Karl Marx Rewrites The ‘I Love Lucy’ Chocolate Factory Scene

Lucy: “Don’t be naïve, Ethel! Until we overthrow capitalism and replace it with a more equitable economic system like communism, we’ll never be free.”

After Ricky and Fred get upset about their wives’ spending habits, Lucy and Ethel attempt to earn money by working in a chocolate factory – despite their total lack of experience.

Fade in on an interior factory room.

Factory Forewoman: Here’s how this works. The chocolate candies will pass by on this conveyor belt to the next room, where the ladies will pack it. It’s your job to wrap each piece of candy in one of these papers and put it back on the belt. You understand?

Lucy and Ethel: Ma’am, yes ma’am! 

Forewoman: Good. (calling to the control room) Now let ’er roll! (pause) Let ’er roll!!! (to Lucy and Ethel) Wait here — somebody’s asleep at the switch!

The forewoman exits

Lucy: (to Ethel) What’re you doing up here? I thought you were downstairs boxing chocolates.

Ethel: Oh, they kicked me out of there fast. I kept pinching them to see what kind they were! This is the fourth department I’ve been in.

Lucy: This is my third. Say, Ethel… don’t you think it’s weird that we keep getting shuffled around and reprimanded without receiving any proper job training first?

Ethel: Hey, that is strange!

The forewoman returns

Forewoman: Alright you two, this is your last chance. If one piece of candy gets past you and into the packing room unwrapped, you’re fired! (calling to the control room) Let ’er roll!

The forewoman exits the room as individual chocolates begin appearing in front of Lucy and Ethel, who wrap them at a leisurely pace.

Ethel: This isn’t so bad, huh Lucy?

Lucy: No, this is easy! And it’s a good thing, too. We can’t afford to get fired. I’d hate to admit defeat to Ricky and Fred. We’d sure have some ’splainin’ to do!

Ethel: Hey Lucy, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that Cuban accent you use to mock Ricky. Isn’t that a little… racist?

Lucy: Oh, don’t be so sensitive. It’s just a joke.

Ethel: Sure, but would it not be better to critique him as a member of the petite bourgeoisie? Or at least make fun of something valid, like how sexist he is, or how he appropriated his signature song Babalú from Afro-Cuban culture?

Lucy: Now Ethel, don’t throw stones from glass houses. After all, I look past the fact that you and Fred are parasitic landlord scum who profit off your hardworking tenants and the commodification of shelter more broadly.

Ethel: Élitist!

Lucy: Feudalist!

Lucy and Ethel: Capitalist!

They wrap in silence for a minute.

Ethel: Lucy… does it seem like the conveyor belt is speeding up a bit?

Lucy: You’re right! I’m struggling to wrap all these chocolates fast enough!

The conveyor belt stops abruptly, leaving piles of unwrapped chocolates in front of them.

Ethel: I think I hear the forewoman coming. What a fiasco-coa!

Lucy: Quick, hide the chocolates! This is no time for puns.

The women fill their comically large baker’s hats with loose chocolates and stuff their mouths with the extras just as the forewoman returns.

Forewoman: My, you’re doing splendidly! (calling to the control room) Speeeeeed ’er up!

The forewoman leaves as dozens of chocolates pass by the women in quantities so absurdly large that no two workers could ever hope to wrap them all in time.

Ethel: Uh, Lucy… I think we’re about to get fired.

The belt speeds up again, and the chocolates are so densely packed that they overflow onto the floor. Lucy reaches for a stray chocolate, trips on the scattered candy, and falls.

Ethel: Well, this isn’t fair! No one could work this fast!

Lucy: You know, getting fired isn’t our only option.

Ethel: Oh no, I know that look on your face. Don’t say we should stage a revolu–

Lucy: We should stage a revolution!!

Ethel: Lucy! Why do you always drag me into your violent class uprising schemes!?

By now, the sea of unwrapped chocolates goes up to their waists.

Lucy: Come on, Ethel, where’s your solidarity? An inherent conflict exists between the workers and management. They own and operate the means of production, but they only profit because of the surplus value created by exploited labor!

Ethel: Why can’t we just unionise?

Lucy: That’s not enough! 

Ethel: Well then, maybe we form a workers cooperative?

Lucy: Don’t be naïve, Ethel! Until we overthrow capitalism and replace it with a more equitable economic system like communism, we’ll never be free. Aren’t you familiar with the central tenets of conflict theory?

Ethel: The only tenants I know are the ones who pay me rent.

Just as the chocolates reach their chests, the Forewoman re-enters.

Forewoman: Ladies… you’re fired!

Lucy: (to the Forewoman) You treat workers like we’re replaceable cogs in an exploitative machine. Well, not anymore!

Lucy: (to Ethel) Follow my lead.

The two women stuff their baker’s hats with loose chocolates and start pummelling the Forewoman.

Ethel: How can-dy you fire us after all our hard work? We gave you our blood, sweet, and tears, and this is how you treat us?

Lucy: (vigorously whacking the Forewoman over the head with her chocolate-filled hat) Exploit this!

Ethel: Lucy, she stopped moving. I think we’re in real truffle.

Lucy: Oh well, you know what they say… Das Kapital!

Lucy and Ethel toss their heads back with laughter. The outro music plays as the end credits roll.

Fade to black.

Author’s Pick

TV: The Good Place and Superstore

Book: She Memes Well by Quinta Brunson

Podcast: Radicalize Me, a podcast for activists

YouTube: “What’s Missing from Star Trek’s ‘Socialism’?”

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Alice Lahoda
Alice Lahoda

Alice Lahoda is a writer, shitposter, and comic creator. She would happily break her vegetarianism to eat the rich.

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