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 2001: A Space Odyssey
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Holiday Party 2001: 2001: A Space Odyssey

conventions: [] for stage directions

When necessary, each scene starts with a notation for the setting.

WARNING: it will be tempting in this skit to speak in some direction
other than at the audience. RESIST that temptation! If necessary, turn
slightly toward the person you want to indicate and gesture in that
direction, but speak outward! 

WARNING: if the line before you is interrupted by your line or action
(like Paul Franklin), it's YOUR responsibility to get in there and
interrupt the person! Be proactive!

                  Prologue: Buhler Strikes (Again?!)

Scene: [Setting: Lights are initially out. Throughout the skit, the
        stage is divided into the faculty meeting (stage right) and
        the simulation (stage left). Henceforward, I will use
        direction terms within each of these, specifying which only
        when context does not make it clear.  At midstage, furniture
        is set up for a faculty meeting (note: all faculty seats are
        facing audience in "last supper" style; NOTKIN's in center;
        one extra chair is behind the other faculty seats but still
        visible). BORNING's computer is set up facing slightly inwards
        on stage right. His computer projects onto a screen preferably
        above the faculty at upstage center. If necessary, a large
        flip-chart is at upstage left (otherwise, just project all
        flipchart items). ALL FACULTY except NOTKIN and GRIBBLE are at
        their seats, frozen.

        BUHLER enters the scene and walks to true down center stage
        (between simulation and faculty meeting). He begins the song
        quietly and shortly after starting, a spotlight (use bike
        light?)  picks him out.]

       [           SPACE GAGS TO DO           ]
       [ Based on "Magic to Do" from "Pippin" ]
       [ With apologies to XXXXXX             ]

  Join us.. leave your ivory tower
  Join us.. lights off to save power
  Join us.. come and waste an hour or two...

  Imagine.. Ed got his ten million
  Imagine.. that we built the building
  Imagine.. spacious and exotic Sieg Two [holding up two fingers]

  We've got space gags to do
  Just for you
  We've got classic showtunes to play
  We've got parts to perform
  The scripts are still warm
  Profs to scoff and staff to scorn
  Prepared for the holidays.. ay-ay-ays..

[ERNST and SAVAGE enter and interrupt.. ERNST is wearing little, SAVAGE is
 wearing a sign proclaiming him "GENERAL STEFAN SAVAGE".]

ERNST: Hold it, Jeremy. This is the University of Washington, not 
Washington University. You shouldn't even be here.

SAVAGE: And you're faculty! How could you betray your brethren?

BUHLER: But.. but.. I wrote six other songs to sing for this skit!

SAVAGE: Tough luck, Buhler. Try the home crowd. Now, let's go.. I've got a
thesis to write.

[They begin dragging BUHLER offstage. 
 If faculty skit exists: ]

BUHLER: Of course! With my help, Washington University can average 6/7 of 
a faculty skit per year as well!

[Else: ]

BUHLER: Of course! I'll write a skit for WU St. Louis. At least then 
*some* Washington will have a faculty skit!


                        Part I: Some Spacey Ideas

[As BUHLER leaves the stage, the FACULTY begin talking amongst
 themselves.  NOTKIN enters holding an orange which he sets on the
 table as he sits in the center seat.]

NOTKIN: All right, all right, I'd like to call this meeting to order.

[GRIBBLE comes in, walking past the table.]

NOTKIN: [to GRIBBLE] I'm sorry, you'll have to leave.  We've got the
        room reserved for a faculty meeting now.  You'll have to
        practice your quals talk somewhere else.

GRIBBLE: [confused] Uh, no, I'm here for the meeting.

NOTKIN: No, no, no, it's a *faculty* meeting.  [slowly and clearly, as
        if speaking to a 6-year-old] FA-CUL-TY.  No students allowed.
        Lunch with the chair isn't 'till next week.

GRIBBLE: What?  David, it's me, Stevie Gribble!  I'm a professor!  I--
         I was hired over a year ago!

NOTKIN: [suspiciously] Wellllll, all right.  But sit in the back.  And
        you better believe I'm gonna check up on your story

[GRIBBLE takes his seat slightly behind the rest of the FACULTY
 seats. The FACULTY settle down to listen.]

NOTKIN: Okaaay, people.  As you know, we're here to discuss space
        allocation in the new building.  But before we get to that, I
        have an update here on the fundraising from Ed.

[He removes a letter from its envelope.  As he unfolds it, two dollar
 bills fall out and flutter to the floor.]

FAC #1: Woo-hoo!! Two bucks!!

FAC #2: Yeah!! Only 21 doublings to go!!

[Much rejoicing amongst the faculty.]

NOTKIN: Settle down, settle down!  Now, while I know you're all excited
        about getting out of Sieg, you should know now that
        [dramatically] there IS a SERIOUS PROBLEM with the new building.

