(scene is in a wide courtyard outside the palace striped with the shadows of arches. Emperor’s Spokesperson and Clipboard Assistant are addressing Rabble.)

Emperor’s Spokesperson: All right, settle down you rabble!
Rabble: (muttering)
Emperor’s Spokesperson: I’m going to count to ten. No three. I’m counting to three. Second to the last one to be quiet won’t be able to watch the next execution and the last one to be quiet will be executed! One, Two, Three…
Rabble: (still muttering)
ES: I don’t believe it! By Gods. Shatttup will you!
Clipboard Assistant: Maybe you could try a different approach.You know, sometimes you get more bees with honey.
ES: You mean pollen.
CA: Pardon?
ES: Bees make honey. But they want pollen.
CA: I’ve got your Epi-Pen in my fanny pack by the way.
ES: (to rabble) Look you mouth-breathing dirty-fingernail pyramid-making fly-gathering hoi polloi! Shut your mouths!
CA: You don’t understand these people. I grew up among them. All they hear all day is yelling and the snapping of whips. You’ve got to finesse the masses. Look, right here: rule number 4 of ‘Tyranny for Dummies’ (points at clipboard)
ES: (reads) “subtle coercion may not save you time, but it will save you your vocal chords.” Bah! That’s why we shoulda brought a bullhorn out here. Coercion.
CA: Think of them as a lovely person who’s eye your trying to catch at the supermarket.
ES: ….I buy a lot of baby food and diapers and tell them “I don’t have children yet”…and then stare at them as a conversation opener.
CA: Is that what you do?
ES: Well, I would if I shopped at supermarkets. I just have my servants place grapes in my mouth when I’m hungry.
CA: It is said that non-verbal communication is more important than anything you say.
ES: (pulls out a gun)
CA: Okay, you get points for trying, but watch….(gently puts down clipboard and tightens fanny pack and begins to strut back and forth like Mick Jagger in front of Rabble, after a couple of spins and high kicks Rabble’s attention is fully had.)
ES: Well done.
CA: (too out of breath to answer, just gasps and holds chest)
ES: (To CA) Maybe not their ‘attention’ so much as concern and sexual revulsion, but it worked! (To Rabble) Alright now you ragamuffins, gather ’round close. I’ve got an announcement to make here. Come on, that’s it you rabble!
Rabble: (shuffles within arm’s reach)
ES: Gah! Not lice-jumping close! Back up, Back up now! I’m not a horse whisperer. Can’t you see my assistant here needs air? (Rabble shuffles back a few steps) Alright. Now. I am the Emperor’s Chosen and Most Honorable…
Rabble: Which?
ES: Which what?
Rabble: Which whom, I mean. Which Emperor’s?
ES: Well, the new one of course! Emperor Glorious Sun…As I was saying…(to CA) what was I saying?
CA: You’re the Emperor’s Chosen and Most Honorable…
ES: Most Honorable Messenger.
Rabble: Like a carrier pigeon.
ES: (trying not to be flustered) A bit like that. But my cage is huge okay. Huge. And pretty ornate.
CA: And a lovely little swing in the corner. The envy of the court really–
ES: So I have here with me a royal pronouncement from your Emperor, the Great Glorious Sun! (holds out hand towards CA)
CA: (gives ES ‘five’)
ES: No, the pronouncement!
CA: (looks frantically through the clip board looks up frightened and shakes head ‘no’)
ES: (whispers) You forgot it?
CA: (whispers) I don’t know!
ES:  (whispers) A true answer I have no doubt. But our choices are A) you never brought it to begin with,or  B) you lost it between here and Starbucks.
CA: I may never have had it.
ES: Papyrus. Roll of it about six feet long and rolled up and tied in a silk ribbon. Ringing any bells?
CA: Sarcasm is an ineffectual teaching tool and a poor characteristic in leadership.
ES: Now I’m getting pointers from Captain Senility over here. Brilliant.
Rabble: (whispers) Sarcasm is the easiest form of comedy and an unflowered form of its superior relative, irony.
ES: (sarcastic) Good thought, that! Good. Yeah, thanks… Just you stay out of this, you scamp. (to CA in whisper) I’ll just do the bullet points. No problem. I got it up here. (points at head)
CA: remember: finesse!
Rabble: And a lyrical turn of phrase and some interjections of humor wouldn’t hurt. You know. To keep our interest. Lift our hearts a bit.
