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Pope Prep

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Setting: Philadelphia, PA and South Jersey. The week before the Pope's September 2015 visit to Philadelphia.

Characters: Everyone in the Philadelphia area.

Conversations I've overheard-------------------------

At a fancy ice cream shop very near The Liberty Bell. The WORKER holds out a strawberry ice cream cone to the CUSTOMER.

WORKER: Five dollars and twenty-three cents please.
CUSTOMER: For one scoop of ice cream?
WORKER: Sir, that's the price.
CUSTOMER: That's crazy. All of these stores are raising prices just so they can make money off the Pope.
WORKER: It's the same price as before the Pope.
CUSTOMER: I'm still not paying five dollars and twenty-three cents for an ice cream cone.


At the PATCO train window in Camden, New Jersey. A PILGRIM steps up to the window to get special train tickets for the Pope Weekend.

PILGRIM: Did they get new trains for the Pope?
EMPLOYEE: Same trains, different schedule....different price.


Inside Reading Terminal, in front of a fresh fish counter.

PHILADELPHIAN ONE: The whole city is at a standstill. I've never seen anything like this.
PHILADELPHIAN ONE: I moved my car two weeks ago.
PHILADELPHIAN TWO: Two weeks ago? I thought you only had to move it last week.
PHILADELPHIAN TWO: I don't trust the city.


In Independence Park. PILGRIMS look on as construction workers build a stage.

PILGRIM ONE: I hope there's enough security. He's a target.
PILGRIM TWO: We have all our people---the FBI, state troopers, police. I'm sure they'll have plenty of plainclothes law enforcement around.
PILGRIM ONE: I meant inside The Vatican.


In front of the Convention Center. Two VOLUNTEERS take a smoke break.

VOLUNTEER ONE: He's a good Pope. He's nice.
VOLUNTEER TWO: He's pulling in all kinds of people.
VOLUNTEER ONE: Because he's changing all of those bad doctrines.
VOLUNTEER TWO: He actually hasn't changed any doctrines. He's interpreting Catholic teaching differently from earlier Popes.
VOLUNTEER ONE: Then what was wrong with the other ones?

And the wait continues.....................