My Dinner with Sarah

A parody in three acts.










directed by FRITZ LANG

music by KURT WEIL

screenplay by AMBROSE BORSCHT

(With apologies to Wallace Shawn, André Gregory,
and other victims to be named later)

Act I

[We see Wally walking grimly along the streets of a great metropolis. His gray top hat is jammed carelessly on his head. With every other step, his walking stick raps the pavement sharply. Above that, and the noise of the city, we hear Wally's voice commenting on the action, as a narrator would. This narrating voice will be labeled "WALLY'S NARRATION" to distinguish it from Wally's dialog]

WALLY'S NARRATION: It was a lapse of judgment caused by insufficient lubrication. There she was on eBay auctioning off a private dinner. The bid was $38,666.66. An almost Biblical amount of cash. Naturally, I assumed she was going to pay the unlucky winner. If only I had taken time to drink it over! And now they tell me I can't get out of it.

[Approaching a restaurant, Wally adjusts his hat and puts on a tie]

WALLY'S NARRATION: Hell hath no fury, they told me. Be as much as my life is worth. I told them it's worth a damn sight less than it was. [He enters the restaurant] Look at this place. I'll bet she sticks me with the bill, too. [Checks his coat, stick, and hat and approaches the headwaiter]

WALLY: Hello. I'm Wilberforce Q. Micawber. I'm here to meet Sarah Palin.

HEADWAITER: You have my condolences.

WALLY: For which calamity?

HEADWAITER [Consulting reservations] The latter. Her party has not yet arrived, but you can wait at the bar if you like.

WALLY: With any luck, it'll be a long wait.

HEADWAITER: Indeed, sir. Follow me.

[Wally follows the headwaiter to the bar and orders a Scotch]

WALLY'S NARRATION: The bar wasn't crowded, which suited me fine. I wanted elbow room.

[Sitting at the bar, Wally stretches his arms and flexes shoulders. He rests his right elbow on the bar, takes a miniature dumbbell from his pocket and drops it in his right hand. His air, throughout, is grave. He begins to lift the dumbbell, raising it toward his mouth. After several repetitions, he turns to a customer who is staring at him]

WALLY: I'm in training.

[The drink comes. Wally puts the dumbbell away and eyes the measure of liquid with a scowl. Sarcastically, he dips a finger in the glass, stirs it, and dabs a little behind each ear. The bartender watches this performance impassively]

WALLY: [to bartender] Keep 'em coming. This liquid gold's going to need a lot of help. [He downs the Scotch]

[Dissolve. Time has passed. Enter Sarah, with entourage, preceded by the headwaiter and a photographer who is walking backwards as she snaps pictures. Sarah is sporting her trademark soccer mom do, but a wavy streak of silver has been added to either side]

SARAH: you know there's as a result of where we are today, too.

[Wally bows his head over his fifth Scotch. The photographer lowers her camera and steps aside]

SARAH [to headwaiter] That's him?

HEADWAITER: Yes, ma'am. I'll see about your tables. [Exits]
SARAH: [to Wally] So, there you are. Didn't you hear me come in?

WALLY: I beg your pardon, madam. I was…praying.

SARAH: Call me Sarah. Everyone does, you know. So, what were you prayin' about?

WALLY: I was thanking the Lord for good liquor.

SARAH: Well, now, where I come from we think liquor's the Devil's brew.

WALLY: That's just what I meant. It was thoughtful of God to invent the Devil.

SARAH: The Good Lord thinks of everything!

WALLY: [mutters] And what he doesn't, the Devil does.

SARAH: What?

WALLY: I said, 'What hedonism the revel was.'

SARAH: Exactly!

[Wally gets to his feet, a little unsteadily. The photographer raises her camera. Sarah abruptly and awkwardly proffers her hand. Wally takes it and looks at it as if he hasn't seen one before]

SARAH: Say 'cheese.'

WALLY: What? …symmetrical digits you have.

SARAH: [removes hand, but looks pleased] Oh, you're not just a teensy bit tipsy now, are ya?

