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THE ROGUE STATE

by Alfred de Grazia


Copyright © 2001 by Alfred de Grazia


The PLAY BEGINS

1.† Soft music begins following the Processional music that accompanies the seating of the audience.

2. Announcer (Author) dressed in white suit and panama hat appears at left stage under a single light and addresses the audience:

I am the impersonator of the Author of this play, Alfred de Grazia. The play is called in English, THE ROGUE STATE. In the Italian translation of Renato Sabbadini ,it is called Lo Stato Canaglia.

The Cast of Characters is as follows:

Condoleeza Mamm, a top US diplomat

Brighella, a Prime Minister of Italy

Pantaloon, a Prime Minister of Great Britain

Harlequin, a Prime Minister of Spain

A Sinister Man, dressed as a card sharp but with guns bulging from his suit.

Author of Play

A Taliban carrying three buckets

An Orthodox Rabbi

Salvation Army Band, five men in peaked uniform caps and Full Black coats, playing a trumpet, trombone, bass drum, tuba, and piccolo.

Other Costumes:
the three prime ministers wear their flags on their sleeve but otherwise are dressed as their namesakes of the Commedia dellíArte. Brighellaís mask has two TV - shaped eyes. Harlequin Pantaloon leads a small poodle dog on a leash. (A poodle mounted on toy wheels will do nicely.) They speak English with their own national accents.† Condoleeza is a highly educated black woman, whose speech varies from the diplomatic to a jocular low-brow street language. She is dressed as Mr. Bones, the American minstrel interlocutor, in the American flag, with a top hat. She is monumental, physically, dwarfing the three PMís.

The Arab is dressed as a Taliban. The Rabbi is full-bearded and dressed in Orthodox Jewish attire

The three Commedia dellíArte figures have a† passing resemblance to those Prime Ministers of the recent past who joined the American coalition for the invasion of Iraq.† They are meeting here in secret to confirm the deal over Gazastan with the American dealer. All of these characters are fictive cheeky, cynical vulgarians -- in a word, absurd: like so much else about this farce. They are unsmiling as you and I are! This is tough stuff. We give you more than the falsified truth.We give you a dramaturgical frenzy.†

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

SCENE ONE †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Music picks up loudly again.

CURTAIN OPENS

† The place is a card room in the palace of Prince Raindeer of Monte Carlo.† When not standing, the characters are sitting around a gambling table, whose cover is of green felt. Time is fixed not long after Iraq was overrun by the United States andsoon after the surrender of Saddam Hussein personally from his hole in the grtound. We know now that he was growing poisonous mushrooms in the hole, extract of amanita phallaida. Also it is the moment† just before an assault on the nation of Gazastan, an oil-burdened dictatorship of the Middle East.

After a kind of overture of surreal music, the synthesizer or a recording† plays a sweet chorus of ĎAmerica, the Beautiful,í from backstage, signalling the lifting of the curtain. There can then be a walk-in of characters or a full stage. They sit down and begin to play at dice.exclaiming when they throw how many soldiers and helicopters and planes they must send to Gazastan.

Condoleeza leads the Prime Ministers one by one to the side and tells them what they are to get, without the audienceís hearing. Each looks greedy and nervous as she bends the ears of another. When oneís turn comes, he is hidden from the audience by the gigantic frame of Madame Dr. Mamm, and emerges from behind her, ruffled. No one tells the others what benefits he is getting from his support of the USA adventure

Simultaneously there is a babble of† talk, incomprehensible to the audience.

†But then the Author of the Play pulls out three pieces of paper from his pocket and speaks:

Author: Here, here. Stop. No one can understand you. You are speaking nonsense, of course, but the audience must be able to hear your nonsense. Take one of these. (He hands each a list.) A content analysis by the latest methodology of statistics enables me to give you this list of words that are typical of the vocabulary of political discourse. You can call out each word on the list in turn. The resulting noise and confusion does not matter because, you see, that will only make you sound like real politicians.

He calls over his shoulder at them.† You have one minute to gabble. This is, after all, a short play. So make it fast.

†Author walks off stage.

