October 23, 2006

A Play A Day #193

Free Speech


Cast:
Kind Sir
Good Sir

Setting: Someplace stuffy and important-looking, a drawing room at a nice party, or a party room in a nice drawing.


(lights up on Kind Sir, sitting in a huge leather armchair, smoking a huge leather pipe, enter Good Sir)

Kind Sir: Ahhh, welcome! Welcome! Good Sir! So glad you could make it to my comfortably-appointed room.

Good Sir: Well, I wouldn't miss it, Kind Sir, wouldn't miss it.

K: Please, do sit down, Good Sir.

G: Yes, certainly. (looks around)

K: Do sit, do sit. I insist.

G: Yes, certainly. (looks around some more)

K: Whatever's the difficulty, Good Sir?

G: There's only one chair, Kind Sir.

K: (looking around) Quite right; quite right you are, Good Sir! Well said! Well said!

G: Shall I sit, Kind Sir?

K: Yes, by all means, do. (pause) I've got it! Take my seat. (getting out of his chair)

G: You're too kind, Kind Sir. (sits)

K: Think nothing of it, nothing. I'll just sit in the other chair.

G: I do believe I have sat in the first and last remaining chair, Kind Sir.

K: So you have, so you have! Bully for you, Good Sir! Well sat! Well sat! Couldn't happen to a more sitworthy fellow, say I.

G: Your kindness humbles me, Kind Sir.

K: P-shaa! The least I could do, Good Sir. The least. (holding up his pipe) Pipe?

G: Afraid I don't smoke, Kind Sir.

K: Ahh! So you don't; so you don't. I should have remembered! I entreat your forgiveness in the matter.

G: Quite forgiven, if it be necessarily so, Kind Sir.

K: (knocking tobacco out of the pipe) Thank you, thank you, Good Sir. (holding up pipe again) Pipe?

G: Most certainly! Most certainly.

K: (quickly putting pie into G's mouth) There you are.

G: (appreciating the gesture) A pipe of one's own; a truly grand gesture, Kind Sir.

K: 'Tis nothing. Nothing. Now, Good Sir, why did you wish to speak with me?

G: Kind Sir, as the two most important gentlemen in town, I felt we should have a meeting of the minds.

K: Quite so! To air and launder our differences, as it were, in a private conference; so as to present a more unified face to the public.

G: Yes. I agree, Kind Sir, I agree. The very appearance of disagreeableness between such important men as ourselves could set the population alight with doubt and disquiet.

K: Good Sir, you have read my mind. I am in agreement with what you say on the matter; we have an obligation to the masses. They await our very opinion, and it is for the public good that it be uniform and sound in nature and form.

G: So we meet to ponder, for a moment, The Plan.

K: (suddenly less genial) Yes... that.

G: I'm sure you'll agree with me, as a foundation for our further discussion that The Plan is a plan.

K: Yes, agreed. Being a plan, The Plan is most definitely a plan.

G: We are in agreement on the central nature of The Plan?

K: Yes, agreed that we are in agreement that The Plan is a plan.

G: Now, advancing to the next step, The Plan, being a plan, is planning for something. Correct?

K: Your logic is flawless, Good Sir.

G: Quite good, quite good. So, to sum up, we are agreed that we are in agreement that The Plan is a plan that, as a plan, is planning something.

K: Yes, I can attest to the truth in your words, Good Sir.

G: Now, let us make sure that we show this face of mutual agreement among learned gentlemen to the town as a whole, and all will be right with the community.

K: Pray tell, what?

G: The Plan will find quick success in becoming part of the town's code, and the people will learn of all the great benefit that will relentlessly accrue to them by its passing into law.

K: Good Sir, The Plan cannot be termed a decent benefit to our community.

G: Most assuredly, it will bring great wealth and prosperity to this little corner of the world!

K: The Plan, Good Sir, was written only by you for your narrow financial interest at the grave expense of the assured destruction of our entire village!

G: Preposterous, Kind Sir! Perhaps you have not read the precise language in The Plan, or you would surely not be so ill-advised in your opinion.

