The Yay-Yuck Man

PATHWAY
God: Worship
AGE GROUP
14-16 years
Anticipate Time
3 hours min
GROUP SIZE
2-5, 5-15, 15-30
Values
Courage, Enthusiasm, Faith, Honesty, Loyalty

Synopsis

Participants will create a mime to the story of “The Yay-Yuck Man” (outlined in Appendix) for performance in a context of their choice.

Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:

  1. Show respect for the ideas of others
  2. Discuss the value of courage
  3. Plan, produce and perform a mime to ‘The Yay-Yuck Man’
  4. Make a commitment to courageous decision-making and a decision to do their best in every venture in life.

Scripture Focus

Memory Verse

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of Self-Discipline.

The world will always offer appealing counterfeit options to us. Without a conscious commitment to truth, wisdom and courage, we are likely to be drawn into following the crowd rather than the Christ. When we ask, Christ can give us courage – courage to attempt difficult things that are good, to say no and mean it and influence others by it, be true to convictions and follow good impulses, even when they are unpopular or inconvenient. Herein lies a story to illustrate the point…
It is hoped that the Pathfinders will not only present it with conviction, but embrace the message for themselves. 

Preperation

Photocopy the Parable so that all characters can have a copy.

Materials:
  • A copy of the story, as outlined in Appendix B
  • A number of coloured coats (Blue, green, yellow)
  • Other props and costumes as selected by the participants.

Outline

1. Enter into the meeting room wearing a mask. Dialogue casually with the group as if nothing is wrong or different. When someone finally makes direct reference to it, take it off and share how some people try to go through life wearing one as if it wasn’t there and as if it weren’t an encumbrance. Read the parable: “The Mask” (Appendix A). Discuss how people try to behave in ways which aren’t really ‘them’ in the hope of maintaining a certain image.
Questions:

  • What are some masks we wear?
  • Why do we wear them?
  • What was the basic problem of the person at the party in the parable? (He had no courage to start with and things went downhill from there)
  • What do we risk if we go through life without a mask?
  • Did the party goer enjoy wearing the mask? What was his fate?
  • How do we avoid wearing masks?

2. Ask for definitions of courage. 
Question: What different types of courage are there? Brainstorm and list. (Suggested examples: courage to be yourself, courage to do what is right, courage to be friendly and overcome shyness, courage to try, courage to make a decision against the crowd).

3. How would you define these types of courage:

  • Everyone else is wearing a style you don’t particularly like. You decide to wear what you like rather than follow the crowd. (Courage to be yourself.)
  • You’re with three friends who want to shoplift a couple of small items “just for the excitement of it.” You say no and they ridicule you. (Courage to do what’s right.)
  • You notice a new student in class. He’s sitting by himself and looks lonely. You go over when class ends and ask him about himself and make friends. (Courage to overcome shyness.)
  • There’s a writing contest at school. None of your friends are entering it, but you would kind of like to. You’ve never entered a writing contest before and you’re not sure you’re good at it, but you decide to give it a try. (Courage to try.) 1

4. Ask participants to suggest other scenarios for these types of courage.

5. Read the story of the “Yay-Yuck Man” (See Appendix B). What biblical character is he portraying?

6. Assign roles to each participant with the view to developing a mimed performance of the story. Participants can choose where they will perform it. (Example: Church service, Pathfinder club worship event, Outreach Program, Camp Meeting, Youth Service etc)

7. Roles include:

  • Narrator
  • Boss
  • Bob (The Yay-Yuck man)
  • T-shirt man
  • Bob’s mother
  • Crucifixion crowd (dressed in green)
  • Street crowd
  • Soldiers (to lead him away)

8. Make decisions regarding:

  • Use of props (if any)
  • Whether there is any talking by characters at all, or whether it is purely mimed. (Some of the final comments in the dialogue may be reinforced if spoken by the characters themselves, i.e. Speak to me! Choose Me!)
  • Any special effects
  • The effect of an appropriate song to close the performance (Characters could ‘freeze’ at the end for the duration of the song).

The inclusion of a ‘Performance Outline’ for the audience, including some pertinent quotations regarding courage. 
NB. During practice sessions, reinforce to the Pathfinders the importance of really immersing themselves in the part, being thoroughly absorbed by the story-line – never deviating their eyes from the object of their focus and exaggerating all actions for effect.

9. Practice! Practice! Practice!

10. Participants will keep a memento of the performance. They will also invite a number of audience members to write an autographed response to the performance in their Journals.