WALLY: I assure you, madam, not nearly enough.

SARAH: [shoulders back] Though I do think I have nice digits, though. And they're one hundred percent how the Good Lord made 'em, too!

WALLY: Really? I didn't know he was in that business.

SARAH: Everything is God's business.

[Enter headwaiter]

WALLY [to no one in particular]: God's a conglomerate? I thought he was a triptych.

HEADWAITER: Your tables are ready, ma'am. [All follow him into the restaurant]

SARAH: Sure hope ya don't mind the crowd. It's the price of celebrity.

WALLY: No, I don't mind. I appreciate their chaperonage.

[They are seated at a table. Most of the entourage is taken to a separate dining room, which dismays Wally. The headwaiter gives them their menus and exits. The photographer stays to take pictures]

SARAH: [posing with Wally] Say 'cheese.'

WALLY: Scotch. [to photographer] How much for the negatives? Never mind. After tonight, I'm broke, anyway.

PHOTOGRAPHER: [hiding a grin behind the camera as she shoots] This is a digital camera.

[Hearing this, Sarah sticks her chest out]

WALLY: Fine. How much for your digits?

SARAH: Oh, now! Don't mind him. He's tipsy.

PHOTOGRAPHER: [takes a few more shots] I think I have enough now. [Teasing Wally] I'll just leave you two alone.

WALLY: Please don't.

PHOTOGRAPHER [Rolls her eyes at Sarah] One woman is never enough for them. [Exits]

SARAH: There, you see what happens? [opens her menu] I sure am hungry. I've had quite a busy day saving the heartland of America.

WALLY: From what?

SARAH: [absently, without looking up] Oh, we'll think of something…

WALLY: [stares at her a moment, then ventures] I've never trusted the liverland, myself. I suspect they're in league with the kidneys. Something must be done.

SARAH: It will be…

[Enter waitress. She is a student, naturally bright and cheerful, but a little subdued by the persona she adopts for work]

WAITRESS: Good evening madam, sir. I'll be your waitress this evening. Are you ready to order?

SARAH: Yesss…I'll think I'll have the tenderized baby fur seal. Oooh! And some foi gras!

WALLY: I'll have a Scotch and soda—without the soda.

SARAH: Oh, now, you've got to have some solid food there. [to waitress] Get him the seal, too.

WALLY: [Starts and grabs at his hat, which is not on his head, so he combs his hand through his hair] No, no! I was just about to order, really. [Pretends to study menu, but is too flustered to read it] I'll have the, uh…tofu…surprise.

WAITRESS: [understanding] Very good, sir.

SARAH: What's that? That doesn't sound like regular American food to me.

WAITRESS: It's made with orphans, ma'am.

SARAH: [dubious] Orphans…?

WALLY: Sure. That's the surprise, you see.

SARAH: Oh…Do they tenderize 'em?

WAITRESS: Yes, ma'am. Very delicate.

SARAH: I think I'll try that then.

WAITRESS: Very good, ma'am. The usual wine?

SARAH: [Stares at her palms and gets up] Sure. I'm just going to go wash my hands, now. [Exits]

WALLY: You don't actually serve baby fur seal.

WAITRESS: No, sir. This is a vegetarian restaurant, but she insists. I believe she thinks her station gives her the right to demand whatever she wants.

WALLY: What do you do?

WAITRESS: We serve her the eggplant parmigiano. She has no idea. As long as she thinks she's eating something that's been bludgeoned to death, she's happy.

[There is a pause as both of them look in the direction of Sarah's exit]

WALLY: What about the foi gras?

WAITRESS: It's faux gras, sir. Chick peas and coconut oil, mostly.

[They continue to stare]

WAITRESS: She's almost innocent, in a way. Like a cat. Except that high office is in no danger from Twaddles.

WALLY: Your cat? I'd be less alarmed if it was.

WAITRESS: Twaddles can talk. In fact, she prattles. She's completely amoral, of course, but then she's a cat.

