BEST SIDE STORY

by Lincoln Spector


(Curtain opens on a New York slum. A group of PC-wielding juvenile delinquents enters and dances a ballet. Another group of dancing thugs, these with Macintoshes, enters and fights them. After the fight is broken up by a Network Administrator, the Mac users leave and Tiff, the leader of the PC users, starts singing.)

Tiff: (Tune: "Jet Song")

When you use DOS you use DOS all the way
From your first data loss 'til you format drive A:.
When you use DOS, why your confidence grows;
For your keys there's commands, for your mouse there's Windows.
It's DOS that's sublime; it's used by all go-getters.
At file-namin' time, we're never locked in fetters--
We choose eight letters.

When you use DOS, old hardware you can swap.
You can buy something new, next month prices will drop.
When you use DOS, why, you're never a stooge,
If your 640's low, well, there's always a cludge.
DOS users: On clones we can run, with brand-names we're the choosers.
The Macs'll buy none, cause all the Apple users
Are mouse abusers.

We're using DOS, yeah! and we're gonna fix
Every last system that's not something eighty-six--
Not something eighty, very weighty, six.

(The Mac users re-enter, trying to cross the stage. The PC users block them, with Tiff directly confronting their leader, Binardo.)

Tiff: So, Daddy-o, what ya doin' here? Can't express yourself in eight letters?

Binardo: (Tune: "America") I like to work on a Macintosh,

Mac users:

All seems a perk on a Macintosh,
Joy's not a quirk on a Macintosh,

PC users: If you're a jerk on a Macintosh.

Mac users: Everything's easy; it's so nice.

PC users: Everything's easy 'cept the price.

Binardo: I have such artistic control.

Tiff: Too bad you're an artist with no soul.

Mac users:

Work's not a chore on a Macintosh,
Never a bore on a Macintosh,
Files you restore on a Macintosh
PC users: That you pay for on a Macintosh.

Mac users: All the menus in the same place.

PC users: That is the dullest interface.

Mac users: Everything you do can be seen.

PC users: If you can find it on your screen.

Nose you pay through for a Macintosh.
Can't run Big Blue on a Macintosh.
Why this brahoo for a Macintosh?
Mac users: We won't find *you* on a Macintosh.

(The gangs square off. Suddenly, we notice, at opposite ends of the stage, two young people exchanging e-mail. Tiff's best friend Toner is using a PC, Binardo's sister Media is on a Mac. As they read each other's messages, they fall deeper and deeper in love. Before the fight can start, the Network Administrator enters.)

Network Administrator: What's wrong with you kids today? All you ever think about is writing viruses and trashing hard disks. Now go! Off line! All of you!

(Everyone exits except the two lovers.)

Media: Darling, I must go.

Toner: Media, will I see you again?

Media: Look for me when the System Folder's empty and the trash can's full.

(She exits.)

Toner: (Tune: "Maria")

Me-di-a!
I just met a node called Me-di-a!
And suddenly my love
Is filling, like a glove, drive C:.

Me-di-a!
I just interfaced with Me-di-a!
And suddenly I know
There's only one I/O for me.

Me-di-a!
Say it loud and the network is smiling,
Say it soft and my code is compiling.

Me-di-a!
In infinite loop on Me-di-a!
(The two gangs enter from opposite sides and come together to fight. Toner stands in between them.)

Toner: Tiff, Binardo, why can't we all be friends? We may use different computers, but we're all the same inside. We all love the feel of the mouse gripped in our right hand, the glow of icons on the screen, the sense of power when we type "DELETE *.*." (The Mac users take a menacing step toward him.) Binardo, I want to be your friend, go places with you, enjoy a laugh together, sleep with your sister.

(Binardo shuffles across the stage, rubbing his feet against the carpet. Then he touches Toner's PC, creating a massive static shock that fries the computer's innards. At that moment, Media enters.)

Media: Oh, no, what have you done! You horrible people! You're like apes using CP/M!

(The gang members all hang their heads in shame and walk off, leaving only the lovers.)

Toner: Don't worry, media, we don't need PCs or Macs. We'll be happy without them. We'll build ourselves a SPARC workstation, maybe run NT on it. (She gives him a dirty look.) Okay, no NT.

Media: Oh, Toner, I'm so happy. (Tune: "Tonight")

Tonight, tonight,
It all began tonight.
I saw you and my world was unplugged.
Tonight, tonight,
It's only you tonight,
No delete, my default, all debugged.
Toner:
Before, my joy fit on a floppy--
a simple, little program;
It's now a terabyte.
Both:
You're here, for me,
And what were processed words, DTP.
Tonight.
Toner:
Tonight, tonight,
By CRT's bright light,
We made a network only of us.
Tonight, tonight,
Rush to my side tonight,
4-8-6, defragged disk, local bus.
Media:
Before, my hardware quickly dated;
it seemed that I was fated
To own a troglodyte.
Both:
But now we're calm,
A love once stored in RAM's burned in ROM.
Tonight.
(Curtain.)