--Note. Jonathan Wolfman is a character in this play, but in this play, he is a completely fictional character. I know very little about Mr. Wolfman, other than that he has a radio show. 

SCENE: In the corner of a city apartment, Jonathan Wolfman sits at a computer desk, which serves as his recording studio and online radio station. Sitting next to him is a striking gentleman, with a head of snow white hair and wearing a well-tailored suit, who sips tea from a china cup. He politely waits, and listens to the show as it unfolds. After reading a few short stories for his listeners, Mr. Wolfman indicates silently to the old man that their interview is about to begin.



Now, I'd like to come to the highlight of today's show. A few days ago, I was amused to receive a few electronic communications from a person who claimed he was, or rather, is-- Boris Yeltsin-- I'm not joking-- alive as can be, and that, furthermore, that he wanted to appear with me on this online radio broadcast, to announce his reintroduction into the political arena.  This morning, when I agreed to meet him in a coffee shop, I thought I must be dreaming, for this gentleman, in every respect, resembles the late Boris Yeltsin, and frankly, though I still refuse to believe it, I have found what the man has to say is convincing enough to create some kind of de facto reincarnation. What purpose this all will serve I have still not completely decided, I must tell you. But let it begin! I am confident that my friend promises to be-- entertaining, to say the least.



Thank you so very much, Mr. Wolfman, for allowing me to enter this, your private domain, and to permit me to express opinions which I have been forced to keep to myself for so many years. It is not easy, these days, to convince anyone in the media to give me an interview at all. Thank you, Mr. Wolfman, and I am truly grateful.



Well, I suppose, Mr. Yeltsin,  perhaps you should explain to our listeners just how you are here at all-- in the flesh,  considering the fact that it is well known that you died in 2007, of congestive heart failure. And certainly there are many of us who read about your quadruple heart bypass, a few years previous to your demise.



First, of all, let us relax a little. Please feel free to call me Boris.  And I would like to call you Jonathan, if I may. The stories of my death are, as one expresses it, highly exaggerated. I did not die. I didn't really have any heart problems, either. Everything that the newspapers, the official information sources provided by the state, were completely false.  I was asked to step down, and the fabrication of my death was a civilized way to accomplish this. In Russia, we were no longer so crude as to require assassinations and disappearances, and the like. Sadly, that is not the case, in today’s Russia. I formed an unfortunate partnership with Mr. Putin, as you all know, and his ascent to power is undeniably a reversal of my legacy, and a detriment to my current personal safety, which until now was secure. The reason I am willing to risk my personal security, is that I feel that there is a movement that is threatening this country, and that if something is not done, is not said—it will mean the end of Democracy.



But this is America, and I don’t see how any of the events in the USSR for the past century could have any bearing on what we say and do here. I look at the city around me, it’s Chicago, but in this changing inner city where I live I see all kinds of beauty—of the past, of the old neighborhoods lending a historic patina to the new communities that are being created, and it gives me a lot of satisfaction,  just to live in this town. And, that this inner beauty is something that cannot die. I can't make any comparisons with that and Russia, without letting a lot of that go. All I usually think about, when Russia comes to mind, is the ghost of Stalin. By the way, if you really are Yeltsin, you must be frightfully old. You don’t seem to have aged very much, from the man you were when you passed out of the public sphere.




 I’ll give you a hint about my good health-- it all involves magnetism. Someday, your scientific community will start to realize  the beneficial effects of electromagnetic radiation on all living things. Everything we do has been already studied and rejected by your scientists, as quackery and fiction. But I think that your listeners might be willing hear me out, when I explain how the differences between the Russian State and the United States are now merely differences in perception.



I suppose you might have a few things to say about Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a socialist. What would you do, that is different from what he says he would do?



First of all, I would say that a politician cannot do what he does, and still be an idealist. If Mr. Sanders had been able to convince most of the American people to vote for him, that would have been a most interesting thing. But he would have been forced to do what I did, and spend all of his time crushing all the fat cats balls, just to stay on top. I managed to create the first vestiges of capitalism in the Russian State, but it was more difficult, in my opinion, to try to control the obscenely rich, the oligarchs, than it was to control the politically ambitious. If America is to escape certain doom, it will need a man with experience with this kind of control. And I mean a man, not that Hillary woman. She is entirely not capable of that kind of control. My administration kept key people in charge of finances, banks, everything. Your system is just the opposite of that. You permit the rich to control themselves. This is a perversion of the whole concept of government. You don’t understand that they will flay everyone alive before they give a penny that would advance the cause of the People.



