Chengdu — Two months ago. It was time for the financial reports at the Panda Base. They were in trouble. Head of financial department Mr. Shi couldn't sleep at night.
Cast of Characters
Wang – head of financial department
Shi – marketing director
Mao – secretary
Fei – cleaner
Jin & Sha – researchers
Act I, Scene I. In the office.
Wang: I checked the books, and there was an unexplained, a big fat ugly red hole in the books. We're have a monthly gap of 6,000 kuai. Any idea?
Shi: Hey, I'm the marketing director ... that's part of my job. Hmmm ... Let me think for a second ... even if that's against our corporate policies. (Wang and Shi exchange scowls.) Why don't we sell the panda image and name to a cigarette company?
Wang: Done that.
Shi: Travel group?
Wang: Too late.
Shi: Garment manufacturer?
Shi: Silent Tactical Generators for Mobile Land, Sea and Air Operations?
Wang: Uh, can you repeat that?
Shi: Never mind. Hairdressing and beauty-salon equipment?
Wang: (Scoffing.) We have standards. ... What about furniture?
Shi: Well ... seafood?
Wang: How does this connect.
Shi: Recycled plastic rot-proof plant support?
Wang: I thought we had that already.
Shi: Sintered and bonded NdFeB magnets, Ferrite magnetic
materials and magnetic products?
Wang: Getting warmer.
Shi: Lebanese soap?
Wang: I haven't had Lebanese in a long time ...
(Enter Fei, stage left.)
Fei: We have a problem, boss.
Wang: It says, "Knock before you enter." Does it have to be now?
Shi: (Interrupting.) Hey! Why don't we cajole a big company
sitting on billions into adopting a baby panda?
Wang: I hate Microsoft. Anyway, they've already adopted one. Remember, the one named Microsoft?
Fei: 'ey, Boss, sorry to disturb you guys ... the thing is, we don't know what we should do with all this.
Wang: All this what?
Wang: Whose shit?
Fei: The poop of our national treasure. By the way ... .
Wang: Oh, this panda poop is making me crazy. We're spending,
like, 6,000 RMB a month for the panda poop.
Shi: That's 37,000 RMB a year.
Fei: 72,000. What's that smell?
Wang: Right. Where do I get the money for all this? ....
(Looking around.) Shi's having some digestive problems.
Shi: (Looking away.) And don't forget to raise my salary next month.
Wang: Sure, I'll give you a raise. If you can make money out of shit.
Mao: The delegation from Thailand just came back. They can't stop raving about this new technology.
Wang: Ah ... you mean the ... uh ....
Fei: Fiber-rich gift-wrapping paper!
Shi: ... the one made from elephant dung?
(Enter Jin and Sha.)
Fei: Yeah, I read about it in this magazine. Making the paper involves a day-long process of cleaning the feces, boiling it in a soda solution, bleaching it with chlorine and drying it under the sun.
Wang: Which magazine was that?
Jin: If I may add ... they faced the same problem as us and have sculpted photo frames, bookmarks, fans, and elephant statues out of the ... uh ... .
Sha: And the most expensive of the souvenirs will contain an elephant hair in each package! Hey, what's that smell ... ?
Shi: An elephant hair? Pulled from the elephant!?
Sha: Of course not. It's collected from the wild.
Fei: I asked a simple question, and I'm waiting for an answer.
Shi: What was the question? The smell?
Fei: What we are doing with all that undigested bamboo?
Wang: You're worse than my wife. Can't you see it's a not an appropriate time?
Fei: (Leaving the office.) Fine! Then I quit and leave you guys alone with 300 tons of droppings produced by 60 giant pandas each year.
Wang: Forty Pandas?
Sha: No, 40 times a day.
Wang: You mean the, uh ...
Jin and Sha: (In unison.) Exactly!
Shi: That's it. Hey, what's that smell?
Everybody: Our beloved national treasure!
This "play"was first published in CHENGDOO citylife Magazine, issue 4 ("changing chengdu").
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