by OPOVV, ©2015

(Dec. 2, 2015) — ACT I

The music of Nobuyuki Tsujii’s “Elegy for the Victims of the Tsunami of March 11, 2011 in Japan” is played as the curtain rises. On the stage is a lifeboat drifting on a calm sea with a moderate swell. There are three men in the lifeboat. The sky is grey, lighting dim, with one moderate spotlight on the lifeboat.

Lawyer: “I’d say it was a torpedo that sunk us.”

Doctor: “Or a mine, a leftover from World War II.”

Indian Chief: “Ship sunk. Thousands dead and we are only survivors.”

Lawyer: “I was sleeping and I heard a noise.”

Doctor: “I, too, was sleeping.”

Indian Chief: “I was looking at a Royal Flush in the casino. Never had I had such a hand and it was dealt to me, in spades, no less. Just as I was pushing all my chips towards the pile the lights went out. I say, ‘Who’s the comedian? Joke not so funny,’ but it was no joke.”

Lawyer: “No kidding? A Royal Flush that was dealt to you? I once drew to an inside straight.”

Doctor: “And just then the ship sunk? You get dealt a Royal Flush — in spades — and the ship sinks? I didn’t used to go in for all the Russian ‘Fatalism’ hogwash, but the older I get the more mysterious life has become.”

Indian Chief: “That’s because part of your brain is no longer chasing women. The Great Spirit made it so. You finally get to notice the dew on the spider web in the morning grass. Younger man not look down, only look for females. Old men stay out of bars and refrain from drinking their guts out and spend more time contemplating the meaning of life.”

Doctor: “Well, I wouldn’t know about that, but I find myself reading the ‘Good Book’ more often than I ever did the first half of my life.”

Lawyer: “My wife used to read passages from the Bible every night these last 20 years, thinking I’d get reformed by osmosis, I suppose. She drowned with the rest. I shall miss her.”

Indian Chief: “I’ve a feeling we’ll all get religion before our ordeal is over, and whether the Grim Reaper finds us on the high seas or after we’re rescued we won’t be overly concerned with any ego-trip as we may have ounce been.”

Doctor: “My name is Charles Leale, gents. How do you do?”

Indian Chief: “I am called ‘New Leaf’. How do you do?”

Lawyer: “And my name is Mathew Brady. How do you do?”

Indian Chief: “I put my money on a torpedo.”

Doctor: “Why’s that?”

Indian Chief: “Because I see a periscope, or else it’s a broom handle with a tin can painted black on top.”

Lawyer: “Well, I’ll be. And look, I believe it’s going to surface. What next, put a hole in our little life boat?”

Curtain lowers to the music of Frankie Ford singing “Sea Cruise.”

End of ACT I


The music of Maurice Ravel’s “Ondine” played by Martha Argerich is heard as the curtain rises with the sail of a submarine on the other side of the lifeboat. On top of the sail is the captain of the boat talking with a hailer to the men below in the lifeboat.

Doctor: “Was it your torpedo sinking our ship?”

Captain: “Sorry about that. Just following orders; you understand.”

Lawyer: “You’re supposed to follow legal orders, not just shoot torpedoes at cruise ships.”

Captain: “Let’s see, I’m looking at the orders: ‘The cruise ship for Republicans Who Support Common  Sense will be sailing in these waters. Sink when sighted.’ Well, there it is. Want to see for yourself?”

Lawyer: “No, we believe you, but why did you have to do it? You had a choice.”

Captain: “Not if I want to kiss my career out the window.”

Lawyer: “So you were ordered to kill a bunch of Republicans?”

Captain: “No, no. I was just ordered to throw a bunch of torpedoes in the side of the ship. Like the murder, I mean unfortunate demise, of Ron Brown, was a plane flying into a mountain; there wasn’t any murdering involved.”

Indian Chief: “It’s a long list: Vince Foster; Andrew Breitbart; Michael Hastings; Donald Young, and so on. And now you just murdered a bunch of presidential candidates, talk show television and radio personalities and other conservative commentators, plus a couple of thousand Republican voters.”

Captain: “Hey, just following orders. Have a nice end-of-cruise. I’ll be submerging now. Bon voyage.”

Doctor: “Wait! How about some water and food?”

Captain: “Sorry: not on my list of ‘Things to do.’ Careful you don’t get sucked down with the boat.”

As the curtain lowers we hear the Beach Boys singing “Sail on, Sailor.”

End of ACT II


The US Navy Band Sea Chanters Chorus sings “Homeward Bound” as the curtain rises on the lifeboat on a sandy beach. The men are seated inside, as in ACT I.

Doctor: “I believe what we’re witnessing is referred to as a ‘Mob Mirage.’”

Indian Chief: “Right. I get it: ‘Hope and Change’ was also mob mentality gone berserk.”

Doctor: “We don’t use such words anymore. We wouldn’t want to upset anyone, now, would we?”

Lawyer: “By the way, Doctor Charles, what kind of doctor are you?”

Doctor: “I am a doctor of philosophy, with a minor in psychiatry, but I teach Anthropology at the university, mostly Cosmology classes. I’m now on sabbatical writing a bestseller, I hope, titled, ‘You’re Not the Loser Your Wife Says You Are.’”

Lawyer: “With what publishing company? I want to buy some stock, because with a title like that you’ll certainly get to be a Best Seller: sell millions, be on the talk show circuit, retire early.”

Doctor: “Exactly my plan.”

Indian Chief: “Getting back to our problem, are we beached or are we just dreaming we’re beached? If I reach out and try and touch the sand, am I living a mirage or is this really sand?”

Lawyer: “I think that it may be sand, but on the other hand it may not be sand, and if it isn’t sand then does that mean we’re, what, doctor?”

Doctor: “The clinical term is ‘Out-to-Lunch.’”

Lawyer: “Thank you: ‘Out-to-Lunch.’”

Indian Chief: “I hear music, from over that way. I’m going for broke: I’m jumping out of here so I’ll either be on the beach or, how did you put it, ‘Out-to-Lunch?’”

Doctor: “Correct.”

Indian Chief: “Is it possible? I’m standing on real sand. I believe the music is coming from that hotel over to the south.”

Lawyer: “Somewhere I remember the story about ‘Testing of the Waters.’ It’s a big step to believe the truth when all you’ve been believing in is lies. Take the Muslims cheering on 9-11. Millions of Americans watched the same pictures on television that morning as I did, as we all did, as Donald Trump did, and we all saw the Muslims cheering from the Gaza strip to those East St. Louis and New Jersey apartment buildings, and the Main Stream Media says we didn’t see what we saw. Want some news? A lot of us taped that whole day on our VCR’s. End of story.”

Indian Chief: “What say we hightail it out of here. Maybe that sub will come back and will shell us standing here talking about dumb media people.”

Doctor: “New Leaf is right, let’s head to the hotel. I’ll spring for the burgers.”

Curtain lowers as Bobby Darin sings “Beyond the Sea.”


Semper Fi


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