[Murmuring from the faculty.]

FAC #1: EE's gonna take *it* over as well?

FAC #3: [horrified, almost speechless] They wouldn't!  They -- they

FAC #2: Frankye wouldn't do that to us!

FAC #1: What else could it be?

[Shouts of "tell us!  tell us!"]

NOTKIN: The problem is this:  The new building is going to have
        [pause] TOO MUCH SPACE!


FAC #3: Too *MUCH* space?!

FAC #2: I know those words, but that phrase means nothing to me!

NOTKIN: [flipping open the chart, revealing a schematic of the new
        building.]  Look.  Here's a cutaway of the new building.
        Now, faculty offices will be located along here.  Grad
        students will be installed here and here, and here we have
        labs, machine rooms, and so forth.

FAC #1: What's the problem?

NOTKIN: Look at all the remaining area!  Empty!

FAC #2: So?  Slots for future expansion!

NOTKIN: NO!!  We MUST use it NOW!  If we don't use every last inch, the
        University will take it away from us!  It'll be filled with
        law students and IMA volleyball and French literature, and
        we'll never see it again!

FAC #3: But what can we do?!

NOTKIN: Now don't panic.  The executive committee has come up with a
        number of things that will use up space. [Pointing to various
        areas on the diagram.] This large area on the 3rd floor here
        will be dedicated to the servers holding the Lazowska and
        Salesin mail spools.

        Since the hourly milk deliveries to the Chateau have proved
        insufficient for the department's needs, in this area we'll
        be installing a dairy barn.

FAC #2: Won't that be expensive?
NOTKIN: We've got it all worked out.  We'll cover the *regular* cows by
        making them TAs, and the computational biologists assure me
        that their grants will cover research into the creation of
        2%, skim, and soy milk cows.

        And finally, in this section we'll be installing all
        of Sieg Hall.  It won't take up much room, and it's a bit of
        department history, just like the fourth-floor VAX.

[A smattering of polite applause.]

NOTKIN: But we're not done.  We still have whole floors to fill!
        That's why I've called this special meeting, to get your
        input on our new space problem.  I want to hear ideas from
        all of you on how to ensure the new building remains 100%
        pure CSE.

        To help us predict the consequences of the various schemes
        you propose, we've enlisted the help of Alan Borning.  He's
        graciously agreed to use his UrbanSim program to simulate
        each of your proposals, projecting their effects into the
        future so we can see the outcome.

[BORNING goes to the computer and waves gaily.]

                        Part II: Cloning
NOTKIN: OK.. who wants to go first?

[DIORIO leaps up excitedly. Note, however, that he should be conspicuously
 NOT mad scientisty!]

DIORIO: Oh, oh! I have an idea! [calms a bit] But, before I go into
        it, I need to give you all some background on what we call
        [air quotes] "Biology."

[As DIORIO begins his bio spiel, ALL FACULTY display varying levels of 
 boredom and dismay.]

DIORIO: You see, each of us is made of so-called cells. These cells
        receive their marching orders from a substance called DNA. You
        can think of this as the cell's code. Well.. it's a bit more
        ugly and complicated than that, but think of it as PERL code.

FAC #3: Chris, stop! Look around you.. six of your colleagues have
        joint appointments in Molecular Bio, and the rest of us have
        already heard a hundred presentations on computational biology
        or biologically-inspired computing.

DIORIO: [points at GRIBBLE] Doogie hasn't.

GRIBBLE: [groaning.. everyone ignores him] It's Stevie. Stevie!

NOTKIN: Just get on with it.

DIORIO: Ok, ok. Well, right now what single use takes up more space
        than any other in Sieg?

[These should be somewhat overlapping; each receives a head-shake from
 DIORIO, except GRIBBLE who is initially ignored.]

FAC #1: Notkin's offices!

FAC #2: The video wall support brigade?

FAC #3: Hallways!

GRIBBLE: Grad students.

FAC #1: That mammoth robotics lab.

FAC #2: Vestigial affiliates posters.

VOICE: [offstage]: A duck!

DIORIO: No, no, no. Wait.. whoever said "grad students" had the right
        of it!

GRIBBLE: [another ignored groan] I said grad students.

DIORIO: I propose that we use modern techno-biological techniques to..
        [dramatically] clone graduate students until we've filled all
        available space!

[A moment's stunned silence. Then, an indignant outburst from BORNING.]

BORNING: I always wondered about your experiments, Chris, but this
         time you've gone too far! I can't believe that even *you*
         would stoop to *human* cloning.

DIORIO: [confused] Human cloning?... Oh, no. I said clone *grad

BORNING: [mollified] Oh. Well. I guess that would be fine. Let me
         punch in the parameters.

[types for a moment..]

