The Knights Who Say “Living Wage!”

SCENE:  Adriana and Michael GONZALES, age 30 and 32, owners of a small family commercial cleaning business and parents of three children, are walking through the woods near Minnehaha Park.  It’s foggy and foreboding.

ADRIANA: Mike, did you see something in the woods?

MICHAEL:  Yeah.  Looks like – guys in helmets?

ADRIANA:  This is weird.

MICHAEL:  No kidding…

(They stop, noticing three people in medieval knight costumes – Tom BAKK, Ryan WINKLER and Heather MARTENS – astride the path).

MICHAEL:  Er, who are you?

BAKK:  We are the Knights Who Say “Living Wage!”

WINKER:  We are three elected representatives…

(BAKK nudges WINKLER, points toward Martens, who is gazing distractedly at a squirrel. WINKLER shrugs)

WINKLER: …who roam the forest spreading social justice!


WINKLER:  If you wish to pass through this forest, you must appease us!

ADRIANA:  Er…OK?  With what?

WINKLER:  You must hire…a Minimum Wage Employee!

MICHAEL:  Cool.  I was hoping to do that.  We’ve got more business than the two of us can handle.

BAKK: Silence?


WINKLER:  You must pay them…nine dollars per hour!

ADRIANA:  Oh, no.  We just need people to do basic cleaning.  We can pay a bonus, but it’s not worth $9 an hour…

BAKK:  And you may not cut your other employees’ hours or benefits to pay the training wage rate, which is itself higher than the federal minimum wage!

WINKLER:  Or lay them off!

BAKK and MARTENS: Or lay them off!

ADRIANA:  Well, then we just can’t hire anyone!

BAKK:  Be happy to pay for a Better Minnesota!

ADRIANA (to MARTENS): So what are you doing here?

MARTENS:  Guns on a bed of escarole make a wonderful snack.  So much better than killing people!

(Sounds in distance:  Minstrels playing over the clip clop of horses, as Governor DAYTON, riding a white charger, appears at the head of a retinue of knights and minstrels.

MINSTREL (as lutes and flutes play in the background) Brave Sir Mark ran away / bravely ran away away! / When terror made its presence known, he bravely turned and scampered home…

DAYTON: Blargle not blargle sure blargle not blargle blargle!

MICHAEL to ADRIANA (whispers): This is a weird place…

MINSTREL: He wasn’t afraid to face Roger Goodell / or tell Alida she’s not so swell / brave brave brave brave sir Mark…

DAYTON:  Blargle!  Blargle not blarg!

MICHAEL : So what if I can’t afford it?

WINKLER:  It’s against the law!  Don’t ask questions!

ADRIANA:  We could just take our business to North Dakota!

BAKK:  Hah!  And for what?  Money?

DAYTON: Blargle!

MICHAEL:  Well…yeah!

WINKLER:  But you can’t get MPR in North Dakota!

ADRIANA:  Yes, I can – we paid for that, too.

BAKK:  But in Minnesota, you will soon have unionized daycare!

ADRIANA:  I like the daycare we have just fine.

WINKLER:  But you can pay more for them!

MARTENS:  It’s a known fact that daycare that costs more is better for children.  Especially if you ban guns.

MICHAEL:  What the…?

DAYTON: Blargle blargle!

ADRIANA (pulling a Texas brochure from her purse and looking at MICHAEL):  This is a silly place.

The couple walk past the jabbering knights.


3 thoughts on “The Knights Who Say “Living Wage!”

  1. Who would have imagined that Monty Python had the prescience to anticipate Sir Mark and the Red Ink Spots?

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