Thursday, July 18, 2013

Potus Rewrites

My editor said "Expand on this" referring to a line about the desk in the oval office. So I did.

“Thank you,” Potus said.  He started digging through the drawers in the large vintage desk.  “What is all this stuff,” he wondered aloud, pulling out a 1950’s era tape recorder reel.

A staffer came forward and took the reel, muttering something.

“What do we have here?” asked Potus, his head disappearing below the level of the desk. Some knocking and clinking noises rose from behind the desk. “Gin, vodka, rum,” Potus said in a muffled voice. He raised his head, holding up a bottle of vermouth. “Huh?”

The same staffer came forward and took the bottle. He frowned and walked away muttering.

Potus’ head disappeared behind the desk again. In a muffled voice he said, “Dentures, sulfer skin crème, some spectacles, a bottle of pills… Hmm.”

Potus kept digging through more drawers in the big desk. “Yowza!” he exclaimed. He held up a shiny black sequined dress. Chief of Staff whistled through his teeth appreciatively. Secretary of State moved forward with her arm outstretched to take the dress.

“I can wear this for our little encounter later,” she drawled over her shoulder to Secretary of State. Secretary of State blushed and looked at his shoes.

The staffer came by once again around Secretary of State’s outstretched hand and grabbed the dress roughly. He walked away yet again.

“And what does this phone do?” Potus asked, pointing.

Secretary of Defence made a hasty motion.  “Don’t touch that Sir sir.  It’s just for show.”

“Why not?  What will happen?”

“Well, I don’t know Sir sir.  But you shouldn’t touch it.”

“Like this?” Potus asked, touching.  Everyone stepped back instinctively.

“Sir, really, it’s just for show.  Ignore it,” said Secretary of Defence.

“Hello?” asked Potus, picking up the phone.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Potus Rewrites

I got some negative feedback on this section of the inaugural address so I rewrote it. Revised version (original below):

“Now, however, we are presented with a new challenge.  The challenge is to continue this era of peace and prosperity without really fucking things up…  Whoops…” Potus stopped suddenly and wiped his mouth with the back of his gloved hand.  He was panicked.  The teleprompter scrolled up:


“That is, how do we keep the whole ball of wax moving carefully and slowly?  I mean, we are in peace and prosperity right now, so how do we keep that up?”  Potus was scanning his notes but the letters were just a jumbled mess of scratches that refused to join to form words.  He took a deep breath.

“Let’s use an everyday example from my house the other day. Aunt Martha was cooking up some cabbage stew. I love cabbage stew, everyone does. But it smells horrible when it’s cooking in the kitchen. It smells horrible!” Potus covered his nose in an exaggerated effect. “And what we did, um,” here Potus lowered his hands from his face, “What we did was tell Aunt Martha that her favourite television show was on the television. That solves two problems for us. One: Aunt Martha gets out of the kitchen. Two: she um… doesn’t cook the stew”

Here the teleprompter read:


“But never mind that,” Potus continued, getting back to his place on the sheets in front of him. “There is a place for everyone in this great country of ours.  We need more great Americans like myself to step up and fill crucial roles that our great nation needs.  Our nation faces challenges in science, literature, education, and infrastructure.  The Constitution does not tell us what to do about any of these challenges.  We cannot simply look in a book somewhere to find out how to fix our failing schools and crumbling roads.  We don’t have enough criminals in all the penal colonies of our nation to dig ditches and fix roads.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Potus Rewrites

Rewrite the section where Potus meets Speaker of the House re: Daylight Savings. My editor said it wasn't clear why they hated each other so much.

Conveniently, in the Oval Office, Potus met with Speaker of the House. They sat across from each other with the large desk between them.

Potus said, "Thanks for coming to see me.  I know there might be some bad blood between us ever since the primary.”

Speaker of the House made a condescending nod with his head.

Potus continued, “As you know, we said some difficult things about each other, but that is normal for candidates vying for their party’s nomination.”

Speaker of the House raised his hand in a conciliatory gesture and said, “That’s OK. That’s all in the past. I would have preferred to receive the nomination. I was disappointed to say the least. But I’m able to overcome our differences and pretend I like you.”