Well, I suppose Vladimir Putin is exerting that kind of control. And I don’t think he is helping the People, as you say it, very much at all.



He is only able to control the oligarchs by becoming one of them, only richer than they are. And he thinks he is going to win out over the West, by beating you at your own game. But it is corrupting, to be so rich. So you see, he will spend the rest of his days with mistresses and expensive toys, until he is too feeble minded to notice that someone is about to bump him off. He’ll get the Gulag, but a plush one. At least until they find out how to separate him from all his wealth. That is why I have a better handle on the whole situation. As the French say, “J’ai du nez!” You need someone who will relentlessly squeeze them by the testicles, until they start to capitulate. Ha ha! Make the capitalists capitulate! Tell me that doesn’t please you, the idea of Mr. Trump and Mr. Romney crying for mercy, as you tax them to obscurity!



I should hope that the American People would want these men treated with more respect than that, despite their obvious transgressions.



Oh, it won’t be for long, that they feel that kind of sentiment. I have noticed, that a lot of them, I mean the super-rich, are becoming increasingly paranoid. They keep talking about the End of Days, and how the rich will survive. As soon as this paranoia consumes them, they will soon earn everyone’s hatred.



Let’s take a little break now, for a commercial interruption. We’ll be back shortly, so keep us dialed, and listen to the music! He turns the microphone off.

I play this tape here, and a local real estate company pays me pretty well for each time I air their ad. They are remodeling the strip mall next door. We’ll have a Starbucks, and a Trader Joes. I won’t miss that Asian store. I hate the idea of eating pickled fish. Yuck!



I was becoming curious about how you make ends meet, even though I can see you are thrifty and hard working. Glad to hear you have a going concern, with this internet venture.



I want to tell you, Boris, that maybe you should tone it down. I would say that we have a lot of listeners who may be socialists, but they might easily be offended by outright revolutionary thoughts.



I find it amusing that Americans can walk around carrying rifles and defying the agents of the government, but when you talk about taxing the rich, that’s when you start freaking out.


A knock at the door, and Jonathan rises and answers. A young woman enters, bringing coffee shop drinks and pastries. She has short, dark hair, and is wearing sports casual clothing. She is tall and athletic-looking, but her expression is overly serious, perhaps to hide her moods.


Hi! Brought you refreshments. You can treat me later. Is this the guy, I mean the Russian?



Oh thanks. Boris, this is, forgive me, my right hand gal, Sheila,  who helps me take care of all the loose ends that bog me down, when I am trying to put on the show. Isn’t it amazing! I mean the resemblance.




Delighted. He stands, and kisses her hand.



He’s Russian, that’s for sure. I’ve met lots of Russians. I’ll be next door. Just give me a ring, if you need me.



A nice woman, I must say, despite her, um, masculine appearance. I could help you make acquaintances with the females that are available to me, as a former political figure.



I’m not really welcoming that offer, but thanks, anyway. Just what other services do you currently have at your disposal? Can you take a trip into space, incognito, just for your enjoyment?



Actually, I am not permitted much, in the way of travel. This is something that I complain about constantly, to no avail. I have not been able to bathe in the waters of the Black Sea, or ascend the Eiffel tower. A decade of armchair travel is nothing to brag about.



At least you have a nice little bunch of hoes, to keep you and your friends happy.




He stands up abruptly, walks over to Wolfman, and strikes him roughly on the shoulder. That’s completely false! You are more of an idiot that I thought you could be!

--The men start shoving each other, and finally Yelsin grasps Wolfman’s throat with two heavy hands. He is clearly the stronger of the two men. Just then, Sheila enters the apartment, and quickly overpowers both men. She seems to know some kind of martial art. 



Now you are both acting like Russians. You should be enjoying your differences, not eliminating them. Now, make peace, you two. I can get physical.



