Group Playwriting: The Saga of Herbert Humperdinck III

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

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Something completely random that my friends and I started and that I finished. I tried to keep it as mythologically accurate as possible but if there are mistakes please don't obsess. This piece was written just for giggles.

A few notes on formatting: Spaces between sections of dialogue indicate a change in author. Anything in parenthesis is a stage direction.

SATAN: Welcome to Hell! MAN: Ah! Where am I? SATAN: Didn't I just tell you? MAN: Oh, Yeah, How did I get here?

SATAN: You Died MAN: How?

SATAN: That's really irrelevant now isn't it? It's the future that counts and you haven't got one.

MAN: What? Nooooo! MAN: I've got work to do and money to earn!

SATAN: You were killed. Your wife stabbed you. MAN: Regardless I've been good all my life, I should be in heaven!

SATAN: Oh, Really? Set up the slide show Tim. TIM: Ok. Boss.

SATAN: This is your child hood…(scenes of children beating children) and adolescence…(scenes of children beating other children) and adulthood…(Bosses and spouses beating on subordinates and spouses). Huh, I guess there was a misunderstanding. Tim, make the call. MAN: Call to where? SATAN: To the court! MAN: Of what? SATAN: ...of the gods. (Cut to a large courtroom. All gods ever thought of is present, MAN is in the witness chair, SATAN is the lawyer for the defense, and TIM is the Bailiff.)

ZEUS: Order in the court! SIRENS: (sing.) ZEUS: I said silence! So shut up! ZEUS: Bring in the lawyer for the prosecution. (TIM walks in with black glasses and a rock and roll tough guy song starts playing. HADES follows him)

HADES: This man deserves to become my slave in hell. SATAN: I know. HADES: Great. SATAN: Awesome. APHRODITE: Bow Chica wowow. TIM: Awkward Moment.

ZEUS: (frantically pounding gavel.) Order! Order! Order! Satan, Hades, please find your seats so the trial may commence (Lawyers, grumbling, find their seats) ZEUS: All right, Jury may enter! (12 gods walk in, all are Olympians) MAN: Hey, wait; don't I get a jury of my peers? SATAN: Not in this court. Anyway, the only one you really have to worry about is Ares. He can be a little … volatile. MAN: No kidding. Are all the gods here…from all the religions? SATAN: Everyone except the African Gods. MAN: Why? SATAN: Well, each religion has their own court, like a county court, and then there's the court of the gods, which is kind of like a supreme court, which is where we are, and the African Gods are mediating their own dispute today. MAN: Cool. Is He here? SATAN: Who? MAN: You know, \"The Almighty\", \"God\", Him. SATAN: No, He's actually one of the lawyers and, since me and Hades are respectively defending and prosecuting, he gets the day off. ZEUS: SILENCE!!!!! Will Hebert Humperdink III please rise. SATAN: (as MAN rises) That's not seriously your name is it? MAN: That name is responsible for all my troubles. ZEUS: I said SILENCE! What do you want from this court Mr. Humperdink? MAN: I've been good all my life and I would like to go to heaven please. ZEUS: Sit. Satan, what is your case? SATAN: Roll the slide show Tim. TIM: Uh, Boss… SATAN: What? TIM: I'm the bailiff. You need another lackey. SATAN: Fine, Beelzebubba! (A hefty redneck type man in an ill-fitting devil costume walks in) BEALZABUBBA: (Picks a wedgies) What. SATAN: Hell Below, Roll the slide show.

MAN: What is this? SATAN: It's your life, now shut up and listen! MAN: Fine. SATAN: See this is your sister choking you (Picture of a girl of about 10 with her hands arond the neck of a boy of about 7)

MAN: She told me that was the Boogey-Man. SATAN: She lied, MAN: That explains the bruises. SATAN: Ya think?

MAN: But we reformed. We became dedicated volunteer workers. We raised money for worthy charities. We tutored children learning to read. We cooked for the homeless. We collected used textbooks for children in Afghanistan.

