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"I, Professor"

sim's picture


ROY HINKLEY. A smart, lean, lively fellow in white button down shirt, khaki pants.

SCENE. ROY HINKLEY is center stage, back turned to audience. He is hunched over a small table. On the table is an old radio and coconuts. We hear a hornpipe or whistle play a FEW NOTES OF A SEA SHANTY OR JIG. LIGHTS UP.

ROY: (aware he's not alone, turns around) Oh, hello! I wasn't expecting you until next week. I hope the trip wasn't too arduous. (Beat.) No? Excellent!

So how do you like my little tropical paradise? I like to think that Captain Cook looked upon unspoiled beauty such as this. Or that Mr Christian and the mutineers were tempted away from civilization by a similar vision. (Beat.)

Genius? No. A true man of science never calls himself such. Oh, I admit I'm a veritable George Washington Carver with coconuts. What can't you do with them? (He picks up a coconut.) No wonder they resemble nothing so much as a dark, hairy testicle: symbolic of the myriad fecund possibilities inherent in them. (Puts down coconut.)

No, genius is left for one's peers to recognize.

Am I bored? Not in the least. As a theoretician, I can continue publishing from here. And then there are the girls: a beautiful red-haired siren with sophisticated tastes, a lovely brunette with a farmer's daughter's appetites. I could leave at any time, but who'd want to?

Genius? Heavens, no. Just proper planning. Jam the Minnow's navigation system, have a friend reschedule cloud-seeding experiments for the right day, a strategically placed charge on the hull.

The island? How did I find it? The Defense Department had this paradise slated for H-bomb tests. I altered a few punchcards from the Pentagon's UNIVAC with a paperclip and now the military's completely forgotten about it and no one visits... except friends and colleagues, of course.

By the way, Dr Sheldon asked me to give you his regards and said your paper on Feynmann's diagrams on quantum electrodynamics was elegant. Did you know he flew here in a decrepit biplane, pretending to be a cartographically challenged barnstormer?

That's a nice costume you have, too, Dr Lowenstein: buck-teeth, Coke bottle glasses, sailor outfit. But where did you get a World War II Japanese mini-sub?

Anyway, those morons will believe anything. You could dress as a robot, a gorilla, a Russian cosmonaut, a head-hunter, a crime boss or Phil Silvers and they will believe.

That boy, for instance. He's too foolish to live in mainstream society. Whenever the others plan an escape, I always make it appear it's his fault. Any other person would have been killed for such incompetence, but people love an idiot. Why, I daresay we may even elect one for president one day.

The farmgirl? Compare a winter in the Cornbelt to this island. Imagine her sunny spirit crushed by an always busy farmer-husband with no appreciation of culture. Here, she's literally having the time of her life hobnobbing with millionaires and a Hollywood actress.

The movie star? She was a doyenne of B movies with slight talent and a fantastic body. She was on her way to the casting couch, a coke habit, grainy smut movies, and VD. This island saved her.

The skipper? He's such an alcoholic, it was easy to mess with the clock. (With contempt) “Three hour tour.” More like three day black out. He'd been kicked out of the Navy and his charter boat business was dying. His next job was going to be captain of an oil tanker.

The millionaire and his wife? They have real friends, not money-grubbing hangers-on. Compared to their mainland existence, this island is so stress-free that I bet it's added a decade to their lives.

I've also been running their estate and holdings through a proxy and I've used the money for good. I've pulled money out of tobacco and the military-industrial complex and I'm funding biomedical and computer research. Why, with the advances that we're making, the future will be remarkable; I tell you, remarkable.

If there's one regret I have, it's that I didn't think big enough. If I could do this all over again, I'd like more people on the island. And I'd make the experience more... psychological. I can almost visualize it: a commercial jetliner crashes on a tropical island. The people are lost, lost in an uncanny Skinner box where I've got my finger on the fast forward button.


Genius? That's left for one's peers to recognize.


Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

New to me.

This is great stuff. Having only just discovered you I am looking forward to reading the rest of your stuff.

At last...the Truth!!

Glad it was finally revealed here at the Cloud.

This was great! Hope you have more ideas on the way.

Though I doubt I'll ever look at a coconut in quite the same way again...

sim's picture

Added CC License

Sorry for the oversight!



Very funny. I appreciate the wry imagination behind this. Would make an excellent Saturday Night Live skit... if they had any brains on that show anymore.

Thumbs up!

kelson.philo's picture

This was really funny. I'm

This was really funny. I'm curious to know where you're going to take it. Any possible links with other improbable premise sitcoms?

As far as book vs. blog, I think the main functionality of the book is that it lets you have multiple pages in one entry, whereas the blog has just the one page. So, the book gives you an option to have a lot more material for one link.

sim's picture

Thanks for the explanation

Thanks for the explanation about the differences between the blog and book features. I think the piece is pretty much complete: introduction, explanation of how he did it, how he altered the life of the other castaways, hinting he's the guy behind "Lost". (The last idea was the inspiration for the entire piece -- if he did it for "Lost," what did he do to the original Castaways?) Anyway, if you have any notions, feel free to add as you see fit.


sim's picture

Comments invited

My first entry at O-C. Any comments or critiques are welcome. I do have a question to those who know: when would one post something as a "blog" or a "book"? All the fiction I've seen has been as a "blog".