(OPE-L) "I am not now, nor have I ever been, an 'economist!" ( a play in 1 act)

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sun Mar 21 2004 - 17:59:13 EST

                     AN 'ECONOMIST'!"

                                         (a play in 1 act)


                                      Jerry Levy

Year:        2003

Location:   Condominium in the Upper East Side of  Manhattan.

Roles:       Sara Burnett,  psychology professor at Columbia University,
                     age 45
                  Harold Goldstein,  senior reporter and editor working for 
                    _The New York Times_,  age 46
                  Melinda Goldstein, age 14 (daughter of Sara and Harold)
                  Richard Lewis, 'economics' professor at Brown University,
                     age 46

Disclaimer:  This is a fictional work and any resemblance to any actual
characters, whether living or dead, is unintended.


(doorbell rings. Melinda goes to door and looks through peephole.)

Melinda:   Who is it?

Richard:   It's Richard.  Richard Lewis.

(Melinda opens door. Melinda turns and yells).


Richard to Melinda: I can't believe how big you are. When I saw
you last you were in the Second Grade.  How long have you had
that Mohawk?

(Melinda laughs.)

Melinda: About a month.  Mom and Dad HATE it! 

Richard:  Well, I remember when your Mom ...

(Sara and Harold enter the room. Each of them embraces 

Sara:  It's so good to see you again.  When was the last time we
saw you last?

Harold:  June, 1982 when we were all at M.I.T. together.

Richard:  That seems like such a long time ago.

Melinda:  That WAS a long time ago!


Sara to Richard:  I hope you like Indian food.

Richard:  I love Indian food. It's hard to get  in New England.
The closest Indian restaurant is in Hyannis on Cape Cod.

Melinda (enthusiastically):  We're having Mushroom Sag.

Harold (said with resigned disapproval):  Mel is going through
a vegetarian phase.

Melinda:  It's NOT a phase.

Sara: Let's all sit down at the dinner table.  

(all three move to dining room.)

Harold to Richard:  Can I offer you something to drink?

Richard:  Scotch would be good if you have it.

(Harold goes over to cabinet and  pours shots into
3 glasses.  He hands one to Richard. Then he places 
one glass next to the seat where Sara will sit.)

Melinda to Harold: Hey, what about me?

Harold: Not a chance. 

(Richard and Harold laugh.)

(The door from the kitchen opens and Sara enters carrying
a large tray. She places the food on the table and everyone
takes a seat.)

(Richard raises shot glass in air.)

Richard:  To the Revolution!

(laughter. Sara and Harold take sip out of glass while Richard
finishes his shot at once with a flourish.)

Melinda:  Far out!

(several trays of food are passed around.  For a time there is
silence as everyone savor the meal.)

Melinda:  Great Sag Mom!

Harold:  Yes, your Indian cooking is getting a lot better.

(nervous laughter)

Richard:  I thought _Harold_ used to be the cook.

Sara: That was BEFORE we got married.

Melinda to Richard:  Mom and Dad told me that you were all 
graduate students at M.I.T. together.

Richard: Yes, and we were all activists and revolutionaries
together as well.

Melinda: C-o-o-o-l.

Harold:  A lot has changed since those days.

Richard:  That's true.  Now YOU are a BOURGEOIS journalist.


Melinda:  Oops.

Sara:  Well, back in the days none of us thought that you 
would become an ECONOMIST.

Richard (with emphasis):  I am not now, nor have I EVER been an

Sara:  I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend.

Melinda:  I'm confused.  Mom and Dad said you were a Professor
of Economics at Brown University. Isn't that true?

Richard:  Only in a nominal sense.

Melinda:  You mean you don't teach economics courses at Brown?

(Harold leaves the table and returns with the opened bottle of Johnny 
Walker Black Label.  He refills Richard's shot glass.)

Harold to Sara: Honey, would you like some more?

Sara: No, thank you.  I'm Okay.

(Harold sits down.) 

Harold:  What brings you to New York?

Richard:  Like I told Sara over the phone, I am presenting a paper 
at the annual meetings of the Eastern Economics Association.

Melinda: But, isn't that a conference for ...

(Sara interrupts Melinda shaking her head disapprovingly.)

Sara:  Richard, would you like coffee and desert?

Richard:  Yes, please.  Milk, no sugar.

Sara:  Harold, would you like some as well.

Harold: Yes, please.

Melinda: Me too.

(Sara leaves room and enters kitchen.)

Harold:  Do you come to the meetings of the Eastern
Economics Association regularly?

Richard: Some times. It's the first time in several years
that I attended the EEA meetings.

Harold: So, you are a member of the EEA?

Richard:  Yes, I belong to the EEA, the AEA, and URPE.

Melinda:  AEA? URPE?  You lost me.

Richard:  The American Economics Association and the 
Union for Radical Political Economics.

Melinda:  But, ...

(Harold interrupts.) 

Harold: Sara told me that you published several papers since
we talked last.

Richard:  Yes, I published a paper on the 'reduction problem' 
in the _Cambridge Journal of Economics_,   an empirical study
on the falling rate of profit in New Zealand in _Research in 
Political Economy_ and a critique of Sanuelson's Revealed
Preference Theory in the _Quarterly Journal of Economics_.

(Sara enters room with 4 cups of coffee and  4 small
plates of cake.)

(Melinda gulps coffee and inhales cake.)

Richard:  What's the rush?

Melinda: I want to check my e-mail.  Are you online?

Richard:  Oh, yes.  I'm active in the Progressive Economists
Network,  the Post-Keynesian Thought list, and (turning to
Sara) 'fem-econ' -- a mailing list for feminist economists.

(Melinda shakes her head. She wanted to say something to
Richard but she can see by her mother's facial expressions that
she doesn't want Melinda to reply.)

Melinda:  Excuse me please.  I'll be back in a few minutes.

(Melinda leaves room).

Sara: It's never a 'few minutes' when Melinda is on the Internet.


Richard to Sara:  So, I understand you teach BOURGEOIS psychology?

(nervous laughter by Sara and Harold.)

Sara:  You can say that if you want. I don't see it as 'bourgeois psychology.' 
I teach psychology because I am a psychologist just as you teach economics 
because you are a economist.  What's the difference?

Richard:  I am not an economist.

Harold (who is now visibly intoxicated): So, let me see ... you are a
Professor of Economics in the Economics Department at Brown,
you are here in New York to present a paper to an annual meeting of 
economists,  you belong to several professional associations of
economists,  you publish in journals for and by economists,  you
belong to several Internet lists for economists ... but you are NOT
an economist?

(Tension around the table.)

Richard:  You just don't understand.

Harold to Richard: Can I get you another glass of Scotch.

Richard:  No, thank you.  I've had enough.

Sara: Harold, dear,  you've had enough as well. 

(Richard stands.)  

Richard:  I really should be getting back to the Hyatt
Hotel -- it's getting late.

Sara: It was SO good to see you again.  It's good to see
that you haven't changed a bit.

Harold:  Yes, indeed.  It was great to see you again.  
Please let us know when you will be coming back to the
City again.

Richard:  I will!

(Richard hugs Sara and shakes hands with and then hugs 

Richard:  Thanks again.  Tell Mel I said goodbye.

(Harold opens door.)

Richard: Good night.

Sara and Harold (in unison): Good night!  

Sara: Take care.

(Harold closes door.)

Sara:  Well, I'm glad that's over.

Harold:  Was he such a pretentious asshole when he was in 
grad school?

(Sara laughs but does not reply.)

                                  THE END


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