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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A NEW BROADWAY PLAY: THE SPIRAL OF MACHIAVELLI





THE SPIRAL OF MACHIAVELLI
__________________________

A Play in three Acts
                   by
    Richard W. Stout







Copyright ©2017
By Richard Stout             1308 Grinnell Road
Wilmington, DE
Phone     302 478 9495
Cell      302 377 3962


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Forward To the Play                       
Stage Arrangement for the Play            
Dramatis Persona                          
Anagrams 
                                 
The Play                                       
     Act I Scene I                                P1
    Act I Scene II                               P8
    Act I Scene III                              P13
    Act I Scene IV                              P16
    Act II Scene II                              P20
    Act II Scene III                             P23
    Act II Scene IV                             P27
    Act II Scene V                              P32
    Act III Scene I                              P37
    Act III Scene II                             P40
    Act III Scene III                            P46
    Act III Scene IV                           P37
    Act III Scene II                             P46

END                                        P48 
    
FORWARD TO THE PLAY

This play is a farce about the perpetual and fossilizing effects of politics on society. It shows that politics is merely an ongoing spiral of physical and mental exertion and intrigue by humans who are frustrated, unhappy and consumed by the thirst for power and influence. This includes enlisting in some grand crusade to ‘make a difference’ or to protect the status quo of innocents or even to change the world. No matter the direction of the political vectors or potential outcomes, the political process works like an automaton with gears, levers and lights to ensnare and trap out souls. Humans get caught up and mangled by these gears.
The players represent caricatures of common individuals in our  modern society where education, background, heredity and other factors have no particular effects on the beliefs of any political activist other than to randomly steer them to the middle, far left or far right of the political spectrum. There is a gross division between the political left and the political right in this play based loosely on income and education but not intellect, personal attributes, gender, drive or ability to achieve. Everyone here is more than content with their political family until some event threatens their blissful community. True love becomes the chisel that threatens to destroy the political calm and the solution to this problem sets the stage for this play.
Departing from historical norms, the names of the players and some of the places are based on anagrams of various political slogans, propaganda materials, mantras and agendas. Each player acts out and expresses the mental, social and physical attributes of his or her anagram. Anagrams are a way of clandestine communication since the ‘solution’ of a given anagram produces many, many other anagrams. Confusion besets the chance observer unless he or she is privy to the correct form thus giving cover and security to the workings of the groups. Anagrams are sometimes explained in the dialogue or by other stage mechanisms such as posters or banners and are left to the reader or person who views the play in action to solve by consulting the playbill, issued with the tickets. The anagrams are explained, or deciphered, precisely in the Anagrams section.
The players are deeply enmeshed in the usual frenetic contest to get their candidates elected. In this play, there are two political candidates for each side to assist and support and they work on an impending election where the four races will be determined by the voters.  There are two Senatorial races and two House of Representative candidates that could be state or federal or local or whatever as that makes no difference to the thrust and social message of the play. The candidate’s names are not mentioned, deliberately, as they lend nothing to the workings of the political theory, details of the politico’s particular philosophy or the outcomes of the elections that are the object of the play. The details and particulars of their political platforms planks, apart from being darlings of either the left or the right, are meaningless and are not essayed in the play. The only thing that counts is the attainment of political power by the contingent election of these candidates so that potential favorable decisions can be made in the future that will please the activists in each camp and fulfill some of their mystical and frantic dreams and notions while diminishing the reciprocal power of their enemies.
A robust attribute of both groups is the fraternal love and comradery each group showers upon its members. An index of their individual contentment levels is measured by their relationship with each other. They exist at the apex of happiness and fraternal love as long as they are participating members of their chosen group. This covenant will be tested in this play by events that attack the fraternal love in both groups.
Politics is here defined as the retrograde execution of the decision making processes in various groups based on successful outcomes from the past, this definition dating back to the Greeks and Romans. Thus, politics is everywhere in our society and found in our homes, schools, clubs, work places, parks, beaches and restaurants. This political process is not new or experimental and is ingrained in our DNA and our very souls thus we cannot escape the mental and physical magnetism of its effects. The political process shapes us more than we could realize. Politics is about the only social interaction where some person will stand up in public and make an emotional and furious stand on some issue when they might know fundamentally nothing about the issue they recklessly tout. The political decisions as to who will be selected to run for office and on what platform planks they might use to gain attention are deliberately ignored in this play as being pedestrian and utterly inconsequential and even destructive to the process.
The play focuses on the dedicated and politically infected persons who work the middle-level political levers and endlessly trundle away in the poetical trenches to get candidates from their own party elected. What their candidates might believe in intellectual terms are of no consequence in this essay. What does provide impetus to this play is that the intrinsic human strengths and weaknesses in our sprit and souls can wedge themselves between political duty and the pursuit of selfishness or raw desire. Thus politics is shown to be a social ailment similar to leprosy that consumes the minions and drones at their own expense and this syndrome is spread by politicians and their political philosophies for the purpose of gaining power. Indeed, many of the players might switch parties instantly for some insignificant reason with slight effort from another political direction. The political process is the important factor for these people—not the philosophy of their candidates, the final outcome of any political contests, or any conclusions drawn from their wins or loses.
In the midst of these polarized groups sits a sage known as Tiger ‘Woofer’ Nitty [anagram: tower of integrity]. Tiger is an ethereal being that does not observe or betray any interest in the particulars of the political proceedings. He is an eternal political observer who only communicates with the individual players in private. Since others cannot watch or listen in, he is visible and available to any and all players for private consultation but only on a one-on-one basis. The players do not talk about Tiger among themselves or with their political opponents as they have no hint of his actual existence. He appears to them as a complex intellectual construct of human conscience resident only in their minds and the caretaker of mundane library references from the literature and offers an educational platform for the elementary mechanisms of politics.  He has integrity and intellect but has no soul.
Tiger presents the philosophical and intellectual basis of this play. The various normal attributes of the average citizen in any area of politics are of no assistance in playing the political game. The normal citizen remains ignorant of the standard theories of politics when they are first encountered and difficult lessons of the past centuries must be mastered anew for all newcomers. Those who experienced the pathos of the numerous political antics of history have not successfully educated their followers or victims as we might wonder, and leave them clueless as the naïve inheritors of their aftermaths. Their victims are left to muddle through the same bloody exercises and mundane routines of the predecessors and trundle down the time-worn ruts of their ancestors. Tiger’s maxim is that he will always reveal the stark facts to any political question, which is much more important than the truth, which is always relative. Tiger offers advice to questions on a strategic basis and does not deal with personalities or dogma unless the dogma has a particular intrinsic political lesson. Thus he is an encyclopedic reference work and nothing more.
The political workers on both sides of the aisle in this play remain monotonously dedicated to each of their respective political causes and their wonderful political groups until some form of social or emotional interaction happens among four of the players. Opposites attract and one man and one woman from each party approach the outer limits of their political training and face the temptations provided by the mysteries of love. The physical attraction caused by romance and biological urges forces two pairs of players to test the outer boundaries of their political and social limits.
Each person from a selected set of the four players is forced to test their intrinsic mores, explore their emotional boundaries and their intellectual outer limits. This is an attempt to rebalance their personal cravings to please their chosen political opposite. This process continues on until their personal desires descend in an abyss of uncertainty. Then, they are left wandering in some nether space and are cast helplessly to their uncertain futures and thus grope for a satisfying solution to this unfamiliar and nonpolitical nightmare. They have entered an arena where their rigid political training cannot help them. They are frightened and alone. Can they return to their previous existences??
We shall see.


