U IS FOR ORANGE ALERT
A TWO-ACT PLAY BY SEAN KEANE
DEDICATED TO FORMER PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR TOM RIDGE
Somewhere within the Axis of Evil
AHMED: Please, assemble yourselves, my terrorist brethren. We have important plans to discuss. Project U is finally nearing completion.
(murmurs of excitement)
FAYED: But . . . I have heard that Project U was impossible, only a beautiful dream for the cause, and an unholy nightmare for the godless Americans.
KHALID: The technology is too costly! The hydraulics alone cost millions!
AHMED: This is no dream, fellow haters of freedom. Recently, a brilliant Pakistani plumber defected across the border to Afghanistan and provided us with the final piece in the puzzle. In a mere matter of weeks, the powerful "U-bomb" will be at our command. Today, we turn our attention to selecting a target.
AZIZ: I am intrigued. How does this weapon work?
AHMED: The U-Bomb's great tactical value comes in its power, combined with its concealability. It attaches to nearly any type of urinal, exploiting the building's plumbing system to spread the blast and create maximum structural damage. And much spraying of urine. Best of all, it can be easily triggered via catheter.
KHALID: This urinal bomb sounds remarkable! But where to deploy it?
AHMED: We need an urban, downtown center. A place where the explosion can cripple transportation, government and commerce all at once. (Pause) We're just deciding between the Embarcadero and Powell Street BART stations.
Montgomery BART Station,
FAROUK: We are thirty minutes behind schedule, Mustafa.
MUSTAFA: I apologize, but I could not have anticipated the delay at MacArthur. Who would guess that "Millbrae" indicated San Francisco? There was no need for us to go up and down the stairs there, and I am sorry.
FAROUK: Put it behind you, Mustafa. We are here, and now is time to move. Take up your observation post, and I will proceed to the target point.
MUSTAFA: Yes, Farouk.
(FAROUK notices sign)
FAROUK: "Due to heightened station security, all public restrooms are closed". Mustafa! What do we do now?
MUSTAFA: What if you told the station agent that you really, really had to go?
(FAROUK tries to get station agent's attention, fails. Pretends to be impatient and agitated. Actually becomes impatient and agitated. Still, no progress.)
FAROUK: It is of no use. These Americans are so clever, anticipating our every move! First, the plan to smuggle poisoned breast milk onto airplanes - stopped by airport security details! Then our U-bomb, rendered all but useless today!
MUSTAFA: Farouk, we must not dwell on our failures! Perhaps we could see if the Lake Merritt station has an unguarded urinal . . .
FAROUK: Oh, what's the use, Mustafa? Even if we could figure whether we needed a train to "Fremont" or the unholy city-state of "Dublin-Pleasanton", there's no way we can succeed! Ridge would be two steps ahead of us, as always! He sees all and knows all! Just last week, he announced our plot to disrupt the presidential election - before we had made the plot in the first place! This is no mere man. Ridge is a demon of freedom!
MUSTAFA: (whispered) Or an angel.
FAROUK: Mustafa, I do not know what to do. We can't even afford to go back to El Cerrito Del Norte station - who would have thought we'd need return fare?
MUSTAFA: Wait, Farouk. This bathroom is within the exit gates.
MUSTAFA: So, we never went through the gate. If we return to our original station, we will owe only an "excursion fare" of $4.
FAROUK: You lying jackal!
MUSTAFA: I speak the truth!
FAROUK: Amazing! Perhaps . . . perhaps American freedom is not so bad after all. Come, Mustafa. Perhaps we can sell this U-bomb on Ebay.
(CURTAIN. REO Speedwagon's "I Can't Fight This Feeling" plays over the curtain call)