Now they gabble. But it is in the old Italian game where all three thrust out different fingers at the same time and shout their word, quickly withdrawing and shouting the next word. They hold the list in one hand and thrust out the other hand.† They glance into the list and come up with a phrase or keyword to blurt out. Each in turn, fast, staccato. They gesture as much as possible. They thrust out their jaws and exclaim. Allow one belched word per second and alternate belches one, two, three, from the actors, taking about three seconds and then moving to the next three words. At the end of the minute or so, as soon as one says Gazastan, the others must say so also and after all three have said Gazastan, Condoleeza will cry, Quiet!!

The three lists:

I. II. III.
pollution enemies Democracy
oil coalition surrender
people win allies
leaders lose public opinion
terrorists terror future
Near East Israeli history
peace assassins religion
war Arabs developing
weapons UN nations
dictatorship Saddam Hussain medical care
Weapons - of Ė Mass -†Destruction starvation friends
drugs inspection union
NATO trickery Europe
North Korea food Russia
fundamentalist lies Palestine
brutal America Turkey
truth missiles Shiites
violence God Kurds
Muslim civilian Bin Laden
coalition casualties nuclear threat
Iraq Bush Gazastan
Gazastan Gazastan Gazastan

†Condoleeza: ††Shouts after the third ĎGazastaní:† Quiet!! The babble stops abruptly.

She leers at them and swivels like a model. How do you like my outfit? Itís historical. It belonged to the interlocutor of blackface minstrel shows, Mr. Mbones.

Pantaloon, mildly: Smashing! But wasnít Mr. Bones a white man?

Condoleeza: Was is keerek. Mbones is now the name, African, you know.

Everything has changed, except where it hasnít changed. Weíre politically correct.

Except when it comes to non-American Muslims, unpatriotic Americans, slackers of all dimensions, yellow governments, and Old Europe. And terrorists, whenever we come across one, which is not often enough.

You guys are New Europe. Congratulations! Us Americans hate old Europe, thatís† why we go it alone all the time.

But even in Venice, which is in New Europe, we have to piss in the canals, the place is so crowded. Did you know that?

Brighella: But this time itís different, Condolenza. The New Italy has a pisspot at every corner. We are right with you every step of the way.

Condoleeza: The name is Condoleeza.

Brighella: Scusi. †

Condoleeza: Yeah, you are with us. But I wish you volunteered for more real jobs. Instead of only cashing our winnings. Why should we have to pay just to advertise your countriesí brand names? The population of Italy doubles every year with tourists, just because of your brand name. Thatís Old Europe stuff.

Brighella†† Not to change the subject Ö. But why did you bring us here to this infamous den of iniquity, Condolenza, Maím, for such an important meeting?

Condoleeza Because of Monte Carlo, Honey, where money talks, and where hot money screams, and I want to talk money with you boys, hey? hee, hee, hee.

Harlequin: But, are we safe here?

Pantaloon: Yeah, is it safe? You know that you have here three powerful leaders, hated by their own people, and maybe disliked by everybody else.

Condoleeza: Brother, (addressing a Sinister Man by the doorway with gun-shaped bulges all over his suiting, and one in each boot), tell em. Are we safe here?

Sinister Man: Madam Mamm, Maím, we absolutely must be secure here. Do you know how much money we handle of all colors and kinds every night and day?

Condoleeza: No, how much?

Sinister Man: Enough to supply 241 terrorists working on thirteen jobs for one year, including costs of destructive implements or materials, but not, of course, including their return tickets and burial costs.

Condoleeza: Thatís impressive.† You know you have right here three powerful leaders of three hateful peoples to protect.

Sinister Man: Absolutely, positively, youíre tight as a nut... Osama Bin Laden has a bedroom apartment right down the hall. Been there a long time.

All: Nooooh! Bin Laden himself?

Sinister Man: Well, so what, so where could he be more secure?

Pantaloon: No, no. the question is, where could we -- us -- be more secure?

Harlequin: In this case, why donít we -- you --† grab him, Brighella, you grab him! You have lots of nerve.

Brighella: Not I! Condolenza, I mean Condoleeza, Condoleeza Mamm, Maím? If you go, weíll all stand behind you.

Condoleeza: Grab him, and so what then? Thereís a lot more terrorists where he comes from, and itíll cost us 25 million pieces of silver to reward this sinister man. That doesnít seem much, but every dollar matters.