STAGE ARRANGEMENT FOR THE PLAY
Location: The stage has two parts, the left and the right side of a giant checker board for 64 squares. There is no intent to have the players move like chess pieces, the board layout is only for convenience in placing the players. An all acts, the leftist play scenes are set in 32 squares stage left in a half-way house knows as the Dutch Triad Lodge or ‘Lodge’ in honor of their fine work in working with drug addicts in Amsterdam. The right side is set in the upscale country estate Alizarin. Both scenes happen simultaneously but the players do not act simultaneously—only half the board is usually active in any moment. The players cannot detect what happens on the opposite side of the stage. They can only interact with their opponents when they venture outside i.e. to the left or right of the checker board or on to center stage in front of the board or make phone calls to the other side.
Format: The stage setup uses of a 64 square chessboard layout for the stage with overhead lights where all players remain on stage during the entire play and attend to their duties such as telephone calling, computer work, taking notes, going through endless voter lists, reading newspapers and such. Above every quad of squares [e.g. the left square a8-b8 down to b7 and left to a7] there are three colored lights that turn on and off on cue with bright white, red, pink and dark blue colors. White is for dialogue, red for contrast and blue for despair while orange is reserved for outright rage. The lights turn on only when some major event is happening accenting the dialogue of the speakers and are dim or sometimes off during most of the play.
Actors on left occupy half the board in squares a1 to d8, while actors on political right occupy the other half e1 to h8, or equal territory.






         
a8
B8
c8
d8
e8
f8
g8
h8
a7
b7
c7
d7
e7
f7
g7
h7
a6
b6
c6
d6
e6
f6
g6
h6
a5
b5
c5
d5
e5
f5
g5
h5
a4
b4
c4
d4
e4
f4
g4
h4
a3
b3
c3
d3
e3
f3
g3
h3
a2
b2
c2
d2
e2
f2
g2
h2
a1
b1
c1
d1
e1
f1
g1
h1

The squares in the center [d4, d5, e4, e5] have a neutral consultant in an elevated swivel chair and can consult with both sides when approached for advice and political analysis. Anytime an actor has to speak the white [or other color] light comes on from an overhead spot to illuminate all persons involved in the dialogue. Squares a8 and f8 have computer tables with dim red lights where various actors may access the Internet for information. Most actors have cell phones and can call outside or call someone on the stage including their opponents on the other half of the board. Both talkers on the call are then illuminated in white at the beginning of the call but either the red or blue lights may turn on depending on the trend or outcome of the call.
The consultant has infinite knowledge and can answer questions on both political and technical matters without bias.



DUTCH TRIAD HOTEL             ALIZRIN
a8 Computer
b7
c8
d8
e8
f8
g8
h8 Computer
a7
b7
c7
d7
e7
f7
g7
h7
a6
b6
c6
d6
e6
f6
g6
h6
a5
b5
c5
Consultant
f5
g5
h5
a4
b4
c4
f4
g4
h4
a3
b3
c3
d3
e3
f3
g3
h3
a2
b2
c2
d2
e2
f2
g2
h2
a1
b1
c1
d1
e1
f1
g1
h1

There is a strip of 12 squares in front of the chessboard where the 12 players line up for demonstrations. In addition, there is a set of four squares for a small table where two players may meet. An additional set of squares is a tall brick wall about 6 squares wide and 6 feet tall that is all brick in front but has a cot in the back. The wall may turn 180 degrees slowly to show the audience what is happening behind.

Front Squares
                       
               


Table
               


Stone Wall



DRAMATIS PERSONA
LEFT WING PLAYERS [in order of their appearance and their home squares]
ORCHID DETAIN: a.k.a. Heroin Addict. [On C3] She is a natural leader, bold and determined with great beauty. She depends on drugs, cigarettes, booze and other things for her strength.   
SATEEN REDHOOK: a.k.a. East End Hooker [on B5] She is a street hardened ex-prostitute and drug addict. She is driven by defects in the society she has known. Her objective is to change society at any cost.
DIMPLE PUGGAREE: a.k.a. Lead Pipe Mugger [Cot a4-a7] He is a criminal who has yet to be caught and punished. He has low intelligence and questionable morality but is fiercely loyal. He only wears denims and a Jimmy Buffett T shirt. 
BAXTER “BUFFO” STOLL: a.k.a. Ballot Box Stuffer. [On D8] Baxter is a wimpy bookworm skilled with computers. His glasses seem to be cut from coke bottle bottoms.
HUTCH MENCIUS CRUMMOCK: a.k.a. Communist Chum Chucker [on A8] He is an upscale Lawyer, activist and perpetual politico who works in public service. He is friendly and loyal. He provides the emotional drive for this group and some of the theory.   
PIPER “SPOONS” GARDANT: a.k.a. Propagandist Person [on C7] She is a poet, intellectual and empath who sees everything as a political exercise and food for a new propaganda lesson. She knows how to work the political levers to get results and dresses in avant-garde style.  

RIGHT WING PLAYERS [in order of their appearance]
AMAZON WRINGER: a.k.a.       Nazi War Monger [on E1] He is a natural leader from a leading law firm with strong political and religious views.
Dallas Irene Dodds: a.k.a. Diseased Landlord.[On G1] She is business first in all matters, wears expensive power suits and jewelry and commands respect.
Ripley Camorra Towsley: a.k.a. Slimy Corporate Lawyer     [On H8]   She has a soaring intellect with an IQ = 170, graduated from USC Law School with honors at the age of 17. She is a senior partner in local law firm.
Gresham Cessna Pinchcock: a.k.a. Check Cashing Scam Person. [On F6]. He is an average person with no particular cognitive skills, but he is kind, dedicated, loyal and sensitive.  
Velamina Tegmen: a.k.a. Evil Management    [On H3]. She is a tough, practical problem solver and a no nonsense leader with superb administrative skills. She makes things happen.
RHONDA “TRAPPIST” WIGGING: a.k.a. Right Wing Propagandist [On F7-g8]. She is a dedicated drone who believes that truth can only be expressed by political slogans.

Political Seer
TIGER ‘WOOFER’ NITTY: a.k.a. Tower of integrity. Home squares [On D4-E5]. He is a scholarly authority on politics, reason, science and more. He is balanced in his advice and never takes a side on any issue.
             


ANAGRAMS
RIGHT WING ANAGRAMS FOR DISCOURSE AND BANNERS
Bedfast nightingale = head banging leftist     
Earned coffin tulip = putrid face of Lenin     
Natural juices flowed = justice and rule of law     
Starfish looper = praise for sloth        
Ironical unheeding = religion unchained        
Harvest trooping = starving the poor      
Rapped stagflation = leftist propaganda        
Ratified dragon cuspidor = praise for drug addiction     
Hounding fifteen boarders = featherbedding for unions
          LEFT WING ANAGRAMS FOR DISCOURSE AND BANNERS
Recovered vintages = conservative greed        
Firearms novelist = Stalinism forever     
Sixth feather groove = vote for higher taxes        
Altarpiece golfer illness = respect for illegal aliens       
Secretarial feeling polls = respect for illegal aliens            
Warpath digging apron = right wing propaganda       
Texas crouch thrift = tax cuts for the rich    
Cigarette displays = greedy capitalists        
Greased plasticity = greedy capitalists        

ANAGRAMS FOR PLACES

ALIZARIN                                       Nazi Lair
DUTCH TRIAD LODGE                 Drug addict Hotel
HILFORT ESTATE                           meaning leftist rat hole


                                                       
ACT I   
Scene 1
                                                                                                         
                                                    
SETTING:                The play opens with a full view of two houses where the players live and work. They are joined side by side on stage with the left wing players on stage left named Dutch Triad Lodge, an anagram for Drug Addict Hotel while the right wing players are on the right side at a place named Alizarin, an anagram for Nazi Lair. Each side has 32 squares as in chess where the players start off. There is a strip of squares in from of the board that is 12 squares in length for rallies and protests. Dramatis Persona section lists the home squares for all 13 players.
AT RISE:                The white lights turns on SATEEN and ORCHID as they are about to have a personal discussion and everybody else is in the dark (dark usually means dim light but not always.) No other person can see or hear what is going on unless they are properly illuminated. The first ten measures of the song Ghost Busters plays in low volume.
             
SATEEN
(SATEEN begins the opening remarks
                        to the audience with ORCHID standing
                         beside her.)

