Saturday, September 25, 2004

Funny shaped cloud (A short play, but longer than one page)

(Note: This play started out as a grim and depressing post full of grim and depressing links. I thought there was more than enough gloom and doom about so I changed it. The links are still depressing, though, except the WOOT one.)

Dear Leader (DL)
Minister of (Dis)Information (MOI)
MOI's Flunkey (FLUNKEY)
State Electrician (SE)

DL: All right. What's all this blowing up business then? Eh? Who gave you permission?
MOI: Blowing up? Er... (Aside to Flunkey) Did I fart?
FLUNKEY: Er... when?
MOI: I'm not sure to which blowing up you refer, Dear Leader. When?
DL: Yesterday.
MOI: (Aside to Flunkey) Yesterday. Did I fart yesterday? Quick!
FLUNKEY: Well yes, several times actually. It was those Libyan dates, I think.
MOI: Nonsense! You're just jealous because I didn't give you one.
DL: What are you muttering about? I want to know what's behind this mushroom cloud!
MOI: Mushroom cloud?! The dates weren't that bad, were they?
FLUNKEY: Mushroom? (Stomach rumbles)
DL: Well? What was it all about?
MOI: I'll get onto it right away, sir.

DL: (Petulantly) The only person allowed to make mushroom clouds is me, and I didn't push any buttons yesterday. (Mumbles to self) Unless... Hold on... I had to rewire my Game Boy to the emergency system yesterday after that power cut, and... CALL THE GLORIOUS STATE ELECTRICIAN!
FLUNKEY: Yes, sir!

SE: Everything is fine, sir.
DL: Well, of course it is. Your Dear Leader doesn't make mistakes.
SE: Yes sir! No sir! Before I go, sir, do you still want Guam to explode when you turn on your electric nose hair clipper?
DL: Eh?
SE: Er, your electric nose hair clipper is wired to...
SE: Yes, sir. Of course, sir.
DL: Not a bad idea, though. Make it Libya. Those dates were horrible. I didn't think much of the advice, either.

MOI: Has he gone?
FLUNKEY: He's having a bath.
MOI: I can't find any information about a mushroom cloud. What am I going to tell him? How am I supposed to get information when the phones aren't working and nobody answers my email and the power keeps going off?
FLUNKEY: I don't know, sir.
MOI: Why doesn't anyone ever answer my emails, anyway?
FLUNKEY: I don't think one computer is enough, sir. The State needs to buy another one.
MOI: You tell him.
FLUNKEY: Yes, sir. I mean, NO, SIR! I mean, I'd rather not, sir, if you don't mind.

(Both men think)

(Offstage) WOOT!
MOI: (Alarmed) What was that?
DL: (Offstage) BOMB AMERICA! Oh, bugger. My hair!
FLUNKEY: He slipped in the hot tub again, sir.

(Both men sigh)

MOI: Oh, well, I suppose we'll just have to use our usual sources, then.
FLUNKEY: The BBC, you mean? And the wind-up generator?
MOI: Yeah. But we'll need something to keep everyone quiet while we compile our reports.

(Both men think)

FLUNKEY: I know! The hydroelectric dam construction - I bet they have some big explosions!
MOI: Yes! You're a genius! It's the perfect source for a mushroom cloud!
FLUNKEY: I wish you wouldn't keep talking about sauce and mushrooms, sir. I haven't eaten since August.
MOI: (Excited) We'll tell them we were blowing up a mountain looking for truffles and found a big one. Ha ha ha!
FLUNKEY: (Stomach rumbles)

MOI: Bloody hell. It was two miles across!
FLUNKEY: What was, sir?
MOI: The mushroom cloud. From the explosion.
FLUNKEY: (Stomach rumbles) They're not going to believe the dam story, sir.
MOI: They don't, except Russia. They're saying it was probably an accident at a missile base.
FLUNKEY: What missile base, sir?
MOI: The one the Americans say we have.
FLUNKEY: And was it?
MOI: Was it what?
FLUNKEY: An exploding missile base.
MOI: How would I know? The phones are working now, but every time I try to dial out I get some guy who wants to know where to put the toxic chemicals.
FLUNKEY: What flavour are they?
MOI: What?
FLUNKEY: The toxic chemicals.
MOI: Pineapple, I think.
FLUNKEY: Damn. I hate pineapple. (Stomach rumbles)
MOI: What are we going to do now?

(Both men think)

MOI: How about we send some foreign diplomats to see the dam site?
FLUNKEY: Is it safe?
MOI: I don't know. But at least it'll shut them up for a while.

DL: Imperialist running dogs! They don't believe us!
MOI: Russia does, sir.
DL: It's a preposterous smear campaign!
MOI: Yes, sir.
DL: So what are you going to do about it? What was it, anyway?
MOI: What was what, sir?
DL: The explosion.
MOI: It was the dam, sir.
DL: Really?
MOI: I think it must have been, sir.
DL: What do you mean, you 'think'?
MOI: Well, I can't get through, sir.
DL: Did you try email?
MOI: Yes, sir, but, um...
DL: What?
MOI: Nothing, sir. I'll try again.
DL: Postpone the diplomats. Go out there yourself if you need to. Blow up a mountain if they haven't done it already.
MOI: Oh, hell. I mean, of course sir. Er... can I borrow a vehicle?
DL: What's wrong with yours?
MOI: The chain keeps coming off, sir. Also, the last time I went on a trip someone stole my lunch out of the basket.
DL: A foreign spy, no doubt. They're always trying to destabilise our glorious country.
MOI: Yes, sir.
DL: I hope you shot him.
MOI: I didn't need to, sir. He collapsed and died on his own.
DL: Typical puny foreigner!
MOI: Yes, sir. His family wasn't any better. Two teenaged toddlers and a dead baby.
DL: Pathetic! Makes you wonder what they'll stoop to next. Take the jeep.
MOI: Thank you, sir.

MOI: Success, sir! They've seen the site! We told them there were two blasts, not one. Now they're really confused.
DL: Good work, comrade! Well done! Have a date.
MOI: Er, can I take a doggie bag?
DL: I didn't know you had a dog.
MOI: I did, sir, but it went missing yesterday when Flunkey was taking it for a walk.
DL: Those dastardly foreign spies again, eh?
MOI: I have my suspicions, sir.

FLUNKEY: Bloody hell, sir! Have you seen this?
MOI: What?
FLUNKEY: Now they're saying it was just a funny shaped cloud! There was no blast! And we just proved to them that there was! And they say we took them to the wrong place anyway!
MOI: WHAT? Show me that!

(MOI Reads)

FLUNKEY: What are we going to tell the Dear Leader, sir?
MOI: I don't know! Jeez! I can't tell him I blew up that mountain for nothing! What made them think it was a mushroom cloud? Idiots!
FLUNKEY: (Stomach doesn't rumble.) We'll have to distract him, sir. Tell him America is planning to attack.
MOI: Didn't we tell him that last month?
FLUNKEY: Yes, but that's OK. He'll just threaten to blow up Japan again, and who's going to listen anyway? They're all too busy liberating Iraq and having elections.
MOI: Oh, that's right. Of course. What would I do without you? Here, have a date.
FLUNKEY: No, thanks.
MOI: (Glares at Flunkey suspiciously) Have a good dinner last night, eh?
(Offstage) WOOT!
DL: (Offstage) BOMB AMERICA!