Posted by: The Amoeba | April 1, 2009

The Quality of Mercy

The quality of mercy is not strain’d*,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

     Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, scene 1.

  • = constrained

======================

ENTER, in procession, Emperor YESWECAN, attended by Lord BIDENTIME; Lords CREOSOTO and LINKFENCE following.

YESWECAN
Ah, gentlemen, a wonderful day! We’ve got quite the job ahead of us, but I have no doubt that, with all the powers at our disposal and the will of the people behind us, we will win through. Don’t you think so?

BIDENTIME
Of course, if all of us do our best.

CREOSOTO
That’s so, God willing.

LINKFENCE
And the unions. You have a strong hand when you need it, sir, as you showed with your jacking … er, persuasion of the auto workers just now. We are in good hands.

YESWECAN
I’m inclined to agree. The team is the best, and it’s ready to roll; let’s clear the tracks for it. Bidentime!

BIDENTIME
Yes, Yes?

YESWECAN (momentarily rolls eyes; recovers)
You remember that fellow yesterday that the Service caught trying to burn a flag in our presence?

BIDENTIME
I do, sir.

YESWECAN
What about him?

BIDENTIME
Mostly, he was drunk. That’s the report I got back, anyway. The heat wouldn’t let him get anywhere near us. Or vice versa. As usual.

YESWECAN
No record?

BIDENTIME
I think they said he was late on paying his cable bill once, about eighteen months ago.

YESWECAN
Thought so. Pass the word, will you? Release him. No charges. Cab fare if he needs it. Oh, and an autographed glossy.

CREOSOTO
What? Are you nuts?!

LINKFENCE
(Aside to CREOSOTO) Shut up and let me handle this. (Elbows CREOSOTO, who is about to object, in the solar plexus; to YESWECAN) Sir, that’s a generous and noble gesture, but I don’t think you can afford it after the AIG bonus business. You need to be seen as both tough and consistent. Punish the stupid traitor!

CREOSOTO
We’ve got lots of leftover secret prisons you could oooof!! (LINKFENCE has elbowed him again).

YESWECAN
No, let’s show mercy. I’ve said all along, haven’t I, that we need to hear and respect all points of view?

LINKFENCE (A hard stare silences CREOSOTO)
Sure. He’s entitled to his point of view. He’s also entitled to serve time because of it. Teach him and his wisdom in the use of his freedoms. Not to mention respect for Your Highness and Your Highness’s Government.

YESWECAN
Ah, gentlemen, gentlemen. It’s a hard world when your care for my image argues so strongly against one poor drunken protestor. If you’d have me lock up an ordinary citizen for littering when he hardly can remember his name, what am I to do with, say, a recalcitrant bank president who knowingly refuses to use bailout money for its intended purpose? Y’know, I think I will let this guy go, and if I take a hit for it, I take a hit. And now, we have an economy to save, and I have jobs for you all. Here, and here, and here. Bidentime, you and I have talked through your tasks pretty well already, and I’ll be wanting … Creosoto? Linkfence? Are you ill? Whatever is the matter?

CREOSOTO
Bu … bu … bu … bu …

LINKFENCE
These documents are summonses to international war crimes tribunals! You can’t allow that! You mustn’t!

CREOSOTO
National security! Executive privilege!

LINKFENCE
My heart!!

YESWECAN
Bidentime!

BIDENTIME
Ye …

YESWECAN
Don’t you dare. Tell me, is it my hearing or my memory that I’m losing? Didn’t these two just tell me to throw the drunk in the hoosegow and throw away the key, for peanuts?

BIDENTIME
They did.

YESWECAN
And didn’t they just beg me for mercy for themselves for, like, crimes against humanity?

BIDENTIME
They did.

YESWECAN
What do you think our response to that should be?

BIDENTIME
Bailiffs!!

EXEUNT, guarded, CREOSOTO and LINKFENCE

YESWECAN (Aside to BIDENTIME)
What kind of name is Linkfence, anyway?

BIDENTIME (Aside to YESWECAN)
Trust me, sir. You don’t want to follow that chain.

=================

Yes, it’s Shakespeare night. You’ve perhaps already detected that this sketch is based on Act II, scene 2 of Henry V. You can, if you like, read the original here.

  O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions expressed are mine, as a private citizen.

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Responses

  1. love the trumpet picture — I’ve got to dig mine back out one of these days


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