A 10 minute play about the corruption of the Trump administration.
|The Greatest Con of All Time By Xavier Damon
Cast of Characters:
VINNY THE COLON
SETTING: (A small room. Nothing noteworthy. There is a desk with a chair behind it and a chair in front of it.)
AT RISE: (The CON DON sits in the chair behind the desk. FRANKY FIZZ enters the room.)
FRANKY FIZZ: Hey, boss, you wanted to see me?
CON DON: That I do, go on, sit down.
FRANKY FIZZ: (walks and sits on the chair in front of the desk) What did you want to see me about?
CON DON: I’ve come up with a new scheme, a new con that should make us a lot of money.
FRANKY FIZZ: You know I like the sound of that. So what’s the con?
CON DON: Oh, a little something I’ve been hatching. The con is we go to a bank and ask them to give us a massive loan.
FRANKY FIZZ: Alright, what’s next?
CON DON: We take the money and put it into a bank account under a different name, a bank account of one Lester Charles.
FRANKY FIZZ: O.k.
CON DON: Lester Charles of course doesn’t exist. He’s a ghost. But, we will have full access to Mr. Lester Charles’ bank account and that is where we will put all the money.
FRANKY FIZZ: And then?
CON DON: And then, we never repay the loan, and we’ll use the money for whatever we want.
FRANKY FIZZ: But, aren’t they going to come after us to try and get the money from the loan back?
CON DON: (chuckles condescendingly) I’m sorry officer, we have no idea where that money went. To get that money, I guess you’ll have to ask a Mr. Lester Charles. Good luck finding him.
Those fools at the FBI will be driving themselves crazy, chasing their tails trying to find Mr. Lester Charles and they never will because he’s nowhere to be found. He’s just a creation of my mind and we’ll be in the clear and there’s no way they’ll ever get us for not repaying the loan.
FRANKY FIZZ: Alright, count me in. You always do come up with the most devious and genius cons.
CON DON: Well, I am, the master of the game.
FRANKY FIZZ: That you are boss. Oh boy, I love being a grifter.
CON DON: You know, us grifters are the opposite of normal people. We are society turned inside out. We are actors on the stage of life and we always steal the show. I tell you most people don’t have what it takes to be able to do what we do. They really can’t understand our lives, always having to be sharp, thinking three steps ahead, seeing the most minute detail in every situation, those things most people never notice at all. That’s what it takes to be a true, first class grifter and that is the way to pull off the perfect con.
FRANKY FIZZ: For me, I’m looking for the big one, the big one, the one that will set me for life, the one to get me out of the game.
CON DON: (chuckles) Oh, well then I guess that means you’re not actually a true grifter, for being a grifter is in your blood, it is who you are. No matter how much you have, all you’re ever looking to do is pull off that next con, just for the thrill of it, because nothing else matters.
FRANKY FIZZ: You’re the best, boss, the greatest grifter that’s ever been.
CON DON: Well, I am, the Con Don. So, the other members of the crew are coming over, right?
FRANKY FIZZ: That they are, they should be here any minute.
CON DON: Very good, I want to see what cons we can come up with when we all put our heads together.
(there is a knock at the door)
FRANKY FIZZ: Boss, that must be them. I’ll go get the door.
(FRANKY FIZZ Exits then returns with
SAL SPUDS and VINNY THE COLON
and they stand in front of the desk.)
CON DON: Ah, wonderful, the gangs all here. Let’s get down to business, let me hear what ideas you have for a new con we can pull off.
SAL SPUDS: Well boss, I have a new idea I think you’ll like.
CON DON: Let me hear it and then I can tell you if it’s up to my standards and worthy of our efforts.
SAL SPUDS: Well, you see, we go to a furniture store and we buy a mattress.
CON DON: And what do we do with the mattress?
SAL SPUDS: We take it home and have someone pee on it.
CON DON: I have to say there is something about a person peeing on the mattress that really gets me excited. So what’s next?
