The Four Horsemen of the Small Business Apocalypse.

This is a play written by noted Russian playwright -Retep Gnorts

Cast: The Four Horsemen: Arrogance, Amazon, Complexity, Dark Web, Conscience


The scene opens with a table with four chairs. Entering from stage left come the four horsemen – with much neighing of horses and pinging of the web. They are laughing and scowling at each other as they proceed to sit down.


ARROGANCE:

How goes it Amazon? Destroyed much lately?

AMAZON:

You better believe it. What about you?

COMPLEXITY:

Alright. Come to order - we need to follow the rules here and it’s my job to make it complicated. (They all laugh uproariously)

DARK WEB:

Hey Amazon! I have all your users’ private details on my dark, dark Web. (They laugh even more; Dark Web and Amazon do a high five).

COMPLEXITY:

Seriously, come to order! We need to share our activities. But bloody hell, where is Conscience? We can’t have a meeting without Conscience.

ARROGANCE:

True. Conscience always breaks me up – (high mocking voice) oh you can’t do this and you can’t do that. We wouldn’t know if were apocalypsing effectively without her - sorry, him... Sorry, it. Hey, just what gender is Conscience?

AMAZON:

I don’t even know what gender I am but I do know that calling ourselves the four horse MEN drives gender warriors nuts. I can’t wait 'til they call us the Four Horse_NON_GENDER_SPECIFIC_BEINGS of the apocalypse.

DARK WEB:

Or the Four Horse-People of the apocalypse. Sounds very lame. Maybe the Four Politically Correct Horse-People of the apocalypse? (Much laughter and high fiving).


(CONSCIENCE enters from stage left)

CONSCIENCE:

But how would you like to be just ignored all the time because you are a woman? We want to be apocalyptic too! Well, some women do... I think? I think I’m a woman?

ARROGANCE:

You sexist pig! (They all laugh again)

COMPLEXITY:

Ah, Conscience, you’ve finally arrived. Now we can start. (All the horsemen attempt to high five or knuckle tap Conscience but she dodges them all).

OK! Come to order. Let’s report on our successes. Arrogance, you start.

ARROGANCE:

Thank you. Well, what a year. We come closer to our final aim: the end of the world.

AMAZON:

Rubbish! That’s beyond even us.

ARROGANCE:

Wait for it (looks annoyed). I have made sure that all the climate change deniers have arrogance of the highest level: they won’t listen, they won’t think, they won’t engage with anyone that thinks differently, and, importantly, they are willing to sacrifice anything to prove they are right.

CONSCIENCE:

Arrogance, how does that destroy the world??

DARK WEB:

Yeah? Anyway, I have all the deniers' details and will soon sell them for a tidy little profit.

COMPLEXITY:

Shut up, Dark Web. Your turn will come soon. Arrogance, how will that destroy the world?

ARROGANCE:

Well let me FINISH. I have also made the climate warriors extremely arrogant. They too won’t listen, they won’t think of how to achieve things through consensus, they won’t engage with anyone who thinks differently and, importantly, they are willing to sacrifice anything to prove they are right.


All except CONSCIENCE: Brilliant, fabulous, amazing, but I’m still lost?

ARROGANCE:

Well, with both ends of the argument refusing to listen and demanding they are right it means that there can be no solution. Climate change will just get worse and worse. The world will end. I predict if they keep arguing, on 14 February 2071.

CONSCIENCE:

But that is monstrous; how can you do that? This is the only planet we have. Oh my God. Think of the children!

AMAZON:

This is brilliant. So, see if I have it right. You make the extremists at either end of the equation so arrogant that no one can ever find a solution.

ARROGANCE:

Exactly. (Smiling gloatingly).

AMAZON:

No no no. Arrogance, you may indeed be right, but remember there is a lot of that stupid renewable energy being produced so you need to make a few other people arrogant, methinks.

CONSCIENCE:

But you cannot do that. It is ethically wrong. It is destruction. (Starts to sob).

AMAZON:

Thank you, Conscience. You always make me feel good about what I have done.

CONSCIENCE:

But (smug look) I know that that superb fighter for small business and for what is right, that organisation called COSBOA, has now stepped into the energy fight and they never lose or get arrogant. Ever. They are the warriors for common sense that we need.

AMAZON:

SHUT UP, CONSCIENCE! I hate that organisation. Stupid COSBOA. Every time Arrogance forces arrogance onto one of their directors the others rise up and see that director off.


But Arrogance, you are amazing. That is just awesome! It is not just the small business apocalypse that comes closer my friend; it is the final apocalypse.