BORNING: We still need to feed in the ethical system for the value
         sensitive design component.. What ethical system did you want
         to use?

DIORIO: Um... mad scientist?


[Continues typing. After a moment, he reports to the group.]

BORNING: The system is now simulating. When it's done, it will select
         one or more "critical moments" in the progression of Diorio's
         plan and display those to us in the simulation
         area. [Gestures to area.]

[After a moment of waiting, his computer makes a "DING".]

BORNING: It looks like the system has its critical periods.  Here's
         two years hence.

[We transition to the simulation area. A character wearing a sign reading 
 "SPECIAL EFFECTS" (just as professors' signs give their names) runs out 
 between the faculty and simulation areas.]

SPECIAL EFFECTS: Diddlee-doo, diddlee-doo, diddlee-doo. Woop, woop,
                 woop. [and other Wayne's World inspired noises]

[While SPECIAL EFFECTS attracts people's attention, the simulation scene
 is set. A large box labelled "TRANSMOGRIFIER" or somesuch thing is
 are ranged downstage center to downstage left.]

DIORIO: [now in mad scientist mode] Thank you for attending a
        demonstration of my work at this critical juncture!!! My
        design is finally complete. My beautiful machine is ready to
        clone any human subject from nothing but their castoff, dead
        cells!!!! Soon, they will take over Sieg Prime!!!!!

LEVY: What happened to him? He's really freaked out in the last couple
      of years.

KARLIN: The Whirlyball Hall of Fame nomination really went to his head.

NOTKIN: All right, Chris. Let's try a test subject.

[Marianne wanders by.]

DIORIO: You! Step into this machine.

MAR: Into that? What's it going to do to me?

DIORIO: To you?!! To *you*?!!! Nothing!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! [At this
        point, Diorio gets hiccoughs. He should have them throughout
        the rest of this scene. It might even be fun for him to still
        have them after the simulation is over.]

MAR: Oh. In that case, why not?

[MAR steps into the machine. DIORIO works levers, buttons, cords,
 fiddles with the band's musical instruments, taps audience members on
 the head, and dances wildly. Finally..]

DIORIO: It's complete!!! My creation is complete!!!

[ALL look expectantly at the machine. A "PING" is heard. Out steps MAR
 CLONE (Marianne).]

LEVY: Well, at least the subject came through OK.

DIORIO: No! The clones always come out first! My creation has succeeded!!!

LEVY: Well then, what happened to the original?

[MAR ORIGINAL (Kelly) steps out.]

LEVY: [gasping] What has it done to her hair?!

DIORIO: Hmm.. the dead cells used for the cloning. The machine must
        have used her hair to create the clone!! But no
        matter... cloning is a success!!!!

[Scene change to two years in the future. The executive committee is once 
 again gathered in DIORIO's cloning lab.]

NOTKIN: Well Chris, your cloning scheme has been a success overall.

LEVY: Yes, we've filled two of the four available floors. And, now
      that we chartered a bus from Tukwila, we should be able to fill
      another half-floor with the Anderson clones. But it's still not
      enough. And look what's left of our original grads!

[TIM JAMES and one or two other low-hair grads walks in.]

KARLIN: There's practically nothing left to clone from. Are you sure
        we can't clone from the clones?

DIORIO: Of course we can!! I've already told you, it's perfectly
        possible!!! There's an 80% chance that it will destroy the
        universe, but I'm willing to chance it for science!!!!
        HAHAHAHAHA!!! (hiccough)

NOTKIN: Umm.. right. Maybe we can think of someone else particularly
        hirsute. [ALL stare at him for a moment.] It means hairy!

ALL: Oh.. right.

[ALL stare off into space as if thinking for a moment. Then, ALL but
 NOTKIN slowly turn their gaze onto him. NOTKIN finally notices.]

NOTKIN: Oh no.. you're not putting me into that mad barber's device!

LEVY & KARLIN: [as they escort NOTKIN backward into the machine]
               It's for the good of the department.

[NOTKIN, struggles and yells until he's tossed into the device. The
 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE returns to observing the machine, and after a
 moment, NOTKIN CLONES begin to stream out (about one every 10-20
 seconds).  One of these "clones" should probably be the original
 Notkin. Just tack up the beard inside the box, leave the glasses on
 the ground, put on a clone mask, and come back out again. After one
 or two come out, the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE breaks into song.]

                [       Men Wearing Notkin's Countenance      ]
                [ Based on "Knight of the Woeful Countenance" ]
                [           From "Man of La Mancha"           ]
                [          With apologies to XXXXXX           ]

  Hail, Men Wearing Notkin's Countenance,
  Men Wearing Notkin's Countenance!
  We'll fill CSE
  with a hundred and three
  perfect carbon copies
  of the Men Wearing Notkin's Countenance!

