This is a part of Mr. Stolyarov’s play, Implied Consent. To navigate through the various parts of the play, go here.
(This scene takes place the next morning. MARK is in his house, drinking tea. On one side of the stage is the entrance to the house, including a door. On the other side of the stage, separated from the entrance by several walls, is an open window. Beside it stands MARK’s hovermobile.)
MARK (to himself and audience): Today shall be the day that fallacies are toppled. I am quite pleased to be able to play a hand in this.
(Suddenly, several TAX AGENTS enter the stage, their faces masked by shadows, and knock furiously at MARK’s door.)
MARK: Who could that be this early in the morning? Victoria would not knock with such fury, and Mr. Neville should likely be in court already, making final arrangements for today’s presentation.
TAX AGENT (shouts in a grim, menacing voice): Open up, Mr. Mark! This is the Internal Revenue Service!
MARK (rushes to the door, in shock): (To himself) Surely, this is some sort of misunderstanding. (Opens door). Hello…
TAX AGENT: Mr. Mark, the IRS will conduct an audit of your income. We demand all your income records, going back six years. We expect the records to be given to us right away.
MARK: Sir, I am certain that you have the wrong man. I have always paid my taxes and filed my returns. I may dislike taxes severely, but I pay them nonetheless, hoping rather to reform the system from within.
TAX AGENT (sternly): This mentality of yours, Mr. Mark, borders on subversion. Any truly loyal American would be happy to pay his taxes and contribute to the strength of his government. Your shameless displeasure with the tax system further suggests the need for us to inspect your records.
MARK: Are you certain that it is proper procedure to immediately rush into a man’s home and demand his files, without any regard for his privacy or any other activities he may be engaged in at the time? Is it not more professional to issue a written warning first, and request the files within a certain timeframe?
TAX AGENT: The IRS will have none of your businessmen’s procedural norms. We have our own procedural norms, and our statutes permit us to enter anybody’s residence and request income records at any time we see fit.
MARK (distressed): Well, can we not resolve this at a more opportune time? I could, for example, sign a document promising you to send you my income statements by tomorrow. You will then have possession of them no later than you had intended.
TAX AGENT: What part of “right away” do you not understand?! Do you realize, Mr. Mark, that under one of our statutes, you are already eligible for five years in prison for disrespectful conduct to agents of the IRS and also for attempting to challenge the better judgment of IRS officials?
MARK (feigns a resigned tone of voice): Very well, my documents are in a locked cabinet in the other room. It is quite a mess, though, so I would like the ability to retrieve them myself shortly. May I get you gentlemen some tea in the meantime?
TAX AGENT: That will get you another five years in prison for attempted poisoning of IRS agents, unless you cooperate now! The documents!
MARK: Very well, wait here. I shall fetch them right away. (Runs through the house and into the room with the open window. Then he begins to speak to himself and the audience.) That was an unambiguous lie, but a necessary one. My documents are in a variety of places, many of them held by my attorney, some others scattered around this house, others still already with the IRS. Yet, if I had told the agents this, I would have been arrested on the spot for not being able to produce the entirety of what they wanted right away. Very well, I now have no other recourse. (Jumps out the window and into the hovermobile, quickly starting the vehicle and flying into the air. The play could represent this by suspending a screen on which a hovermobile flying through the clouds is shown, while a spotlight is directed at MARK inside the vehicle. That is, the actual hovermobile need not move at all.)
MARK (to himself and audience): That was, of course, a temporary solution at best. I am now a fugitive from the law, to be hunted by the IRS and liable to be arrested until this misunderstanding is cleared. Hmmm… or is it a misunderstanding? What are the chances of IRS agents knocking on my door and demanding all my records immediately on the very day that my testimony could have dealt Trent Roberts his first defeat in court? If I had complied and attempted to gather all my income statements as I was asked, this would have taken hours, and I would have been unable to testify today. The audit itself would have consumed even more time, perhaps preventing me from testifying until Roberts had won or my testimony was no longer relevant. As of now, I cannot prove this connection, nor that Roberts was somehow able to influence the IRS behind the scenes, yet any coincidence such as this would be too bizarre to be within the realm of reasonable probability. But, what to do next? Shall I go to court anyway and testify? Yes, go to a government institution while I am hunted by the government! Go into the lion’s mouth! That cannot be. Where else shall I head where I might escape the IRS and perhaps have time to deliberate on how to reverse Roberts’ scheme? Hmmm… what about a place that neither the IRS nor any other part of the government nor the general public know much about, namely, Grummond Laboratories? Mr. Neville will be absent from there, granted, but Dr. Waltonford is skilled enough in legal matters to give me advice on how to respond, and perhaps outmaneuver both Roberts and the IRS. In any case, any attempt at remedying this unfortunate turn of events will be a step forward from my present state. The situation cannot be more grave; I must do what I can, myself to save.
To read other parts of Implied Consent, go here.