INT: Wooden room with a large round wooden table in the middle. Candles are the only source of light and the only sound is the ticking of a clock. Five men are sitting at the table, all with pen in hand and with papers spread out before them. They are John Adams (JA), Thomas Jefferson (TJ), Benjamin Franklin (BF), Rodger Sherman (RS) and Robert Livingston (RL). Richard Henry Lee (RHL) is pacing around the room, almost hovering over the others as to try and see what they’re writing; much in the way that when people are playing cards there always seems to be someone who stands up and looks at the other people’s cards. There is a long silence to the room and the only sounds are the ticking of the clock and RHL’s feet as he shuffles back and forth.  

BF: Ok, so, what’s everyone got?

 

RL: My penmanship is by far better than yours, that’s what I’ve got.

 

TJ: Bobby, I’ve seen your handwriting and I can attest that my left foot dictates to paper in a more decipherable manner.

 

RL: Does not.

 

TJ: Does too.

 

RL: Does not.

 

TJ: I can prove it.

 

RL: Go for it.

 

TJ: Maybe I will!

 

RL: Maybe you should!

 

BF: GENTLEMEN!

 

 

(Silence)

 

 

BF (cont’d): We need to place our brows firmly to the task at hand here. We do not have the time to piddle away and measure our brains against the others’. This is serious. We must get this declaration finished as soon as possible so that Dicky can take it to congress and get this passed through so that we can finally be free from the tyrannous hold of Britain. And that will further also freeing ourselves from listening to Dicky move his damned feet around every two seconds. (To DHL) I mean, God sakes man, stand still!

 

JA: Ok, so what are we trying to do here?

 

RS: What do you mean?

 

JA: I mean, what are we trying to do here?

 

(Silence)

 

RS: Like, what are we trying to do? Like, we’re TRYING to write words on sheets of paper but that’s not working. Is that what you mean?

 

JA: No, I mean what is it exactly we want to come of this?

 

RS: Where have you been?

 

JA: You mean in between Quincy and here? The barber.

 

BF: I think what the Rodge is asking is how is it that you don’t know what we’re doing here?

 

(Silence)

 

TJ: We’re “Declaring” our “Independence” Johnny. Remember?

 

JA: Oh! That stuff. We’re still doing that?

 

ALL IN UNISON: STILL!

 

JA: Well that’s easy. I already drafted that like yesterday. (Pulls out a rather large cylindrical tube that has the words “NOT YOURS MINE” written in large letters on the side of it. JA proceeds to slowly pull out a large sheet of paper from the tube while whistling the tune for “You’re the Best Around.”)

 

JA (cont’d): BOOMSHACKALAKA!

 

BF: What’s that?

 

JA: That’s an expression I just made up right now right here on the spot. It means, “BooYAH!”

 

RL: I think he means the paper.

 

JA: Oh, this little thing, it’s just our nation’s Declaration of Independence, the first of it’s kind.

 

BF: Cool! So, are we done here? I’m starving.

 

TJ: We might want to go over this thing at least once.

 

RHL: Nope. Looks good from here. Can I leave now?

 

RS: What’s the hurry Dicky?

 

RHL: Oh, no hurry, none whatsoever.

 

BF: Ok Johnny, what’s it say?

 

JA: I’ll just leave this here.

 

TJ: What’s that?

 

JA: That’s a link that will take you directly to the Declaration of Independence.

 

TJ: Like a link in a chain?

 

JA: Right. I guess you guys are ready for that yet. But, your kids are going to love it.

 

BF: That’s a quote from somewhere.

 

JA: It’s an obscure reference, you’re probably not going to get it.

 

RHL: ENOUGH! LET’S GET THIS OVER WITH SO WE CAN JUST GO TO THREE PENNY ALREADY!!!

 

BF: So, THAT’S what you’re in a rush for?

 

RHL: Kind of.

 

TJ: Dicky, everyone knows that Three Penny closes every year on the 4th of July to let their employees celebrate the very freedom that we’re fighting for right now. SO, you’re going to have to wait until the 5th to go to Beer Drinker’s Brunch at 10 in the morning and have some of those crazy Bloody Marys that they’ve concocted.

 

RHL: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

 

RS: It’s ok Dicky. What we’re doing here is kind of a big deal.

 

RHL: I know but.

 

BF: And we really need to pay attention to what we’re doing.

 

RHL: I know but.

 

JA: And the people of the great United States of America will be forever remembered each and every 4th of July from this one forth.

 

RHL: I know but.

 

TJ: Dicky, it’ll be ok.

 

RHL: It won’t! It WON’T! I want Zero Gravity Little Wolf and all of its Pale Ale goodness. I want Society and Solitude and I want the 5th one! I want Lawson’s Peppercorn Saison! I want CHICKEN WINGS! I want it all and I want it now!

 

BF: Chill Varuca.

 

TJ: Seriously, get a hold of yourself.

 

JA: But I do think we’re done here. All we have to do is bring this to Congress, get it passed and then we basically own our nation, just like that.

 

TJ: I’m going to tell people I wrote it.

 

BF: Agreed, people should think that Tommy wrote it.

 

JA: No.

 

RS: All in favor?

 

TJ: Aye!

 

BF: Aye!

 

RS: Aye!

 

RL: Aye!

 

JA: You guys!?!

 

RHL: Give it to me, regardless of who wrote it.

 

BF: (rolls the declaration into a tube form and places it inside of a very long cylindrical tube with the words TOMMY J WROTE THIS on the side of it and then hands it to RHL) Here you go Dicky. I’ll see you at the Penny on Sunday for Bloodys.

 

RHL: Cool. I’ll save you a seat. (Leaves)

 

TJ: You do realize that today’s the first and not the forth, right? Three Penny is closed on the fourth but they’re open today and tomorrow and Friday.

 

BF: Oh yeah, totally. I just like to mess with Dicky a little.

 

JA: Anyone want a beer?

 

RS: Like you read about.

 

 

LIGHTS.

 

END SCENE.

 

 

And that’s what it was like when those guys were writing the Declaration of Independence.

 

Honestly.

 

 

So, I wish you all a very safe and happy 4th of July and I’ll see you next week.

 

 

I’m out.

 

 

 

Attheplaygroundyouknow? Taproom