Just look at this war business and see what itís doing. Itís costing us a hundred billion bucks, if it costs us a dime, a hundred billion smackers.† The FBI, CIA, the NSA, the National Budget Office, the Council of Economic Advisers, the American Economic Association, the Palestine Liberation Authority, the World Almanac, and my astrologer† -- they all tell me that for every terrorist we dispose of, even including a few accidental hits and wrong suspects, it will cost our taxpayers all told one billion dollars.

One billion bucks per terrorist!

And thatís not including indirect costs around the world and what some congenital complainers call loss of human rights. Adding the indirect costs brings us nearly to 2 billion Euros per terrorist.

Thatís† the cost-to-kill ratio, the cost-benefits ratio as us economists say, two billion dollars per head.

And furthermore and whatever, if we grabbed Bin Laden, we would have to give up our war: Think, man†† the oil, the prestige, the crusades, the need for our soldiers to earn their pay, the need to get re-elected, the Imperial Presidency, the Garrison State .... Go away, man.

We will rid the world of one more Rogue State. One less threat to the world from nuclear bombs.

All: Right on.

Condoleeza: We bring back security from the assassinations that the Rogue States commit.

All: Right on!

Condoleeza: And no more horrible Rogue bombs and Rogue missiles killing civilians and soldiers alike.

All: True!

Condoleeza: And bring relief to a terrorized people.!

All: Finally!

Condoleeza: And bring real democracy to the Rogue State and its neighbors, with† education for all.

All: Yes, absolutely.

Condoleeza: And political parties that give a real alternative to the politics of this garrison state.

All: Right now!

Condoleeza: And a government that will for once obey international law

All: All the time!

Condoleeza: And a government that will finally respect the United Nations and its Resolutions!

All: Yes!

Condoleeza: A Good Neighbor to other nations.

All: Righto!

Condoleeza: A state that will respect the sovereignty and security of Israel!

(The men look at each other inquiringly and make no response.)

Condoleeza: Whatís the matter? Donít you agree?

Harlequin: ( reluctantly, but nervously defiant) Well, you see, Condoleeza Mamm Maím, excuse me, but we were under the impression that you were talking about Israel.

Condoleeza: Israel? Israel! How absurd! Of course not!. I am talking about Gazastan. Gazastan is the Rogue State. Gazastan must go down in fire and storm, a ďDesert Storm,Ē except that the word was already used before. So let the code word be ĎFire and Storm.í

All: (recovering themselves weakly)Of course.

Pantaloon: (firmly) No force on Earth can stop this juggernaut, once it getís rolling.

Harlequin: How long do you think it will take?† Six months?

Condoleeza: Oh, no, less, four months, oh less, much less, one month, no more, three days.

††††††††††† Confidentially, gentlemen. thatís what we figure. In fact, we think those Gazastanis will just all faint away when we gun up our tank engines and point our missiles. Theyíll be scared to death. Theyíll need every one of those 21 million surrender leaflets we dropped on them just to wipe their asses.

The men look in admiring wonder at each other.†

Brighella: (Aside: She could use up a lot of those leaflets herself.) I can hardly wait!

They end the scene disgustingly pleased with themselves.

In the background, now, we begin to hear explosions, screaming missiles, a fleet of helicopters, and various msuical passages. These fade after three minutes of darkness and scene change, and a record begins to play The Eyes of Texas are Upon You, All the livelong day....

Curtain

SCENE TWO

The time is several weeks after Scene One. The place is a† Texas ranch-house. All sit on saddles around a fancy Mexican table, feeding from with wooden ladles from shallow feed-bags. Each bag is initialed boldly with its eater, H, P, S, and a big C.

Harlequin: Wow, what a smashing victory!† We did it again!

Brighella Tastes from his feed bag, and exclaims. This tastes just like horseshit!

He collects himself guiltily and says brightly) But itís good!

Pantaloon: I timed it. (He wears a big wristwatch) Gazastan lasted seventy-eight hours twenty minutes and sixteen seconds. Up to their last hostile shot.

Harlequin: The last hostile shot? Really?

Pantaloon: Nothing is ever really. Things may drag out a bit, here and there, a thousand dead here, a thousand dead there.

