A Spoof Introducing An Epic Poem

Investing In the Extraterrestrial Paintcoin

By Douglas Gilbert

Copyright © 2018 Douglas Gilbert

All rights reserved.

ISBN  978-1-387-52268-2

Introduction

It used to be said that gambling was a sin. However, many things nowadays have been legalized. So as they say, let he who is stoned throw the first sin chip card upon the table. Go and be fruitful in the orchard of life.  Have a sip of wine, but don’t invest while driving someone crazy. Find a strategy that’s best for your temperament and skill, but be open-minded.

The best investing strategy to use for mindless speculation is the Frog Coddling Coda Avoidance Tuning (Froccat) method. There’s an old saw that “If you put a frog in boiling water, it’ll jump out, but if you put a frog in cold water and heat it gradually on a low flame, it won’t realize it’s too hot until it’s too late.” So it’s best to throw cold water on everything and not be the frog. But do jump on the Bandwagon before it starts moving.

When you’re first tuning up the instruments on the Bandwagon you always have to look to the sidelines to spot strategic locations where you can jump off into the road or bushes.  Once the campaign starts don’t wait until there’s water under the bridge because that would not be a good jumping off point even with a bungee cord Condordat (BCC) with the authorities. Always remember that apocryphal stories always have a concordance with a frog entry. So when in cold water always take a leap-of-faith (LOF).

Thus, strategic investing requires a LOL LOF Froccat on a hot tin roof, and a happy tune sung like Polonius without a tin ear. So “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” (Hamlet Act II Scene II).

The Extraterrestrial Paintcoin is a more artful form of currency than is its digital cousins. Although, it’s oft been said that first cousins jumping on a bandwagon for a hay ride should never marry on a bridge, or never marry while playing bridge whilst singing a happy tune about Hamlet eating cuisses de grenouilles.

What Is the Extraterrestrial Paintcoin?

The Paintcoin is a square book of coded pictures and poems.  It is designed to look like an ordinary Earth-art coffee-table book of no consequence.  However the Extraterrestrials have assigned a monetary value to it that is honored among their compatriots on Earth.

The Origin of the Paintcoin

The Paintcoin emerged in stages in the community of  alien anthropology students living on Earth.  Starting as a joke, it eventually was seen to actually be a practical expedient for commerce among the isolated students who had been given the hardship assignment of studying Earth culture. It was intended to be exchanged among Extraterrestrials only.  It has since become an opportunity for humans.

However, investing in Extraterrestrial Paintcoins is a difficult and dangerous enterprise, but some people thrive on the thrill of the hunt.  If you’re willing to take on enormous risk you can find one of your own to keep or trade.  But what is the source of Paintcoins you might ask. Perhaps a little background is necessary.

There are Extraterrestrial beings with extraordinary powers living on Earth now, but many are hiding in caves in temperate zones, or hiding at camouflaged bases under the South and North Poles. Being away from a distant planet can be lonely, but sometimes they come to the surface to play with soap bubbles.

It’s fun to blow bubbles, and if you blow them at the North Pole, the soap film will freeze into the shape of a permanent globe before it reaches the ground.  Drawing a map on a soap bubble is a little bit more difficult.  With the right kind of paint and quantum-atomic laser tools, a world map can be drawn on the surface of a bubble.  It can identify the location of gold deposits and other precious metals and medals — even a lost Olympic medal or religious icon…

However, the E.T.’s do not consider metals, such as gold, rare or important.  They have perfected the use of other exotic metals in alloys impossible to produce on Earth. These they consider precious.

It’s only recently that I’ve learned that these visitors from Outer Space are finding it difficult to engage in commerce especially among their own compatriots living on Earth, because they are not comfortable using Earth currencies such as the Dollar, or the Euro and have a bias against Gold because it’s not precious on their home planet. As far as the Bit Coin, their fellow travelers could easily hack into the underlying computer system if they wanted to.  It’s been awhile but I think my sources were trustworthy.

A prescient source had revealed to me that they would choose a rare Earth object as a medium of exchange.  I was told that a small number of these objects would be released soon and the value would be determined based on the level of speculation as regulated by the League. It would be legal tender on the home planet for the settlement of all debts accumulated while visiting Earth. In the rare event that Earthlings might acquire one of these objects they would be allowed to redeem them on any Extraterrestrial planet belonging to the League at a rate to be determined by the local jurisdiction. An Earth artisan would be chosen to create such object. It would be a combination of primitive Earth graphics and poetry to avoid suspicion when traded.

Little did I know that I would be appointed their Deputy Varishynahuki.  Well, there is good news and bad news I think. The good news is that I’ve gotten the commission to design the E.T.’s currency on Earth. The Deputy position is sort of like their version of the Treasurer of the United States.

The bad news is that I don’t get paid except in the new currency which I can only use on their home planet or to buy one of their space craft. I think they are a million or so light years away and I suppose I could go there except that I get carsick and seasick.

I suppose it’s an honor except that no human is supposed to take possession of this proposed object except for me. It had been thought that maybe one or two might “accidentally” fall into the hands of an Earthling besides me and be secretly traded. At some point I had thought maybe I could sell mine for some Earthly goods or services.

Now the problem is that I have to find someone who can trade it under my supervision like in the Dutch Tulip mania of 1637, but I’d have to be sure to sell before the crash. Well, I guess then I’d have to get over seasickness. However, it’s already too late to keep control of the situation.

“Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…” — Shakespeare

Although it is forbidden for Earthlings other than me to have Paintcoins, it appears that an underground trade has begun.  Based on limited data, a Friends-of-Paintcoin (FoP) network would seem to be metastisizing into a pseudo-Tulip-blossoming (ptb).  But based on inside sources the right to validate is assigned according to an intricate system of both Proof-of-Genealogy (PoG) and of Proof-of- encryption-paradigm-competence (PoEPC) tests.

To simplify: The renegades are distributing Paintcoins based on kinship with Extraterrestrials generations ago. Let the alert investor find one of these, and I will try to assist them.  I don’t know how long the elite Extraterrestrials will tolerate this uncouth behavior.  Perhaps they are tacitly accepting the trade to maintain a convenient currency for their expatriate community. But the Extraterrestrials often research Earth literature for clues to human behavior and economics.

Before investing it is best to study economics as seen in fiction.  Once a modicum of understanding is achieved, the hunt to find a copy of the Extraterrestrial Paintcoin can begin if one is brave.  This is not an offer to sell or buy such an illusory object.  Due diligence should be undertaken by prospective hunters, and no action should be taken without consulting with their financial advisors.

For the study of economics, here are some epic poems to ponder:

Epic Poems

Centaur in Mosow With Missile

DisCERNment (Draft A)

In science there can be elegance in
theory before application.

Come ye all to praise Science,
to embrace the vacuum bomb, and
the hyper-sonic missile of Putnik

Beauty is in the eye of the lover
delusion is in the ear of the hater.

See then of spectacles and of specks:

a gang leader perceives disrespect
like a small particle of pathology;
an autocrat perceives an insult
like a threat to empire.

It is dire to
dis’ a tyrant in a country without brioche
as megalomania is bred a first disease
before bread and butter toast uttermost,
before honey, udder milk, and cheese, because
before truth there is propaganda
(let them eat blue cheese)

Yet ask,
is there a prayer for political science…

Pray tell:
of those bellicose leaders
the porcine ones would
commandeer science for minions
to see and conquer prey
like wolves on deer

In science there can be elegance in
theory before application, like
the je ne sais quoi particle that the
“Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire”
(CERN) produced for scientists, even Russians —

i.e. n.b. (nota bene) disCERN:
poor Dmitri of Mosow University
discoverer of the Piggs Boson,
trying to milk the subject of particles,
was expelled from CERN when
the Higgs Boson instead was declared
less bellicose in a toast to peace

Come ye all to
praise the art of war

Screams, squeals, and barks
are heard in Mosow, and
the son of a sow will soon
be bacon unless he magically
gains horse sense with
a radioactive Centaur elixir
to transform him, and he

unlike Catherine the Great
is successful in
the battle to safely
have sex with a horse.

Public Executions & A Firing Squad for Children

The Firing Squad

Beware Ukraine kin
freedom is in jeopardy

Shine light on the seeds of truth
and let freedom grow to glory.

Beware the Machiavellian chutzpah:
Russians have claimed that
Ukrainians are giving rifles to
2-year-old children.

With all ernestness
Moscow says they
have videos showing
children running in the streets
shouting “Dah, dah, ma-ma,” and
shooting innocent Russian peacekeepers.

Speaking of the Devil:
Vladimir Stalinovich Putnik
is not a mere charming rogue,
star of a propaganda movie who
gets an inglorious Oscar
and a Nobel Prize in
the Physics of war

No, he has plans, and
has already completed Part 1.

Part 2 rumored.
For sure, war crimes, but
it’s too late to
stop diplomats
from normalizing evil.

Talk, talk, talk.

Meanwhile a plan made
for Public Executions,
after shelling, of course.

Public executions?
Communication intercepts of a General
seemed to indicate odd events:

“I have my orders, and
now you have yours.

“Assemble the firing squad
in the central square.

“No, don’t worry about America.
They are very busy closing oil wells,
trying to design windmill cars, and dreaming
about super efficient solar-powered jet planes.

“Yes, do it. We don’t dream. We kill.
It’s your job to
assemble the firing squad.

“Soldier, be brave!
We have president Putnik the magnificent,
they have Don Quixote and friends.”

Reports:

The firing squad was assembled.
The condemned were put in their play pens.

They were asked if they had any last words,
or had any last requests. The babies did:

Antin:
“I want my Mommy.”

Galyna:
“Read me a story.”

Boryslav:
“I am two. Sing Happy Birthday.”
Anichka replied with a mispronounced
‘Birthday’ in a song:
“Happy Birffy to you…”

Borysko with crayons:
“Make me a circle”

So the soldiers assembled in a circle
and fired on each other.

Dew in the sunshine
like tears of luck.

But let not myths
become real.
Nowadays
who knows
what might happen
in the dark.

道格拉斯·吉尔伯特 Plays With Gavin Newsom

Pagliaccio in a Parking Lot
     by Douglas Gilbert
    A play inspired by the Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill**

I am a Grand actor of sorts
a poet in the wings who cavorts
in the Muse’s feathers, a chum
on words from outer plays ‘n
three nested plays undone


Restaurant play:
Everyone must play
must act, and an
actress is a star
who sweet chats and
waits to perform

She launched her dream
(a place to dilly-dally)
on Pineapple Hill
(a salad in paradise)
On Pineapple Hill
(a bar and grill)
Burgers and dill

The stars shined bright
(the whole enchelada)
on Pineapple Hill
(a bar and grill)

and dilly dawdled until
(serving pies and thrills)
success could fill the bill

At first:
the wind in the sails and sales
made all the staff sing a light song
but the caveats for loans Gavel tallied
to merchants of Venice beach et. al.
were a deception locked away
in the fines and fine print i.e.
demands for a pound of flesh; indeed
for the lobbyists a pork barrel.

Gavel Nuisance was a noise:
bag pipes in the plague,
who destroyed a dream
on Pineapple Hill.


Three plays of farce were to be done, and
she of Pineapple Hill in fun,
in pun sweet sorrrow said:

“It’s so warm, so cold, and
Gavel, I never thought
you’d be so cruel
screwing indoor dining
in the California lockdown

“You rob me of my dignity
my life’s dream, kill my
employees and their families
who try to take home the bacon
but you dine with lobbyists
to provide the pork barrels

“and we are the vomit chits
when you drown your guilt
in bubbling Champagne gilt
for mobs of plutocrats

“For us
the hope of being open was promised
for taut moments outdoors:
California ‘morn would be
intense with tents to be bought

“forgive me my outdoor tents:
an instant plunk down of cash,
forty-thousand for the tents
because you, Gavel Nuisance
crater science data
hands down”

But Gavel had gone indoors
to the dark side to
discuss the plays
the feigns

The waiting room of the stars is the restaurant;
to close a Burgermeister’s small business
is a tragicomedy deserving enough serving,
fries on a steak stake, o’er the ramparts dinged:
but a play with words begins in a strut.


California Gomorrah and
dirty laundry.

OH YE PREFACE OF LITTLE FAITH

Audience, I am the first inner Prologue —
please, a laugh for the buffoons.
I have seen the political plague
a Machiavellian farce for the stages
a canvas under pretense, an intense tent

Nedda Liberté is assumed to be heavenly
but she dines and flirts with Gavel Nuisance

they strut across staged plays, its
life a play, the struts the tent poles
and there are nascent plays
to be undone, before done,
players done or burned at a steak lost
with charred lies in a burger inquistion
red spurts from wounds exhausted

ACT ONE
Near the doorway of a haute French Restaurant,
a limousine pulls up to flaunt the haunt, enticed
crowds gather, throwing pellets of dry ice —

“Hail! Hail to the Governor!”
The chauffeur, fool Tonio bizarre
in a Harlequin uniform exits the car,
to run and open the passenger door
for poor Nedda Liberté,


A guile Mr. Nuisance in exigent pomp
promptly sprints around the car back,
to smack right into a Tonio dispatched,
Nuisance like a Pagliaccio:

“I’ll get it. My wife is for me. You attend to cars.”

CROWDS UNDOUBTING
Hail to the Prince of Clowns. Bravo!

GAVEL NUISANCE
Tonio don’t lose it, don’t
let the hail dent the car. Fools…
Let them eat spam. Nedda let’s go in.

CROWDS UNDOUBTING
Hail to the Prince of Clowns.
We throw our dry ice for dry humor.

GAVEL
Ha yes, I dabble in that, but
you’ll see a fine Pagliaccio later
and I will have my vengeance…
Tonio will shake. Come later.
For now we’re unmasked.

The staff rolled out the kitchen sink,
flexible hoses attached, to wash the driveway,
the car, the crowd using the hoses for the day
for jump roping ‘n throwing soap suds in sync


though
rosebud Nedda Liberté with Gavel Nuisance
unraveled a way toward an august entrance

CROWD UNDOUBTING
Let’s go to the parking lot.
Burgers for all. No end outdoors
to enchaladas and grilled catfish

Scene two needing to be unseen in the Restaurant.
They are seated at a blue table of A-list lobbyists.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Yes, waitress: Sabayon of pearl tapioca, yes
Island Creek ova caviar

NEDDA LIBERTÉ
Me too. I’ll not make hay; looks good —
thanks Li Chuntao, and gee Miss Li
um, ha!, has your acting career
withstood the “slings and arrows”?

LI CHUNTAO
My agent says, any day now,
I’ll do better than playing a corpse…

NEDDA LIBERTÉ
Good luck with the corpus delicti Miss Li.
(Um, Gavel, you should get me pearls if
ever for deeds an apology gift is needed)

Li Chuntao departs.
Liu Dai-tai enters.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Hmm, it was a fleeting glance, and
oh here’s someone you should meet.
(Hello, Miss Liu Dai-tai, may I present
sweet Nedda Liberté, my wife and treat)

LI DAI-TAI
Pleased to meet you at liberty.
Gavel tells me you’re very busy.
(Gavel, I need you for a few minutes.
In good spirit, let’s lie together; it’s
perfectly round and flawless)

NEDDA LIBERTÉ
What?!

Gavel goes off with Dai-tai.

LIU DAI-TAI
Gavel, the prop lady needs cajoling
to be on the same page
about the bed on stage
in the trampoline scene.
A white lie is needed; so
let us both compliment
her pearl necklace, and she’ll
amend the supports as a favor.
But, um…

GAVEL
Wherefore the problem?

LIU DAI-TAI
It’s perfectly round and flawless.
no silk threads, no knots
cheap clasp

GAVEL
So?

LIU DAI-TAI
It’s a fake.
Let’s lie together, and
tell her it’s real.

A photographer appears with hors d’oeuvres.
Gavel sneaks out the back to throw a curve.
Leaves Nedda at the table. Tonio observes,
furtively sits down.

