Galileo Quickie

Scene: The Leaning Tower Of Pisa (or a suitable mock up of it). With clever camerawork this can be reduced to a rampart scene and a tower scene. Galileo is standing at the top with a small crowd of interested observers. Period dress. He has a bag of flour in one hand and is holding a medicine ball rather awkwardly in the other. Standing next to him is a man holding a clip board; he has a pencil behind his ear.

Galileo: (to crowd) AND NOW GENTLEMEN, I WILL DEMONSTRATE THE TRUTH OF MY THEORY IN DRAMATIC FASHION. I HAVE IN THIS HAND A BAG OF FLOUR, WHILE IN THIS HAND I HAVE A VERY MUCH HEAVIER MEDICINE BALL. (He holds up each in turn). AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS TOWER STAND MY TWO TRUSTY SERVANTS. ON THE COUNT OF THREE I AM GOING TO DROP BOTH OBJECTS SIMULTANEOUSLY, AND THEY WILL BE CAUGHT BY ANTONIO AND VINCENZO, ALSO SIMULTANEOUSLY AT THE BOTTOM. THIS WILL PROVE THAT I, GALILEO GALILEI, AM THE GREATEST MIND IN CHRISTENDOM, AND THIS IN TURN WILL GIVE CREDENCE TO MY CLAIM THAT THE EARTH MOVES ROUND THE SUN, PROVING BOTH THAT I AM NO HERETIC AND THAT THE POPE IS A FOOL. (Shouting down to his servants). ARE YOU READY TO CATCH THE BAG OF FLOUR, ANTONIO?

Ground Scene: Antonio steps forward.

Antonio: AYE, MASTER.

Tower:

Galileo: ARE YOU READY TO CATCH THE BALL, VINCENZO?

Ground: Vincenzo steps forward. Vincenzo: AYE, MASTER. (He holds his arms wide open).

Tower:

Galileo: (Shouting down). ON THE COUNT OF THREE: ONE, TWO, THREE! (He drops the objects simultaneously).

Ground:

(Vincenzo catches the medicine ball and grunts as he sinks to the ground under its momentum). OOF!

Antonio: (Looking up). MASTER, HAVE YOU DROPPED THE...(He is cut off in mid-sentence as the bag of flour hits him on the head and bursts. He stands covered in flour and looking rather silly).

Tower: Galileo looks over the ramparts.

Man from the crowd, (stepping forward): WELL, GALILEO? IS YOUR EXPERIMENT A SUCCESS?

Galileo: (Turning to the man with the clipboard). ER, TELL ME LUCIANO, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MY IDEA E EQUALS M C SQUARED WHERE E IS THE ENERGY AND C IS THE...(fade out).

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