                                                   
My name is SATEEN REDHOOK, a caricature that emanates from an anagram of the words East End Hooker, my persona and my character in this drama. I represent the people of the street. My friends like ORCHID DETAIN, her name taken from Heroin Addict, live and work for politics in the DUTCH TRIAD LODGE an anagram for Drug Addict Hotel. We, and our ignoble opponents, use anagrams as a special form of internal and external communication in our groups that enables our security and well-being and precise transmission of ideas. A single phrase such as this conveys volumes of ideas and commitments and desires. We can dispense with small talk and mindless blather using anagrams. This is also useful against eavesdropping reporters and other enemies who are after any dirt they can dig up.

SATEEN
(To audience: suddenly emotional
     and waving arms.)
We have much to do before the political rally and everything is out of order here. I am here to give my all to the support of the left-wing political persons and I do mean my ‘all.’ (As she tugs at a full length zipper on the side of her dress.)

ORCHID
(To SATEEN, shoulders slumping)
I know and worry so much. There is a whole lot riding on the election of more liberals to the city offices here so we can survive in our current lifestyles. We need the support of the city and state here so that social justice can be served. The opposition will grind us down and jail us under their oppressive criminal laws if they win with their control of the police and everybody knows we cannot vote from the jail house, or the grave.
(Now loudly with emotion)
We have to force social justice upon the greedy capitalists or cigarette displays as we call them. We need to invoke the sixth feather groove, an anagrammed mantra we recite often meaning to vote for higher taxes—no matter what.

(ORCHID holds up a poster with
6th Feather Groove emblem on it in red
Letters and another poster pops up with
a definition of cigarette displays.)

                                                                                      

For justice, we need to win the next election—whatever it takes! We need to redistribute the wealth so we can change the world. And, more importantly we need to preserve our lovely community and comradeship against attack from the opposition. We have a great society here and I mean to protect and nurture it.
(She pauses from her rant and
thinks a while.)
But, what about your sister, SATEEN? I forgot. She has cancer, I know, but is she improving? You must put her first in your heart and thoughts. She is family.

SATEEN
(First to ORCHID then
 to the audience)
I know I have to watch out for her and do all I can for her but there is a certain order of things here and politics must come first in all cases. We have to put our priorities in place. She knows that. She knows all about our mission here and how close we all are in the Lodge here that the Nazis sometimes call HILFORT ESTATE, meaning leftist rat hole, and how we are committed to each other and the grand cause. We are eternal friends. She knows none of us would break our solemn bond or desert the common cause. She wishes us all well even if she is not so well herself.

ORCHID
(Aside and acting worried and puzzled)
I do not know if things are going very good in our struggle. I feel too much heat from our enemies on the right so I am going to ask TIGER about this whole business and learn what he knows about winning elections and gaining some political power. We are more than desperate here! I am going to need some help very soon from my friendly pill supplier. My little friends must be much more than just my friends soon and for the days ahead.
(ORCHID moves to c4 to ask questions
from TIGER. The lights play only on these
players. TIGER speaks first. Ghost Busters music ends.)

  
TIGER
(To audience)
My name is TIGER ‘WOOFER’ NITTY, taken from the anagram of the important terms: tower of integrity. My character in this play remains truthful and a fountain of knowledge for all matters and ideas. I give the best possible advice to any and all persons who visit me and I am totally free from any political influences.
(TIGER is then briefly absorbed in a
thick book and looks up approvingly as
ORCHID approaches him seated in his high
swivel chair. The lights go off everywhere
except for one on ORCHID and the other
on TIGER.)

TIGER
(To ORCHID as she approaches)
ORCHID, welcome my dear! What can I do for you today? I am always pleased when you visit me.

ORCHID
(Frustrated and uncertain)
At the DUTCH TRIAD LODGE we all need to know more about politics and all about political power and how to get it and use it! We have two important elections soon and we must win both of them and I am lost and afraid. I don’t know what I am doing for sure and am uncertain about a lot of important things. I need some advice for me and also for my friends.
TIGER
Okay. Let me help out. Politics is defined precisely as the process of decision making in groups. As such, politics is ubiquitous: in the home, schools, clubs, churches, subway, ski clubs and everywhere. It is not just something that happens every four years on some Tuesday.
(He stands up and continues
 in an oratory voice like a
             grand professor.)
                                 
Politics is driven by power and the need to enforce decisions. Group members must be coerced into complying with the decisions—otherwise they will ignore those
decisions and miss or stray from their potentially fruitful consequences  or just wander away and do their
own thing. This leads to chaos and lost resources. As a group you must follow your ideological leaders. (Emphasis) There is no room for individual conduct or alternatives to your instructions and guidance. And, [Emphasis] politics must transcend any family member, romance, friend, club, church or other distraction to be effective. The very best decisions have already been made for you so your political direction is clear. Follow the leader without comment.
(TIGER points up with one finger
as if to acknowledge some higher being
or perhaps a dead Greek sage.)
Power is thus required to enforce these decisions and political power is needed to enforce political decisions, known as laws, codes, rules, and so on and so forth. Make sense ORCHID?

ORCHID
(To TIGER but thinking)
Yes, I guess that makes sense, but how do we get the power to enforce our given rules?
TIGER
You must convince people to support and vote for your candidates using whatever assets and persuasive arguments you can muster. You must obtain a decisive turnout for your party in elections no matter what. Only a majority of votes is necessary for victory. You must conserve resources and avoid overkill on any segment of your struggle.
ORCHID
Do we have to tell the truth, or can we use propaganda and half-truths like the opposition does? We gotta counter the greased plasticity…
(Audience sees explanatory
banner pop up in the LODGE by
one of her group.)
                                                        
…or excesses we coined from the terms greedy capitalists and defeat the right wingnuts! We must win or go to the streets and settle things there! I need a drink. Actually, I need a fix.

TIGER
(Emphatic but not emotional)     
Politics is based almost entirely on persuasion and the stark truth is not necessary for most positive effects. People are easily persuaded and influenced by demagoguery and will believe just about anything if there is something in those promises for them. Half-truths are acceptable as they are actually blatant lies by omission but remain strictly as fully acceptable “truths” in politics. Few people demand pure truth as their decisions are lightly made upon fleeting impressions, heavy peer pressure and random hearsay. Most people are directly controlled by demagoguery. The evidence for this statement is that a multitude of liars, and worse, have been widely elected over several centuries to high office because they told their constituents, or victims, what they wanted to hear and made promises to that effect. People are more like sheep than thinking beings. If there is a group of people and some new subject is raised that requires a vote from the group then many will suddenly form groups and take a firm and emotional position on some subject that they know nothing about. In ordinary circumstances people would not rise to their feet and instruct, say, football players on how to throw the ball or rocket scientists on how to configure the wings of their rockets. But, in the political arena many people are empowered with some strange deportment for which they have no basis. They then tend to take a stubborn stand based on nothing they can identify or explain.
(TIGER with emphasis pointing
upward again as the Greeks
used to do.)
Thus political power is in the art and delivery of the promise--not the fulfillment of the promise.

ORCHID
(Pensive for a moment)
Okay TIGER, we will think about this. Thanks as always.
(Lights on ORCHID and SATEEN) she
returns to her board Spot and silently
discusses what she has learned from TIGER
with SATEEN with animation and
enthusiasm and some hand gestures.
The others crowd around her and they
appear to be interested and approve
of what she is saying.)


(BLACKOUT)
(END OF SCENE)

                       
                                             
ACT I
Scene II

SETTING:                At the place called ALIZARIN on the right side of the chess board now dimly illuminated. HOTEL in darkness)
AT RISE:                The first light shines on AMAZON WRINGER on e1. He checks some cell phone messages and beckons to DALLAS who comes from her square on g1 and approaches Amazon in faint light.
AMAZON
(Addressing the audience directly)
I am the character AMAZON WRINGER, which originates from the perpetual and wispy leftist apparition of a Nazi War Monger. I have strong leadership skills and tend to dominate any group that I am associated with. I, along with my dedicated crew, am dedicated to destroying the left-liberal menace in this world. Most of my tenets derive from my religious views or from Austrian economics, my university major. We are a tight group and entirely dedicated to the cause and to each other. We have a marvelous and profitable existence where we trust and love each other as a family. We face a political war with the left very soon and I must guide and counsel my troops and dear friends.
AMAZON
(Turning to DALLAS whose
light just turned on)
DALLAS, we have a political rally that has just been scheduled in front of the courthouse for tomorrow where the candidates will make statements to the press at noon. We need all the troops there for the event. Make that happen.
                              
