'Governmentman': The sequel


In regards to John Keisling's "Governmentman" (Sept. 27), I present "Governmentman, Part 2."

Return to the community of Independence, U.S.A. Merchants run their stores, children hurry to school, and a flag flies serenely over it all. The town leaders are sitting on the Town Hall porch, waiting for the Independence Parade and discussing recent events.

Mayor: Yep, things sure are better since we got rid of old Governmentman. This town has never been more peaceful.

Charles: And my business is bringing in record profits!

Oliver: Here comes the parade! Look at those uniforms! And the light sparkling off the gun barrels! Isn't it beautiful?

Suddenly an explosion rocks the town. People come running from all corners.

Leah: The synagogue has been firebombed! I saw men dressed in white running away!

Strom: Well, they're just exercising their freedom of expression, heh, heh. And by the way, little lady, where's your pass to be in this part of town?

Leah: Excuse me, sir. I was just leaving. (Bows and hurries away)

Oliver: Now where were we? Oh, yes, the militia parade! (Stands and begins to address the gathering crowd) Now, people, we are here to celebrate the liberation of you all from the heavy-handed control of Governmentman! Let's all give thanks to Jesus we no longer have to put up with all those immoral laws!

Charles (breaking in): Hear, hear! And those infernal regulations were really stifling my profit margins!

Townspeople: Hallelujah! Now we are free to solve our own problems! (They shuffle away happily, but a few stragglers remain behind.)

Ralph (to the Mayor): By the way, that synagogue fire seems to be spreading ... it's ignited the drainage canal behind the factory. What should we do?

Mayor: Well, that's private property I'm afraid we can't interfere.

Ralph: But the smoke and fumes are making people sick! That canal was full of chemicals!

Ayn: Sorry, but some sacrifices need to be made. The strongest will always survive. At least we aren't dependent on Governmentman!

Meanwhile, the townspeople have gathered at the park for a picnic. There are no trees, flowers or grass. People sit on plastic chairs they have brought, popping open a beer or two. Some kids want to play, but there is no baseball field, volleyball net, or even a drinking fountain. They run to their parents.

Kids: Dad, Mom, what can we do? Can we go fishing?

Mother: Sorry, kids, you know the river is private property. Go run and play catch with this plastic Frisbee. But don't trespass on anyone's lawn! You know they will shoot you!

Kids: We know, Mom. (They run off)

Slowly the parents notice a group of people huddling under a nearby bridge. They are dressed in rags and seem to be living in cardboard boxes. Some of them are speaking softly together in Spanish. One of the fathers goes over to them.

Bob: Stop that! You know only English is allowed! Are you trying to destroy our way of life? And why don't you get jobs? Get out of sight! I don't want to look at you!

Cesar: But, sir, we do have jobs. We work in the factory, but since the Liberation, our wages dropped. We can't afford rent.

Bob: That's not my problem! You're just too lazy! And anyway, you're depressing me. Just go back to where you came from!

Dina: Sir, my relatives have lived here for a thousand years. This is where I came from. But since the Liberation, we don't even have access to the limited land Governmentman used to make us live on. It was sold to private industry.

Bob: And a good thing, too! My friend Charles made a big profit on that sale. Now there's a real American!

Just then, there is a loud roaring sound. Everyone looks up. Two large passenger planes are circling the town. They are looking for the airport, but since there is no air traffic control, each pilot is trying to get in position to land first. Everyone stands, fascinated, as they climb, bank and turn. As they wheel around, one pilot makes a sudden dive. He miscalculates and clips the tail off the other plane. There is an explosion, and tons of burning metal rain down on the town. Everyone in the park is killed. The Mayor, having remained a few blocks away at the Town Hall, looks on in dismay.

Mayor (shaking his head): What a shame. (He looks at the burning wreckage, the wailing children and the collapsing buildings of the factory) It does seem almost like it was better before ... (he brightens) but who am I to judge? I'm just glad we're free to take care of ourselves. Yes, each individual always knows best.

Kay Jodder

University Employee

Main Library

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