Special 2004 Election Collectors' Issue
An excerpt from
the one-act play
L: George, I’m going to interview you. I’ll ask you a series of question and you can respond with answers.
G: You are going to interview me.
L: Yes. Let’s begin.
G: Now, Laura, I can’t imagine that you don’t know that is a nightmare. What are you up to? – That is my hell. To be scrutinized in my own home. I’m going to have my golf clubs re-caddied.
L: Now listen George, my good friends say it is an excellent technique for getting to know someone.
G: But Laura, we already know each other.
L: We know each other in the biblical sense George. That is true.
G: For the love of God Laura – what are you up to?
L: I’m talking about something else.
G: Fine. Fine. I have about 10 minutes before I need to be on the range.
L: Oh – I’m so excited.
G: (looks at his watch) It’s 4:45.
L: Ok: Do you believe this current conflict is a war between Christian believers and those of Islamic faith?
G: I – what kind of questions are these going to be?
L: All kinds dear. All kinds.
G: Alright, well then I believe this is a war between Good people and Evil people and that that fortunately there are a lot more good people than evil and that’s why we ultimately will prevail.
L: Do you believe a president has the liberty to admit or respond quote I don’t know.
L: What are the colors of the South African, the Somalian, and or the German flag?
G: (Silence) You’re tricking me.
L: Do you believe everyone including everyone has the right to own a weapon of defense?
G: You know these answers Laura, for the love of God.
L: On matters abroad. Are there always right and wrong answers?
G: Yes –
L: It’s ok George. You’re talking to me. You can say what you think.
G: Laura, I really have to go in about 3 minutes.
L: Answer the question.
G: The president is a decision-maker. He is in a trusted position of leadership – if you don’t know a goddamn answer, keep your mouth shut, give a smile or tell a joke, and ask the vice president for Christ sakes, isn’t that what they’re there for?
L: Should you ever make up an answer?
G: Make one up?
G: Yes. Make it all up – now I have to –
L: What did you learn from reading Billy the Goat?
G: What the heck is Billy the Goat?
L: In the classroom George—to the 1st graders. You know. On the day.
G: On the day. Oh – Oh – I wasn’t really reading that fucking book! I was thinking of a way to invade those GD Iraqis. .
L: If you – now these are prepared questions here George – I’m reading from a pre-given text – If you yourself had to view the bodies of one out of every 10 persons killed during a conflict you yourself initiated – just one of 10. Would you still authorize the same war stage?
G: From where did you receive this text, Laura – now I am trying hard hard hard to keep my patience here. Did you receive your text from some partisan Liberal review, Laura, such as The New York Times newspaper or a CBS News affiliate?
L: Answer the question, Mr. President.
G: Can you repeat the question Senator – I mean –
L: Let’s talk about beheadings.
G: No God damn it!
L: At least 4 Westerners, 3 of them American, were beheaded in the place of Evil within the last several months. The British gentleman –
G: The British gentleman is Tony Blair’s responsibility.
L: How do you feel about your own – your own – your own personal –
G: War is not personal for a War president.
L: Wait – let me write this down –
G: I take responsibility for Liberation. Not occupation.
L: For – still writing –
G and L: Liberation not occupation.
L: Goodliness is next to Godliness.
G: You’re damn right.
L: How are you sleeping at night sir?
G: You know how I sleep you –
L: Answer the question, sir.
G: I object to this hostile line of questioning!!
L: You will go down on record as refusing to answer this last –
G: I sleep fine. I sleep wonderful – my sleep is peaceful.
L: I was asked by the committee to ask you –
G: By WHAT COMMITTEE??
L: Let me read this last part to you, this is from one of our most esteemed Generals: “Mr. President. Have you heard the expression, “If you can keep your head when all others around you are losing theirs – you simply don’t understand the situation?”
G: I understand
supporting our men – our troops in the field. And I understand
Jesus with his – with his mercy – and his, his – surrounded
by animals! Now if you will excuse me.
I had dinner
with Condi and Clarence last month and I wish you could’ve been
there. They were inspirational to me. Both unfortunates from struggling
colored households, creating such prestigious lives for themselves with
love of family and an independent spirit. That’s extra remarkable
in my book.
G: So Laura, how do you think we’re doing?
L: As President?
G: You are not the president little lady!
L: You are the best president George.
G: In the dance cards of politics and being the president –
L: You are the best one.
G: My dance card is full.
L: Your dance card is the best and fullest dance card.
G: This is honest to God hard work Laura. You gotta work everyday to get people to believe you.
Shira Piven is a director, teacher, and writer. A version of this piece was performed by Dave Koechner, Kate Walsh, and others in LA at the Actor’s Gang Theater.