What Happens When Presidential Candidates Stop Being Polite and Start Getting Real?

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Today brought the news that anti-virus mogul and legitimate crazy person John McAfee is entering the already crowded race for President in 2016. He’s the latest candidate in a field that is increasingly resembling the monkey enclosure at a second-tier zoo. How to sort the winner from so many names? In this era of always-on entertainment, perhaps we should look to the world of reality TV…

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Donald Trump: Bouffant. Billionaire. Refuses to brag. Hillary Clinton: Wacky! Ker-razee! Spontaneous! A whole new Hillary!!! Bernie Sanders: A man who wears a sports coat with elbow pads. Mike Huckabee: Clean-shaven. Clean-spoken. CLEAN. John McAfee: Disheveled. Twitchy. Deez Nuts: Him. Limberbutt McCubbins: A cat.

SCENE

An anonymous, resolutely Middle American suburban house known by all and sundry as “The Beige House.” Many enter The Beige House. Only one leaves. That person will be our next President.

TIME

Our near future, perhaps.

SCENE 1

The living room. It’s furnished in a pleasant but not ostentatious style — the furniture’s from IKEA, perhaps. There is a long couch opposite a large flat-screen television, along with a couple of armchairs, one of which is home to a sleeping Limberbutt McCubbins. Deez Nuts is seated at one end of the couch, wielding a penis-shaped bong with intent. Bernie Sanders is at the other, buried in a leather-bound tome. Mike Huckabee stands between them and the TV. He is not happy.

MIKE HUCKABEE It is not appropriate.

DEEZ NUTS [silence]

MIKE HUCKABEE Would you behave like this at home, Deez?

DEEZ NUTS [silence]

MIKE HUCKABEE I cleaned the living room last night, and now there is… ma… ma… [crosses himself] MARIJUANA RESIDUE on the coffee table.

DEEZ NUTS [silence]

MIKE HUCKABEE And that… that thing you’re holding is just not appr—

BERNIE SANDERS [interrupting] Would you please be quiet? I’m trying to finish this study of the productivity of Soviet shoe factories under a socialist economy.

MIKE HUCKABEE Commie books are also not appropriate.

BERNIE SANDERS It’s an economic book, you dunderhead.

MIKE HUCKABEE There is only one book, and that is the Good Book.

DEEZ NUTS [sighs deeply and demonstratively]

Mike Huckabee goes to sit on the closest armchair, not realizing it is the one already occupied by Limberbutt McCubbins. Limberbutt wakes, hisses, and scratches at Huckabee’s suit trousers. Huckabee jumps away in fright.

MIKE HUCKABEE Godless creature!

DEEZ NUTS lol

Hillary Clinton enters. She is wearing what appears to be a cheerleader’s outfit.

HILLARY CLINTON Hi, guys!!!!

BERNIE SANDERS [slams book closed in frustration] Will I never get any peace and quiet around here?

HILLARY CLINTON Oh, Bernie, you old stick-in-the-mud, why are you always reading those boring old books??? Let’s do something fun!!!

BERNIE SANDERS I happen to want to run the country responsibly, Ms Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON Oh, Bernie, call me Hillary!!!!

BERNIE SANDERS I will call you anything you like if you’ll just be quiet for a moment.

HILLARY CLINTON Wait!!! I have an idea!!! Who wants to play…. hide and seek?

BERNIE SANDERS For the love of—

MIKE HUCKABEE Don’t blaspheme.

HILLARY CLINTON I’ll count to ten, and you have to hide, OK??? One, two, three…

Bernie remains unmoved. Mike looks around for a moment and then exits stage left. Deez Nuts rises languidly and drops to his knees, apparently intending to hide under the couch. Except… there’s already someone under there. He’s wearing a tinfoil hat and wielding some sort of homemade electronic device that is attached to a large antenna.

JOHN MCAFEE [in a hoarse stage whisper] What are you doing, you damn fool?

DEEZ NUTS [silence]

JOHN MCAFEE [grabs Deez by the arm and hauls him under the couch] They can’t see us down here! I’m jamming the signal, see?

DEEZ NUTS [silence]

JOHN MCAFEE If they find us we’ll have to kill them all.

HILLARY CLINTON … ten!

Donald Trump enters.

HILLARY CLINTON Oh Donald, you big silly!!! I’ve found you already!!!

DONALD TRUMP Of course you found me. Everyone knows where to find me! I’m Donald Trump! I’m worth billions.

SCENE TWO

The computer room. A smallish, Spartan room in which there’s a solitary, aging PC, the housemates’ only link to the outside world. At present it’s being used by Hillary Clinton, but it appears there’s a queue: Donald Trump, Deez Nuts, and John McAfee are all standing behind her, looking purposeful.

HILLARY CLINTON OMG!!! Look who just emailed me!!!

DONALD TRUMP [bored] Who?

HILLARY CLINTON Just the UN weapons inspectors, that’s who!!! They’re telling me all about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program!!!

DONALD TRUMP North what?

JOHN MCAFEE Korea, for god’s sake! It’s the world’s last remaining Stalinist state! Don’t you know anything?!

DONALD TRUMP I will know when I need to know.