NEDDA
Tonio, is the car cleaned?

TONIO
Yes, yes Nedda. But you’re a beauty,
a cutie like a goddess adored

MISS LI CHUNTAO
Oh, are you the chauffer? Have you come for instructions
or will you be having something or funning us?

TONIO
I will have the privilege to adore
this goddess who sits with me
like an angel. I will have her see
her husband has disgraced her
and takes leave out the backdoor

MISS LI
Are you sure?

TONIO
Bring me a sliced chicken
and I will cook the skin on
ferocious fires of my desire.
Give me a breast of the times
and a Pie à la Mode

MISS LI
For eating or throwing?

NEDDA
Ha! Give him his just deserts, and
I will have dessert for throwing.

MISS LI
Funny. I’ll find something
suitable for a comedian.
I’ll take my leave before
a spasm of laughter
makes me drop a dish.
Ha! Ciao Goddess and suitor.

TONIO
So he’s gone and
what did he say?

NEDDA
Liu Dai-Tai said they should lie together.

TONIO
A shameless proposal.
So we have a chance at romance.
You glow like the sun, and
I bask in your warmth, honey

NEDDA
Yes, of course, sonny —
I am bright, and
you are dim.
Oh but
the dimwitted one
admires my beauty

TONIO
Show me your wit
with a kiss of compassion
for a fool you’ll learn to love.

NEDDA
Oh hurrumph ha gaaah

Tonio lunges at her glare, diving.
She blocks with a chair stops him in place.
Stares. For her the ordered pie arrives,
at her hand it flies, and finds his face.
A crowd gathers at a distance safe.

TONIO
So let’s kiss and make up.

CROWD
Kiss, kiss, kiss…

NEDDA
Oh what fate will bring me down? These deeds
betray madness hounding; I’m beseiged
by comedians, sad buffoons, and clowns.

TONIO
You mock me?
For this you will pay. Yes.
I’ll tell you this: indeed
your husband mocks you.

NEDDA
No matter.

She sees Silvio her lover behind a column.

TONIO
Do I distract you from your shame
little mocking bird, poor dame?

NEDDA
Go now twit or I will hit you with
a wild goose…

CROWD
Kiss, kiss, kiss the chaste and
chase the goose until he can roost.

TONIO
Trollop!

NEDDA
Buffoon!

Tonio leaves.

NEDDA
Silvio! Come through the crowd!
Darling Silvio, where shall we go
where kisses are blisses and…

CROWD
Kiss, kiss, kiss…
there’s a residence in the back

The staff laughs

NEDDA AND SILVIO
Did you say:
There’s a residence in the back
and we shall have a snack

There’s a
Residence,
in the,
back

SILVIO
Well then, over the wall
we’ll run away quick
Yes,
if you wish to kiss me
you have to sing in praise yes
amazed to raise a love to love
and then

NEDDA
Then
oh staunch wall of love
you’ll be with me, and

the debauched glee,
you bring to me yeah
and shall I say again then

NEDDA and SILVIO
There’s a residence in the back
and we shall leer with snacks
a residence
in the
rear

Nedda and Silvio retreat to a private back room
CONCIERGE
Welcome. We are proud that you
will be the first to use (for amusement)
our new facility conducive for play
by actors or politicians.

If there’d be anything you need,
let us know. For this inauguration —
a complimentary bar, and for a stunning
pièce de résistance: two masterpieces
developed by our chief pâtissier. Ah indeed
our chef presents for you for a first tease:
Tartes à la crème double pour la comédie!

SILVIO
Excusez-moi?

CONCIERGE
Ah yes, two “Banana Cream Pies.”

SILVIO
Well, ha, this is a different hurrah than
a complimentary mint found or scrounged.
C’est assez grand, et voici un pourboire.

NEDDA
What?

SILVIO
I said, wow — here’s a tip.
(Thank you. You may go.)

NEDDA TO SILVIO
Let’s make plans dear:
we’ll run away wild
and I remember how
we played in the snow
wrote a poem together
as if we rhymed well
held love in a meter, and

as you know dear love angel
I am a quintessential plus one

but don’t be afraid if I brag about you
because I love you enough to sing a cappella
with the accompaniment of the lub dub

Let’s make plans:
we’ll run away

escape with me my lover
because we play so well

and remember how well we fell
on a ski slope in an
avalanche of love
and so gentle was
the snow fight, because
you are so cute when
you banter and we laugh
at a quirk of difference
so charming, so sexy, and
we are so right to be wrong

SILVIO
But what about the play?

NEDDA
You are of play, by play,
and for play of the people —
Yes?

SILVIO
You are to be Ann O’Malley,
wife of Pagliaccio —
touché?

NEDDA
Oh my God, I forgot
all about the role and plot.
I’ll get an understudy, and we
can pull out tonight. Go at once.
Oh hell, I hear a commotion, run.

SILVIO
Wait, don’t panic. I’ll peek out the door…
the furor’s just Li Chuntao. Perfect chance.
(Miss Li, could you change coarse for a second?)

LI CHUNTAO
Yes?

SILVIO
Come in please.

LI CHUNTAO
Yes?

SILVIO
Nedda needs an understudy for her part in a play.

NEDDA
Have you read “Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo?

LI CHUNTAO
I have. Yes, it’s a lot of clowning around, and what’s your part?