DALLAS
(Giving the thumbs up to
AMAZON and turns to face
the audience)
I am DALLAS IRENE DODDS and play the satire-directed role of the Diseased Landlord, for which my persona fits rather nicely. I am strictly business in nature and cannot put up with any trivia or nonsense. I own several run-down tenements that I rent to people of little substance or morality. I have a short fuse and a sharp knife in my portfolio. I am legal and mostly fair with my tenants and can tolerate many things except for drugs, slow rent payments and noise.

DALLAS
(To all others whose lights now turn on)
Sounds great! I will alert the crew.
(DALLAS moves to talk to the
others who cluster around her
in rapt attention while AMAZON
checks some more phone messages
while the others gather at f2 f3
g2 g3 and h2 h3. They are excited
and are immersed in conversation
and excitement. RIPLEY and
GRESHAM converse in an animated
conversation with lots of nodding
and back-slapping and the others
join in the fun.)

GRESHAM
(Strong light on him as he
faces the audience)
I am GRESHAM CESSNA PINCHCOCK a name that has been taken from the anagram check cashing scam person because I run a quickie auto loan and paycheck cashing business in the questionable sections of town and tend to run a bit fast and loose with the laws of the state as do my clients. My victims think I am unfair, brutal and worse even though I provide them with needed funds when necessary. I operate just inside the law for major profits.
(Turning and speaking to RIPLEY)
Here is an opportunity to get ahead of the opposition and garner some votes for our candidates. We need to show a strong presence and present a stark contrast to the rabble
                                                         
from the left and their washrag sexuality prophets (Banner pops up) which relate to the noxious, leftist harangue about the need to always support higher taxes.
RIPLEY
(Speaking to the audience in
an expensive red power suit)
I am known as just RIPLEY but my full name is RIPLEY CAMORRA TOWSLEY and I am the character representative of the popular image that people possess of the legal profession as a slimy corporate lawyer. I am at the top of my profession and know that my future depends upon pushing the leftist forces some decades back in time so that capitalism can proceed at full throttle toward higher and higher profits with minimal interference from the courts or statutes. I am a major power at ALIZARIN, the Nazi Lair, of course, when anagrammed, as according to my host of dedicated political enemies, and I am so proud to be so. I am here to rip the lefties a new set of sphincters.

RIPLEY
(Replying now and facing GRESHAM)
I have spoken honestly as a lawyer might and should! We need to match them in the streets and prevail! The group is ready, trained and eager to enter the lists like knights of old! This is a noble mission. Onward with our mission!
(VELAMINA and RHONDA join in with
cheer while lights shine on
VELAMINA and RHONDA and RIPLEY
approaches. VELAMINA and RHONDA
address the audience. They all hug and
cheer. )
  
VELAMINA
(Lights on VELAMINA and RHONDA)
Hello, I am VELAMINA TEGMEN and my friend here is RHONDA TRAPPIST WIGGING.
(RHONDA smiles and pats VELAMINA
on the shoulder with glee.)
We represent evil management and the all-important right wing propaganda elements in this play. I am a top-level executive and RHONDA is my prime propaganda resource when slogans and other nonsense utterings are needed to persuade the left wing or their victims to comply with the laws or rules of society. We are a team dedicated to intimidating the drooling left whenever possible. We are two tough ladies. We are the heart and soul of our wonderful community.

VELAMINA
(Showing supreme confidence
with arms up in a victory salute)
I have the plan rehearsed so we can show a strong gesture at the opposition. We are set. Victory is but for the taking.
RHONDA
(To all at ALIZARIN. holding a
Poster: Dump Rapped Stagflation)
I had banners printed up so we can confront our enemies and blunt or neutralize their rapped stagflation, known in our lingo as leftist propaganda. But we must show a strong front and ignore any quips or abuse from the rabid left. We need to be stoic and business-like and present a positive and largely superior image to their copper mania dogma or translated as commie propaganda in anagram terms. I have several banners ready so remain confident and expect we will be loyal to each other and succeed in lofty glory today.
RIPLEY
(RIPLEY joins VELAMINA and RHONDA,
 Lights on all three)
Yes, let us ignore them at the rally and not react to any insults or rubbish tossed up from the gutters as is their nasty habit. We need to be calm and treat them merely as pedestrian-level bedfast nightingales, or head banging leftists, if you will, and, as if they are recovering from after a night-long serious debauch with more drugs than they can usually tolerate. We do not need any attention from the press or police that we are not prepared for.
 Keep your eyes on our candidates and force grand smiles, much waving and fake some slobbering infantile adoration. Watch out what you say and avoid eye contract to avoid infection. We need to be calm, polite and disciplined.


(B          (BLACKOUT)
          
              (END OF SCENE)        
Act I
Scene III

SETTING                     
(All players have gathered on their respective sides in a set of 12 squares just in front of the checkerboard. Lights turn on to illuminate the entire line. The players gather with slogan boards, shouting and howling. Both sides exalt their candidates, who are never mentioned by name or appear in the play. HUTCH and RIPLEY are close together as the scene starts as they are on the ends of both lines thus side by side.
AT RISE                      Noisy protests and banner brandishing by both groups for a minute. Silence in the lines but only HUTCH and RIPLEY can speak.
Other players mouth their words silently as they continue their comments and sudden despair on
what is now happening.

HUTCH
(Lights on entire line. Suddenly
HUTCH loses control and speaks to RIPLEY.)
Hi, RIPLEY my name is HUTCH and I am here for the rally.
(Now red lights on HUTCH and
RIPLEY and dim for the other players.
He looks to his left and stares at RIPLEY and she notices. He pauses and then slowly pushes his hands sideways for a moment and then full contactwith RIPLEY’s hand. Both relax and accept this while all other players are shocked by this outrage and point and jabber silently. The two stare at each other.)

  
RIPLEY
(Stutters and looks around
 and speaks to HUTCH)
I am known as RIPLEY and am here for the rally too.
(The other players on both
sides are cognizant of what
is happening and now begin
to scowl and make faces and
point fingers at the pair
but remain silent
as their mouths voice
silent screams and protests
as they are furious. HUTCH
and RIPLEY stare at each
other as if they both
recognized a former
acquaintance from long ago
but could not remember any
names.)

HUTCH
(To RIPLEY)
I guess we are on opposite sides. I have never seen you here. I am a lawyer…..
RIPLEY
(Shocked at first then
 Puzzled and then interested)
Interesting! So am I. I am in private practice. What about you?

HUTCH
I am a lawyer for the socially marginalized. I work for justice, pro bono mostly.
RIPLEY
I am a corporate lawyer so I guess we really are on opposite sides of many issues. I work for profits and lower taxes.


                                           
(They both fall silent and the
lights illuminate all the other
players who are suddenly very
interested that one of their
associates is talking to the
enemy. HUTCH and RIPLEY look
into each other’s eyes and
their faces show sudden warmth
and joy and longing. Lights
on the pair now turn to pink
and lights dim on all other
players. Their fingertips
move into a solid handhold
and then the second hand from
each joins in and then some head
waving by both as if they are in
a trance. The rest of the players are
stunned by this performance.)
(BLACKOUT)
(END OF SCENE)


                                            
ACT II
Scene I

SETTING                               Same as previous scene
AT RISE:                              Lights off on HUTCH and RIPLEY and lights turn on briefly
                                             on all other players in the lines.       
          