COMPLEXITY:

Thank you for those comments Amazon – and Arrogance, that is certainly impressive. (Arrogance looks extremely arrogant). Amazon, time for your report. Can you top Arrogance?

AMAZON:

I’m not sure I can top that but I have great news... Unless, of course, you are a small business or a consumer; then you will think the news is terrible. (Chuckles loudly – all the others start chuckling loudly.) Conscience starts to sob.


Firstly, I have decided to destroy Australia. They think they can order ME around. I will ensure that every main street in Australia is empty, that wages drop, that their miserable “inclusive and laconic” culture (does air quotes) is destroyed forever.

DARK WEB:

Wow, that’s great. But what did they do?

AMAZON:

Their government decided that I had to collect their miserable GST when ever someone from Australia buys from me. Over. My. Dead. Body. They’ll pay big time.

DARK WEB:

OK, fair enough, but don’t destroy everyone too quickly as I have their personal data and want to ransom them.

AMAZON:

OK, but hurry as I want to act quick. Anyway, basically, we have managed to shut down a lot of small businesses - 90,000 just in the USA. We have managed to make no profit and pay no tax anywhere, and we have caused wages to drop.

We have also impacted particularly hard on emerging economies. Think of it – as a result, no third world country can ever rise to the first world status as they will have no access to tax or well-paid jobs. That means they’ll have dictators and bad corrupt governments and that means we are more likely to have wars (everyone cheers).

COMPLEXITY:

That is awesome! Think of the original four Horsemen- they’d be so pleased, especially War, who is my uncle, by the way.

ARROGANCE:

And along with War the others will be happy. Good old Pestilence, Famine and Death – I love those guys.

COMPLEXITY:

Well, Amazon, that is fantastic news - the apocalypse gets closer. Dark Web, what about you? As a very new member of this awesome foursome, what goes?

DARK WEB:

Everything goes. (Much high fiving and back slapping). I will soon be able to sell everyone’s most private information to the highest bidding bad person – everyone! (Evil laughter).

ARROGANCE:

Oh my god, I love evil laughter – sighs.

DARK WEB:

That’s my report. That’s all have to say because there is no need to say anymore (evil laughter then swallows a laugh and starts to cough).

CONSCIENCE:

See what happens, Dark Web? That is hubris punishing you! Ha!

ARROGANCE:

Woah, Conscience, you hurt DW’s feelings. You know he or she or it loves hubris!

CONSCIENCE:

Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt… Hang on, (starts to sob) ...Sometimes I think you take advantage of me.

COMPLEXITY:

Come to order and Conscience, pull yourself together. Now it is my report.

Firstly, in the last month I have created 385 new acronyms, which is an all-time record.

All: That is awesome!! Wow. That’ll kill a few more businesses.

COMPLEXITY:

That’s not all; I’ve been busy. I’ve made workplace relations in Australia even more complicated by introducing the whole idea of a living wage.

CONSCIENCE:

But isn’t that a good thing? Won’t people be better off?

COMPLEXITY:

Oh, conscience, you are so simple and silly. Some people will indeed be better off but most will actually end up with less money – it’s perfect as it sounds like a good thing but it isn’t! It’s what we apocolypsians always seek – a good old fashioned lose/lose.

ARROGANCE:

(Starts fist pumping) I love a good lose/lose.

EVERYBODY (chanting) Lose - lose – lose - lose. (Lots of high fives, fist taps and glee).

DARK WEB:

Wow, that’s pretty good. I didn’t think we could get their workplace system any sillier, although that Gillard person did tidy it up a lot – what a horrid person.

CONSCIENCE:

Yes, she is wonderful. The only ex PM that is a statesman - sorry, woman... Or person, or whatever.

ARROGANCE:

Yes, I have been able affect the other recent leaders with good doses of arrogance, but she remains untouchable. (Looks cross).

COMPLEXITY:

That’s OK. We will soon get their workplace system back to the highest level of complexity ever achieved; that is my aim, my KPI.


OK, we better go now. Oh, I forgot - as a special way of creating complexity I have also organised for more light rail constructions in Australia, although they are hardly constructive.

DARK WEB:

Excellent. The one in Sydney destroyed a lot of small businesses. And that one in Canberra will eventually kill off small business as they try to pay for it. (chuckles).

COMPLEXITY:

Yes, it’s true, I am brilliant. (looks smug).

ARROGANCE:

Hang on there Complexity, don’t get too smug and arrogant. (Looks angry and yells) That’s MY JOB.

COMPLEXITY:

I enjoy ending our meetings on a sour note. Thanks, Arrogance. Meeting over. Back to work.


RECENT POST
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

© 2018 Peter Strong CEO, COSBOA  

  • Twitter Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon