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unmerged(6777)

Field Marshal
Dec 10, 2001
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Waiting For Todog (or Rosen, Crantz, Guilden and Stern are Dead) – A Play on Zimbabwe

Preface

I decided, after reading LD’s excellent AARs, that my skills at writing needed some brushing up with regards to conveying information through dialogue rather than narrative. I decided, however, to take it an extra step, thus this entire work is in the form of a play where I will attempt to eliminate any non-dialogue components other than set directions and other notes that would allow the reader of a play to get the sense of what actually happens on stage.

For those familiar with Samuel Beckett’s monumental work of a spooneristically similar title to this AAR’s, or of Stoppard’s devastatingly ingenuous take on Hamlet (also referenced): you may notice a hint (or more than a hint…okay, I copied lines) of plagiarism at times, for which I hope you will pardon me as it is supposed to be supportive of the spirit that I intend the overall work to take. I have also “borrowed” a few lines here and there from various sources and those readers who can identify their origin will get bonus kudos. No points for the obvious though. :)

You may also find that this is a titch on the “lacking in substance” side vis a vis playing an EU2 GC game. Well…YOU try coming up with an exciting AAR on Zimbabwe! Perhaps what is lacking in content may be repaid in style…or that is what I hope to achieve. At any rate, I look forward to it as a project that will probably, ultimately, take a long time to complete but may turn out to be more than just an exercise in how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

I must also, I suppose, state that if anyone has any serious objection to this highly simplistic misrepresentation of the peoples of Zimbabwe then he/she/it lacks any sense of humour and should go and read someone else’s AAR. :) My gross insensitivity is merely a vehicle for the…yada yada yada.

To the rest…

Enjoy! I will try to post a scene or two a week and would appreciate any pointers as to form/style/content that any of you might care to offer. As to game play suggestions, it’s too late…the game is finished.

MrT

***

The Set

The entire play occurs upon a single set. It is sparsely decorated, featuring a primitive east-African village. Near centre stage there is a very large rather flat rock. This edifice assumes various functions during the course of events. Near it, a palm tree – and also of some moment. A mine entrance may be seen in the distance, painted on the stage rear. In the corner, upstage left, a small enclosure seems to contain several grotesque skeletons on poles, and some rather crude finger-paintings are scattered about, hung on the walls. Adjacent to this is the front of a second structure against which may be seen a number of spears and a collection of blow guns. At upstage right there is an open entrance to what might be a civic building of some sort. Other set dressings may need to be introduced as appropriate later on.

The Cast

Gatsi: Tribal Chief of Zimbabwe
Nappi: General of the Zimbabwe Army
Hud: Best of the Zimbabwean canoeists
Gunga: Chief recruiter for the Zimbabwe army.
Din: Zimbabwean woodcarver and builder of dug-out canoes
Tunal: Head of UGMAZ (Unionized Gold Miners Association of Zimbabwe)
Trado: A Zimbabwe merchant.
Misio: A priest of the Sunni Moslem religion
Volo: Scribe, Historian, and Head of the ZDC (Zimbabwe Diplomatic Corps)
Kuok: A chef from Zimbabwe
Pozzo: A Zimbabwe slave-master.
Lucki: A philosopher
Vladi: A Zimbabwe peasant
Mir: A Zimbabwe peasant
Estra: A Zimbabwe peasant
Gon: A Zimbabwe peasant
Rosen: A Zimbabwe noble
Crantz: A Zimbabwe noble
Guilden: A Zimbabwe noble
Stern: A Zimbabwe noble
Playr: An Actor form Zimbabwe
Choiseul: A French Army Captain

Otherwise assume that the odd “extra” or two (or 10,000) floats in and out as appropriate. Also note that the gender of any particular cast member is largely irrelevant so suit yourself.

It is also possible, as this fiction progresses, that some details may be changed/added, or that the cast may need to be expanded so it might be worth checking back here if you don’t recognize someone since I will endeavour to at least keep this listing updated.

Conventions

Text enclosed in ( ) are “technical” directions. Italicised text is a specific stage direction or action that the actor is to make during the performance. Text enclosed in < > is an OT playwright’s note and should not be considered as part of the finished work.

The dialogue in the play is always preceded by the name(s) in ALL CAPS of the individual(s) who speak.

Screen Shots

Well, you get one, just so you can be familiar with the local “geography”. This is it...here...click on me...
 
Last edited:

Syt

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I had been thinking about making an AAR drama, too, sort of like the histories of the stage writers of centuries past, inspired by the City of Marble AAR. I'll surely be following this one. :)

Oh, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is one of the wittiest movies ever made, with some of the best dialogues I heard. :D
 

unmerged(6777)

Field Marshal
Dec 10, 2001
12.470
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Act I - post...the first

Act I. Scene I

[lights up…dimly throughout but strongly on the rock to reveal:]

Estra, sitting on the large rock , is trying to take off his boot. He pulls at it with both hands, panting. He gives up, exhausted, rests, tries again. As before. Gon, sitting near him and also on the rock, is engaged in a similar activity.

[Enter Vladi and Mir]

ESTRA: Nothing to be done. (Gon nods, sighs assent, tries again)

MIR: ( advancing with short, stiff strides, legs wide apart) I’m beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life I’ve tried to put it from me, saying, Mir, be reasonable, you haven’t yet tried everything. And I resume the struggle. (he broods, musing on the struggle. Turning to Gon.) So there you are again.

GON: Am I?

VLADI: (Breaking in) I’m glad to see you back. I thought you were gone for ever.

ESTRA: Me too.

GON: Me too.