NEDDA
Well, it’s a little complicated you might say.
We’re doing a parody fray under a tent,
intense folly in the parking lot adjacent
the Pineapple Hill place..
Um, anyway, you see
I play Ann O’Malley.

LI CHUNTAO
Who? I don’t recognize the guise.

NEDDA
Oh, yeah. We changed the name.
It was Columbina wife of Canio the pain.
Now I’m Ann O’Malley, wife of Pagliaccio.

LI CHUNTAO
Um, well… I don’t look Irish or Italian

NEDDA
Ha! It’s comedy, yes:
just sing to make it up
make up on the make

A put on
to be on

Stage it, make it
So make it up
make it up
make it up

with makeup
a little powder puff
with Leprechaun dust,
it’ll make it enough

make-believe
dissemble please
make away with made up,
assemble the façade, and
save face that way an act

LI CHUNTAO
I think I can make it, but…

Noise in the hallway

NEDDA
Thank you. Beppe will give you a script.

LI CHUNTAO
Who?

NEDDA
Ask Tonio to point you to Beppe, but quick. Thank you.

SILVIO
Oh god, I hear Gavel’s voice in the hallway. I’ll run. Tonight forever…

NEDDA
Go quick.

Silvio runs. Gavel leaps seeing the back
of his head and nape of the neck fleeing;
Silvio jumps over a wall and escapes.
Gavel returns out of breath and in a rage.
Bursts in, not to be assuaged from revenge.

NEDDA
Gavel, what are you doing here?

GAVEL NUISANCE
What am I doing here? What am I? Hell. Who was that?

NEDDA
Who?

GAVEL NUISANCE
No one betrays me.

Gavel pulls out a stiletto from his jacket.

NEDDA
Ha! Merely practicing your part now.
Are you? Oh so dramatic, dear clown.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Tell me his name or I
will slit your throat for
the blood of a purge, and
make extant your last moment
deathbed confession;
you will birth his name
his name, his name.

NEDDA
Never. You are a pest at best.
Go to hell pompous pet.
Go scamper away. Insect!
Buzz off. Ha, minor actor be gone.
I never loved you at all.

Gavel lunges at her with the stilletto. She dodges. She screams. Beppe runs in

BEPPE
What are you doing?

NEDDA
He’s practicing his meager
talents as an assassin manqué
and the buffoon is in a clown rage.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Beppe,
Laugh if you will, but for the victim
the blade of fate is sharp and deadly;
Honor is no laughing matter, and
I will spare her from bleeding out
only that I may hear the spoken name
of her crime and that of the villain

BEPPE
Please, please, calm down, be cool.
Vengence later. We have a play to do.
Hold the pompous drama for the police
if you’d lose your mind in a mad laughter.

GAVEL NUISANCE
She’ll be dead before any police arrive
and they’d be busy with shutdowns.
You’d stop me for play?
Gavel lunges at Beppe.
Beppe trips him and he
falls face first into a pie.

BEPPE
Nedda go!

Nedda leaves

GAVEL
Someone will pay for this outrage!
There’s too much vanilla in the cream.
And you, Beppe, are not
the crème de la crème either.
Disgrazia italiana.
Un vile buffone.
Un malvagio arlecchino!

BEPPE
Focus on the stage you love:
you will grip the audience
with your greatness. For now
the play. Any blood lust can wait.

GAVEL
This bed is the scene of the defilement.
Treachery! Like this bed is the stage,
I will jump onto it and
seize the lightning of Zeus.
I rise up for my vengeance!

Gavel jumps up onto the bed, and
on second bounce hits the chandelier,
his head breaking some glass and
the sprinkler and fire alarm go off.

BEPPE
Don’t you think the shower would have been simpler?

ACT TWO

The audience is gathering
under a tent in the extra parking lot
next to the Pineapple Bar & Grill spot
a slot adjacent to a second circus-grand
two-tiered one for actors outstanding


Silvio has arranged for a private dinner
indoors at the Pineapple Hill Restaurant.
Nedda is to meet him there for a whir.

BEPPE in hushed tones under the circus tent:
Please extras and villagers, prepare to watch the inner play.

GAVEL NUISANCE at the edge of the stage, shouting, staring:
Audience please, masks up, then find a distanced chair.
uncertain, goes back behind a curtain

Prologue 2
BEPPE shouting
Here you see in front of me the villagers who
in pews have gathered to watch a play taboo
behind the curtain where, elated, Ann O’Malley
(Nedda) awaits with lust aforethought
her lover Arlecchino (by me) to be caught.
I must thus retreat to join with other actors.

A curtain opens to a room with a kitchen table, and
a bed by a window, a tableau for Ann O’Malley,
just arrived from a masquerade ball, and
she still wearing a mask,
paces up and back,
awaiting.
Then a noise.

ANN O’MALLEY
Arlecchino? Is that you?

TADDEO
(Tonio)
No it’s your humble servant and admirer,
and I love you like a choir of doves…

ANN O’MALLEY
Fool, you think you have the guts
to slay me, but offer me nothing but lust?
Bring the slain chicken, and pray tell
how much did you pay for a slaughter?

Taddeo stumbles inside with a package that he puts on the table.

TADDEO
Yes here and it was on sale
and there I’ve unwrapped it
and the tail tells tales…

ANN O’MALLEY
Idiot! That’s a catfish.

TADDEO
Yeah but it was cheap and gutted.

