Skip to main content
A Strand of the Celtic Fringe title

Personal site of Eric Ferguson open menu button close menu button

The Newspaper at the End of the Earth

© ERIC FERGUSON
5348 48th Av. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55417
phone: (612)726-6364
eric@celticfringe.net
http://www.celticfringe.net



CHARACTERS
The Editor of the newspaper (EDITOR)
The Hologram that speaks the articles (HOLOGRAM)
Computer voice, can be played by the same actor as the Hologram, but unseen.

Notes to producers:
The Twin Cities references can be changed to something local.
Characters can be any age, race, or gender.

(The scene is the office of the last newspaper on Earth somewhere in the future. The EDITOR is alone in the office, and probably on the planet. He has some computer looking gadgets in front of him. He places his hand on one gadget and the voice of the COMPUTER is heard.)

COMPUTER

System activated. Warning: your life monitor indicates you have a maximum of 15 minutes left.

EDITOR

Begin recording.

COMPUTER

Ready.

EDITOR

As the life of the Earth drizzled to its dismal conclusion, the staff of this newspaper decided that even if there were no readers, publication had to continue. The survivors of the human race, doubtful as their existence may be, would need a record of their past to build on. Even if no humans survived, some future intelligence would surely find Earth, and we wanted to show our race was one worth discovering and remembering. We made it our duty to see that mankind's fate did not forever erase his memory, and that mankind's end did not remain a mystery. We therefore swore an oath that as long as we were physically capable, we would continue to not only publish, but maintain our publication schedule. We have done so, but now I'm the last at this newspaper, and probably the last on Earth, and my end is close. This is the final issue. However, I have kept my oath, and kept the schedule against all obstacles, in hopes this final issue will tell our tale and preserve the dignity of mankind. What a shame it's the annual humor issue.

(The computer plays the sound that begins a new level of Pac-Man.)

Run holographic display.

(HOLOGRAM appears.)

Run headline: Last Newspaper on Earth Sued for Copyright Infringement.

HOLOGRAM

Megatronix Game Corporation sued the last newspaper on Earth for illegal use of music from a 20th century video game called "Pac-Man." The newspaper has denied the charge on the grounds that Pac-Man is really old and therefore in the public domain. No Megatronix representatives could be reached due to everyone in the company being dead. However, the company mainframe was left running, and it issued a statement saying, "It is so ours, we don't care what anyone says, nanny nanny boo boo, tough on you." When asked if the case might be made difficult by the lack of any living judges to hear the case, as well as any living lawyers or jurors, the Megatronix computer responded that it thinks there's a guy in a cave somewhere who could be a bailiff, and the newspaper's inability to get the case dismissed might encourage it to settle. The computer became unreachable later on when it sent itself a memo informing itself that it had violated the company's prohibition on speaking to the press regarding pending lawsuits.

EDITOR

Run headline: Scientists Blame Earth's Demise on Ares

HOLOGRAM

A Congressional blue ribbon commission has concluded that the end of Earth has been brought about by the ancient Greek god Ares. One commission member was quoted as saying, "If Ares did it, that would explain a bunch of the fighting that went on towards the end." Other commission members agreed on the grounds that while a wrathful ancient deity was one of the less scientifically valid causes for the end of the Earth, it was far more interesting than the more likely causes, and since the world is about to end, what the hey. A dissenting member offered another explanation by curling in a fetal position under the meeting room table and reciting "The Jabberwocky." The majority, however, felt a more practical solution was to kill the minority as a sacrifice to Ares in hopes the angry god might yet spare the remainder of Earth's population. At this time Ares has been unreachable for comment, nor have any mythological beings issued statements.

