This play is based on true events that have taken place from 1992 through present day. It illustrates fairly well how food gets involved in all manner of politics.
There is a PODIUM placed in front of members of the PRESS. Sitting at chairs to either side of the podium include, the US GOVERNMENT, the CALIFORNIA AVOCADO GROWERS ASSOCIATION, the US CORN INDUSTRY, and the MEXICAN AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT. The US Governments saunters over too the podium and taps the mike to see if it’s on. It is.
US GOVERNMENT: Uh. Hello. If I could have your attention for a moment.
(Speaks louder and with more authority) I would like to welcome the new opportunities the have arrived with the signing of the North America Free Trade Agreement. With this agreement, it will allow all manner of products to be sold at markets throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico and beyond. With this, we open our doors to products previously restricted…
CALIFORNIA AVOCADO GROWERS ASSOCIATION:(interrupting)*cough* Except Avocados.*cough*.
US GOVERNMENT:(startled) I’m sorry…what?
MEXICO: What did you say California?
The Avocado growers stand up and walk to the US Government. In their hand is clearly seen a roll of MONEY.
CALIFORNIA AVOCADO GROWERS ASSOCIATION:(to the US Government)I said…Except Avocados. They aren’t part of NAFTA. They have… (placing money in to US Governments hands)
MEXICO: Our avocados do not have fruit flies!
US GOVERNMENT:(counting money) Except for avocados. Mexico can’t bring them into the US, because they have fruit flies, french fries, something. Whatever. They ain’t coming in.
MEXICO: We do NOT HAVE fruit flies!
California gives the US Government the thumbs up and walks back to their chair to sit.
MEXICO. I said, our avocados do NOT have FRUIT FLIES!
US GOVERNMENT:(Returning to the speech) And in this new era of free trade, we can bring money to people unused to such opportunities.
MEXICO: Okay, screw you guys. We can’t trade avocados? Well then you can’t sell us your corn. Something about corn worms or something. Doesn’t matter. Your corn sucks. It’ll ruin our tradition. That’s it.. tradition!
US CORN INDUSTRY: Whoa, whoa. Let’s not get hasty now.
MEXICO: I can smell the stink of your corn crop over here. Why would we let that into our land. The land which corn originally grows I should add.
US CORN INDUSTRY: Gawddamit!!
The Corn industry gets up and walks directly to the US government. They give a roll of money, write a check, and free tickets to the Nebraska Cornhusker Football Games to the Government. They shoot an evil glance at both California and Mexico before return to their seat. The Government stares at the bounty in their hands.
US GOVERNMENT: I’m sorry, what was I saying? Mexican Avocados can be sold in the US as soon as we determine them to be free of Fruit flies.
MEXICO: WE don’t HAVE FRUIT FLIES!
The Corn industry stares at the Government and snaps their fingers. A SCIENTIST in a white LAB COAT glances out from the stage left curtain.
SCIENTIST: Mexican Avocados do not have fruit flies.
MEXICO: I told you!
US GOVERNMENT:Mexican Avocados do not have fruit flies, and will be available throughout the United States.
CALIFORNIA AVOCADO GROWERS ASSOCIATION: DAMN IT.
The avocado growers get up and run to the US government. They empty their pockets, giving the government anything that might be of value. Dimes, pennies, tickets to Disneyland.
US GOVERNMENT: This isn’t as much as the corn growers gave.
CALIFORNIA AVOCADO GROWERS ASSOCIATION: It’s all I got.
The government nods and prompts the avocado growers to sit down.
US GOVERNMENT:(returning to the speech) As I was about to say, Mexican Avocados do not have fruit flies, and will be available throughout the United States…
CALIFORNIA AVOCADO GROWERS ASSOCIATION: Hey!!
US GOVERNMENT: …except for those states who believe that Mexican Avocados have fruit flies.
CALIFORNIA AVOCADO GROWERS ASSOCIATION: Ha!
The Corn industry clears their throat as a threat.
US GOVERNMENT: Until 2007. Because, by 2007 I’m sure this whole fruit fly nonsense will be taken care of.
MEXICO: WE DO NOT HAVE FRUIT FLIES!
US GOVERNMENT: I’m sorry Mexico, were you saying something?
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