Debrief

Reflection

  • How would you describe your performance? Give specific examples which prove your assessment.

Interpretation

  • How can we behave like Pilate?
  • Could our problem ever be as serious as Pilate’s problem?
  • How can we constructively deal with such a problem?
  • Why is it important to learn to make discriminating choices?
  • To what extent are my decisions determined by other people?
  • Are there any areas in life which DO NOT require us to make discriminating choices?
  • Is there any area of life which has NOT been affected by the great controversy?
  • Which choices do you face which you should be MORE discriminating about?

Application / Commitment

  • What lifestyle choices do we particularly need to focus on so we don’t end up being a Pilate?
  • In what ways did the Yay-Yuck man not show courage?
  • How is YOUR courage quotient?
  • What does courage have to do with decision making? What does it have to do with loyalty?
  • What are some of the biggest decisions you will have to make in your life?
  • What are you doing about equipping yourself to make those decisions well?

Appendix

1 “Teaching Your Children Values” by Linda and Richard Eyre (1993) A Fireside Book, Simon and Schuster

Appendix:
Appendix A
The Mask

It was old now, and its shrivelled inside pinched and scratched his stinging face. But as he glanced in the full-length mirror, he could see its outside still peacefully smiling. Ever since he put it on it had been smiling exactly that way.

When he had arrived at the party and someone had handed him the mask, he had politely declined, saying he didn’t care for it. But someone in a huge grinning mask said that if he didn’t put it on people might not think he was enjoying the party. And if they thought him unhappy, they might even ask him to leave.

At first the mask seemed tolerable. It felt good, looked real and made him feel like one of the crowd. Once behind it, it didn’t matter whether he liked the party or anyone at the party. Nobody would know.

But as the party progressed, he noticed all the masks beginning to look more and more alike: smiling, happy, self-satisfied. He glanced in the mirror; even his own mask was beginning to look that way. Worse still, those who hadn’t accepted masks looked as though they were enjoying themselves more than those who had…

Suddenly he was afraid. What if the mask should slip down in an unguarded moment? What if everyone should discover that behind the mask he isn’t really having fun at all?

As the huge grinning mask had said, they might ask him to leave. And the irony of the whole thing was that the person assigned to dismiss unhappy partygoers was also wearing as mask, a person who – behind his own mask – might be ever more miserable than he.

He stared at his peaceful smiling reflection in the mirror. It was nauseating. Behind him some masks were whispering among themselves. A masked voice was saying they should try harder to spread more masks around – there would be greater security against discovery that way. But the voice sounded pinched.

Perhaps they wouldn’t dismiss him after all. Perhaps, if he took it off, he could start a trend. perhaps others would follow and they could all laugh and be happy again.

He had worn his mask too long already, and it was getting old. Its drying shrinking inside chafed and pinched his face. Suddenly it lost all meaning. It hadn’t changed the real him at all. It was a sham, a facade, a mockery. He would tear it off and throw it away!

He reached for it, no longer caring what anyone else thought or said or did. he despised it. he wanted his face to be his – not some grinning mask’s. his fingers searched for the string – for the edge – but the string was gone, and he couldn’t find where the mask left off and his skin began.

Looking in the mirror, he clutched frantically at the shrivelled mould and pulled until his whole face stung and burned in pain. A scream escaped his smiling lips. the mask had grown onto his face.

Merikay Mcleod and Max Phillips
Source Unknown

Appendix B
The Yay-Yuck Man

Bob loved to make people happy. 
Bob lived to make people happy. 
If people weren’t happy, Bob wasn’t happy. So every day Bob set out to make people happy. Not an easy task, for what makes some people happy makes other people angry.

Bob lived in a land where everyone wore coats. The people never removed their coats. Bob never asked Why? He only asked Which? “Which coat should I wear?”
Bob’s mother loved blue. So to please her he wore a blue coat. When she would see him wearing blue she would say, “Yay, Bob” over and over.

Bob grew up and got a job. The first day of his first job he got up early and put on his best blue coat and walked down the street. The crowds on the street, however, didn’t like blue. They liked green. Everyone on the street wore green. As he walked past, everyone looked at his blue coat and said, “Yuck!”
Yuck! was a hard word for Bob to hear. He felt guilty that he had caused a “Yuck” to come out of a person’s mouth. He loved to hear “Yay” He hated to hear “Yuck!” 