MIR: Together again at last! We’ll have to celebrate this. But how? (He reflects.) Get up till I embrace you.

ESTRA: (irritably) Not now.

GON: (irritably) Not now.

MIR: (Hurt, coldly) May one inquire where Their Highnesses spent the night?

GON: In a ditch.

VLADI: (admiringly) A ditch! Where?

ESTRA: (gestures stage left) Over there.

GON: (also gestures, simultaneously, stage right) Over there.

MIR: (confused...but fighting it) And didn’t they beat you?

ESTRA: Beat us? Certainly they beat us.

MIR: The same lot as usual?

GON: The same?

ESTRA: (at the same time) I don’t know.

MIR: When I think of it…all these years…but for me…where would you be…(Decisively.) You’d be nothing more than little heaps of bones at the present minute, no doubt about it. (Gestures suggestively upstage left towards the small enclosure.)

ESTRA: And what of it?

VLADI: (gloomily) It’s too much for one man. (Looking to Mir as though seeing him/her for the first time) Or two? (Pause. Cheerfully) On the other hand what’s the good of losing heart now, that’s what I say. We should have thought of it a million years ago, in the nineties.

GON: Ah stop blathering and help me off with this bloody thing.

[As both newcomers move to help – and not very effectively at that – the lights dim on the rock and increase elsewhere]

*****

Act I. Scene II

[Enter Rosen, Crantz, Guilden, and Stern. Each of them has a large leather money bag. Guilden and Stern’s bags are nearly empty. Rosen and Crantz’s are nearly full.]

[The reason being: they are betting on the toss of a coin, in the following manner: Guilden takes a coin out of his bag, spins it, letting it fall. Rosen studies it, announces it as “heads” (as it happens) and puts it into his own bag. Stern does as much with Crantz, with the same end result. Then they repeat the process. They have apparently been doing this for some time.]

[The run of “heads” is impossible, yet neither Rosen nor Crantz betray any surprise at all – they feel none. However, they are nice enough to feel a little embarrassed at taking so much money off their friends. Guilden and Stern, however, are well alive to the oddity of it. They are not worried about the money, but they are worried about the implications; aware but not going to panic about it.]

ROSEN: Heads.

CRANTZ: Heads.

(The process is repeated. Again. Again. Again. Again…)

STERN: There is an art to the building up of suspense.

CRANTZ: Heads

GUILDEN: Though it can be done by luck alone.

ROSEN: Heads.

GUILDEN: If that’s the word I’m after.

ROSEN: Seventy-six – love.

GUILDEN: (paces but, has nowhere in particular to go. He spins another coin over his shoulder without looking at it, his attention being directed at the two “couples” struggling to remove their respective boots.

CRANTZ: Heads.

STERN: A weaker man might be moved to re-examine his faith, if in nothing else at least in the law of probability. (He tosses another coin over his shoulder.)

CRANTZ: Heads.

STERN: (musing) The law of probability, it has been oddly asserted, is something to do with the proposition that if six monkeys…if six monkeys were…

ROSEN: Game?

GUILDEN: Were they?

ROSEN: Are you?

STERN: (understanding): Game. (Flips a coin) The law of averages, if I have got this right, means that if six monkeys were thrown up in the air for long enough they would land on their tails about as often as they land on their…

CRANTZ: Heads.

*****

Act I. Scene III

[Lights up to full, though there is a slightly orange tint to them that suggests dusk or perhaps distant fire.]

[Enter: All remaining primary cast en masse save for Kuok, Pozzzo, Lucki and Choiseul]

[Rosen, Crantz, Guildne, and Stern are dislodged from the rock by the newcomers and a large white table cloth is produced to cover the outcropping. All begin to produce eating utensils of a primitive nature except for the aforementioned quartet who now continue their proceedings upstage.]

KUOK: (offstage, loudly) Come and GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET it.

VOLO: (loud aside to Gatsi, intending to be overheard) Roast leg of diplomat.

GATSI: Yum.

NAPPI: Yum.

HUD:Yum.

GUNGA: Yum.

DIN: Yum.

TUNAL: Yum.

TRADO: Yum

MISIO: Yum

VLADI: (looking up with raw hunger in his/her eyes) Yum.

MIR: (looking up with raw hunger in his/her eyes) Yum.

ESTRA: (looking up with raw hunger in his/her eyes) Yum.

GON: (looking up with raw hunger in his/her eyes) Yum.

GUILDEN: (looking up with raw hunger in his/her eyes) Yum.

STERN: (looking up with raw hunger in his/her eyes) Yum.

VOLO: Uhmmmm...but...
 
Last edited:

unmerged(6777)

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Originally posted by Sytass
Oh, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is one of the wittiest movies ever made, with some of the best dialogues I heard. :D
Probably my favorite play of all time...great movie too. Of course it relies on the audience being thoroughly familiar with all of the ins and outs of Hamlet which may be a pretty big assumption. Roth/Oldman do an amazing job of carrying through TS's genious. I also think TS did a great job w/ "S. in Love" though perhaps not quite up to R&GaD. Or perhaps it was the cast/production company/director/producer/Hollywood?

Damn. How did you sneek that post in between the preface and the start of Act I? :D I really tried to be fast!
 

Syt

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Originally posted by MrT

Probably my favorite play of all time...great movie too.

