Tuesday, August 28, 2007

From a Horsefly On The Shed Wall in Crawford...

Scene from a weekend Texas barbecue—“Hope you don't mind Dick's Teriyaki Baby gettin' on yer Ginger Chicken, 'Berto.”


The walls are adorned with old Frederick Remington western prints, a poster for “Shanghai Noon”, and an old chest X-ray of John Wayne's, circa 1965. We hear a doorbell ring—or rather, the “ding” of a service station's customer bell when someone drives over the hose out in front. A staggering LAURA BUSH lurches into view—barely steady on her feet as she goes to the door. She's done up in a 70's-style double-knit western jumpsuit, with piping and fringe on the seams and pockets. She accidentally kicks a stuffed armadillo down the hall as she walks, holding onto the walls.

LAURA: I'm coming. I'm coming! (To herself) Shit! God...make this fucking earthquake stop! Coming!

She opens the door where we see ALBERTO GONZALES standing there holding a plate of wrapped food. A stunned Laura steps backward.

LAURA: Oh Goddamn. How did a fucking wetback get past the Secret Service? (She pounds on the wall intercom) Mayday! Mayday! Valley-Doll One is in distress! Repeat—Valley-Doll One is in distress!

GONZO: Mrs. Bush—Laura! It's me...Al.

She looks on, still wobbly and confused.

GONZO: Gonzales!

LAURA: (Recognizing him) Ohhhhhh! Well Goddamn, Al! Get yourself a... national I.D. card or something so a girl can identify you! (Laughs) Mmmmmm! I see you've brought treats...

GONZO: Tasty fish tacos, ma'am.

Laura clears her throat exaggeratedly—signaling there must be something more.


GONZO: Oh yes, and this! (From behind his back he produces a pickle jar-sized bottle of pills) A fine bottle of 1974 Seconal. Great vintage.

LAURA: (She sniffs at it.) It's got a lovely bou-quet! And a pre-Elvis bottling. You shouldn't have. (BEAT) But too late, you already did. Thanks!

They start walking through the house towards the back yard.

GONZO: So...where's the boss man? Out by the grill?

LAURA: No...he's hiding. From you.


LAURA: (Sighs) He thinks you have a resignation letter or something for him, and he thinks if you can't actually hand it to him, it doesn't count. (BEAT) You don't, do you?

GONZO: Me? Naaaaaaah! Just brought...a nice plate of fish tacos.

LAURA: (BEAT) Wrapped in DOJ stationery.

GONZO: Yeaaaaaah...was all I could...y'know, get my hands on at...the-uh...time.

LAURA: Y'know, whatever. He's out there—hiding in the hay bales.

GONZO: Hay bales? I don't see any hay bales.

LAURA: (Pointing) Over there. The hay bales.

GONZO: Those aren't hay bales. They're rolls of fiberglass insulation, ma'am.

LAURA: (Chugging pills from the mouth of the jar) Mmmmmf! Hay bales, fiberglass—what's the difference?

GONZO: Well, what do you feed the horses?

LAURA: (Stunned) We have horses?

GONZO: Never mind, ma'am. I'll just find him.

Gonzales goes out the back door, onto the patio, where DICK CHENEY stands at the grill—unsteady, as he's holding a sweating bottle of Rumplemintz in one hand, while poking at charred meat with the other.

CHENEY: Hey, 'Berto. How's it hangin'?

GONZO: To the right, of course, sir.

CHENEY: Heenh-henh. Love that shit. Love it. (He picks up something extra well-done off the grill on a fork, waving it at Gonzo.) Baby?

GONZO: (Wincing at the offer) No. No thanks.

CHENEY: Sure? These are fresh ones—not from frozen embryos.

GONZO: I'll pass.

CHENEY: More for me, then. (He takes a huge swig off the Rumplemintz, dribbling it on his gingham shirt) F' you're lookin' fer Brilliantine, he's hidin' in that stack of insulation, there.

GONZO: (Walking off) Thanks.

CHENEY: (Calling out) Ehhh, I wouldn't take a piece of that and chew on it like he did. It ain't hay. Lips swelled up something awful.

GONZO: Gotcha.

Gonzales walks across the field over to the bales of insulation, which quiver and move as someone (BUSH) is obviously hiding behind them. We can HEAR him furiously scratching back there.

GONZO: Hello, sir. It's me.

BUSH: Don' know who yer talkin' to. There's nobody back here.

GONZO: Sir...I know you're back there. I can see your boot moving.

BUSH: No you don't.

GONZO: It has the Presidential Seal on it. I'm looking at it, now. Kicking.

BUSH: I stashed 'em here yestiddy so's I wouldn't nick 'em up clearin' non-existent brush. Yer lookin' at a boot with no man attached. So...be on yer way. No president back here, and he can't accept yer resignation. No sir!

GONZO: Guess he can't accept this plate of fish tacos I made, either.

BUSH: (Sniffs) Fish tacos?

GONZO: Yep...made with chopped-up Mrs. Paul fish sticks, too. Just the way the president likes 'em.

BUSH: Looka here! Foun' m' boots! (Bush rises from the fiberglass, covered in tufts of it, blotchy-skinned and totally hived-over) Hey, Berto! Let's see them tacos!

GONZO: Here you go, sir.

BUSH: Mmmmmm-mmmmm! Smells great! And ya wrapped it up so nicely, too. In paper?

GONZO: So they uh...steam better on the grill.

