The American League for the Circumvention of Bores

(2010)

"The American League for the Circumvention of Bores" is the third song in Steven Mark Kohn's Three Impudent Arias, which sets texts adapted from the writing of Ambrose Bierce.

BORE. B-O-R-E. Definition: A person who talks…when you wish him to listen.


I am the proud and happy founder
of The American League for the Circumvention of Bores.
With a view to enlisting your interest and hopefully obtaining your initiation fee,
I shall explain the ends and means of our organization.


The American League for the Circumvention of Bores
works within the law.
Bores can not be killed,
for with each dead bore,
there arises a swarm of other bores;
reporters, lawyers, judges, jurors,
did I mention lawyers?
And it is simply too time-consuming to kill them all.
There fore, the League plan is simple and humane – it leaves the bore alive,
to suffer the interminable torments of his own company.


The American League has all the customary machinery of any fine organization;
A special handshake, a secret sign,
solemn ceremonials…mystic rituals.
But for practical use, we employ the Signal of Eminent Distress.
It is a law that any member duly accepted into the secret
tribunals of the league must respond promptly
to any fellow member in distress.


The plan works this way:
I am, say, on a ferry boat.
Carelessly glancing about, I see – yes, it must be ah!
The Signal of Eminent Distress!
A brother of the league has been cornered by a bore
and is in desperate need of rescue!
I leap into action, employing one of the forms of relief
I have memorized from the Ritual.


“Ah, my dear fellow”
I say to the victim, whom I may have never seen before,
“I have been looking all over the boat for you.
It appears that a gentleman on the lower deck,
who says he is your…uncle, has fallen down and broken a great many bones.
You must come at once - if your friend,”
looking at the baffled bore who’s been talking to him nonstop,
“will have the goodness to excuse you”.
As an added measure, I lay my hand on the bore’s arm…
“excuse me sir, but the physician prescribes absolute quiet,
and the splendor, charm and vivacity of your conversation might
unduly excite the patient”.


Before the wretch can round up his faculties,
the Brother in distress and I are walking away…
unconcerned, without a care, free at last!


Applications for membership to the ALCB must be made in person,
for that is the only way in which the Grand Dictatorial Committee can determine that you, yourself are not a bore.


Audio PLaylist