Damn. How did you sneek that post in between the preface and the start of Act I? :D I really tried to be fast!
I am quite a fast guy. :D Anyways, I wasn't aware that RaGaD is a play first hand. I only saw the movie once and loved it. Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare play after Macbeth, so I did get most of the in jokes, I think. :) Plus, I love Tim Roth (was great in Rob Roy) and Gary Oldman (just great in his movies with Luc Besson).
 

unmerged(6777)

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Originally posted by Sytass


I am quite a fast guy. :D Anyways, I wasn't aware that RaGaD is a play first hand. I only saw the movie once and loved it. Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare play after Macbeth, so I did get most of the in jokes, I think. :) Plus, I love Tim Roth (was great in Rob Roy) and Gary Oldman (just great in his movies with Luc Besson).
Ahhhh. RaGaD is a MUST READ. The lines go by so fast in the movie that you really need to sit down with the script and savour...though I'm glad Stoppard was given free reign to write/direct his own screen play since I imagine that there are many moments of non-dialogue that occured to him later and weren't part of his original play... /*thinking of the pots, etc.*/

Luc Besson's work is awesome. Particularly loved The Professional but I have a soft spot for Jean Reno after Le Grand Blue and La Femme Nikita so I'm unduely biased.
 

Syt

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Originally posted by MrT
Luc Besson's work is awesome. Particularly loved The Professional but I have a soft spot for Jean Reno after Le Grand Blue and La Femme Nikita so I'm unduely biased.
Yes, Reno is great, and so is the movie. In the Director's Cut, of course. I think Besson is one of the most underrated directors in the business. Doing rather successful movies, but none of them *the* breakthrough that everyone (=mainstreamers) keep talking about. Which is good or bad, depending on point of view. :D
 

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MrT posted:
Hud: Best of the Zimbabwean canoeists
LOL. Bring on those frigates!!
Gunga and Din? I'm suprised you don't have a Kim or Kipling. And Volo. A little BG and BGII, maybe?

Did you get Jean Reno's reference to his character from La Femme Nikita in Godzilla? He said that France had sent him over to 'fix' things :)

Luc Besson makes good films. It's too bad he didn't leave The Messenger behind though...

Great start... exit, stage left...
 

Idiotboy

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Well this was a somewhat different take on an AAR. Good none the less. Hmm that Volo charachter seems a bit familiar. A bit of Forgotten realms rip-off perhaps??:D
 

unmerged(6777)

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Act I. Scene III

[The assembly gradually take turns entering the “admin” structure stage right, each returning with a wooden plate laden with some unidentifiable meat – presumably the roast leg of diplomat – and taking places around the rock]

GUILDEN: (returning from the building in the company of VLADI) It must be indicative of something , besides the redistribution of wealth.

TRADO: (overhearing them as they seat themselves) Wealth! There was a time when I thought I was wealthy.

GUNGA: (joining in) Aye. I remember those days.

ROSEN: I’ve never known anything like it!

HUD: Why do you suppose that is? That things have changed I mean.

TRADO: Well it’s this skyrocketing inflation you see.

HUD: But why?

TRADO: (gesturing towards the mine) It has to do with the gold.

TUNAL: Oh the GOLD is it. It’s always about the gold. Well the union doesn’t take kindly to the way that everyone keeps putting the blame on us for everything.

TRADO: But it’s true!

TUNAL: Says you!

TRADO: Says me.

TUNAL: Are you saying we don’t mine enough?

TRADO: No. It has to do with the natural course of things. The wealthier a nation and the more gold it mines, the higher the cost of everything becomes.

ROSEN: (still trying to catch up to the earlier part of the conversation) I don’t even remember what day it is. What day is it?

MISIO: It is the day before the Sabbath.

ROSEN: And the day before? I remember the day before.

MISIO: That was two days before the Sabbath.

STERN: (intuiting where this may be leading and seeking to nip it in the bud) I think what he means is that there is no real measure of time by which to remember.

VOLO: Well, that isn’t strictly true. There are the records.

CRANTZ: Records?

VOLO: Oh yes, we scribes have kept records ever since we discovered how to write. We even keep track of the years.

CRANTZ: Truly?

VOLO: Truly.

STERN: And when did time begin?

VOLO: A little over two hundred years ago if I understand the records correctly. I have a list of Chiefs and the events of their reign (aside: Not that it’s a very long list.)

GATSI: I would like to see that some day, if I ever learn to read.

VOLO: I could read it to you, though it is incomplete of course. It is my duty to record what happens during my time as scribe, and to make notes about the economy and such. In fact, I even have a copy of the nation’s first Price List for Goods and Barter produced by the first Chief – Nyatsimba was his name. A great warrior and one of our most productive chiefs.

GATSI: This interests me greatly. Tell me of his conquests.

NAPPI: And I. Yes, tell us about his armies.

TRADO: And I. Tell us about the prices and the trade.

VOLO: Well, there’s not much to tell really. He was the chief of Zimbabwe for more than thirty years. It was he who raised the tribes and led them into Nampula, Zambezia and Inhambane to crush the natives there, for he was desirous of new lands for our people to settle in.

NAPPI: And were there glorious battles?

VOLO: Not really. The records seem to indicate that he slaughtered them without regard and without much resistance. He certainly couldn’t have seen too much action for all three had been brought under complete control within two years and he sent the warriors back home again shortly thereafter because he couldn’t afford to keep feeding and housing them all.

NAPPI: (shaking his head in admiration, somewhat lost in thought) I dream of battle.

GATSI: (laughs) Well that’s about as likely as silver warriors falling from the sky!

MISIO: Out of curiosity, how long did it take to settle those lands?

VOLO: Well Nyatsimba never lived to see it, nor his successor Matope, nor even Mavurai, Mukombero or Changamire - though they did devote almost all of their resources to the project, seeing as there was little else to do. But it was nearly a hundred years before the third and final city was established since the attempts were only occasionally successful.