DIMPLE
(White lights on DIMPLE,
pink lights on RIPLEY
and HUTCH as they look
dreamingly at each other.
Dimple addresses the
players and audience.)
I am DIMPLE PUGGAREE and represent the low-life criminal element in this city. I have mostly avoided jail on numerous occasions for small-time crimes and am the enforcer for my friends at the Triad when I am sober and sometimes when I am not. My name appropriately derives from the terms lead pipe mugger, which describes my mentality and history. I am outraged by what I just saw.
(He clenches his fist
in rage. Strong orange
light on DIMPLE)
There is some collusion, or worse, between one of ours and the enemy.
(DIMPLE points to the
pair and all players
except HUTCH and RIPLEY
notice this and stare)
Somebody needs to have their butt hammered and that might mean those two people standing there in a silly trance.
(Throwing up his hands
in a rage with a bright
white light replacing the
orange DIMPLE falls silent)

                                      
BAXTER
(Hands rose up
in alarm and despair.
White light on BAXTER
as he addresses the
audience)
What is going on there? I am a normal guy who likes books with the name of BAXTER BUFFO STOLL which means ballot box stuffer as I forge absentee ballots on the side and vote for the dear departed on occasion, as is their right to do so. We cannot discriminate against other if they have merely passed on. I am usually calm but I just saw something so horrendous and disgusting that I must act.
(Orange light on BAXTER.
He turns to the audience
with arms outstretched in
outrage he shrieks: He
touched her! What is this?
And she touched him back!
What the hell! Both lines
are now upset and waving
their arms about and nosily
jabbering to each other. There
is chaos and HUTCH and RIPLEY
are now aware of what they
have done.)

SATEEN
(Pointing at HUTCH directly)
What is HUTCH doing? He is mad! Get some Clorox so we can disinfect him. He consorts with the enemy. He may now be infected.

                                                                        VELAMINA
(Loudly and waving her
arms and holding her
head in despair.)
We are losing control here! Somebody shake RIPLEY and get her free of this contagion and out of here.
(VELAMINA not so gently
 pulls RIPLEY away to
 safety and physically breaks the
 hand holding. DIMPLE does
 the same for HUTCH and
 takes HUTCH’s place in
 line to seal off the end
 of his line. He stands
there defensively with
arms defiantly folded
protecting his flank.)

RHONDA
(Pointing at RIPLEY. She must
be mesmerized! Is he a warlock,
or worse? Both groups ‘rescue’
their respective members
by vigorously pulling them away
from the boundary and guide them
back to their home squares. The rally
ends abruptly in chaos. Players return
to their Squares in disarray.)

DIMPLE 
(Back on his square
now standing beside HUTCH.
Orange light on DIMPLE
and white on HUTCH)
That was disgusting HUTCH! Have you lost your mind? She needs to be burned at the stake and you stare at her like she is a gift puppy with a new blanket.
(Light dims on DIMPLE)

HUTCH
(Pink light on HUTCH)
Sorry, I was distracted for a moment. It will not happen again. I dunno what happened. I lost control. Something came over me and I cannot remember the details. I must be sick.

RHONDA
(Standing beside RIPLEY
on the other side with
arms folded and legs
far apart.)
What are you doing here? What happened? He is just another head banger and chum chucker from the streets. How could you even acknowledge he exists let alone let him touch you?
(There is confusion, much
talking and hand-waving
and anxiety in both ranks
as the lights flicker up
and down with emphasis
and then dim for the
next scene. Rescue therapy
for the misbegotten on
both sides now begin. All
players head for their squares and
lights on the speakers.)

BLACKOUT:

                                                       
Act II
Scene II

SCENE:                            All players back on home squares.
AT RISE:                          Lights on at ALIZRIN. LODGE lights dim.  

GRESHAM
(Speaking to his group
in forbidding body language
and form with a strong
blue light illuminating him) 
We need to solve this problem fast and put up some high wall between the two love birds right now! This is an invasion of our space.
(AMAZON, DALLAS and the rest
          agree strongly and nod
approvingly)
GRESHAM
We must set up some rules so we can insulate RIPLEY from this contagion. 
(The others agree)
I will call the hooker ORCHID DETAIN and try to set up some meeting with a representative of those freaks with the firearms novelist disease or their constant harping on their sordid dreams of Stalinism forever. We have to stop this hooey. I will offer to meet with another of their group and resolve this mess. This has to stop now!
(Lights on GRESHAM and ORCHID.
GRESHAM calls ORCHID four
times before she will answer
the cell phone and listen to him
after hanging up three times.)

GRESHAM
(Emphatic in a begging tone
on the phone. Silently he offers
a truce and to meet.)
                         
ORCHID
(To her group: Lights on at TRIAD
and very dim at Alizarin)
I think we have a major problem here as that ‘interaction’ today between our groups is corrupting both sides. We need to set up a plan where these two cannot even see each other or one of both of our groups will fail in our missions as disgusting that is to say for your side and mine. We could all be infected by your HUTCH’s rash and unpredictable antics. This is the fault of your group but I offer a truce here. I think I can bring myself to negotiate something here for all our benefits. I offer to meet with a person of your choice.
(Angry at the outcome of the day)
This is not of our doing GRESHAM or whoever you are. We didn’t set this up. It just sort of happened. You should restrain your emotions and those of your cronies. I don’t know what happened but it did and I am sorry. And my sister just died and I was not with her.

GRESHAM
Okay, okay—let’s find a solution. Sorry about your sister. I agree with the restraint cliché, so we need to come up with some meeting just between, say, just two of us and one from each side, to come to some agreement about where we go from here. What about that?

ORCHID
That sounds good, I guess, but I think you should meet with our PIPER as she, lone among us, probably knows how to settle this. I will set up a meeting between you and PIPER if that works for you. If not, forget it. I don’t trust you at all.

GRESHAM
Okay, that sounds fairly good. I don’t know her so that makes the playing field level or so. I can speak for our group. But, we will not meet at the DUTCH TRIAD LODGE, our version of a leftist rat hole. We need some place to talk that is neutral. Fix this now or it will get out of hand.

ORCHID
And the public eating places are out too. How about the library for a neutral place?

GRESHAM
Fine, in the old, unused reference room in the back upstairs is a place where we can talk or shout without interruption.
(The directions refer to a
table center stage in front
of the squares with two chairs.)

ORCHID
Okay, tomorrow at 10:00 AM and be alone. I loathe believing I can trust you on this but I will give you just one chance.

 BLACKOUT:
                                                     
Act II
Scene III

SETTING:                At the library reference room, which is at a small table in front of the chessboard halfway between the two groups. The two will face the audience. Lights are on only at the table.
AT RISE:                GRESHAM and PIPER step out of their respective home boxes, cross over to center stage and sit across from each other in two chairs at a table, stage center, facing the audience. 
PIPER is dressed casually in a trendy caftan with a turban and beads and long dangling ear rings. GRESHAM is dressed in a Polo shirt and denims with a pair of Bruno Mali shoes.
PIPER
(She stares at him like
 he is a snake.)
Hi, I am PIPER and have, reluctantly, agreed to meet with you as we have major problems in both our groups. I do not like this encounter stuff. You better make this quick as I cannot stand you.

GRESHAM:
Hi, call me GRESHAM and I am here on neutral ground as we agreed. This is a nice quiet place to meet where we might make some progress. What is your plan, if any?
(GRESHAM inspects her clothing
 and beads with interest and awe.)

                                                                       PIPER
My plan is to isolate HUTCH from recovered vintages as we denote your offensive conservative greed promise that RIPLEY and his greased plasticity types may not even gaze upon our wonderful HUTCH.
(Banner pops up showing anagram
Explanation.)
HUTCH is too sensitive for your group and their tactics. In a better world we would not have to do this. We might have to put a bag over his head and tie his hands in public lest we see another barbarity such as this current outrage materialize. And as for the rest of your swirling radiogenic toothpicks, who are known in our poetic language as crooked right wing politicians like you and the others, must stay away. For this to happen we need a solemn promise.

