Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Friday, February 16, 2007


A 1-acter for 3 parties
by Bill Costley

Cast: Consultants - Republican, Democrat; a Waiter; voice offstage.
Location: A K-Street restaurant
Time: The very present.

Background music: "Happy Days Are Here Again!"

R: You probably think you’ve won something, but I assure you we have, we still have, the Presidency and a new crop of conservatives who are more like us than you.

D: Then why are they Democrats?

R: They saw the media’s handwriting on the wall & switched to stay in power. They still do what we want them to. We have their souls.

D: Republican souls? Tell me what in hell a Republican soul is…

R: It’s a deeply anti-governmental one, deeply dedicated to American freedom at home, and universal freedom abroad.

D: By any means?

R: By all means!

The waiter reaches their table.

W: Are you 2 ready to order?

R: I am. The best, nothing but the Best.

D: I am. The most, nothing but the Most.

W: Who’s paying?

R & D: The People!

W: I don’t see anybody here but you 2 . What people?

R: The American People!

D: The Sovereign People!

W: We don’t take American Sovereigns. Whose credit card? Whose plastic?

R: Corporate plastic. (Reaches for a Corporate-themed card.)

D: Union plastic. (Reaches for a Union-themed card.)

W: Hey, one card for one meal, not 2 cards! Which card’s gonna pay?

R & D: (Stymied) His! (Pointing to each other.)

W: Don’t try to pull this crap on me, I gutta idea. Why doncha flip for it: flip ya cards. The one that lands face up, pays.

(They flip; both cards land face-up.)

W: Do it again.

(They do; same result. Both are embarassed by the consistent result.)

W: We're getting’ nowhere by doin’ this democratically (R blusters at the usage), so I’m gonna solve this myself. Tip me, one of ya.

R & D: How much?

W: Let’s just see how smart you are. (Rocking on heels, order book in hand. Smiles; Smirks; Frowns.) I haven’t gut all nite; I have 6 tables in this section. Make this worth my while, or I’m gone.

R: (Loudly) MAITRE 'D, we want another waiter!

Voice from kitchen: This is the only waiter you are ever gonna get here, deal or no meal.

R & D: No meal!

Voice from kitchen: Then haul your sorry asses outta heah! You guys are a dime-a-dozen. A Roosevelt dime.

R: A Reagan dime!

D: An FDR dime.

Voice: A very thin dime. Now haul your asses on out; we have real people to serve, not you 2 fakes. Real people who work for dimes, like the waiter. But before you go, dump your pockets on the tablecloth or you 2 are barred from this place for-ever. We don’t need plastic parasties here. We have real roaches in the kitchen, we don’t need plastic ones like you.

R & D: (On the sidewalk, talking together) Never again! Never again! Let’s go where they appreciate plastic.

(They head for The White House commissary.)


Bill Costley serves on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco chapter of the National Writers Union.