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BOTD 12/10/16 "Jesus Is Calling You" A PiBeta Production

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David M. Katz

A Pi Beta Production

You have two sons who are subject to spanking if needed:

MARK - 9 and MATTHEW - 13
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Because you have no land line both boys have cell phones. Mark has a simple flip phone but, for his thirteenth birthday, Matthew was given a smart phone.

Your church's Children's Department is putting on a nativity play for Christmas and Mark has been cast as Joseph and is very excited. It is now the morning of the play.  Mark realizes he has no pocket in the robe he is wearing as a costume (nor in the shorts he is wearing under it) and so he gives his phone to Matthew to hold.  Matthew gets an idea.

Matthew volunteers to help get the props set up and so he slips Mark's phone down inside the swaddling clothes on Jesus (a doll.) There is a point in the play where Joseph (Mark) is supposed to pick up Jesus.  As Joseph (Mark) is picking up the doll Matthew slips his phone out and dials Mark's number.  Jesus begins to ring.  Mark then starts undressing the doll looking to find the source of the ringing.  The play is now totally off script and the assembled audience (the Sunday morning congregation) is having a great laugh.  The ultimate laugh comes when Mark finds the phone and drops Jesus in order to answer it. Matthew hangs up. All of the kids on stage are now laughing at the whole scene.

The director has to stop the play, put Jesus' clothes back on, get the kids under control and back on script. The play continues.

After the service the director starts looking in to what happened and it doesn't take much for it to be discovered that the offending phone is Mark's and that the phone call came from Matthew's number.  The director immediately assumes that Matthew and Mark conspired to disrupt the play.  Matthew comes clean about it all in order to clear his brother.  You are less than pleased to find out your son disrupted the play and "ruined the performance the children worked so hard to put on."  

How do you address this issue with Matthew?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


I think for me that comic interlude would have been the highlight of the whole evening.  It would be difficult for me to think of a way to object to it.  No spanking for this bit of mischief.


Stevie does not take religious ceremonies very seriously and he's not very upset so he's not going to do anything to the 'culprit'...

If we get thrown out of the congregation, que sera sera and all...

Stevie Twisted Evil

(Okay, maybe Stevie will tell him he's been a naughty boy and not to do it again...)

Last edited by StevieWeeks on Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total


Clearly, Mark was an unwitting victim of Matthew’s game here. The question is, to what extent he has upset the play director and the minister/pastor of the church. From the way it is stated in the script, the folks watching the play realized that this phone ringing was unscripted and was taken as a humorous turn of events.

It doesn’t sound like this destroyed the likely somber play that was originally scheduled to occur. I will agree with Adric that no real consequence will occur- this time, but I will try to keep a serious face while I threaten about “next time….”


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand,  the unscripted phone call enlivened what would have been a standard and probably dull performance of a nativity play. On the other hand, the other kids were upstaged, which may have left them feeling their time and effort was wasted. I really do think Mark needs some consequences. His prank, funny or not, was inconsiderate. He can write the other children and the director letters of apology and use his allowance to buy an edible peace offering to include with the letters. Maybe Christmas canes would be appropriate.



I'm inclined to agree with Adric and Stevie. Having once been very observant until I was "invited to find somewhere else to pray" following my divorce because "your presence makes her uncomfortable", I personally believe that organized religion, not money, is the root of all evil--regardless of which religion.

That said, I also agree with Kat--it was inconsiderate and disruptive, and letting it go, even if it was funny, is not the lesson I'd want to teach. I think a letter of apology is sufficient. I don't think this is a spankable offense.


Having once been in a nativity play where I spoke the 3rd King's lines at one point because preferred them to mine as the 2nd King, I'm not sure I can get too het up about this.

The audience seems to have found it funny rather than upsetting so I don't think anything more than a lecture is called for.


I was a watching, and silent angel for two years till I learned I could sing.

When Ive stopped laughing...

I will see how Mark is reacting. Matthew deserves credit for not letting Mark take the rap for this, If he wants acting advice mine would be to carry on regardless till the phone goes to voice mail as if the thing had gone off in the audience. I am going to let school justice take its course if the boys are in the same school and Matthew will certainly write a letter of apology to the director


I tend to agree with Kat. I don't think there was any harm. It sounds like the audience enjoyed it for what it was, and the scenario says 'the play continues.' On the other hand, what Matthew did was, at the very least, inconsiderate of all the people who'd worked hard on the play.

Mark is obviously in the clear, but I'm going to take Matt to his room, and we'll have a normal, pre-spanking discussion of why what he did was wrong. When he's ready for his spanking, we'll talk about other alternatives, and I'll lead him towards the idea of something like Kat suggested - with a letter of apology and snacks to go with it.

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."

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