The Island that Time Forgot

A PLAY IN ONE ACT

by OPOVV, ©2014

Cuba has had a communist government since 1959

(Dec. 19, 2014) — ACT I

The curtain rises on a stage set as an cadaver classroom, with the seats taking up two-thirds, facing the audience. Stage right is the table and lectern. The seats are full of well-dressed men and women, most of retirement age. An elderly college dean addresses the audiences:

“Welcome to an unscheduled talk by one of our professors, Professor ‘Z’, who claims to have some rather startling news in the discipline of ‘relics’, if I understood his request correctly. At the end of the professor’s talk, if time allows, the professor said he’ll entertain questions. And now, without further ado, let’s welcome the professor.”

Polite clapping is heard as Professor ‘Z’ enters from stage left, carrying a handful of papers, some of which fall by the wayside as he reaches the lectern, where more papers flutter down as he places what’s left on the table. The professor is wearing a disheveled safari outfit, and in lieu of a high-powered rifle he has a set of rather large binoculars strapped over his shoulder. He cleans his glasses, politely coughs, and addresses the theater:

“Hello. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have just returned from an island just off the coast of Florida where I saw, through these very binoculars (takes off the binoculars, holds them up and then places them on the table), a land caught up in a ‘time warp’, transportation-wise.

“I’ve broken-down my talk to three chapters: farm, commercial, and private.

“On this island, American manufacturing-wise, there is nothing newer than a 1957 John Deere tractor. There is newer farm equipment, but they’re all from other countries, such as England and Germany. American-wise, I’d estimate that 80% of all the tractors on the island are of American make, perhaps totaling in the neighborhood of 6,000. Most are held together by bailing-wire, it is true, but, on the other hand, most still function as they were meant to.

“I mentioned bailing-wire, and that’s not an exaggeration, not by a long shot. You see, since the late 1950’s, our government has refused to trade with this island because of its repressive nature towards its very own citizens.

“If you take nothing away from my talk tonight, take away this: revolutionists make very poor rulers. It’s as if they don’t know when to quit or, in this island’s case, don’t know when to shut up.

“Getting back to the bailing-wire, since no new parts could be found, the natives had to improvise, and improvise they did. I must commend them on how well they kept the old machinery, all the old machinery, running as well as they have. Truly, necessity is the mother of invention.

“Commercial transportation has an equal track record with the farm machinery. I estimate that there are somewhere around 10,000 Macks, Fords, International Harvesters, and other American makes on the island performing as they we meant to, again, held together by bailing wire. Very impressive. Engines designed to run on leaded gasoline. And because of the lack of snow, the only salt that affects the chassis and body is from the ocean, so there’s very little rust.

“And now we come to what most of you came to hear: the classic cars, cars more than 20 years old or, in this case, cars more than 47 years old. Imagine, if you will, being transported in time to downtown Havana on a Saturday night. You’re standing on the street corner and watch the cars drive by: a ‘47 DeSoto Deluxe, ‘51 Ford, ‘57 Chevy, ‘50 Studebaker, all pristine: none of the body panels altered in any way. All stock. All a car collector’s dream come true.

“You see ‘55 Chryslers and Cadillacs without much in the way of rust. Maybe a bumper is pitted, but these people took great care of what they had, believe it.

“A 1957 Golden Hawk just drove by, followed by a Hudson Wasp and a Nash Rambler convertible. No broken windows. No rust.

“Soon this island will be open to Gringos invading. The first invaders will be the car part companies that specialize in ‘collector car parts’, followed by the buyers, ready with cash.

“Now here’s my point: there’ll be an infusion of many millions of dollars into this island, and if directed wisely, it can be used to change the government from Communism to one that embraces Capitalism.

“Now this current Administration, the Obama Administration, has no desire or plans to use these millions of American dollars to institute a change. They’ve neither the will, desire, inclination or brains to accomplish the overthrow of the Communist government.

BUT! (the professor slams his fist on the lectern), but if we had a president who had an ounce of integrity and sense; if we had an Administration with brains; if the Joint Chiefs of Staff could see beyond their pensions; if Congress would get their heads out of the sand long enough to recognize an opportunity, to see a gift horse when it bites them; and if the CIA would, just this one time, do America some good instead of ALWAYS (99% of the time) backing the wrong side, then maybe, just maybe, the infusion of millions of dollars into this island’s economy could change the outcome of what the future holds for the people.

“But let’s not hold our breath. Obama is doing his best to drag America down to be as corrupt and hopeless as Cuba.

“Nevertheless, we have an opportunity at our fingertips to change the course of history for the better. Let’s hope the American people are smarter than their government.

“I’m sorry, I went a little over my allotted time. Thank you for listening. Goodnight.”

Curtain lowers.

FINI

Semper Fi

OPOVV

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to "The Island that Time Forgot"

  1. OPOVV   Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Good point.
    Planned obsolescence.
    My wife’s 20yr. old Ford sedan gets 10 mpg MORE than the new Fords. Go figure.
    Safer cars? Better lights, seat belts, airbags? Nothing but a fleece to jack-up the car prices. Go ahead, drive the safest car in the world in Charlotte, NC, and just see how long it takes before you get ‘T’-boned by some idiot running a red light.
    By the way, our friends South of the border don’t think it’s ‘MACHO’ to slow down for a yellow light. They see yellow, they floor it.
    And they don’t ‘YIELD’.
    AND it’s a cultural thing about driving drunk. It’s okay to drive drunk South of the border. They have road blocks that serve Tequila.
    Ambulance driver’s MUST HAVE a count of 1.0 or else they’re sent home.
    Seriously now, if you ever get in a car accident South of the border, take a taxi to the hospital because the chances of you getting to the hospital in your first ambulance ride are less than nada.

  2. Stephen Hiller   Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 6:45 AM

    What seems to be lost in the lesson of history is … WHY can’t we build them like we used to? Today’s cars would never last that long.

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