Thursday 5 January 2017

One Time, In Santa's Office: Dumb Ash and Granger Danger

   Rather than just filing away all the little scripts and speeches that I am forced to write so that my kids can participate in the Christmas pageant, friends can rub their long happy marriages in my face, relatives can turn a year older and their kids can get married and/or graduate, I'm posting them, so that others can adapt them for their own needs. Just for the record, I am officially releasing this work into the Public Domain. You can use it whenever and wherever you like. Some credit would be nice, but not required.

   The theme for our 2016 Christmas play was assigned to us and was "Christmas with a Fictional Character." Who these characters might be was a no-brainer for me because my son is a rabid Pokemon fiend and my daughter is equally obsessed with the Harry Potter world in general: Hermione Granger, in particular. How these two could be included in a single scenario was a little harder to figure out, but I managed to cobble together the following play. There are references to the movie Roger Rabbit as well as Superman's Miss Tesmacher, which I thought was fun even though I knew that very few would catch them. I hope you enjoy the play.

   For the record, in case your children are like mine, both kids disliked misrepresenting their heros as fools and criminals, and my son was particularly annoyed by me mentioning Pokemon creatures which he felt would not "realistically" be present under these circumstances. There were many concessions made from the original script and, in the end, they performed like the true professionals they believe they are.

(The video of our performance is here. 
At one point, I strayed from the script slightly, but the kids did well 
and I think you can get a clear idea of the intended characters by watching:

TITLE: One Time, In Santa's Office: Dumb Ash and Granger Danger

SETTING: Santa's North Pole Office

• Desk and 2 chairs
• Ash’s Cell phone
• Big Pen or Pencil for Santa
• File folders for Jessica Rabbit, Hermione Granger and Ash Ketchum
• Hermione & Ash’s clothes
• Window looking out on North Pole landscape
• (optional) Magic spell glitter (we used larger pieces of coloured paper and tinfoil for easy cleanup)

CURTAIN RISES: Santa alone in his office going over file folders of cases that require special consideration for his Naughty and Nice lists. SANTA picks up the file for Jessica Rabbit... her picture is clipped to the outside.

SANTA (looking at file pic—NOTE audience can't quite see who it is): Oh-ho! Looks like a very naughty girl...
SANTA (Then opens file and reads): Oh! I see. She’s not naughty, she's just drawn that way. Ok, then. Nice list it is.
SANTA (making a note in her file): J-e-s-s-i-c-a R-a-b-b-i-t.

SANTA (closes file and shouts to unseen secretary): Miss Tessmacher! Please send in my 10’oclock.

Ash Ketchum walks in intensely playing Pokemon Go! on his cellphone...

SANTA: Ahhh. Mr. Ketchum. Thanks for coming.

ASH: Hey.

ASH just stands there ignoring Santa, playing game. After a few moments, Santa notices.

SANTA: Please have a seat, young man.

ASH (sits, continues to play and ignore Santa.)

SANTA: O...K. The reason I called you up here is that I’ve been updating my lists and I have a few questions for you. I guess the first thing is that we got another letter from PETA, the animal rights group...

ASH (suddenly erupting): Holy smokes!

SANTA (without looking up): Yes, it is somewhat troubling but...

ASH: Santa, don’t move! There’s a Charmader on your desk.

SANTA (looks up in alarm): There’s a Cha-what-now?!

SANTA watches as Ash uses his cell phone to catch the Pokemon and howls in triumph.

ASH: Got him!

Santa is now annoyed and casts a magic spell.

ASH: “What the! Suddenly, I’ve got no bars.”

SANTA (sardonically): Must be a dead zone. Now, about that letter...

ASH (interrupting): Do you have wifi?


ASH: What? Seriously?

SANTA: Seriously.

Long silence as Ash continues searching for cell signal. Santa casts another spell and the cell phone slips from ASH's fingers. ASH is startled, picks up cell phone and examines it, shakes it... but it seems dead. He stands in shock for a moment, then... 

ASH: Can I use your cell phone?


SANTA beckons ASH back to his seat.

SANTA: So—back to that letter from PETA - the animal rights people. They say that you may be holding a number of exotic pets captive in tiny cages.

ASH (always too enthusiastic): They're my friends!

SANTA: You’re holding your friends captive in tiny cages?

ASH: I keep them in Pokeballs!

SANTA: You do what to your balls, now?

ASH (enthusiastically showing off 2 pokeballs): There’s a Froakie in this one! And this one has a Rowlett!

