Scene: the car park outside The National Museum of Nationalism. Metal and Dark are sat in their car.
Metal: I don’t want to pay! I didn’t know you had to pay to get in — Surely that’s not right! Maybe it’s just foreigners who have to pay.
Dark: Foreigners shouldn’t have to pay. They shouldn’t be allowed in.
Metal: I don’t mind them being allowed in. But maybe they should have their own allotted time. Like between 11pm and midnight on every third Wednesday.
Dark: I think an hour would be too long. Give them half an hour at most.
[Enter, descending from the skies in a brilliant silvery cloud and to the sound of a trumpeted fanfare, and landing on the roof of the car, the Angel of Tolerance & Niceness]
Dark: Did you just hear a noise? It sounded like something landed on the roof of the car.
[The Angel of Tolerance & Niceness leans down to peer, face upside down, through the windshield.]
The Angel of Tolerance & Niceness: Do you fellows need something to do?
Metal: What the fuck?
Dark: Did you call us “fellows”?
Angel of T & N: I want to share a thought with you, which is that bigotry is fuelled by frustration. I think you boys are frustrated.
Dark: Now we’re boys?
Metal: Where are you from, weirdo? You’re not from this country. I can tell by your accent and the way you hang upside down.
Angel of T & N: I’ll bet you have some talents which, if employed, would give you a sense of worth — and the result would be —
[Two Pakistani women who are sanitation workers at the Museum approach]
Divela: Hey — mister — are those wings real?
Angel of T & N: Good day, sweet damsels. I am so happy to answer any questions you may have. In fact, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a good Q&A session.
Dark: Sweet damsels? Who is this guy?
Divela: So, what about the wings? Are they real or not?
Angel of T & N: Well, to be honest, my Jewel of Asia, I have to say Yes, they are real, and No, they’re not.
Afsheen: What do you mean by that?
Angel of T & N: It’s all a matter of perception. Cognition. Awareness. A question of how one perceives something or someone. I’m talking about point of view. Interpretation. Opinion. Belief, even.
Metal: I have an opinion. I think you should get off our roof.
Angel of T & N: Oh yes, I probably should.
[With a flapping of wings he descends to the ground.]
Divela: Anyway, they’re nice wings, real or not. That was a good flap.
Angel of T & N: Thank you. But I came here to make a point to these two bozos.
Dark: Hey, who are you calling bozos?
Angel of T & N: You and your friend. I was saying, wasn’t I? How bigotry is fueled by frustration.
Afsheen: Right on, bro.
Divela: Spot on!
Afsheen: I’ve never seen two more frustrated looking guys as those two…..
Divela: Looks like they were born frustrated.
Dark: Hey, who are you calling frustrated?
Metal: We’re not frustrated. We’re just not happy with our lot, is all. And I don’t mind telling you, when I say “our lot” it’s just a figure of speech, because our lot isn’t much at all.
Angel of T & N: The trick is to be satisfied with one’s lot and to be happy that others have their own lot too. I have leaflets on the topic. Perhaps you would like to take one for reading in your own time…..?
[He reaches under a wing and pulls out a batch of leaflets.]
Dark: I do like leaflets. I’ve always liked them. Maybe it’s just the word. Leaflets.
Metal: Dark, don’t be a putz. This angel guy is conning you.
Dark: Putz is an interesting term.
Divela: Due to racial difference, you young men can’t even notice that we are beautiful.
Afsheen: And so we are going home. Goodbye, bozos.
Dark: Everybody has an epithet. But wait — girls –
Divela: Take a hike!
Afsheena: Yeah, we’re going. We have white man’s drains to block and urinals to sabotage. So we need our rest.
Metal: Let’s get outta here. There’s a Mahler concert at the Municipal Hall. We can catch it if we hurry.
Dark: Mahler? He’s a foreigner, isn’t he?
Angel of T & N [to himself]: I don’t know why I bother.
[He flaps his wings, ascends into the sky and disappears. A feather falls from a wing and settles upon the tarmac of the car park, unnoticed.]
© Mark Halliday & Martin Stannard, 2015
Illustration Nick Victor