The Why?s Man

"My art is place specific and people specific." George Wyllie


Back to A Day Down a Goldmine

EXTRACT FOUR: ALCHEMISTS

 

GUIDE:

Excuse me. (then speaking into phone). It is not easy to suppress primitive roots and nowadays the avaricious game is given away by dog-fights in exclusive high-tech amphitheatres as the over-eager players bark and snarl and claw at computers for possession of some semi-precious bone. Dogs, with some sort of sense bury this end, (indicates natural end of bone) but we, the great human race, with no sense at all, bury the other. (indicates gold end).

 

GUIDE:

The stance for these exchanges is the phone - the semi-precious phone? - jammed between the ear and the neck. (demonstrates). At the other end of the line, the rest of us play the part of the sheep and the goats - Sell! (He bangs down the phone). Like sheep and goats, gold too became a bit thin on the ground. Now, you can always breed more sheep and goats, but you can't breed gold or can you? ... Well, with another out of tune fanfare, there entered that great hubble-bubble magic troupe called the Alchemists!

 

GUIDE:

Every trick the Alchemists tried went wrong, and yet this clumsy magic circle claimed to possess the secret of life itself. (Addressing audience) - This is an experiment for converting an adding machine into a gold bar. They were careful enough not to lose sight of the gold they had in mind, and this was easy, for they never produced any gold to lose sight of. And the (loud yodel) from over the Alps came Paracelsus - a Swiss scientist who, like Galileo, got things right first time. This sixteenth century Swiss Superman swooped down on the Alchemists and replaced their abracadabra's with chemistry.

 

GUIDE:

Yes, Paracelsus got it right and he gave us the very first chemistry set - and with it came a no-nonsense guarantee that it would work - and so it does, to this day. Oh Paracelsus, you freed us from the Great Bum Steer of Alchemy. Oh Paracelsus! Smile upon us and help us to get things right - to be free from the monetary wizards who daily mesmerise us with their Great Bum Steers. Oh Paracelsus, (yodel) yodel golden warnings to us all.


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