for change

 

YOUNG MAN  I’ve got to get rid of these pamphlets before I can go.


OLD MAN  I’m just going to throw mine away if no one shows up soon.


YOUNG MAN  You are?


OLD MAN  Of course. I can’t stand around here all day. I have a condition. My feet swell up when I stand in one place for too long.


YOUNG MAN You could move around a bit, take a walk.


OLD MAN And let you and that bum Ericson get all the good votes? I’ll take my chances with my feet. I just hope they don’t spontaneously bleed like they sometimes do.


YOUNG MAN Couldn’t you sit down for a bit?


OLD MAN And bend my sign? That bum Rutherford, he’d probably make me pay for it.


YOUNG MAN She. And you just called her a bum.


OLD MAN Well, a woman can’t be a bum, it’s just not right. So then I can’t let him down. You’re... sure he’s a woman?


YOUNG MAN I’m pretty sure.


OLD MAN Then I must stand here and do my job for him.


YOUNG MAN Until your feet swell up and you throw away her pamphlets?


OLD MAN ... Yes.

YOUNG MAN It seems like such a shame. Throwing away such high-quality printing.


OLD MAN I suppose they’d make a good fire.


YOUNG MAN I know a place where I can get old newspapers for that. Always dry, even in the winter. Perfect for fires.


OLD MAN Now that is a find. Where did you say this place was?


YOUNG MAN I didn’t. Because if I do, then you’ll take all of my supply.


OLD MAN Well if you don’t, then I’ll have burn this high-quality printing.


YOUNG MAN That would be a shame. I suppose I’ll have to show you sometime. There must be enough to share so we can save this high quality printing.


OLD MAN Why not show me now?


YOUNG MAN What about the pamphlets?


OLD MAN Just throw ‘em out.


YOUNG MAN But we’re supposed to pass them out to the voters who show up.


    The Old Man looks around. There’s no one there. He has an idea.


OLD MAN Alright, let’s do that instead.


    He begins to dash about, handing out pamphlets as though voters were there.


YOUNG MAN What are you doing?


OLD MAN Passing them out to the voters who show up. What are you doing?


    The Young Man realizes he’s falling behind. He joins in. The two race from place to        

    place, handing out pamphlets to no one until the ground becomes littered with them    

    and the two men are exhausted. They look around.


OLD MAN Maybe... I should keep some of these. If Rutherford wins, he’ll be famous and these will be collector’s items. I’ll be rich.


YOUNG MAN But if Ericson wins, then mine will be collector’s items.


    They look at each other, then begin to furiously pick up their own pamphlets until    

    the apace is clear again. They look around once more.


YOUNG MAN Besides... You don’t really think Rutherford’s going to win, do you?


OLD MAN Why wouldn’t he?


YOUNG MAN It’s her last name. All the great presidents have had a last name that ends in “-on”. Like. Washington... Wilson... Um.


OLD MAN Nixon?


YOUNG MAN Well, what about Madison, Jackson, Harrison, Johnson, Lincoln, Jefferson, Johnson, Harrison, Clinton. That’s why I went with Ericson, I wanted to work for a winner. So when my-


OLD MAN Wait a minute. Lincoln?


YOUNG MAN You think Lincoln wasn’t a great president?


OLD MAN But Lincoln has an “L” in it.


YOUNG MAN Of course there’s an “L” in Lincoln, it’s the first letter of his name.

OLD MAN But there’s another one. Near the end: L-I-N-C-O-L-N.


YOUNG MAN So?


OLD MAN Well there goes your theory.


YOUNG MAN I said they had an “-on”, not an O-N. You don’t say Linc-oln. Silent “L’s” don’t count.


OLD MAN But these two aren’t even running for president, are they?


    Both men examine their sandwich boards, then their pamphlets. It doesn’t say.