Harlequin: But Big Brother Sahib Sheikh is hiding in a hole somewhere still.

Pantaloon: No matter.. He is probably knitting sheepskin gloves.

Ghisella: Look, when we found Saddam Hussein in a hole he was busily growing poisonous mushrooms. If we had not found him in time he would be producing more weapons of mass destruction. We should have shot him on the spot, and the sheik, too, when we find him.Giving these murderers a fair trial is going to take years. Everyone will pretend that there is law when there is no law!

Pantaloon: Righto! So when do we cash in, Condo Maím ? -

Condoleeza: We begin right now. The You-nited States of America is as good as its word. She whistles or calls Ayo,hoo!!, and a morose Arab in burnoose shuffles in, carrying three slop buckets, one in each hand and one on his head. Here is three-fourths of the biochemical poison weapons of mass destruction that we captured, a bucket for each of you. In Iraq the junk was destroyed somehow. This time, we got it all. Donít spill it, whatever you do.

Silence and an exchange of baffled glances. Then, as one man, they rise up and clutch Condoleeza in fright.

There is an interruption as a fat figure in black cape and mask rides on a hobby horse rides across the stage, noisily.

All: Who was that?

Condoleeza: I didnít see anybody.

Pantaloon: You didnít see a fat guy who looks like Gabriel Shareton from Israel?

Condoleeza: Couldnít be. Shareton is bogged down in Israel, extincting Palestinians with tanks and missiles.

Horses here are just for fun, like old cowboy movies, you know.

Pantaloon: Still, he looked murderous enough to be himself, the real thing. Maybe he is in with the President pumping gas.

Condoleeza: Naw, that was Cheenery. All those guys ride horses when theyíre here in Godís country.

Pantaloon Might have been the President himself, except heís so skinny. Where is he, Condo Maím.† wouldnít you think heíd be here to welcome his allies in victory and thank us?

Condoleeza: †Thatís past history, he has real problems now. The war got him to look as fierce and dashing as Teddy Roosevelt ---† no more wimp.

But now he has to keep the peopleís mind out of the sewer-hole of the economy.

He has to beat up on single mothers,† and schoolchildren.

He has to get us going on a trip to colonize the moon before the Chinese do it, now that the Soviets are not around.

He has to be nice to fanatic Jewish lobbyists..

And he has to blow up at least one more nation before his term is up. Because the next elections are coming.†

The three men with sad, wise looks, agree, nodding yeah... yeah, yeah...

Condoleeza: †Look now! Hyereís how weíre gonna do it. The total income of the whole world is thirty-one trillion dollars. Thatís 31 zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero bucks.† Our CIA, FBI, DS, BB, OD, PSQ, and AFHQ in Libya, and even a special Royal Commission on Noisome Problems tell us that the whole world can actually live on five trillion bucks. That leaves us with 19 trillion dollars. That means that we have enough income in the world each year to catch and dispose of 13,000 terrorists, provided that we stop spending so much money for schools, for health, for luxury goods, for vacations, for private automobiles,, etc., etc. Now tell me. How much money is needed to support the whole world? Quick, boys, you are heads of state!

Pantaloon: (raises hand and exclaims) 5,000 thousand millions, Teacher!

Condoleeza: Bravo! Now tell me, isnít it worth it to use the remaining 19 trillion bucks to have a world without so many terrorists in 2005?

All: †Yesss!

Condoleeza: And the same for 2006, and for 2007, and so on into the future?

Now some will say , what about the high birth rate among potential terrorist populations, and that is true. We will get nowhere unless we zero-in† on the sexual habits of poor people. So we shall use the spare time of our enormous air force to rain down condoms upon the world.

All: Terrific.

Condoleeza: Thatís not all. We have actually raised the standards of the one-third of the worldís people now living below the poverty line. We do not have to be good guys all the time and forever. We can cut them back to where they were before we put up the five trillion, and gain disposible funds that way, too.

All: Excellent.

Condoleeza: And finally, we will globalize production. We will put everything in the hands of 54 global superproducers, one superproducer for every product that is to be produced. We will thus save another trillion from the five. Only four trillion dollars are needed. I tell you: the whole world can live on two to three trillion dollars and all the rest can be used to eradicate terrorism. Or at least 13,000 terrorists per year will be trapped Ė all things being equal.