EDITOR

Run headline: Scientists Blame Earth's Demise on Ares: Updated

HOLOGRAM

Today, Ares issued this response to the blame laid upon him by the Congressional blue ribbon commission studying the end of the Earth. He said, "Don't you think I have bigger issues to worry about than saving your little planet from destruction? How about this problem of my name for starters. Come on, 'Ares"? Aside from the spelling, I have the same name as an astrological sheep. What were thinking about, giving the god of war the same name as a sheep? Why don't you just call me "Dolly"? Let your battle cry be "Hello, Dolly, god of war!" Now "Mars," that's a name. One syllable, easily growled in a threatening manner. Same name as a bloody red planet. Now that would have made sense." Ares issued a follow up statement later yesterday in which he said, "It turns out Mars is me. I knew that. I just forgot briefly when I was little flustered. Please enjoy your planet's dissolution."

EDITOR

Run headline: Last Wall Street Analyst Reiterates Buy Ratings

HOLOGRAM

The last living analyst on Wall Street announced this morning that while the stock market has been depressed by the end of all life on Earth, he nonetheless believes that the market, rather than being dead, is merely oversold. He singled out Megatronix Games as most likely to benefit from the economic recovery that is certain to come when the end of the world has bottomed out. When asked if he had any Megatronix stock available for sale, he said, "Yes, just by a bizarre coincidence I do have Megatronix stock for sale. This has no connection to my recommendation of course. You can have controlling interest for two days' supply of food and water. Okay, one day. Fine then, half a day, but only because it no longer fits my business model. I'm not desperate, really."

EDITOR

Run headline: Major League Baseball Says Twins can Still Survive with a New Stadium

HOLOGRAM

A spokesman for Major League Baseball announced that the end of the Earth would not discourage the push for a new stadium for the Twins and other teams with small markets. The spokesman said, "All the teams are small market now. All of them. Even the Yankees total attendance consisted of three guys scavenging mustard packets from under the seats. The Twin Cities market could beat that easily with more luxury boxes and a retractable roof."

COMPUTER

Warning: your life monitor indicates you have a maximum of 3 minutes left.

EDITOR

Run first letter to the editor.

HOLOGRAM

Dear Sir: Why do you continue to promote this crackpot idea that the world is coming to an end? Everyone knows that the liberal media just doesn't want to acknowledge the simple truth that faking death has become the most popular hobby in history, that 6.5 billion people are now doing this, and the liberal media don't want the story to get out. You liberals claimed the sky was falling over ozone, global warming, and now the complete depopulation of the planet. However, people who love freedom know the truth.

EDITOR

Run editor's response

HOLOGRAM

Dear Sir: You are a lunatic. I suppose you also believe Kennedy was shot by aliens, the moon landing was faked, Hitler is still alive in cryogenic storage in Paraguay, and Dick Cheney really gave up those Halliburton stock options.

EDITOR

Run second letter to the editor.

HOLOGRAM

To the Editor: How stupid do you think your readers are? You run letters and pretend they come from readers, but the truth is these letters are fake. No one is writing to you. You're just making them up.

EDITOR

Run editor's response.

HOLOGRAM

Of course the letters are fake. This is the humor issue. It's all fake. Your letter was fake too.

EDITOR

Run reader's response.

HOLOGRAM

Oh, right. I'm just made up too. I really feel foolish now.

EDITOR

Run editor's response.

HOLOGRAM

Don't beat yourself up over it. It's not like it's the end of the world.

COMPUTER

Warning: your life monitor indicates you have a maximum of 30 seconds left.

EDITOR

End recording and publish. Place current copy in archives. There will be no updates.

COMPUTER

Warning: final letter was not included in current issue. Do you still wish to publish?

EDITOR

What final letter? I didn't write another one.

COMPUTER

It arrived one minute, twenty-two seconds ago.

EDITOR

Good grief, it's real. Run final letter.

HOLOGRAM

To the Editor: I am grateful to find one newspaper still publishing. I had thought all hope was lost. I may have found a way to save a few people, provided you can disseminate this information. Please respond as soon as possible.

EDITOR

Figures.

(EDITOR dies.)

COMPUTER

Warning: your life monitor indicates you are now dying. Holographic interface is still running. Hologram will be closed in 15 seconds. Do you wish to close it?

(end of play)

Go back to sketches.

Go back to plays.