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The Corsican Brothers
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Matthew Paris
 

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Post Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:03 pm - The Corsican Brothers
Matthew Paris
645 E. 14th St 9E
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Holycity@juno.com

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The Corsican Brothers
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A Play By Matthew Paris


Time: November 1963, March 1968
<br>
Characters: Lucien de Franchi
Louis de Franchi
Lyndon Johnson
Emily

Setting: The Oval Room, an executive office.


Introduction
<br>
The Corsican Brothers has had such popularity as a novella, stage and movie spectacle over more than a century and a half is intriguing to speculate upon. The tale itself was slight if deft and probably written very quickly. Dumas was probably thinking of not much more than writing a Prosper Merimee tale with a Corsican twist. Yet Dumasí novella had a sensational success in its original form. It was translated into American in 1944 a few years after it had amused a huge audience in its original French.
Itís not hard to guess why this chivalric tale of the savage and the civilized had such a resonance for its audience. The idea of twins connected over hundred of miles and able to feel the pain of the other one is a metaphor for connnectedness to absent kin any audience can respond to. So is the sense of fatality, the family traditions, the appearance of the ghosts of ancestors announcing the death of a male issue and so on.
Dumas had the gift of larding his romantic plots with sardonic and urbane wit. The very suave character of the telling of the tale. Dumas himself apparently, keeps the primal elements of the story in a kind of inviable babble where they can work on their audience invisibly. The Dion Bochicault version of Dumas story must have been fun for an audience to watch for one great actor to play two roles, The actor himself, in 1852 the legendary Charles Kean, could show off his range, the notion of two seemingly whole beings being half of a composite is at last as old as Platoís attribution of a similar myth to Aristiophanes, the idea of healing through spiritual blending who a twin or ghost is a kind of covert myth of self discovery.
There are many variations of the idea. It can be found most notably in novels like A Tale Of Two Cities, The Prisoner Of Zenda, Poeís William Wilson and Dostoyevskyís The Double. In poetry it is taken up by Heine in Der Doppelganger. One stage it is at the center of Shakespeareís The Comedy Of Errors, Twelfth Night, Sheridanís The Rivals and even at another level Charleyís Aunt. Of course, Shakespeare outdoes them with putting two sets of twins on stage, really quite resonant with the acrobatic tightrope quality of such an element in a play. The audience has to wonder how the twins can be pushed by the playwright not to bump into each other though they are exiting and entering on a single stage. They know simultaneously that since they are played by a single actor they canít bump onto each other. Itís a kind of illusionist trick that hopefully the audience finds attractive because they are persuaded at the same time that the apparent magic is not magic at all.
The various versions of Dumasí novella have been free with their inventions around the authorís central argument. I was inspired by the Douglas Fairbanksí Juniorís ďfree adaptionĒ of 1941 that turned the tale into a diatribe against Hitler as well as am memorial to his great dead father. It also divided the brothers into aristocrat and romantic outlaw, somewhat like Schillerís The Robbers.
I like some of Fairbanksí version and have kept

shards of it in my equally free adaption. Making the brothers Siamese twins, keeping each of the form knowledge of each other, making one an outlaw like Dumasí Orlandini all heightens social contrasts that Dumas had no interest in. They seemed central to Fairbanks Junior; in other forms they are equally vital to me.
A 21st century translation of The Corsican Brothers to an American setting would not divide the brothers to be on two sides of European society in opposition to evil, moral gentlemen and brigand. It might make one an oligarchal right wing patriot and capitalist hawk, the other brother a Marxist left wing new age nerd. Fairbanks Junior pushed the revolutionary theme that toff and criminal are really on the same side in Europe against evil autocrats who are murderous genocidal tyrants. That is a wonderful idea for the Old World; like certain wines it may not travel all that well. The United States hasnít had rich and urbane fops and toffs since around 1920.
Some American outlaws however are very interesting; yet a modern American tale with political overtones set after 1960 would not look to Jesse James or Al Capone for its rebels but the American left, new and old. Our outlaws are often not any more immoral than the corrupt society and police that hunt them; yet they are pragmatists and libertarians in a New World way not imagined by anybody in Corsica.
Jesse James and Capone didnít stand for anything but their own freedom of enterprise; they didnít try to define supposed crimes as political acts as did European protagonists of plays like Schillerís The Robbers or immense critiques like Sartreís St. Genet. Two Corsican brothers engaged in redefining social reality itself in America is a much more scary and funny theme than having one a Chicago playboy like Hugh Hefner, the other a bank robber like John Dillinger.
Dumasí long lived tale is about twins operated upon at birth to be separate but who feel each otherís souls as one. One brother becomes a Parisian gentlemen, the other a Corsican. They love the same woman, a Countess; then in a complicated main action against a common foe only one of the brothers survives. In an American version and stuck to the Dumas and movie versions, one would have a movie star instead of a Countess. The idea of having a common lover is a nice ploy but I am talking the theme in a different direction.
I hope that, if superficially this play is as much a parody as Bochicaultís or the vulgar version of Cheech and Chong, the audience will see that esoterically I have tried in a very serious way to honor Dumasí original idea. I am restoring Dumasí names to his two central and even his minor characters. I am also giving back the Corsican brothers their gentility though I am making it American style.
The Corsican Brothers of Alexandre Dumas is an exotic tale about class in a world of intuitions passing though Europeans only half civilized. Douglas Fairbanks Juniors version is aa drama of doubles with the personal resonance of one whose father had the same name, a similar line of work and resembled him uncannily, yet who was tragically separate from him. In his film the brothers becomes a wholeness to fight Hitlerian injustice.

An American adaption of this tale should have the same use of myth to describe social truths. USA is a populist republic envenomed by a poor manís view of what life is about: infinite wealth as a hedge against poverty, predatory corporations because whose chiefs are the revenging sons of long dead prey, infinite consolations from atheist hierophants one pays for and can dismiss, eviscerated Art like the making of mud pies, the weak artificially privileged by the state in an upside down walking on the ceiling nightmare whose dreamy laws mirror the obligations doting parents have to small children for about three years. It looks to realms of hungry puerility for its morals, to automobile mechanics and smiths for its metaphysics, to furniture salesmen and itinerant hustlers of household idols for its plastic aesthetics, to doctors and nutritionists for its rites of passage.
I have set this play in the time when many of these wonderful ideas had became manifest. I should note in passing that it is easier to make such a play has people are beginning to climb out of the trash heap of this paradise than it was to live through it, know better, and say so. Speaking oneís mind in the middle of any revolution is probably not a good idea; it doubly lacks circumspection when the coups are invisible. I had been telling people in the very year this play opens, 1963, that I thought these realms of dream were not only destructive but a war against nature that would fail like all magic architecture.
In other countries in other times I would have been killed for my opinions. Luckily most of the time in my life I have been taken as a facetious clown while the great capitals of vapor of that day were erected by the pious acolytes of such cults out of faith, air and will. Cassandra thought she was haunted; nobody wants to hear the truth much at any time. When one thinks one can build a parody of Creation, erect darkness made visible in a great Pandemonium as Milton put it, one doesnít pay much attention to wags like myself. Even half a century later, I am still making this play a low comedy, even a farce, a more acceptable way of offering a dour sermon.



Act One
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(The stage is an office. There is also a small table, a phone on it and a simple chair set downstage to the far left or right with a harsh spotlight on it, close to but apart from the main set. It is The Oval Room in Washington.
The left half of the stage is an office of the Agaccio Insane Asylum run by Louis de Franchi. It has various signs of the age on the wall including God must love me; God doesnít make trash. It might have pictures of Freud, Marx along with various token non-Whites and women. There are no Asiatic icons yet; this is not a Zen spa but Washington of the early 60s. The right side of this same office an executive office of Ajaccio Inc., a company that might remind one of Enrom, Microsoft or the United Fruit Company.
This side of the set represents in its heraldry and lineaments the vision of Agaccio Inc. a giant corporation run by Lucien de Franchi. The wall has perhaps many guns, an elkís head on the wall, is decorated with portraits of Jesus, Teddy Roosevelt, Darwin and Davey Crockett, and a large picture of the atomic bomb hitting Hiroshima. It has no non-Whites or women. Louis tends to occupy the right side of the office, Lucien the left.
If the director prefers an empty or near empty stage and use of lights to create spaces I hope I have put enough language into this play to make that sort of production viable too.
The phone rings. Lyndon Johnson, dressed in boots and a cowboy hat ambles into the spotlight of the Oval Room and answers it. He is tall, well built, and has a kind of stolidity that isnít matched all that much by sobriety. He is a drinker who gets paralyzed rather than crazy. The booze gives a stiffness to his movements. He speaks in a pronounced Texas accent.)
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Lyndon- (singing)
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Come on, little dogies, weíre leaving Cheyenne
Youíre fare for the butchers, soup in a can
Tenderloin, sirloin, the tenderest cuts
Youíre red meat, liver, eyeballs and guts
Bye bye cattle, bye bye pal
Weíre making you steak in the old corral.
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We were never the servants we might seem
We let a cow live; she gives us cream
Sausages, kidneys, lungs and bologna
Then Ill make some glue from my favorite pony
Bye bye cattle, bye bye pal
Weíre making you steak in the old corral.
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(The phone rings. Lyndon answers it.) Yeah, baby. Rita, the big bird is here. The big kaboom is on. Weíre taking out the son of a bitch...Yeah, Dallas...no better place. We might plug Jackie too a few times; Itíll get her off those fucking pills...Hey, honey, bumping off a president is like kicking rat shit out of your shoes; I need to know what kind of a country Iím gonna be running once I kick the bastard into some comfortable suburb of hell... Iím a politician, babycake, I talk a lot but I have got any more ideas than a lush sitting in the gutter.
Donít worry, Iíve got two fellas from the right and the left, big names too, Louis de Franchi from Agaccio Incorporated, heavy people that run steel, coal, high class munitions like the atomic bomb, passion and bread fruit, any kind of machine or vegetable you could think of. They are very high flying capitalists who are the business power behind our whole empire, and another guy, calls himself Lucien de Franchi, donít get those names mixed up, a very soulful and compassionate guy who runs the largest insane asylum in America...No, not at the same time; theyíd probably kill each other...Hey, honey, nobody knows either of them; they work like God and Lucifer; nobody but God knows which is which. They own newspapers, television stations, maybe even me and you; they live like hornetís wings, Rita, light just passes through them... Being powerful is dangerous; they are happy to be invisible. Iíve never seen them myself...Yeah, weird that they have the same name, more or less; crazy as life and death, baby. You know, theyíre both from Corsica too....Are they related? How the hell should I know? If they are, they sure as hell donít know it. Talk to you later in the back seat of the car, baby; here comes Louis.
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Louis- (Entering) Lyndon. You are about to have an interesting flight.
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Lyndon- You sure youíre Louis de Franchi? You donít sound Corsican; you havenít got an accent.
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Louis- We Corsicans are very musical, Lyndon. I speak five languages with all the dialects as if I were born in the gutters of very one of them. I think youíve got an accent.
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Lyndon- You donít have a brother, do you? You look like somebody I might know.
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Louis- I do have one, a twin. We were separated at birth; I never met him. You know how it is in Corsica, one long parade of vendettas and killings; my clan in Agaccio all left for Chicago to escape the constant flack a few days after I was born. When they landed on Lake Michigan in a steamer my father was knocked off by Al Capone because Capone thought he was Dutch Schultz. He sort of looked a little like him with the lights out.
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Lyndon- Welcome to the land of the free, Louis.
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Louis- My brother was kidnapped by the Purple Gang a few days later; they thought he was the nephew of John Dillinger. We were Siamese twins too; my mother had us operated on in Dearborn to separate us. Two bodies, one soul the doctor said to her.
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Lyndon- Better than one soul and two bodies. I think.
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Louis- My mother Luisa took out Capone in prison later with poison. The papers called it syphilis. She took care of most of the Purple Gang too with a machine gun.
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Lyndon- Very patriotic.
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Louis- I grew up in the Chicago streets thinking a lot of unhappy thoughts about the Old and the New World, Lyndon. We didnít want to go back to Corsica; my mother had told me about the vendettas there. I saw it was no different here except people kill strangers for no reason at all.

Lyndon- We all got it tough, Louis. I was a poor boy eating collard greens and chitterlings on a pig farm; I was damned well lucky I was born here. You notice the flow of human garbage only goes one way?
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Louis- Iíve often wondered what happened to my twin brother. I imagines heís picking luncheon meat in a Chicago factory somewhere.
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Lyndon- We donít have much time to mourn, boy. This is 1963, not 1930; Big Al is dead and so are a lot of other people. Right now Iím trying to put together a package that will make my old mentor FDR seem like a piker. I am going to cut the biggest deal in American history; you and your firm are going to be the center of it. Youíre lucky too, Louis.
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Louis- Yeah, I was just a punk who was in the right room at the right time; I got into slaughterhouses, meat packing, killing horses, buying up spoiled fish, made a pile of cash at rancid pet food. Every dog and cat was my foe; every old stallion and dead tuna fish was my real enemy.
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Lyndon- You have come a long way from selling lousy cat food, Louis. You are Doctor Death out there.
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Louis- I know how to talk to people, Lyndon. I took the millions I made in feeding Americaís choice pets, put it into speculation big time. I made my own stock charts; I could see who was pushing what most of the time. Then I bought up income tax expert firms, monitions companies, mass market undertaking establishments operating in big volume. You can always count on taxes everywhere, wars somewhere; deathís all over the universe. I undersold coffin makers everyplace from Seattle to Tasmania.
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Lyndon- You made an enemy of a lot of trees too, Louis till you went into plastic.
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Louis- Pink plastic coffins are my specialty. Of course Iíve always had a charitable and compassionate side too, Lyndon. I always put a bit of the swag into hospitals and medical laboratories. I own more cures for popular diseases than anybody.

Lyndon- Iíve had you checked out, believe me. I know things your lovers and lawyers couldnít imagine about you.
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Louis- I took over the plastic uniform trade too, Lyndon. Not just soldiers, generals and admirals: doormen, post office employees. These days nobody dresses up even to put on a plastic diaper without my say-so.
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Lyndon- I never know who has a corner on what anymore. So youíre Mr. Plastic. I wonder whoís Mr. Silicon.
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Louis- Iím Mr. Silicon. Itís just another part of me. By the way, Lyndon, have you eve wonder as you walk through the world what weird and foul stuff going on behind you?
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Lyndon- What are you talking about? You think thereís a conspiracy against me?
<br>
Louis- I didnít say that. Iím sure there are a million of them. I am offering you a chance to know what is happening right in back of you. (He removes a small plastic device the size of a television remote control instrument from his pocket.) This little gizmo will polish your fingernails into mirrors. Youíll be able to hold up your hands and see whatever or whomever is moving directly behind your back.
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Lyndon- You want me to lift my hands every time I want to take a look? Louis, itís an absurd gesture. People in front of me will see the palms of my hands and think Iím objecting to something.
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Louis- At first. Theyíll get used to it like a tick. Look, this little piece of plastic turns your fingernail into electronic devices for seeing the entire range of everything thatís around you. It could prevent your assassination.
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Lyndon- I donít need it. I have enough mirrors around here.
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Louis- Do you have them outdoors? Your fingers are curved; theyíll magnify everything. Can you get that in a mirror? Besides, itís your secret; people wonít know you know more than you know.
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Lyndon- Youíre a tough salesman, Louis. Iím sorry; Iím just not buying.
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Louis- You think I want money for this? I am giving it to you for free.
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Lyndon- It probably has a battery; youíll charge me for that, Iíll bet.
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Louis- It has one; itís in there right now. Youíll have to pay for the next battery of course. I won the company. Itís cheap enough. I make my money on volume, of course.

<br>
Lyndon- What if I keep it, then throw it away when the battery wears out, Louis? Then you make nothing. In fact you lose on giving me the item.
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Louis- That is the wager we are making, isnít it, Lyndon? I am betting you will alter your sprite when you use my plastic pecker for a week. You will want something you never knew you hungered for.
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Lyndon- Plastic pecker? Can you use this for sex?
<br>
Louis- Maybe. Thatís not why I call it a pecker. I have deeper reason, Lyndon. This little device pecks out the reality you never know behind you.
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Lyndon- Well, Iíll take it. At that price I canít go wrong, can I? Thanks Louis. I guess I will polish my fingernails and see if I can make out whatever it is behind me. It might expand my senses in some way, as these kids on dope say.
<br>
Louis- You are going to be a much more fulfilled man, Lyndon.
This is one hell of a pecker.
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Lyndon- Forget about peckers; let me get to the point, Louis. People are unhappy here and there with Jack and Jackie. He is a pain in the touchas of too many very irate people. He is about to disappear. Itís going to be a tough few months afterwards. What do you and your people want that will stabilize this country?
<br>
Louis- They want to keep that Asian market open. They donít like the Reds much; they can't do business with them. I would say they want a show of force, maybe getting serious in Vietnam, maybe atom bombing China. They would like to see a world in which American business can thrive; they want people in power on their pad who understand the meaning of freedom.
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Lyndon- They want to make money from an Asian war. All right, Louis, theyíll get their war.
<br>
Louis- Lyndon, this time itís not about money. You and I were poor boys once; we think these people want a few more dollars. How much can anybody eat, how many airplanes do they need, how many rooms can they be in at the same time, Lyndon? No, these guys want to be invisible, do what they want while they bend light; money means nothing. When you hear a fellow talk about a profit in my circle they are somebodyís perfumed slave.
<br>
Lyndon- Iíve got it: the Asian war, muscling the Reds, lots of easy business in the outlands, control of the flow of information so they stay purely metaphysical.
<br>
Louis- There are a bunch of my buddies here and there who will want to talk to you about civil rights.