GATSI: A hundred years!

VOLO: Oh yes. It was because of the inflation you see…everything become more expensive and the state income never really seemed to be able to keep pace. In fact, that is how we scribes refer to each year of our records: by the inflation as indexed on the price of a banana.

TRADO: (becoming interested in the discussion again) How’s that? A banana?

VOLO: Yes a banana. Well, actually, a hundred-weight of bananas. You see, in the first year of our records, the price of a banana happened to be exactly one golden disk.

MIR: One disk! A banana for one disk!

VOLO: Indeed. Each year thereafter, the price of a banana increased at an almost hypnotically steady rate, about one disk per hundred-weight every year.

[This is simply too much for MIR to follow so he gets up and goes for a second helping. When he returns, he is accompanied by Kuok who is wearing a blood-stained apron and, unlike the others, distains using a plate and instead is gnawing the remaining flesh from what appears to be a human leg. Most of the flesh has gone, and he is noisily trying to suck the marrow from the knee joint. Meanwhile…]

ROS: So how does this tie in with how you keep track of the years?

VOLO: Well, since the price of bananas goes up by a disk a year, we label the year by the price of bananas, except we subtract the initial hundred disks that they cost.

CRANTZ: I don’t follow.

VOLO: Let me give you an example. What’s the price for a hundred-weight of bananas today?

TRADO: (instantly) Three hundred and thirty eight.

VOLO: (frowns at TRADO for helping) Quite. ( returns to his instruction of CRANTZ…TRADO gets the hint.) So you take three hundred and thirty eight and subtract the initial hundred disks and you get…

[long pause]

VOLO: And you get…

[longer pause]

CRANTZ: I’ve forgotten the question.

TRADO: (unable to contain himself any longer) Two hundred and thirty eight, you moron!

CRANTZ: (hurt) That’s not a question.

TRADO: No. It’s the bloody answer! FOOL!!!

VOLO: Never mind.

GATSI: But that can’t be right. What about the occasional time that we have an exceptional year? The price of bananas goes down in those years.

VOLO: Well, it’s as good as we’ve got to work with. It’s not perfect, but what is?

NAPPI: But what does any of this have to do with anything else? I mean, it’s not as though bananas are good for anything other than sight gags.

GON: You can eat them.

KUOK: (aghast) Eat them? EAT a banana? You are crazy!

GON: Well there are times when there aren’t any foreign diplomats. You have to eat something.

CRANTZ: (still annoyed at VOLO for having called him a fool) Well you could always look for diplomats a little closer to home…(looks meaningfully at VOLO who pales noticeably)

GON: (not picking up on the suggestion, much to VOLO’s apparent relief) Well they taste okay, and you have to eat something.

NAPPI: (trying to pursue his original question But what’s it good for?

VOLO: Well the price of everything else follows the same trend; take the art gallery for instance. (he gestures towards the enclosure upstage left)

NAPPI: What about the art gallery?

VOLO: Well, ours was built by accident in the reign of chief Chirisamhuru. It just sort of happened, since we really have no idea how to put something like that together. But even if we had at the time, it would have cost over two thousand disks to construct.

NAPPI: (eyes the enclosure dubiously) Two thousand!

VOLO: It’s true. If you tried to build another one now, say in Nembire, if you knew how, it would be well over three.

NAPPI: Three!!!!?

VOLO: I should know. Gatsi and I were pricing one for fun the other day.

GATSI: That’s true.

VOLO: But listen to this: Nyatsimba didn’t know how to make such a beautiful thing either, but if he had it would have cost less than a thousand! Back then, everything was cheaper. When he raised the army to conquer the known world it only cost him a couple of disks to hire and train a warrior, and it was less than ten disks to catch an elephant or a zebra and train a warrior to ride it into battle.

NAPPI and GUNGA: Astounding!

VOLO: It’s true. Nyatsimba’s scribe kept meticulous records and he wrote that to put together the army of three thousand warriors on foot, a couple thousand zebra riders, and a few thousand heavy elephanteers, it only cost him forty-nine disks.

GUNGA: If we did that today it would cost a fortune! We’d practically have to pay that each month just to feed and house them, let alone train them.

GATSI: That’s a bit of an exaggeration.

GUNGA: True. But only a bit.

GATSI: And is there nothing we can do about this?

VOLO: Sadly, no.

GATSI: But why?

VOLO: Well, I know that a few of our deepest thinkers are currently engaged in the project. I can’t confess to understanding everything that they tell me, but they estimate that by the time they can solve that problem the sun god will have long since passed from the sky in a fiery explosion.

MISIO: Preposterous!

VOLO: Who knows? I’m only relating what they told me. At any rate, they are working on other projects that they feel need to be achieved first…something about establishing laws and setting up a chief justice or some such nonsense.

GATSI: I don’t see that we need that.

VOLO: Maybe not. But that’s what they’re working on. See here comes one now. Ask him yourself.

[Enter LUCKI. He has a collar around his neck and a braided grass rope attached to this. The other end of the rope is still off stage, but LUCKI is pulling hard against it. As he progresses further towards centre stage, enter POZZO, who holds tightly to the other end of the rope with his right hand. In his other hand is a hat.]
 

unmerged(6777)

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Act I. Scene IV

GATSI: (dubiously) Him?

VOLO: Yes. He’s a philosopher and one of our greatest minds.

GATSI: Him?

VOLO: Yes.

MISIO: It’s no wonder we never accomplish anything around here if that’s our greatest mind.

NAPPI: Oh come now. Why only last week he taught us to blow poisoned darts through little tubes. It makes the hunt for diplomats so much easier.

