Egbert the Boy Inventor
Baltimore Area Council
This stunt can be used as a pastime for small groups, an audience participation stunt or worked into a skit, adding props if you wish. Divide the group into eight sections and assign one sound to each. As the story is read, the appropriate sound is made after each of the following words:
Polish - Bubble, Bubble Brushes - Stamp feet
Whistle - Whistle Hinge - Squeak, Squeak
Motor - Clicketa, Clacketa, Spring - Boing-g-g
Gears - Clap Hands Together Buzzer - Buzz, Buzz
Machine - All Sounds Together Twice
Everyone in town knew about Egbert! Egbert, the boy inventor of Brainsville. Afternoon after afternoon, while the other boys were out playing football or baseball, Egbert was in his basement working out the details of some new invention. Egbert did have one thing in common with the other boys, however he hated to shine his shoes! And so his latest contraption was to be a shoe shine MACHINE.
First of all, Egbert mixed some water, some wax and some dye in a flask and boiled it to make the POLISH. From the flask, he arranged a glass tube with a device at the top that would WHISTLE when the mixture was ready. He set up a small MOTOR and fitted it with an arrangement of GEARS. These turned two BRUSHES, a glass tube was connected with a valve and HINGE, that opened to drip the POLISH. A SPRING kept them in position over the place where the shoes would be fastened. As a final touch, Egbert added a BUZZER, which would sound when the shoes were completely shined.
When everything was assembled, Egbert looked at his MACHINE with satisfaction. The POLISH was boiling and the WHISTLE sang out loud and clear. The MOTOR hummed smoothly, the BRUSHES revolved and the SPRING held fast. Only the GEARS were a little noisy and the HINGE squeaked, but there were minor matters. The BUZZER control looked good.
Egbert disconnected the plug, ran upstairs and brought down his dirtiest pair of oxfords. Full of confidence, he clamped them under his contraption and plugged in the electricity. For a moment, everything ran beautifully and he beamed at his MACHINE. And then, disaster struck! In his excitement, Egbert had neglected to remove the shoe strings and one of them became twisted in the revolving BRUSHES. Across the room flew the SPRING. The GEARS jammed as they chewed up the shoes, making the MOTOR burn out with a loud splitting sound. The whole liquid assembly shuddered. The HINGE stayed open and the POLISH shot out all over Egbert. For some strange reason, only the WHISTLE and the BUZZER, continued to sound alternately--WHISTLE, BUZZER, WHISTLE, BUZZER, until poor Egbert’s genius brain practically rattled. He looked around at the mess and promptly fainted. It was not one of Egbert’s most successful MACHINES!
Norman the Genius
Baltimore Area Council
Instead of assigning parts for this one, why not try it with everyone doing all the parts?? CD
NORMAN: Oh, My (raise both hands)
GENIUS: All clap and cheer
RIGHT: This (raise right hand)
LEFT: That (raise left hand)
THIS: Right (raise right hand)
THAT: Left (raise left hand)
This is the story of NORMAN, a boy who wanted very much to be a GENIUS. But not matter how hard he tried, it just didn’t work out. You see, NORMAN had a problem -- he could not tell RIGHT from LEFT.
At school, the teacher would say, “When you know the answer, raise your RIGHT hand”. By the time NORMAN figured which hand was which, it was too late. At home, it was the same. It was “NORMAN, you have your LEFT shoe on your RIGHT foot.”
Things weren’t any better outside. In football, they’d send him in at LEFT end and he’d be RIGHT. In baseball, they’d yell, NORMAN, move to your LEFT”. He’d move to the RIGHT. Poor NORMAN. No matter what he did, it wasn’t RIGHT. Or LEFT, but NORMAN was determined. Finally, he figured out what to do. He’d call it THIS and THAT. This for RIGHT and THAT for LEFT. Somehow, it all seemed easier. And in no time, he had it down pat.
One day, while NORMAN was home alone, a burglar forced his way in. NORMAN was frightened. The burglar asked where his mother’s jewels and furs were. NORMAN said, “In the closet”. But when the burglar said, “Which was is THAT?” NORMAN, of course answered, LEFT. The burglar followed these instructions and found himself in the kitchen. Being smart burglar, he said, “THIS isn’t RIGHT”. And NORMAN said “Oh yes it is-- but you asked for THAT.” The burglar became angry and said, “now listen, I asked where the closet is, do you understand THAT?” NORMAN answered, “Oh yes, THAT is LEFT.” The burglar said, “THIS is enough!” And NORMAN said, “Oh not, THIS is RIGHT.” Exasperated, the burglar said, “Oh, forget it. Just tell me where the closet is.” And NORMAN said, “Turn THIS”. But, naturally, the burglar misunderstood and turned the knob on the door in front of him and plunged headlong down the basement stairs.
Just then, NORMAN’S parents came home, and when he told them what had happened, his father said the words he’d been waiting so very, very long to hear, NORMAN, you’re a GENIUS!
The Vision Problem
Divide the audience into four sections and assign each a sound. Practice as you assign parts.
MURRAY: Blink, blink. Squint, squint.
WESLEY: Snicker, snicker.
GLASSES: I can see!
CARD: Home run!
MURRAY Mole was excited because he was finally going to buy a genuine Mickey Mandrill rookie CARD from WESLEY Weasel. All his life MURRAY had saved for this baseball CARD, and today he was finally going to get one! Before getting out of bed, MURRAY put on his GLASSES. Being a mole, MURRAY’s eyes were weak and he needed GLASSES to see the slightest distance ahead. Even with his GLASSES, MURRAY was a bit unfocused, but at least the GLASSES helped.
After getting dressed MURRAY gathered up his savings and hurried to WESLEY’s. “Can I see the card now?” MURRAY asked. “Did you bring the money?” WESLEY demanded. When MURRAY said yes, WESLEY brought him inside. “Wouldn’t you like a nice glass of water first?” WESLEY asked. “Okay.” shrugged MURRAY. WESLEY went into the kitchen and came back with a big glass of water. As he approached MURRAY, WESLEY tripped and spilled the water all over MURRAY. “I’m so sorry.” said WESLEY. As he tried to wipe up the water, WESLEY knocked off MURRAY’s GLASSES.
The GLASSES fell to the floor, and WESLEY kicked them under the table to hide them. “Oh, no!’ MURRAY cried. “Now I won’t be able to see the CARD, and I need to make sure it is the real thing!” WESLEY sadly shook his head. “Would I sell you a phony card? Here, see for yourself”. WESLEY handed a CARD to MURRAY. It felt like the right size and weight, but without his GLASSES, MURRAY couldn’t see what was printed on the CARD. “You’d better hurry up and decide. Bubba Bear will buy this CARD if you won’t take it. MURRAY swallowed hard. He felt very hot. “Can I have another drink of water first?” WESLEY shrugged and went to the kitchen.
When the weasel returned, MURRAY was still squinting, but he had a big smile. “I thought of a way I can examine this CARD before I buy it,” MURRAY said. WESLEY grumbled unhappily as MURRAY discovered he had almost bought a fake card.
Follow Up Question –
Can you tell me how Murray examined the card without his glasses?
He looked at the card through the glass of water, which worked like a magnifying glass.