When people saw his blue coat and said “Yuck,” Bob dashed into a clothing store and bought a green coat. He put it on over his blue coat and walked back out in the street. “Yay” the people shouted as he walked past. He felt better because he had made them feel better.

When he arrived at his workplace, he walked into his boss’s office wearing a green coat. “Yuck!” said his boss.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” said Bob, quickly removing his green coat and revealing the blue. “You must be like my mother.”
“Double Yuck!” responded the boss. He got up from his chair and walked to the closet, and produced a yellow coat. “We like yellow here,” he instructed.
“Whatever you say, sir,” Bob answered, relieved to know he wouldn’t have to hear his boss say “Yuck” anymore. He put the yellow coat over the green coat, which was over the blue coat. And so he went to work.

When it was time for him to go home, he replaced the yellow coat with the green and walked through the streets. Just before he got to his house, he put the blue coat over the green and yellow coats and went inside.

Bob learned that life with three coats was hard. His movements were stiff, and he was always hot. There were also times when the cuff of one coat would peek out and someone would notice, but before the person could say “Yuck”, Bob would tuck it away.

One day he forgot to change his coat before he went home, and when his mother saw green she turned purple with disgust and started to say “Yuck.” But before she could, Bob ran and put his hand on her mouth and held the word in while he traded coats and then removed his hand so she said, “Yay!”

It was at this moment that Bob realised he had a special gift. He could change his colours with ease. With a little practice, he was able to shed one coat and replace it with another in a matter of seconds.
Even Bob didn’t understand his versatility, but he was pleased with it. For now he could be any colour anytime and please every person. 

His skill at changing coats quickly elevated him to high positions. Everyone liked him because everyone thought he was just like them. With time he was elected mayor over the entire city.
His acceptance speech was brilliant. Those who loved green thought he was wearing green. Those who loved yellow thought he was wearing yellow, and his mother just knew he was wearing blue. 
Only he knew he was constantly changing from one to the other. 
It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it, because at the end everyone said, “Yay!”

Bob’s multi-coloured life continued until one day some yellow-coated people stormed into his office. “We have found a criminal who needs to be executed,” they announced, shoving a man toward Bob’s desk. Bob was shocked at what he saw. The man wasn’t wearing a coat at all, just a T-shirt.
“Leave him with me,” Bob instructed, and the yellow coats left.
“Where is your coat?” asked the mayor.
“I don’t wear one.”
“You don’t have one?”
“I don’t want one.”
“You don’t want a coat? But everyone wears a coat. It.. it… it’s the way things are here.”
“I’m not from here.”
“What coat do they wear where you are from?”
“No coat.”
“None?”
“None.”
Bob looked at the man with amazement. “But what if people don’t approve?”
“It’s not their approval I seek.”
Bob had never heard such words. He didn’t know what to say. He’d never met a person without a coat. The man with no coat spoke again.
“I am here to show people they don’t have to please people. I am here to tell the truth.”
If Bob had ever heard of the word truth, he had long since rejected it. “What is truth?” he asked.
But before the man could answer, people outside the mayor’s office began to scream, “Kill him! Kill him!”

A mob had gathered outside the window. Bob went to it and saw the crowd was wearing green. Putting on his green coat, he said, “There is nothing wrong with this man.”
“Yuck!” they shouted. Bob fell back at the sound. 
By then the yellow coats were back in his office. Seeing them, Bob changed his colours and pleaded, “The man is innocent.”
“Yuck!” they proclaimed. Bob covered his ears at the word. 
He looked at the man and pleaded, “Who are you?”
The man answered simply, “Who are you?”
Bob did not know. But suddenly he wanted to. Just then his mother, who’d heard of the crisis, entered the office. Without realising it, Bob changed to blue. “He is not one of us,” she said. 
“But, but……”
“Kill him!”
A torrent of voices came from all directions. Bob again covered his ears and looked at the man with no coat. The man was silent. Bob was tormented. “I can’t please them and set you free!” he shouted over their screams.
The man with no coat was silent.
“I can’t please you and them!”
Still the man was silent.
“Speak to me!” Bob demanded.
The man with no coat spoke one word. “Choose.”
“I can’t!” Bob declared He threw up his hands and screamed, “Take him, I wash my hands of the choice.”
But even Bob knew in making no choice he had made one. The man was led away, and Bob was left alone. 
Alone with his coats.

“A Gentle Thunder: Hearing God through the Storm” by Max Lucado (1995) Word Publishing, Texas.