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Peter Weller's Cigar Paradise

Africa, or finding the Founding Fathers (Rolling in Their Graves) While Smoking my Way Through Post-Apartheid Cape Town
Peter Weller
From the Print Edition:
Tyson vs. King, Jan/Feb 04

(continued from page 4)

I began, "When I was in London in 1977, doing Sticks and Bones, David Rabe's play about Vietnam, I was roasted nightly by my landlord, Phillip Gundry, a professor of English history at Oxford, who, at my expense, made constant jokes of the great imperial sin of Vietnam perpetrated by America, at that time too dumb to learn from Europe the ultimate hazards of colonization. The night before I left London, Phillip threw a dinner for me, inviting all his professor friends who, one by one, went around the table and blasted the United States one more time, lest I forget every wound Phillip had opened during my stay in his house. However, when it got to Phillip, he stood and said, 'Whatever her mistakes of the last half century and in spite of her own problems concerning human rights, the United States of America has taken the torch of civil liberties from Europe and waved it back at us. And we, the globe, must listen, for it is the United States that is foreshadowing what must come concerning problems of race economics, so that all on the planet may live in liberty.'"

I continued to the table, "And, folks, at Phillip's proclamation I almost started to weep…."

"Crap! Jingoistic ignoramus crap!" the cannons sound from across the table, out of the mouth of Rick, an American and…traitor.

"Let me finish!" I ask.

"Why should you finish? I've heard that crud forever, and you know as well as I do, the United States has done more to subjugate the world with money and guns than any other entity in the history of time."

"I'm not talking about that. Can I finish?" I plead.

"WHO WANTS TO HEAR THIS GARBAGE?" Rick jumps out of his seat.

"I DO!" yells the Doc.

"And so do I," yells Roger, the fairly sizable and imposing Aussie.

"WELL, I THINK I SPEAK FOR MANY OF US WHO DON'T!" yells Rick.


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