Thursday, August 1, 2013

Potus Rewrites

This section needed some help, so said the editor. A lot of minor edits and it works really well I think.

"Sir, yes, sir, I am waiting to speak," said a press reporter from the middle row with an obvious accent.
Potus pointed at the young man.  "You, raccoon guy with the accent."

Raccoon Guy tried to speak above the clamour.  "Yes thanks to you.  I am Chathuranga Wallaheller Srinivasiani from the Sri Lankan Daily Dinamina and I am pleased to ask you a question."

"Yes, go ahead.  Quiet down!" Potus yelled at the other reporters. "Wally Something wants to speak."

"Chathuranga Wallaheller..." Wally began.

"Yes, yes," waved Potus.  "Charlie So-and-So."

"You may call me by Chathuranga," Charlie said.

Potus said, "There's a great American name, Frank.  Wonderful. Go ahead, Frank."

“I don’t understand,” said Frank.

“Go ahead, Frank.”

“I…” Frank looked behind him, uncertain what was going on.

“Look,” said Potus, “If you don’t understand the words that are coming out of my mouth, then fuck you.”

Frank looked perplexed.

“Calm down,” Potus yelled at the hubbub in the press room. “Frank, you may speak with the Office of the President now. Go ahead.”

Frank decided to proceed anyway. He said, "Thank you for the wonderful honour, Mr. President of the United States.  I am pleased to ask about a topic of concern to the Sri Lankan peoples from my country.  We also have a problem since more than 20 years regarding terrorism.  The Tamil Tigers have caused..."

Potus interrupted, "Tigers on television, huh?  Is that a football team?  I mean, not your foreigner soccer ball game.  I'm talking about the American version on TV."

Frank seemed flustered.  "No sir, surely you are mistaken..."

Potus raised his hand in a victorious fist pump.  "Go Tigers, eh?  I prefer the Chiefs obviously.  You being Indian and all..."

Frank was furious.  In one swift motion, Frank removed his shoe and flung it at the President.  Potus, stunned, raised his hands to shield his face and caught the shoe.  Johnson, trying to protect Potus too late flew in front of him and knocked down the front row of reporters.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Potus rewrites

More rewrites and editing. I had gotten poor marks from the editor on this section with Press Secretary's handling of the crowd. So I decided to make him an erudite historian, benevolently teaching the masses.

Later on, underground in the press assembly room, Press Secretary was trying to calm down the reporters.

"I understand your concerns," he said, "and the president is anxious to hear your concerns. But first, some house-keeping items. First, as you saw from the signs outside, the bathrooms have not been repaired yet and the schedule to do so has been pushed back.  Second, we’re lucky it's the middle of winter because the air conditioner is broken too. This is not the battle at Thermopylae where King Leonidas stood against the forces of Xerxes. We will not be held off by a small force of determined Spartans who block access to vital resources. The staff are working quickly to solve all the Whitehouse facilities issues."

Potus arrived by the flags next to the Presidential seal.  The press erupted in shouts and camera flashes flickered like fireworks.  Potus, surprised and blinded, turned on his heel and exited.

Press Secretary turned, saw no one, then shouted above the din, "Calm down, calm down.  This is not a disaster.  To quote Sun Tzu, ‘He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.’ In other words, relax and take one energy drink in the morning instead of six."

The hubbub died down a little.  He continued, "There, much better.  Now I'm told that the President will be delayed, like Godot. Unlike Godot, he will be here eventually, if he exists. As Estragon said in Samuel Beckett’s play, ‘We always find something, eh Didi, to give us the impression we exist?’ So while we wait, I'd suggest you go outside and visit the bushes to do your business like bears do in the forest."
Potus reappeared, looking lost.  The shouting and camera flashes climaxed again.

"Hold it down, hold it down," yelled Press Secretary.  "It's a joke.  A joke. 'A joke is an epigram on the death of a feeling,' as Nietzsche said."  He looked over at Chief of Staff who had replaced the spot where Potus had been.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I'd like to introduce Chief of Staff.  He will give us a few words while wait.  Mr. Staff Chief?"

There was some light applause.  Secretary of State stepped in front of the podium.  "Thank you.  Um, ladies and gentlemen I present the President of the United States."

Potus appeared with a beatific smile on his face.  He stepped to the podium and shook Chief of Staff's hand heartily.

And later,

Later that day, in the press briefing room, Potus was introduced by Press Secretary to the domestic and foreign press.

"Ladies and Gentlemen of the press," Press Secretary began, "we have called this emergency meeting reminiscent of the joining of the Soyuz and Apollo spaceships. This meeting is not unlike Stafford and Leonov meeting face to face to resolve the differences between their countries. In this case, we are here to provide some information on the recent events at Camp David.  He will give a brief speech and then we will take questions and answer as many as we can.

“Just as the ancient practice of isonomia, we have chosen the order of the questions based on sortition. For the uneducated among you, that is a random draw.  You have been assigned your order numbers before you got here. The president will act as Pythia, answering your supplications and dispensing knowledge that is reserved only for the highest Offices.   Please hold your applause and questions until the end.  Thank you."
Potus stepped forward to polite applause and  smoothed out his papers on the dais.

"Dear my fellow Americans," Potus said and someone guffawed in the right front of the pressroom.  "Goddamn it," Potus said.  "I hate whoever keeps putting that in my speeches.  Don't think I won't find out who it is."

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