45Two Minute Comedy

"Give us Two Minutes... We'll Give You Too"

A Series of Two Minute Comedy Sketches for short attention span theatre

The Proper Gander
A Two Minute Comedy

Ms. DeParch - 40 Instructor
Feklas Tule - 20, student
Fallo R. Blynd - 20 student

Ms. DeParch faces the audience pacing before a large projection screen. On it appear various slides supporting her lecture points.  Slide changes are scored with a sharp, disturbing SFX.  For the moment her students are unseen.  But when speaking, they rise also facing the audience.  It is a cold, detached space;  functional yet ominously sterile. 

DeParch: What is the over-arching principle of our work?  What is it that we must know and our audience must not know?

Slide change: “The people will believe… What I tell them to believe.”  Charles Foster Kane - Newspaper Publisher

DeParch: Each of you must understand that it is you who control the way the reader or viewer thinks.  It is you who determines what they see and hear.  You are the gatekeepers of fact and fiction, which in our world are essentially the same thing.  If we present fictions in the exact same way we present facts, the people will not know the difference.  This is the goal.  We want people ushered by us into the malleable halls of combined fact and fiction - something I call “Faction.”

Slide change: “Faction.”

Tule: (standing) Excuse me Ms. DeParch, but when can a fact ever be a fiction?

DeParch: Whenever we want it to be a fiction, Mr. Tule.  Facts are nasty nuggets of truth that are the enemy of social order.  Social order is our goal.  If a fact gets in the way and muddies our goal, we must be prepared to deny its existence.  Our primary tool to accomplish this… Mr. Tule, is to make fact, fiction.  Hence my word “Faction.”

The slide flashes ominously.

Tule: But doesn’t the word “faction” refer to the splinter of a larger group? 

DeParch: (annoyed) Are you trying to be smart with me, Mr. Tule?

Tule: No Ms. DeParch.  I wouldn’t think of being smart… with you.  I am trying to understand how a “faction” makes social order out of dis-harmony with mainstream belief.

DeParch: Sit down Mr. Tule.  You are deliberately confusing the issue! (he sits)

Blynd: (standing) What I think Mr. Tule is trying to say is how do we satisfy the goal of social order by fictionalizing facts? 

DeParch: (more annoyed) Simple Ms. Blynd.  If there’s an empty cave at the edge of town and we tell the people a fire breathing dragon lives in it - we have fictionalized the fact.  Right?

Blynd: Not if there’s no real dragon.  We‘ve just told a lie.

DeParch: Ah hah!  Sit down Ms. Blynd!  (she does)

DeParch angrily punches the remote and the slide reads: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels

DeParch: Social order comes about by convincing the people to believe in facts that are really fiction.  Mr. Goebbels did a brilliant job of this during World War Two.  We are doing the same, except under different circumstances.  For example here is a list of keywords we will emphasize as facts:

Slides flash through the following words: Loss, homeless, penniless, helpless, loneliness, abandoned, isolated, unhappy, uninspired, old, sick, dysfunctional, broken, hopeless, diseased, damaged, depressed.

DeParch: And here are a list of keywords we will NOT emphasize:

Slides flash through the following words:
Love, hope, peace, kindness, happiness, gentleness, care, excitement, enthusiasm, independence, individual,  greatness, courage, goodness, Truth.

DeParch: Over the next few weeks you each will learn how to use our keywords to create  news copy, advertising copy, song lyrics, film dialog, storylines, talk show chatter, casual conversation and formal presentations.  Our work is to implant the human mind with ideas that allow us to manipulate the social order.  It is difficult but rewarding work.  It is time honored work. 

She presses the remote again and the slide reads: “How are all you orphans of the Pacific?  How are you going to get home?”         Tokyo Rose

DeParch: (proud) One of my personal heroes!  Are there any questions?

Tule: (standing) Thank you for the presentation Ms. DeParch.  I think now I understand how to use your word “faction.”

DeParch: Good.  Would you care to give us an example Mr. Tule?

Tule: (pause) Our work is old, uninspired and dysfunctional.   But in spite of being depressed… It will bring satis-faction to our hopeless cause!

DeParch: (annoyed) Sit down Mr. Tule.