<br>
Lyndon- Keep the colored folks quiet; I understand.
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Louis- We want civil rights now. They canít have forty million people in this country who donít have the right to be both affluent and helpless. You want a stable country; youíve got to corrupt everybody.
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Lyndon- Iím for civil rights now. Thanks, Louis.
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Louis- You love civil rights. You deliver after Jack and Jackie retire in a cloud of blood, Lyndon, you get our support. That means you are more or less running the world except for a few rats and Eskimos.
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Lyndon- I suppose Iím still against Welfare?
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Louis- We love Welfare now. It destroys people faster than cancer.
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Lyndon- Look, Iíve got to be against Arts programs. Itís all wimpy stuff, like spraying cologne on your pecker.
<br>
Louis- Now weíre for the Arts, Lyndon. People who like endless entertainment donít go out into the streets and cause trouble.
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Lyndon- well, I canít stand sex, drugs and rock and roll; thank God you and your people feel the same way.
<br>
Louis- Now we love it. Only for other people, Lyndon, of course. Anything that fatigues the masses, puts them to sleep, or drives them into a meaningless frenzy is something we get very enthusiastic about.
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Lyndon- You know, I admire sons of bitches like you, Louis. Youíre a tiger, a pure predator. I always wanted to be like you but Iím just a fucken politician. Itís the best I could do I guess.
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Louis- Youíre about to murder the president of the United States. Thatís a sign you might be a big cat.
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Lyndon- You think Iím the head of this hit, Louis? I wish I were but we politicians donít think of knocking off anybody. We send them to Ethiopia as ambassadors, we promote them, we pack them off the U.N. to make a few speeches, we give them a few sweetheart deals in the stock market. We donít put bullets in peopleís heads. You do.
<br>

Louis- I have sent quite a few souls south; I have muscled a few spirits to their torment I must admit, Lyndon. I donít do it often never openly. I am a nocturnal animal. We business people need the look of peace and order if we would take the substance to if we could ever find it. Whoís the big boy who started the conspiracy if it isnít you?
<br>
Lyndon- Take a guess. You will never know from me, Louis. You talk too much in this game, you disappear. Itís enough to know there are people like that out there who will make you vanish, donít ask who. Once youíre dead it doesnít matter.
<br>
Louis- Well, itís not a politician. Itís not the Mafia because they can elect somebody else in a year though theyíre understandably unhappy with jack. Itís probably not an American obtuse they can do it too. Any army guy, any Republican, any Presbyterian, any wife, anybody at all can work to retire him legally. No, itís a foreigner, a corporate head used to getting his way about everything, somebody with a medieval background of liege loyalty and revenge for betrayal of trust of his stewards who is no stranger to assassination of political heads, a guy who probably ha a personal grudge against the Kennedy family who wants to make their humiliation public. Jack to him has to be a traitor not merely an enemy. We are talking about somebody big enough to kill off an American president and put thousands of people to work doing it. That is one big budget and bit of secrecy, London. He can work to get Jack back to Hyannisport and the ladies too; thatís not good enough for him. Heís mad, very, very angry. So whom did Jack or his father betray? Do we know?
<br>
Lyndon- You know.
<br>
Louis- Joe Kennedy was a Nazi agent but he finked out on them; I would guess Baron Krupp.
<br>
Lyndon- You arenít guessing.
<br>
Louis- I am. I canít be everywhere; my own enemies donít want me to have information. Itís made he a hellova good guesser. Iíd suspect the actually mechanics were put together by Martin Bormann and the Forth Reich in South America, the actual hitman probably recruited from Corsica and Marseilles to give Bormann deniability; thatís where Iíd go myself if I were looking to kill off anyone. The gunmen are rife there. The paine to take the guys with the guns away I imagine is probably sitting waiting for them at an American air force base in Monterrey, Mexico. The army stands to win big if we go into Vietnam and they wouldnít shoot at Jack directly, theyíd provide that indirect cover. Do I guess at all right?
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Lyndon- You know too much unless youíre behind Aflried Krupp.
<br>
Louis- Lyndon, Iíve been around a long time in the corporate world. Thereís always more to know. I am ignorant, I live on an island of pale light. I know nothing.
<br>

Lyndon- You must be afraid sometimes, arenít you? Goddamn it, itís a tough world out there. Maybe thatís why I like politics. Weíre a bunch of negotiators, not hit men. We talk things over, Louis. Iím not saying weíre better. Half of power is somebodyí helplessness. Maybe tigers donít get sacred; I donít know. Iím only a politician, Louis. I like to talk things over.
<br>
Louis- I canít afford to be terrified of anything too long, Lyndon. That instant of panic might be the moment I need to make the move thatíll save me; itís a dark jungle out there. Of course I do have uncanny moments, of course, a dream sometimes, a waking vision also you might say, of suddenly being in an insane asylum, as the director, of course.
Iím running an attempt to take over the world but with a different program; I want to define everybody as lunatics and make the planet legally into a hospital. Sounds strange doesn't it?
<br>
Lyndon- Are you sure itís a dream? Itís not anymore eerie that the real world, Louis.
<br>
Louis- Thatís true. I also have other symptoms. I feel drunk occasionally when Iím not drinking. I have moments of odd sexual passion when Iím not making love. Twice I felt as though I was under anesthesia when I wasnít having an operation. How do you explain that?
<br>
Lyndon- I donít know.
<br>
Louis- I donít know either. There are so many things in life that are not known, including who if anyone is behind Baron Krupp that we should be grateful we know anything at all. By the way thereís one other explanation but I didnít think it works as well as the Bavarian theory.
<br>
Lyndon- Youíre Sherlock Holmes. Go ahead.
<br>
Louis- We are looking for foreign nationals with very big hitting power who were betrayed, then want to humiliate a son of a bitch they can defeat at the polls easily enough. How about, let us say, a conspiracy from Cuban nationals who got massacred at the Bay Of Pigs because Jack, supposedly a hero, got scared, getting together with the CIA who got heavily tarnished in Cuba and the Mafia people who got him the election only to get arrested by Bobby to get the Marseilles and Corsican hitmen? Do you like that alterative?
<br>
Lyndon- Louis, Iím not saying. These people scare me.
<br>
Louis- I donít. Itís too obvious. You think I am thinking of General Orlandini. No, I like Baron Krupp. See, in the end it doesn't matter, Lyndon. Itís somebody among the many thousands of tigers Jack told to drop dead. Whatís the difference? I never insult anybody. I might kill them; I am always civil to them. In a field of tigers we all need as few enemies as we can get, even me.

These things happen like a tumble of mathematics. You can put the clothes on the ghostly algebra later. Iím the biggest cat out there and I know enough to seem good natured but cautious. Youíre sure youíll take care of Jack and then youíll be the most powerful tiger in the world. Maybe you wonít be because there is somebody behind you.
<br>
Lyndon- Iím owned by more people than a Kentucky Derby horse if I ever get in, Louis. Sometimes you donít want to know who owns you; your knowledge could be reason they will knock you off. Every hear of Monsieur de Chateau Renaud?
<br>
Louis- The brains behind capitalism and communism. He plays them off against each other. Apparent enemies, really the same army.
<br>
Lyndon- He hasnít killed you for knowing that. You must be very big.
<br>
Louis- A telephone call from him makes Krupp tremble. When he calls me we are on better terms.
<br>
Lyndon- You hear from General Orlandini?
<br>
Louis- I call General Orlandini. He trembles. I can hear the phone shake on the other end.
<br>

Lyndon- You talk to them. I honestly donít want to hear from Chateau-Renaud or Orlandini. I know what itís like to be president; Iíve seen enough of them, God knows. My mentor, FDR, was the best of them. He played one tiger off against the other; the New Deal, Louis, was one great big tiger free for all that made FDR laugh. He himself ran a secret puppet show of enemies. Youíve got to be a very special politician with some charm do to that sort of thing, Louis. FDR had it: magnetism, whatever; it makes people think you like them, youíre on their side, youíre covertly in their corner even when you seem to be their enemy.
<br>
Louis- Youíre describing wives, not tigers, Lyndon. Tigers donít work the jungle with confederates; theyíre loners. Wives work that kind of confidence hustle.

Lyndon- Well, wives, tigers, whatever it is, I havenít got that quality. You heard of men who have the word husband written all over them? People see me and instantly they say, that son of a bitch is a fucken rogue.
<br>
Louis- Lyndon, maybe you need to turn off the lights. One be the guy behind somebody. When you really look into this stuff, Lyndon, it comes down to peering into the darkness knowing that there are some places so shadowy you donít know whoís there; youíll never know. We have a deal, I think, Lyndon.

Lyndon- You know it. Youíre not guessing. Iíll talk to you on the phone later, Louis. Thanks a hellova lot for dropping by.

<br>
Louis- I may need your counsel, Lyndon. The IRS has been interested in me lately. I donít know whoís behind them, maybe you putting the muscle on me; theyíve got something about some business I did in Boise a few years ago I am not happy about. Theyíve got photos, documents, everything. Itís hard to be a patriot for a country when itís busy prosecuting you.
<br>
Lyndon- You can consider that investigation terminated as my first act of office.
<br>
Louis- Talk to me, Lyndon, when you need a plastic pecker.
<br>
Lyndon- Use that door over there. Iíve got to talk to the other side now; I donít want their representatives to see you coming in and out of here.
<br>
Louis- I donít want them to either. Iím invisible; I hope to stay that way. You know where to reach me, Lyndon. (Exit Louis through the other exit. Lyndon picks up the phone.)
<br>
Lyndon- Hi, Rita...yeah, I put half of the deal together already; I think we are going to have a hell of a stable country in the next few years once those sons of bitches Jack and Jackie are put into retirement...Louis di Franchi gave me this plastic pecker too...it polishes the fingernails into mirrors....I donít know what else it does; maybe it mixes gin and tonic for all I know...if I can put this other bastard in my corner we are gong to celebrate tonight with a party you are going to remember for at least a week...yeah, lobster and marshmallows and your taste in enchiladas...next month weíll make big whoopee in Abe Lincolnís bed...the parade is going on right now in Dallas...watch your television set; you are going to see something America hasnít had to talk about since the holy birth of Elvis...any channel. My chauffeur will pick you up at the hotel; the other fellow is coming in right now. See you later. (Lyndon hangs up the phone. Enter Lucien di Franchi.) Howíre you doing, Lucien; you look a little peaked, Lucien. Hope the loonies at the insane asylum donít have anything contagious.
<br>
Lucien- You donít look so good either, Lyndon. You seemed a little scared when I walked in the door. Anything out there worth being afraid of?
<br>
Lyndon- Nothing, really. You look like a fellow I met a while ago. Freaky, really. You might almost be the same guy.
<br>
Lucien- That is uncanny, Lyndon.
<br>
Lyndon- I donít mind people acting like other people. When they look like them too I get a little frizzled, Lucien.
<br>

Lucien- I donít know that much about my background. I might have a twin brother for all I know. Sometimes I have dreams Iím incredibly rich, running some of the biggest businesses in the world. Crazy stuff; it seems more like another reality Iím living in at the same time than anything else.

Lyndon- Two bodies, one soul, so to speak.
<br>
Lucien- I have some scars on my body my doctor tells me suggests I was separated from something very large at birth, maybe a monster, maybe a growth; maybe I was once a Siamese twin. Maybe I had two heads, Lyndon.
<br>
Lyndon- We all think like that when weíre kids, Lucien. Then we discover the world is lucky thereís only one of us.
<br>
Lucien- Unless there really are two of us. Or three of us.
<br>
Lyndon- Lucien, If thereís more than one of me God is even crazier than I think he is. Howís the insane asylum?
<br>
Lucien- Expanding. We were a loony bin a long time ago, Lyndon. Thatís history like Prohibition. Now weíre the Welfare Department in every city, we run the courts, the jails, the schools, we even do the job testing for those plastic pecker people, whoever they are.
<br>
Lyndon- Youíve got the Arts on your pad too, donít you, Lucien?
<br>
Lucien- You can't turn out a limerick without me.
<br>
Lyndon- I used to think power came from knowing who was alive and who was dead. Now I see itís about whoís sane and whoís totally bonkers. Weíre going to need all you people to help us after the big kaboom. Those damned Reds gave us a scare. You think you can deliver us a big bunch of quiet patriots?
<br>
Lucien- I run Welfare. I control forty million people from birth to death; weíre expanding into the middle class. Even my middle management doesnít have lunch or a spasm without my say-so. They will be your cannon fodder. I need arts programs, Lyndon. People with brains here always go Red; itís because your people havenít got the sense to give them a few bucks and a couple of knitting needles. I need to run books, museums, lute recitals. Youíre got warriors, politicians; you need some first class priests.
<br>
Lyndon- We thought we had them. I told them no self respecting priests in America likes rhinestone suits. Now theyíre listening to me.

Lucien- Priests are priests everywhere. You get an unctuous, soft spoken consoling son of a bitches with an answer for everything that nobody can explain, even God, and you got yourself a bishop.
<br>
Lyndon- You donít seem all that kindhearted, Lucien. You must stay away from the battlefield.

<br>
Lucien- Iím a Corsican, baby. We donít forget even in America where we are from. Someplace bloody and tough. Itís great to wake up from the nightmare; sometimes there are dreams that are the clothes of other dreams, you get me? By the way, youíre got Belzheimerís Disease; I can tell from the way you sway a little when you talk.
<br>
Lyndon-Iím a little smashed, Lucien; itís late in the day. Whatís Belzheimerís Disease? Sounds real bad.
<br>
Lucien- There are diseases with no symptoms. Theyíre the worst. Belzheimerís isnít quite that invisible. It could be an itch, a headache. It could be the lack of them. Either way, you definitely have Belzheimerís.
<br>
Lyndon- Youíre got some line of jive, Lucien. Have we got a deal?
Lucien- You know what I want?
<br>
Lyndon- More or less. Arts programs, Welfare for everybody, Marxists running the schools talking about tend loving care for little brats with lots of curiosity, a country like a big city hospital.
<br>
Lucien- A country? How about the universe?

Lyndon- You want space travel too? We can do that.
<br>
Lucien- I really do want a galaxy of out patients. Lemme tell you, Lyndon, I am progress. My utopia is better than a Milky Way of criminals, blasphemers and sinners.
<br>
Lyndon- We want a little more than that, Lucien. You talk about arts as if theyíre central; theyíre nothing. If you think weíre concerned with what artists think, theyíre more trivial than makers of toys. At least a good plastic toy makes money.
<br>
Lucien- What do you want, Lyndon?
<br>
Lyndon- We want a new educational system thatíll be passed on kids as lords of a new privileged class. We want to fill every school with experts, psychologists mostly, who will force teachers and parents to lose authority altogether as their children and pupils wander around in a perpetual kindergarten, playing with a plastic pecker world as if it were filled with toys made for them by slaves who owed them a free hula hoop with no obligations.
<br>
Lucien- Youíll be creating a perpetual slave class of expensive morons, you know that?
<br>

Lyndon- Of course I know that. The Reformation was the worst thing that ever happened in human history, Lucien. Teach people to read ad think, you never know what will happen.
<br>
Lucien- Well, I can do that. We have hordes of psychologists whoíll fill these new jobs, ballivo me. Theyíll be pensions, medical benefits and lawyers on staff for them I hope? They have to pay the bills.
<br>
Lyndon- when Iím president, Lucien, I will be printing money. Lots of money. They can have whatever dollars can purchase when is just about everything including themselves. I can make a slave rich and think he has freedom; I do it all the time. You write their contracts; Iíll start those money machines going as soon as theyíre on my desk, donít worry.
<br>
Lucien- I was always I was a prince or a high priest myself until I realized I only ran the weak and managed the insane; also I couldnít print money. Itís the next step from running a world thatís not an nut house, I guess. Could I print some money myself, just among my friends and relatives?
<br>
Lyndon- In this world I will print the money, not you.
<br>

Lucien- Youíre looking forward to it, arenít you? You know a man with real has power can print money and have people killed with impunity. I never got that far I guess.
<br>
Lyndon- Youíd get used to it in three months. Then when it goes youíd miss it. You donít need it, Lucien.
<br>
Lucien- Beyond that, one has to know oneís place, doesnít one? All right.
<br>
Lyndon- I know youíre into counterfeiting. The IRS and FBI are aware of you, Lucien. You keep on putting your own picture on your money.
<br>
Lucien- I forget who should be on our currency. I have a very vague notion of history. I thought my money gave our dollars a diversity and aesthetic interest it lacked, Lyndon. I started out by making certificates for professional people, mostly psychologists; I did my best work with the Orlandini family, not the generals but the therapists. I was great at degrees, diplomas from training institutes, credit cards and coats of arms. I have a talent; is there anything more dull, Lyndon, than American dollars? You could fall asleep looking at them.
<br>
Lyndon- Itís a kind of ordinary invisibility to be boring, Lucien, Youíve just taken up another way of bending light, thatís all.
<br>
Lucien- No more churning out pink twenty dollar bills. Anything else?
<br>

Lyndon- We want to turn women against men. As it is me and women donít like each other very much; we want to make female rage legitimate as a man raping a woman in a militarily occupied town. We need your psychologists to tell their female patients all their problems came from love and boding with their families or their mates.
<br>
Lucien- You want to isolate everybody.
<br>
Lyndon- Of course. Frankly, we also are very heavily funded by a guild of lawyers you may not have heard about. Weíre almost all lawyers in Congress; the presidents have all be lawyers except for a few generals. Lawyers like as much litigation as possible. We want men and women to be suing each other all their lives as an ordinary feature of American existence like driving cars, getting drunk and eating hamburgers. If we can get those children youíre turning out to sue the parents, maybe the grandparents to run their cases in court too we will have everybody running in and out of the courts like worms feeding on a gigantic corpse.
<br>
Lucien- Well, of course, I can do that. We have no end of experts ready to promote whatever you want as long as the salary, pension and health benefits are cushy. If I could print money ,I could do the whole job myself.
<br>
Lyndon- You canít print money. You have to need me for something, Lucien.
<br>
Lucien- I wonít go near a printing press.
<br>
Lyndon- Forget about counterfeiting. Let us do it. Our money is real. I donít mean to stand between you and your destiny if you really want to be a counterfeiter, believe me. I just want American life to work, Lucien. Thatís why IĎm putting together this deal. Iím for progress myself; the old stuff in the Old World didnít do anybody much good, did it?
<br>
Lucien- Itíll work. Iíll produce the stupidest, most ignorant nard arrogant generation in the history of the universe. I guess the Assyrian kings are never going to make a comeback. You look sad, Lyndon.
<br>
Lyndon-Iím just worried. I havenít got time to be unhappy. I got a bad feeling about all this, Lucien.
<br>
Lucien- About Jack and Jackie? Let them die.
<br>
Lyndon- Naw, not them. Theyíre just one more rich empty piece of doody and his whore. He treats her lousy, I must say. Shames the poor bitch. Heís just like his daddy. FDR said Joe was the worst man in the world. Itís good to meet him Lucien. You know it can never get any more evil than that. Jackie should be happy Iím doing what Iím doing, Lucien. Iím You marry one of these bastards, you are in terrible trouble.

