The great Taoist sage Lao Tzu comes to the wall at the end of the civilized world, and wants out the gate. He's had enough of civilization and wants to die in the wilderness beyond the wall. But the Gatekeeper, a great admirer of Lao Tzu's teachings, insists that he won't let him out the gate until he writes down his wisdom so it can be shared with generations to come. Lao Tzu refuses, on the grounds that once you write anything down it is inevitably misinterpreted, turned into rules, and used to oppress people, but the Gatekeeper won't take no for an answer, leading to an increasingly alarming confrontation, and when all else fails, he is forced to get out his trumpet and start blowing it in the old man's ear. A funny play about the disastrous consequences of having your life's work fall into the hands of zealous and incompetent disciples.
Published in Murder In The Red Barn & Other Plays.