The Right Coast

March 31, 2005
Michael Schiavo in Hell (a play in one paragraph)
By Tom Smith

MS: Where am I? Gosh it is so hot here!
Man with No Eyebrows: But I think you will agree it is a very dry heat.
MS: Dry! I'll say! I'm so thirsty! I don't think I've ever been so thirsty!
MNE: Just you wait.
MS: What?
MNE: You said you were thirsty?
MS: So thirsty . . .
MNE: Would you like some nice, cool water?
MS: Please!
MNE: Let me just check outside. (Goes to door.) Why, how curious. There are hundreds of people out here trying to bring you water. Would you like a cup?
MS: Oh yes!
MNE: Cold water or warm?
MS: Cold! I don't care!
MNE: You know, I think we actually have a procedure to determine whether I can give you any water. I don't think I'm permitted to give you water just because you're thirsty! We have rules, you know.
MS: Rules?
MNE: Oh, yes. Rules and rules.
MS: Well, who do I have to ask?
MNE: Oh, judges. We have lots of judges here. You may recognize some of them.
MS: I don't have time for that!
MNE: Trust me. You do.
MS: All I want is some water, for Christ's sake!
MNE: (Wincing) Please don't swear.
(Years later . . . )
MS: Water. Water. I'm so thristy . . .
MNE: Oh, look! A package! It seems to be a crate of chilled Evian water sent by Terri and her parents. Do you remember them?
MS: Water? Water! Water!
MNE: I would let you have some, but that would violate the temporary restraining order issued before the 99th interlocutory appeal to the 666th Circuit. If there's one thing we don't permit around here, it's contempt of court. (Sipping.) Mmmmm. I don' t really prefer Evian. I think it tastes a little soapy or something. Still, it is nice and cold.
MS: Water! Huhnnnnnhuuuhhh!
MNE: What are you saying, Michael? You seem a little inarticulate. Well, I suppose I know what you really want. You really want to follow the law, right? I knew it. And believe me, just as soon as I am permitted to do so, I will give you a nice big gulp of water, if there's any left, that is! Alas, I must toddle. I must go to visit your attorney. He's right next door, you know!