<br>
Lucien- You still look a little blue.
<br>
Lyndon- Donít give me that therapy bullshit; I am one of the boys. I donít think this whole routine is going to work, thatís all.
<br>
Lucien- Youíve got the whole world to pick from if you want gunmen you can trust. Your people have probably hired the best.
<br>
Lyndon- Lucien, youíre a poor boy like me. I couldnít get to Marilyn Monroe like the Kennedy brothers; I could explode in a cloud of stars with that bitch. Sheís so fucken blonde. She probably smells like lilacs. I ainít got the clout. I had to be satisfied with Rita Hayworth. You know what Rita has to say to me?
<br>
Lucien- There are many among us American who would be content with Rita Hayworth. Lyndon.
<br>
Lyndon- Lucien, sheís a poor girl too, Spanish, Mexican, something like that; she might not even be White like us. She tells me Americans donít want wars or your left wing bullshit; they just want shopping and television. Thatíll stabilize everything. You know something, Iím a poor boy too and Iíll bet sheís right.
<br>
Lucien- Youíre worried about failure.
<br>
Lyndon- Lucien, I have fallen on my face and eaten shit more times that any army of diarrhetic babies; a little blood and dung on my face never fazes me. Rita and I started with nothing and we understand what it feels like to know you are one step from nothing in your pocket. These rich boys donít know anything about the world of swine and wolves. They think they can always disappear into their money. They always have why shouldnít they have that idea? The women they got pregnant get those Key West expensive abortions, there is always more money to spend in some other place than the last place, the prosecutors are paid off to look the other way when they might take it into their mind to murder an uppity woman or rob a bank or two.
<br>
Lucien- Yes, of course. Itís Dorsheimerís Disease. Iím very familiar with the symptoms, believe me.
<br>
Lyndon- I never heard of that; this government stuff is no different than a party in Palm Beach. You make a mistake; you do not have a place to vanish to unless some little fey sheik in the Emirate decides to show you a little mercy.
<br>
Lucien- I understand that. I havenít always been running an insane asylum, Lyndon.
<br>

Lyndon- Well then you might think over what Rita has been telling me after a whole lot of shaking has been going on. A lot of people donít want to fight a colonial war. They will not go to Vietnam to do to the gooks what the French couldnít do. We never had an empire there like the French; if the whole place went down in flames we couldnít care less. This is going to be one impossible little war if the army and the corporate heavies are going to make money they donít need from it, Lucien.
<br>
Lucien- Then donít do it.
<br>
Lyndon- I canít back off; thatís half of the deal. They arenít going to care about the coffins coming back home because they and their kin are going to be safe in Washington clicking in the body bags. I am the one who is going to have to explain to people why we are doing this thing. Now you tell me the Welfare people will fight for me; will they?
<br>
Lucien- Being in a war is not too different from where they live except they have a right to mil people. Why not?
<br>
Rita- Rita says no. They will do what they do at home. They will not organize, not go after any enemy with a will and endurance, an they will spend a lot of time getting stoned on heroin and grass, fucking and drinking the local beer in the commissary, and trying to survive.
<br>
Lucien- You can't back out of that either. You can't afford to seem right wing, Lyndon. Youíd give us Civil Rights, Arts, Welfare and lots of hospitals. You never know; maybe youíll get lucky. Weíll find out everything in a while, wonít we?
<br>
Lyndon- You donít believe it yourself, do you, Lucien?
<br>
Lucien- I canít afford to think much about the future, Lyndon. Itís going to be good and bad like the past. Iím like Attila. I donít have a theory of history. I do know like the army my people need jobs. They have the loony bins, the schools, courts, Welfare and industrial hiring; they want the Arts and a army a few states like the Mafia. If they have Las Vegas and New Jersey, why canít we have North Dakota and Arizona?
<br>
Lyndon- You talk big. Forget it, Lucien.
<br>
Lucien- I guess Jack didnít go for the deal, did he, Lyndon?
<br>
Lyndon- He didnít know it was coming. He doesn't know how to talk to people, Lucien. He thinks heís a cartoon; the only thing he takes seriously is partying. You know what he considers foreplay? He pulls up a girls dress and ells her to bend over.
<br>
Lucien- I figured. They want you. You have one wife, one mistress; thatís more a more reliable lifestyle. You donít dismiss anybody either; anybody can talk to you.
<br>

Lyndon- That is the central talent of a politician, Lucien. We are always polite, ready to talk to enemies and strangers.
<br>
Lucien- You should; youíre going to be in bed with them tomorrow. I talk to everybody too. Itís something you have to do in an insane asylum. We call it therapy.
<br>
Lyndon- Do you learn anything from the lunatics?
<br>
Lucien- Only that youíre sane by very, very ignorant. Itís awful but itís better than being psychotic and locked up. I do have some bizarre moments myself but only in dreams. Nearly every night I have this nightmare that Iím a great corporate tiger, the man behind a thousand coups and movements of plastic goods, mastermind of assassinations and planner of covert creations of shadow colonies in the hinterlands.
<br>
Lyndon- Thatís one problem I havenít got. I canít remember my dreams. I mean on every level. I wake every morning out of nothing. Iím as brainless as an army of bacteria until get my first cup of coffee.
<br>
Lucien- Thatís a sign of disorder. You might have Colkisherís Syndrome, Lyndon.
<br>
Lyndon- I hope itís a whiskey. I never heard of it.
<br>
Lucien- You never have to worry about it. Itís a disease with no symptoms. It could be worse. Sometimes are symptoms with no diseases. You never liked Jack much, did you, Lyndon?
<br>
Lyndon- He and his brother bobby called me Colonel Cornpone. They make fun of me, they humiliated me, Lucien. I donít kill people. Iím a politician. We learn to be civil to even people we hate. Jack isnít nice to anybody. Thatís why heís getting axed. Heís a guy with a hard on and a bottle who showed up at the wrong party.
<br>
Lucien- It does make you wonder who wants him dead. Whoever it is, itís about primal hate, not tactics, Lyndon. If they can run this kind of execution they can take him out at the polls much more easily. Thereís so much dirt on this son of a bitch, Lyndon. The heavy Mafia ties, the mistress she shares with a crime biggie, he and his fatherís career as Nazis, the fake heroic record, walking away a small army of people with guns who trusted him when they attacked Cuba. The still have the guns, donít they?
<br>
Lyndon- They've got them. It really doesnít matter who does what to whom at that level does it? Or whoís running it? Itís what could be happening to you and me when they manage it and do it. Are you in?
<br>
Lucien- I am definitely in. (Exit Lucien. Lyndon picks up the phone and dials a number.)
<br>

Lyndon- Rita?...Itís in place. Pour yourself a Lime Marguerita and keep your eye on that t-v. (He hangs up. He walks over to a television set, turns it on and watches it every intently.)
Goddamn commercials! What the hell is Preparation F?...If I want a pink plastic coffin Iíll buy one, goddamn it...there it is...fucken educational channel...what the hell do I care about the erotic history of toads?...Another Preparation F commercial ....yeah, there it is, Dallas, the motorcade...There the sun of a bitch is, waving and smiling about nothing. What the fuck is he so happy about? God, what a sick fashion plate. Iím a stone lush but heís on opium and his funky little bitch is on speed...how the hell can we run this country; weíre all barely able to take a shit...O God, there it is!...Boom, boom, boom...Do it, baby...Yeah...yeah, yeah...I thank that last shot took his head off...beautiful...no Secret Service men around....theyíre in place....maybe they shot her too...no, sheís ducking under the seat...looks like they got my buddy Conally...Heís a hard nosed bastard; he can take a bullet or two. O boy! I need a fucken drink. I am going to spend some night tonight with Rita. (He picks up the phone and dials a number.) Rita, you see that?...isnít it beautiful?...whatís that?...yeah, sometimes you get what you want; it can be a lot worse; I know that, baby. I am ready for paradise. I started out in a damned tar paper shack with an pinewood outhouse. I am a poor boy who has eaten more shit in my very long career than an army of Texas dung beetles; from now on I am going to eat lobster and marshmallow sauce, baby. Iíll wash it down with real California champagne. Yeah the boys on the right will get their war, the clubhouse on the left will get Welfare, therapy, Art, and lots of insane asylums. ...no, they donít want to build them; they want to make the whole planet into one...I know that wars kill people but weíre talking about a bunch of dog eating gooks, honey, not human beings. Anybody they donít vote, theyíre five thousand miles away ene if we lose; how the hell are they going to hurt us?... How any Asians do you think are in this country? You donít think I can afford to lose the Asian vote? Itís about five hundred people. I can forget about the noodle vote; let the little yellow bastards burn my laundry... Look honey, I donít even think theyíre Christians. See you at the motel at six. keep the bourbon next to the bed. (He hangs up.) Iím president of the fucken United States of America. Son of a gun! (He exits. Lights go up as Lucien and Emily enter their office.)
<br>
Emily- Too bad they knocked off Jack, Lucien. I loved that guy. Physically I mean, not as president. I think he was too busy in bed to do much in politics. Sometimes I wished I could have been at one of those parties I heard about.
<br>
Lucien- You would have been very disappointed, Emily. The man was half dead, had a bad back, and didnít relate much to women. He probably hated them. Unless you have Halfirberís Disorder you wouldnít have enjoyed it.
<br>
Emily- Whatís Halfirberís Disorder?

<br>
Lucien- An obsessive desire to go to parties, a compulsion to sleep with famous people, a nearly lethal madness about celebrities. Itís usually combined with Babowskyís Syndrome, a propensity to overdosing on chocolate, cocaine and pickled Korean ginseng. You can look it up.
<br>
Emily- I just might. I think you make up all these damned illnesses. My real estate agent is named Babowsky. Who the hell was Halfirber anyway, some chiropodist?
<br>
Lucien- Ignatz Halfirber? You think the psychiatric world would name a respectable disease after a bum?
<br>
Emily- Why would anybody want an insanity named after them? I think the psychiatrist do that to punish their enemies.
<br>
Lucien- Halfirber had more enemies than most people. He as also a broker and a lawyer.
<br>
Emily- Iíd like to name a disorder myself after people I hate. You psychiatrists are very powerful.
<br>
Lucien- One day I had to make somebody so mad heíll name one after me. Then Iíll be famous.
<br>
Emily- You donít want to be known at all, Lucien. You have some hunger to be anonymous. Itís a condition most people achieve without even trying.
<br>
Lucien- We Corsicans are notoriously secretive. Itís a way you take freedom, Emily. I wish I knew how was the mastermind behind Agaccio Incorporated. Heís the guy Iíd like to discover. His corporate network just about covers the whole planet but heís ultimately clandestine. Nobody knows who he is.
<br>
Emily- Agaccio. Sounds Corsican. Maybe heís your relative.
<br>
Lucien- Itís a blind. Heís pushing around the whole wold behind a series of holding companies and toadies he owns from Samoa to Terra del Fuego. Heís infected the world with broken plastic. Iíd like to name a pelage after him.
<br>
Emily- He probably doesn't think much of you either. Youíre a man who wants to turn the same astral body into a loony bin.
<br>
Lucien- I know this planet isnít an insane asylum, Emily; I just have to make it legally like one. That means we fill the courts with psychiatrists even if the litigants are arguing about steel factories or divorce. We put them in the schools too; get the kids to hate their parents, teachers and never learn how to read. Somebodyís got to clean the latrines. Somebodyís got to go to prison too; otherwise we might have to lay off the guards and the warden; we could have another Depression.

<br>
Emily- You canít create have a global hospital and penitentiary out of this universe, Lucien; nobody will go for it.
Lucien- Emily, people have died for Marduk, Zeus, the Trinity, communism, Hitler and the celery diet. They fall in love with horrors; ask any ex-wife. They listen to dunces; thatís why we have brokers. This is not a particularly intelligent universe. We are the smartest species on this planet; would you call us even vaguely reasonable?
<br>
Emily- Maybe weíre charming. Lucien, you want me to put everybody on Welfare, give a government bounty for divorce so people can really be themselves undistracted by others, set women to war against men, children against parents, dogs against cats, rats against mice and start Arts programs, whatever that means. Iíll do it because Iím on salary. I donít have to believe in it.
<br>
Lucien- Youíre wrong, Emily. Thatís the difference between us and the filthy corporate world. They do everything for money; we have faith in our politics. You have to believe what we do like a religion or you should get another job.
<br>
Emily- I like the potato salad here. You convinced me.
<br>
Lucien- You know, you may have Dorsheimerís Disease. You look a little peaked to me. Do you have trouble coloring your toenails?
<br>
Emily- No. Why?
<br>
Lucien- Just a little test. Rampant toenail disorder is not a symptom. A lot of people like to deny they have Dorsheimerís. Itís part of the syndrome to claim one doesn't have it.
<br>
Emily- Donít psychobabble me, Lucien; Iím one of the boys. What kind of Art do you want? Monuments, epics?
<br>
Lucien- No, nothing uncomfortable or inflammatory. Minor abstract stuff. The art shooed be dangerous as like knitting. We want to keep people stable and happy, not exciting and irate.
<br>
Emily- I can understand that.
<br>
Lucien- We are connected now, never mind with whom. I know about youíre selling life insurance on the job, Emily, personal calls to lovers, ex-husbands, your ex-in-laws, your mother, your phone sex job and the death threats you give to other people on professional insane asylum time. You also run a phone sex operation when nobody else is in the office on company time. Donít tell me youíre a reliable professional.
<br>
Emily- Youíve been tapping my phone.
<br>

Lucien- I know you think you might be a lesbian, that youíd be better off quitting the helping professions and working on macrame in a South Pole lighthouse.
<br>
Emily- You got that stuff from Doctor Armando Orlandini. He always hated me. Iíd name a hellova disease after him if I were you.

Lucien- He doesnít need my antagonism, Emily. They carted him away a long time ago for stealing half our budget and investing it in Venezuelan mushroom futures. It was only a month after they arrested Doctor Levko Orlandini for moving our furniture in our lobby away by night into a next door flea market and selling it on weekends.
<br>
Emily- Youíve hired a lot of low life middle management, Lucien.
<br>
Lucien- People are always being arrested in this place, I know. Itís distracting Every week or so the cop show up and cat somebody else off to the slammer. I donít like it. I donít know what to do about it.
<br>
Emily- You have to change these thugs you hire here, Lucien. They place is filled with human lice. Theyíre all either crooks or they die of some horrible disease. First of all I would stop hiring Orlandinis.
<br>
Lucien- All the Orlandinis have credentials, certificates; it turned out they trained each other. How was I to know?
<br>
Emily- You didnít take a cut of their swag, did you?
<br>
Lucien- I donít need the money of that scurvy Orlandini family, Emily; I am making a tolerably comfortable salary here. I wish I had been a little more cautious in a deal I ran starting an insane asylum in Boise a year ago. It looked very good, everybody in my pocket from the saltpeter and potato salad caterers to the governor of the state. Then a few turns in the weather and before I knew it the IRS was interested in me.
<br>
Emily- Theyíre everywhere. Sometimes I think weíd be better off without them. We pay them our own money to have them investigate us. Thatís crazy. Isnít it?
<br>
Lucien- The federal government has always been interested in me. You know Iím a counterfeiter. They donít like my work aesthetically or for any other reason. What the hell do right wingers know about beauty?
<br>
Emily- I think Woman and Blacks should be on some kind of American money filiating out of Washington; I appreciate your pink period currency, Lucien.
<br>

Lucien- Itís worse than that. Every coin, every bill has somebody on it thatís White, male, rich, powerful and sane. Until we have at least a nickel with somebody certifiably crazy on it we are never going to be able to sell an insane asylum as a model for American politics.

