This was inspired by a story that my students wrote.
My version of the tale is "pro-literacy". Hmmm...I wonder why!
The Uninvited Guest
Benjamin – a bored kid; 10 years old
Dad – not a big fan of reading
Mom –loves to read
Bryanna – Benjamin’s younger sister; 8 years old
A family gathers in a living room. They all read books.
Dad: Saturday Night Reading Night. (sarcastically) Isn’t this great, kids?
Kids: (unconvincingly) Yeah…The best…
Mom: I knew you’d all love it.
Dad: (sarcastically) This is a total blast. Right, kids?
Kids: (unconvincingly) Yeah…Totally…
Mom: Fantastic! Don’t you love how silent it is in here?
Mom: Exactly! It’s so peaceful! Nothing can ruin this tranquility!
There is the sudden sound of glass breaking.
Benjamin: Whoa! Did you hear that?
Bryanna: Yeah! What was that, Dad?
Dad: Something that’s definitely more interesting than this book.
His wife glares at him.
Dad: I mean…It’s a real shame that I have to bookmark this page and go investigate that mysterious sound.
Benjamin: Sounds like it came from the kitchen!
Bryanna: (frightened) Mom! Dad! Maybe the hot dogs you bought for tomorrow’s barbeque came to life! Just like in my nightmare!
Mom: Now, now, honey. Living hot dogs? That’s just silly.
There is a loud CRASH!
Benjamin: What was that?!
Dad: Let’s go see. Wanna be my back-up, kids?
Kids: (excitedly) Yaaaaaay!
Mom: I don’t think so. Back to reading, you two.
Kids: (sad) Awwwww!
Dad goes for the kitchen, but a burglar suddenly walks into the room, eating from an open bag of chips.
Benjamin: Look, Dad! A burglar!
Dad: Yes, I have eyes, Benjamin!
Burglar: Oh. Um. Heyyyyy. I didn’t know anyone was home. (offering) Chips? Anyone?
Dad: Those were for tomorrow’s barbeque.
Burglar: (placing the chips aside) Sorry, I didn’t see the glow of a T.V. through the windows back there. And you guys were being really, really quiet.
Bryanna: It’s Saturday Night Reading Night.
Burglar: That’s a thing?
Benjamin: For us it is.
Burglar: Be grateful, kids. Perhaps if I had read more as a young man, I wouldn’t be the lowly member of society you see before yourselves today.
Mom: See, kids? Listen to the criminal.
Dad: (to the burglar) You get one chance to leave on your own before I make you leave, scumbag!
Burglar: Wow! Man, I must be off my “A-game,” if you think you can just talk to me that way. Okay, time to get serious.
He pulls out an obviously fake toy gun. “The burglar” is now “the robber”.
Robber: Stick ’em up, folks! This burglary has just been upgraded to a robbery!
Benjamin: What’s the difference?
Mom: If you read more, you’d know!
Robber: I said, stick ’em up! Sky high! I swear to you, this is not a toy gun! It is the real deal! Lead me to your valuables. Jewelry. Video game systems. Buried treasure.
The family holds their hands up high. Dad moves back to the couch.
Robber: That’s right, hero! Trying to act tough in front of your wife and kids? Dumb move, pal! The things I’ve seen, the things I’ve been through…I tell you, no one’s as tough as I am! No one!
The robber suddenly trips on nothing.
Robber: Oh, man! My back! Oww!
The family laughs.
Robber: Hey! That’s not nice! I think I really pulled something!
The family members run in different directions, separating from each other, making the robber confused. In the confusion, the dad gets hold of a phone and calls 911.
Police Officer: Hello. This is the Police Department.
Dad: Help, there is a robber in my house! He has a gun! I have a wife! Two kids!
Police Officer: Sir, I will be there shortly. Whatever you do, do not let your family out of your sight.
Dad: Really? D’oh!
He hangs up the phone.
Police Officer: Hello? Hello? Sir, I didn’t get your address…
The dad searches for his family.
Dad: Where are you guys?
The robber appears, pointing the gun at the others.
Bryanna: Help! Dad!
Benjamin: Ayuda! Ayuda!
Mom: Husband! Help!
Dad: (to the robber) No more games, stranger! (picking up a thick book, raising it like a weapon)
Mom: Be careful with that, dear!
Dad: (to the robber) This is between me and you!
Robber: Bad choice!
The two men charge at each other in slow motion.
This time, both men trip on nothing, grab their backs in pain, and collide into one another. Both of them end up knocked out. Then, the police officer arrives on-scene.
Police Officer: Freeze! Put your hands up! I used all resources available to me to trace the phone call to this very location...Wait. (looks at both unconscious men) Never mind.
The officer picks up the robber’s gun, inspects it.
Police Officer: Yep. Just as I thought. It’s a fake.
Benjamin: (shocked) But he swore it was real!
Bryanna: (also shocked) That bad guy lied to us!
Police Officer: Criminals have no code of ethics. I’ve met a lot of bad apples in my lifetime, kids. Read every day, and you will make something of yourselves.
Mom: See, kids? Listen to the police officer.
Kids: (upset) Awwwww!