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DEPENDENCE ON GOVERNMENT A WAY OF LIFE
by OPOVV, ©2014
(Jan. 6, 2014) — ACT I
The curtain rises on a stage set as your run-of-the-mill RV park with three campers, one at rear center and two angled on either side. Center of stage is a campfire with six retired couples sitting on camp chairs, some drinking coffee, others roasting marshmallows. The dress is causal. The time is early evening; lighting subdued.
“Not to beat a dead horse, but these gas prices have really curtailed our plans. We’d have been to Alaska by now if we weren’t afraid of the price of gas jumping up and stranding us there,” speaks Jack, a retired plumber from the Bronx.
Clay, another retiree from Berwyn, Illinois, said, “You had to see it coming. Sal and I did, which is why we’ve been making plans on just driving on up to Canada and not driving back.”
Sal chimes in, “But that’s not all of it. Go ahead and tell them, Clay.”
Clay responds by saying, “Well, you know what they say: keep politics, religion and mature topics out of the conversation and no one gets upset.”
“Hogwash,” chirps Denzel, a retired newspaperman from St. Paul, MN, “We’re all adults. I’d be surprised if anything could shock us at this age.”
“Okay, then, but this is how I see it,” says Clay, “This Snowden guy: you know, the whistleblower on the NSA? Well, the way I’ve got it figured is that if it wasn’t for him, we’d never know what this government’s been doing to us. I mean, what other things have been going on that we don’t know about? And one further thing: what about all of those people who have, for years, been violating our Fourth Amendment rights? They’re still out there, working for these government agencies doing who knows what.”
Denzel replies, “I disagree. Our government is the best government in the world. We live in the best country. We have a president who won the Nobel Peace Prize and let everyone have free health care. And I’ve nothing to hide from the NSA, anyway.”
Jack, Beverly, Clay, Sal all speak at once, saying, “Hey, get with the program. Student scores hit bottom. Muslims everywhere. Obama ineligible.”
Jack has the last say, “Look, we’re all just sitting around a nice fire on a beautiful night; there’s no need to introduce falsehoods and lies into the conversation. Now, Denzel, I don’t want to seem rude, but if you can’t face the truth, please refrain from speaking. And I speak for the rest of us, including the rest of the RV’ers in this park.”
Curtain rises on the same stage, except Denzel is missing. His wife, Laquesha, remains, as do the other actors.
“Gee whiz, what set him off?” asks Jack.
“Well,” answered Beverly, “You know you have a way about you. You should learn to be more diplomatic.”
“What?! He’s dressed up in that funny Halloween costume and we’re supposed to take him seriously?” exclaims Jack.
“He’s a Nation of Islam is what he is,” chirped Laquesha.
“Will wonders never cease! Imagine that, a Nation of Islam as an RV’er. Who’d have ever thought that one up, I wonder?” commented Clay.
Sal says, “What, you-all blind? Couldn’t you see that funny hat he was wearing? You ought to learn to have a little more respect for people who don’t agree with you. That’s what I think.”
Jack stands up and walks around while saying, “It’s all pretty basic. You give people a chance and either they take advantage of it or they don’t. You can’t lead a horse to water and make him drink if he doesn’t want to. The heck with him.”
“So that’s diplomatic?” asks Sal. “What we’ve got to figure out is to how to stop future Denzels from going over the edge, from blaming everyone else just because their life isn’t what they envision a perfect life to be like.”
Clay responds, “That’s a tough nut to crack. I guess it starts in the home, then the church, then the school.”
Laquesha interrupts, “Home? There’s no Daddy. Church, ain’t nobody goes to church anymore. Don’t you all know Jesus was white? And school? They don’t teach nothing, and who cares anyway. We have Affirmative Action; we don’t need to know nothing and we still get hired. Look at Denzel, he’s Affirmative Action. University of Michigan and he can barely write, and if weren’t for Spell Check he never would’ve kept his job at the newspaper. And I hear about this so-called ‘ineligible’ business. You-all are racist, is all you are, because the Constitution was written for Whitey by Whitey, and we don’t need it. And this talk about ‘Freedom’ and ‘welfare,’ it’s all because Obama is black.”
Sal stands up and looks at Laquesha, “You nailed it, Laquesha: education is the key. Why, you’re still on the ‘Plantation,” even though you’re RV’ing. You’ve never been ‘free’ because you’re still dependent on the government: welfare and Affirmative Action. You people, and ALL of us, will never get anywhere unless people start to learn how to think for themselves, that we don’t need government, or at least Big Government, to live meaningful and successful lives. Go join your man so you can wallow in self-pity together. Leave us.”
Laquesha gets up and enters one of the RV’s, and as she closes the door the curtain is lowered.