Emily- I guess the IRS and FBI feel different. Of course they do theyíre all right wingers.
<br>
Lucien- Theyíre the last honest men in America; Emily; you can't move them anymore than you can Mount Fillmore. I got so depressed about it I thought I might fake my own death. I could show up later in Peru and start a new life running insane asylums for the Incas.
<br>
Emily- Youíve got a good life here, Lucien. Agaccio Insane Asylum giving you a chance to heal people for big bucks. We are the Monaco of lunacy.
<br>
Lucien- Letís not kid ourselves; this place is a Roach Motel. Rich people come in but they donít leave. If we cured them weíd be out of a job. Even when they die we donít tell the government so we can keep those disability checks coming. I learned more about how to make people accustomed to being crazy at Agaccio Insane Asylum than making them sane; thatís the real nature of the helping professions. Goddamit it, everything here is therapy. You donít take a shit here; you have a session of defection therapy. Death therapy is the only one that solves all your problems. Look, I want you to call up Ernest Hemingway and tell him heís finished. No more easy ride for Papa, get it? Weíre going to have a new poet laureate.
<br>
Emily- Ernest Hemingway is dead. He shot himself.
<br>
Lucien- I thought he had better aim than that. Well tell william Faulkner. Whoever. Theyíre fired. The government is going to take over the Arts now. No more aesthetic chaos. These monumental oldsters can go to work for us or live on a check for crones.
<br>
Emily- Itís Robert Frost. Heís eighty nine years old. You want me to tell him heís kaput, Lucien? Heís liable to have a seizure.
<br>
Lucien- Dump the son of a bitch. Let him die.
<br>
Emily- What do we want from him to keep him on the payroll if he says he will work with us?
<br>
Lucien- How the hell do I know? Look, maybe an epic about how we should take over Asia.
<br>
Emily- Robert Frost doesnít know anything about Asia. Heís an expert on building fences around his house to keep out other people he doesnít like.
<br>
Lucien- Thatís why he writes poetry about? No wonder Iíve never read him. What a shallow swine.

<br>

Emily- You mean to represent yourself to me as reasonable in a world of greedy lunatics? You are worse than they are. I know you sold the catering franchise through your partner in running television panel discussions about madness to the Mafia.
<br>
Lucien- My dear, the Mafia knows more about the culinary tastes of the insane than anybody in the world. Psychotics from Tibet to Timbuctoo have a ravenous taste for pasta.
<br>
Emily- We know too much about each other, Lucien. Itís lucky weíre lovers. Otherwise weíd betray each other.
<br>
Lucien- If weíre being honest, we donít have to cavil about what weíre doing here, Emily. I am turning the world into a terminal ward; itís only to try to give the planet a stability in the web of lunacy it never had when it claimed it was sane.
<br>
Emily- Youíre nuts.
<br>
Lucien- What is sanity, Emily? Is it honor, glory, standing for oneís country, a piety about right and wrong, a certainly about the dragons that are always invisible and in front of us? We might do better with being openly, legally bonkers.
<br>
Emily- Thatís a crazy idea.
<br>
Lucien- Madness that might save us when reason has failed us, Emily. We used to talk about people as criminal, sinful and kill them. If we can say theyíre inept and daft, we might put them on an entire planet like a rich manís crazy house.
<br>
Emily- Youíre dreaming.
<br>
Lucien- Weíre all dreaming; only one of us can be the real dreamer. They rest of us are imaginary. One way or another, Iím going to be who I am or be nobody and nothing better than anybody whose just a dream of a dream. I want to put the whole world on Welfare, Emily. Why shouldnít they be rich when Washington can print as much money as it wants? I want everything and everybody to be creative. A planet of artists is easier to run than one of normal people. All they want is a room where they can be left alone. Prisoners in maximum security penitentiaries want less than they do.
<br>
Emily- You want to lock everybody up? Whoíll be the guards?
<br>

Lucien- When people put themselves into the cell and stay there thinking theyíre liberated you donít need them. I want the whole planet unbonded, Emily. I donít even want cockroaches to like each other. Whatís the cause of most misery, Emily? It isnít hate. Hate just leads to violence. Somebody dies; thatís the end of it. Love, Emily, is the biggest maker of woe on Earth. In the end it make everybody stale, frustrated and enraged in their heart. I want a future of human beings like tigers ready to devour who are willing to tell the whole world to drop dead.
<br>
Emily- They wonít be happy.
<br>
Lucien- Life canít get any worse, can it? When people are alone and feel lousy, they donít hurt anybody. They look around; thereís nobody there. They donít know whom to blame. By the way, have you ever thought you might have Flugeldosherís Syndrome?
<br>
Emily- Now, what the hell is that?
<br>
Lucien- Fear of Flugeldoshers. (Exit Lucien. Emily picks up the phone.)
<br>
Emily- Hello, Robert? Look, you donít know me but I work for Lucien di Franchi of the Agaccio Insane Asylum...no, Iím not trying to sell you lunacy insurance; we have a contact with the government now that affects your status as Poet Laureate. We represents its artistic council. We are connected with your new president Lyndon Johnson. You havenít turned on your t-v, Robert; you donít know Jack got whacked in Dallas...Yep, his brains flew halfway across the boulevard. Look forget about building fences; we know your little fence business, the IRS is on to you. If you want to walk, youíd be smart to write a poem, a big poem, on the future of America in Asia. Itís okay if you make it a comedy; everybody in America needs a laugh or two, donít they?... Weíre going to bring them the suburbs to those little gooks. You work with us, your will be taken care of, believe me; otherwise the IRS will look into your disgusting little fence scam and put you in the slammer...Yeah, turn on your t-v; youíll see whoís in power here soon enough. It sure as hell ainít Jack anymore. (Enter Louis di Franchi.) Hi. I think heís biting, We donít need a new poet laureate yet, honey.
<br>
Louis- Iím Louis. Louis di Franchi.

Emily- You want to be known as Louis now? Thatís okay. I think Iíve got Robert Frost scared. He wounds as if he were ready to kill himself. Maybe thatís what happened to Ernest Hemingway.
<br>
Louis- Would you like a plastic pecker?
<br>
Emily- A what?
<br>
Louis- (He takes the device out of his pocket.) You never know whatís going on behind you, you know. You use this instrument to polish your fingernails into mirrors. Then you have a view of whatís going on behind your back.
<br>
Emily- I think youíve gone crazy.
<br>

Louis- Thatís why I think too. Iím nuts. Itís a sobering idea, I can tell you. At least Iím still sane enough to come here to get cured. I looked it up in the hone directory. Agaccio Insane Asylum. Thatís a Corsican name. I figured my fellow Corsicans would understand me.
<br>
Emily- You canít be cured of being bankers here. Youíre the director.
<br>
Louis- You know I think youíre gone crazy too. I am the director but not of an insane asylum.
<br>
Emily- What do you think youíre the director of? I think you have gone totally daft.
<br>
Louis- it doesn't matter. Look Iíve had these terrible dreams that Iím the director of an insane asylum, not the CEO of the biggest industrial enterprise on the planet. Take this plastic pecker, polish your fingernails with it later.
<br>
Emily- You are totally nuts. What do I need this piece of plastic for?
<br>
Louis- Right now you donít need it. In a week youíll feel different; the plastic itself with change you. Itís not magic or some act of God; itís that the access to an expanded sense of life will make you subtle y into someone else. Thatís my wager; itís a good one. Iíve sold three million plastic peckers this week.
<br>
Emily- Youíve gone completely insane. You donít sell plastic peckers. Luckily youíre the heard of the insane asylum. Otherwise weíd luck you up.
<br>
Louis- You think I run this place.
<br>
Emily- You think you do too.
<br>
Louis- You know, this is the nightmare of my dreams. I think sometimes I am the head of a loony bin, that you are my mistress, and that I have a plan to take over the world by putting everybody on Welfare, making the whole planet into a hospital, teen setting up Arts programs to help the maniacs express themselves. Now youíre going to tell me this is all true.
<br>
Emily- You said it. Of course itís true. Iím definitely your mistress.
<br>
Louis- Iíve walked into the world of my dreams. I wonder who many men have been able to do that by taking a car ride. Maybe a few kids whoíve gone to Disneyland.
<br>
Emily- You are the honcho here. What do you want to do now?
<br>

Louis- Right now? Make love to you in the cellars of the loony bin. Have we got a bed?
<br>

Emily- This is an insane asylum. You think we havenít got beds?
<br>
Louis- Letís go find one. I want to make some discoveries with you. If youíre real, then so are my visions. Then I think Iíd like to sell every inmate a plastic pecker. (Exit Louis and Emily. The phone rings. Enter Lyndon Johnson. He picks up the phone.)
<br>

Lyndon- Hi Rita...Well, it hasnít been easy...of course everything is in place but things happen when you run a country that donít when you are selling apples on the street. Itís all associated with Louis and Lucien di Franchi. They are really good people but they get a little aggressive in their very different way; nothing I canít handle. Louis has sold guns, bombs, and airplanes to North and South Vietnam and none of them work. It keeps down the casualties I suppose. He sold three million plastic peckers to Peru; it turns out they really are peckers. He makes his money on the batteries. Sure they shine your fingernails, but so what?...Heís hustled an army of lake frogs to Canada to sell as pets. He makes his money on the crickets they need to feed the little bastards...Yeah, I hope they croak too; very funny.... Look, I can see weíre not going to win this war; nobody on our side wants to go up that hill and take out the enemy; they are there for the k-rations and the rest and recreation...al they want to do is sleep or fuck twelve year old little girls, Itís disgusting. We werenít like this in World War Two, were we? ...they all want to know what are they defending; I say, you are looking out for that fat Welfare check when you get home, you son of a bitch. It doesnít make much of an argument. They know theyíll get it no matter what they do; thatís Welfare, honey...Yeah, the CIA is big into heroin; they run it back to us in army planes. They say they need the money to fight for American freedom and destroy communism. What kind of an intelligence service is that, Rita? I say theyíre a bunch of grifters, clowns, honky tonk rounders and con-artists. Cardinal Spellman is on the phone in between chorus body telling me to win the battle and then put Christianity on the moon...he thinks there are little green aliens up there he wants to baptize and bugger...whatís the religion on the moon? How the hell should I know? At least they donít get it on with reptilian monsters as perks...itís a fucken lousy war, Rita; I wish my right wing friends had never started such a dumb, stupid pigsty; what did they do it all for? Money...I could have given the money. Iím the president; I print money...Iím proud Iím a democrat; at least Iím for the people, not for these scum...Lucienís even worse; heís put armies of people on Welfare. These bastards still hate us even as they take our money. I gave his people a deal on Welfare they cannot refuse. They only have to show up and say to a little recording machine, I am indigent, I am in need, and they get life better than most European kings in our sacred holy books...yes, mangos, buffalo meat, coconuts, everything. If theyíre sick we sent them to city hospitals; if they arenít sick we sent them there too...now they all want to go on strike. Lemme ask you something, Rita; how does a fucken beggar go out on strike?....I donít know either...who the fuck needs them? They all want reparations for something. They must think Iím guilty about being president; why should I feel lousy? I didnít even kill Jack; I was just part of the machine, thatís all. I donít murder people; I corrupt people...Not you, honey, I never hurt you; you were what you are, whatever that is, long before I met you...yeah, dinner at eight in the unusual fried chicken joint; keep the bourn on ice. Iím in the mood for some motel magic. Give me an extra bump, Rita; Iím a democrat whoís starting to hate humanity. (He hangs up the hone and exits. Enter Louis and Emily.)
<br>
Emily- This is your office? It doesnít look too much different than my room in the insane asylum.
<br>
Louis- All offices are pretty much the same nowadays. Did you like the drive here? Pretty landscape near my corporate digs, wouldnít you say?
<br>
Emily- I canít get over it. I think youíve been leading two lives. Al the corporate people out their in the lobby seemed to recognize you. I think they were afraid of you. You really do run Agaccio Enterprises as well as Agaccio Insane Asylum, donít you?
<br>
Louis- I donít manage a loony bin. Thatís my dream. Except youíre part of it; you were real when I made love to you and I transported you here. Iím very confused.
<br>
Emily- Usually people are most unreal when we make love to them. Itís strangers who make us sane in spite of ourselves. You only made love to me to test out whether I existed, I suppose.
<br>
Louis- It was one of the central reasons. I also find you very attractive. Iíve had visions of making love to you innumerable times before, of course.
<br>
Emily- Did you like making love to me in reality, even though it was sanity inside a loony bin?
<br>
Louis- Love if you arenít crazy tends to be disappointing. Itís also cluttered. I think you made me a little bonkers. I enjoyed it too much.
<br>
Emily- You seem to be very upset while we were in bed. Then you had a spasm while we were driving here in the car. Was that your dream too?
<br>
Louis- I had visions that I was hounded by the IRS for skimming money off the crazy house funding; I was going to fake my death to get them off my trail. I needed a body; I looked around in the schizophrenic ward for one. Somehow I seemed to know that people are always dropping dead there.

<br>
Emily- Thatís true; they are. It doesn't sound like a dream. (The phone rings.) Itís probably for you.
<br>
Louis- Itís Jackie Kennedy. She wants a new plastic pecker.
<br>
Emily- You know Jackie Kennedy?
<br>
Louis- Mostly as a client; we werenít lovers long. Somebody has to manage her portfolio. (He picks up the phone.) Hi Jackie... General Orlandini?...Yes, of course...the guns have to go to both sides, even the uniforms; we have hordes of tailors who have to make a living..of course we are catering it; the guerrillas and the government battalions will have the same rancid food. Itís mostly stuff left over from the trash bin in back of fast food hamburgers joints and a lot of your brother-in-lawís produce; by the way he makes a hell of a potato salad...there will be a lot of money to be made in the whorehouses; donít dismiss the dollar of a customer in a big brothel just because you donít like sex too much yourself...weíll have negotiations after about three years. The geography will look the same; the maps might be changed a little...the whole war will be covered by our people alone; the worldíll think itís sort of like a movie...(He hangs up.) Wrong number.
<br>
Emily- You can't fool me; that was General Orlandini, wasnít it? Youíre in bed with the worst warlord on the planet. God, what is with these Orlandinis? We used to have a bunch of the nice oneís steal like crazy from us at the insane asylum. Goddamn it, youíre killing people by the carload; you ought to be at least a little bit decreet about it.
<br>
Louis- I am, Emily, an honorable man. Unfortunately, peace is the worst calamity that can happen to a country if it is excellent in a private life. America hasnít had any real enemies since 1945 and nobody believes in the Cold War but three people in the State Department an one old lady who cleans the latrines there; peace been divesting to us. Nothing is more poisonous than true victory; if you donít have foes, you get soft, crazy and degenerate. If you make them up bad guys it isnít good enough; you know in your heart it isnít the real thing.
<br>
Emily- Iíve never hard such crap; how real is this war youíre running through General Orlandini?
<br>
Louis- Itís third rate stuff. Just a small colony we divided into north and south, or maybe east and west, I forget which. What am I supposed to do, claim weíre all haunted by the devil? Nobody believes that either including myself. Look, honey, I love this country, Iím as much of a patriot as you are, Emily; I just probably have a different view of it than you do. You left wing people want to turn the planet into a hospital, pretend weíre all sick and you can cure us with therapy. What good is that? Itís communism for the insane.