SAL SPUDS: We bring the mattress back to the store and say “We don’t want this mattress, someone peed on it.” And we return the mattress and get our money back.
FRANKY FIZZ: Alright, I hear what you’re saying, but if all we’re doing is returning the mattress and getting our money back, where’s the score?
SAL SPUDS: We keep the plastic the mattress was wrapped in when we bought it.
CON DON: I love it. Do it. Have someone pee on that mattress. What else you guys got?
VINNY THE COLON: Well boss, I came up with something where we order a pizza. When the delivery person brings the pizza, we take the pizza, but then we close the door. We don’t pay for that pizza, boss.
CON DON: Very good. Order some garlic bread too. What else?
SAL SPUDS: Well boss, how about this? I had another idea where we find some guy that’s really drunk. We go up to him and say, “Hey, you want to play some rounds of dice. It’s pretty dumb of us to ask you this because we’re really not any good so you’ll be making a lot of money.” When he agrees, we ask, “So you got any dice?” When he hands us the dice, we just run away and we got ourselves a new pair of dice.
CON DON: Go for it, what else?
FRANKY FIZZ: Well boss, I had an idea. What we would do is work with a foreign country that you and the rest of us are deeply in debt to and they can orchestrate a scheme where you run for president and they will provide assistance to help you win and when you win, once in office you will be their stooge and do their bidding to serve their interests so that our debts are paid off. When president you can also do a bunch of things to benefit corporations and especially use every action to benefit your own bank account and make money for yourself. And you can try to throw the wool over the eyes of everyone by making some gesture for show of donating your presidential salary to charity. We’ll just say “If he was just in it for the money, why isn’t he taking a paycheck?” And the suckers will fall for it. Who needs that chump change anyway? You’ll be fleecing the American public for millions and just think of government deals with other countries made solely thinking of our own financial interests. Come on boss, this con will be a gold mine.
CON DON: That does sound very intriguing. It would be a massive undertaking though.
FRANKY FIZZ: Come on boss, think of the money you would make.
CON DON: (nodding his head) You know, you may be onto something.
FRANKY FIZZ: You got to do this, you’ll steal millions from America.
CON DON: (Enthusiastic) Well.
FRANKY FIZZ: And boss, if you do this the Russian mob won’t kill you and your family for all the money you owe them.
CON DON: Hmm, that is a solid point. Alright, specifics, let me hear them.
SAL SPUDS: Well, once president you could pass giant tax cuts that benefit you and your friends immensely but in the end give almost nothing to the average American citizen except a few companies will give out small one time bonuses and the average citizen will receive an almost unnoticeable cut to their taxes that they may think is great but only if they don’t actually stop and examine how little they are actually saving or question why the tax cuts for corporations were so monstrously bigger and also if they don’t stop to figure in that because of other decisions you make their cost of living will increase so that even with the tax cuts they will have less money on hand. Also, you can have tax cuts for corporations be permanent while for the average citizen their tax cuts will expire.
VINNY THE COLON: I have an idea. You can throw in some paltry, minor parts of the plan where corporations would actually pay more though that would be greatly dwarfed by all the benefits they will receive from the other parts of the tax plan. But, the beauty of it is you can also create an exception to that minor increase part so that you personally because of the type of specific business you do won’t even be affected by that tiny extra payment other corporations who are making out like bandits from the tax cut will actually have to pay. You personally won’t even have to pay anything for that smokescreen you use to sell the plan. It’s win, win.
CON DON: I must admit, that sounds like a sweet deal for me.
FRANKY FIZZ: How about this? Regulations, all regulations, fuck’em. Get rid of all of them. It’s not like any of them were actually created for any reason or served any purpose anyway.
SAL SPUDS: Environmental regulations, who needs them.
VINNY THE COLON: I mean limiting the amount of poisons, toxins and chemicals that are allowed in the water people drink and air they breathe, what possible purpose could that serve?
SAL SPUDS: Only to force corporations to pay more money to control the levels by the tyrannical, evil, liberal fascists.
