Or, Revolution Up In Smoke


MISTER MARLBORO........Head of the Famed Flags of Flame
DOCTOR VITALE..............Health and Safety Agent of the State


The single scene takes place in a room for arresting and sanitizing officials in a society that is ruled by an oligarchy of scientists, artists, doctors and educators. They had to develop hard and fast rules to protect the people from themselves. The last and most difficult scourge to eliminate from their civilization was tobacco smoking. That is why this interrogation in front a live audience of witnesses, taped and broadcast, is the pivotal one. The infamous "Mister Marlboro" has finally been caught and brought to the Cleansing Room of Decision.

When the curtain opens the stage is dark. There is the sound of a door opening and the click of a light-switch and floodlight coming on. It lights only a man (who happens to be Mister Marlboro) sitting at a table which has only a soiled glass ashtray on it. There is another man standing, wearing a white lab-coat, who moves in and out of the ambient light. Suddenly the standing Doctor Vitale leans in close becoming lighted himself next to the "patient."

DOCTOR: Your smoke signals gave you away--- the lingering stench that could be be found out by someone with the worst adenoids on the planet. It not only poisons the body and the mind, (Picking up the ashtray and putting it close to Marlboro's face.) but the clean beauty of our perfect paradise. (Vitale's face changes from stern to kind while beginning to walk in circles around the table and Marlboro.) But, you know how we yearn to bring benevolence as well as justice to every individual, opportunity for a life term instead of death is offered -- be a spokesman for our way of life, by recanting the nicotine rebellion openly in front of millions!

MARLBORO: (Puts hand to his mouth with an imaginary cigar.) Eh, what's up Doc? Maybe you could also take smoke and blow it out your ass! I wouldn't be the mouthpiece for your antiquated, antiseptic, anti-liberty Atlantis. Even if I was dying of cancer, I would raise even higher the Tobacco Torch against Tyranny!

DOCTOR: Your incendiary pell mell Pall Mall philosophy, will be purged from our world. You think that liberty is uniquely your bell to ring.

MARLBORO: (Sings.) You can ring my bell......, ring my bell . (Shouts.) LSMFT, MF! (Starts singing) Winstons taste good like a cigarette should. ♫ (Emits calmly.) And they are mild.

DOCTOR: (Turning to face the audience.) I believe we've heard enough, esteemed ladies and gentlemen. This obstacle to the Oligarchy must be obliterated, obviously. (Swiveling toward the rebel.) Before the eradication procedure, do you have that obligatory last request?

MARLBORO: Yeah. (He looks lovingly at the ashtray.) Hot damn yeah, I'm dying for a cigarette!


NOTE: The play may be gender modified, naturally. Also, FYI, this was not funded by any tobacco company. I once smoked, but I quit. I enjoyed English Ovals and Players Navy Cut, ooh boy the combo of Virginia and Turkish tobaccos. I smoked a pipe, too. Love those Dunhill brands. But, when I was a big beer drinker, I became hooked on menthols. Then non-menthols tasted like soap, go figure. I recommend a course of action, too, that eventually phases out les fumes from your life. However, cigarettes should be treated like outdoor barbeque, in my opinion. Over-charbroiling meat can cause cancer, too. But, one wants to live now, too. Caveat Emptor.