Friday, January 4, 2008

Story of the Week -- Dec 31-Jan 4

How to choose a Leader

a play.

(Yammernuen* Town Hall Episcopal Convenience Store Motel and Restaurant. Yammernuen, IA)
TOM: Good evening everyone, please have a seat. Don't get comfortable. First we'd like the thank the Yammernuen Township Town Hall Episcopal Convenience Store Motel and Restaurant for hosting the Caucus of the 119th precinct. I'm Tom Johnson, I will be overseeing tonight's proceedings. Some rules: It's now 7 o'clock sharp, so Frank over there will now lock the door. Nobody else is allowed into the caucus room. If you choose to leave, your vote will not count and a sympathy vote will be cast for Senator Joe Biden of Delaware. Rule number 2: please don't eat any of the cakes or cookies until told to do so if you want your vote to be valid. Rule number 3: excuse me, can I help you?

SPIEGALION: Oh, I'm just watching. You can pretend I'm not here.

TOM: You're not here.

SPIEGALION: That's what I meant. Keep going, don't mind me. This cake is delicious.

TOM: Ok, Rule number 3: please do not solicit homosexual sex in the bathroom or we will be forced to register you as a Republican and send you to Idaho. Yes, BOBBY, you have a question?

BOBBY: Do you think the Larry Craig jokes are starting to get old?

TOM: No. Rule number 4: each participant is allowed one question of the moderator. Probably should have waited on that one Bobby. Rule number 5: all other rules of the caucus are located in this 400 page publication which you should have received in the mail last year. Any questions? Good. Let's get started.
I'd like everyone to meet Bruno the Labrador Retriever. Everyone say hi Bruno.



TOM: Bruno is going to walk around the room right now and count you. Please sit still. And don't mind him he's very friendly. While Bruno works, let me ask, how many of you have never participated in the Iowa caucuses before?

GROUP OF 10 IN THE BACK: WOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TOM: Yes, you must be from the University.

JOEY THE FISH: Yeah baby! Delta house baby!

TOM: Delta house? Like in Animal House?

SPIEGALION: That's my bad. Best I could come up with and I wanted to get this written before the New Hampshire primary. Really. Great cake. Who'd a thought?

TOM: All right, welcome, Delta House.

DELTAS: Yeah baby! Chug Chug Chug!

TOM: Hey, you can't drink in here!

MARTIN: Why not? Doesn't say it in the rulebook.

TOM: You read the rulebook?

JOEY THE FISH: He does all our homework too.

MARTIN: Well, not all....

PARKER: Don't be modest, you little genius, you. Have a beer.


TOM: All right, looks like Bruno's done. Now he's going to show me on this number pad how many there are....and....101? Are you sure?


TOM: Did you count Fred the bouncer?


TOM: Were you supposed to count Fred the bouncer?

BRUNO: arf...

TOM: And why not? Because Fred the bouncer is from Minnesota...It's ok, just don't do it again. Here, have a cookie. Ok, so Bruno's vote is now invalid, and we have a revised number of 100 people in the room. That's very convenient.

SPIEGALION: You're welcome.

TOM: Right, so we have 100 voters here in the room and it appears we're ready to begin. Any questions? Nope. Saving em up. Smart. Alright let's go. The first round is simple. Each candidate has a designated area. Choose your favorite candidate, go to that area. They are as follows: for Hillary Clinton, you want the deli counter to my right. For John Edwards, the altar, underneath the cross. For Barack Obama--

DELTAS: Obama!! Drink! Drink! Drink!

TOM: For Obama--

DELTAS: Obama!! Drink! Drink! Drink!

TOM: Ahem, over there by the beef jerky. For Bill Richardson it's the check-out counter, Joe Biden, the newsstand, Dennis Kucinch, over there by the ladies' room, Chris Dodd right here at the podium, and....Mike...Gravel? Ok, raise your hand if you know who Mike Gravel is.


TOM: That's what I thought, all right, I motion to strike Mike Gravel from the ballot as he is not viable.

BETTY: Second

TOM: Thank you Betty. Here, have a cookie to make it official.

JOAN: Hey why does she get a cookie?

TOM: To make a motion pass, one must consume a combination of sugar, flour and chocolate. If a cookie or other such baked good is consumed...

JOAN: So I just had to second the motion?

RALPH: Trust me honey, you didn't need it.

JOAN: Why don't you have another pork chop, Ralph?

TOM: All right, all right. Enough. Now, you have 10 minutes to choose an area corresponding to your candidate. Time begins now.

(ten minutes later)

TOM: Ok, time is up. Now...we have to count up the various areas. Any candidate that has less than 15 percent, which, conveniently, means any area with less than 15 people, will be declared not viable.

TODD: And then we can have cake?

TOM: Not yet, um...sorry I forgot your name

TODD: It's Todd. Rhymes with Dodd.

TOM: Ah, and that's why you voted for Dodd?

TODD: Rhymes with Todd.

TOM: Good choice. Unfortunately it looks like you're the only one there, so, you'll have to either convince 14 more people to join you or choose a different candidate.

TODD: Oh....anybody else's name here rhyme with Dodd?

ROD: Mine does. Hi...Rod Leiden. Rhymes with Biden.

