SCENE: Adriana and Michael GONZALES, age 30 and 32, owners of a small family commercial cleaning business and parents of three children, are walking through the woods near Minnehaha Park. It’s foggy and foreboding.
ADRIANA: Mike, did you see something in the woods?
MICHAEL: Yeah. Looks like – guys in helmets?
ADRIANA: This is weird.
MICHAEL: No kidding…
(They stop, noticing three people in medieval knight costumes – Tom BAKK, Ryan WINKLER and Heather MARTENS – astride the path).
MICHAEL: Er, who are you?
BAKK: We are the Knights Who Say “Living Wage!”
WINKER: We are three elected representatives…
(BAKK nudges WINKLER, points toward Martens, who is gazing distractedly at a squirrel. WINKLER shrugs)
WINKLER: …who roam the forest spreading social justice!
(MICHAEL and ADRIANA shrug)
WINKLER: If you wish to pass through this forest, you must appease us!
ADRIANA: Er…OK? With what?
WINKLER: You must hire…a Minimum Wage Employee!
MICHAEL: Cool. I was hoping to do that. We’ve got more business than the two of us can handle.
WINKLER: You must pay them…nine dollars per hour!
ADRIANA: Oh, no. We just need people to do basic cleaning. We can pay a bonus, but it’s not worth $9 an hour…
BAKK: And you may not cut your other employees’ hours or benefits to pay the training wage rate, which is itself higher than the federal minimum wage!
WINKLER: Or lay them off!
BAKK and MARTENS: Or lay them off!
ADRIANA: Well, then we just can’t hire anyone!
BAKK: Be happy to pay for a Better Minnesota!
ADRIANA (to MARTENS): So what are you doing here?
MARTENS: Guns on a bed of escarole make a wonderful snack. So much better than killing people!
(Sounds in distance: Minstrels playing over the clip clop of horses, as Governor DAYTON, riding a white charger, appears at the head of a retinue of knights and minstrels.
MINSTREL (as lutes and flutes play in the background) Brave Sir Mark ran away / bravely ran away away! / When terror made its presence known, he bravely turned and scampered home…
DAYTON: Blargle not blargle sure blargle not blargle blargle!
MICHAEL to ADRIANA (whispers): This is a weird place…
MINSTREL: He wasn’t afraid to face Roger Goodell / or tell Alida she’s not so swell / brave brave brave brave sir Mark…
DAYTON: Blargle! Blargle not blarg!
MICHAEL : So what if I can’t afford it?
WINKLER: It’s against the law! Don’t ask questions!
ADRIANA: We could just take our business to North Dakota!
BAKK: Hah! And for what? Money?
WINKLER: But you can’t get MPR in North Dakota!
ADRIANA: Yes, I can – we paid for that, too.
BAKK: But in Minnesota, you will soon have unionized daycare!
ADRIANA: I like the daycare we have just fine.
WINKLER: But you can pay more for them!
MARTENS: It’s a known fact that daycare that costs more is better for children. Especially if you ban guns.
MICHAEL: What the…?
DAYTON: Blargle blargle!
ADRIANA (pulling a Texas brochure from her purse and looking at MICHAEL): This is a silly place.
The couple walk past the jabbering knights.
Comments welcome at Shot In The Dark.