The Last Temptation of Bill
by DCDave

The Scene: a dark booth in the back of an Oxford pub. Only Bill and a very ordinary-looking, middle-aged man are present.

Man: Let's not beat around the bush,
Let's talk of your career,
It's best if things around your life
Not be what they appear.
With deception we can see
That you will quickly rise,
For one's a servant of the truth
But master of his lies.
Bill: You know I'm very grateful for
Your well-intentioned tips,
But what I really want right now
Is just more fish and chips.
Man: Don't think that I have brought you here
To hand out cheap advice.
We'd like for you to join our team
Such chances don't come twice.
We long have had our eye on you,
We know well who you are.
With the help we can provide
I promise you'll go far.
Bill: You know I learned in Arkansas
That nothing's ever free.
I'm sure that there are lots of things
You would expect of me.
Man: Of course you'd have to sign our oath,
The oath of secrecy.
We must be sure where you would owe
Your highest loyalty.
Apart from that the thing right now
That we most need you for
Is demonstrating noisily
Against the Vietnam War.
Bill: That shouldn't be so hard to do,
Since I just got my call,
But of the folks behind this stuff,
I never thought of y'all.
Man: Remember what I said when you
Were draining your first beer,
There's power in making things not be
As they at first appear.
Sniffing out subversive types
Is often very hard.
But if they think you share their views
They could let down their guard.
Bill: Surely you don't think that I
Would turn in my best friends,
If they should ever learn the truth
How could I make amends?
Man: It will never be the truth
Unless you should confess,
The truth is just what we allow
To show up in the press.
For every young politico
That we have on our plate
We have a half a score or more
Among the Fourth Estate
Bill: But how I'm thought of by my friends
Still means the world to me.
How dare you think me capable
Of infidelity?
Man: Your friends are for your reference cards
To call upon some day,
Or bodies to provide for you
A frolic in the hay.
If you but cast your lot with us
And pay the proper dues
I promise you will have far more
Than you can ever use.
Bill: Stop it please. You hurt my ears.
(He said with indignation)
I would be but half a man
Without my reputation.
With food and friends of either sex
You know I'm very choosy,
You'd never see me making time
With any big-haired floozy.
For the loss of self-respect
There is no recompense.
Begone with all your blandishments,
Satan, get thee hence.
David Martin

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