Sparse stage.

A judge presides. Two men on a stationary tandem bicycle sit, peddling, before the judge’s bench. One man wears black spandex. The other has his dress pants tucked into his socks.

Voice from offstage: "Hear ye, hear ye. Now the court shall entertain the matter of Isaac vs. Central Ohio. The judge is in the hiz-house."

Stage lights up.

Man in spandex: "May it please the court."

Judge: "What now?"

Man in spandex: "Your honor, I am Doug Morgan, counsel for Artie Isaac."

Judge: "State your business in this court."

Doug Morgan:  "Mr. Isaac has redeemed himself, turning over a new leaf of lawfulness whilst in the street."

Judge: "Continue."

Doug Morgan: "Mr. Isaac no longer races his bicycle through red lights, even when there is no traffic."

Judge: "No way."

Doug Morgan: "Way, indeed. Mr. Isaac rides at the highest standards, in full respect of democracy."

Judge: "Whatta guy. You know, it’s actually safer for him to cross against the red light when there is no cross traffic."

Doug Morgan: "Whatever."

Judge: "What’s your business in this court?"

Doug Morgan: "Mr. Isaac seeks the court’s permission to ride on the sidewalk when there are no pedestrians in mortal peril before him. If there is a pedestrian near, Mr. Isaac will ring his bell and go so slowly that he is in danger of falling over."

Judge: "You know that your client seeks to violate the Common Orders of Faire Passage, the laws of the road derived from the Magna Carta when high-octane was less than $2.65 a gallon and America was blinded by its lust for the solo commute."

Doug Morgan: "Yes, your honor. My client knows that. Believe you me, I’ve advised him against this request. I told him that old canard about democracy dying every time he farts in public."

Man with pants tucked into socks [aside to Doug Morgan]: "What the hell is ‘Hepharts’? Latin?"

Doug Morgan [aside to man with pants-in-socks]:  "Only if you lean to the right. Let me work here, will you?"

Judge: "Why should this court allow it?"

Doug Morgan: "If it please the court…"

Judge: "Forget about pleasing me. Start with amusing me."

Doug Morgan: "If it amuse the court, Mr. Isaac, if caught riding his bicycle on the sidewalk would surely be ordered to perform a couple hundred hours of community service."

Judge: "Where are you going with this odds-fish argument, Counselor?"

Doug Morgan: "Mr. Isaac has already, during the past 18 years in Columbus, performed thousands of hours of community service. He has kowtowed to donors, bathed the sick, ogled art, taught the bored."

Judge: "OK, now we are pleased."

Doug Morgan: "So, on behalf of my client, I would like to ask if — since he’s done the time by performing community service — may he now do the crime?"

Judge: "Thousands of hours of community service, huh? A little sidewalk tomfoolery, eh?"

Dramatic tension.

Judge: "Sure. This court allows him 18 years of riding on the sidewalk."

Artie Isaac: "Pardon me, your honor."

Judge [bemusedly]: "Yee-e-es?"

Artie Isaac: "While I appreciate your kind ruling, I am curious: how would this play in the Court of Public Opinion?"

Judge: "Let’s ask."

Lights come up on a jury box that contains the entire population of Columbus, Ohio.

Everyone on the jury box [in unison, enthusiastically]: "We agree."

Black curtain is pulled across front of stage.

[Program notes: The playwright thanks Nate, with whom Tandem Bike Hiawatha was conceived while both were on bikes waiting at a red light.]