<br>
Emily- You used to talk very differently once. You were all for rampant insanity. What happened to your principles, hope and enthusiasm?
<br>
Louis- Youíre dreaming; I was always for embracing nature. I love Creation. You left wing nutniks think you can create peace and felicity with convincing people theyíre bonkers, running a theocracy of lunatics from birth to death. Emily, Christianity and Islam tried that except they said people were sinful. Look what happened; the ones who could se through them ran everything in three weeks. Iím an honest patriot who has a respect for humanity. I accept they get angry, want a war or two, need a roll in the gutter, kill a few people in a sack or get plastered in a brothel here and there.
<br>
Emily- You do kill people for money. Youíre a thug.
<br>
Louis- I donít need the money; Iím rich. If I knew how to live in peace Iíd do it, honey. I accept the human race: you donít.
<br>
Emily- Well, I donít have any opinion at all, really. I just work at an insane asylum; I donít believe in any of it. I smile and take the money; maybe Iím worse than you.
<br>
Louis- Iíve spent my life hearing that, Emily. People tell me that in slaughterhouses, death row hangings, wars and marriages. Everybody is there to lie, grin and walk off with the swag. I donít believe it. They want all sides of evil: the malice, the theft and its treasures, the smiling hypocrisy. You want to bake the whole universe into a nut case; take your life seriously.
<br>
Emily- What of it? A hospital isnít the worst place in the world even if itís more like a prison when they lock you in. The food is lousy; you never starve. The beds are filled with bugs but itís better than the floor. Youíre catering and costuming artificial genocides while youíre running an insane asylum on the side. Are you moralizing about me? Iím a whore; I will do anything for money. Language has escaped describing you; you are beyond English. Maybe even beyond German.
<br>
Louis- Youíre filled with self-loathing. You hate yourself and your whole species, probably life itself, Emily; all presets do.
I love life, America and the universe. If I didnít cater a war everyone on both sides would drop dead of hunger. If my tailors didnít make uniforms theyíd be massacring people naked. You couldnít show a war like that on television; it would be like pornography about death. (The phone rings. Louis answers it.) Send him up. (He hand up the hone and looks at Emily. Itís Lyndon Johnson. I wonder what he wants.
<br>

Emily- Maybe he wants to fire you. The war is going badly; everybody hates it. The Welfare people hate him too; they want to go on strike, though Iím sure what that means exactly. The soldiers donít fight; theyíll kill any officer that tells them to attack the Viet Cong. The kids canít stand him; heís an adult. Old people donít like him; he isnít retired. Women think heís a brute and a villain. Heís running half a war, half a loony bin, the biggest litigation arena on the plant for both sides and theyíre all of them falling apart.
<br>
Louis- Maybe he needs better middle management. We ought to stop hiring people named Orlandini.
<br>
Emily- Maybe thereís another way to keep order. What about a big global playground from birth to death?
<br>
Louis- Weíve got that for kids. Itís called our educational system. Everybody brat in it is illiterate. In twenty years theyíll be teachers; even the principals will be dunces. In a few decades weíll have a country of people who can't think either. Luckily everyone has a resident psychologist on staff to take care of the mayhem.
<br>
Emily- What else do people like? What if we ran movies at them twenty four hours a day?
<br>

Louis- Theyíre get fat, covered with bed sores and pass all over their underwear. We could get servants from Peru to change their clothes, of course.
<br>
Emily- We could always make beds that are also toilets. Goddamn it, what else have we got a technology for? (Enter Lyndon Johnson.)
<br>
Lyndon- Iíve got bad news, Louis, a brother you know nothing about who is head of Agaccio Insane Asylum, has apparently died. Thatís why his assistant, Fabrizio Orlandini, has told my own chief of staff, Colonel Zephyro Orlandini. Weíre looking for his body; we can't find it. I think the IRS chased him into a terminal depression because he was still counterfeiting old bubble gum wrappers. These people are worse than the Angel of Death.
<br>
Louis- I have a brother? Youíre crazy. What brother?
<br>

Lyndon- Look, I guess you are going to be very upset by what I have to tell you, Louis. You had a Siamese twin brother that was separated from you at birth; Iíve checked with the Chicago bospital where the operation was performed. Thatís why youíve had all these dreams of running a crazy house; he was the king of lunatics. Your brother Lucien was a guy who was going to expand his vision of life from a nut house to the whole planet. He was invisible like you, a real power broker on the left; nobody knew about him anymore than they know about you, Louis. I think heís no longer with us. Iím sorry to bring the news. It would be very upsetting for anyone, I think, to learn you had a Siamese twin who had just dropped dead.
<br>
Emily- You mean youíre not Lucien? Iíve been sleeping with a stranger!
<br>
Louis- Not quite; my brother and I obviously exchanged our inner fantasy life two ways, Emily; youíve been making love to two aspects of the same person, my dear. Well, it explains everything; not that Iím in love with attractive explanations, of course; theyíre usually the most false. If its true though, I[Ďm not crazy, just leading a very real but grotesque life.
<br>
Emily- There was no way to guess. There was no difference between you in bed. You made love exactly like Lucien.

Louis- You probably say that about every lover in the armies of men youíve slept with in a normal American adult life. I can't understand that, Emily; lovemaking is not as inventive as politics. Laden, youíre president; you have better things to do than to bring me news. Thatís what the post office is for. Why the personal appearance here?
<br>
Lyndon- I donít want anybody to know what weíre gong to say to each other as you may have guessed. If I had invited you to the Oval Room we have a tape recorder there even I can't turn off. We need some privacy.
<br>
Emily- I hope youíre not going to kill me because I know a few things more than I should, Mr. President.
<br>
Lyndon- Donít be silly, Emily; Iím a politician. I donít kill people I make deals. I have a genius for talking civilly even to my enemies. Not that you are one. You can stay; you might even be helpful to us. You knew all about Lucienís life and connections; his network of psychologists in education, Arts, and the justice system; Louis doesn't. I know most of them were named Orlandini; thatís not good enough. Louis, I need you to take over Lucienís life until I can figure out another way to run things. I need you over at Agaccio Insane Asylum to manage the left wing as well as you have the right wing; Emily can tell you all the ticks of mechanics, Iím sure. Can you do that for me?
<br>
Louis- Sure, for awhile. Make certain this is temporary, Lyndon. I work hard enough setting up and running wars all over the planet, selling trivial amusement machines, building factories that close down in five years like a cheap American car. I donítí thin I can manage an insane asylum at the same time and not feel very tired.
<br>
Lyndon- I understand that. Being president isnít too dissimilar to what I am asking you to do, I can tell you. Give it a year and a half.


Louis- Given how things have turned out for you, Lyndon, Iíd think you were very unhappy with both of us.
<br>
Lyndon- Not really. Iíve learned things I havenít wanted to know; thatís always not pleasant, is it?
<br>
Emily- You probably need more brilliant colonels and material therapists, Mr. President. Weíve been hiring Orlandinis too long. You might do something about the help at the bottom too. Iíd imagine the war is filled with solders who arenít much better than our latrine attendants at the loony bin. I donít blame them, off course; itís nice to have a gun but itís stupid to risk your life for a night in aa Saigon whorehouse; besides the pay is lousy.
<br>
Lyndon- Yeah, thatís always what we say in Washington when things get dismal, donít we? Give us better people, more money. Itís what the politicians like me will say this time too, at least in public. Thatís not whatís wrong though. Itís the direction of America. You canít fix it with a band aid. We are a country in a road that looked awfully good for awhile; it sure beat starvation, kings, priests and trying to kill tigers with stone clubs.
<br>
Emily- America sure is better. I have old relatives who tell me what they came from. They would never go back.
<br>
Lyndon- We never will either; it is better in America. My dear, the New World is a superior to the old one. The United States is as good as it gets for not living like a poltroon. Still we lions and tigers here, sticky pits one falls into, lairs of unimaginable animals we never dreamt existed when we came over the Atlantic Ocean.
<br>
Louis- Itís nothing a few wars and loony bins canít cure, Lyndon. Just be patient. Iíll be busy the next few years put half the world into battle, the other half into solitary confinement in a crazy house.
<br>
Lyndon- They have to choose solitary confinement. Thatís the key. You donít need guards and wardens then.
<br>
Lucien- Do they opt for battle too? They must he just as crazy?
<br>
Lyndon- Being crazy with a gun isnít as bad as being nuts without one. When you have a weapon people are more polite.
<br>
Lucien- We all want that, donít we? So one will hate the enemy over the hill, the other will feel even more fury against their parents, children, lovers and landlords. You are going to be happy with the results, just as you learned to like a plastic pecker.
<br>

Lyndon- I wish I were as sure of anything as you experts are. I guess itís built into being a priest or a general to take up a stance of certainty, isnít it? We politicians are never enthusiasts; we can't afford to have even a small faith system. I know how nature shifts itís arenas of war invisibly, Louis. Sometimes itíll come at you like a plague or a tornado; most of the time itís involved in guerilla action like these Viet Cong you hear about. They are agents of nature. They appear, take out of a few soldiers sitting over lunch thinking of the twelve year old lovers they have in Saigon; then they disappear into the bush. They live on cockroaches and stay in tunnels deep in the Earth for weeks. You lose heart, you get tired and you go someplace else. I think weíre going to do that, Louis.
<br>
Emily- Youíre depressed, Mr. President. You should take a day off and watch daytime television.
<br>
Lyndon- You donít understand. Our problem isnít that we donít do things well enough or spend enough money doing them; itís that we traveled up the wrong path in the first place. It looked good from the other side of the Atlantic. We think like poor men, Emily. We want to get as far away from the Old World as possible so we make as much money, buy as many things as we can including stuff we donít need, eat too much rather than too little, go into debt because only the rich can do that, let ourselves be entertained constantly because we remember only kings could hire such an endless clown show, throw out good food in the garbage because princes one drop big bones with meat on them on the floor so their dogs can devour them, and even make dying unbelievably expensive.
<br>
Emily- We donít hurt anybody. There are worse vices, Mr. President.
<br>
Lyndon- You donít understand. Our problem is that we donít know how we are or what we could be though we have the freedom here in the United States to be anything or anybody. We even name our cities and towns after European or Indian villages. We are still half in the Old World, pretending to be rogue princes like right wing or priests without gods like our left wing. We have taken a trial that looked good fro the first few miles but has led us after a while into dreams and lies.
<br>
Louis- Well, thatís interesting. What do you want to do about it?
<br>
Emily- Youíre right; my grandmother was a Mongolian, Mr. President; she told me how lousy life was out on the Steppes. It sure was cold at night. The blueberry picking never ended. You started to hate blueberries.
<br>
Louis- My mother used to tell us the same thing about garlic.
<br>
Emily- Youíre our leader, Mr. President. You can lead us to another place where we Americans can really be ourselves.
<br>

Lyndon- Thatís the trouble; I canít do it. Iím a poor boy and you arenít any better than I am. Beyond that Iím a politician; I just make deals. I donítí think. You Corsican brothers were even poorer than I was. You remember somehow the life of princes and priests better than I do. Youíre a third generation Mongolian, Emily; you arenít far enough away from yogurt, horses and sacking cities to think too imaginatively about the utility of freedom either.

Louis- What do you want to do, Lyndon?
<br>
Lyndon- I donít know. I can't leave the Vietnam war or any other war. Orlandini and my own people would kill me. They killed Jack easily enough. I can't tell the nut house gang they have to grow up and have mature obligations. Being crazy, helpless and expensive is a franchise like being free and sane.
Weíre living in a funny time in history, Louis. As long as the wold is filled with poor and very desperate people they are going to come our way and fill our country with themselves whenever they can. They will take one look at their own land such as your mother did in Corsica, Louis, or your grandmother in Mongolia, Emily, or my grandfather who escaped a hanging from Scotland, they saw how do I overthrow the local chief and kick the priest into the river, and they realize it is easier to disappear one night with their family and show up in the bottom of cargo ship somehere on the docks of an American city. Itís harder to start a revolution than to get here and they come here, millions of them; they will keep on coming no matter what they do. They will want what our ancestors wanted: a life as far from where they were as possible. As long as we travel down that American country road we will give it to them.
It isnít much but it sure beats living in the old places. Until the whole world changes and most of it is as sell off as we are it isnít going to change here. We are going to keep on walking.
It means that every time you start thinking you want something else besides a little more money or seconds at the chow line you are going to have make a very private, secret decision which nobody else is going to understand. Thatís said but interesting, isnít it?
<br>
Louis- You could take us out of Vietnam. We donít need it; itíd be better off with all the foreigners out of there, Lyndon. You could move out of colonizing most of the world too. We can bring back the schools system and drop Welfare though it wonít be easy. We donít need to support all the rightwing and left wing Orlandinis; theyíve made enough money off us.
<br>

Lyndon- I made my deals, Louis; I wish I could. A politician lives on his word. He doesnít go back to the people heís put into place and say, gentlemen, I thought with all my heart on Tuesday this was how things should go but today is Thursday. If he says that, they all either kill you or call up their lawyers and you need a battery of legal counselors to buy chewing gum. Iím working with a bunch of people who are businessmen, not politicians. They run everything like a tight corporation. If you donít come through for the, they fire you. If you do what they want they give you money but not power. It works for selling canned peaches but not running even a small town volunteer fire department.
They donít understand the art of government at al, Louis. Managing a country means you have a few people working for you that you can count on, a few that are better off locked up, and everybody else out there an army of mediocre incompetents needing a safe place to eat a few cold hot dogs and stay out of the rain. You work mostly with them if youíre a leader. You can't take them any more than one step or even a half step either; they wonít follow you. They lead you; you donít lead them. Nobody wanted this war but a few honchos; all those bums I have out there I have to rule arenít going to be happy when I tell them they have to go to Saigon, eat noodles, sleep with children and shoot at people who eat dogs they never even knew existed. People donít like to travel. Itís not wrong or evil to them; itís uncomfortable, like a splinter in your foot. They wonít do if because they just donít feel like it; theyíd rather sit in a chair and watch television. I can understand that; Iíd feel the same way myself. If I tell them to do it theyíll ignore me or worse. Thatís power, Louis. Yeah I can print money and kill people with impunity as a consolation, but it ainít much when you think of what I wanted to do.
<br>
Emily- You could blow up the White House and Congress and say they did it. You could get real Vietnamese to do it too; organize a group of them to kill off most of the American government including yourself; you are the enemy after all. Make the attack on America legitimate or seem legitimate. Then people would have reason to fight these bastards.
<br>
Lyndon- We thought of that, believe me. All we could come up with was Quemoy and Matsu, these damned dinky little islands you wouldnít want to sit on if you were a tired old tern. Nobody in Congress wants to die; I donít either. We used to be people who would take more risks than we do now, Emily. I live by my word, honey;; my power comes from being wrong and sticking to my mistakes. Maybe the next president can do what you say; I canít.
<br>
Emily- Then why donít you quit?
<br>
Lyndon- I canít resign; this isnít a chess game or a corporate disaster. A president doesn't say, Iíve had enough; thatís it, folks. I am on my way to the ranch. I am going to be the biggest stud and honcho in my little adobe hacienda and wait for the Angel of Death come for and get me riding a pale horse. He waits till other people say that to him and mean it.
<br>
Emily- You could say Iím not running again.
<br>
Lyndon- I think I will say that. Then I will mosey off to the old corral.

Maybe the next guy will do what I can't do. Heíll have been bought by different people who are unhappy with me, why not? I donít know who the hell that might be though. We donít have too many politicians anymore with a sense of history. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln have come and gone. My political pappy FDR had it but I only got it after Jack got bashed. It didnít do me any good though; Iíd made my deals.
Maybe Iím better off being a failure as president though, Emily. In Congress you donít do anything really tragic even when you are pushing for his and that; you are one of a crazy crowd. You never fall on your face and you never get any understanding. Knocking off Jack and running this country has been good for me. I got a little sense in me I never would have had if I would have stayed in the Capitol building.
I do have a plan though. It might work for us if it wonít do much for America. Louis, I think the Orlandinis have been lying to us; I donít think your brother is dead.
<br>
Louis- Really.

Lyndon- Only you would know. You both dream of each other. You can help me find him.
<br>
Louis- If I can, what do you want him for, counterfeiting?
<br>

Lyndon- No. Heís a rogue. He may have better ideas on how to lead America than I do. I want to bring him into my cabinet.
<br>
Emily- Louis, do you know where Lucien is?
<br>
Louis- I am concentrating. He is somewhere. Heís alive. Iím looking at a place through his eyes that Iíve never seen before.
Emily- Heís not making love to somebody, is he?
<br>
Louis- No. Itís a public bathroom. Heís defecating.
<br>
Lyndon- What does it look like?
<br>
Louis- Porcelain. Very clean. It smells bad.
<br>
Lyndon- we need it find him. Can you locate him spatially?
<br>

Louis- Iíve never tried; now that I know he exists I think so. Let me take this plastic pecker and see whether I can locate him. (He walks around the room like a dowser with the plastic pecker.) He just left the bathroom. Heís walking into a rather dingy room with pictures of porno stars on the wall. I can hear rock and roll music. Heís strolling over to the phone and dialing a number. Itís my number. (The phone rings. Louis picks it up.) Hello, Lucien.... Didnít know either. I think Lyndon guessed but didnít tell us. Politicians are like that; one of their chief virtues is discretion....No, I donít think itís Dolfigureís disease, whatever that is. Not every characterological quality in life is pathology, Lucien, just most of them...No, I wonít tell them...Letís meet very soon. Iím sure we have a lot to share with each other besides our inner life and lovers....You what?...You made love to Emily too when I did?..Well, thatís good to hear; sheís am real woman...she wouldnít want to betray you with another man...yes, we do so many things by proxy; youíll enjoy the restaurant Iím going to tonight, I think...Do you like to drink; Iíve just come across a shipment from France of a vintage year of Armanac that I think might amuse you...yes, Iíve been sleeping with Emily too, long before I actually met her. Some experiences are beyond language, Lucien. We can only talk about banalities. We donít have any room for two headed people in America. Anything thatís really idiosyncratic to us is beyond English really; maybe it makes more sense in Chinese...Yes, I know, weíve been voting twice too...(He hangs up the hone. )I know where he is. Since we are talking about private solutions here, none of what heís done or thought is going to help you, Lyndon.
<br>
Lyndon- I think I can appreciate that.
<br>
Louis- He says not to worry about sleeping with me. Iím relay acting by proxy for him in a very literal way, Emily.
<br>
Emily- I donít know whether I like that. I only slept with two men at once when I was a Marxist.
<br>
Lyndon- I sure as hell wouldnít enjoy going to bed with two women. For all I know I do, of course. they show up, they look the same, but with cosmetics being what they are these days, who knows; I might have been in the sack with armies in disguise. It happens when you wear uniforms.
<br>
Louis- Iíve been intimate with you for a long time, Emily. Maybe youíve never had the feeling youíre haunted by Corsican ghosts. The most clever spirits are the ones you never know are in the room.
<br>
Emily- I might want to sleep wit the two of you physically. It would be a change.
<br>
Lyndon- Keep me out of the bedroom, folks; Iíve got Rita. One is more than enough for me. I had the feeling when I was in bed with my wife that sometimes I was also making love to her mother. And her grandmother. I also had that last week with Rita. Maybe it isnít the same thing.
<br>
Emily- Would you like to be in bed with me and your brother at the same time?
<br>

Louis- That would be one of lifeís more extraordinary miracles, wouldnít it? He doesnít want to see anybody. As you say, Lyndon; our solutions in this moment in history have to be private and secret. I am going to see my brother very soon. I donít want to be followed.
<br>
Lyndon- As a politician and American, I can respect that. Louis, I just need you to double as him for about a year and a half till I change some corporation and loony bin connections. I have no problem accepting your brotherís choices, Louis. Of course, the next guy might feel a little different. I think this country is going to move to the Right, donít you? The armyís getting strong, knocking off Jack was like closing down a big party. Agaccio Insane Asylum as a planetary vision is definitely going to be something he is going to have to back or try to destroy.
<br>
Emily- Mr, President what happens if the next fellow doesnít have a better plan for America?
<br>
Lyndon- I donít know. The problem is, Emily we have no real enemies. We can go as crazy or got as bloody as we want to. The only thing that stands between most people and their excesses is somebody or something else. Who the hell is coming up to challenge us if we want to get really nuts or warlike? Europe is a tired fossil. They still think they have kings and high priests and itís the Jurassic Age. Communism is an insane asylum without tranquilizers. Japanís been imitating us, Asiatic empire and all but they donít have an army; neither does Germany. China might give us a tussle but I donít see how anybody from there can rule the world. Darwin thought we were monkeys but these crazy Reds think weíre insects. Weíre too damned successful, Emily; unless we get a statesman with his own private army following me itíll just get worse.
<br>
Louis- What about aliens from Mars?
<br>
Lyndon- Louis, we can always hope.
<br>
Emily- You can make them up too. They can attack the White House.
<br>
Lyndon- Nobody would believe it. (Exit Lyndon. Emily and Louis.)
<br>



<br>
Act Two
<br>


(The set is a little different. The office is replaced by a 60s looking lair as one might have seen in apartments in the Lower East Side of New York or Haight Ashberry in San Francisco. At the side and slightly apart from the main set is the same shard of the Oval Office, spot lighted. This could also be done on an empty stage with lights.
Enter Lyndon Johnson. He sings.)
<br>
A cowboy ainít lonely near the Rio Grande
He goes to Mexicali for a one night stand
Dances with a floozie to a whorehouse band
Yippie-ay-oh-kay-ay!
<br>
I love Apache women with their caramel skin
Mexican bitches; I like them thin.
I donít know where I[Ďm going; I know were Iíve been
Yippie-ay-oh-kay-ay!
<br>
(The phone rings. Looking glum, he picks it up.) Monsieur de Chateau Renaud. Iím honored. I never thought Iíd ever get a direct call from you. Iíve heard from your go-fers, of course. Most of them seemed to be named Orlandini. What can I do for you?...Youíd like me to say Iím not going to run again?...Iíd be happy to, believe me...you go somebody coming in that can fix the mess I left behind me here in America?...Who?... Richard Nixon?...Well, heís a poor boy like me; I hope youíre happy with him...Iíll do it tonight...yeah, Iím going to miss being President. Most of all Iím going to be really sad because order people to be killed and I can't print money...yeah, I was always easier to talk to than Jack...Iím a politician.
I get along with everybody...Thatís what FDR always said to you? Well, I guess I learned a thing or two from him along the way. Youíve taught me a few things too...Donít hesitate to drop by Monsieur; we have some good Texas cooking here; lobster and marshmallows mostly. I just get enough of my mammyís Texas recipe; you wonít be unhappy with the wine either; I stomped on the grapes myself...sure, I took off my shoes.....Talk to you later. (He hangs up and dials a number. (Hello Rita.. You can watch me on television; Iím quitting tonight...
No, Iím not resigning; presidents donít resign. They stay in there and get tarred and feathered until the Inauguration Day of the next fellow; youíd have to be caught in burglary or something to resign if you had this job, believe me; Americans like a president to hang in there....they like to beat on the same fellow for four years....yeah, we kill them occasionally but we never fire them...,look, I want toe celebrate getting the ell out of here big time if you can join me at the motel...yeah, good Chinese take out, bourbon and lots of ice. Ten oíclock. See you then. (He hangs up.) Hot dog!

(He exits. The phone rings in the apartment. Lucien enters. He is dressed as a 60s hippie, is smoking a joint; he looks very confident in a way he didnít in the Agaccio Insane Asylum.) Peace....Emily?...Hi, been a while...Youíre downstairs? Howíd you find me? Louis help you?...No?... thatĒs good; I told him I need to be left alone by my old life for a long while...You saw me in a porno movie and guessed where I was? Thatís right; I was an extra for a goof one of them; I didnít have to do anything; I was just furniture...sure, come right up. No problem. (He hangs up the hone. LBJ enters and dials a number. Lucienís phone rings again. He picks it up.)
<br>
Lyndon- Lucien? We had you followed. We spotted you by accountant, really. Nobody should be on the lam and play the lead in erotic movies. Yeah, we saw you at J. Edge Hooverís house; heís got the biggest porno collection in the country. He and Clyde Tolson like to watch them and then disappear into the bedroom.
<br>
Lucien- Really.
<br>
Lyndon- They tape everything. They have a sense of history. God, thereís nothing I hate more in this world that right wing fags; I think queers should all be communists and vegetarians, but I put up with them. Theyíre dong a good job for cocksuckers, donít you think? Anyway, there you were rolling around with seven little girls about twelve in the mud; Iím sure you remember the film.
<br>
Lucien- It was just a hobby for me. I think of it a an episode, like a sudden craze for spaghetti.
<br>
Lyndon- Yeah, I had one for marshmallow brownies myself. Iíve been there, Lucien. Look, I need you to come to Washington and help me write my speech; Iím telling the American people tonight Iím not going to run again; I want them to know why.
<br>
Lucien- Really? Why? I donít know, Lyndon. Looks as if you got a good set up there to me.
<br>
Lyndon- It isnít paradise. The army is unhappy because we donít have any military objectives to win the war; they want to pulverize the gooks and get out. I tell them if we do that weíll have a Depression but they donít care; they can't keep on telling their soldiers to run up hills and die anymore. They arenít going. Theyíre sitting in Saigon and sleeping with little girls like you, shooting heroin and killing any officer who tell them to do otherwise. You ought to make a movie set in Vietnam.
<br>
Lucien- Iím out of that business. Anyway, it was just a goof, like bubble gum. I like mature women now. Look, why donít you start another war? You could always fight Cambodia? Whoís there, Cambodians?
<br>

Lyndon- How the hell do I know? I suppose Cambodians live in Cambodia, unless theyíve come here and opened up restaurants. Our soldiers would do the same thing there. If there are Cambodians in Cambodia, theyíve got twelve year old girls and heroin too. Thatís why our infantry wants, not war. Youíve got to think of something else, Lucien.
<br>
Lucien- Well then, why does a war have to be real? You could march them all around the South Pole, looking for bad guys.
<br>
Lyndon- Well, maybe. Weíre scot of accustomed to the Vietnam War. I guess we could do something in Antarctica, maybe. Itís cold there, isnít it? Look, it isnít just the war. I had this idea for making an assault on poverty. God knows I had personal reason to take this up, I know. I was a bottom dog myself once, out on the street. Then I discovered politicks. I was going to make everybody rich ad happy. That turned out to be a bust, I can tell you. People have a few bucks but theyíre still miserable. What am I going to tell them, weíll give you even more money?
<br>
Lucien- What makes people happy?
<br>
Lyndon- I donít know; I thought you knew; youíre the psychologist.
<br>
Lucien- Look, even sex doesn't make people feel good. It just quiets them down for a while. They keel over and go to sleep. Food doesn't do it either. Otherwise nobody would ever leave a first class pancake house. Death might make people absolutely delighted; we donít know, Lyndon. We can't ask them. Theyíre beyond us.
<br>
Lyndon- You want me to run for president and offer people death? Lucien, Iím a politician, not a general. People have to believe I have remedies for their headaches, that I am going to do something good for them or theyíll find somebody else who will make them a hell of a promise they canít turn down. I need a new program or it is time for me to make my way to the last roundup. What have you got? I donít want to be sedated.
<br>
Lucien- Lyndon, my goal as a psychologist was to make lunatics quiet. I will tell you the truth; I never promised even myself anything more than that. My hope is to be a long way from a crazy house and feel maybe tolerably not so lousy. I have some ideas about how to make a business out of insanity, thatís all. You lock people up, sedate them, and get a cut from the caterers. Youíre brother in law makes the cole slaw and potato salad. What good is that to you?
<br>
Lyndon- Nothing. This is what you went to school for?
<br>
Lucien- That and the hazelnut flavored coffee at the Student Union.
<br>
Lyndon You got any fancy pills that can make people feel good? Maybe I could give them out by the millions. If I could put a smile on the faces of Americans theyíd love me, war or no war, Depression or no Depression; I wouldnít have to quit.
<br>

Lucien- Iíve got pills like that, all experimental stuff of course, but I could put them into production in a week if I called people in pharmaceutical companies I know. I own part of them too. Of course, there are side effects. The best of them give diarrhea; theyíll spend their life happy but on the can. After that itís weird hungers for pasta. Sometimes in the terminal stage they can't get enough pizza with extra pepperoni.
<br>
Lyndon- Iíve heard enough. Iím quitting. Iíll send the presidential plane to pick you up. Youíll be here in a few hours. This is about patriotism, Lucien. I hope Iím not interrupting anything.
<br>
Lucien- Nothing I can't do better tomorrow. This Bohemian life is all about facing eternity and having patience with it. Iím entering a world without borders, Lyndon.
<br>
Lyndon- Maybe Iíll join you. After the Senate anything looked good. I donít know what a guy does after heís president. Iím not much good at the old corral, I can tell you that. Cows donít like me. Theyíre always pissing on my shoes.
<br>
Lucien- we could use you in porno movies. Weíll talk later. Iíll be at the airport in a couple of hours. Where are you, by the way, Washington?
<br>
Lyndon- No, Iím at my ranch in Texas. Youíll be able to fly here in an hour. Iíll show you around the corral. Iíve got more cattle on it than I can eat, godamn it. Iíve got a steak and marshmallow recipe that might change your life.
<br>
Lucien- We used to eat steak and marshmallows in Corsica, my mother used to tell me.
<br>
Lyndon- Really. I thought it was a Texas thing. I guess you never knew. Maybe all our cooks are from Corsica.
<br>
Lucien- Nobody eats it in Corsica anymore. They discovered catsup.

London- Well, we had catsup. We discovered marshmallows.
<br>
Lucien- I guess thatís the different between the United Stats and Corsica. See you later, Lyndon.


(Lucien hangs up the phone. LBJ shrugs, hangs up his phone, and exits. Lucien looks around, adjusts some of the magazines on the table and takes down a few of the pictures on the wall of naked porno stars, replaces them with portraits of Asian gurus. The phone rings again. He picks it up.) Louis... youíre in town? Close by? Thatís wonderful. Guess who just called me up. Emily. Yeah, she found me in a porno movie; I got careless, I guess. I was in disguise; I was wearing a golden mask. Obviously Emily recognized me. I forgot what women remember.., Youíre tired of being both of us? Yeah, I can appreciate that. Well. Lyndon is going to get out of power soon; my guess is the big boys will pick Nixon. They sure as ell didnít want Bobby; they knock him off quickly enough, didnít they?
God, those Kenenedys are taking a beating from the people who run this outfit. I heard they took out Joe Junior in World War Two. Thatís a lot of dead Kennedys.
I wouldnít issue a life insurance policy on Ted, would you?...Youíre really tired...well, look, why donít you take my place here for awhile...I could use a vacation from living like this. Youíd be surprised how quickly you get accustomed to armies of garages women, grass, rock and roll, and talking to the close messengers of God...it might be addictive; pleasure can make you a slave...the clothes are in the closet; the LSD and cocaine is in the bottom drawer.
You dress like me and nobody will know the difference; there is no difference. Weíre the same. Youíre already dressed like me, you want to be a hippie too? Thatís funny.
Yeah, as Lyndon used to say, we need a private solution...Heís okay; heís going to retire to his ranch and watch the weeds grow. Heís had some tough luck as president. He wanted to be another FDR; heíll be lucky if they match him with Calvin Coolidge... Yeah, at least he wasnít a Kennedy. Things can always get worse, canít they? No, thereís nobody even near here named Orlandini. (The bell to the door rings.) Talk to you later. He goes to answers it. Emily comes in. He gives her a quick kiss.) How are you, honey? You look terrific. Did you get nose job, a chin tuck or something?
<br>
Emily- No, Iím just older; itís character.
<br>
Lucien- I can never tell the difference between progress and decay. It a kind of irrational optimism. Thatís what makes me left wing, honey.
<br>
Emily- I know you very well, Lucien. Are you happy living like this?
<br>
Lucien- Happy? I donít know about that. Iím lighter, Emily. Iíve been on an ideological diet. I donítí believe in a thousand things I used to think werenít arguable.
<br>
Emily- You donít suspect I have any diseases anymore, do you?
<br>
Lucien- I think youíre beyond my diagnosis.
<br>
Emily- Iíve been questioning myself lately, Lucien. I think I might be nuts.
<br>
Lucien- Really. Youíre walking the Earth, competing with tigers, Venus fly traps and cockroaches. Youíre doing okay.
<br>
Emily- Am I? Iíve spent my life doing things for money.
<br>

Lucien- You must think you need it.
<br>
Emily- I donít.
<br>
Lucien- Youíre not here for garnering a few bucks, Emily. You really like me, I think.
<br>
Emily- I donít know why Iím attracted to you, Lucien. You want to diminish me by telling me I have all kinds of lunacies.
<br>
Lucien- Not anymore. I donít need that kind of protection though I wouldnít turn down an army of bodyguards. Look, Emily, suppose I could have imposed by force, cunning and guile a world hospital. What would I have achieved? Was I happy directing a loony bin? Suppose the whole universe were a cosmic bug house, would it be any different?
<br>
Emily- No, itíd still be the Agaccio Insane asylum.
<br>
Lucien- Right. Ií[m not entirely stupid, Emily. They can't get me twice. Do you think after being Lyndonís man running the American left, I would be fooled again? I know sex, drugs and rock and roll are going to be fun but they arenít going to solve anything. Itís just going to make us tired.
<br>
Emily- I donít want to spend my life making life, dancing and getting high, Lucien; Iím glad to hear you say that.
<br>
Lucien- Are you planning to move in?
<br>
Emily- I was thinking of living domestically with you for awhile, nothing formal, Lucien.
<br>

Lucien- Thatís good. Marriage these days is like inviting a ghost into your bedroom named Washington. Not the president, heís dead; the whole damned government. Next thing you know Iíll have to show papers to take a dump. I didnít need a license to be born; I sure as hell wonít have to get one to die. No paperwork, please, honey; itís hell on trees.
<br>
Emily- I couldnít marry you anyway even if I wanted to. Weíd have to get Louis in on the certificate. Thereís no room for two husbands on the form; believe me. I know; I was married three times and I looked.
<br>
Lucien- Ií[m glad to hear that. Itís hard being a two headed being, Emily. Iíve kept it within me long enough, my whole life maybe even more. At least thereís some perks to it; I can never really be married even if one of us signs a certificate. I could never really die either. Whoever goes first, one of us will still be walking the Earth.
<br>

Emily- You know, we could have an interesting menage a troi, Lucien. One of you could be my husband; the other my lover.
<br>
Lucien- What if we both wanted to be your husband or lover; thatís more likely.
<br>
Emily- You could take turns I wouldnít know the difference.
<br>
Lucien- We would. Whom you think youíre sleeping with is irrelevant.
<br>
Emily- Youíre still pretty dismissive; at least youíve given up telling people they have imaginary diseases.
<br>
Lucien- Didnít my brother do the same thing?
<br>
Emily- I guess he did in way He was always offering people a plastic pecker.
<br>
Lucien- That was his business. Diagnosing people as nuts wasnít just my profession, Emily; it was a way of socializing. Iíve given that up; I just smoke grass now and think of a universe without borders.
<br>
Emily- You havenít become some kind of Asiatic fundamentalist, have you?
<br>
Lucien- No, I donít think much of Asia religions really. What did they produce? A lot of naked poor people. What good are they? If they ever become popular here theyíll just make Americans impoverished. Donít sum me up with a banality you take out of the magazines, Emily. I might be on a path beyond thought or language.
<br>
Emily- Iíve heard enough. (She embraces him.) Letís make love.
<br>
Lucien- I donít know whether we have time for a session in bed worthy of you, Emily. I have to meet a plane and go to Washington in two hours. Lyndonís quitting.
<br>
Emily- Resigning? No president resigned. Theyíd have to commit treason or maybe run a major safe cracking ring for that. Or sleep with a boy scout troupe. They stick it out for years, take their lumps and then go home, unless they get killed like Jack.
<br>
Lucien- Lyndonís not arcking off from the punishment; he can take it. Heís just not going to do it another four years. He wanted to make a speech to the American people about retiring. He trusts me as a word slinger; he wants me to write his speech for him.
<br>
Emily- Thatís very flattering. Why doesn't he rite his own speech? Heís a lawyer. They have to be passably literate.
<br>

Lucien- Heís a politician now. They donít think their own thoughts or write anything they say. Otherwise they be voted out of work.
<br>
Emily- You are one of the worlds great hucksters; heís got the right man. Well, letís make love anyway. I wouldnít be unhappy with a quick one. Whereís the bed? I can't make love on the floor anymore; I have a strained back.
<br>
Lucien- I donít have a bed. I sleep on the floor. I revel in the austerity.
<br>
Emily- Are there any cushions around here?