More and more terrorists will walk the plank, until our children will only have Hollywood monsters and murderers to fear, and our own home-grown terrorists, ever-increasing, alas. But we will be trained to catch our own varieties.

A war such as this demands sacrifices from everybody, rich and poor, the American stock broker and the Pakistani peasant. In the long run, victory shall be ours!

Smash the terrorists and peace will be declared. We can relax our vigilence Ė except that we can expect that our own home-grown monsters will have learned some tricks from the terrorists, but weíll catch them, too, in the end.

Then, with their large and well-earned profits, the 54 global corporations will be able to make a brave new world for our childrensí children. A kinder and gentler world! †

She claps her hands vigorously and the others clap their hands loudly as well (the music crescendos), while looking perplexedly at each other.

Pantaloon: (hesitantly) I must get back to Merrie Englande . You obviously are not handing out money today. So I† have to go and collect money, to fight off the English mob, you will understand. I wish I knew some friendly Israeli bankers. Our own bankers hate me.

Condoleeza: You wonít find them in Israel. That place is strictly for charity.

Brighella: And traumatized intellectuals.

Harlequin: And to terrorize the Arabs with hi-tech weapons.

Condoleeza: †But, Pantaloon, I can give you the card of a Jewish banker on the Cayman Islands. Heís loaded and patriotic as the devil, for Israel, I mean.

And, here, Mr. Prime Minister Pantaloon, here is a contract with the new GAZASTAN SELF-SUPPORT-FOR-DEMOCRACY CORPORATION that we set up.† She pulls a paper from her bosom. It promises to ship to you, prepaid, 2,148 tanker ships of pure sand, free of all burnt oil and bomb debris, to shape up all those dreadful, crowded beaches you have in England. Just sign it and itís ready to go.

Pantaloon: Goodie, goodie.

Condoleeza: She calls out, Rabbi, bring in the scrolls!

A long-bearded man in Orthodox attire enters and passes out what look suspiciously like rolls of toilet paper. Of course I spect you gents donít speak, much less read, Hebrew, although my own diploma is in real Latin, which I canít read, so what does it matter, heh, itís the Principle of the thing. And furthermore, never give people things that they can make sense out of.

What it says is, as I recall, You are hereby declared to be citizens of Israel with all the rights and privileges of the Jews of said country,@ except of course, you will not be entitled under new proposed legislation to marry an Israeli woman, not that you are looking for a wife, I mean, but just to let you know that there are limits to becoming a real Jew. And, incidentally, theyíll be around to check your circumcision. Just in case you should think to convert. You donít have to, of course.

And Pantaloon, you can show it to the banker I was telling you about. It may help.

Harlequin: to the rabbi. Havenít I seen you before? Werenít you playing the part of the Apocalyptic Bible Preacher in the play ďCrimes of the Spanish Jesuits.?

Rabbi: Your are correct. I am specialized in cult figures. So what?

Harlequin: Nothing, just curious. But just one question, Condoleeza, please? Whatís Israel got to do with this? Weíre clearing up the mess in Gazastan.

Everyone laughs without humor and bestows pitying looks upon him.

Harlequin: Well, Itís all very well for you to laugh, but you were just as confused as I was, when this conference began.

Condoleeza: It is true.You canít keep Israel out of anything, for love or money.

They whisper heavily: Shhh!

Condoleeza: Donít worry, we can talk about Israel. Weíre behind closed doors. Jest donít let the press and the bartenders hear you mention the name.

Brighella: What is called for, then, Condolenza ---

Condoleeza: The name is Condoleeza.

Brighella: Scusi. What is called for, then, Condoleeza, in this extremely delicate situation?

Condoleeza: A Plague on Both Their Houses!

Brighella: A plague, a mass plague! But we are adamantly against Weapons of Mass Destruction!

Others: Yes, thatís true!

Condoleeza: I am only speaking metaphorically, of course. The Bible, you know -- but you Catholics donít read the Bible.

What I really mean is that our policy is to wish both peoples well.

Still, life would be much simpler for everybody if they both dropped dead.

The men snicker and glance at each other.

Condoleeza:††† But thereís more. Much more, which I promised and the US of A† (God Bless America!) always delivers on its promises. Our promises are as reliable as our missiles.

