Two Minute Comedy9

"Give us Two Minutes... We'll Give You Too" 

A Series of Two Minute Comedy Sketches for short attention span theatre 

A Two Minute Comedy

Officer #1 - Officious, Immigration Official - 35
Dubrovnik - Russian, 45

An Immigration Office.  The emblem on the wall is an official, government seal with the words: Public Peoples of Palapa - Immigration.  Above them is a banner reading: “Welcome to the New World of Palapa.“  There are two Immigration Officers in uniform checking the travel documents of people in line.  Behind them are two doors, one marked “Abilities”  the other “Rehabilitees.”  During sketch wisps of smoke seep out from behind “Rehabilitees” door.  In the background a radio plays marching band music.

Officer #1: Next applicant please step forward.

Dubrovnik: That would be me, sir. 

Officer #1: What do you declare of value to the Public Peoples of Palapa?

Dubrovnik: Well sir, only that I am delighted to have this opportunity and I am looking forward to a long a fruitful life making a contribution to your wonderful country.

Officer #1: Yes, but what have you of value Mr… Dub-Rov-aneek??

Dubrovnik: It’s Dubrovnik.  I am Russian by birth.  This is my passport.  Well, I don’t have much of tangible value at the moment.  I am bringing some travellers checks, a camera, my laptop computer with my work on it…

Officer #1: And what work is that Mr. Dub-Rov-anek?

Dubrovnik: Well, I am a doctor and scientist… Nuclear medicine.  I work on the development of non-invasive imaging systems for medical diagnosis

There is a muffled thud and cry from behind the Rehabilitees door. 

Officer #1: (disregarding cry) And how is that of value to the Peoples of Palapa?

Dubrovnik: Well, if I was to work in a hospital I could help develop a program which would detect cancers, tumors, blood disease, even genetic disorders without ever invading the body.

Officer #1: (bored) Yes.  But have you ever done any work Mr. Dub-Rov-anek?

Dubrovnik: (pause) That… That is my work Officer.  I am a scientist and a medical doctor. 

Officer #1: That’s not what I mean.  Have you ever had a job?

Dubrovnik: Yes.  Yes, I’ve been the Director of Nuclear Medicine at Moscow University Hospital for the past fifteen years.

There is a loud THUD behind the Rehabilitees door.

Officer #1: (more bored) Have you ever had a real job Dub-Rov-anek??  Roofer?  Stone cutter?  Farmer?  Truck driver?

Dubrovnik: (pause) Well… No.  No I haven’t had those particular type jobs.  As I said, I studied medicine…

Officer #1: We are not interested in what you have learned from your books Dub-Rov-anek.  We are interested in work you can do now.  Skills that will help the Public of Palapa.  Plumber?  Carpenter? Electrician?

The sound EFX of a loud electrical SPARK from behind the door.

Dubrovnik: (stunned) No.  None of those jobs.

Officer #1: What have you done to make the lives of other people better?

Dubrovnik: (nervous) Well, the nuclear imaging center at the hospital has diagnosed disease in thousands of people long before it manifested in life-threatening tissue damage.

Officer #1: (annoyed) But what have you done to inspire people Dub-Rov-anek?

Dubrovnik: I was awarded the Nobel Prize for Nuclear Medicine in 1993.

Officer #1: I meant do you have any recommendations of any kind?  (Dubrovnik stares) Do you even know how to read and write Doctor Dub-Rov-anek?

Dubrovik: I have written  four books on medicine, thirteen hundred peer reviewed papers, I lecture fluently in four languages and I read Cantonese, Hebrew, English and Russian.

Officer #1 (angrily) But do you have any communication skills??  (Dubrovnik is speechless)  Have you ever worked for free??

Dubrovnik: I am on the board of three foundations, I serve food every weekend at the Moscow Soup Kitchen, I am a counselor four weeks each summer at a disabled children’s camp, and I’m an active member of Doctor’s Without Borders.

Officer#1: (exploding) I mean have you ever done any CHARITABLE work!!??? (in Dubrovnik‘s face)   Or is it all about you??  (they stare at each other) Do you know what this is? (holds up a crescent wrench)

Dubrovnik: (hesitant) Of course, it’s a wrench.

Officer#1: (craftily) What kind of wrench Dub-Rov-anek?

Dubrovnik: I… I’m not sure. A monkey wrench?

Officer #1: Ah ha!!  (starts madly stamping paperwork) If you do not have the skills of the common working man we are going to have to teach them to you Dub-Rov-anek.  That costs our people money.  Which we do not have.  So, we will ask that you will pay for this.  According to our table of Standards and Practices that will be five hundred Euro dollars, payable immediately. 

Dubrovnik: Five hundred Euros???

Officer#1: Cash, gold, diamonds or American Express.  No checks., please.

There is an enormous THUD and a cry from the Rehabilitees door .  Officer #1 turns up radio.

Officer #1: After receipt of payment you will proceed through the door marked “Rehabilitees.” 

Dubrovnik stares at the door.  Smoke is billowing through seams.  He nervously reaches for his wallet.

Officer #1: Next in line please.