WALLY: I wish I was having dinner with Twaddles.

WAITRESS: You'd like her. Will you have your drink before dinner?

WALLY: Make it a double. And leave out twice as much soda.

WAITRESS: Understood. [Exits]

[Off stage, a piano begins to play a medley of Kurt Weil songs]

WALLY: [to himself] Orphans! I could kiss her feet.

WALLY'S NARRATION: Old lech. It's not just her feet you want to kiss. I never thought much about politics. Who does? All I wanted was a roof over head and a well-stocked liquor cabinet. And the roof was optional. I knew enough about Palin to have been mystified so many people voted for that ticket—if it hadn't been so painfully easy to guess the answer. It's funny. A man can live a long time and still be a sucker. Not know a rigged game when he sees one. Be fool enough to wish himself young.

[A waiter from the bar brings a large glass of whiskey, which Wally regards with something like satisfaction until Sara returns to the table. Then he drinks half at once]

SARAH: I sure hope the food gets here soon. I'm starving! And I don't have all night, either.

WALLY: [brightens, raises his glass briefly and takes a generous swallow] No, you're quite a busy woman.

SARAH: I sure am! That's why I had to step down. I'm just too darn busy to give Alaskans the attention to details kind of governing they deserve.

WALLY: The lecture circuit is incredibly time-consuming.

SARAH: Exactly! I had to think of bigger things. America has to be saved from the menace of liberalized socialism that's trying to destroy it!

WALLY: Capitalism can do a much better job.

SARAH: It certainly can. Why, it's good old American competition that's made this country the greatest freedom of personal responsibility it is today.

WALLY: [eying her] Have you heard about the undeath panels?


WALLY: The government will decide when your doctor can issue a death certificate. Bureaucrats holding up the process for years. Meanwhile, people can't die. Open their heads up and brainwash 'em. Millions of socialist zombies wandering the streets. And if one of them bites you—

SARAH: You turn into a zombie!

WALLY: Worse. A socialist!

SARAH: [Appalled, fumbles in her purse] I've got to post this right away!

[The waitress arrives with a plate of faux gras, a carafe of some purplish liquid, wine glasses and—Wally notes with approval—a replacement for his drink]

WALLY: You are a friend in deed.

SARAH: [thumbing] "How do you spell zombie?"

WAITRESS: Two "O"s. [begins to set table] Your wine, ma'am, and a refreshment for the gentleman. The other glass is water, sir.

WALLY: Thanks for warning me. What about the wine?

WAITRESS: [lowers voice] It's Kool-aid. With a bit of grain alcohol.

WALLY: I've drunk worse.

WAITRESS: In better company, I'm sure.

WALLY: Indeed, it was. A loaf of bread, a jug of Mad Dog 20/20, and a companion who could spell "zombie." Taught me how to spell a few things, too. [Looks at her] Never regret your youthful follies. That's the best time for 'em.

WAITRESS: I plan on being quite foolish tomorrow.

WALLY: Tell your boyfriend I hate him.

WAITRESS: Girlfriend, actually.

WALLY: That's all right. I'm an egalitarian envier.

WAITRESS: In that case, I'll tell her. [touches his shoulder and exits]

[The piano starts to play "Mack the Knife." Sarah is still earnestly thumbing her phone. Wally looks worriedly at her and mutters]

WALLY: What have I done? [Takes a drink]

WALLY'S NARRATION: I was worried, but not much. What was she texting? Never mind. I hoped it was an epic in tweets. The cost of dinner had me a damned sight more worried, and I was running up a bar tab, too—at least that was money well spent, except I still knew where I was…I hadn't thought about that picnic with Dianne for…food's simple when you're young, everything is. Only love is complicated, but you don't know that, yet. Then one day you find yourself eating haute cuisine with a turnip, and all the wine has turned into Kool-aid.

[The piano continues a while, slow melancholy, then breaks off in mid chorus]

End of Act I


Creative Commons License
Contents by William M. Alam and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Based on work at