Script for Lord of the Qs: Scene 3
SCENE 3: THE MINES OF PL ------------------------ NARRATOR: The fellowship set out, supported by NSF Career Grant 6.023x10^23. Trudging through the snow, fate brought them past fenced off stairs and parking lots, finally delivering them the before the sealed gates of the mines of PL. Above them, the words, "Speak Friend, and Press Enter". GIMLI: What are the semantics of a friend? GANDALF: Student Union? (Group of people enter, student union) STUDENT UNION: Nobody expects the student union. Our chief weapon is surprise, surprise and fear, fear and surprise. Our two weapons are... GIMLI: Get lost! Go back to the skit from whence you came! (Student union goes away, doors open) SAM: So what was the password? GIMLI: I think it was whence ... ? (Gandalf sends door away, students enter through the door) GANDALF: I fear this must be our path. We must face the long dark of PL. Be on your guard! There are older and fouler things than lambda calculus in the deep places of the world. FRODO: I wish the burden of the Qs had never fallen upon us. GANDALF: That is not for you to decide. It became your destiny when you joined the department. It matters not how this burden came to you, but what you choose to do after it. You can go on to get your PhD and change the world, and the minds of those to come. Or you can drop out, found a startup, and make millions. ALL STUDENTS: For real? GANDALF: What do you think this is, Stanford? There are forces other than evil at work in this world. Those of us who choose the path of research walk a hard road, but ultimately are rewarded with tenure. NARRATOR: For many days the companions journeyed through the dark maze of the mines. The One Q required passage of the other Qs, for knowledge is built upon knowledge. At last they come upon the bridge of 611. (Gandalf comes to the bridge first, stops and turns around) GANDALF: You Shall Not Pass! FRODO: (Panicking) But you're my advisor! You're supposed to help me! GANDALF: You Shall Not Pass! Flame of Udun... (Gandalf improvises) BOROMIR: Quick! This way! The bridge of 411! (Boromir points to the side, to another bridge, they all run to the other bridge, and cross it safely. Gandalf is left standing on the first bridge, then collapses, stays on stage. The others run off the stage) SAM: What posessed Gandalf there? FRODO: It is the power of the one Q. A chance for eternal fame, and the pressure of solving it finally overcame him. BOROMIR: We must not rest here, we must carry on! By nightfall these hills will be crawling with other faculty who have been overcome! We must reach the woods of Lothlorien.