Arlecchino arrives. As soon as
he opens the door, an eagle flies in,
grabs the catfish in its talons, and
takes flight through a skylight.

TADDEO
I’ll get it.
Taddeo jumps onto the bed,
headed up in high bounces until crashing
like a big bird through the ceiling, but
foot squeaks in the hall are heard.

VOICE IN THE HALLWAY
Ann, what’s going on? Who is there?

ANN O’MALLEY
Is that you, Pagliaccio? You’re early!

Pagliaccio bursts in

PAGLIACCIO
What was that crash? Who’s here?

ANN O’MALLEY
That was Taddeo. He jumped on the bed and crashed through the ceiling.

PAGLIACCIO
What? Impossible! Who’s here. What’s the scoundrel’s name?

ANN O’MALLEY
There’s no one here.

Pagliaccio jumps on the bed

SOUND
Ouch, uh.

PAGLIACCIO
What’s that? Is he here? What’s his name?

ANN O’MALLEY
No one has a name. It’s the sound of a wilted rose. Its name is Rose.

PAGLIACCIO
What name does an ouch have. Speak the devil’s name.

ANN O’MALLEY
‘A rose by any other name’ would smell as sweet and innocent as a summer’s day.

PAGLIACCIO
You mock me?
(Pagliaccio violently jumps on the bed)
Come out from under the bed or I will crush you.

ANN O’MALLEY
There’s no one there.

Pagliaccio jumps onto the floor,
knocking over the table. Arlecchino comes out
from under the bed and hops
onto the top.

ARLECCHINO
There’s no one there.
Arlecchino jumps on the bed
and reaches the ceiling. Before
flying out he shouts:

She never loved you;
I will love her forever, for
Love flies!

Pagliacccio pulls out a stiletto.

PAGLIACCIO
Vendetta! You will tell me his name and I will find him.

ANN O’MALLEY
Who?

PAGLIACCIO
The man who was just here.

ANN O’MALLEY
Oh Taddeo is just a fool,
doesn’t mean a thing, ’cause
infatuation is a minor hazard

PAGLIACCIO
Not him. Not Arlecchino, not… confess Nedda!

Ann runs over to him and whispers:
ANN O’MALLEY
What are you doing?
Have you forgotten fame,
your lines, the play? I’m Ann.
You’re ruining the play. You
don’t know the true name or names.

Pagliaccio strikes Ann and she flies across the room, stumbling to her feet.

PAGLIACCIO
I held court for you, honored you
with crumpets and croissant
but you were a mere courtesan.
I arranged a ball with a trumpet fanfare
but you are a mere strumpet who played a part.

Read your line Nedda,
say you love me, and
forgo all others

ANN O’MALLEY
That’s not my line. Have you gone mad. I’m Ann.
Um, uh, well… forget this Nedda. I’m not Nedda.
You are Pagliaccio.

PAGLIACCIO
Who? What’s your devil’s name?

ANN O’MALLEY
Who? I am a Rose, and you are Pagliaccio.

PAGLIACCIO
No! Pagliaccio non son!
No! I’m not a clown!
You Nedda are a tollop who leaves out a table setting but no dinner.
picks up knife, stabs the table, leaving it embedded
Where, pray tell, is my Coq Au Vin…?
Hell!
pulls out stilleto
This is not a prop either. Hell!
You used to be my innocent filly.

ANN O’MALLEY
No idiot, I’m not Nedda! I’m not that trollop.
Non sono un fannullone né un piacere sfrenato
You’re a solo Svengali blotto, pee on chair cocksure

PAGLIACCIO
Puttana! Name! Name!

ANN O’MALLEY
I am no Nedda nor trollop. And you are a scalloped potato.

PAGLIACCIO
Treachery has no disguise, Nedda. Come close; I have a whisper…
She thinks he will give her
stage directions or explanation.
Comes closer glumly

ANN O’MALLEY
What?
He plunges the knife in her chest. She screams:
Help! I’m an understudy, understudy… Help… I’m Li Chuntao
Doctor in the wings rushes out on stage

MANY VOICES IN THE AUDIENCE
Who? Who? What?

PAGLIACCIO moving to the edge:
Delirium!
Pandemic!
Pandemics love me,
not Nedda; you whisper
a name like vespers,
share in his delicacies —
Name! Name! I’ll have the name!

VOICE FROM THE AUDIENCE
Violation! Someone’s dining outdoors at the Pineapple Saloon!

PAGLIACCIO
He jumps off the stage, shouting:
Sic semper restauranteur mors, as the assassin says

AUDIENCE
Name? Name?

I AM GAVEL NUISANCE, Pagliaccio.

Gavel limps towards the Pineapple Hill Saloon. Li Dai-Tai, the Director and Stage Manager, runs up to him.

LI DAI-TAI
Gavel! Wait! Stop a second. Let your foot rest.

GAVEL NUISANCE
What? Sorry about your play… you’re a good director…

LI DAI-TAI
No, it’s not that. Um, well, I’ll
tell you to what benevolence you can succumb;
for you know my group. Yes just ask for
DYDC LLC contracts for masquerade-ball masks,
lend an ear for solar panels, buses and forklifts tasks
and we will make re-call petitions against you disappear…
a Dissemble Your Dream Coup corp

GAVEL NUISANCE
I would not be unhappy if
such a comeuppance were
to happen unbeknowst to me. The
probability of such a thing happening
seems low to spring up (not that
I’m endorsing it, of course). Well…

LI DAI-TAI
I got you the trampoline bed, didn’t I? —
small lies are grand; right? I’ll give you
one last gift: His name is Silvio. Jot:
he’ll be with Nedda due at outdoor tables
in the Pineapple Hill restaurant parking lot.