FRANKY FIZZ: I mean you got people out there saying they also serve to keep people from dying.
VINNY THE COLON: And kids from getting cancer.
SAL SPUDS: But, I mean, you don’t think many of them weren’t just going to get cancer someday anyway?
FRANKY FIZZ: It’s just now they’ll be getting it much sooner.
VINNY THE COLON: And that boss, is called progress.
SAL SPUDS: And hell, once you’re president you can just fuck over the environment entirely for generations to come and ultimately destroy the planet.
FRANKY FIZZ: You’ll be the leader of a new tomorrow.
VINNY THE COLON: You’ll be famous boss, a real star.
SAL SPUDS: You do this and you can change the world.
VINNY THE COLON: And make a ton of money in the process, boss.
FRANKY FIZZ: And, keep the Russian mob from killing you.
CON DON: I’m in, I don’t need anymore convincing. Let’s just focus on other parts of the enterprise that can make me money.
SAL SPUDS: Well, I say the golden rule of any decision has to always be what would benefit the special interests that put money in your pocket and the pockets of your cronies and friends above anything else.
VINNY THE COLON: Absolutely, just look at your bottom line and base all policy decisions on that alone.
FRANKY FIZZ: Definitely, the only reason for making any decision.
SAL SPUDS: Well, except, sometimes I guess you can also make policy decisions just because they’re racist.
VINNY THE COLON: Good point, exception to the rule.
FRANKY FIZZ: Well, I’d say they can coexist. You could start rounding up all the illegal immigrants and throw them in jail and lock kids in cages and it will be a boon for the private prison industry.
SAL SPUDS: And you can use hateful rhetoric to rile up your supporters into a bloodlust frenzy that not a single illegal immigrant should ever be allowed into the country for any reason.
VINNY THE COLON: While at the same time hiring as many of them as you can to work at your personal businesses so you personally do not have to pay the higher wages that actual American citizens would demand to do the work.
FRANKY FIZZ: But the golden rule should always be the primary focus.
SAL SPUDS: Follow the golden rule and you’ll make a lot of rich people very happy.
VINNY THE COLON: As an added bonus, you’ll kill a lot of poor ones.
FRANKY FIZZ: And as for regulations, Wall Street, what is the point of financial regulations. What do they do, I mean, seriously, what do they do except keep giant corporations and their CEOs from making even more profits?
SAL SPUDS: I mean, you have people out there who claim they are in place to deter predatory practices by financial firms that caused the great recession of the late 2000’s but I mean, come on.
VINNY THE COLON: That’s just poor people talk.
FRANKY FIZZ: I mean when you’re campaigning you can talk about how Wall Street is getting away with robbery, is out of control and needs to be checked which a lot of people who vote for you will like hearing.
VINNY THE COLON: But once in office, to hell with that, give Wall Street everything they want. Get rid of all the regulations. Let them run amuck. Do the exact opposite of everything you said you would do. Because, you gots to make the fat cats happy.
SAL SPUDS: Fats cats need their tender vittles.
FRANKY FIZZ: How about this, you can prop up some dying industries and deceive their workers so that they support you by not admitting the unavoidable reality that those jobs are going to be lost anyway due to technology and innovation and changing times as we continue into the future. Those industries are a relic from a different time and no longer have any hope of being sustainable. But, rather than embracing the change that occurs and offering them an actual future by providing skills for the workers so that they could actually be competitive in the current day, in industries where job creation will be exponentially greater than any possible jobs that could be created by favoring and supporting the dying industry you can keep the workers stuck in the past and trapped in the mines as oil barons smoke their cigars and drink their brandy and chuckle with greed, thinking of all the money they will make as their employees die in a cold, dark, penniless place.
VINNY THE COLON: You’ve got to prop up and help those with money that support you.
SAL SPUDS: And punish and crush all who do not.
FRANKY FIZZ: That’s all you have to think about when making policy decisions. It doesn’t make any difference if they’re good for the people or country. All you have to do is think of you.
