Today’s guest post is written by the Boston-based Rhea of The Boomer Chronicles. I like her blog because even though it is more informational than most of the other blogs I read, she writes it with humor (and I agree with most of her politics). I think you’ll see how her style works well with this piece of writing. Rhea and I have a lot in common. We are both Jewish screenwriters who are attracted to women. Thank you, Rhea, for cleverly tackling this impossible assignment (even if you did leave out the part about what you would make him for dinner — but maybe that will be in the sequel!)
“How I Would Explain the Internet to John Adams”
EXT. Carpenters’ Hall, a stately brick building in the city of Philadelphia, August 1775
INT. Grown men in white wigs, about 30 in number, are gathered in a room furnished with wooden chairs, long tables, and a lectern. There is a DIN in the hall as the men heartily greet each other.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Hear ye, hear ye!
A gavel POUNDS the lectern.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: The Second Continental Congress is now called to order!
The men slowly shuffle to their seats. Soon, one man rises. It is Mr. John Adams.
JOHN ADAMS: Esteemed members of Congress, you are probably wondering why I’ve asked you all here today. (RIMSHOT!) Besides the necessity of determining the future status of our fledgling government, we have a guest speaker.
GROANS all around.
JOHN ADAMS: Gentlemen, please. Our visitor has traveled a long distance to be with us. In fact, he has traveled from two and a half centuries hence.
An agitated MURMUR ripples through the crowd.
JOHN RUTLEDGE: Two and a half centuries? What were you smoking at Harvard, Mr. Adams?
JOHN ADAMS: Mr. Rutledge, I assure you, I am in full possession of my faculties, and all of my senses, to boot. (RIMSHOT!)
EDWARD BIDDLE: But Mr. Adams, it is imperative we resolve the Tobacco Act and the Stamp Act today, as well as the Class Act and the Third Act.
JOHN ADAMS: I implore you, gentlemen. Lend your ear to our speaker, for he brings news that I am certain will cheer you.
A deafening clap of THUNDER sounds outside the windows. Inside, a blinding SPOTLIGHT illuminates the double-doored entrance to the hall. The doors swing open. A man enters wearing a pale blue leisure suit and Woody Allen-type glasses. He is lugging a rolling cart upon which some objects are concealed by a cloth. He guides the cart to the center of the room. Behind him enter a three-piece BAND whose members all sport yarmulkes, a CATERER pushing a refreshment table featuring a whiskey sour fountain and bubbling pot of Brunswick stew, and a PHOTOGRAPHER with a camera bag and two cameras. The band explodes in a lively rendition of “Winchester Cathedral.” The Congressmen rise to fill their plates at the buffet table and then take their seats.
The lights DIM. The VISITOR whips the cloth off a machine. A screen silently descends from the ceiling and a PowerPoint show commences. The Congressmen GASP and SHOUT in astonishment.
The gavel POUNDS.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Order! Order! Come to order!
The Visitor begins his show.
VISITOR: When we became aware of the troubles you were having hammering out the foundation of our country, we decided to time-travel back to offer you three indispensable tools. First–
The slide reveals an image of a prescription bottle.
VISITOR: Viagra. Mr. Adams, you have traditionally provided saltpeter to men of the Continental Army, but believe me, an erection lasting longer than four hours can pretty much have the same effect.
The next PowerPoint slide reveals a patriot in a running suit.
The Congressman MURMUR.
VISITOR: Second, we have Lycra. Have your wives add stretchy waistbands to your britches. You won’t have to replace them as often.
The third slide shows a desktop computer.
VISITOR: Finally, we have a little something called the Internet. If you take Ben Franklin’s electricity, combine it with Pascal’s Principles and Heisenberg’s Hypothesis, you get the modern-day Internet.
The Congressmen look puzzled.
VISITOR: Oh, trust me, you don’t really need to know how it works. You just need to know about this: Wikipedia. You see, it’s an encyclopedia. But the beauty of it is that — unlike other encyclopedias — the facts it contains can be altered at any time. Don’t like your biography? Change it! Have you been a traitor? A heavy drinker? A slave owner? It doesn’t matter! You can rewrite history any way you’d like, and at any time you choose.
RUTLEDGE: Mr. Samuel Adams could most certainly take advantage of that. His imbibing is legendary!
Sam blushes. Hearty LAUGHTER all around.
VISITOR: Sooooo, guys. Whaddya think?
JOHN ADAMS: I move to nominate this man a delegate to Congress.
The assembled Congressmen rise in unison with their whiskey sours aloft.
ALL: Hear! Hear!
EXT. Carpenters’ Hall. Its bells CHIME and CHIME.
FADE TO BLACK