ES: (ignoring them) Rabble! Hear me and fear! Tremble and weep!….Garbage collection will not happen this Tuesday because of the Winged Serpent Holiday, but will occur as normal for everyone on Wednesday. So plan ahead for that. And also…Woe To Those Who Speak Ill Of The Dread Thunder God Morthax! Morthax Hears All and Sees All As Patron Deity Of Our Empire!…The Children’s Museum will be having  a special exhibit beginning this week and on through the month featuring the shrunken skulls of state prisoners. As always, children and seniors have free admission. And now a word from our sponsor….(to CA in whisper) who was it again?
CA: Wooden Shovels.
ES: Wooden Shovels!
Rabble: (in a sing song jingle) Wooden Shovels can’t be beat/They make your holes and piles look really neat/
ES: Holes and piles, really?
Rabble: They’ve got a wooden stick and a wooden scoop/you can use ’em for mud or most any kind of….
ES: Thank you Wooden Shovels! Alright, now on to the serious business….Look, we all know that in the reign of the last Emperor, whose name I won’t even waste my breath on–
CA: Humble Servant of The Socialist People’s Commune.
ES: (shoots CA an angry glance) During their reign, things around here got a little shall we say lax. Now. I know that you can do it. This work, this back breaking, slave driving, soul withering labor is what you were literally born and bred to do. So let’s do it. And let’s put a little pride in our work. When fanning a State Official with ostrich feathers would it kill you to smile?
Rabble: Its just I’ve lost most my teeth…
ES: Closed mouth, man. Closed mouth. (To CA) Show ’em.
CA: (smiles weakly with pursed lips)
ES: And let’s use you as an example. (points at Rabble) What do you do?
Rabble: I’m a tailor by trade but really, I’ve always thought of myself as a musician really. I’m classically trained.
ES: Okay, tailor. Ol’ Tailor here is making…
Rabble: Fitted undergarments, padded bras, crotchless underwear,
ES: That is specific. Got a niche market do we? Burlap in this season is it?
Rabble: Burlap was last season. Everything now is yak hide or nothing.
CA: He really is quite good. I’m wearing him right now.
ES: (flustered momentarily) Okay so Tailor here, perfect example of a patriot who is working hard for the Empire. Kudos to you. But!..You’re gonna have to work harder. I’m sorry! Hey! Don’t blame the messenger. Its just that right down the Nile river a ways, they’ve started work on wheel technology okay. Now we’re playing catch-up.
Rabble: You might say we were asleep at the wheel.
CA: That’s good.
ES: Puns are the worst form of humor and an unflowered form of their superior relative: the double entendre.
CA: Meow.
ES: The point is, in today’s economy we’re all going to have to pitch in and work a little harder.
Rabble: Easy for you to say.
ES: Pardon? Can you say that a bit louder? Or was it not that easy to say?
Rabble: You’re telling us to pull ourselves up by our boot straps but I broke my last pair of boot straps trying to hang myself with them. All you do is come out here every week and tell us what to do and how we’ll have to work harder because the rich don’t want to pay taxes anymore.
ES: You want to try? You want to try my job for a minute? I bet you won’t last a minute. 
Rabble: You got it! Let’s do it. (they switch positions and Rabble imitates the mannerisms of ES) Lift a rock! Dig a ditch! Hail whichever Emperor we have this week! Blah Blah!
ES: Ahh, beginner’s luck.
CA: You’re pretty good! (swats away something) Ah, a bee!
ES: A bee?
CA: (stabs Rabble with the Epi Pen)
Rabble: Gah!
ES: Not him, you idiot!
CA: Sorry, I got confused!
ES: Oh! (slaps at bee, its too late) Oh, cruel fate! (slumps to ground dead)
CA: I just wanted to say I really enjoy your work.
Rabble: My public speaking–
CA: Well that too, but your tailoring I mean. I’m wearing your Sleek Line Lift And Tuck series right now.
Rabble: Well, you look great in it. That’s not all my doing. A glass blower can’t make the delicious wine that’s poured into it, you see.
CA: (blushing) Well…
Rabble: That’s it for the news today?
CA: Well just that there’s maurading hordes at the gates.
Rabble: That’s going to be tough news to break to the rabble.
CA: Ahhh, they’re used to it. We’ll just outfit you with a war drum, a saber to rattle, a flag, and a copy of the ‘Us Versus Them’ speech.
Rabble: Say, about the Emperor…Do you think I could meet him? (excited)
CA: Oh, him? That’s just an image of a giant head projected on a screen that gets switched up every now and then. Keep things fresh.
Rabble: I have so much to learn.
CA: Its not easy controlling the masses. You think I want to wear a fanny pack?  
 


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