GRESHAM
Thanx for using precise but offensive political terms where we can all understand exactly what you are thinking,
(Now pointing to the audience
               with a smirk)
and perhaps even the audience can get in if they are working their programs smartly. I would have thought that HUTCH’s notions and obviously soggy penchant for stale, paranoid pagan stilts or crude Stalinist propaganda would have rebuffed anything RIPLEY would have seen or heard from this guy. I do not think they had ever met. There is nothing there for RIPLEY. The mutual interest between the two is not amusing or practical here for either of our two causes. They have zero in common as we can both state. We must end this for the most important of political reasons. Love is out in this arena.

PIPER:
I may be able to convince HUTCH to agree to this—I think—but he seems to be mesmerized by your slick mouthpiece RIPLEY, but since they are both lawyers they might accept some informal contract that would be binding on both parties. But, I fear this problem is too deep for us without advice. I would like to consult an expert on this matter if you don’t mind.

GRESHAM
And just what is the central issue here? Do you really think that this is ‘love at first sight’ or some other phony cliché operating here? They were both struck stark-raving dumb in less than 10 seconds as I was a witness nearby to this ugly fact. Their neurons appeared to be simultaneously addled in concert by some obscene external force. If this is love it is strange, alien and probably infectious.

PIPER
Well, disgusting as it seems it may be love, but I may need to talk to ‘someone’(TIGER’s light blinks twice) in private right now and get my mind straight on what is happening here.

GRESHAM
Yes, I feel the need for a consultation as well. I will also meet with someone, but we cannot be there together. Agreed? Then we might have some ideas as we need some common Apollo’s refrain or from this neutral pillar of reason.

PIPER
Agreed.
(Her arms are folded as
she curiously inspects her
opponent. She looks away
suddenly. GRESHAM stares
at her with interest. In
this scene the problems
above are compounded since
now PIPER and GRESHAM are
falling in love. They both
nod and remain still for
a moment then their eyes
meet and they stare
intently into each other’s
eyes for several seconds.
Both become nervous and
then begin to talk.)

PIPER
(Pink lights on both)
I think this meeting was well made but something just happened to me as I was thinking about the problems. I do not know what is happening. I have never met anybody like you. I feel calm and comfortable here with you and I should not. You are the enemy and are merely despicable cigarette displays as we say for the always greedy capitalists.

GRESHAM
(Stammering and excited)
I was thinking about you also—and cannot understand why-- as my mind drifted away from the central issue here.
(He falls silent and
slowly inspects his adversary.)
Your outfit is alluring and gives you a wondrous sense of stature and wisdom at this table. I am so at ease and content at this time. I don’t know what happened but I seem to have known you for decades. Everything is perfect now in its perfect place. We can solve this problem together if we cooperate but our relationship has undoubtedly changed permanently and probably for the worst for our causes. We risk much.
(Red lights on the pair.
Their hands meet at the center
of the table and they stare
into each other’s eyes for
a long time. Then, they
break with a knowing nod
and broad smiles by both
parties and head back to
                        their squares.)

(All players back on squares in dim
 light while TIGER’s light is on
 and strong.)

                                                      
Act II
Scene IV

AT RISE:                          PIPER and GRESHAM’S lights turn on.

SETTING:                          PIPER and GRESHAM both enter their squares and get next to TIGER on opposite sides although they cannot see each other and TIGER can only talk to them independently and confidentially. Lights on all three.)
PIPER
TIGER! I have a question for you.

TIGER
PIPER! Nice to see you as always. Be comfortable and let me help you if I can.

PIPER
We have a major problem with two members of our groups as they have apparently been smitten with the love bug or worse and are acting strangely. Their actions are peculiar and now I just met with my enemy counterpart on the other side to settle this and break up the pair and I have suddenly been seduced or something like that by GRESHAM, my long-term enemy. So, I do not know what is happening.

TIGER
I see. Now, as I understand this it is not a political problem but one of potential love and respect—two elements seemingly to be unexpected in this pairing—is that right?
                                                        
PIPER
Yes, now four of us are straying from our political objectives and it seems to feel too good to me if we do so. We are essentially deserters to our causes.

TIGER
Okay, we have two parallel processes running simultaneously here. We have political vectors pointing in opposite directions while there is an obvious sexual attraction between, now four of you, in two pairs? Is that correct?

PIPER
Yes, but what the hell does that mean?

TIGER
It means that your political deeds and aspirations may be running normally and your affection for another, even one of the opposition, may be natural and running soothingly as well. That concludes me to think that there may not be anything we could consider as wrong here. All systems appear to be go now.

PIPER
But, we need to break up these pairs for political reasons! We cannot operate like this with staff members all stumbling around like zombies with goofy smiles on their faces.

TIGER
Then do so by all means. All four of you are in full control of your faculties as it appears so deals can be made. Convince RIPLEY and HUTCH to see the common ground here and think about using the same arguments and proposals to solve the problem between you and GRESHAM. You must prioritize the various elements of your groups and individuals. That process might force the dissolution of one or more pairs.

PIPER
Okay, I will speak to HUTCH about this. Thanx for hearing me and I may be back soon. 
(Lights off on PIPER)
                                             
TIGER
Always a pleasure to speak with you PIPER. Have a nice day.
(GRESHAM standing on the other
side now gets a light and
speaks to TIGER)

GRESHAM
I need to speak to you about a complicated matter of politics and love.

TIGER 
Go ahead—I am always at your disposal.
(GRESHAM explains his half
 of the problem silently with
 emotional signs. TIGER nods.)
  
TIGER
I see your problem and have heard the other side of this story just now from PIPER. I would not normally tell you what another said except that in this case both of you have the same problem and interest in seeing some reasonable resolution to it. You are also in some mutual emotional struggle at this time. As such, it is best that I tell you what I said to PIPER to be fair to both of you. I told her that things may be perfectly normal in all ways including the love affairs and if a solution is to be had then both of you and the other pair as well must meet separately to resolve this. There is no way one of you can affect a solution to the problem of two or of four people without different views and without serious conflicts. You all must cooperate and express support for this problem to end. The solution will happen when you prioritize your differences between love and politics.

(Lights off on TIGER. Lights on
     both sides as GRESHAM and
     PIPER attempt to tell the others
     about the current happenings
with gestures and emotion)

ORCHID
(Glaring at both PIPER
 and HUTCH)
I cannot believe my ears here. What is happening here? Are you all mad?

DIMPLE
(In a rage with orange
light on him)
Yes, this looks like some conspiracy here and I am the first to suggest we beat it out of HUTCH and PIPER until it makes sense to somebody.  We can fix this here and now.
(SATEEN gently pulls him back.)

SATEEN
I cannot believe that we have sunk to such a low position when we all agreed to join the team and attack our enemies and other cigarette displays!

DIMPLE
              HUTCH, at the expense of some of your blood being splattered around here why not tell us what is happening and PIPER you get in here too and translate all this for us simple folk. HUTCH, you start off!
(DIMPLE confronts the other two
 with menacing stance and points
 a finger at the one who must
 start off with explanations.)

HUTCH
I don’t know what to say to you DIMPLE other than I must have lost my mind at the political rally when I looked at RIPLEY for a time. I lost control of all space and time and can only think of her now as she means more to me than our political project now and I don’t know how to reverse this. I know it is wrong and needs to be fixed but don’t know how. I am sick in some way.

PIPER
I feel exactly like HUTCH as if I have some sudden disease or have lost my mind, but this problem needs to be fixed soon or our political organization will fall apart and that commands a higher priority than mere physical attraction to the enemy. I think HUTCH and I need to speak with our recent paramours and reach some kind of a deal where we can stay away from each of our newest problems and support the politics we hold so dear.

HUTCH
I agree so I will contact RIPLEY and find some common ground where we can break this thing off and get back to our senses.
(DIMPLE puts his hands up in
disgust and resignation.
Orange light off him)

Baxter
This sounds okay by me. I will escort HUTCH as he talks to that witch.  HUTCH, you come with me!

HUTCH
Okay, but I will talk to RIPLEY alone as I owe her that much.