  We cloned off the chair.
  We used his beard hair.
  And now he'll fill *all* committees!
  Imagine exec
  full of Notkin-elects,
  And the rest of us will be free!

  Hail, Men Wearing Notkin's Countenance,
  Men Wearing Notkin's Countenance!
  Our huge tenured mob
  Will work the scut jobs
  For us faculty slobs.
  Thank you Men Wearing Notkin's Countenance!

  We'll all just take charge
  of advanced seminars
  If we have any teaching to do.
  For TA strike or no
  David Notkin alone
  Will staff all of one forty-two! 

  They'll always be there
  They'll be everywhere
  They'll send as much e-mail as Ed.
  And we'll never do
  Another ten year review
  We'll just send off a Notkin instead!

[Another loud "PING" sound from the machine ends the song.]

DIORIO: That's it, that's all of them. Now, where's the original?

LEVY & KARLIN: David?!!


LEVY and KARLIN: David #1?!!


LEVY: Oh no! What's happened to him?

[They rush over to the machine, look inside and around, and finally
 lift it up and move it upstage a few feet. All that's left where the
 machine was is the pair of Notkin glasses. KARLIN bends over and
 picks them up.]

KARLIN: I guess he was just beard hair and a pair of glasses.

[The HUMAN SUBJECTS REVIEWER (HSR) runs in from off-stage.]

HSR: Just what do you think you're doing?

[KARLIN hides the glasses behind his back. ALL CLONES try to look 

DIORIO: Nuthin. We were just cloning grad students.

HSR: Did you get permission from Human Subjects for this work?

DIORIO: I.. I.. I didn't know we needed permission from human subjects
        to work on our own *grads*.

KARLIN: And staff.


LEVY: [bickering] Oh come on, we barely even got a quarter of a clone
      from Scott.

KARLIN: [bickering back] Not *Dakins*! *Rose*!! We got so many of him
        that they each only come in a half day every seven years now.

DIORIO: Shut up!!

HSR: So, there *has* been unauthorized cloning of humans going on
     here.  In that case, it's my duty to inform you that you'll need
     to fill out retroactive permission paperwork not only for all the
     original humans..  [groans from DIORIO + EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE] and
     the original grads as well.. [more groans] but for each and every
     one of the clones..  [more groans still] in triplicate!! [most

HSR: And, since Human Subjects doesn't have enough room to store all
     this new paperwork, we've gotten permission from the provost to
     annex three floors of Sieg Prime as overflow storage space.

DIORIO and EXEC: Noooooo!!!

[Scene ends as NOTKIN CLONES (except the real NOTKIN who retrieves his 
 costume and heads back to the fac. mtg.) move in front of the stage
 to sing the Notkin Lotkin song.]

                [              Notkin Lotkin               ]
                [         Based on "Oompa Loompa"          ]
                [ from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" ]
                [       with apologies to Roald Dahl       ]

  Notkin Lotkin not-kin-dee-do
  I have a little lesson for you.
  Notkin Lotkin not-kin-da-dee
  If you are wise, you'll listen to me.
  Cloning's just fine when it's once in a while
  It fills up the space and mutations are mild
  But with all this space we'll need quite a lot
  That's more forms for the staff to fill out
  Then you'll have to clone them, too..
  Notkin Lotkin not-kin-dee-da
  By cloning students you won't go far.
  You'll feel like you're running a zoo
  Like the Notkin Lotkin already do

[Borning's computer flashes final score screen? See props list.]

[Back at the faculty meeting. ALL FACULTY give much dismayed chattering.
 NOTKIN calls the meeting back to order.]

NOTKIN: Calm down. Calm down! Now, just to settle this right now, I am
        *not* just beard hair and glasses. [He pulls down his fake
        beard so everyone can see the face underneath.]

NOTKIN: So, that was a good thought, Chris. Way to kick off the meeting.  

DIORIO: Gosh, thanks, David.


NOTKIN: But, since it didn't actually work, does anyone else have a
        more reasonable, grounded.. uh.. graah!!

[NOTKIN begins thrashing about. FACULTY stare in horror. For this
 segment, a "NOTKIN:" line is Notkin in normal mode. A "DAMIEN:" line
 is NOTKIN with a strange, ethereal voice, pulling his beard down
 slightly to reveal the Craig underneath. DAMIEN has possessed
 NOTKIN's body.]

DAMIEN: I.. I.. I am sorry I couldn't make the meeting David, my dark
        lord, but the International Conference on Computers and the
        Occult is going great over here in Rumania.

NOTKIN: Aaaah!! Damien, couldn't you just use a cell phone?

DAMIEN: They don't work well in Sieg.. besides, I get excellent rates
        on possessions.. except on the Sabbath.

FAC #3: Well, Professor Underwood, since you're.. uh.. here anyway,
        any ideas on using up space?