So, while we are talking about certificates, accept these other scrolls -- arenít they beautiful leather? -- made out of Gazastan goatskin and shaped to resemble handguns. Actually these are strips of paper, cut/outs of guns, that unfold and drop to the floor as the men take them, two meters long. They then pick them up, scrunch them into rolls and stuff them in their pockets. One of our warlike buzzards wanted to use human skins -- how awful -- but anyway the human skin was too scorched, one way or the other.†

Yes, these here scrolls bring you membership in the Coalition for life! And they are good for your countries too -- for one hundred years -- as partners in all adventures of the United States of America.

The Prime Ministers twitch their cheeks and shoulders in discomfort.

Now, then,† Spain gets the right to all battlefield junk and leftover Gazastan war equipment for its scrap metal industry.

And you, Italy, get all oil thatís left in the burning wells, once you extinguish the fires..

And Great Britain, our devoted ally of, now, six warsÖ murmuring aside , not to mention an enemy of two wars that we should please forgetÖ you are awarded as by our agreement, the right to occupy Gazastan until you decide to pull out, as you did in Palestine and in India, leaving the natives to kill each other by decrees of their Good Gods.

And donít think we have forgotten your poodle.

Pantaloon protests: Sheís a he, Condoleeza, and he is a great English Bulldog. Thatís John Bull!

Condoleeza: Sure, sure,.. but itís the principle that counts. Here is a big bone for John Bull (and she pulls a bone from under her vest and gives it to the poodle, who may take it or disdain it, it does not matter.)

But thatís only the beginning. Grateful USA will make you all part of our team -- never mind the United Nations, the European Union and any other connections that you might be wanting to make -- we are married until death do us part. We are gung ho for North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Indonesia, and the Axis of Evil wherever it stretches in the world. Of our adventures together there will be no end!

You are certified members of the New Europe, not part of the old Europe that we left behind. You are one with Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and a couple of others I forget for the moment. Yes, and San Marino is expected to sign up momentarily. All the New Wave of the World. You can forget France, and Germany and those other Old World Bastards. Furthermore, we the USA are the same Old America, never changed, for better or worse... (She pauses to think)† Jest donít turn your ass toward us.

Pantaloon: But you will take over and occupy North Ireland for us, as you promised, wonít you?.

Condoleeza: Oh, yes, as soon as we can sound out the sentiments of our Irish ethnics.

We only do what our ethnics let us do. Thatís why things have been working out so well in Palestine.† Do you know that the proportion of Palestinians killed there in relation to Israelis killed is 8 to 1, and do you know what, that is exactly the opposite to the proportion of Muslims to Jews in the United States, 1 to 8.

Harlequin:† Marvelous!

Condoleeza: Who says we have lost control over our foreign policies.

Harlequin: Fine, but the Spanish people -- not that I pay any attention to them, I am too busy making a great nation out of the poor material that they provide for me -- they keep asking when we will get back Gibraltar from the English -- excuse me, Pantaloon. You promised, Madam Dr, Condoleeza Mamm, Maím.

Condoleeza: As you know, SeŮor, promises are made to be broken. But never fear. The Hispanic population of the USA is rapidly approaching the British proportion, which is 25%. As soon as they reach that point and own some media and banks, we can be persuaded to persuade England to give back Gibraltar to you -- never mind what the people of Gibraltar think.

Harlequin: Excuse me, Madam Condoleeza Mamm, Maím.† How is it possible for the ethnics to run America?

Condoleeza: You have to understand, amigo mio. Ethnics are fine people. I am one myself. But the ethnics who work always and only for their related favorite foreign country: those are the ethnics who run America. Only 1 out of 100 Americans is active in foreign affairs.† One half of these activists† are ethnics, 1 out of 200.

And their leaders are all un-American, amounting to less than 1000.† These computations are what we call the íDismal Democratic Derivativeí.

Pantaloon: Yes, but the people of Gibraltar have been polled, and re-polled, and the majority want to stay with Britain. I am prepared to poll them again, and again.

Condoleeza: Who in the world pays attention to what people think any more? Thatís the Old Democracy, like the Old Europe. Democracy is no longer the lowest common denominator of opinion. Democracy is the highest superior denominator. The opinion of the top one hundred genius pigs† -- I am joking of course -- who concentrate the credits, the armaments, the media† and the executive power.