GON: I thought I tasted something funny in my leg.

ESTRA: I’m going to be sick. (He is)

NAPPI: Well, he hasn’t ironed out all of the problems, but it’s a start.

GATSI: What should I ask him?

VOLO: Anything you like. Truly, he has a dizzying intellect.

GATSI: (to LUCKI) I would like a demonstration of your powers of thought.

[LUCKI makes no response, nor does he appear to register the presence of any of the other cast members. He continues to strain at what is now manifestly his leash.]

GASTI: Did you hear me?

[Nothing. Strains.]

GASTI: Hello?

POZZO: (to LUCKI) Stop, pig!

[LUCKI stops]

POZZO: (to GATSI) Are you certain you want to risk that?

GASTI: I beg your pardon?

POSSO: Are you certain that you want him to think? He gets a little unbalanced.

GATSI: I was told he is our greatest mind.

POZZO: Oh, he is. But that isn’t necessarily saying much.

GATSI: But he is our investment in the future, for all the generations yet to come…

POZZO: (snorts) Some investment.

GATSI: What do you mean?

POZZO: Perhaps a demonstration is in order then, if you’re sure you want to take the chance.

GATSI: What kind of chance are we talking about here? Does he get violent or something.

POZZO: No. But he tends to inspire it.

GATSI: Well, we have our master at arms to subdue him if necessary.

POZZO: It very likely will be.

GATSI: Very well. I would still like to hear his thoughts, to know the technological direction our tribe is to take. Tell him to think.

POZZO: So be it. (holds out the hat he is carrying to the chief) Give him his hat.

GATSI: His hat?

POZZO: He can’t think without his hat.

[GATSI takes the hat and moves over to LUCKI and tenders it to him at arm’s length. LUCKI does not move.]

POZZO: You must put it on his head.

GATSI: Tell him to take it.

POZZO: It’s better to put it on his head.

NAPPI: I’ll put it on his head.

[NAPPI takes the hat from GATSI and goes round behind LUCKI, approaches him cautiously, puts the hat on his head and recoils smartly. LUCKI does not move. Silence.]

GATSI: What’s he waiting for?

POZZO: Stand back!

[They move away from LUCKI. POZZO jerks the rope. LUCKI looks at POZZO as if seeing him for the first time.]

POZZO: Think, pig!

[Pause. LUCKI begins to dance.]

POZZO: Stop!

[LUCKI stops]

POZZO: Forward!

[LUCKI advances]

POZZO: Stop!

[LUCKI stops]

POZZO: Think!

[Silence]

LUCKI: On the other hand with regard to –

POZZO: Stop!

[LUCKI stops]

POZZO: Back!

[LUCKI moves back]

POZZO: Stop!

[LUCKI stops]

POZZO: Turn!

[LUCKI turns towards the auditorium]

POZZO: Think!

[During LUCKI’s tirade the others react as follows: initially all attention, then beginning to evince confusion, then shock, then horror. Most of the cast clap their hands to their ears and run screaming from the stage. POZZO stands solemnly throughout, shaking his head in a knowing way. GATSI appears rooted to the spot and on the verge of collapse. NAPPI eventually overcomes his dismay and, with the assistance of GUNGA, they throw themselves on LUCKI who struggles and shouts his text. Only VOLO appears relatively unaffected – he has prepared a parchment of some sort, and furiously scribbles down LUCKI’s words for posterity. Perhaps this deflects his attention enough to immunize him to the content.]

<Author’s note: I debated heavily with myself as to whether to transcribe Lucky’s soliloquy from Waiting For Godot here precisely or try to write one myself. If you’ve never read or seen the play, you should – if only for this moment. Depending on the response (if any) to my effort, I may come back here and replace mine with Beckett’s.>

LUCKI: Send me to the wall and I will walk through it to the greener grass on the other side of the fence as postulated in the seminal works of Fischer and Schroedinger on the existence of the non-existent quaquaquaqua who swims with the swallows and flies with the mantas in the woods of Avalon who woods with the fliers in the seas of Mantua for reasons unknown who can say that here is not there nor there here here there quaquaquaqua for reasons unknown and the armies clash on fields of blodd where trenches wind willy nilly nilly willy through the bones of trees and men and the rocket’s red glare and Atlantis has risen and sunk a thousand times over and still no one can say where it lies though none will say why say why say why in the blue empty sky there appears a bird made of steel and an egg that unleashes the atomic destruction on a city and the burns who shot Mr Burns laid his kilt on the stone while the sheep they did roam but no one knows where they go or where they have been in the works of Fischer and Schroedingdingdingding dong bell curve as the dice tumble the earth will rumble and the quirks give way to muontated quarks that pass through the walls of lead to the greener grass on the other side of the fence as postulated in the disputed works of Fischer and Schroedinger though none will say why a rose smells so sweet whatever its name quaquaquaqua I resume through the wall that can be seen by the men on the moon and where worlds collide in the warp of a sphere that is so large it is infinitely small in the darkness unleashed by cataclysmic destruction I resume for reasons unknown and no one can say where the wind blows in the ascent of man from the fish to the court and off the court if it please you your honour I resume quaquaquaqua I resume I presume I assume I impugn you subsume and must stay in your room for a time out of time where time is bent over backwards by the whip of the divine though no one can say why I resume to walk to the wall in the wall through the wall though no one can say why I resume to walk through the grass to the wall that is greener on the other side of the moon I resume right to the moon Alice who genuflects to the egg and the commies can all die in the chair quaquaquaqua to the skull it speaks as a whisper breathed softly in a lover’s ear where the wind whistles through have you hear the one about the blonde who locked her key in the car and borrowed a coat hanger thoughshe failed and failed to break back in until eventually her friend who was also blonde by the way rolled down the window and offered to give her a hand I digress though no one can say where I am to digress to though according to the seminal works of Fischer and Schroedinger no one can say quaquaquaqua I resume in spite of the hockey to celebrate Guy Lafleur in the green grass on the other side of Atlantis where I walk through the wall (mêlée, final vociferations) to the greener…grass…on…the…other…

POZZO: His hat!

