a fellow Old Portoran

Vladimir and Boris meet near a tree in Ukraine.

They converse on various topics and reveal that they are waiting there for a man named Donald.

Boris and Vlad, sitting by a tree

While they wait, two other men enter. Lukashenko is on his way to the market to sell his slave, Duda. He pauses for a while to converse with Vladimir and Boris.

Duda entertains them by dancing with a passing black bear and shows them outtakes from his state television channel, but Lukashenko gets bored and they leave.

Okay … so where’s he hiding? I was enjoying that dance!

After they leave, a boy named Biden enters and tells Vladimir that he is a messenger from Donald. Vladimir is not sure whether to trust him but he seems genuine enough, and he tells Vladimir that Donald will not be coming tonight, but that he will surely come tomorrow. Not only that, but he will do everything in his power to unfreeze Vladimir’s assets if, once again, he helps him to get Donald re-elected next year. Vladimir asks him some questions about Donald, but bored with his role of messenger boy, Biden departs. After his departure, Vladimir and Boris also decide to leave, but they do not move as the curtain falls.

The curtain rises for the third act:

Boris:             So, Vlad … tell me, what are your plans for Ukraine?

Vladimir:      You should be grateful for my campaign to demilitarise and to de-Nazify the Ukraine, Boris. After all, no one is complaining about your lockdown parties any more, are they?

Boris (conveniently ignoring the question): Um … err … is de-Nazify an actual word Vlad?

Vladimir:      It is now. Is Peppa Pig an actual political construct, Boris?

Boris:             Ah … err … um …

Vladimir:        Anyway, I still haven’t forgiven you for what you said about me in 2005.

Boris:             Ah … err … um … and what was that, Vlad?

Vladimir:      I remember it well  … let me see … [withdraws a piece of paper from his breast pocket. On one side is the Minsk II agreement and on the other a handwritten note, from which he reads] you said: “Despite looking a bit like Dobby the house-elf, he is a ruthless and manipulative tyrant.”

Dobby – now Public Enemy No1

Boris:             Ah … err … um … err … as we all must … ahhhh … forgive me … ah, well … that was Dominic Cummings’ idea, not mine.

Vladimir:      Dobby the house-elf indeed! Let’s just see who will call me Dobby the house-elf when I have re-established the glorious CCCP? Ha!

Boris lights a cigar.

Vladimir:      Put that out please. I detest smoking. I will not be surrounded by people who smoke. I sack them … maybe even send them to the salt mines.

Boris:             Ah … err … um … So that’s something else you and Adolf have in common?

Vladimir:      He has always been something of an inspiration to me. Anyway, I suppose that I am indebted to you for not giving the Ukrainians British visas.

Boris:             Oh, think nothing of it, Vlad. All part of taking back control, you know. That’s what the glorious British electorate voted for with Brexit. Actually they didn’t know what they were voting for … and if I’m honest … neither did I. Anyway … let’s change the subject. How long do you think it will be before Donald comes?

Vladimir:      Donald will come at once if I tell him I am about to trigger a nuclear war.

Boris:             Ah … err … um. Steady on old chap? I say, is your finger really on the button or is that just the sort of bullshit I come out with? You know, err … um … a bit like saying about Muslim women who wear burquas … that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes.

Vladimir:      Of course it is on the button. It is all the time on the button. Why do you think Donald wants my help to get re-elected?

Boris:             Um … err … I don’t know. Maybe because he’s been to Peppa Pig World and has nothing else to do?

Vladimir:      Net, you bumbling fool! He wants to get back into The White House because I give him a good excuse to put his finger on the button too. Then we will both have our fingers on the buttons, and for that he will make you weak, pesky Western Europeans give me my money back.

Boris:             Right. Well … err … um … I suppose that makes sense.

Vladimir:      We all must have our dreams. I mean, didn’t you once say that your chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or being reincarnated as an olive?

Boris:             Err … ah … um … did I really?

Vladimir:      Yes you did. And look at you now!  You’re almost an olive! We wait. We are bored. No, don’t protest, we are bored to death, there’s no denying it.

Boris:             Um .. err … really?

Vladimir :     Yes, we are. A diversion like Ukraine comes along and what do we do? We don’t let it go to waste. … In an instant, all will vanish and we’ll be alone once more, in the midst of nothingness.

Boris:             You stole those lines from Beckett, you scoundrel, in the same way that you are stealing freedom from Ukrainians. You steal everything. That’s what you are … nothing more than a house-elf and a thief! Anyway … let’s go.

Vladimir:      We can’t.

Boris:             Why not?

Vladimir:      We’re waiting for Donald.

Boris:             Ah!


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