Madam, I underestimated you. And, I must say, that is truly Democratic, the saying you just made, I mean about appreciation. Mr. Wolfman, I mean Jonathan, I am sorry. I seem to have been touching a few sore points. I hope you will let us continue. I still have a lot to say. I haven’t really begun.



I was the crude one. I’ll give you more time, Boris.  But I hope it’s good. My show needs more good stuff. I really hope you have that in you.


Stage fades out then fades in, same scene. Yeltsin is standing, holding a microphone, and orating, as if he were giving a speech to a live audience. It is unclear whether he knows the difference between an internet radio station, and the commercial media.



...and this is why I have chosen to reenter politics, which was the real world, to me, in every way. I single-handedly defied the Supreme Soviet, and they cowered in my presence, knowing how I was the true representative of the People. Not them. They who were caught up in their private privileges, their kickbacks from industry, their mistresses, and their nepotism.

Today, in the United States, I see the same situation. Your Congress is the most corrupt in your nation’s history. You need more than an easing, a perestroika. Capitalism is no longer the answer. I enforced the advancement of capitalism, as superior to Communist control of the Russian economic system. You no longer enjoy capitalism. It is a kind of Communism. Just a few, pulling all the strings. Working people, leading meaningless lives. The press, a sham which pretends to the ideas of journalism.

At this point of my life, I can imagine no better thing to do, but to offer my services to the American public, to try to restore the ideal America which I once admired. I am fully qualified to do this. I have secretly been an American citizen for many years, and I have the papers to prove it. I have the wisdom and the expertise to accomplish what needs to be done. The people of America will soon learn who I am, what I have to say, and that I, more than anyone else on earth, am willing to fight the powers that be, and bring about all the changes that need to be made!



Clapping, with Sheila, who also enthusiastically hoots. Well, that about wraps up today’s show, folks. Thanks to Mr. Boris Yeltsin, and good luck to him. He really says it like it is, we think. Until next time, this is Jonathan Wolfman, with the New Inner City Show. He turns off the microphone. Well, that was an inspiring speech. Do you feel that you said it all?



I’m just feeling a little sad. So much to say, and not much time. May I ask, where is the bathroom here?



To your right. Boris leaves. Well, maybe he’ll actually get a few votes.       



At least, two!



(Returning to the room) I forgot to tell you, I have a few books which I have written, since my exile. Thoughts I have had about the world, which would like to share, at long last. Lots of insight which I alone can make. It might be revolutionary, to say the least. There are wheels and wheels that you know nothing about, in this world. It might make some very interesting material, if you would be so kind as to invite me again. I can do much more than pontificate. I have facts.


Just then, a loud knocking is heard, from the front door of Wolfman’s apartment. The door is suddenly opened with force, and several men dressed in black  suits, wearing fedoras and sunglasses, and carrying assault rifles, enter the room. The grab BORIS ,and remove him from the room. One of them remains,  and with his rifle, destroys Wolfman’s computer. Wolfman and Sheila sit in a corner, shaking with fear.   



If you know what’s good for you, this never happened. Or, I’ll be back again. You look like reasonable people. That’s all we ask of people. Just be reasonable. 


Scene. Fadeout into darkness.  



Views: 72

Comment by koshersalaami on October 11, 2016 at 3:58pm

The real Sheila has long hair

Comment by nerd cred on October 11, 2016 at 4:43pm

They didn't wipe their memories?

Comment by Steven Bridenbaugh on October 11, 2016 at 6:57pm

If there really is a Sheila, I suppose I must say that my Sheila is completely fictional. At least as fictional as my Wolfman is. My men in black resemble, but are not the same as the men in black from the movie with the same name. More like Pulp Fiction, as I imagine it. 

Comment by koshersalaami on October 12, 2016 at 8:02am

I was kidding. I've met Jonathan. Jonathan is who brought me to blogging. In case you're curious, he's based in Maryland in the suburbs of Washington, DC. 

Comment by Steven Bridenbaugh on October 12, 2016 at 9:22am

It was hard enough to get the facts on Yeltsin. I'm not sure, even now, if the facts jive. Of course, that is what fiction is for. It's OK to use a few factoids.


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