[GUNGA seizes LUCKI’s hat. Silence of LUCKI. He falls. Silence. Panting of the victors.]

NAPPI: Avenged!

[GUNGA examines the hat, peers inside it.]

POZZO: Give me that! (snatches the hat from GUNGA, throws it on the ground, tramples on it) There’s an end to his thinking!

GATSI: And none too soon!

NAPPI: Get him out of here!

POZZO: Up pig!

[LUCKI rises from his catatonia]

POZZO: I must go anyway. Forward march.

[Exit POZZO and LUCKI]

GATSI: I suppose it’s reasonable to assume that we won’t be seeing any technical advances in many generations at this rate.

[VOLO nods emphatically]

[Enter: HUD]

HUD: My lord!

GATSI: Aye.

HUD: There has been a strange sighting at sea. You must come see.

GATSI: Very well. Let’s go take a look shall we.

[Exeunt]

[Lights Down - Intermission]
 
Last edited:

Nikolai II

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:D Brilliant and pioneering as always from the great MrT although this removes yet another country from my AAR-list, leaving only Kongo among first-grade outlandish choices.

I have seen "I väntan på Godot" as the swedish translation goes, but i am afraid I was too young to fully enjoy it. I am quite enjoying this though.
 

Sharur

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ROFL! :D

It certainly is hard to make Zimbabwe interesting, but you've not only made it interesting, you've made it hilarious. I loved Lucki's soliloquy, and the bit about bananas, calendars, and inflation :D Great, great stuff, MrT.
 

unmerged(6777)

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Dec 10, 2001
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Act II. Scene I

[Lights up. DIN has just finished felling the tree and now begins to laboriously scratch at the top of the log. It this is the way he makes his dug-out canoes, it will be months before this one is finished.]

[Enter MISIO stage right, appearing to have nothing much to do. He glances briefly at DIN but decides to leave him to his work. He moves to the now-identified Art Gallery and begins admiring the “statues”.]

[Enter: TRADO stage left, walking in the direction of the admin building]

MISIO: Trado! A word if I may?

TRADO: (stops) Certainly Misio.

MISIO: I’ve been meaning to ask you something for a while but it always slips my mind.

TRADO: What’s that?

MISIO: Well…you’re a merchant, right?

TRADO: (puffs himself up with importance) Yes indeed. I ply our wares on the world markets. (deflates somewhat) Well, market actually. I only know of one.

MISIO: Oh?

TRADO: Yes. Zanzibar. It’s an island to the north.

MISIO: To the north?

TRADO: Un huh. It’s not all that far really…maybe a two-week’s paddle or so.

MISIO: But how do you get there? How do you know your way? Our best cartographers have only charted our immediate surroundings – you know…those areas where we have settlements.

TRADO: Well, I just load up my canoe and set off towards the north until I get there.

MISIO: But aren’t you afraid? No one ever dares to go beyond a day trip, whether walking or paddling.

TRADO: I don’t really think about it. I just make the journey.

MISIO: But don’t you think you could, then, add to our map of the world?

TRADO: Oh no. I’m no artist. I couldn’t possibly attempt something like that. I’d get it all wrong.

MISIO: Then why don’t you take someone else along with you?

TRADO: No one will go. I have a hard enough time getting the slaves on board.

MISIO: Slaves?

TRADO: Oh yes. We have rather a lot of slaves.

MISIO: Really?

TRADO: Sure…mind you no one’s really interested in buying them. But what else have we got? Besides, it gives Pozzo something to do when he isn’t taking Lucki out for a walk.

MISIO: Well we must have something?

TRADO: (snorts) Iron? Who needs iron? Wood is plenty strong enough in the hands of a man who knows what to do with it. Grain? We barely have enough to feed the zebras. Fish? We net just enough to feed the slaves…fattens them up so when we’re running low on foreign diplomats we have something to each other than ourselves. And of course we can’t trade our gold.

MISIO: You’re not going to start talking about bananas again are you?

TRADO: Well I was going to, but that’s not really your line is it? Allah doesn’t go in much for sight gags – or so you say.

MISIO: He doesn’t. Or at least it isn’t in The Book.

[Silence. TRADO makes a move to leave…]

MISIO: You mentioned world markets. Do you think there are more?

TRADO: Well there must be. I meet other people at the market all the time. One of them was bragging just the other month about having a monopoly in somewhere or other. I don’t know how he achieved that. I barely know how to get my stuff to Zanzibar.

MISIO: So do you think that there are many other peoples across the globe?

TRADO: I don’t know. I doubt it though. There can only be so many trees that big.

MISIO: Big?

TRADO: Yeah. I tried describing one of the other merchant’s canoes to Din one time but he thought I must have been snorting powdered elephant tusk.

MISIO: How big are we talking here?

TRADO: You wouldn’t believe me.

MISIO: Try me.

TRADO: (looking around measuringly) Well…see our government hut?

MISIO: Un huh.

TRADO: Image a tree that is at least a hand of hands longer and maybe and hand higher.

