Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Darger & Surplus Teach You . . . How to Run a Con (First Lesson)


I'm playing hooky today!  Off into the wilds of New Jersey or it may well be Maryland, to look at birds.  But rather than leave you without entertainment, I'm honoring a request one of this blog's readers made -- my apologies for not having the time to dig deeply enough into old posts to credit you with the idea; why don't you reply to today's entry and figuratively take a bow? -- to post the scripts for the series running weekly on StarShipSofa in which Darger & Surplus teach you . . . "How to Run a Con."

I asked Tony C. Smith, StarShipSofa's helmsman, if it was proper to do so, and he very graciously gave me the go-ahead.

Today, the very first script.  If you'd like to hear  Gregory Frost and me perform it,  click here to go to the podcast.  Simply scroll to the bottom of the page and click either play in new window or download.



“First Lesson”

Darger:  Hello, this is Darger.

Surplus:  And I’m Surplus.  And we’re here to teach you . . .

Together:  . . . how to run a con.

Darger:  Before we begin the instructional part of this series, we thought we should address the question of consequences.

Surplus:  Which is to say, incarceration.  Durance vile.  Loss of freedom.  In short, jail time.  Because if you’re going to devote yourself to a life lived by one’s wits, you’ve got to take into account that even though a smart enough individual can beat the odds, nobody escapes unscathed every single time.

Darger:  Amen.  Now, I myself have never been jailed, but –

Surplus:  Whoa, whoa, whoa!  What about that time in Vienna?

Darger:  That?  That was a case of mistaken identity.  I wasn’t arrested for anything I’d done but what somebody I was taken to be had done.  So it hardly counts.

Surplus:  And in Stockholm?

Darger:  If you’ll recall, that was part of our original plan.  I was in that prison strictly for business purposes.

Surplus:  You were still jailed.

Darger:  I was in jail.  There’s a difference.  So were the warden and the guards but you’d hardly say they were incarcerated, would you?  It was simply a condition of my employment.

Surplus:  Which, to be fair, was our original thesis.  That practitioners of the confidential arts should be prepared for the occasional involuntary stay in substandard government housing.

Darger:  Indeed.  Well, we could go on and on, but I think our point has been made.
Surplus:  So do I.

Together:  If you can’t do time, don’t do crime!

Surplus:  That’s all for today.  This is Surplus.

Darger:  And I’m Darger.  Teaching you .  . .

Together:  . . . how to run a con.


Surplus:  What about that time in the Wurmenthal?

Darger:  Please.  I was swallowed by a dragon.  It was hardly the same thing.  Anyway, it was also a luxury hotel.

Surplus:  Which you weren’t allowed to leave.

Darger:  It served an excellent pate de fois gras.  Does that sound like a jail?

Surplus:  Point taken.

Above:  Not mine, alas.  I swiped the image from the Web.


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