BLACKOUT
                                                      
Act II
Scene V

SETTING:                    All players on home squares.
ON RISE:                    Lights on HUTCH and RIPLEY. All others dim.
HUTCH
 (HUTCH calls RIPLEY on the phone
 and they agree to meet for a talk.
 RIPLEY and HUTCH both head for
 the table stage center to talk
 this out. They sit and stare into
 each other’s eyes for a long
 moment and then HUTCH breaks
                         the silence with a comment.
 Speaks to RIPLEY)
I have no clue what happened the other day other than it was real for me and I don’t want to lose you and I also don’t want to ruin my life in politics. I feel the need to fix this in some way but do not know what to do. I want you and my politics to assimilate. What do you think?

RIPLEY
This is real for me too and I don’t want to lose what we have together any more than you do.  Maybe we can set up an informal legal contract not to see each other for a while and let this mess fade away.  I have no other suggestions. 
(She stands up from her seat,
approaches HUTCH and gives
him a warm and lengthy kiss.
They embrace, then she
sits back down.)

HUTCH
That may be a solution for both of us, but will the others buy it? We would have to end it at least to the point where the others truly believe we are agreeing to part forever.  We can fake that for a while.

RIPLEY
HUTCH, my darling, I can agree to that and this must be convincing to my fellow politicos if we are to have a chance to make this work. I will go tell the others this is ended and maybe we can meet secretly soon. I just cannot leave you.

HUTCH
That is one way, but I cannot bear to lose you either. Why don’t we pretend to cut this off, announce our decision, and then meet secretly? My love for you is stronger than the comradery of my political group.

RIPLEY
This is great idea for us, but it means deceiving our friends so are you ready to lie about this and save what we have together??

HUTCH
Yes I am ready to lie for our sakes as that sounds like the only solution to this mess. I know a place where we can sneak away from our political duties and meet.

RIPLEY
This is the only viable solution so let me know where and when we can meet and the signals we can use without alerting the others.
HUTCH
(HUTCH approaches RIPLEY and kisses her and whispers into her ear the signals and rendezvous place, That place sounds great to me. I will report our solemn agreement to my people. Bye RIPLEY!

(HUTCH and RIPLEY go back to
their squares with all players
lighted while the others
are waiting for an explanation
of what is to happen next
HUTCH is approached by the
group led by DIMPLE and he
prepares to tell what
has happened.)

DIMPLE
[Angry] Okay, HUTCH let us have it.

HUTCH
RIPLEY and I have agreed to call it quits as it makes no sense to either of us in terms of our careers or anything else. This is over.

DIMPLE
(Not convinced by this
simple solution. Orange light turns
on DIMPLE.)
Really? Okay, then let us hear from the other damaged case,…(snarls)… PIPER, get over here and tell us what you and your significant other intend to do now.

PIPER
I will have to meet with GRESHAM and see if we can work out a similar arrangement. I will promise nothing now until I speak with him.

DIMPLE
(Waving his arms in despair
 and disbelief)
I don’t believe much of this so why don’t you call this guy and meet now and settle this matter and try to convince us this mess is fixed. We have work to do. A few folks here are cruising for a swollen outcome.
(Orange light on DIMPLR turns white)
BAXTER
We need to do something. I will make the call and set this up.
(The call is made to GRESHAM
and he agrees with all the others
listening to the speaker phone.
GRESHAM and PIPER then head
for the same table alone.)

GRESHAM
(To PIPER)
I guess you heard what is happening.
PIPER
I heard but it is sad. Can we do the same thing and just forget about our romantic encounters?

GRESHAM
(To PIPER)
Let me think on this and talk to RIPLEY. I wonder if we know the whole truth at this juncture.
(GRESHAM heads over to RIPLEY
 as she is putting a white rose
 in a tall vase. The rose then
 magically turns pink.)
  
GRESHAM:
(To RIPLEY as they converse aside)
Can we talk?

RIPLEY
Sure GRESHAM. What is on your mind?

GRESHAM
I understand that you and HUTCH have broken off your love affair. Is that true?

                                                                        RIPLEY
That is true, sadly.
(She looks away into space as
she adjusts the now bright red rose.)

GRESHAM
Just like that? It is gone!

RIPLEY
I do not want to talk about this at this time.
(She ignores him and
adjusts the rose some more.)

GRESHAM
Okay, bye. 
(He phones PIPER who is
busy with some political signs.)

                                                
PIPER
Hello GRESHAM, I cannot talk now. Be brief.

GRESHAM
 Okay, meet me at the table as soon as possible.
(Both find excuses to leave
 after talking to their friends
 and they head to the table)


BLACKOUT
         
                                                      
ACT III
SCENE I

SCENE:                            At the table. In addition there is a stone wall near the table to the left of the checkerboard.

AT RISE:                          Lights on only GRESHAM and RIPLEY seated at table. Lights dim everywhere else.                    

GRESHAM
(GRESHAM and PIPER talk
 alone at the table.)
Okay, I spoke with RIPLEY and she was terse and irritated with me. I can hardly believe that they broke this off like a rotten twig.

PIPER
If so, then they must be continuing on with their affair or otherwise why not just accept this? Maybe this is a ruse?

GRESHAM
Okay, I agree with this logic. There must be more to this. But, we have our own problems.
PIPER
I agree and I do not want to just give you up! 
(Both race to embrace in
                          a romantic kiss.)

GRESHAM
I know a secret place where we can meet from time to time and we can just tell the others we are working on a solution and buy some precious time.
 (GRESHAM points to the
  stone wall, stage left,
  and both look behind the
  wall and nod in agreement.)

 (Both start to undress and
 disappear behind the prop
 as the prop turns around 180
 degrees so the audience can see
 what is happening as they
 undress and then the prop turns
 back concealing them at their play.)

RIPLEY
 (RIPLEY, back on her square,
 whispers something to the rose
 and HUTCH can mysteriously sense
 the event after he gets a phone alert.
 This is the signal to meet!
 Then both RIPLEY and HUTCH
 sneak out and go to the table.
 There they talk as the wall
 is turned back to conceal
 the other pair from the audience.)
I know a secret place where we can meet and exchange our love in action and it is close by.

HUTCH
Where?

RIPLEY
Just behind that stone wall! There is an alcove there. And, if we hurry then we can get back before anyone misses us.
HUTCH
Let’s go!!
(They head behind the wall
and suddenly encounter
GRESHAM and PIPER partially
dressed as the wall turns
so the audience can see
all four.)

RIPLEY
What is this? You two were supposed to call it quits and now this!

                                                       
GRESHAM
We just could not do it. We love each other and that is all that matters. And bye the bye, what are you two doing here in the bushes and out of sight?

PIPER
We had the same idea you guys had. We cannot give up each other in any way. This is true love and permanent!

RIPLEY
Well, this is a real mess and I was so horny too! Is there another wall nearby?

GRESHAM
WELL, there is no room for two pairs of lovers here. What shall we do? Take turns? (Throws up hands in despair)

PIPER
DIMPLE better not find out about this subterfuge. He will beat us all. We are finished here so we can leave you two love birds and we can get back and try to cover for all of us.

GRESHAM:
Yes, let us get back and try to think this out.
(RHONDA casually walks by
 and sees all of this from
 a distance. GRESHAM and PIPER
 leave and the other pair
 start undressing and the wall
 again turns to conceal their
 existence here. RHONDA walks
 by and sees all this and goes
 back to her square to ponder this.)



BALCKOUT
                           
Act III
Scene II

SETTING:                     At Alizarin lights go back only there. The LODGE is dim.
AT RISE:                     Amazon addresses the group illuminated by a blue light. Others HAVE white lights.
Amazon
Where are RIPLEY and GRESHAM? We just got an urgent message about the polls and we need to double our efforts to support out candidate.
RHONDA
They both left after RIPLEY was working on some flower arrangement.

