Scene 1: Banquet Hall

(Applause dies down)

Doctor Smith:  “Welcome to the weekly banquet, fellow heart patients. As a cardiologist and your surgeon, it is my privilege to feed you only the healthiest of heart-healthy foods while we are gathered for this feast today. Please pull out your menus and turn with me to the appetizer section I’m going to serve.”

“We all are united by hearts that have been damaged. My job as a well-studied cardiology expert is to make sure that this banquet you are about to consume today is full of 100 percent, life-giving nutrients. There is nothing bad for you in this meal I’ve prepared for you.”

“Before we dig in, a couple of housekeeping announcements.  I want to make you aware of the commercials you might have seen this week that tell you corn syrup is actually good for you. Well I have been looking into it, and I want to warn you that those commercials are… well…not exactly accurate.  I don’t think I need to go into any additional details. Look, we all know those other cardiologists out there who would name names and get bogged down in the minutia of corn syrup details, but we’re not like those know-it-alls. No, I can assure you that if you simply focus on heart-healthy foods, you don’t need to worry about who is serving things that aren’t healthy.  I’d rather be known not for the foods I’m against, but the pure, organic and natural foods I am for.  Wouldn’t you?”

(Crown murmers in agreement)

Doctor Smith: “That being said, let’s pick up our forks—“

Heart Patient (interrupting):  “Doctor! Oh Doctor!”

Doctor Smith:  “Yes, you in the second row. I see that hand. You have a question?”

Heart Patient: “Um, this salad dressing says Beth’s® Ranch Dressing on the label. I heard that it has 20 grams of corn syrup in it. Should we really be eating this?”

Doctor Smith:  “Look, as your Doctor, I can assure you that Beth’s® Ranch Dressing has always been healthy and good for you. Besides, you are pouring it on vegetables. Now I’m sure the fine people at Beth’s, whom I personally know by the way, would never—“

Heart Patient:  “But Doctor, my neighbor is a huge fan of Beth’s®, and he said that 18 months ago the company president decided to use artificial sweeteners and corn syrup to get more people to buy it, so the recipe has changed—“


Heart Patient: “B-But I’m not trying to—“

Doctor Smith:  “(sigh.) Look, I’ve been to cardiology school. Have you? The president of Beth’s® is a friend of mine. Is he your friend? Have you personally gone and talked to him first?  You’re not very far along in your heart journey, but if you are going to sit at this table, you’re going to have to examine your own motives and your own spirit, which is obviously hostile.”


Silence. Heart patient sits down.