April 1, 2030   

I don’t get out much these days, but had an extraordinary experience last night at the Green Dodge Theatre’s farewell performance of Earth in the Balance, a musical adaptation of the popular biography, The Many Faces of Al Gore.

Green Police checked our Carbon Indulgences on the way in. Anybody without recent Indulgence receipts was directed to a booth where all things were sold. Each Carbon Indulgence comes with a promissory note to the effect that (a) proceeds will go to the Al Gore Greenback Endowment Fund, and (b) somebody will hug a tree, if they can find one.

With the sun down and no wind blowing the auditorium was cold, due to the total ban on fossil fuels. Nevertheless everyone rose for the anthem, Global Warming Chorus. On stage the ensemble was shivering when the chorus began, but as their tempo became more and more frenzied they warmed up to the occasion.

The crowd broke into thunderous applause as their epic hero walked on stage to sing It’s Going to be a Tough Campaign. This role is played by an animatron, since no living actor is capable of reproducing the authentic Gore hand gestures. I’ve seen historic footage of Al Gore raising his left hand (unemployment is up) while lowering his right hand (but the economy is down). Only a detailed physiographic analysis of this footage on a supercomputer allowed the animatron to be programmed.

Understudies for both Gore and Lieberman gave a fine rendition of Chads and Dimples lamenting the 2000 Florida recount. The verses about hanging chads and pregnant ballots were especially touching.

There were tears in the eyes of the faithful when Democrats took the stage to sing We Can’t Let Him Lose Again. A gigantic image of Al Gore was projected on the screen with time lapse photos of windmills and green trees sprouting from the ashes. Environmental, not sappy, mind you. It was a fitting segue to It’s a Long Way to Tipper. In this song, Gore waxed sentimental. His remembrance of detours to massage parlors touched the heartstrings, certainly the high point of the evening.

Gore made a nostalgic final appearance on stage for his soliloquy, When I Invented the Internet. The crowd went wild! Green computer aficionados in the audience could scarcely contain themselves, though the Green Police saw to it that they couldn’t run up on stage to embrace their idol.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. When the ensemble again took center stage to sing Earth in the Balance, everyone remembered the ice storm they had braved to come to this farewell performance. Most were too young to recall Al Gore’s declaration that we have only ten years left before global warming overtakes the Earth. “It’s been 30 years, but hope springs eternal,” I assured my young companions as we donned our overcoats and earmuffs.