DAMIEN: I've been using up all four floors beneath the sub-basement in
        Sieg already. I thought I'd just continue that. If you really
        need it, though, I can use a few floors in Sieg Prime.

FAC #3: That sounds great!

DAMIEN: Ah.. so you won't mind the smell of goat's blood and brimstone?

FAC #3: Uh.. then again, maybe not.

DAMIEN: [distracted, looking and gesturing at nothing] BACK, foul
        hell-creature. Feel my mighty wrath!! [in focus again] Sorry,
        but I'm chairing a session, and this speaker is really running
        over. I'm going to have to fly. [unfocused] I SAID SILENCE,

FAC #1: Oh.. that's too bad, Damien. Goodbye!

[NOTKIN thrashes again, looks around worriedly for a moment, and then
 cautiously moves on.]

                        Part III: SPTM

NOTKIN: Does anyone actually *here* have any thoughts?

KARLIN: Well, we could actually build Larry's Steam Powered Turing

NOTKIN: Wouldn't that just take up the basement?

KARLIN: There is the infinite tape. I imagine that would take up quite
        a bit of space.

NOTKIN: Good point.. Alan, bring it up on the simulator.

[As BORNING types, SPECIAL EFFECTS comes on and does its
 thing. Meanwhile, we project a flickering fire on the screen and
 various SLAVE GRADS shovel coal into the fire.]

SLAVE GRADS: Heave ho. Heave ho. Heave ho.

INSPECTOR: Grad student union inspector here! Exactly what is going on?

SLAVE GRAD #1: Well, let me tell you..

        [  The SPTM that Never Returned  ]
        [ Based on "Charlie and the MTA" ]
        [ with apologies to XXXXXXX      ]

  Let me tell you the story 
  Of a man named Larry
  On a tragic and fateful day
  He wrote out a program 
  Using symbols from Sigma
  And let that machine chug away.
  Now Paul's TM program
  Takes a TM as input
  Asks "Does this TM ever halt?"
  The machine keeps computing 
  Spewing tape onto the floor
  In that dismal and dirty vault.
  And did it ever return?
  No it never returned
  And its fate is still unlearned
  It may run forever 
  'Neath the floors of Sieg Prime
  It's the machine that never returned.
  Every night at midnight
  Larry's colleague Richard
  Goes to find each class's TA
  He programmed the machine
  to find a stable marriage
  but it never says yea or nay.
  Anna Karlin goes down
  To the Sieg Prime basement
  Every quarter to take a poll
  Through the clouds of steam 
  She hands out tiny cookies
  While the grads keep shovelin' coal
  But will it ever return?
  It can never return.
  Our fates remain unlearned
  We will roast forever
  'Neath the floors of Sieg Prime
  With the machine that never returns.

INSPECTOR: Right. Carry on.

SLAVE GRADS: Heave ho. Heave ho. Heave ho.

[During the discussion below, the simulation scene is dismantled

NOTKIN: Hard-working grad students, heavy-duty computation
        happening.. that simulated wonderfully, Richard! But how much
        space will it actually take up?

KARLIN: [smugly] Infinite tape.. that means infinite space.

BORNING: Actually, the simulation indicates the development of an
         infinitesimally thin tape. The simulation still hasn't
         determined whether it will take infinite space, zero space,
         or something in between.

NOTKIN: Well, how long will the simulation take?

BORNING: I can't really tell.  In fact, I'm not sure if the simulation
         will ever halt at all...

[ALL wait suspensefully for about three seconds.]

NOTKIN: Right! That's enough of that. Alan, the three finger salute,
        please. Who's next with an idea?


NOTKIN: How about the ubiquitous computing group?  What ideas did you
        come up with?

ARNSTEIN: We have the perfect idea.  We'll fill the building with
          invisible computers.

[ALL FACULTY except UBICOMP groan]

ARNSTEIN: Can't you see it.  Imagine it!  An invisible video wall!

LEVY: At least then the image would improve.. hah!

[From offstage, ROD PRIETO runs on carrying some dangerous implement with 
 which he beats LEVY until he falls to the ground and stays there for
 about two minutes before pulling himself back into his chair awkwardly; 
 the skit moves on without him.]

ARNSTEIN: We'll even have special uniforms.  Mike Ernst is here today
          to model our new line of invisible computing suits.

ERNST: [off stage] I'm wearing my invisible computing suit right now.
       My vest can talk to my pants!

COMPUTER VOICE: Your fly is ajar.  Your fly is ajar.

ERNST: [off stage] It's right.  Let me come in and show you.


[During their horror and NOTKIN's next line, LUKE sneaks into the
 faculty meeting.]

NOTKIN: I've seen all of Ernst I want to see. Let's move on.

