sad how relationships
.   fall apart so easily these days.
.   You just wonder why that is.

M   Well, it COULD be as simple as – respect –
.   (phone starts ringing)
.   Like - showing consideration – for others-

A   I couldn’t agree more!  Ah, that’s why I really MUST
.   take this.  (answers)  Jessica!  Are you all right?
.   What’s wrong?  Tell me.  Just calm down and tell me.

(MARK looks around trying not to look disgusted.
WAITER approaches.)
.                                                      3
W   Did – you want to order now?

M   I have no idea what she’d even like.

W   You could just – take a chance-

M   I’d afraid she might be allergic to something.

W   Good thinking.

(WAITER exits.  MARK tries to wait patiently.)

A   (still to phone)  Okay, it’s going to be all okay.
.   Really.  Just call me later when you have
.   some more news on that.  Okay?  I love you!
.   (hangs up)  I don’t know what Jessica would do
.   without me.  Everything is always a crisis.

M   Is she all right?

A   She just needed to vent.  Her landlord is taking
.   his sweet old time fixing her one element.

M   That’s – terrible.

A   (laughing)  It is.  You know how you can have
.   your favorite element on a stove?  IF you ever cook.
.   (grabs phone)  Oh, my sister’s texting me.
.   She wants to know how the date is going.
.   (speaks while replying)  “Good.  How is yours?”

M   Ask her what you usually like to eat.

A   (speaks while replying)  “LOL, he’s now asking me
.   to ask you - what I like to eat.”
.   (looks up)  She responded with an “LOL.”
.   (looks at phone)  Oh, she has a call coming in.

M   So what sort of things WOULD you like to eat?

A   That is a good question, I suppose.  I’m always
.   wondering though, why people feel the need
.   to talk about such frivolous matters.  I mean,
.   how can you really get to know someone that way?

(Phone rings again.  MARK’S mouth drops open.)
.                                                      4
M   Ah-huh.  Don’t you – have an answering service?

A   I just find answering services very rude.
.   (looks at phone)  Huh, I don’t even recognize
.   this name.  (answering)  Hello?  Huh?  Oh!  That’s
.   too funny.  I saw your name and didn’t recognize it.

(WAITER enters and looks at MARK, who shrugs.)

W   Did YOU want to order anything?  An appetizer?

M   I better wait.

W   Would like more water?

M   No, thank you, I’m good for now.

(WAITER walks away.  ANNA hangs up, laughing.)

A   THAT was a wrong number.  So – wow – maybe the food
.   is good here, but the service sure is slow.

M   About that – maybe if you told me what you want –

A   I like that.  Straight to the point – meaningful -
.   I’m looking for a man who’s willing to stick around –
.   through thick and thin, sickness and health-
.   and all that- (phone rings)  Oh, give me a minute.
.   (answers)  Hey, what’s up?...

(WAITER approaches with eyes rolling.  MARK motions
for the WAITER to wait.  MARK pulls out a bill
to give to the WAITER.)

M   Thanks for your service.  I’ll – let her know –

(ANNA is absorbed in her conversation.  Sighing,
MARK pulls out his cellphone and dials out.)

A   (to phone)  Hang on, I’ve got another call coming in.
.   (pushing button)  Hello?

M   Hi, Anna, this is Mark.

A   (unsure)  Maaarrrrk-

M   The guy who’s sitting at the table...              5
.   across from you.

(ANNA looks over at MARK, a little stunned.
MARK waves and smiles.)

M   Hi.  Yeah, look, I’ve decided that this
.   just is not working out.
.   I’ve already tipped our waiter and I’ll be leaving.
.   It was – nice meeting you – I guess.

(MARK hangs up with a shrug, waves and exits.
ANNA goes to her other line.)

A   I don’t believe this.  My date just walked out on me.
.   I mean, how inconsiderate!  Aren’t there ANY nice men
.   out there?  Chivalry and romance must be dead.

(ANNA exits while talking.  WAITER shakes head
while cleaning up the water glasses.)