DIN: (snorts loudly then tries to cover it up by faking a cough)

MISIO: (translating to himself) Hand of hands…that’s five times five…um…(to TRADO) That’s impossible!

TRADO: That’s what he said. But I’ve seen it with my own eyes. They also had a branch the size of a tree growing straight out of the middle of it that they hung their bed-sheets on.

MISIO: (thoroughly confused by now. Faintly) Bed sheets?

TRADO: That’s what it looked like. They hung them all up on the branch. Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t all blow away. Then they clipped into some current and drifted away quicker than I could paddle, even though I looked for the current later myself. I guess they’re elusive around there.

MISIO: Are you making fun of me?

TRADO: Not at all!

MISIO: It sure sounds like it.

TRADO: (angry now) Well you don’t have to believe me do you!!! I’ve got better things to do than to stand here and argue with a guy reads from a stupid book that washed up on the beach!!!!

[Exit TRADO]

MISIO: (calling after him) I only wanted to know if the book might… (but realizes it’s too late and grinds to a halt.)
 

Carolus Rex

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ROTFLMAO!!
Great!!! Wonderful!! :D

This is a complete new thing. :) Lovely! :)
 

unmerged(6777)

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Act II. Scene II

Author’s note: please try to overlook the utter impossibility that a Zimbabwe native would be able to read a Sunni text when there has been absolutely no contact with any other culture whatsoever. I was forced to make a similar concession when the “Moslem Influence in Africa” event dutifully rolled around in 1517. “WTF?” I thought…nevertheless I took the “convert” option…much to my subsequent (I think) dismay. Maybe in “revenge” I’m also misrepresenting the Sunni religion horribly since I can’t confess to really knowing much about it at all…

**************************************************

[MISIO walks dejectedly over to where DIN is working away]

MISIO: There can’t be a tree that big?

DIN: No.

MISIO: You’re that sure are you?

DIN: It would be utterly, and in all other ways, inconceivable.

MISIO: I’ll take your word for it.

[DIN returns to his work]

MISIO: So why does he get all hot and bothered about it?

DIN: I think he truly believes he saw one.

MISIO: Well I can sympathise with that.

[DIN makes no reply, continues to work]

MISIO: I only wanted to ask him about The Book.

[DIN is absorbed.]

MISIO: About the peoples you meet at the centre of trade. I mean, it makes sense that if you have a centre of trade, you must be trading with someone. Trade doesn’t work unless you’ve got two people.

[DIN seems to nod, though it’s probably to himself about something related to the construction of the dugout.]

MISIO: So I was wondering about all those people, out there, somewhere. Why don’t they reveal themselves to us. The closest thing we’d seen to another person are the foreign diplomats, but they’re like the apes and speak gibberish and their skin is too pale. Good eating though. And more meat than a chimp or a baboon. But there must be more people out there somewhere.

[DIN still offers no response, nor in fact any indication that he is listening.]

MISIO: I wondered if Allah had given them a Book too. I wondered if they all believed in its words because, I can tell you, not everyone here believes in The Book…

[DIN continues to ignore MISIO throughout the following speech, though plainly MISIO is under the false impression the DIN is all ears. By purest happenstance, DIN’s greatest grunts of exertion coincide with the moments in MISIO’s monologue where he is apparently expecting DIN to respond, and so he is fooled.]

MISIO: It’s hard, you know. All these years, all these doubts…I try to stay true to the faith…true to The Book…I really try…but every once in a while I find myself wondering…you know…about the meaning of it all. Why did Allah choose to send his word to us by washing The Book up on the beach? Why did he not send us his messenger himself? It seems so…I don’t know…coincidental…so…nonsensical. I can’t make heads or tails of it. I mean, we were happy. We had our gods, our beliefs, our value systems…why did Allah need to change all of that? Why try to right a wrong…or is that write a wrong? It seems to have done us more harm than good. The people are up in arms about it in half the kingdom. Some people are saying that eating diplomats is bad. Some are saying that eating slaves is bad. How can this be? We have done so for more years than ol’ Volo has on record. Are we happier now? Do we treat each other any better than we did before? And you know, privately, I think it’s probably The Book that unhinged poor Lucki. He was such a quiet lad. Used to slip the odd banana under foot, mind you, but that’s all harmless child’s play. Now look at him. I started to read it to him and he ran about practically frothing at the mouth. It’s the same all over. I try and I try, but it’s so taxing, so demanding, so thankless a task. But you know all about that don’t you. Working all day for ages to hollow out our canoes. I wonder why The Book never makes any mention of them? It mentions fish a few times, and nets, but I don’t think that canoes come into it in the slightest. Strange, I’d never thought about that before…actually, bananas don’t make it either. Imagine that. No bananas. But I digress. You know every once in a while I wonder if Allah really did send us The Book. I mean look at some of the things it says. Like covering one’s body completely. Doesn’t Allah now how blessed hot it gets here? Can’t he see that it’s one thing to be modest and another altogether to bake to death. Follow every one of his rules and you’d end up like a foreign diplomat in one of Kuok’s stews…of course The Book doesn’t agree with that practice. You know what I think? I think that maybe The Book was intended for someone else and ended up here by accident. Maybe Allah wanted to send us another Book but got it all crossed up and gave us someone else’s and gave them our. Maybe there’s some tribe somewhere beyond the horizon reading our Book. In fact, if makes sense that if Allah can make a mistake like that then I wonder if there really is an Allah? Maybe some other land…some far away place where the people are savages…maybe they need something like The Book to tell them what to do; so they made it all up…Allah…The Book…everything. Its their form of self control…a crutch for the spirit when all you need to do is run in the grasslands to know that it’s really kill or be killed. Why worship the rising of the sun? Why worship at all if you can be true to yourself and a good companion to your friends…you don’t need someone to tell you how…you just do it. What do you think, Din? Do you believe in Allah and The Book? What do you think it all means?