ZEUS: Oh yeah, turns out those books were just old copies of Vogue. MAN: So? They're still books. ZEUS: They didn't even get to the children MAN: OMG!!!! TIM: Aphrodite, you're hot MAN: Uh… SATAN: Let's Focus…

APHRODITE: Oh Tim! I love you too! (The two leave, passionately kissing) ZEUS: Secondary Bailiff: Mercury (MERCURY walks in through the same doorway that TIM and APHRODITE just left through) MERCURY: Here. ZEUS: Good, let's continue with the slide show (Scenes of Afghani children beating up Herbert are shown) ZEUS: May the records show that failing to deliver reading materials to starving Afghani children can result in pain MAN: I remember now… SATAN: Shut up. (1st Job: MAN is in the Burger King King outfit and is being beat up by his boss) MAN: I hated that job. (2nd job: 1 postal worker is beating up another postal worker, the victim is MAN) MAN: Postal Workers can become extremely disgruntled at times. Especially when you don't share your sandwiches. (Close up on MAN's hand, it is holding a tuna fish sandwich.) (Wedding: Happy couple kissing and eating cake with lots of smiling guests) MAN: One of the happiest days of my life. HADES: Yeah, his wedding wasn't so bad! SATAN: Keep rolling the slides (Honeymoon: Wife beating up husband.) HADES: Wimp. MAN: Hey ya know what that wasn't my fault! My best friend told me that the lyrics were \"Here comes the bride! All dressed and wide\" instead of \"Here come the bride! All dressed in white\" HADES: Then it was your own stupidity that landed you in that position, not bad luck SATAN: I don't know, he had bad luck with that friend. HADES: true… ZEUS: Continue with the slides (3rd Job: MAN is being beat up by his cubicle mate) MAN: I hated Bradley from the moment I met him. VOICE IN THE AUDIENCE: I hated you too! MAN (blushes): Hey Bradley. Where did you end up? VOICE IN THE AUDIENCE: oh, you know… I got promoted to manager and then … well things got to be too much what with every worker in the company trying to depose me, so I left. Got hit by a bus as I walked out and ended up in a red foyer with the guy sitting next to you. MAN: Not much surprised. VOICE IN THE AUDIENCE: I heard that! ZEUS: will you all just shut up?! I have a … client to see later. VOICE FROM JURY BENCH: Sure you do. ZEUS: Shut up Hera. HESTIA: If you don't mind, great Zeus, the jury would like to leave to reach a verdict. We feel we've heard enough evidence. ZEUS: Yeah, go right ahead! That's a great idea! (Aside) The sooner I get out of here the better. (All jurors exit) MAN: You look uncomfortable. SATAN: Yeah, well, I am. In all the cases I've defended the jury going out this early can mean one of two things: they're on our side or they're not. MAN: What happens if they're not? SATAN: You go back to Hell with me or you go to Hell with Hades. MAN: Which is preferable? SATAN: Going with me. MAN: why? SATAN: Because I know you shouldn't be there and since Tim has run off with Aphrodite I need a new right hand man. I really don't like Beelzebubba and you seem like a good guy, the job's yours if we loose. MAN: Thanks. What happens if we loose and Hades gets me? SATAN: I don't know. I would guess that you will end up wandering the Asphodel Fields for the rest of eternity but you might end up as a minor lackey. MAN: Are the Asphodel Fields bad? SATAN: You should read up on your Greek Mythology. The Asphodel Fields are where the average people end up. MAN: That's not so bad is it? SATAN: Well it wouldn't be except you have to drink the waters of the river Lethe before entering which essentially turns you into a mindless piece of machinery. MAN: Fun. (Blackout. Intermission.) ZEUS: Has the jury reached a verdict? HESTIA: Yes sir we have. ZEUS: well, what is it? APOLLO: We have decided nothing. MAN (to SATAN): Can they do that? SATAN: I read about the possibility in law school but I never dreamed I would see it happen. MAN: What does that decision mean? SATAN: It means … nothing. The trial was void. MAN: So what does that mean? SATAN: It depends on what the judge says. ZEUS: Explain yourselves. POSEIDON: We are split. It was the only thing we could agree on. MAN: If the jury can’t reach a majority verdict doesn’t that mean there needs to be a retrial? SATAN: Not here. Here the jury needs to come to a unanimous verdict or the trial is decided in the favor of the prosecution. MAN: Does that mean they’re on our side? SATAN: It means they’re not on Hades’ side. MAN: Is that good or bad? SATAN: Shush, wait and see ZEUS: How were you split? APOLLO: We were split as Ares, Hephaestus, Poseidon, Hermes, and Dionysus for Hades, and I, Hera, Demeter, Athena, and Artemis for Satan. Hestia elected not to vote. ZEUS: An even split. To go by the books, those that are undecided must decide the verdict. Go. Decide. Hestia exits. MAN: What happened to the unanimous verdict rule? SATAN: That’s only for the first ruling. The jury must reach a unanimous verdict after they leave. If they can only rule “nothing” then they go to a majority vote. MAN: My head hurts. SATAN: Don’t feel bad. This took me millennia to learn. (Time card: many hours later.) (Hestia enters, looks tired and a little anxious) HESTIA: I will not decide. ZEUS (desperate): You have to! You can’t just leave a verdict of nothing hanging! HESTIA: Actually I don’t have to decide, according to Section 32 Omega of Bylaw 45 in the third edition of the Book of Celestial Laws quote ”in the case of a verdict of nothing the undecided juror is obligated only to decide if he/she is of the same religion as the person in question”. Mr. Humperdinck the person in question is not an Ancient Greek so I have no obligation. ZEUS: I hate obscure sections of bylaws. APOLLO: Wait, according to Section 38.9004587 of Bylaw 67 of the third edition of he Book of Celestial Laws quote “if the jurors should decide that the case is void (i.e. there is a verdict of nothing) then those who are undecided may invoke Section 32 Omega of Bylaw 45 only if those people can find a viable alternative to themselves” DEMETER: I thought that section of that bylaw was declared void in the case of Sisyphus v Court. ARTEMIS: No, no, no. That ruling declared Section 89.326 of Bylaw 57 of the third edition of the Book of Celestial Laws invalid. DEMETER: Oh that’s right I remember. HERA: He never had any hope of winning. DEMETER: mm-hum ARTEMIS: The case you’re thinking of was Hector Feldberg v Mesopotamian Court ZEUS: Past cases are irrelevant. (To Hestia) Please, we appeal to you to decide. No one wants to keep sitting here and we can’t unanimously decide in favor of the prosecution. Help us out here. HESTIA: But I don’t want to decide in favor of Hades! MAN: Wait, the reason this case can’t be decided is because you agree with me? HESTIA: Well, yes. It’s not possible for me to decide in your favor because of my status as an Olympian and I don’t agree with Hades. MAN: But you gave up your seat on Olympus. HESTIA: Yes but if you look in the census books I’m classified as an Olympian MAN: Why can’t you decide in my favor? HESTIA: Because I don’t want to anger Hades. Last time he lost a case he kidnapped Persephone and disturbed the already strained peace on Mount Olympus. MAN: What if you were able to decide in both of our favors. HESTIA: How do you mean? HADES: Enough of this! This is completely inappropriate! If Herbert Humperdink III has something to say let him say it through Satan. ZEUS: There is no law against it let the human proceed MAN: Thank you I think. If you decide that I can stay in the court wouldn’t that be limbo enough for Hades? HESTIA: But that’s what the court has already decided by passing a verdict of nothing. MAN: No, I mean close the case by saying that I am condemned to work as … a clerk or something in the court. That way I don’t go to heaven or hell. HESTIA: That might work. What do the lawyers think? SATAN: He would have made a good lackey but this seams like a good compromise. HADES: Whatever. (Crosses arms and sinks into chair) HESTA: Then that is what I decide. Herbert Humperdink III will spend the rest of eternity in the service of the court as a quote “clerk or something”. ZEUS: So it has been said. I decree that he will be a court transcriber as we have plenty of clerks and not enough transcribers. Court dismissed. Everyone gets up to leave except for Satan and man. SATAN: Good job Herbert. I wouldn’t have though of that. MAN: Thanks. Hey Satan, why do you get such a bad rap and all? I mean you’ve been pretty nice to me. SATAN: Because everyone looks pretty evil in comparison to Him, and you didn’t deserve to be down there. Anyway, in a few hundred years someone will realize that the switchboard person mixed up and your case will come up for retrial. Until then. MAN: Until then. (Blackout. Curtains close.)

Submitted: January 04, 2009

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