A Journal of The Plague Year, And Other Tales

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Waiting For Biden

Waiting For Biden

(Two men. VLADIMIR sits on a small sand dune next to a cactus, tapping at the screen of a smartphone and squinting at it. ESTRAGON paces the stage.)

ESTRAGON: Has anything happened? Did he win?

VLADIMIR: Don’t ask when you know the answer.

ESTRAGON: Nearly finished, at least?

VLADIMIR: As near as ever. They say he’s on the brink of victory.

ESTRAGON: Like yesterday.

VLADIMIR: Exactly like yesterday. And the day before that and the day before and all the other days as far back as I can remember.

ESTRAGON: What do we do now?

VLADIMIR: There’s nothing to be done. Then again, there’s nothing else to think about. We check the news. Reuters, The Associated Press, The New York Times. Time and time over.

ESTRAGON: Why?

VLADIMIR: To stare for hours on end at the vote tallies in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania. To fret over whether Biden is losing ground or pulling ahead. To wonder why the ballots are always 99% counted, or 98% counted, and why they’re never quite done.

ESTRAGON: Do you ever wonder if your screen has frozen?

VLADIMIR: That, or time has frozen. Either way, it makes no difference. Nothing changes.

ESTRAGON: What did Biden say?

VLADIMIR: He says to be patient and wait.

ESTRAGON: How long has it been now? A week? A month?

VLADIMIR: Since when?

ESTRAGON: Since the time when we weren’t obsessed with all this.

VLADIMIR: I can’t remember a time when we weren’t obsessed with all this.

ESTRAGON: Did they count any votes at all today?

VLADIMIR: Let me see, now. Oh, yes. AP says they managed to count a vote in Allegheny County. The ballot of one Ena B. Thurman – a widow. But then a Republican election observer took it and said it is was fraudulent. She had voted Democrat, you see …

ESTRAGON: … that was reckless of her …

VLADIMIR: … and they all went to the county court to argue whether the judge should discount it. And the judge examined it and threw it in the trash and he gave Widow Thurman a month in jail for mailing in an invalid vote.

ESTRAGON: And then they went back to counting?

VLADIMIR: No. Then lawyers for the other side took the trash can to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court where the Chief Justice fished out the ballot paper and held it high and made a stirring speech saying that this vote, the birth right of a free citizen, must stand.

ESTRAGON: And they counted her vote?

VLADIMIR: Certainly, they did. But it happened that the judge had fished out an empty cigarette packet by mistake, so they marked her vote for Philip Morris. But electoral justice had been done. Something to be proud of.

ESTRAGON: Did they go back and count more votes afterwards?

VLADIMIR: No. It had been a long day and everyone was tired.

ESTRAGON: Will they count again tomorrow?

VLADIMIR: For sure. It is their sworn and sacred duty. It is all they have ever done.

ESTRAGON: And eventually they will count the last ballot? Before we die?

VLADIMIR: Or reject it. Or mislay it. And then they will go back and re-count the lot.

ESTRAGON: And then it will all be over?

VLADIMIR: No. Then the litigation begins.

(Enter RUDY, with a leash around his neck, followed by TRUMP holding it.)

TRUMP: STOP THE COUNT! I’VE WON ALREADY! I HEREBY CLAIM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN!

ESTRAGON: Listen! He says somebody’s won.

VLADIMIR: He’s lying.

ESTRAGON: Who is he?

VLADIMIR: A candidate.

TRUMP: BIDEN CRIME FAMILY! SO CORRUPT! STEALING THE ELECTION! I’LL SUE IN THE SUPREME COURT!

(Yanks Rudy’s leash)

SUE, PIG!

RUDY (in a loud, rapid, relentless monotone): Ex parte Trump v Michigan … Trump v Arizona … Trump v Maine … Trump v Touraine, Lorraine and Aquitaine … hereby and hereunder, inasmuch and hereto … ballots mailed post-election day, posted post-haste, mailed un-postmarked, postmark not dated … folded, spindled or otherwise mutilated … in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada … the green, green hills of Nevada … we hereby claim, henceforth and herewith … ballot dumps in Atlanta and Detroit … fraudulent and egregious … Trump v Tourette’s … Democrat ballot dumps at four in the morning in the green, spindled hills of Nevada … grounds for dismissal, grounds for a re-count, grounds to strike out, to strike down and strike off … to fold, spindle and utterly mutilate … to grind out and grind down … grounds for Groundhog Day in the spindled, mutilated green hills of Nevada …

(TRUMP and RUDY exit, with RUDY still litigating. A boy enters.)

VLADIMIR: Did Biden send you?

BOY: Yes, sir.

VLADIMIR: What is his message?

BOY: He says to wait until tomorrow.

ESTRAGON: Will he have won by then?

BOY: He didn’t say, sir.

VLADIMIR: Or will the court cases have ended, perhaps?

BOY: He didn’t say that either, sir. He couldn’t possibly. He only says to be patient and wait.

VLADIMIR: Nothing to be done.

ESTRAGON: Let’s go.

VLADIMIR: Let’s go.

(Nobody moves)

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