DIN: (slips with the rock and slices deeply into his knuckle. Bleeds) Shit!!!

MISIO: (shocked) Really! Allah? The Book? All of it?

DIN: Shit! Shit! Shit! (Puts his hand in his mouth and runs into the admin building to bandage his wound)

[Exit DIN]

MISIO: I never knew he felt so strongly about it. And here I was, preaching The Book, trying to get our tribesman to mend their evil was, and all the time…no wonder they reacted so violently.

[MISIO, sadly shaking his head, mopes his way off stage.]

[Exit MISIO]

[DIN returns, wrapping a white linen cloth around his hand, looks around as though just noticing that MISIO has gone, shrugs, and settles back to his task.]
 

Sharur

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Great stuff, MrT, the monologue was wonderful :D This is fantastic, I never would have thought of doing a play.
 

unmerged(6777)

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Act II. Scene III

[Enter ROSEN and STERN, stage right. Shortly afterward, enter PLAYR and entourage (of about 6) stage right…]

PLAYR: (loudly, in a “stage” voice) Hail! Well met, friends.

[Both nobles cast furtive glances at the sky, then each other, then refocus on PLAYR]

STERN: A little light rain perhaps?

ROSEN: Do I know you?

PLAYR: Trust me. No.

STERN: Art thou sure?

ROSEN: Trust you?

PLAYR: This would be a trifle easier if you two would get in synch.

STERN: Well said!

ROSEN: What?

[Silence.]

ROSEN: What are you, then, sir?

PLAYR: I am an act-or of some repute.

ROSEN: Care to make a wager?

PLAYR: Pardon?

ROSEN: A wager. Bet. Care to chance the odds?

PLAYR: I am above that! Heads!!!

STERN: No bet! (but it is too late. The coin is passed over)

ROSEN: Again?

PLAYR: Again?

ROSEN: Again.

PLAYR: Most certainly…heads.

[predictably, the coin passes to PLAYR]

ROSEN: Well…

PLAYR: Again. Heads.

[Yet another coin]

ROSEN: Ag…

STERN: Perhaps we should call?

PLAYR: By all means.

STERN: Double or nothing?

PLAYR: For the whole shot?

STERN: Double or nothing.

PLAYR: Very well.

STERN: (quickly!…) Heads!

[The coin falls on the ground and STERN rapidly covers it with his foot before the result of cast is known.]

STERN: Double or nothing?

PLAYR: (licking his lips in nervous antici…….pation) Tails!

[STERN raises his foot. Triumphant. PLAYR is crushed.]

PLAYR: Who would have thunk it?

STERN: Sooooo….you are an ac-tor, yes?

PLAYR: Yes.

STERN: And what do you play?

PLAYR: Oh..well...you know. Tragedy, sir. Deaths and disclosures, universal and particular, denouements both unexpected and inexorable, melodrama on all levels including the suggestive. We transport you into a world of intrigue and illusion…clowns, if you like, murderers – we can do ghosts and battles - on the skirmish level - heroes, villains, tormented lovers – set pieces in the poetic vein; we can do you rapiers, or rape, or both, by all means, faithless wives and ravished virgins – flagrente delicto at a price, but that comes under realism for which there are special…err (he contemplates the coin on the floor) terms.

STERN: Plays?

PLAYR: Plays? Certainly, sir, if that is your desire, though it costs little more to participate – times being what they are.

STERN: What are they?

PLAYR: Indifferent.

STERN: Bad?

PLAYR: Wicked. Now what precisely is your pleasure?

STERN: Plays. One of the Zimbabweans, perhaps? You’re familiar with the tragedies of antiquity, are you? The great homicidal classics? Maidens aspiring to godheads…

ROSEN: And vice versa…

STERN: Your kind of thing, is it?

PLAYR: Well, no, I can’t say it is, really. We’re more of the blood, love and rhetoric school.

STERN: Well, I’ll leave the choice to you, if there is anything to choose between them.

PLAYR: They’re hardly divisible, sir – well, I can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and I can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and I can do you all three concurrent or consecutive, but I can’t do you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory – they’re all blood, you see.

ROSEN: Blood?

PLAYR: Blood.

STERN: Nonetheless, the choice is yours.

[PLAYR and his entourage now proceed to enact a mime. Other than PLAYR, all others are divided into groups where a smaller number of them are covered in a strange silver foil. The play they produce is macabre in the extreme, with the silver-clad actors – though outnumbered - making obscure motions (vaguely like the motion of slashing swords, not that we would know what THOSE are) and whereby at the end of the piece the silver-clad one win a decisive victory, slaying all the others, and finishing with the PLAYR who is also mock-slain and dies a glorious (and highly overly dramatic) death. DIN actually ceases his work to watch, though all three observers are dumbfounded at the proceedings.]

[Silence. The acting troop is awaiting applause and none is forthcoming…]

STERN: That’s it then, is it?

PLAYR: Is that not enough?

STERN: Aye. ‘T will suffice.

PLAYR: I will take my leave of you then, sirs.

[Exit PLAYR and the acting troop, dejected as though having failed to communicate some underlying essential plot point.]
 

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Royal Highland Fusilier
Apr 15, 2001
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I must congratulate you on your excellent, innovative, and funny like hell AAR. :)

Everyone must read R&G are Dead. That is the new decree. :)

Perhaps MrT should make it a prerequisite before reading this AAR... ;)