(Utah, 1885. ALBERT, a Mormon, is sitting on his porch, drinking lemonade. In the distance, his wife is picking flowers.)
There goes my fair Edwina.
She’s a perfect mate and mother.
I love my wife so much
I think I’ll take another.
(ALBERT’s friend GEORGE appears, also holding a glass of lemonade.)
Marriage is a sacred bond,
Of which perhaps you are too fond.
And are you not oversupplied
When you acquire a second bride?
Two heads are better than one,
Just like two cows and two desserts.
And four legs are better than two,
Sheathed in matching ankle skirts.
(A young boy named WARREN is hiding in the bushes.)
Blood and bone!
I hope somebody
Throws a stone.
(ALBERT and GEORGE do not throw a stone. They sip their lemonade.)
I understand. Go live your life.
Go be a husband to one wife.
(ALBERT and GEORGE sip their lemonade again.)
Oh, come on!
What the eff?
A peaceful resolution?
Am I deaf?
I don’t hear violence,
Rage, or retribution!
(ALBERT and GEORGE embrace and part ways. WARRREN grumbles. Fade out. Fade in. In present-day Utah, ALBERT, a direct descendant of the earlier ALBERT, is still practicing polygamy.)
Nothing in this world
Beats holy matrimony,
But if I said one was enough
I’d be full of baloney.
When you want your laundry done,
Call Wife One.
(Just call Wife One.)
Hungry for a bowl of stew?
Call Wife Two.
(Just call Wife Two.)
Wife Three might be at the store.
If you need to talk, just call Wife Four.
And if Wife Five just got her kicks
And feels tired, call Wife Six.
Would my husband desire
To presently retire
To our lovely marriage bed?
I reward the man I’ve wed.
I am back from the store,
Where I bought some new clothes.
My skirt might be too short:
An inch of my calf shows.
(Life moves along nicely. One day, ALBERT encounters WARREN JEFFS, a direct descendant of the original WARREN and another member of the polygamous community.)
How’s it hanging?
This is my chance
For some haranguing.
(WARREN JEFFS tries to convince ALBERT that his brand of polygamy is misguided.)
I read our good book,
And, on more than one page,
It said in plain language
Wives should be underage.
I met your fourth wife and I started to gag.
What is she—19? That’s foul! That old hag!
A wife who’s over 18 is gross.
A wife should be 14 at most.
(ALBERT defends his fourth wife’s honor and objects to WARREN JEFFS’s general philosophy.)
I have read of an ancient
Rift in our sect,
Where two beliefs
You have your ways
And I have mine.
We both can live
In the divine.
Listen to me:
I’m a big shot, you see,
In this place of multiple marriage.
I’m not just a resident—
I’m prophet and president.
So don’t you dare disparage
If I choose
To marry them tender,
Wide-eyed, and slender.
I prefer to plural-marry adults.
I’m more comfortable with the results.
I am a direct descendant
Of both Smith (Joseph) and Christ (Jesus).
Young girls are resplendent.
They were put on earth to please us.
Twelve or thirteen’s not too early.
Go and ask the Lord above.
He made them able to conceive
And to receive every inch of my love.
I won’t rest until the day comes when
Nubile girls hook up with older men.
Like Dick Cheney and his third wife, Miley Cyrus,
We’ll soon overcome this monogamous virus!
(Angry that ALBERT will not listen, WARREN JEFFS consolidates power in the community and then sends ALBERT and his family into exile.)
I’ll give you the week
To clear out of this town.
I think that’s awfully big of me.
I’m going to seek
A place to bunk down
And practice my polygamy.
(ALBERT takes his extended family down to Eldorado, Texas. GEORGE, a Texan who happens to be a direct descendant of the original GEORGE, is sitting on his porch drinking lemonade.)
We don’t have much news round here.
It’s been a very quiet year.
Killer bees stung an old man. He died.
A guy in town bought some wood and tried
To build himself a private sauna.
He didn’t finish, and I don’t think he’s gonna.
(GEORGE sees the trucks coming. He puts down his glass of lemonade.)
What in the blazes?
This dust cloud amazes
Me and fills me with fear.
We don’t have much news round here,
But now there’s a giant human tornado
Headed right toward Eldorado.
(The trucks pull up. ALBERT steps out. GEORGE steps forward.)
From the cut of your clothes
And the boxes you’re carrying,
You look like those freaks
Who just can’t stop marrying.
We’re not stupid.
We’re not dense.
We understand our
But don’t judge us harshly
Without giving us a chance.
After that, we’ll accept
Why you’ve taken your stance.
(ALBERT takes GEORGE to the compound.)
The setting is rural.
The marriage is plural.
Think of us as an
There are nuclear families
And nuclear proliferation.
We do precisely what we’re told.
The golden rule is compliance.
How is it any different from
The Uniats or Christian Science?
We love our kids, and others’, too.
Family means everything to us.
And yet we’re treated like felons.
Frankly, we don’t understand the fuss.
Our smiles are broad, our hearts are cheered,
Our consciences have long since cleared,
And nothing ever goes astray,
Except, of course, on Mother’s Day.
(GEORGE and ALBERT retire to ALBERT’s porch, each with a glass of lemonade. They talk.)
I go about my business.
I keep a level head.
I say my prayers each night
Before I go to bed.
And then I kiss my wives,
Each and every one.
It takes about an hour
Before I’m finally done.
I’m not bragging. I’m just saying:
My life is full of loving and praying
And working and playing and laughing and breeding,
Here in this little West Texas Eden.
Well, golly gee,
I’ve come to see
That life is not so one-dimensional.
For my part,
I think I’ll start
By embracing the unconventional.
(GEORGE returns to Eldorado. For a little while, everyone is happy. Birds land in flower boxes. The sun shines brightly. Back in Utah, WARREN JEFFS, who has been convicted of sexual conduct with a minor and jailed, remains furious at ALBERT.)
I was born to rule,
I was made to lead,
But that jackass Albert
My word when I spoke.
He thought me a joke.
Now he’ll learn
How it feels to burn.
(WARREN JEFFS calls the police in Texas and reports that there are underage girls being kept captive and sexually abused at ALBERT’s compound.)
Hello, hello—my voice is high.
Come rescue me, please, and come quick.
I’m being forced to have sex and stuff.
The guy in charge is really sick.
His name is Albert. He’s so mean.
Did I mention that I’m just 16?
(Police are dispatched to the compound.)
Officer, what can I help you with?
Would you like to learn more about Joseph Smith?
(One of ALBERT’s wives walks by and smiles at the OFFICER.)
She looks like Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Now let’s find out who defiled her.
I’m sorry. I’m confused.
No one here has been abused,
Or harmed, in fact, in any way.
This whole thing fills me with dismay.
It’s just me and the missis and the missis,
Living here in wedded blisses.
People in this community
Do not possess immunity
From the nation’s laws. They exist
Even for polygamists,
And so, although you may protest,
It’s time now to make an arrest.
(ALBERT is arrested. Four hundred and sixteen children from the compound are seized. The girl who made the call is never located. ALBERT lingers in prison as the compound’s tangled custody case is resolved. He is pardoned by PRESIDENT ROMNEY and released from jail. He returns to find his community shattered and dispersed. WARREN JEFFS, who has also been pardoned by PRESIDENT ROMNEY, is sitting in a chair in the middle of the compound. There is an empty glass of lemonade beside him.)
You should have listened
When I talked that day.
You shouldn’t have just walked away.
You could have avoided
The strain, the stress,
The holy hell,
The unholy mess.
You broke me.
I’m all ears.
I’m dreaming of
(ALBERT picks up a stone and hits WARREN JEFFS on the head.)