Waiting for the MDC

Cabbages and Kings

A CRIMSON reporter was walking his news beat along the Charles River sycamore grove at 5:45 a.m. one day this week, when two woolly figures emerged from the mist and approached him at a gallop near Weld Boat House. Always eager for a story, he accosted them...

Reporter (as they pass him): Hello. Who are you?

Minuteman (looking back): We are the Minuteman and Minutewoman. We're waiting for the MDC, and this is our dime to call Mrs. Finley. We forgot our whistle.

Reporter (catching up to them): Why are you awake so early?

Minuteman (staggering and then coming to a a stop): Because my wife made me get up. (turning to Minutewoman) Let's go.

Minutewoman: We can't.

Minuteman: Why not?

Minutewoman: We're waiting for the MDC. (jogging toward Dunster House) Oh, lovely trees that will soon be gone.

Minuteman (enraptured): Everything seems asleep.

Minutewoman: Everything is asleep--except the evil underpass-building MDC agents, that is. They will come in the dawn one day and snatch away our sycamores in the flowering of their youth. We must guard them--with our lives, if necessary.

Reporter (gasping as trio nears Peabody Terrace): But they say they need the underpasses; society must progress.

Minutewoman: Progress, shmogress. (casting about unhappily) Where will we bicycle and walk? And it's so much fun to drive under the sycamores in the summer.

Minuteman (nobly): It seems to me the sycamores are one of the last remnants of nineteen century elegance.

Minutewoman: Lovely, magnificent. (the sun rises) Look, so pretty in the sunlight. (breaking into a trot) The trees and river complement each other so perfectly. Why not build the damn roads someplace else? They could move some ugly stores.

Minuteman (sternly, as he runs): Or fill in the river.

Minutewoman: No. They're pretty for the rowers to look at, too.

Reporter (panting as he strains to keep up with them): You've been compared to the Concord Minutemen of 1775, you know.

Minutewoman: How curious. (a little sadly) Well, at least we'll know we tried. They won't take the sycamores without a fight. (reporter trips)

Reporter (as they trample him under): It's seven o'clock. The MDC will never come now. Too much traffic.

Minuteman: Well. Shall we go?

Minutewoman: Yes, let's go. (they run off)