Gavel runs towards the Pineapple Hill Saloon.
Beppe, like a lunatic, runs shouting through the crowd:

BEPPE
Turn around. The play continues! Watch Pagliaccio get his revenge!

VOICES IN THE CROWD
Catch him. Learn his name! Vendetta! Run Pagliaccio!

Gavel reaches the Pineapple Hill Saloon parking lot.

BEPPE
Gavel, wait for the cart.

Liam, a stagehand driving an electric cart
brings the props and accesories missing to
catch up with Gavel who has just arrived
where Silvio and Nedda are kissing.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Nedda! How could you betray me like this…
(Liam! Place a sword on the table, and give me my King Arthur sword.)

NEDDA
You’re insane!
Silvio is my cousin.

GAVEL and SILVIO together
Liar! I love her.
a figure runs out from the restaurant like a blur

TONIO
Me too with the passion of the Sun for the moon…

GAVEL and SILVIO together
Shut-up!

CROWD
We love you!

TONIO, GAVEL, and SILVIO
Who?

NEDDA
What’s in a name… a rose…
Tonio, Gavel, Silvio, and Members of the Crowd pick her up and throw her into a rose bush.
Hey! Ow. Is romance dead and ow-ow…

Silvio retreats to the table. Gavel runs to the cart where Liam gives him a sword

VOICES in the CROWD
En-garde, En-garde!

GAVEL
Pret

VOICES in the CROWD
Allez, allez, allez. Go, go, go dance…

Gavel lunges. Silvio parries to the right,
smacks with his left hand, throws in spite
his free leg under Gavel’s knee. Gavel
falls to the ground, losing his sword.

VOICES in the CROWD
Coup de grâce! Finish him.

LIAM
Stop! Lunch break — union rules.

Nedda, Silvio, and Gavel sat down
at the table to have burgers, and as a treat
they decided where to meet for a confounding
ménage à trois. Another person approaches

LI DAI-TAI
Ah, so its settled then.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Certainly not! Outdoor dining is forbidden.
This restaurant must receive a fine when
we are the best witnesses to the crime.

**The Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill, put up an expensive tent in their parking lot for outdoor dining after all indoor dining was forbidden. Now outdoor dining is forbidden also. But a Movie company put up an identical tent on the other side of the parking lot to feed their crew.
    Gavin Newsom first closed indoor dining and then outdoor dining because of the Pandemic. He, however dined at the “French Laundry” restaurant.
    One might imagine that besides a movie being made, that a play could be performed involving clowns. Parodies can be interesting. Here’s one loosely modeled after “Pagliacci” an Opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo.

Masking of the Child (The Masked Child 2)

Masking of the Child


It had been without din
a glorious start for all
but the tall Brave Child.

Critical morning theory
in Randi’s dreary class
started the day
with a hazy salute:

“We pledge allegiance to the ping pong
of the united oppressed of America, and
to the proletariat for which it stands,
one iniquity
under Jin, with de-funding
and labels for all

Out of many, Randi reigns
” ‘Randi magister e pluribus unum imperare’ “.

Attention! Quiet!
How much is two plus two?
You child, don’t fret!

It is as many as we see these:
Mao, Fidel, Marx, and Xi.

Next!
How does
two plus two equal five?
You in the back, look alive!

It is the quintessence of Marxism.

The Brave Child rose up
poof — sans mask:

Hey Magister,
are you six feet away?

Wha’thuh?
Monster! cover your face!

The Brave Child
stuck out his ten foot
spiked tongue, and
wrung the teacher’s neck

Snow White in tune
took to the front of the room:

Aliens and dwarfs don’t wear masks!

With finesse
they all kissed
and made up

The Masked Child (Draft 1)

The Masked Child

Critical morning
in Randi’s class,
starting the day
with a flag salute:

“We pledge allegiance to the ping pong
of the united oppressed of America, and
to the proletariat for which it stands,
one iniquity
under Jin:

‘ e pluribus unus Randi magister regnat ‘ “.

Attention! Quiet!
How much is two plus two?
You child!

It is as many as
Mao, Fidel, Marx, and Xi.

Next!
How does
two plus two equal five?
You in the back!

It is the quintessence of Marxism.

The Brave Child stood up
removing the mask:

Magister,
Are you six feet away?

The Brave Child
stuck out his ten foot
spiked tongue, and
wrapped it around
the teacher’s neck

Snow White
took to the front of the room:

Aliens and dwarfs don’t wear masks!

Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato and the Dangers of Acronyms & Initialisms

    I haven’t actually liked to talk like I’ve seen on TV shows where they say, “give me a BLT on rye.” I’ve always referred to it as a “bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.” It only takes 2 seconds to say it so I could never see the point of saying, “gimmie a BLT.” I suppose it’s supposed to be cute and stylish so as to show affection for the sandwich. But I’d rather just eat it and say “mmmm.” I think my parents would have thought it impolite to say, “Gimmie a BLT.”
    Now it’s even worse because BLT is a type of humanized mouse used in research. They infuse several types of human immune cells into mice so those human cells can be harbored there and attacked by various test viruses. It’s a way of having human cells available for experiments without testing it on humans. It stands for (Bone (marrow)-Liver-Thymus human immune stem cells. Then they transplant human lung tissue onto the mouse to produce the ultimate test mouse: the BLT-L humanized mouse. And geez I’ve seen a lot of advertising on the internet for companies who sell BLT-L humanized mice. I would have bought one if they could talk, or if they tasted like bacon.
    Anyway, I saw that and thought to start a poem, but I think I should stop because it’s not a secret anymore. Oh well, I just thought something could be made of it. Here’s the start, and I’ll probably not bother finishing it (although, along the way I found an Italian recipe for cooking a lung to eat[when the lung is fully cooked, it whistles as the passageways collapse which they call “Sibilo Caratatteristico” in Italian):
The Secret Messages from Faustti (Draft 1)

Dear Colleague,
Congratulations on
your performance in
Die Fledermaus

Remember, for prestige, if
you have mice in the kitchen,
bacon, lettuce, and tomato with lung
is best for gaining weight, and
cook-it-up with fur in and cleavage out.

Good news at the world market:
I’ve seen humanized mice
on sale at a good price

But before working
it’s recommended that you
have a hearty breakfast of
Coratella di Abbacchio Con Carciofi

You must try the latest
Bone marrow–liver–thymic
with lung, but since it’s
tedious work it helps
to play music in the background like
“Ode to Sibilo Caratatteristico*.
And remember the song
from The King, the Bat Lady, And I :
“…whenever I feel aghast,
I whistle a cheerful tune…”
Music is infectious, but
the dance of knowledge
must go on. Good luck
and ‘break a leg’.

The Secret Messages from Faustti (Draft 0)

Dear Colleague,
Congratulations on
your performance in
Die Fledermaus

Remember, for prestige, if
you have mice in the kitchen,
bacon lettuce and tomato with lung
is best for gaining weight, and
cook-up with fur in and cleavage out.

Good news at the world market:
I’ve seen humanized mice
on sale at a good price

But before working
it’s recommended that you
have a hearty breakfast of
Coratella di Abbacchio Con Carciofi

You must try the latest
Bone marrow–liver–thymic
with lung, but since it’s
tedious work it helps
to play music in the background like
“Ode to Sibilo Caratatteristico*.
And remember the song
from The King, Bat Lady, And I :
“…whenever I feel aghast,
I whistle a cheerful tune…”
Music is infectious, but
the dance of knowledge
must go on. Good luck
and ‘break a leg’.

Funding Manslaughter for Science (Draft 2)

In the spirit of global comraderie,
the People’s Institute of Virology
is thanking you now in retrospect,
kudos for your Dr. Faust for funding us.

Yes, true
dealt a woo hand, the Institute
needed funding for naive research
we cited for comity and gains

Yes, we chortled and urged:
Give us your poor tired
huddled money for our
Gain-of-Function research.
We’ve got the bats and
you’ve got your Dr. Faust

Ah so beautiful the many stars
in the constellation of SARS

But the best of all in uniqueness
has a divine Spike protein, and
it shines brightly in the heavens
with a glorious furin-cleavage site

Spike the ball as they say
because you insouciantly
gave us a win; hegemonic
chaos, pandemic, and sin
for Yuēhàn Doe Pandora

The Confucians said
about chimeras that
the bat jester was
in charge of an
infectious laughter,

but it is as serious as
opening the gates of a zoo,
so the Director can take
money for hunters
to sample the bats
both ZC45 and ZXC21*

And it is said by Faust,
Funding manslaughter
is always a risk worth taking.

What a novel thing that
our propaganda wins

And the stars of SARS
shine brightly beautiful
for the glory of the party.

We infer a Confucius quote:
Learn first and give birth later to
the tyrant of the under-temple,
His Highness X Yuēhàn

Do not
make war; trust and just
leave bellicosity to us

Thanks Mr. Lefty Doe, history densely given
the decadent ones of the West, for
your hooligans praise us, and
we love them as much as
our ruffian farmers
in a fond Orwellian sense

Do not
make war; trust and just
leave bellicosity to us

Learn for peace that we are the Dominant Power now.
We are the wise humans of the Global Community
and you are the Neanderthals of Westerns with test tubes.

Non erit satura est scriptor nasus quando emptore magis est vera sapientia, quam venditor (5) ( 最高領導人 )


     [Series Note]
    As I often say, the satirist has a better nose for truth than the seller of sagacity. And, of course, as you no doubt know, and have often heard: “Non erit satura est scriptor nasus quando emptore magis est vera sapientia, quam venditor,” that is, “There will be a satire’s nose when the buyer is true wisdom rather than the seller.”

To Serve Bats 最高領導人

Gee gin and pee
Xi Jinping has destroyed
all holidays with his virus
from His Honor’s culpable lab

Be real, people, the
Wuhan little old country peoples’ lab,
being a virology lab for the collective,
heavenly of utmost respect and veneration,
is a germ-warfare lab for
the glory of the “you-know-who” Party.

Mr. She, not of Mother Nature
has ended all Holidays, and thus
for 2020:

Besides Grandma who
insisted that the family gather together,
Mother is dead in her nursing home, and
now the family will never gather again for
Thanksgiving or Christmas because
the children have their excuses to
dis-invite the obnoxious relatives forever after

Thank you Mr. She for
ending the gathering of the
Capitalist Family of the
West

Thanks to you
1984 is updated.