SANTA: How many of these Poke-your-balls do you have?

ASH: I’ve got hundreds!

SANTA (examining ASH, puzzled as to where he keeps them all): Really? How in heck do you fit them all... never mind that... how many of these creatures do you intend to imprison this way?

ASH: Got’ta catch em all!

SANTA: Well, that’s not good.

ASH: Say—I’ll bet you guys get a lot of Galcion up here! Have you ever seen a Regice? How about a Mamoswine?

SANTA: O...k, then. Let’s just put a pin in that for now. My IT guys tell me that your file is messing up our database. Just to verify, how old did you say you were?

ASH: I’m 10 years old!

SANTA: You know, I’ve been delivering presents to you for more than 20 years. so...

ASH just sits there.

SANTA: if you do the math, that might lead one to conclude that...

ASH just sits there.

SANTA: Can you not see where I’m going with this?

ASH: I’m determined to be the youngest Pokemon master there ever was! Got’ta catch em all!

Silence for a beat.

ASH: Seriously? No wifi?

SANTA: Ok, then. I think I have everything I need. Thanks for coming in.

ASH leaves, still chasing after cell signal.

SANTA(sighs): OK, Ash Ketchum: still thinks he’s ten years old. ADHD, OCD. Exempt from Naughty List due to mental illness. Stocking stuffer: Riddlen.

SANTA closes file and opens the next.

SANTA (yelling to off-stage secretary): Miss Tessmacher, please send in the next person.

Hermione Granger walks in...

SANTA: Ahh, Miss Granger. A breath of fresh air. Please be seated.

HERMIONE: Thank you, sir.

SANTA: How is everyone at my old school?

HERMIONE: You went to Hogwarts, sir?

SANTA: Of course! Say, is Minerva McGonagal still there? She was such a hottie!

HERMIONE (taken aback): Uhhh... yes. She’s headmaster now.

SANTA: Really? You know, I was a Gryffindor, like you.

HERMIONE: Really, sir?

SANTA: Are you kidding. I was the most famous Gryffindor graduate of my time. Made the cover of the Alma Mater magazine 217 years running! (pointing at his suit) Still wearing the house colours!

HERMIONE: Why were you so famous?

SANTA: What? Why?! Because I started all of this! It may seem old school now, but at the time it was a radical business model.

HERMIONE: This is a business? But how does it make a profit?

SANTA (a little flumuxed): Well, it hasn’t yet. But I’m not in this for the short term... I’m playing the lo-o-ong game! Like AOL.

HERMIONE (after a moment of thought): So, are your elves unionized?

SANTA (clearly uncomfortable with where this line of questioning is leading): But enough about me! I must confess that I was disappointed to see your name come up in my reports from the Ministry of Magic. You’ve always been such a good girl...

HERMIONE (standing to self-righteously deliver speech): I believe that every student has a responsibility to follow the rules and always try their very best.

SANTA: Yes, well, fortunately no one goes on the Naughty List just for being a bit of a suck up. It’s these other activities I’m concerned with... sneaking about after curfew...

HERMIONE: I can explain that.

SANTA: Says here, you punched another student in the nose...

HERMIONE: I can explain that.

SANTA: Multiple counts of break and entry...

HERMIONE: I can explain that.

SANTA: ...and what’s with all this snogging? And Ron Weasley... really?

HERMIONE: I can’t really explain that. But that other stuff, sir, we had to stop Voldemort.

SANTA: Voldemort? Sounds like the child of hippie parents.

HERMIONE: He’s totally evil!

SANTA: I can’t recall any Voldemort on my Naughty List.

HERMIONE: Oh. Well, he’s a little bit... dead now, sir.

SANTA: My heavens! Was he involved in some kind of accident?

HERMIONE: No sir. We defeated him!

SANTA (almost afraid to ask): When you say defeated...

HERMIONE: Well, sir, Harry Potter did him, rather, in.

SANTA (deep sigh): You know, my system is really built to deal with things like being unkind to your house elf, or fibbing to your headmaster, or snitching an extra bowl of gruel. I don’t know if a lump of coal in your stocking is going to quite cover accessory to murder. Feels like it falls a little short of sending the right message.

HERMIONE: Sorry, Santa.


SANTA (suddenly jovial): Oh... bring it on in, girlfriend. (stands and comes around for a hug) I just can’t stay mad at you. Look, I’m running late for the mall. Let me walk you out...

as they are leaving, just before off stage...

SANTA: ...but, Ronald Weasely? Seriously?...

The End

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