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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Comic Relief

My article at Human Events tomorrow is another one of my experimental efforts, where I try to push the envelope of what is possible in a political column just another bit further. This time I write a whole comedy skit into the middle of a piece.

Here's the skit, if you're too lazy to read the whole column:

(Scene is Oval Office. President Bush is seated with two impassive Secret Service agents behind him. Enter Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and a tall, thin man with a prominent Adam’s Apple and a dark suit.)

Bush: What have you got for me?
Rice: We’re longing for a briefing, sir.
Rumsfeld: That’s the long and the brief of it, sir.

(Rice and Rumsfeld laugh uproariously, while tall man looks fidgety and Bush looks confused.)

Bush: Now you two cut it out with the private jokes. I have a country to run here and then a dog to walk. Let’s get busy.
Rice and Rumsfeld (in unison): Yes, sir.
Bush: And who’s this feller, looks like a rattlesnake who sat on a branding iron?
Rice: H. Thruckleton Grimsby. One of my people, sir.
Bush: One of those Foggy Bottom boys, eh? You know what my grandpappy Prescott used to say about those fellers? Can’t find their bottom with both hands, even when it ain’t foggy out.
Rice: He’s our director of Far East Studies, sir.
Bush: Studying those geishas, eh, Grimsfield? Okay, go ahead, shoot.

(The two agents jump on the President to shield him with their bodies. When Grimsby doesn’t pull a gun, they sheepishly resume their position.)

Bush: Sorry about the boys, they get a little overeager. Go on, Grimley.
Grimsby: Sir, we have a crisis with Sierra Leone. If it falls, there may be a domino effect.
Bush: Oh, Mama Leone’s little girl. That’s some restaurant. Give them whatever they need. Last thing we need is fast-food guys like Domino taking over.
Grimsby (flustered): But, sir… But, sir…
Bush: And while we’re at it, let’s throw some money at Diego Garcia.
Grimsby: Sir, our base there is well-funded…
Bush: Never hurts to give him some more. Condi tells me that Diego is Andy Garcia’s brother, and he’s some fine actor. Cuban, too, and Rove says they’re our voters, can’t toss them down the chute.

(Secret Service guys jump. You can’t be too careful.)

Grimsby (apoplectic): But, sir… But, sir…
Bush: Now, Grimstein, who’s this feller coming in to visit?
Rice (interposing): The Dalai Lama, sir.

Bush: Well, I’m going to play some hardball with that phoney.
Rumsfeld: What’s the thinking behind the policy, sir?
Bush: Look, if this guy won’t play ball, we’ll do some regime change. No shortage of those Lamas up in the hills of Peru. Now, shoo.

(The Secret Service guys jump again. If you wait around for the last consonant, that split second may spell the difference between life and death, you know.)



Tlaloc said...

So you guys have caught on that the president is a dunce, too?

Tlaloc said...

By the way, Jay, Andrew Sullivan has a guest blogger that seems to share your love for use of puns. Just based on writing style you might like his work:

Short excerpt:

"It’s been funny to hear the leader of Iran talking about his nation’s natural right to exploit the secrets of nuclear physics and join the global technological vanguard. His basic argument is “You can’t stop progress” even though stopping progress, I recall, is the great goal of his theocracy. Fundamentalist Islamic futurism? Can such a strange cultural particle exist, even for a half an instant in a cyclotron? Perhaps the man should speak more carefully, lest he unwittingly split the nucleus of the system he’s trying to hold together."

Timothy Birdnow said...

I was just reading the script for the old Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup, and that whole bit could have been slipped in completely unnoticed! It was great!

James F. Elliott said...

The guest blogger is novelist and Time columnist Walter Kirn. His latest novel, "The Unbinding," is serialized over at Slate.