Rev. Chuck Schlie helps us discover the definition of “meaningful life” in this pithy play. Join two young siblings as they visit the wax hall of has-beens, if you dare!
Text: Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and fi nd satisfaction in all his toil this is the gift of God.”
Theme: The meaning of life from Ecclesiastes
Setting: This skit takes place as a family of four tours a wax museum while on vacation.
Characters: Family of four Dad, Mom, teenage son, Chuck & younger sister, Mary
Wax figures of Mae Western, Donald Frump, and Mick Jaguar.
(Family enters. The Statues of Mae, Donald, and Mick are in the background)
Chuck: (reading map) Man, this Wax Museum is totally cool!
Mary: Totally creepy you mean.
Chuck: Hey I didn’t complain yesterday when you made us take the tour of The House of Precious
Mementoes. Now that was creepy! All those figurines of kids with giant heads and enormous eyes. Talk about scary!
Mom: Knock it off you two or I’m gonna need a vacation from this vacation. Mary yesterday was your turn to pick and today it’s Chuck’s turn.
Dad: Yeah, and tomorrow it’s my turn! Hold onto your hats because we’re going to see the World’s 2nd Largest Ball of String! Don’t you just love family vacations!
Mom: I’ll tell you what I love the gift shop. I’ve got my eye on a bowl of wax fruit that looks just like the real thing! It’ll look great on our dining room table. Kids, we’ll be right back. You, Harold, come on with me…and bring your wallet.
Dad: Now that’s scary!
(Parents walk away as Chuck & Mary approach the wax figure of Mae Western)
Chuck: (as he reads the map) Okay…this looks like the last stop. We’ve made it through the Hall of Presidents, the Hall of Inventors, the Hall of Monsters…and now according to the map here…we’ve arrived at the Hall of Has-Been’s.
Mary: Who’s this? Are you sure we’re still not in the Hall of Monsters?
Chuck: No…we’re definitely in the Has-Been’s. My handy-dandy brochure says that this is Mae Western…star of both the stage and the silver screen. And get this, it says that she was married and divorced 17 times.
Mary: Talk about looking for love in all the wrong places.
Chuck: I guess so because it also says that the public loved her and she was the life of every party…but privately she spent most of her life sad, lonely, depressed and broken-hearted. Never was satisfied. Go on and push the button.
(Mary pushes the red button on Mae’s shoulder)
Mae Western: (Mae West impression) Hey there, big boy. Come up and see me some time. Come up and see me sometime. Come up and see me sometime.
(Apparently the recording is broken and doesn’t stop talking until Mary repeatedly pushes the button)
Mary: That’s what I call desperate. Who’s next?
Chuck: This is Donald Frump. A man of millions. A man of power. He is described here as a mover and a shaker.
Mary: He looks stiff as a board to me. I wonder what he has to say. (Pushes button)
Donald: You’re fired!
Mary: I don’t think I like Donald Frump. Not only does he have bad hair, he’s also mean.
Chuck: Apparently, many people thought the same thing. (Reading from brochure) “Although Donald Frump had it all, the one thing he didn’t have was happiness. He died all alone inside of a bank vault trying to figure out how to take it with him.”
Mary: How sad.
Chuck: C’mon Mary, looks like this is the last one.
Mary: (as reading a sign) Mick Jaguar? Who’s that?
Chuck: Oh…I think I’ve heard of him. He was in a rock group called the Rolling Gallstones. I think mom and dad have one of their records.
Mary: What’s a record?
Chuck: It’s a black-plastic flattened disk with grooves in it that produces ancient music when played on something called a stereo.
Chuck: Never mind, just press the button.
(Mary presses button)
Mick: (singing) I can’t get no… satisfaction. I can’t get no…satisfaction.
Mary: I can’t get any satisfaction? I don’t get it.
Chuck: According to Mick’s write-up here…he was popular the whole world over. He and his band performed before millions and millions of devoted fans.
Mary: Sounds like a wonderful life to me.
Chuck: It should’ve been but according to this quote: “Mick’s life was summed up in the words to his song – he tried and he tried and he tried and he tried….but he could get no …no satisfaction.”
Mary: I guess being rich, famous and powerful isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
Chuck: C’mon Sis, let’s get out of here. I’ve seen enough. This place is scarier than the Hall of Monsters.
(Enter dad and mom with wax bowl of fruit)
Mom: Hey kids, did you enjoy the Hall of Has-Beens?
Chuck: Not so much. It’s kind of depressing. These people had it all…popularity, cool jobs, money, diamonds, fancy cars and big houses…they had the good life, but in the end each of their lives were so meaningless. It seems to me that having a lot of nice stuff isn’t good for you. I know I don’t want to turn out like they did.
Dad: Oh, but hold on. It wasn’t the good things in life that made their lives meaningless.
Mary: What do you mean, Dad?
Dad: All good things: your family, your job, even what you eat and drink, pleasures great and small…all of those things are gifts from God.
Mom: And what it all really comes down to – is being satisfied with those gifts. The book of Ecclesiastes says thattrue pleasure comes from being content with what God has given you.
Chuck: So what you’re saying is: Use the stuff God has given you…but don’t let it use you.
Dad: You got it. Chasing after bigger and better and longing for more and more will only lead to misery and a meaningless life.
Mom: But the gifts we are given from God are meant for us to enjoy!
Mary: Even wax fruit?
Mom: Even wax fruit.
Dad: C’mon, the World’s 2nd Largest Ball of String is waiting for us!