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible]

DONALD TRUMP What’s that?

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible]

DONALD TRUMP I’ll never need to know? We’ll see about that, young man.

HILLARY CLINTON Well, it looks like those naughty Koreans are still making nuclear weapons!!! I’d better delete this email!!!

JOHN MCAFEE Wait. Is that a Hotmail account?

HILLARY CLINTON Oh, John, you’re reading over my shoulder!!! How random of you!!!!

JOHN MCAFEE [fidgeting nervously] You’re using an unsecured email account from this house?!

HILLARY CLINTON Who wants to do something fun???

JOHN MCAFEE [shouting] Answer me, woman!

HILLARY CLINTON Well, I guess I am!!! How silly of me!!!

JOHN MCAFEE God. Oh god. Now they know where we are. They know everything. They’re going to find us.

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible]

JOHN MCAFEE It’s too late for that, you fool!

McAfee flees the room, nearly stepping on Limberbutt McCubbins, who is entering just as McAfee leaves. Limberbutt hisses and tries to scratch John.

HILLARY CLINTON He’s just no fun at all, that John McAfee!!! Anyway, I’m going to dance in the yard!!! Because I’m so spontaneous!!!

She stands and leaves. Donald Trump and Deez Nuts both move for the computer, ending up in a sort of tete-a-tete, each with one hand on the office chair.

DONALD TRUMP Look, step aside, you silly boy. I have business to attend to.

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible]

DONALD TRUMP I have stocks to buy and sell! Celebrities to contact! Underprivileged employees to exploit shamelessly! Apprentices to fire! What is so important that you need to do right now?

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible]

DONALD TRUMP World of what?

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible]

DONALD TRUMP I have never heard such nonsense.

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible]

DONALD TRUMP Gold coins, you say?

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible]

DONALD TRUMP Perhaps you should show me how this game works, boy.

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible]

DONALD TRUMP I’m worth billions.

SCENE 3

Nighttime. The hot tub. It’s a proper LA porn-star jacuzzi, lit with neon lights that make the water a lurid, surreal shade of turquoise, and it sits on some decking in the house’s yard. This may or may not be where the contestants are tacitly encouraged to get hot and heavy. Hillary is in the tub, splashing around joyously. John McAfee is also in the tub, looking furtively from side to side. Bernie is seated on the side, his feet in the water. He is wearing a navy blue Speedo. Mike is standing in a pair of tighty-whiteys, shivering uncomfortably. Deez Nuts sits to the side, looking intently at his phone. Limberbutt McCubbins wants no part of this.

JOHN MCAFEE [mutters to himself] If my calculations are correct, they can’t pick up the signal if I am immersed in water. But what if…

HILLARY CLINTON Oh come on Mike, this is so much fun!!!!

MIKE HUCKABEE It’s just inappropriate.

BERNIE SANDERS Exercise is a fillip for the mind, you dolt.

MIKE HUCKABEE How is this exercise?

HILLARY CLINTON [splashing water at Mike] You old stick-in-the-mud!!! Rick Santorum would be up for the hot tub!!!

BERNIE SANDERS [quietly] I don’t doubt that for a moment.

Donald Trump emerges from the house. He is wearing a luxurious, monogrammed white bathrobe. His hair is magnificent. His fake tan is magnificent. He is magnificent.

DONALD TRUMP I am here.

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible but clearly not complimentary]

HILLARY CLINTON Donald!!! This is so much fun!!!

DONALD TRUMP Yes, yes, but the hot tub at Trump Towers is big enough to fit this whole house into it, you know.

HILLARY CLINTON It’s almost as much fun as when you paid me and Bill to come to your wedding!!!

DONALD TRUMP [sharply] We agreed not to talk about that!

HILLARY CLINTON [giggles] Oh, we did!!! I’m so silly and random!!!

Donald stretches expansively. He cracks his knuckles. He runs his hands through his hair.

DONALD TRUMP Prepare to behold the majesty of the Donald.

MIKE HUCKABEE I’m sorry?

DONALD TRUMP You’ve never seen chest hair this… this sumptuous. You’ve never seen—

BERNIE SANDERS [comprehension dawning] Oh dear god.

MIKE HUCKABEE Aha! I thought you were a non-believer, Sanders!

BERNIE SANDERS If you have a better idea than divine intervention, I’m willing to hear it.

Donald Trump throws off his robe. He is naked. Proudly, unashamedly, magnificently naked. The pool lights catches his fake tan and send golden rays scattering in all directions. He is glowing.

DONALD TRUMP I AM THE DONALD!

JOHN MCAFEE THEY’VE FOUND US! THE LIZARD PEOPLE ARE HERE!

Bernie Sanders gurgles quietly, apparently unable to form a complete word. Mike Huckabee appears to have turned to stone. Deez Nuts continues staring at his iPhone. Hillary Clinton giggles.

DONALD TRUMP I WILL RULE ALL!

DEEZ NUTS [inaudible]

JOHN MCAFEE [weeps quietly]

LIMBERBUTT MCCUBBINS [to camera] This sounded so much more fun on paper.

-FADE TO BLACK-