TODD: Rod, rhymes with Dodd...

ROD: That's true.

TOM: Rod, where's your wife?

ROD: Over there by the deli counter, with the rest of the middle aged women who don't watch Oprah.

PEGGY: I work during the day and Rod won't get us TiVo.

ROD: You don't need TiVo!

PEGGY: But it's only $5 a month!

ROD: I don't see how any of this will change if we have a woman as president.

PEGGY: Well I don't understand how you can vote for JOE BIDEN!

ROD: Rhymes with Leiden!

TODD: Rod, Rhymes with Dodd!

ROD: Yeah, I'm gonna move over here with my buddy Todd.

TOM: You see? This is what the Iowa caucuses are all about. Intelligent debate, youthful enthusiasm...and eliminating non-viable candidates. With Rod moving here, that puts a nail in the Joe Biden coffin. And sadly Rod and Todd--

ROD and TODD: Ryhmes with Dodd!

TOM: Right, well you're going to have to find a different criterion for choosing your candidate, because 2 is not 15. That goes for you two over there by the ladies room in the alien costumes. Not enough for Mr. Kucinich.

(two people in alien costumes leave, dejectedly)

TOM: That leaves Richardson, Edwards, Obama--

DELTAS: Obama!

TOM: And...Clinton. Now it appears there are only 9 of you over in Richardson's camp, so you'll have to choose someone else.

ELAINE: I don't know what to say.

TOM: Well, it's not that complicated, there isn't enough support for your candidate.

ELAINE: No I mean, we don't know what to say, we can't figure out what stereotype we're supposed to be.

TOM: Oh.

SPIEGALION: My friend BrookLyn GaL likes Richardson. Not sure if that helps.

ELAINE: Can she vote in Iowa?

SPIEGALION: No, no she can't. She's from Kansas.

TERRANCE: Iowa's more mind numbingly dull than Kansas.

SPIEGALION: Is that something you're proud of?

TERRANCE: mlurpgh.

SPIEGALION: Interesting.

TOM: Let's move on. Richardson people, find someone else to have nondescript semi-opinions for. Now, there are 3 viable candidates remaining. You have 20 minutes to persuade and decide. Once your vote is locked in, you can have a piece of cake.

RALPH: Finally

(takes a cookie)

TOM: Well I guess Ralph is voting for Clinton now.


TRISHA: That's not fair, why are the cookies over by Hillary's area?

JOAN: Because that's where the counter is.

TRISHA : Yeah but now he's a vote for Hillary!

JOAN: Calm down, kid. He only voted for Obama because of the beef jerky.

DELTAS: Obama!

TRISHA: Motion to put the cookies and cakes in a neutral location.

RALPH: SECOND! (eats another cookie)

JOAN: Don't be a pig, Ralph.

RALPH: Can it, Joan. It's not my fault you're too slow.

TOM: Fred, can you get the cookies and bring them here to the center podium? OK, starting now, you have 20 minutes to persuade and make your second choices.

JOEY THE FISH: Attention young people and mothers who watch Oprah -- if you're not for Obama--

DELTAS: Obama!

JOEY THE FISH: You're against Obama.

DELTAS: Obama!

JOEY THE FISH: And if Obama Obama, Obama Obama. That's 4 more, ladies.

TRISHA: Hey, Obama's more than just the voice of the college student.

DELTA: Obama!

JOAN: Aren't you a college student?

TRISHA: Yes, but not like them. He's the voice of hope, and twentysomethings, and young people, and enthusiasm.

SUZANNE: And radical Islam.

MARY: He's not a Muslim! He's Episcopalian or something.

TRISHA: And even so, like another old white man is the answer?

SPIEGALION: I agree with you, but why should this rinkydink town in Iowa get to have this much power.

JOEY THE FISH: We brought beer.


TRISHA: Have you ever been to Iowa?

SPIEGALION: I'm not even here now.

TRISHA: Then what are you doing?

SPIEGALION: Trying to make a point that these caucuses don't make sense. That the race is far from over. That nobody cares about Iowa once the caucuses are over--

TRISHA: Stop there. You're ruining the ending. With my 10 drunk Delta boys and all these other young people who never participated in a caucus before, and these women who listen to everything Oprah tells 'em, I've got 39 votes here. Help me hand out these cookies.

SPIEGALION: I can't, I'm not here. Try the apple cake. Delicious.

TOM: Time's up. Bruno the Labrador will tally up the winners. And remember, in addition to this being a restaurant, town hall, motel lobby and convenience store, it's also a house of worship, so be sure to leave it how you left it. And you-


TOM: What are you doing? Nobody's gonna read this all the way to the end?

SPIEGALION: How do you know?

TOM: Cheesecake, saxophone, Brazilian tea paintbrush mechanism barbecue oxygen dynamic.

SPIEGALION: Now you're just messing with me.

TOM: You're messing with you.

SPIEGALION: right. Just call a winner.

TOM: Obama!


*Yammernuen is a town invented by my younger brother when he was about 6 years old and is not the name of any town anywhere.


Samantha said...

Man, that was awesome.

Mmmmm...cheesecake saxophone...

brookLyn gaL said...

Brazilian tea paintbrushes are my personal favorite. Go Richardson!

Liz said...

god, you're good.