During my years as a hard-bitten newspaper-man, I rarely had time for culture. But after a court order forced my retirement, at last I was free to indulge in artistic pursuits and to pen gripping works of drama. With that in mind, I now present to you my latest play in two acts, The Happy Bed-Chamber.
MR. SWEEBUL, elderly invalid plutocrat
BLANDISH, his faithful man-servant
NURSE, his mechanical ro-bot nurse
THE IRON LUNG, his mechanical breathing device
PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON, leader of the Republic
(ACT 1. A vast but ill-lit and urine-smelling bed-chamber. MR. SWEEBUL is in his bed, being cared for by NURSE. Enter BLANDISH.)
BLANDISH: Forgive my intrusion, sir, but I have a cable here from the President of the United States.
SWEEBUL: Wilson? What in the name of God does he want?
BLANDISH: Nothing specific, sir, but he does mention that he will be visiting the Estate to-day to give you something special.
SWEEBUL: I do hope it is a vial of Dr. Klimpt's Poultry Liniment, as my anus is as hot as Hades and burning-red besides, and it will soothe it.
BLANDISH: Very good, sir.
(ACT 2. The bed-chamber again. SWEEBUL still abed, with NURSE attending. Enter BLANDISH.)
BLANDISH: Sir, the President.
(Exit BLANDISH. Enter PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON.)
WILSON: Sweebul, old stick, how the devil are you?
SWEEBUL: Get down to brass tacks, Wilson, I'm a busy man.
WILSON: I myself cannot tarry, as I must capture that wretched Pancho Villa. In the meanwhile, here is a small gift to you from me, with my warmest compliments.
(WILSON hands SWEEBUL a small, gaily-wrapped box. With great difficulty, SWEEBUL manages to lift the lid.)
SWEEBUL: A vial of Dr. Klimpt's Poultry Liniment! Glory be! My anus shall be as smooth as velvet once again!