Lucien- Yes, of course, Iím a civilized person. Do you think I donít have cushions?
<br>
Emily- I suppose youíll want to smoke some grass so youíll be able to enjoy sleeping we me more intense. Go ahead.
<br>
Lucien- Actually Iíve come to value sobriety. A little hash doesnít hurt over breakfast as I read the morning papers of course.
<br>
Emily- Youíve probably studied all the positions in the Karma Sutra. I hope you donít expect me to do all these crazy positions; Iím not that limber.
<br>
Lucien- I only like them missionary position these days. Iíve always been a missionary. Emily. My faith was to promote insanity, of course. I was a preacher in training of sorts.
<br>
Emily- Youíre probably against the war; I donít know how Lyndon puts up with you.
<br>
Lucien- No, Iím for a war so stupid that only fools go to fight it on both sides. I donít blame the Vietnamese for trying to get rid of us. I think any of us that are nuts enough to go there are beyond anything I could have conjured in the insane asylum. Let them go. Itís cheaper than locking them up and keeping them on saltpeter.
<br>
Emily- I suppose youíve been indoctrinated into the youth culture. I donít know whether I can male love to a man that wants to be an acne colored adolescent.
<br>
Lucien- My ambition is to be middle aged. Even senile Iím tried of attracting people to me because Iím virile and good looking.
<br>
Emily- I hope you donít want me to go to a light show revel and dance all night under the strobe lights afterwards. After we make love I just want to keel over in a heap and go to sleep.
<br>
Lucien- I donít dance much anymore. It hurts my feet.
<br>

Emily- I suppose youíll be meditating on eternity and infinity as I have my orgasm. Youíll be a long way away from me.
<br>
Lucien- Iíd rather think about something less vague.
<br>
Emily- Well, okay, honey, letís make love. Where are the cushions? Even the back seat of a Chevrolet has cushions.
<br>
Lucien- Theyíre in the closet. Iíll get them in a moment, Emily; just got comfortable in that chair and have some of those macadamia nuts. (The phone rings. Lucien picks it up.) Hello...Robin?...Yeah, Iím in good shape. Itís a nice warm day, the sun is out, Iíve had a good breakfast, Iíve got an old girlfriend here visiting me; we are catching up on a few things...what?...Jim Wrangler quit because the lines were too poetic for him; you want me to star in your new movie?...You should give him some gay scenes; heíd like that... he isnít really queer, you know; he just as a clot hunger for an ultimate high colonic from God... No, leave the bathhouse scenes out, Robin; I donít sleep with men, dogs or pigs myself; nothing personal....Look, Robin, Iíve got tremendous respect for your talent, Robin; youíve made porno into Art; youíve redeemed even the lowest acts and thoughts from the taint of the gutter; I donít know whether I have the energy to be the star of your movie these days...I might be limper than you think...Yes, of course I believe in you and your Art...I think youíll go down in history with Orson Welles and Sam Peckinpaugh...I also think love is more ethical than violence...Iím proud to work with you; I might be in Vietnam killing people...I donít know whether I can learn a script as easily as I did; I donít think I can memorize black verse the way I can improvise pure naturalism....all right, Robin, I will take a cameo role; I have to talk to the president in a few hours...yeah, heís quitting...no, not resigning, just not doing it anymore, letting some new guy take over...he needs me to explain his decision to the American people; call it patriotism...Yeah, Iím flying there in a few hours...You can flash the verse on the screen?...I guess I could stop off and do a few takesí itís not in Latin, is it?....whom am I making love to?....really...sheís luscious....yeah, I saw her in that donkey flick...itís hard to follow any equine but Iíll try....all right, Iíll be by. (He hangs up the phone.) Wait for me, honey, Iíll fly back from Washington in by midnight. Weíll have a hell of a time.
<br>
Emily- Youíre sleeping with whom in his movie?
<br>
Lucien- Constance Greenback. Sheís relay voluptuous. I donít know how a woman can be as beautiful as she is and only live seventeen years. Itís obscene.
<br>
Emily- Youíd rather sleep with Constance Greenback than make love to me?
<br>
Lucien- I donít have any desire for Constance. I hardly know her. Weíre peers, colleagues, part of a guild. Sheís a professional. We donít have anything like intimacy.

<br>
Emily- Youíre rather sleep with her than me, Lucien.
<br>
Lucien- I wouldnít say that. Iíd prefer you. Sometimes you have to do things for Art and history. Robin Finkelstein is one of the premiere movie makers of our age, Emily. His films will be remembered down the millennia as the singular vintage harvest of a decent republican empire. I am not making love when I act in his movies ever; I am an agent of God.
<br>
Emily- I guess we can forget about the cushions.
<br>
Lucien- No, we can have quick one, and then Iíll trundle over to Robinís for the flick. Just donít wear me out, honey. Maybe Iíll have a milk shake before I get to the studio.
<br>
Emily- I donítí want anything too hasty. You arenít going to be all that quick with Constance Greenback, are you?
<br>
Lucien- I will do what Robin wants me to do. Finkelstein is the Rembrandt of the bedroom. It isnít lovemaking; itís Art done with flesh instead of paint. Real Art, not the trivial stuff I used to patronize when I was working for Lyndon as an insane asylum savant. Iím proud of my work with Finkelstein.
<br>
Emily- Forget it. Go get your milk shake.
<br>
Lucien- Do you want to be in the film ourself? You could always replace Constance; Robin would like you. You arenít beautiful but youíre sort of intriguing. How are you at blank verse?
<br>
Emily- Just go. Ill be back here when you want me. I must be crazy. Maybe I spent too much time in an insane asylum.
<br>

Lucien- You were one of the doctors. Itís a good racket. Insanity isnít contagious.
<br>
Emily- Maybe not right away. It kicks in, believe me. See you later tonight.


Lucien- See you later. (He exits. The phone rings. Emily picks it up.) Hello?...No, heís not in...Who?...Robin Finkelstein?...You want him to bring a donkey?....Heís already gone; youíll have to get your own donkey...Iím an old friend of his from his insane asylum days...no, he wasnít crazy, he was the head psychiatrist ....he never told you about his old life?...well, sometimes the past seems irrelevant; thatís what this country is about...itís like leaving your family... I donít blame him for keeping it quiet...nobody wants to be known as the former head of a crazy house...itís like supervising a pissoir....you can call yourself a latrine engineer but it still stops conversation cold pretty much....whatís this blank verse about?... Donkeys... It all rhymes too? What the hell rhymes with donkey?...klunky, monkey, funky...all right, have a good time...Iíve heard about Constance Greenback...I know sheís very mulish...artists are like that; I used to run the Arts program for the president; I know. We saw it as a variation of an insane asylum...look, Iíd like to be in your films but I can't act; all I know how to do is tell the truth...heíll be over in a half hour. (She hangs up the phone. The bell rings. She opens the rood. Louis enters. He is dressed in bohemian clothes but a slightly different garb.) You must have forgot something. Robin Frnkelstein just called. He seemed a little upset. He wants you to bring a donkey.
<br>
Louis- Where am I going to find a donkey in San Francisco? The only places for donkeys anymore are childrenís zoos and porno movies.
<br>
Emily- You can borrow one from the zoo. As long as Constance Greenback is working for Robin you wonít be the first. Youíve changed your clothes; did you stop off at a thrift shop to pick up a different look for the film?
<br>
Louis- You might say so. Youíre looking good, Emily.
<br>
Emily- Not enough to make you want to sleep with me instead of Constance Greenback, Iím afraid. I should know enough to avoid lovers who want to make history.
<br>
Louis- I want to sleep with you right now.
<br>
Emily- Youíll be late for Constance and the donkeys. Thereís obviously monkeys too; it fits in with the rhyme.
<br>
Louis- I donít care. The hell with Constance and her damned donkeys. The hell with the monkeys too. Theyíre all going to have to wait. You come first, Emily.
<br>
Emily- I wish you had said that earlier. Youíre a complicated man. You really made me very angry, you know. Iíd left the insane asylum and traveled across the country to see you. All right, forget it. Letís get the cushions.
<br>
Louis- What cushions?
<br>
Emily- You told me you had cushions; I can't make love to you on the floor. My back can't take anything solid beneath me anymore. I should show up everywhere with my own from rubber; I could blow it up whenever I need it.
<br>
Louis- I need a cup of coffee. Let me sit down.
<br>
Emily- Iíd thought youíd want a milk shake. Youíre planning to make love to me, arenít you?
<br>
Louis- Of course. Do we have a milk shake?
<br>

Emily- How should I know? I thought you had cushions.
Louis- This is a nice place. Very austere. It makes me think of infinity and eternity.
<br>
Emily- It should be whatever you want it to be; itís your home...Wait am minute, Youíre Louis, not Lucien arenít you?
<br>
Louis- Thatís right. I never said otherwise Emily.
<br>
Emily- Iím not going to get fooled twice. I slept with the wrong man back in my days in the insane asylum but thatís not going to happen again.
<br>
Louis- You didnít make a mistake. Donít you understand, Emily, it doesnít matter whom you sleep with among the tow of us. Youíre sleeping with both of us no matter what you do. Donítí you think I had made love to you a thousand times even before I met you? I always haunted him like a ghost. Hadnít Lucien but with all my girlfriends too? Weíre something beyond language, Emily.
<br>
Emily- If I make love to you while he makes that porno movie, will you also be sleeping with Constance, the donkeys and maybe even the monkeys?
<br>
Louis- Probably. I donít think ether of us are into donkeys and monkeys. I donít remember even a single poodle.
<br>
Emily- What are you doing here? You look a little haunted.
<br>
Louis- I left Agaccio Incorporated in the hands of my assistants and told them I was about to embark on a long trip. It might be at least forever. I am tired of being the clandestine brains behind corporate America. Once I used to think I could redeem everybody by making them rich. I never wanted to hurt people. I wanted to set them all in socially engineered suburbs. I had a theory of history I thought was irrefutable; I was armed with a confidence that was gaudy and absurd. Like must enthusiasts I was wasting my time. I can't help anybody. Iím lucky if I can make myself moderately comfortable. This is one species born to be mostly miserable.
<br>
Emily- Lucien says the same thing. He thought he could save the world by making them all thing they were terminally helpless and totally insane.
<br>
Louis- We arenít as powerful as we thought we were, either of us, I think. Maybe nobody is or could be; I donít know.
<br>
Emily- I can tell Lucien has the same resignation. You really are one two headed animal.
<br>

Louis- Weíre lucky we appear to be separate, Emily. Otherwise strangers might think weíre a monster. Weíd be on exhibit in a sideshow.
<br>

Emily- I seem to be the lover of both of you no matter what I do. Iím sort of beyond language too.
<br>
Louis- Maybe being a monster is contagious.
<br>
Emily- You look perturbed about something, Louis. Whatís the matter?
<br>
Louis- I think Lucien is not going to give Lyndon the best speech for America. Heí got all that jargon from running a loony bin Iím worried that the American people wont understand that the Lyndonís panaceas for the world and even for feeling lousy personally have failed; we havenít cured anything or have the remedy for anything.
<br>
Emily- Why does that bother you? People have been selling snake old for years. People are used to it.
<br>
Louis- I think it might cause a Depression.
<br>
Emily- People get over them. They just go to the movies and eat popcorn.
<br>
Louis- I mean an economic collapse. Weíre a great big bubble; thereís nothing inside us but a bad smelling murky vapor. Once somebody puts a needle to the surface itís going to go pop and disappear.
<br>
Emily- Thatís what an authentic bubble is supposed to do. Let it break.
<br>
Louis- Well I suppose theyíll always be another bubble.

Emily- Louis, forget about bubbles; I must have you right now, even though Iíll be making to two people at once. Maybe mules and monkeys too. Letís look for those cushions. I know theyíre here somewhere.
<br>
Louis- (opening a draw in the desk.) Thereís a whole bunch of balloons here.
<br>
Emily- We could blow them up. Are they small balloons or large balloons?
<br>
Louis- It depends how much hot air we put into them.
<br>
Emily- we might broke them if we get passionate.
<br>

Louis- An authentic balloons is made to fall apart. (He walks to the other exit and looks into the room beyond.) Thereís abut fifty eggplants here in a steel bin. There must have been a sale. We can sort of jump on them. (Emily walks over the to exit, looks into the room beyond.)
<br>

Emily- Iíve never made love on eggplant.
<br>
Louis- Itís all very purple.
<br>
Emily- I guess Lucien will be bouncing off eggplant in the donkeys and monkeys.
<br>
Louis- weíll be smelling moneys and donkeys in the eggplant. (They exit. The phone rings. Lyndon Johnson comes on stage and picks it up. He seems quite drunk. He walks with a kind rigid, paralyzed sway.)
<br>
Lyndon- Rita?...Lucien and Louis will both be here. Louis has called me up; heís flying a private plane here. He wants to have an input. Itís a matter of patriotism to him. Heís bringing their girl friend too, Emily; donít ask me to explain. With tow Corsican brothers working for me, Iím going to have a hell of a departure, honey...yeah Iíve got the steak and marshmallows cooking; I can smell them right now. You know what I love about Texas? Itís close to Mexico. You get that cheap labor, the whorehouses when you get bored, and the feeling that no mater how rotten you feel, somebody is much worse off than you. Yeah, if it werenít for Mexico, I would probably leave Texas...I want you here at midnight, naked and ready. I just got in a shipment of cheap California wine that will put some fur in your stomach. Iím tired of those expensive smooth French drinks. Itís all so degenerate...no, Iím not too drunk to make one more the speech, Rita; I might be a little inebriated, honey; a politician is never so soused he canít talk...here comes Lucien now. He looks a little fatigued himself. Porno does that to you...Everybody I knew in Tiajuana looked like they needed a good nightís sleep....Get on that plane, baby; Iíll talk to you later. (He hangs up. Enter Lucien. He is carrying a tray of food and wine. He puts the tray down on the table.)
<br>
Lucien- Your servants told me to bring in these dishes. They told me theyíre all too boxed to work; you must have given them the key to the wine cellar. Theyíre sitting on the floor of the kitchen, vomiting over themselves.
<br>
Lyndon- They do get rambunctious. Itís a lousy life, being a servant in America. Sort of undemocratic. Maybe I would
get as juiced as they do if I were somebodyís dog in a country were a mutt can be a prince.
<br>
Lucien- Still, youíre paying them to be look like cattle, Lyndon, not to steal from you like coyotes.
<br>

Lyndon- Hard to stop the wolves, rats and rice from raiding the larders, ainít it? Everywhere you go in this world, you got termites, ants, mosquitos and raccoons; theyíre all coming out of the shadows because theyíre starving forever, they can smell the bread and the cookies sitting in the kitchen somewhere, they feel the salvia pouring down their wet jaws. You can lock it up and freeze it, you can put guards around it, but theyíll figure out a way to tick your army, hustle and ramble through the night and get through the plastic and the steel. It ainít democracy; itís Godís nature, damnit.
<br>
Lucien- Youíre drunk, Lyndon. You sure you can make that speech tonight? Youíre way on the wrong side of coherence.
<br>
Lyndon- You stink, Lucien. You smell like a stable of donkeys and a damned cage filled with monkeys. Where the hell have you been?
<br>
Lucien- Making history.
<br>
Lyndon- Youíre been making porno. If I fall down and go to sleep on the floor Iím a hell of lot more sober than you and your damned brother ever were. You and your plastic peckers and Dolfingers Disease. How the hell could I ever have thought you two could give me ideas about how to run a country? Wars and Welfare ainít good enough for a heap of spittle. You both belonged in an insane asylum; you were both nuts.
<br>
Lucien- I agree with you. Thatís why I left it. Human beings are stupid but weíre pretty good at recovery. The price is, of course, weíre always hurting from our wounds. Louis thinks youíre right too; heís quitting the corporate world. Heís had enough of power. We might both join you in the old corral if theyís enough room for all of us, Lyndon.
<br>
Lyndon- You just got to push the cattle aside, son. We get plenty of room here in Texas. I got a dossier on you, Lucien. You ainít gonna bring down a heap of marijuana and make those damned porno movies on my ranch, are you?

Lucien- Weíre dumb but we arenít that stupid. I donít know what weíre going to do next, Lyndon. Maybe weíll take up knitting. What is this, steak and marshmallows, Texas style? Thatís not how we make it in Corsica.
<br>
Lyndon- We use more cinnamon in West Texas than in East Texas. Down in Del Rio they use watermelon pickle. Look, Lucien, Iíve written a few versions of my speech here myself Iíd like to try it out on you. One of them may remind you in passing of Nixonís Checkers number; donít gag.
<br>
Lucien- It may not be applicable; he was trying to stay in politics; youíre attempting to get out, Lyndon.
<br>
Lyndon- I guess thereís love me and leave me speeches; I wont them to love me as I leave them. Maybe if I leave them it doesnít matter, does it?

