Play #90: The Utopian Turtletopper

The play is set in poet Marianne Moore’s apartment in Brooklyn.  It is the autumn of 1955.  As the play opens, Moore is talking with Robert. B. Young, of the Marketing Research Department of the Ford Motor Company.  Ford is trying to come up with a sprightly new model and, to that end, have come to ask the famous poet if she can possibly suggest a compelling name for the new car. They have helpfully provided a big photo of the embryonic vehicle, which Mr. Young has just taped to the wall of Moore’s apartment.

Moore: That’s it?

Young (proudly): That’s it.  Can you help us with a name?  Another Thunderbird would be fine!

Moore:  Yes, I liked Thunderbird too.  Well, how about The Ford Silver Sword

Young (embarrassed):  Well, I….uh….

Moore (continuing): Or The Resilient Bullet

Young (more embarrassed):  Oh I don’t think….no.

Moore (with mounting enthusiasm):  The Ford Faberge!
The Mongoose Civique.   The Aeroterre!

Young (weakly): Well, I guess Aeroterre isn’t too bad….

Moore (exuberantly): I’ve got it!”

Young (expectant):  Yes?

Moore (triumphant):  The Pastelogram!!

Young (defeated): That’s ridiculous.

Moore (still perky):  Is it?  Okay, here’s my very best suggestion yet.

Young (beyond caring):  Great.

Moore (with barely suppressible delight):   Utopian Turtletop!!

[Young buries his head in his hands]

Moore (tenderly): I see you like that one too!