VINNY THE COLON: Because it’s all about you boss and you’re the only one that matters.
SAL SPUDS: You do this boss, you’ll be the center of the universe.
FRANKY FIZZ: You’ll be president, boss.
VINNY THE COLON: An emperor.
SAL SPUDS: A king.
FRANKY FIZZ: And you can do anything you want.
VINNY THE COLON: And they can’t touch you.
SAL SPUDS: Out here, right now, we’re just grifters, con men, crooks.
FRANKY FIZZ: We make this happen though and we’ll be above the law.
VINNY THE COLON: Because you will be the law.
FRANKY FIZZ: Boss, this is going to be the greatest con of all time.
SAL SPUDS: And all the crimes we will commit.
VINNY THE COLON: (Giddy) Oh man, we’re going to commit a hell of a lot of crimes.
SAL SPUDS: But it isn’t going to matter because there will be nothing they can do about it. We all got get out of jail free cards so we really can do whatever we want and commit crime with absolute impunity.
FRANKY FIZZ: It’s going to be the biggest crime enterprise ever.
SAL SPUDS: Hell boss, your presidency is going to be a den of thieves playground and amusement park.
VINNY THE COLON: It will be open season. We’re going to have the time of our lives.
FRANKY FIZZ: Just think of it boss, it’s going to be a grifter’s utopia.
CON DON: Oh yeah, I’m really liking this. This is sounding real good. I’m getting really, really excited about this idea. Oh boy, wow, I mean really excited.
(turns to SAL SPUDS)
Sal, send someone out to get me that mattress and a couple of prostitutes.
(directs his comments back to the whole group)
But you’re right, this is going to be the greatest con of all time and it will elevate me to the status of the grifter God. We should get right to work planning this out. What do you think our first step should be?
FRANKY FIZZ: Um, we really don’t have to worry about that, they’re the ones who are going to tell us what to do.
CON DON: Oh yeah, right, our Russian friends, I forgot about that.
FRANKY FIZZ: Um, I wouldn’t really use the term friends exactly. They’re a bunch of Russian mobsters who are going to kill you if you don’t do this because you are so immensely in debt to them.
CON DON: Well, be that as it may, there are so many perks to the scheme that it really gets my grifter juices flowing. Good work crew. We really hit pay dirt here. It will really be something to see.
VINNY THE COLON: Oh man, it’s going to be a great show.
CON DON: And as always I’m going to steal the show because I am the master of the game. And this will indeed be the greatest con of all time. And I will be the maestro running it all. For I am, the Con Don.
FRANKY FIZZ: Um, remember, it’s going to be the Russians who are running things.
CON DON: Oh yeah. Um, shut up.
(CON DON stands and walks to the
front of the stage, looking out)
I am the greatest con man that has ever been. I am the grifter God. So let us create this den of thieves paradise and let me sit upon the throne as unquestioned king. And, as for any out there who might not be sure if they are going to vote for me, well, let me just say, what do you have to lose and how bad could it possibly be? I’m going to fix all of the country’s problems because I’m the only one who can do it. I’ll make all the best deals, that’s what I do, I make deals. Those other guys, they don’t know how to make deals. They make terrible deals. But with me, oh boy, you won’t believe the deals I will make. And all these problems that everyone sees as so difficult to solve. Are you kidding me? It’s only because they’re all really stupid people, but me, I have one of the greatest intellects and memories of all time, of all time people. All the problems in the country and world, forget about it, with me in charge they’re solved, done, that’s all there is to it. It’s going to be easy, so easy. You’re all going to win so much it’s going to make your head spin. You’re going to get tired of winning, seriously, you’re going to get tired of winning. I guarantee that everyone of you is going to be so proud and elated and thankful and yes, grateful I am the president because of how much better off your lives, our country and the world will be. Trust me on this. Believe me. And you know you can trust me, because I am, the Con Don.
(FRANKY FIZZ, SAL SPUDS, and VINNY
THE COLON begin applauding adoringly.)