Cast: 1. Tarzan, king of the apes, friend of small animals, and arch-nemesis of the West African vine growers association; 2. Steve, slick salesman of sophisticated cellphones.
Stage: Knotted rope hanging from false ceiling.
T: What this button do?
S: I'm glad you asked me that. It's the on-off switch for this particular phone. Just hold it down for five seconds...
T: Tarzan's finger too big. Try knife instead.
S: Please don't do that! Er, preferably not with your teeth either.
T: Little finger work fine. Tarzan like pretty tune. Remind Tarzan of music box that Jane have. Why phone not have lady in blue dress who dance to music?
S: I'm sure we could find you a screen saver that would do something similar. Right now, let me show you where the charger plugs in. Do you have a convenient power socket nearby?
T: What one of them?
S: You know, electricity. To power those indispensable household appliances: toaster, television, coffeemaker, Nintendo Wii. It doesn't matter if it's two-pin or three because this very clever charger comes with an interchangeable plug.
T: Tarzan not know electricity. Can Steve describe?
S: Um, let me try. It's like when cloud gods make great big light flash across sky followed by terrifying roar louder than herd of elephants charging through jungle. Only clever white man take big big power and squeeze inside copper cable so that Tarzan can watch Wimbledon in the comfort of his mud hut.
T: You taking the mickey?
S: Sorry. Then I'm guessing you're not hooked up to the power grid quite yet. Not to worry, Nokia market a marvellous phone that comes with its very own built-in solar panel. I happen to have one here in my bag.
T: Shiny. Remind Tarzan of Peetacootabay fish.
S: Right. We need to find the best place to pick up a signal. Not surprisingly, there aren't too many cellphone towers here in the middle of the jungle. But I'm confident that if we climb up a bit of a hilló
T: Me try. [Tarzan climbs rope and disappears through false ceiling. Sound effects of snapping branches and monkeys screeching. Various leaves and pieces of fruit land by Steve's feet.]
S: [Tarzan jumps back down] Did you find a signal?
T: Was not easy. Have to explain to mother vulture that only wanted to borrow nest. Silly bird thought I want Jane make omelette for breakfast. Fish phone pick up one bar when Tarzan hang upside down from top of tree. Is good?
S: Excellent. I think we're ready to put this phone to the test. Tell me, Tarzan, who would you most like to call right now?
T: Tarzan not want call no one.
S: What about your lovely wife? Imagine that you've had a long day in the jungle and you want to tell Jane that you're going to be late home.
T: What late?
S: You know, like when you've said you'll be back by four but the traffic's all snarled up.
T: Still not understand. Sun high in sky, Tarzan get home before dark. What is late?
S: Forget it. Let's suppose you've invited guests for dinner. How could you let Jane know unless you had a phone?
T: Easy. Tarzan show you. [hollers with hands cupped] Aaaaah-ah-ah-ah-aaaah-ah-ah-ah-aaaah!
S: [holding hands over ears] Wow, that's certainly effective. But what if, say, someone needed to contact you?
T: No problem. They use jungle drums. Listen. [sound effect of jungle drums]
S: That was amazing. What did they say?
T: Drums warn Sabor the leopard spotted above waterfall. Also mother baboon give birth to twins, husband very happy. Invite chimps to big party by coconut trees. And giraffe let everyone know she has extra long scarves for sale.
S: The drums said all that?
T: [nods] Drums very concise. Cheap too. No monthly rental.
S: Well, yes, that's kinda hard to beat. Look here, Tarzan, I give up. [slaps mosquito on leg] I'm going to head back to the office and let the guys know that I finally dropped a sale.
T: Okay. But can Tarzan keep this one?
S: Sure, if you want. [slaps arm] But what possible use is it to you?
T: Tarzan want play mean trick on crocodile. Make him think it shiny fish, then he get real mad trying to eat phone. Tarzan call Cheeta to come watch. You want come?
S: Thanks but I'll take a rain check. [slaps cheek] This jungle's really starting to bug me.
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