Potus smiled. “That’s what I like. Honesty. So rare these days. May I say that I desperately hate your guts. I’m just clearing the air. God, that feels wonderful!  As much as it pains me to say so, I wish you would drop dead in a vat of acid."

"That's uncomfortable," said the Speaker of the House.  "I came here to discuss things civilly, especially since we're from the same political party."

"Oh," said Potus.  "I didn't realise that. ." Potus rummaged through a pile of papers on his desk. “I thought we were meeting as enemies. It’s a whole good politician/bad politician thing.”

"I understand.  Now as you know, sir, you have ignored our requests to come talk to you for the better part of a year.  I think that is a grave disservice to the country and to the balance of powers in this great nation."
"Bullshit," coughed Potus into his hand.

Later on,

"Don't sir me.  I'm just getting started," Potus snapped.  "And what about the time changes in the spring and winter?  Nobody likes that.  Why doesn’t everyone just leave a little earlier to go to work?  You do not have to change the clocks.  What's the progress on that?"

"Sir, daylight savings is proven to save energy and it's good for the environment.  Daylight savings saves lives and money."

"Bullshit," coughed Potus into his hand again.

"It's not bullshit."

"It is too."

"Is not."

"Is too bullshit." Potus held up a sheet of paper. “Right here, it says that four people died last year from Daylight Saving changes. In the spring, people lose sleep and they die.”

“That’s not real,” said Speaker of the House.

“Is too.”

"No it's not."

"Is is is. It’s right here in black and white. "

"Is not.  Isn't isn't isn't."

And further, a play on the Speaker's title.

"No, sir, I do not like it one bit.  Maybe if you didn't grant cunnilingus to rodent capybara in the middle of the night, you'd be able to speak better."

"I've never even been to South America," screamed Speaker of the House.  "And another thing, you sick bastard.  How do you even know what a capybara is?  There's no way someone could have figured that out without some insider knowledge."  Speaker of the House rose from his seat.

Potus stood up as well behind his desk.  "Ha, I don't need any insider knowledge.  I am the man on the inside.  I am an Office.  I have executive powers of observation.  I am able to discern what the people of America need me to see.  I'm chosen above all others to lead. And you, what are you? Just a speaker in some house? Anybody can speak in a house. I’m Office."

Johnson came in with the Chief of Staff.  Potus motioned him over.  "Johnson, remove Speaker of the House before I do harm to him."

After Speaker of the House left, Potus sat down while the Chief of Staff looked on.  The Chief of Staff asked, "Sir, how did it go with Speaker?  I assume it didn't go well."

Monday, July 15, 2013

POTUS rewrites

The editor suggested I rewrite one section about the infamous "Football". I originally denied its existence but decided to punch it up for more comedic effect.

Potus interrupted excitedly, "Whoa, mama, Iran's got nukes?  Those Israel nutcases must be going ape shit."
"No sir," corrected Secretary of Defence patiently.  "Iran could” (extra emphasis) “have nuclear capabilities in a few years.  Israel is officially willing to wait for a diplomatic solution for now."

"That's crazy," said Potus, "we should go bomb the shit out of those freaks right now.  Where are my nukes?  I'll show them.  Where's my thingee, whatsit, the briefcase with the codes in it?  The football?"

Secretary of Defence tried to calm Potus down.  "Sir, that's fiction.  It doesn't work that way.  There are no 'codes in a briefcase' anymore.  There is no 'football' in the physical sense.We use biometric data to ascertain your identity and we interpret your orders for, uh, execution.”

“Kind of like fly by wire?” Potus asked, rubbing his hands gleefully. “I love video games.”

“Maybe,” said Secretary of Defence hesitantly.

“Well, let’s get on that now,” said Potus. “I need football privileges!”

“I would love to ‘bomb the shit out of those Iranian freaks’ (your words), and believe me, we've tried.  But you have to build a consensus, talk to the United Nations," Secretary of Defence waived his hands in front of himself.   "It's a whole thing."

“It’s the goddamned Europeans, isn’t it?” Potus asked. “They don’t like our word football. It reminds them of that stupid kickball game, soccer.”

“I don’t think that’s it at all,” said Secretary of Defence.

Potus shook his head sadly.  "Tell me about these UN assholes.  They live rent free in their own little country on Manhattan Island and we foot the bill for all that?"

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