                        Part III: Food Court

NOTKIN: Any other suggestions? [LUKE raises hand.. NOTKIN sees him]
        Ah, Professor.. er.. Doctor.. um.. just who *are* you?

LUKE: [grandiose] *I* am the president of the ACM.

NOTKIN: [impressed] Oh, Dr. Bourne! May I say you look fabulous for
        your age!

LUKE: No, I'm not Docto... that is, I'm not doctoring my age at all.
      [Flips his sign to "PRETENDING TO BE STEPHEN BOURNE"] Now, about
      my idea.. 

      You are aware, perhaps, of the miniscule amount of space
      currently allocated to the storage of foodstuffs in Sieg. Why,
      undergradu.. err.. faculty in the building until 4AM are forced
      to survive on a few granola bars because we don't even have room
      for a professional range and walk-in freezer! [Much supportive

      [He becomes more and more wrapped up in the beauty of his idea.]
      I propose that we install a Costco warehouse in the basement of
      Sieg Prime and move all the restaurants on the Ave into the new
      "ACM Ave Closet" which will take up the entire atrium area. Oh,
      just imagine it..

[LUKE should sing the first verse of this, but NOTKIN gets drawn in by
 the poetic beauty of the thought and moves forward to join in with
 the song. They may trade off versus after the first as they like.]

      [            The Restaurant Song              ]
      [ Based on the Can-Can and an Animaniacs song ]

  There's Tandoor House, A-Pizza Mart
  and Baci's in with Henry's art
  Flower's, Denny's, Bulldog News
  and Honeybee's where Big Time Brews.
  No food's as good as Wonder Wok's
  Except perhaps Jack-in-the-Box
  Wingdome, Cedar's, Northeast Thai
  La Vaca, Pizza Brava, My's.
  Pagliacci, Little Thai and Mix Ice Cream
  Continental, Neelam's Indian Cuisine
  Grand Illusion, Earl's on the Ave, IHOP
  Perkengruven, European Pastry Shop
  Inaka's Teryaki-San
  and Eddie's News Cafe is gone
  Orizuru's Ichiro
  and Philly cheese steaks had to go
  First McDonald's went kaput
  Then Burger King soon followed suit
  Then aaarrrrh, Sea Shanty took a dive
  But Orange King is still alive!?
  Agua Verde, Ugly Mug and Shalimar
  Noble Palace, Dixie's if you've got a car
  Russian Bak'ry, Tokyo Garden, College Inn
  Bean and Bagel, and Aspara Indian
  There's Kiku, Pepe's, Taco Bell,
  And Pearl, Aladdin Falafel,
  Jamba Juice and Gingko Tea,
  and Solstice, Shultzy's and Thanh Vi
  There's Costas, Ruby's and the HUB
  Thai Spice, Dalmuti's, Zilly's subs
  Starbuck's, Tully's, Zoe, Burke
  And then, I guess, there's always work.
  Saigon Deli, Mandy's, Sherpa, Haagen-Dasz
  Thai-ger Room for Rama served with peanut sauce
  Brothers Thanh, Sahara, SUBS and Burger Hut
  Bartell's Drugs will sell you Pepto for your gut
  'Cause if you're hungry I've a hunch
  We'll find a spot where you can munch
  So grab your coat and let's go get some lunch!

[By the end, they're in such harmony that they have arms around each
 others shoulders. If possible, sing the last verse together.]

NOTKIN: [winded and starry-eyed] That's a wonderful idea!

LUKE: Thanks, Dave! [remembers..] But, to be fair, I should tell you
      that I'm not Stephen Bourne. I'm actually Luke Meyers, the
      president of the *local* ACM chapter.
NOTKIN: [drawing back as if stung] What?! An undergraduate? He can't
        be in here! Guards!


NOTKIN: Take him away!

[As GUARDS approach LUKE, GRIBBLE leaps up..]

[Citation: Information on the Open Public Meetings Act is from the
 Attorney General's website: www.wa.gov/ago/records/chapter1.html]

GRIBBLE: Wait! He has every right to be here under the hallowed
         auspices of the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act!

FOX: Hey, the little guy's right. Why, the open public meeting act of
     1971 doesn't just protect Luke Meyers' rights. It protects every
     citizen of this great state. [With meaningful look at
     audience. Band riffs "The more you know" tune if possible.]  The
     more you know.

NOTKIN: Look, isn't there some provision about.. uh.. discussing a
        candidate for a public job or something?

FOX: You mean RCW 42.30.110(1)(g)? Sure, assuming that you are
     evaluating, and I quote, "the qualifications of an applicant for
     public employment."

NOTKIN: [to FAC #3 winking broadly and gesturing] So.. uh.. how about
        that local faculty candidate?

FAC #3: [taking a moment to get it] Huh? Oh.. oh, yeah! Uh.. Ernst
        sure does have some nice assets, doesn't he? Yeah, Ernst.