VELAMINA
It is strange that both disappear at about the same time? Are they doing something together? I do not see RIPLEY and GRESHAM as a pair of love birds for some reason. I have a lot of assignments to hand out and we are understaffed. We have to get the group organized.
(GRESHAM enters and begins
 to be very interested in his
 work but inspects the rose.)

DALLAS
Where have you been GRESHAM? We are loaded with work. The polls clearly indicate that of our two candidates that one is going to lose so we need to do some damage control and put some juicy spin on the accusations that beset our candidate.

GRESHAM
I just went out for a stroll as the work load around here is menacing.

VELAMINA
(To GRESHAM) Did you see RIPLEY?
  
GRESHAM
(Looking down at the floor and
trying not to telegraph
his lie. His light turns
red for a few seconds.)
No, not lately.

(RIPLEY comes sauntering by)

RIPLEY
Hi all, just went out for a while to do some errands.
What is happening?
(AMAZON and the rest of the
 Group huddle for situation report.)

AMAZON
(Addressing the group
and waving his arms.)
We are experiencing a horrible situation here as one of our candidates put his foot in his mouth, and elsewhere, as well and may lose the election! This is the moment we dreaded and we need to concentrate forces. All hands on deck for a massive effort.
(lights go off at Alizarin
 and on at the Dutch Triad
 Lodge. Lights on both SATEEN
 and ORCHID meet and start
 asking questions.)

SATEEN
We are missing two people and we have good news about the opposition. One of their candidates screwed the dog or worse. So, we need a push for victory here.

ORCHID
 Yes, and just where are HUTCH and PIPER?
(PIPER enters the stage
and the group crowds around.)

PIPER
You rang?

SATEEN
We missed you. But the good news is that one of their candidates is in political trouble so we can dump on his case and we think we may have knocked one out of the box!

PIPER
Sounds great.
SATEEN
Where is HUTCH?
PIPER
Didn’t see him.  I was out getting a prescription.
(HUTCH enters and DIMPLE gets
 close to him and eyes him
 suspiciously.)

ORCHID:
Hello HUTCH. Where have you been?
HUTCH
Just went out for a walk. What is the problem?

ORCHID
The other side stumbled so we have the advantage now if we press it fully. We are going to set up a work schedule now where we will work in shifts and stay here and sleep on mattresses and eat hot dogs and drink light beer if necessary. We must seize this opportunity and crush the opposition. Go easy on the drugs!
(Lights go on back at Alizarin
 and off at the Dutch Triad Lodge.)

AMAZON
We need to get going and salvage something from this mess. I am working on some press releases and we need to protest the opposition.
(RHONDA approaches AMAZON
 and whispers something
 in his ear.)
Are you positive?
RHONDA
Positive. I saw RIPLEY consorting with HUTCH this afternoon when I went out for sodas.

AMAZON
Are you really, really positive?
                                              
RHONDA
Positive!
(Amazon calls for RIPLEY)
RIPLEY
Yes?

AMAZON
RHONDA saw you today. Where did you go?

RIPLEY
I was doing some personal things.

RHONDA
More like intimate things from what I saw. Your clothes were mostly off and you were with your love partner from the enemy camp.

AMAZON
With that guy HUTCH?
RIPLEY
(Stammering and sheepish)
Well, we have not worked all the details out as yet. We need time.

RHONDA
(Condescending and orange
 light on RHONDA Briefly)
More intimate encounters can solve this problem? Why don’t we all just screw each other in turn or by lot until we get a solution that works for all of us?

Dallas
(Blue light on DALLAS as he
crosses his arms and gives
a stern delivery.)
You have to make a firm choice here as this cannot continue. You need to sort out your priorities and be honest with us. You have disgraced us and yourself and may have supported the enemy.

BLACKOUT

                                            
ACT III
Scene III

SCENE:                                Lights on at Alizarin squares, no lights at Triad Hotel. 
AT RISE:                              RIPLEY is next to TIGER with lights only on the pair. They converse privately.

RIPLEY
TIGER, I need advice. I have fallen desperately in love and lied to my friends and colleagues and sneaked out during the day for sex behind that old wall. I am so ashamed and scared.

TIGER
RIPLEY. Nice to see you as always. What can I do for you in this interesting case?
RIPLEY
I have disgraced myself in front of my friends with my love affair and do not know what to do or say.

TIGER
(First adjusting a small white rose
on his desk)
My dear, this is a matter of the heart and not politics. Here, there are no firm rules as in the political arena and what your heart tells you is what you should do. As for your relationship with your friends, you must just tell them the facts as they are since evading their questions will not sustain your relationships with them.

RIPLEY
I have no will power as I am in love.

            TIGER
RIPLEY my friend, you cannot sustain two diametrically opposite stances at once as they collide from the outset and can only become progressively worse as time goes on.The functional attributes you have for the political group at Alizarin are now compromised. You must now choose and set priorities and select one path or the other. (He taps the white rose gently.)

RIPLEY
 This option tears my heart out.
(She slinks away in despair
            to her square to brood and cry)

BLACKOUT

                                                          
ACT III
Scene IV

SCENE:                            At Alizarin
AT RISE:                          Lights back on. Right wing players on their home squares. Lights off at Hotel.

RIPLEY
(Speaking to Amazon
and the entire group)
I need to talk to my lover.

AMAZON
Okay, that is probably the best tack now. This has to be fixed.
(Amazon calls HUTCH and
the three meet out in
front of the squares
to talk. AMAZON leaves
and goes back to his square
at Alizarin.)

HUTCH
          (Hurrying over from the HOTEL)
Well, we are in a fix. We have been exposed as liars and traitors and sex addicts and more and we have few options. What do you think we should do?

RIPLEY
Maybe we should choose what path is best for us as individuals and if that means we part then let us do so with dignity but maybe with a small grudge or two. But, we need to talk with PIPER and GRESHAM as they are in this snake pit too. 
(RIPLEY calls PIPER and
PIPER and GRESHAM
join RIPLEY and HUTCH
in front of the squares
at the table)
                                     

RIPLEY
Okay guys we have been ensnared in some gruesome web of our own spinning and in duplicate no less. What can we do now?
  
HUTCH
Maybe we ought to go back to where we were. I was happy then. We cannot seem to make this love alternative work.

PIPER
That is one way but it means giving up our love for each other and settling for the old ways and trade off forbidden love for the thrills and adventure of politics. I was happy too!

GRESHAM
I think that is the best way as I was pleased with my old group opposing those bedfast nightingales and their copper mania dogma. Happiness is happiness and with politics it is probably more soothing and lasting than mere love.

PIPER
Well, that cracks it for me. We were content in working for peace and against warpath digging aprons and more. I want the old ways of happiness. Love is a second-tier emotion.(Weeps in anguish)

HUTCH
I have to agree. This is not working and what is love anyway but a brief escape from our genuine political objectives to crush the left and paranoid pagan stilts. We are on a mission that transcends mere love.
          (HUTCH looks as RIPLEY with
anticipation)
                                                 
RIPLEY
I guess we have the solution then. Let us just forget these days and get back to the happiness and splendor of activist politics where true love is a distant third, at best, or a brief encounter with some interesting people.
                      (RIPLEY holds a red rose tightly
                        in her left hand concealed from
the rest and casts a look at HUTCH.)

(The four all raise hands and shout
for joy and rush back to their
squares and work the phones and papers.
Lights flash on and off and all players
celebrate. The players form two lines in
front of the audience and wave banners
and chant slogans and are happy again.
Lights off and silence among the players
and the final light illuminates TIGER)

TIGER
(TIGER rises to give a grand summary.)
Thus we see that politics is driven by power and we see that the unambiguous power of peer pressure was more than sufficient to alleviate secondary problems like mere love and crude physical attractions. Politics thus triumphs over all and is again seen as the dominate force in our society.
(TIGER folds his arms, sits down
and taps the red rose in his vase that is suddenly illuminated by a bright red light.)

(Lights very dim on all players except the
lovers all have a red rose clutched in their hands with bright red lights on all.
TIGER gives the peace sign under a bright blue light, kisses rose then all lights dim, then all off then curtain down, fini)



THE END

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