K: I have done so, Good Sir! The Plan states in its opening paragraph that, and I quote it with the precision that such shocking verbiage can instill in my mind, "The Plan calls for the complete destruction of all other buildings in the entire village, save the house and out-buildings of Good Sir, with the resulting land to be donated to Good Sir for his own narrow financial interests."

G: Precisely! Well quoted, Kind Sir! Do you not see the great benefit to the miserable citizens in this miserable town when I use them all to rebuild a more aesthetically pleasing and potentially prosperous society? A society built in my image for my uses!

K: No, Good Sir. Lest you forget, I am among this miserable throng you denigrate so easily.

G: No worries, Kind Sir, no worries. You will almost certainly be used as an overseer for the enslaved laborers. A plum position offering nearly two full meals a day!

K: Good Sir, our discussion is done; I cannot withstand the utter cynicism present in your every word.

G: You wish to cut me off, now? I have a right to have my ideas heard.

K: Yes, Good Sir, you do, and I believe in your right to do so.

G: Then you will support my right to make my case to the people?

K: I will support your right to make your case, but not your case itself. The people, in all likelihood, upon hearing The Plan for the first time, will kill you.

G: They would be denying me my right to free speech.

K: Yes, they would be, in the name of denying you the ability to deny them the right to free speech, they would, rather abruptly, deny you your right to free speech.

G: Surely, you would not allow this!

K: No, Good Sir, I would assert your right to free speech. But, to paraphrase Voltaire: I may disagree with what you say, but I would defend 'til your death the right to say it.

G: 'Til my death?

K: I would even defend your right to free speech after your death, but that seems almost silly, doesn't it?

G: But it's my right!

K: Yes. I would defend your right, you would exercise it, they would exercise their rights in doing wrong, and you would be wrongly exorcised of the right. Right away.

G: This is outrageous, Kind Sir.

K: Yes, you are. Now kindly go exercise your right to wrong people somewhere else. I need to sit and contemplate the glory of all those citizens freely assembling. (shoos G away, G leaves in confusion)

(lights out)

(end)

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Esteemed Playwrite:

Most excellent, indeed. I will defend your creative abilities to the unlearned and ill-humored, to your loss of life or limb.

Your kind reader in Chicago, formerly of Northfield and familiar with your writings through our mutual friend Tromvestite's Wife (and I do apologize to aforementioned wife for referring to her merely as a referent to the identity of her husband),

Elizabeth

Bleeet said...

Quite, quite, Kind Madam! Was pleased to find myself in your fair city this past weekend. Observed a Broadway-styled show calling itself "Wicked" - most delicious, you see; and partook of an exhibiting of that old dog, King Tutankhamun, who rumor has it, is a bit under the weather these days. Stayed in a large establishment name of The Palmer House Hiltonian. Never met the Mr. or Mrs. Palmer; but we did appreciate the generosity they showed in allowing us to rest in their home.

Chicago seems, on the whole, to be a fine burg. Highly commendable, old girl! Highly so. The Park of the Grant and of the Millenium both inspire and allow one to take in fresh air to the blood; a helpful benefit to the constitution of the average man.

Now, I must offer a fair criticism: Do something about the damnable traffic and toll lines for out-of-state guests! Our wait times were outrageous in scope and spirit. Delays were suffered. Honkings were overheard. Patience was tested. This woman I know remarked that it seemed Chicago may not even wish for guests from out of the town! Most conternating indeed.

Thank you kindly for the kind comment, Kind Madam.

- Bleeet



amxfwjqe

Anonymous said...

Aah, but esteemed playwrite, surely the damnable traffic in my humble burg has reminded you of the superiority of your own fair village! I mean, sure, we have the Lyric Opera and a marathon that attracts 40,000 runners and a lake larger than all 10,000 of your lakes combined. But your fair town is far superior to mine!

How can the Park of Grant or the Fountain of Buckingham compare to the Festival of Christmas at your fine village's most esteemed Lutheran college, or the Arboretum of Carleton??!! How can the skyscrapers that reach for the heavens compare to the vision of stars in a dark night sky? How can the indomitable presence of a Starbucks on every street corner compare to a chat with friends at the Blue Monday? It is perhaps only a slight exaggeration to assert that my heart aches for your fine village, esteemed playwrite!

But yeah, the traffic here is a real bitch.