<br>
Lucien- We all do that sooner or later, Lyndon. Sometimes we keel over; sometimes itís a helicopter taking off from the palace or some heavy litigation. Take your choice of the Angel of Death,
<br>
Lyndon- I know what I am. Iím a bad lawyer. Iíd always rather take a doctor over a lawyer as an executioner. Does it matter? Probably not; youíre still dead.
<br>
Lucien- You think maybe Bobby will replace you? Heís till mad at the way you killed Jack.
<br>
Lyndon- I never killed anybody. I[Ďm a politician, not a hitman. I sit there and took orders, just watched it happen like everybody else on television.
<br>
Lucien- Youíre just one of the boys, Lyndon. I guess theyíll knock off Bobby when he makes his move after you get on your horse and go west.
<br>
Lyndon- You bet. Hey, believe me, Bobbyís going to be offed too. Heís a nasty little son of a bitch; I canít wait. You know whoís going to be our nest leader? Richard Nixon. They owe him one. Heís a poor boy like me; Jack had dough. They think they can run him.
<br>
Lucien- Nixon, huh? Donít tell me who they is. Theyíll kill me too.
<br>
Lyndon- itís that Parisian son of a bitch, Monsieur de Chateau Renaud he calls himself. I donít even think ehís French. He just does that fog accent and he thinks he has me fooled. Maybe heís got even heavier people behind him too, I donít know. We got to know each other a little bit. Only on the telephone, of course. He doesn't want me to know where he is; people like that are afraid they might be killed, for good reason.
Iíve traced his calls with my intelligence crew, of course; he makes them from pay phones usually in the mountains somewhere in South America. We got one from Tiajuana last week. I could hear the moan of donkeys in the background. Of course my intelligence might be lying. Heís got some very interesting ideas about whatís next for us here. He wants Nixon to run it. He thinks heís mean enough.
<br>
Lucien-Well, youíre a hard act to follow. Maybe Nixon can do it.
<br>
Lyndon- Nixonís a mutt. That son of a bitch is the real Checkers. I was never a good dog, Lucien. I growl and bite a little too much.
<br>
Lucien- Weíre not dogs; itís built in, Lyndon.
<br>

Lyndon- What are we? We sure as hell ainít sane or even peaceable or reasonable. I wondered about this Chateau-Renaud guy. Is he human? I figured he must be; he makes telephone calls, he has to be somewhere. Heís running things but he sure as hell knows much more than I do about how to be invisible.
<br>

Lucien- The real heavies arenít just able to bend light; theyíre unimaginable.
<br>
Lyndon- Maybe so. Iím a conventional guy, Lucien; Iíd like to finish with an old fashioned Texas high colonic. Itís a north Mexican specialty. You read for this first version?
<br>
Lucien- Iíll be listening as I grab the steak with marshmallows. (He goes to the table and gives himself a portion of the creamy fare on paper plates and plastic spoons. He begins eating. He devours the food as Lyon makes his speeders.) No pickle.
<br>
Lyndon- This ainít Del Rio. Listen to this, Lucien....My fellow Americans. I have been think a whole lot of things over..Vietnam, Welfare, marijuana, Elvis, sex, Buddhism and seaweed crackers, whatever. Iíve decided that everybody in the United States of America has some reason to knock me off. My intelligence people have been telling me that even some brown rice importers are fixing to take out your president with a bullet lunch as he sits eating pork chow mein with a bunch of Georgia crackers. Well, folk, as John Sebastian Bach put it in one of his really neat sounding cantatas, ich habe genug. That means both to big John and yours truly, Iíve fucking A had enough of your bullshit. You want to kill me obtuse I donít like iodized salt? Well, fuck you. Goombye.
<br>
Lucien- Thatís it?
<br>
Lyndon- Well, that was just a first draft. I revised it heavily, believe me.
<br>
Lucien- Letís hear it.
<br>
Lyndon- My fucken fellow Americans.
<br>
Lucien- Well, itís a departure.
<br>
Lyndon- Listen to this, Lucien. When a man is walking out the door he can tip his hat and say nothing or if he loves whatever he is leaving behind him, he can say a word or two of advice, even give a tip or two on a few horses running at the track the next afternoon. I love the American people; maybe I know something about what nag the jockeys are going to hold back for another time and what filly is galloping to the finish on a ton of benny.
<br>
Lucien- If you donít know, nobody knows. Iím listening.
<br>

Lyndon- My fucken fellow Americans, itís tough up here being your president. You can get killed doing what I do, folks. Look what happened to Jack. People will kill you over profits they donít need, to make some war against counties whose names they canít even pronounce or to start a revolution that massacres almost everybody on their side before they got to take out people they called their fucken enemies. Then thereís that other bunch of big babies who are just as certain the United States exists to put them on the dole so they can do nothing or write lousy poetry.
Now I call that nuts, cruel, and even suicidal, but you all out there probably think itís better than starving. Maybe it is, but thatís what youíre hoping to be, violent or crazy. Thatís what weíre all about here. Iím tried. I have had enough of this bullshit. Iím not running again. Iím not going to be in Washington any more either; the food is lousy.
So, in general, fuck you and fuck me. Fuck you because all you want to be is a legitimate serial murderer or an ordinary lunatic and fuck me because I was dumb enough to lead you to into a battle against imaginary monsters or an insane asylum. Lemme say this, I wasnít so dense in the head as any of you guys. I did it for money. I was a poor boy myself, covering for the foolishness of a lot of people with guns and dollars. I never was as dumb as you are. No more, folks. It;ís time for sitting around the old corral, drinking Doctor Pepper, eating nacho chips and waiting to die. Goombye. Thatís it.
<br>
Lucien- Itís honest. I donít know whether itís good or bad. Letís hear the other versions.
<br>
Lyndon- You want to hear the Checkers one. Itís pretty soppy. I talk about wanting to sit by the campfire, drink Dos Ecces, feel sorry for myself and pet my dog. It has some nice moments where Iím pissing into the dark woods and listening to the tinkle in the lightless darkness. Also in the second draft I get to sleep with some ten year old Mexican whore before I go to sleep.
<br>
Lucien- No, thatís not presidential. Youíre got a problem, Lyndon that can only be solved by leaving Washington and never coming back. Youíre okay when youíre sober, which is almost never these days; when youíve got a few belts of solid booze in your gut youíre always ready to say exactly whatís on your mind. You must have been a hell of a lousy lawyer.
<br>
Lyndon- I was the worst. I sent hundreds of my clients to death row. Most of them died by hanging. The rest expired from good Texas prison food. Iíll tell you one thing though; criminal law is the greatest profession in the world except for being a general or doing major brain surgery. When you make a mistake, you donít get sued by your clients.
<br>
Lucien- You out to put some coriander on the marshmallows. Thatís the classical Corsican style. Try it sometime.
<br>
Lyndon- This is Texas, Lucien. When I want steak and marshmallows, Corsican style, I will go to Corsica.

<br>
Lyndon- (taking a piece of paper out of his pocket, handing it to Lyndon.) Youíre right. I was just thinking of my mamaís cooking. Try this one, Lyndon. I wrote it on the plane.
<br>
Lyndon- (looking at the paper.) My fellow Americans. Even a fool can get tired of spaghetti. You got mighty fatigued after a while with Milton Berle. Iím not even funny. Youíre probably very weary of me but not as fed up as I am of you... You can't be serious...the American people wonít take this. Theyíll kill me the way Chateau-Reneaud knocked off Jack.
<br>
Lucien- Sorry, I gave you the wrong paper; that was just a goofy little bagatelle I wrote over the rubber roast beef and the second martini.. (He fumbles around in his pockets and brings out another piece of paper.) Here it is. (He hands it to Lyndon.)
<br>
Lyndon- Constance I cannot get enough of your limber little body. I feel very uncomfortable following a donkey but I suppose unless you were a virgin I would have to be the next vaudeville act of lovers after something or somebody. At least I know that one day Iíll be replaced by a doctor. All I ask is you give up your donkey. At last when Iím around. I can hear the sound of him munching dry hay irritably and rather impatiently in the next room while we are most sonorous and audibly intimate...I canít read this foul shit to the American people. What the hell is this?
<br>
Lucien- Nothing. Just a draft for ideas for selling some underwater Florida real estate. Forget it. (He fumbles in his pockets again.) Hereís the real speech. I know itís what youíre looking for; itís the only one I wrote formally on my old loony bin stationary.
<br>
Lyndon- You are never more than one step from a crazy house, Lucien. What the fuck is this; I have it upside down. All right....My fellow Americans, I have very sad news to tell you this evening. In the course of my selfless service for this country I have come down with an aliment that is both annoying and incurable, Dolfingerís Disease. It is an illness that has no symptoms, no cause and no cure; it is all the more elusive for its utter invisibly. As a result, to wrestle with my devils as well as I can privately I must relinquish the power to run this great nation and retire with some discretion to my cattle ranch where I can take up a solitary straggle against the demons of Doctor Dolfinger and recover as much of my equilibrium as I can to take up more service to aid a republic that deserves my largesse with all the small power I can muster in after defeating a nemesis that may be something beyond even the most mercurial of ghostly bacteria...I can't tell the American public Iím sick of something that doesnít have any symptoms; theyíll think Iím bugsy; theyíll bounce me from the White House immediately.
<br>

Lucien- That was only the first draft. (He pulls another piece of paper out of his pocket. ) Try this one. It has an elegance the first one lacks. Youíll sound like George Washington.
<br>
Lyndon- You sure you ever left that insane asylum?
<br>
Lucien- I completely repudiate everything I did and even thought there. Iíve purged myself of the odium of those days utterly, Lyndon. A man has a right to have a youth; itís no accident it comes right after childhood.
<br>
Lyndon- All right. (He grasps the paper from Lucien.) My fellow Americans. As you know Iíve always been a warrior standing between you and the nasty hopes of godless communism. Iíve dedicated out country lately to protecting the free citizens of Vietnam from a bunch of fucken Reds, degenerates, pedophile and bums...I like this; whatís a pedophile?
<br>
Lucien- Itís what our troops do on rest and recreation in Saigon between heroin shots. It has a tradition; itís very Romish. Sort of a sacred act.
<br>
Lyndon- Okay. Iím against it unless itís done by American troops in Saigon. I donít like any kind of priests getting mixed up with war and recreation. (He looks at the paper.) As you know Iíve been for Welfare, the Arts, civil rights for all our brethren except maybe a few people on Death Row and the mentally challenged. And theyíre okay too. Let them vote; whatís the difference?...Yeah, I like that, do we allow people who are about to be hanged vote? I forget.
<br>
Lucien- If they can get to the voting boots, they can vote.
<br>
Lyndon- Okay. Iím for letting morons vote too, you know. I want every imbecile in my corner, Lucien. Hey wait a minute, Iím quite politics; Iím not getting into it. Whereís the part about saying goodbye like George Washington?
<br>
Lucien- Youíre almost up to it.
<br>

Lyndon- Okay...My fellow Americans...Iíve been thinking many a lonely and cold midnight about the direction of my life. I donít think I was really the sort of man who should have even taken up the harness of power. I really couldnít help it; I was poor and I do a few people favors; before I knew it I was a senator. I was hungry and didnít ask too many questions then, folks. Now I know that what I was really supposed to do with my life was to become a landscape painter of the western prairie. I know all you people are talking about abstract cosmic stuff; you think thatís whatís important in American contemporary painting. I know better. Abstraction is European degeneracy. There is nothing like sitting in front of an oil that offers you a look at the pale moonlight of a Texas winter evening. There is nothing prettier than a naked Texas cheerleader with thsoe thick hard thighs at a Dallas Cowboys game as the honchos beat up on some guys from Pittsburgh on the way to the Superbowl, maybe way even beyond, to some Superbowl in Godís paradise. Most of all, folks, there is a kind of pristine beauty in a single lone oil derrick with its ebony skeleton of black steel cleaving the labia of a buttermilk Texas sky.
<br>
Lucien- O my God, that marshmallow sauce!
<br>
Lyndon- Whatís the matter? You look pale.
<br>
Lucien- Iíve got to throw up. Whereís the restroom, Lyndon?
<br>
Lyndon- Just walk out into that damned old corral yonder and vomit; we donít use toilets for plain puke in Texas, you know that, Lucien.
<br>
Lucien- O My God! He runs out the exit into the outdoors and the corral. Lyndon shrugs, goes to the phone and dials a number.)
<br>
Lyndon- Rita? You on the way here; this is your car phone? Be here in how long, honey? Five minutes. Great. ...listen, you got any ideas on what I should say to the American people about taking off work?...Whatís that?...Nobody wants to hear about my personal problems; I can't say Iím going through a messy divorce and Iím depressed. Anyway theyíd see I wasnít getting even an easy one because Ladybird would never get rid of me; Iím her cash machine...no, she couldnít beat me out of anything, not with what Iíve got on her thanks to the FBI, CIA and what her old lovers have said to me; sheís some kind of Chinese communist too, I donít know what kind...I canít keep track of all the different kinds of communists that are running around here Iím lucky if I know where my pants are half the time... you donít want to know what the inside story is on my wife; all you need to appreciate, honey, is sheís better off married to me than not married to me... sure I got the Fib and CIA after you too; I know all about you...you sure are hard on poodles but at least youíre not a communist....yeah, I got the goods on Marilyn too; she wasnít a communist; she was a interested in hamburgers, root beer money...yeah, J. Edgar gave me the whole dossier; heís going to have a hell of a national library when he retires; heís got the biggest porno collection in the world, maybe even heaven and hell for all I know; yeah, interstellar stuff, he knows hat the spiders are doing on Neptune, not to mention a couple of bacteria I donít want to talk about...Yeah, Mao Tse Tung is some kind of vegetarian; weíve got the scoop on Bobby too. He can't stop eating mushrooms. (Enter Louis and Emily.) Talk to you later, baby, itís speech making time. Lucien, you donít look so bad. You get to try that marshmallow sauce again. The second time it stays run in your gut like a big weight. I see you found Emily out there in the coral somewhere.
<br>
Louis- Iím Louis. Whereís my brother?
<br>

Lyndon- Sorry, Louis. Heís out in the old corral puking up seem of the best sauce the good folks in Texas ever have had. You want some steak, Texas style?
<br>
Louis- Sure, sure, no problem. Okay. Emily?
<br>
Emily- Sure Iím always big on steak. We came here to help you with your speech, Lyndon.
<br>
Lyndon- Thatís good. Lucien had all kinds of crazy ideas I donít think the American people would be happy with. He wanted to make me out to be a lunatic or oil painter or something.
<br>
Louis- Well, Iíve got one for you that is gong to make a lot more sense to America. You are quitting politicks to go into business. You want to make big bucks and be the guy making those pithy telephone calls to toads like yourself.
<br>
Lyndon- Hey that makes sense. (Two shots pierce the air. The lights go a bit lower. Lyndon, Louis and Emily duck on the floor of the ranch. There is a long pause. There are to more shots, then silence.) You okay?
<br>
Louis- Weíre still here, Lyndon. Who the hell is shooting at us?
<br>
Lyndon- I donít know. Maybe Bobby. The son of a bitch never did like me. (He picks up a gun from the wall and shoots through the window. There is a piteous scream. Lyndon waits a moment. Then he pump for more bullets into the night. He hears nothing. Then he looks at Louis and Emily.) Louis, take that bazooka on the wall; weíll go out there and look for them. There might be more than one of them.
<br>
Louis- Okay. Emily stay here and answer the phone. Donít stand up straight. They wonít be able to shoot you through the window. (Lyndon and Louis exit furtively with guns, crawling out onto the back porch. The phone rings. Emily picks it up.)
<br>
Emily- Hello...Monsieur de who?...Look, weíve had some nasty people shooting at us, Monsieur; would you mind calling back in the few hours?...Whatís that? It was your people from Sardinia that were pepperng us?...Just a little warning?...Who are you, anyway?...Okay, Monsieur I donít want to know....Whatíve you got against a nice guy like Lyndon? Heís leaving office and you can do whatever you want...Nixon? Well, thatís a pretty audacious move. I think heís a crook...look, right now, Iím busy; if you ever get tried to whatever it is you are and what youíre doing, you can reach all of us another time in San Francisco...yeah, weíre all quitting, theyíll have to find somebody else to diagnose people as nuts or sell them plastic peckers...what do you think we ought to do now?...Hey, I donít know; ask that bastard Nixon. (She hangs up the hone. Enter Lucien.) Louis, whereís Lyndon.
<br>

Lucien- Lucien. Iíve been throwing up, Emily. Stay away from that marshmallow sauce.
<br>
Emily- They almost just killed the president.
<br>
Lucien- Who?
<br>
Emily- Some assassins working for some Frenchman. I donít know.
<br>
Lucien- Well, we could survive that. They knocked off Jack and weíre still here. (They hear three more shots.)
<br>
Emily- What the hellís going on out there? (Enter Lyndon.)
<br>
Lyndon- Come on in Louis, we got the bastards. Two more of them. (A car pulls up at the house.) Damned thugs. What you doing out there, Louis? Youíre brotherís here; soís Emily. Donít be inhospitable.
<br>
Louis- (smiling) I know what my brotherís up to. Letís go join him. You know whoís here at your front door, Lyndon? Rita.
<br>
Lyndon- Rita? Why doesnít she come in? Whatís the hellís going on out there?
<br>
Louis- Lucien is kissing her. Iím kissing her too, She sure feels good in our arms.
<br>
Lyndon- Hey, stop that, Lucien. Ritaís my squeeze, damn it. (He runs out the front door.)
<br>
Emily- Letís go out and take a walk under this Texas sky, Louis. I think Iíd like to make love with you in a little arroyo somewhere.
<br>
Louis- Sure. I should tell you one thing, Emily,. Iím really Lucien. Louis and I switched places when we were out in the corral a moment ago. Louis is really with Rita. Iím Lucien.
<br>
Emily- Lucien? Thatís okay with me. I donít care.
<br>
Lucien- You know, you feel just like Rita.
<br>
Emily- Not Constance?
<br>
Lucien- No donkeys. (Exit Louis and Emily.)
<br>

The End
<br>
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