Sunday, July 8, 2012

Raise the Gipper! Chapter 16: Where the lightning strikes

Raise the Gipper!  Chapter 16: Where the lightning strikes

This and the previous chapter were fun because something I've always enjoyed, as an actor and writer and director, is trying to catch the rhythms of speech of individuals, and I got to write in several voices that were fun:

Reagan the exasperated zombie: 

 They were all upset because, when he’d gone up to the convention tonight, he’d left the eleven mostly-headless, mostly-drained-of-blood bodies there in the meat locker, merely calling the concierge’s desk and telling them to have the mess cleaned up by the time he got back.
Apparently some of the eleven had been real people rather than just any old minions. Most had been interns from the Ivies and Stanford; the blonde girl had interned the summer before with Justice Clarence Thomas, who had had several pet nicknames for her; three of them had been children of congressmen, two of governors, and one of a three-star general; the red-headed woman and the tall Asian, who had just passed his bar exam, had been engaged for a marriage to ally a major media player with some genuine Charleston old money.
Or in short, those had not been just anyone’s heads and he should not have eaten them without permission, and bobbada bop bop, doo dah. Undeath was a lot like life, people were always calling you up to tell you what you shouldn’t have done, and totally missing the point, and expecting you to listen to it all.
When the little delegation of Gipper-wranglers had run out of energy, Reagan said, “Look, did you bring me back to save our party and our country and put things back on the right track, or to follow every little petty rule and remember who every little trivial person is? Besides, you can replace all eleven of them overnight with almost exactly identical people. We have a whole chain of douchebag factories in the prep schools and the Ivy League to turn out more of them, and if we need older ones with gray hair there’s the whole finance industry and old-line corporate law to pull them out of."

Sarah Palin when she has grasped a critical concept:

Got to have that settled before we can really be comfortable working together, that’s what I have to tell him. I mean, some of those kids’s families are important, and I just know in my heart, if someone would’ve drank Track’s blood and then ate his head too, I’d be…well. Mad. Good and mad. Ron better not have done that to anybody’s daughters and sons, because as a mother myself, I can say if that’s what he did, I’ll have to give him a piece of my mind. A real big piece of my mind. He says he wants me to give the campaign vision, but if he did this Chompgate thing I am going to show him a whole lot of things he’d rather not see.
“Penny for your thoughts, hon,” Todd said, from the chair where he was leafing idly through Field and Stream.
“Do you know,” she said, “since Larry explained about literally and figuratively, I can’t get it out of my head that I might have used both words wrong a lot of times, in public, without realizing it?”

Rick Santorum mommying up and finding the strength to have a painfully necessary conversation:

Not quite sure what he was going to do, he walked into the church, approaching to within a few feet of the bishop, noticing that the people in the church were beginning to whisper to each other as they recognized him. Good. Witnesses. He smiled and drew a deep breath.
“We gotta talk, Your Excellency. I’m pregnant.”
The man froze and his jaw dropped.
“I’m pregnant,” Santorum repeated. “About six weeks along. There’s no one else it could be, before you ask. Now we need to talk.”
The silence dragged on for a long time till the bishop stammered, “I haven’t consecrated the bread yet.”
“Then there’s no problem at all. I mean with the Mass. They can just start it over. Call in a substitute and you and I will go to your office.” Santorum realized he was probably the only comfortable person in the room. I hope this won’t take too long. I’d like to get back to Karen, and be with the kids, and…well, have a whole life.
His face felt funny, and then he realized it was an unforced smile.

And the way Fox News deals with it when a right wing hero does something bad, i.e. the victim had it coming and it was a public service:

...after tying Joe to witchcraft, they moved on to do a quick “lifestyle report” about the eleven young Republican staffers whose heads had been eaten. It seemed to be a summary of their Facebook profiles, arrest records, and whatever their colleges and prep schools would divulge. Several young men were willing to say that both the young women were known to be very promiscuous, and furthermore, one looked just like a girl who had been on Girls Gone Wild. Two of the young men, according to a minister/counselor who had looked at their biographies, were probably gay. There were three busts for pot, one for X, and one for prescription drugs. According to Fox, all of them drank a great deal.
One young man had been photographed with his arm around a girl and his hand over her breast, four of them had attended law school, thus becoming one “private-practice attorney, the exact nature of whose practice we don’t know”, and three “drop-outs” and they had all been working for career politicians.
Solemnly, the pale blonde woman on the screen intoned, “We just thought it was important to give our viewers the other side. No one denies that eating people’s heads is wrong, at least if it is done without their consent, and of course the investigations need to continue because if the former president did indeed eat all these people’s heads, and they can be proven not to have consented to it, then there are things that as a society of laws we need to do about it, although our legal experts have informed me that it is not clear whether, technically speaking, a person who is already dead can commit a felony, nor whether, if they do, executing an already dead person would or would not constitute double jeopardy. So legally it’s very complex.”

Aura, a practical-minded contemporary young woman, facing up to the dreadful fact that her cat has already figured out, that she is in love with a Republican:

Aura set about getting ready for bed, interrupted by a very disturbed Mr. Fuzzy, who kept meowing at the front door. “I bet you want to be with Nimrod,” she said.
“I think you even recognize his name. Nimrod?”
“Well, not tonight. Probably early in the morning, we’ll go over and make sure they’re okay. Meanwhile, there’s cat food you don’t have to compete for.”
Though he ate, Mr. Fuzzy didn’t seem nearly as interested in his food as usual. Aura brewed herbal tea, and sat down to run through some variations on the Tarot, but kept losing her place; when the tea was ready, she ate in bed, trying to read, sipping the tea, and occasionally telling Mr. Fuzzy to get away from the goddam door because he wasn’t going anywhere tonight.

 For the record, let me say, I was once in love with a Republican myself.  And I did eat her brain. But I faced up to the fact, later, that it was a bad thing, and in a painfully necessary way, I explained to everyone that  it was entirely her fault.