Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Intimate fantasies: a four act play (and coda)

Intimate fantasies: a four act play


Dean DeSpenser: Reginald Yu
Professor Been Madov: Clifford Irving
Professor Prince Towne: Jake Oz
Professor Kennedy Armstrong: j.j. Getty
Professor Ann Colt45: Fawn Hall

In tonight's performance the role of Professor Prince Town will be played by Hank Hu.. Mr. Oz was called away to a conference in Costa Rica with the highest level people.

All scenes take place in a well furnished office at a moderate sized law school. The plaque on the Door says "Dean DeSpenser." Each scene begins with a knock on the door.

Act 1

The Dean: Yes. Come in.
Professor Colt45; Hi Dean, I see you are busy as usual. I was just telling everyone in the Lounge that you were once almost cited by the Supreme Court.
The Dean: Actually I was almost cited 300 times but go on.
Professor Colt45: I want to present the School with an opportunity to host a conference on International Patent Law and its Implications for SubSahara Africa.
The Dean: Now there's an idea.
Professor Colt 45; Only the highest level people will be there and with airfares and lodging I think I can do this for $50,000.
The Dean: Conferences! --- why didn't I think of that? In fact, several people who have not asked since they are not as , , ,  energetic as you may have great ideas for conferences. I'll get a memo out right away asking for proposals. Please include yours when you get the memo.
Professor Colt45: But Dean, suppose you get many proposals and there is not enough money for mine.
The Dean: My point exactly!. Hey, I think I hear your mother calling you.

Act 2

The Dean: Yes. Come in.
Prof Madov: Hi Dean. You are busy I see but this is really an important opportunity for the school. In fact, I was just talking to Obama and he sends his best,
The Dean: [Yawning.] My my,  you know so many people and I am so impressed. Go on.
Prof Madov: I want to offer a course in Reading the Law in Flemish. The problem is I do not know Flemish but I an eager to learn so I think the school would be happy to sponsor my Flemish lessons.
The Dean: Intriguing
Prof Madov: I've draw up a budget. $3000 round trip airfare to Holland. Room, board, etc. It all comes in at about 150,000$ not including the actual lessons.
The :Dean: Fascinating idea, Been. I am thinking there may be others who want to learn a foreign language but did not think to ask. And since we cannot fund everyone, I'll get a memo out to the faculty indicating that we will consider all proposals.
Prof Madov: But Dean some people may apply who have really bad ideas
The Dean: Thanks for that tip. Somehow I realized that already.  As soon as the memo goes out, please send your proposal.

Act 3

The Dean: Yes, Come in.
Professor Towne (walking with  a slight limb): Hi Dean, Golf game Ok? I wish I had time for golf but, you know me --- work, work, work.
The Dean:  I do not play golf. So what's up Prince?
Professor Towne: Dean, I have  used my travel allowance for the year but now how an opportunity to attend a conference in Prague on Post Modern Contract Law.
The Dean: Used it up. On what?
Professor Towne: Oh yes, I did spend some on the AALS convention. And then there was the Conference in Rio during Carnival which was on Carnival Law. I co chaired a session by Skype from my cabana,   Now this Conference has come up at the last minute and my secretary neglected to tell me about it.
The Dean: It is really important for us to attend conferences but I wonder if other people have used their funds and might want a supplement. I'll get a memo out saying we have a little extra travel money and asking others indicate if there are important conferences they might like to attend.
Professor Towne: But Dean, if they did not ask evidently they did not think it was important.
The Dean: Yes, on the other hand, Maybe they took me seriously when I said there was no extra money so didn't ask.

