The Magic Umbrella
by Frank Riccobono
When your piano teacher lets you borrow his yellow umbrella one day when it suddently starts raining after your lesson and your brain is in creative mode after making music for an hour, something like this might happen.
(JEFF is already on stage, maybe sitting down. This is his and Brian's apartment or dorm room. BRIAN enters carrying the magic umbrella)
BRIAN: Jeff, I just had an awesome day!
JEFF: Oh yeah? What happened?
BRIAN: Well, it started out pretty bad. You know how I had that job interview today? Well I was getting off the subway in that suit that I just got dry-cleaned, and it started to rain. I couldn't believe it. There wasn't a cloud in the sky when I left this morning, so I never thought to bring an umbrella. So here I am thinking I was going to have to show up to the interview for my dream job soaked from head to toe when an old man taps me on the shoulder. He was thin, with silver-gray hair and a knowing look. He hands me this umbrella and says, .You look like you could use this right about now,. and then just turns and gets on the train.
JEFF: Well that's convenient.
BRIAN: You haven't heard the half of it. So I'm walking down 23rd Street just getting to the corner when a gust of wind turns the umbrella inside out. I stop to fix it, and as I do, a bike messenger zooms past me. I could have died. The umbrella saved my life.
JEFF: That's kinda scary, but I don't think a bike messenger could have killed you.
BRIAN: No! The umbrella saved my life! It was then that I first began to suspect that that umbrella was no ordinary umbrella, and that old man was no ordinary old man. That kindly stranger must have been a wizard or an elf or something, and I was holding in my hands a magic umbrella.
JEFF: Dude, that's crazy.
BRIAN: Crazy, huh? Wait'll you hear what happened next. I was, understandably, a little shaken by almost brush with death, so I wasn't paying attention while I was walking. Then the wind kicked up again, the umbrella turned again, and I stopped, only two steps away from falling into a manhole.
JEFF: Brian, if you were staring at your umbrella instead of looking where you were going, and almost fell into a manhole, that's your own fault.
BRIAN: Fine, be a non-believer, but I am never going anywhere without this umbrella again.
JEFF: If you insist. Anyway, how did your interview go?
BRIAN: I nailed it They already made me an offer.
JEFF: That's great! Congratulations!
BRIAN: I turned it down.
JEFF: You what?
BRIAN: The umbrella turned just before I got the phone call and my little friend has never let me down yet. I probably saved myself from some horrible fate. I plan to live my life by the edict of the umbrella in hopes of one day reaping its rewards.
JEFF: Out of curiosity, have you made any other life-altering decisions today based on your .magic umbrella's. guidance?
BRIAN: Well, let's see. I threw my wallet in the sewer, dropped out of school, and broke up with my fiance.
JEFF: You broke up with Judy? You've been dating for eight years. Brian, you're ruining your life for a piece of yellow (or whatever color the prop umbrella is) vinyl stretched over a flimsy tin skeleton. Stop and think for a minute just how absurd that is!
BRIAN: Wow, you're right. I've been a real idiot. I'm going to get rid of this stupid umbrella and try to put my life back together.
(BRIAN walks outside and sees a HOMELESS GUI on the curb.)
BRIAN: Hey, I don't have any money, but you look like you could use this. (hands the UMBRELLA to the HOMESS GUI)
(Somehow we indicate that a day has passed. BRIAN and JEFF are watching TV)
JEFF: Did you manage to recover from yesterday?
BRIAN: Yeah. Judy's still a little pissed, but I think we'll be okay.
JEFF: Hey, check it out, someone local just won the lottery. (BRIAN's jaw drops)
REPORTER: So, yesterday you were out on the street and today you're a millionaire. How does it feel?
HOMELESS GUI: (Still holding the UMBRELLA) Well, Susan, it feels magical.