Itís the Garrison State. Thatís what we are.

Pantaloon: Thatís what I am?

Brighella: Thatís what we are?

Harlequin: Thatís what?

Condoleeza: Yes, thatís what.. And stop repeating yourselves.

They all smile at each other complacently, saying Thatís what we are, all right.

Brighella: Yes, but, if we become Garrison States,† France and Germany and Russia and all the rest must become Garrison States, too. Then what? What? †Weíll be back to where we were in the First World War one hundred years ago.

But no matter. Just tell us how you going to give me and Italy the worldís largest satellite TV system?

Condoleeza: By giving you monopoly rights to two-thousand- six- hundred- and- fifty-four old American movies! No one country, certainly not France, nobody, can survive the onslaught of old American movies. And the French will be not only financially ruined, but completely mortified at the deluge of American language and culture.

So thatís enough. Gentlemen. I think the meeting is over. The men stand up, stop rocking in their saddles, and cry out in protest. No! But no!

Brighella Where is the meat on these bones, Madam Mbones? I promised my untrustworthy Lombardian friends that this would be the first time in history that Italy would get something worthwhile out of a peace conference!

Condoleeza: Calma. Calma. Pazienza! Thatís what you say in Italy, nevvero? At least I have been learning Italian.

Harlequin: I remind you of one more thing, Madam Mamm, Maím, and I am not ashamed to say this in front of the whole world:

You promised to join me in bed and that is one promise you must keep and can keep.

Condoleeza: I promised no such thing.

Brighella: Wait just† a moment --- you promised me the same, Condolenza Mamm, Maím.

Condoleeza: I certainly did not.

Pantaloon: This is too much. Not even Perfidious Albion, land of my ancestors,† violated so many promises. You promised to fuck me to a farewell, Condo Mam.

Condoleeza: Gentlemen, promises are made to be broken. Your declarations are insulting. I deny everything. What do you take me for, some cheap nigger whore?!

Harlequin: Either we go to bed or the deal is off.

Condoleeza: Thatís just fine. Weíll keep all the booty. You get no oil, no contracts, no invitations to the White House, no Iraqi, no Afghani, no Gazastani to kick around, and give back everything we gave to you just now.

You men act as if great affairs of state have to do with pornography. They may be obscene on occasion, I grant you. And they may be stupidly handled, as they are done here. But they are too chaotic to explain in pillow talk, no matter how big the bed. So. Go home. Write me a letter.

Harlequin: Not even a kiss and pinch on the behind, SeŮora?

Condoleeza: No, and as he moves toward her, she knocks him down with a neat jab to the jaw.

You idiots, she hisses at the other two.

She gives P the knee and he doubles up and drops in agony. She approaches H, turns her back and jabs him in the gut with her elbow. He falls, groaning.

She rises up in full majesty and shouts:

†I am Miss America Forever!! I am also Judo Champion.I am also the next Governor of California!

and the Sinister Man opens the door to admit a small Salvation Army band that marches in and around the stage playing Onward, Christian Soldiers.††††††††††††††††††

Now leading the Band, she repeats, Miss America Forever!

and the Sinister Man opens the door to admit a small Salvation Army band that marches in and around the stage playing ĎOnward, Christian Soldiers, Marching as to War...í (Sinister man moves to corner of stage. She leads the band once around the stage, singing, then stops where the three men are sitting or half reclining in humiliation.

Condoleeza:† She looks down upon them kindly. Oh, come on, children, I hardly hurt you. Get up and letís dance together.

They arise and forming a circle with her begin to trudge around chanting a nursery rhyme.

Ring around the Rosies,

Pockets full of Posies.

Ashes. Ashes.

All fall down.

When the first stanza finishes, the Band joins in the repetition.

Led by the Sinister Man,who steps forward, the whole audience sings aloud the song. Then, definitely, the characters† fall to the floor, but now including the musicians, and ultimately Condoleeza, who looks about her at the chaos, cries out in fear, and collapses.

The stage darkens. The actors exit. Hall lights go on gradually. And the recessional music plays until the audience has left the hall..

FINIS


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