Act 4

The Dean: Yes, Come in.
Professor Armstrong: Hi Dean. Thought I could find you here. I just saw the Provost and he said this is a great idea to bring up with you.
The Dean: Did he say it was a great idea or that it was a great idea to bring up with me.
Professor Armstrong: Oh, good question. It is a great idea and I'd like to give the Law school a chance to get on board.
The Dean: My ears are your ears.
Professor Armstrong: Many of the student want us to begin a Center on Law and Mindfulness. I will, of course, be director to get things off to good start. And then we will need to hire a couple of junior faculty, and a secretary.
The Dean: Law and Mindfulness? [said with wonder]
Professor Armstrong: First Dean let's think about breathing. [silence for 60 seconds] Now [talking very fast and loud]. Law and Mindfulness raises issues of malpractice, licensing. and ethical issues. For example, should mindfulness be taught to a serial killer who just wants to be more effective in his work?
The Dean: Kennedy, Kennedy! Hold on, hold on! You've convinced me. And you know what? There maybe other people who can think of new Centers. Maybe we should decide among all the possibilities, not just yours. I'll get a memo out to everyone asking if they have ideas for enriching the student experience and you be sure to apply.
Professor Armstrong: But, But, Mindfulness is so important!
The Dean: Yes, Yes it is. And it will be considered. So why don't you try to relax and I'll be back to you.

Intimate Fantasies: A Coda [from an anonymous contributor]
Scene takes place in around a table in an expensively furnished restaurant. Madov, Towne, Armstrong, and Colt45 are all seated around the table in relaxed postures. The table contains the remains of meals, half-full wine glasses, and at least two empty bottles of wine. A well-dressed Waiter stands at Madov’s elbow as the scene begins.
Waiter, holding out a check folio to Madov: Here is the bill, sir. 
Madov waiving a credit card at the waiter, rudely: Here, just put it on this.
Waiter takes the card and Madov immediately ignores him. Waiter walks off stage left. 
Towne: Was it expensive?
Madov shrugging dismissively: I just charged it to the card the school lets us use for conferences.
Towne: Oh, right, of course. What was I thinking?
Colt45 interjecting loudly: But, like I was saying, DeSpenser needs to go. I’m sure he didn’t take my proposal seriously because I’m a woman! He just rejected it out of hand! It’s so blatantly sexist.
Armstrong: Oh, I entirely agree. I think he’s probably a homophobe too. Why else would he reject so progressive a suggestion as a Center on Mindfulness?
Towne firmly: You should tell everyone on the faculty. Who knows what other sentiments he secretly harbors?
Colt45 proudly: Oh, I already have!
Armstrong also proudly: And I sent an email about it to the list-serve for my entire field!
Waiter emerges from stage left, looking nervous and holding the check folio in one hand and the credit card in the other. He walks very slowly over to Madov, occasionally checking the inside of the folio.
Towne: That’s great! The whole school should know about him. I can’t believe we all voted to hire him last year.
Madov: I think we should not lose sight of how serious a threat to our academic freedom he has become. This is indefensible!
Waiter leaning over to Madov and in stage whisper: Excuse me, sir.
Madov ignoring Waiter entirely and forcefully tapping the table with his finger: I am going to write a letter to the ABA explaining how DeSpenser is prohibiting us from taking professional development courses. 
Towne: And prohibiting us from going to important conferences!
Waiter, still leaning over to Madov (stage whisper): Pardon me, sir.
Colt45 ignoring Waiter and speaking to Madov: I’ll sign that letter! Just be sure to list everything.
Armstrong also ignoring Waiter: Me too. That sounds like a great idea. 
Waiter standing up straight and in regular volume louder now: Sir.
Madov still ignoring Waiter: Maybe we can get someone to blog about it . . . 
Towne: Wonderful idea! 
Colt45: Absolutely!
Madov: After all, this is about more than just us.
Armstrong: No indeed! This is an attack on the very soul of our law school.
Colt45: On the rule of law itself, really.
Towne: The world really does need to know all about this.
Madov: Right, so I will write it up. You talk to the other faculty . . .
Waiter loudly: Sir!
Madov turning slowly to look at Waiter, with a disgusted look on his face: What? Could you not see that we were in the middle of an important conversation?
Waiter holding folio and card out to Madov in one hand: I’m sorry sir, but your card has been declined.
Freeze. Lights hold for five seconds, then down. 



Anonymous said...

I think you may have inadvertently omitted the scene at the end where the professors meet up with each other for an expensive dinner (charged to the school) and plan who among them will spread rumors about The Dean so as to shorten his tenure and who will complain to the ABA about the blows to their academic freedom inflicted by The Dean's leadership.

Jeffrey Harrison said...

OMG, Yes, that was left off but if you want to submit that scene I'll be happy to post it.