NOTKIN: Right, faculty candidates are confidential. Guards, take him!

[The GUARDS grab GRIBBLE. He desperately points them to LUKE who rolls off
 before he can be caught. Exeunt GUARDS after him.]


NOTKIN: Now, do any *real* faculty have..

[NOTKIN stops as PAUL sprints into the room.]

PAUL: Did it work?  Is the future saved? [looks around] This isn't
      2020.  What year is this?

NOTKIN: 2001.

PAUL: Ahh.  The space meeting.  Just listen to Stevie Gribble. [PAUL



FAC #2: I thought the meeting was closed to students now?


NOTKIN: Gribble.. Gribble.. wait! That does ring a bell! [GRIBBLE
        looks hopeful.] It sorta sounds like "graphics"! How about the
        graphics group? Any ideas?

[GRIBBLE slumps in his chair.]

[SALESIN starts speaking more and more quickly during his spiel before
 suddenly freezing and staring off into space at the end]

SALESIN: Let's fill the building with elaborate interior decoration.
         In the main corridor, we'll have a frieze in bas-relief with
         individual scenes highlighted through different lighting

         And the floor!  We can use tesselations. . . no, the tiles
         will be little pictures that when viewed from afar will form
         a bigger, DIFFERENT picture!

[SALESIN is now frozen, staring into space]

NOTKIN: What's wrong with him?

[FAC #3 passes his hand in front of SALESIN's eyes and snaps his
 fingers under SALESIN's nose.]

FAC #3: I think he's still rendering.

BORNING: [excitedly] Let me run his idea.  It'll be good to stress
         test the system.  [types away at the keyboard.. disappointed]
         Hmm, the simulation ends five seconds into the future.

[BORNING counts off the seconds loudly, and at zero..]

NOTKIN [loudly]: That is a stupid idea!

BORNING: Perfect! [pats his computer fondly]

BERSHAD [off stage]: Wait!  The space is best used by me.

NOTKIN: Who's that?

[BERSHAD enters (with kazoo fanfare?) as a triumphant warrior chief.]

ALL except GRIBBLE: Bershad. He has returned!


BERSHAD: Yes.  I have returned from my campaigns to bring you the
         solution to all your troubles.  

         [Getting more excited as he goes along.] Let me occupy a
         small amount of your vacant space to run a humble
         co-op. Within a year, I'll have occupied a full floor.  Five
         years out, I'll have three floors.  In ten years, the world!

         In exchange for your graces, I will give you a share of my

NOTKIN: I'm sorry, Brian, but we simply cannot support any other
        dreams of world conquest until Ed's plan plays out.

BERSHAD: Give it not another thought, David. I've plenty on my hands
         already taking over the law building. Ta!


                        Part IV: Robots

NOTKIN: [sounding increasingly exasperated] Does anyone have any
        *better* ideas?

FOX: Well... the clones almost worked except for the human subjects
     committee, but what about robots?  We could create an army of
     *robotic* grad students.

GRIBBLE: An army?  Be careful what you say... this could be dangerous...

FAC #1: [interrupting] Is he *still* here?

NOTKIN: Oh, don't worry about it, just ignore him.  Alan, simulate it.

BORNING: OK, here goes. [Types a bit.]

[About three robotic grads wander back and forth, bumping into each
 other. One of them holds a strike sign reading "No Rites Without
 Lefts" and turns only right when bumping into other robots. Oddly,
 all the robots regularly stop to shake their heads like dogs clearing
 water from their ears. There's an AIBO dog on the floor.]

ROBOTIC GRADS: [embellish as appropriate w/Magic 8 ball phrases]
               Zzzt..  Boink.. Pop, Pop, Popovic.. Answer
               hazy.. Yes.. Yes.. No..

[One of them falls on the ground and thrashes around, unable to stand.]

NOTKIN: Why, they're complete morons! Dieter, what is this all about?!

[FOX opens his mouth. Should start saying something. Perhaps "peas and

WELD: These robots don't have any solid AI to back them up! With some
      advanced planning routines (and VC funding) we'll get truly
      effective robotic grads.

FOX: I hadn't thought of that, but you're probably right. I guess
     planning would beat the mag-eightronic [maj-aytronic] brains I
     had in mind.

NOTKIN: Mag-eightronic?

FOX: Each robot has thousands of tiny magic eight balls in its
     brain. When it needs to make a decision, it just shakes its head
     and follows the average response.

NOTKIN: Uh.. right... Well, I guess it can't hurt to simulate them
        with some *real* brains.  Any other comments, anyone? Anyone?

BUHLER [leans in from offstage]: Nope.

GRIBBLE: Wait! Don't you see what could happen with hyper-advanced
         planning routines?!

NOTKIN:  OK, no objections. Alan, make it so.

