May 1, 2006

A Play A Day #17

Goldilocks and the One Bear - A Parable of Communism


Narrator: In a very small, utilitarian cottage in a dark, dark forest, lived a Bear. His name was Bear. It was better this way. He had lived in the cottage a very long time. In fact, he was born there. He would die there too; he had no place else to go, but he had just enough to get by. He read a lot and, as such, was very wise in the ways of the world. Every morning, Bear woke up and did his stretches while listening to "The Patriot News at 6" on the radio station. It was not his favorite program; his favorite program on the station was, in the evening, "The Patriot News at 6". The announcer spoke less severely in the evening which suit Bear quite well as it allowed his potato and fish dinner to settle better. Bear always had one potato and one fish for dinner; it was his portion. It was better this way. It assured that everyone else got at least one potato and one fish for dinner as well. Bear worked at the factory five miles away. He was very proud of the factory, for he and his fellow workers controlled the means of production. He did not control what was produced, nor how many, nor where, nor when, nor how, but he had a couple tools and he controlled them as a means to produce something. He liked it. The work was steady. Very steady. He worked from 7 am to 5 pm. He worked this schedule every day, except for national parade days, when he worked until 8 pm to celebrate controlling the means of production. He sometimes wished he knew what he was producing at the factory - it was metallic and looked like a segmented worm - but the last worker who asked has not been back to work since he got the answer. Now, this morning, Bear completed his stretches, had a bowl of Worker's Breakfast Stew, and then walked to work. Soon after he left, a pretty and precocious little girl, named Goldilocks - her real name was "Little Girl", but everyone called her "Goldilocks" when the Guardians of the One Authority weren't looking - came skipping down the path. She was only nine years old, and her spirit was filled with zest and exuberance. In three years, both the zest and exuberance were scheduled to be painstakingly extracted by the local Psychology Trainers. Goldilocks came upon the very small cottage in the dark, dark forest. She was hungry, having skipped so far, and smelled the familiar scent of Worker's Breakfast Stew. She approached the door. Goldilocks knew the door was not locked; no one was ever permitted to lock their doors.

Goldilocks: I really am so very hungry. (Ponders entering the house) Oh well, to each acccording to her needs! (enters)

Narrator: Goldilocks saw the small table with one chair, one bowl, one spoon and one cup as was allotted by the National Kitchen Needs Authority. The remnants of Bear's Worker's Breakfast Stew were still steaming.

Goldilocks: (Trying the stew, withdrawing, waving hand in front of mouth) Ouch! Ouch! It is too hot! (pause) But I must eat it, as it is what's available. (Stoicly consumes remainder of stew.) Ahh! Now I should sit for a little while to allow my meal to settle. (Surveys the remainder of the very small house; she is sitting on the only chair) This is the only chair; as it should be. It is too hard, but I must remain stoic. (She remains seated.)

Narrator: After several minutes of strenuous stoicism, Goldilocks felt quite tired.

Goldilocks: Here is the bed. (laying down) It is not comfortable, but it is exactly the same as my bed; so I am grateful that it is a familiar type of discomfort. (She sleeps, stoicly)

Narrator: By this time, the very efficient and proudly-cruel Band 37661, the Assault and Relocation Command Unit from the local Gaurdians of the One Authority Division, had been alerted to a report of skipping in the area of the dark, dark forest. Moving upon the tips of several neighbors, the officers surround the house. Sensing no resistance from within, they storm it with alarming speed. They take note of the recently consumed stew and the chair, but only long enough to smash them on their way to the bed. They grab Goldilocks and throw her in a large sack. Goldilocks puts up a very short display of resistance, but after a few sharp hits with an officer's truncheon, she only can whimper in delirious pain. About nine hours later, Bear returns home and surveys the damage. He is not surprised, the Authority patrols often enters the unlocked homes of the workers. What he does not expect is the officer, who knocks on his door so quickly after he shuts it.

Officer: Good evening, Bear. I trust your work went well today.

Bear: Yes sir; of course, it did! As always, sir.

Officer: Our work also went well today.

Bear: Yes, I see, you have, once again, reorganized my residence with great force.

Officer: Bear, we do not, of course, want any secrets to be kept in our quiet forest...

Bear: No, sir. (reciting from memory) A secret leads to hiding. Hiding is a deception. Deception is a trick. A trick is an act of aggression. Acts of aggression must be answered by the Authority. The Authority is always right; therefore secrets are always wrong.

Officer: Spoken wisely, Bear. It surprises me then to know that you were harboring in your home today one... Little Girl! Do you know of this child?!

Bear: No! No! I know nothing of Little Girl! She must have entered my house after I left for work! She must!

Officer: Yes. The Authority wants to believe you, Bear, but local witnesses have labelled you as a Little Girl sympathizer. They clearly remember you leaving for work after Little Girl entered.

Bear: No! No! I never...

Officer: She was skipping!! Do you hear me, Bear?!! Can you deny that she was skipping?! Can you?!

Bear: No! I can't...

Officer: So, she WAS skipping!?!

Bear: She might have been! I don't...

Officer: So, you agree with the reports of the local witnesses?

Bear: That she was skipping, yes! But...

Officer: This is not good, Bear; by your own admission and signed confession (produces a signed confession from his pocket), the local witnesses are correct. You have been harboring a known skipper. Perhaps, you would be willing to accompany me to the local Authority office? We would like to ask you and some of the witnesses a few more questions.

Bear: But...

Officer: It will not take very long, Bear. You will come with me now?

Bear: No! I can't... I have always been so...

Officer: Resistor! (gives a sharp blow on his whistle) Insurgent! Revolutionary! (several other officers appear on the scene immediately, they quickly beat Bear into unconsciousness)

Narrator: (He is now eating a bowl of Worker's Breakfast Stew and talking with his mouth full, making disgusting chewing sounds throughout) No one knows whatever happened to either Bear or Goldilocks. There are no records of their arrest, or even their births. They do not now exist, nor did they ever. They have only this forbidden tale to carry on their powerful message: Never question authority. Never skip. (Officer comes out, he wields his truncheon menacingly, narrator gets extremely nervous) Of course... ummm... I do not know any story about a mischievous Little Girl or Bear or anything like that, but really thanks for... ummm... coming to listen to my... tale of the great heroic deeds of Band 37661! All hail.... their ... ummm... righteous... and uhhhh... carefully considered use of power! Let's all give them a big hand, huh!! C'mon everyone!! Yippee!! (nothing doing, Officer gets very close, long pause) Ummm.... yay?... Oh hi... officer... so glad that... uhhh... you could hear my... my... fully-sanctioned tale of such ummm... great... patriots as yourself... (Officer has him by the shirt, Narrator meekly offers his bowl) Stew? (Officer repeatedly clubs Narrator, then turns on the writer of this forbidden play; so... I have to go... now...All Hail the...)

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