BUSH: And you wrote a message on it. Awwwww! (Reading) “Dear George, enjoy these tacos. Love, Fredo. P.S. I fucking...quit?” Grrrrrrrrrrrr! You son-of-a-bitch! You tricked me! (He flings plate of tacos at Gonzo who ducks it.) Fuckin'...Sancho...Villa- mother-fucker!

GONZO: It was the only way, sir. I'm sorry. And I think it's Sancho Panza.

BUSH: Whut-fuckin' ever! You can't resign! Whut about yer legacy? Whut about-about helpin' all the sexed-up children, like Chris Hansen does? Whut about makin' me look like my shit is over?

GONZO: I can't do it anymore sir.The jig is up.

BUSH: Jig? You're part Black? You specifically told me you were Mexican!

GONZO: I mean, it's done. I can't fight 'em off any more. There's nobody left at Justice. I called a meeting last week and got 15 out-of-office replies from people who'd quit. And I'd only sent out 10 messages! That's an omen, sir. Plus, I can't go back to Capitol Hill again to testify.

BUSH: Why not?

GONZO: Because I've officially run out of ways to say “I'm not gonna tell you shit!” I've said “I don't recall” 107 times. I've said “I don't recollect”, another 44 times. Said “Huh?” twenty times. Threw in a few “Duhs”. I'm spent. I'm burnt. They've got me.

BUSH: Well there's always “No habla ingles”, right? I mean, I can't actually habla the ingles real good, but for you, maaaaaan, that excuse fits like a corn husk on a tamale.

GONZO: Sir, they know I speak English.

BUSH: Yeah, but do they know it's not your first language?

GONZO: I dunno. I don't recall.

BUSH: There! See? You don't recall! You can still do this. You've got a few still in ya. C'mon. hang around. Me, Dick, and you?—We can be like the...you know, the stripped down versions of those bands from back in the day! Who fucking needs keyboards, and strings and shit? (Begins air-guitaring furiously as he “mouth-guitars” the opening chords from *Deep Purple's “Smoke On The Water”)

“Dahn-dahn-DAHN! Dahn-dahn-DAHN-dahn! Dahn-dahn-DAHN! Dahn-dahn-DAAAAAAAAHN!” We can do this!

GONZO: I-I'm afraid not, sir.

BUSH: You can be like that weird, little brown dude in The Association! C'mon!

GONZO: Here's my key to the White House washroom. I enjoyed handing towels to you.

BUSH: (exploding) Well fuck you then, Baba Looey! Fuck you sideways! Quick Draw don't need you, anyway! In fact...(Calls out) Laura! Get yer face outta that ditch and call the INS fer me! Seems we got us a non-citizen intruder!

GONZO: Sir, I am a citizen.

BUSH: So was yer boy, Padilla. Ha-hah! Don't mean shit! I don't need you! I don't need Karl! I don't need Condi-

GONZO: She hasn't quit, sir.

BUSH: Whut th-well where the hell has she fucking been? Screw it! I don't need anybody! All I need...(Lifts a clanking, clattering case from behind a roll of insulation) are my friends...fuggin' Moussy and O'Doul (Laughs) Moussy. Henh-henh, Sounds kinda Moo-slim. (Laughs again, then yells) They're all I need!

GONZO: Sir...that's an awful lot of bottles. Did you drink those today?

BUSH: Yes, I. Did! Mother! (BEAT) S' non-alcoholic, stupid! I can have a hundred of these fuckers!

GONZO: Well, that's good.

BUSH: It'd be a problem...if I was brewin' pruno in the well behind the shed, and was dippin' from it every time I went back there t' get baling wire for this... Goddamned, pink fuggin' hay! (Kicks at a roll, nearly falling down) That'd be a problem!

GONZO: Oh, shit. Look sir. I'm uh...I'm gonna go now.

BUSH: Go! Be out! (Throws a Moussy empty at Gonzo who eludes it) I'll ride this bitch out by m' lonesome! (To himself) Don't need no-Goddamn-body...

GONZO (Pointing at Cheney) You've still got Mr. Cheney.

BUSH: (Reeling with surprise) Are you fuckin' kidding me? 7 years in—I still don't know that nother-fucker! Do you see what he's cooking over there? Karl joked about that shit! Dick's fuckin' doin' it! I've still got Cheney? He's got me! Get the fuck outta here! (Throws another bottle at Gonzo, missing again.) Go!

GONZO: Just wanted to say that it was a pleasure to serve under you, sir.

BUSH: Yeah, yeah...serve this, bitch! (Grabs hard at his crotch.) Who needs you?! You were just along fer th' ride! Cha-ching! Hear that? That was me droppin' your token-ass in the slot! Got me a pocket fulla tokens just like ya! So, hah!

GONZO: Good-bye sir. (Walking away)

BUSH: What? No “Adios, amigo?” (Screaming now) Oh, of course! You're too good for that! Amigo would mean “friend”! And friends don't just book up!

GONZO: Enjoy the fish tacos.

BUSH: Slow yer roll there, Speedy. (Waves the bathroom key at Gonzo) You've got a little more than this key, outstanding. Yer gub'mint car? The Escalade? Where's the key fer that?

GONZO: I don't recall.

BUSH: And your cabinet officer's credit card?

GONZO: (Now jogging back to the house) I don't recollect, sir!

BUSH: Wait! Your passkey to the White House gym! Your Blackberry! The escort service discount card? Where the fuck are they?

GONZO: (Sprinting now, past Cheney and into the house, toward the front door.) ¡No habla ingles! ¡No habla ingles!


*Thanks, Professor Fate!—LM