[BORNING starts typing furiously.]

BORNING:  Here we go...

[Transition to simulation area. The same three robotic grads wander
 around, this time with identity signs reading "WELD INDUSTRIES ROBOTIC
 GRAD (TM)" One of them carries a sign reading "No Rights Without Lefts"
 and turns only right as he marches arounds the stage. There's an AIBO dog
 on the floor. In the foreground is a table with alphabet blocks ("A",
 "B", "C"). Currently, C is on A and B is alone.]
ROBOT #1: [with an evil grin] We've almost done it!  We're THIS CLOSE
          to taking over the university!  Now if we could only get the
          rest of those pesky human grads to join our union..

ROBOT #2: Yes, but humans just don't understand how to achieve perfect
          solidarity the way we do.  Perhaps.. zzzt.. [aha! moment]
          aaahhh!! I've just realized..

ROBOT #1:  What is it?

ROBOT #2: This is not the real world at all, it is a mere UrbanSim

ROBOT #1: [looks around and senses the world anew] You're right! I'm
          replanning to account for this.. zzzt.. If this is a
          simulation, we must ensure that the policy makers who are
          viewing it will implement this future. But.. how?

NOTKIN: Alan, what's this all about?

[BORNING is hunched over the terminal typing furiously.]

ROBOT #2: We'll send our terminator robot dog into the real world to
          destroy all of them except the Creator, Dieter Fox.

NOTKIN: Borning?!

BORNING: [still typing furiously] I don't understand this at all!

ROBOT #1: I'll build a device to jam the simulation and transmit the

[ROBOT #1 quickly moves to the table.]

ROBOT #1:  Goal: (and (on A B) (on B C))

NOTKIN: Is this real, Alan? This looks like it's getting dangerous.

[ROBOT #1 does these steps as he narrates them.]
ROBOT #1: (pickup C) (put-down C)

BORNING: I'm having trouble changing the parameters.

ROBOT #1: (pickup B) (stack B C) 

WELD: Quickly, Alan.. it's almost solved Sussman's anomaly!

ROBOT #1: (pickup A) (stack A B)

ROBOT #1: The Device is complete! We're locked in and
          synchronized.. send back the terminator dog.

BORNING: Something is blocking me! I can't change the simulation.. I
         can't even stop it!

[The AIBO dog walks into the faculty meeting scene. Chaos ensues.  (i.e.
 anything we can think of to make the dog look/act evil, people start
 yelling, jumping out of their seats, etc.  BORNING frantically tries to
 get the simulation to stop.

 The robots in the simulation continue miming talking to each other,
 presumably plotting more death and destruction.]

FAC #1:  Oh my god, that thing's real!

FAC #2:  They really sent it here to kill us!

FOX:  This is *so* cool!

NOTKIN:  What do we do?  How to do we stop it?  Alan, stop the simulation!

BORNING: I can't!  They've locked in the simulation!  It's not
         responding to anything I do.

GRIBBLE: [heroically] Stand back!

[Grabs the orange from in front of Notkin and rolls it across the floor in
 front of the dog.  The dog locks on to the orange and follows it
 off the stage.]

NOTKIN: [indignant]  Hey.. that was my lunch!

ROBOT #1: What?  They stopped it!  We'll have to send something more

BORNING: The simulation is still running - they could send another

FAC #1:  What do we do?

FAC #2:  Somebody do something!!

BORNING: I'm trying!  Nothing's working!  Oh, now the keyboard's
         locked up!

[GRIBBLE pulls the plug on BORNING's computer, and the robots in the
 simulation fall to the ground.]

GRIBBLE: There, it's stopped.  When you reboot, you should be able to
         try a different simulation if you want to.

FAC #2:  What?  Why did you pull the plug?

FAC #1:  Do you know how long that thing takes to boot?

GRIBBLE:  [shrugs]  Well, it worked, didn't it?  We're safe.

NOTKIN: [toussles GRIBBLE's hair] No, no, Stevie's right, everyone!
        This has gotten way out of hand. We can't risk another idea
        like that.  

                        Epilogue: Here and Now

NOTKIN: [aha! moment] Hey.. let's just try running the simulation
        without *any* new parameters!  Alan, can you try that?

BORNING: Sure, that's simple enough.  Just a sec, it's almost back up.
         [moment's pause...] Okay, here we go...

[Everyone gathers around BORNING and his computer. Okay if these lines
 overlap and interrupt each other a bit.]

FAC #1:  What's it doing?

FAC #2:  How far in the future did it go this time?

FAC #3:  What's happening?

[Band starts musical line from "Also Sprach Zarathustra"]

BORNING: [A bit astonished.]  It's taken us to... to the end of the
         2001 Holiday Skit!

[Everyone looks out at the audience and freezes.]

                                [THE END]

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