By Dwayne Yancey
Copyright 2004; all rights reserved.
(This takes place in six short scenes.)
(A man talks directly to the audience. Hes sitting in a chair, perhaps with a TV remote.)
MAN: So, all right, one night I was sitting there watching The History Channel, see, when this commercial comes on. One of those 1-800 things, you know, except this ones different.
Instead of selling knives or old records or whatever, theyve got these guys dressed up like Jefferson and Lincoln, see, and some other guy, I forget now, maybe Teddy Roosevelt. Or Truman. One of those more modern guys.
Anyway, theyve got all these guys waving and smiling and shaking hands, and it says "you, too, can learn to be a presidential re-enactor. Earn big money making appearances at schools, historical festivals, Fourth of July parades. Do your part to help preserve Americas history."
So Im thinking to myself, hell, I could do that. Well, maybe not Teddy Roosevelt, Im not that stocky, but I could do some of those other guys.
And then it says: "Call now and well send you our full correspondence course available in your choice of cassette, video or DVD."
So, what the hell, I did.
VOICE or MAN: "Offer void where not allowed by law. Iowa
hresidents add sales tax. Powdered wig not included. Please wait 4-6 weeks for delivery."
MAN: Man, those were the longest 4-6 weeks of my life.
* * * *
(The man tears opens a package.)
MAN: Finally! Its here! Its here! All right! Man, Ive been waiting for this
(The package is open, and he pulls out the contents.)
What? Who? William Henry Harrison? William Henry Harrison! The man died after only a month in office!
* * *
(The man waves the package around.)
MAN: How the hell was I to know I didnt get my choice of presidents?
* * *
(Man is sitting at a table with a tape recorder, and perhaps a booklet.)
AUDIOTAPE: (A cough is heard.) In todays lesson, we will learn Harrisons cough. Please cough. (Pause.)
AUDIOTAPE: Thats good. Please try the cough again.
AUDIOTAPE: Very good. You may wish to pause the tape now to practice the cough. Remember, you want a deep, hacking cough.
(Man pauses the tape.)
MAN (looks out to audience): What? Im not going to let this go to waste.
* * *
(The man wears an old coat, and attempts to re-enact William Henry Harrison.)
MAN: My fellow citizens (cough) our nation today faces great challenges. (Cough.) How to deal with tariffs. Internal improvements. (Cough.)
No, wait, thats not right. Let me start over.
My fellow citizens (Cough) our nation today faces great challenges. (Cough.)
(To the audience) So what do you think, does the cough work for you? Or should I try something with more phlegm in it?
* * *
SCENE 6 (optional):
(Man is on the phone.)
MAN: . . . no, oh, OK, I understand . . . so do you think youll have any interest later on? . . . uh-huh . . . well, actually, you see, the election of 1840 was quite a pivotal election in American history; it was the first time that modern campaign techniques were used to drum up popular support . . . I see . . . I see . . . OK, well, sorry to bother you.
(Hangs up the phone, checks his list, and dials again.)
Whats next? Were into the (gives a letter fairly late in the alphabet, e.g., N) now.)
Hello, (name of local high school starting with that letter, e.g, Northside, as in Northside High School) . Good morning. I was wondering if I could speak to the head of the history department?
---------- THE END -------------
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
1 off-stage voice of either gender
1791 Mount Pleasant Church Road
Fincastle, VA 24090
Days: 540 981 3113 or Nights: 540 473 3313THIS SCRIPT IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR
performed by John Bryant with offstage voice of Laura Tuggle Anderson