Players: George W. Bush; Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card; Kareem Al-Hasseeb.
The setting: The Oval Office.
George W. Bush sits at his desk, engrossed in writing something. A closed
door can be seen nearby.
GEORGE (speaking calmly and deliberately):
Equality. (4-second pause) UNIONS. (4-second pause) Environment... no...
ECOSYSTEM. (4-second pause) HEMP. (7-second pause) Andy? (pause) Andy?
Hey Andy, get yore butt in here.
ANDY (opens door, strides in briskly and officially and closes door):
Yes, Mr. President.
Andy? What's a four-letter word for "Civil liberties advocates"? (Bush holds
up the paper to show it's actually a crossword puzzle).
I have no idea, sir.
Me neither. Ah well, enough of this for now. (puts aside paper) So remind
me, what's on the schedule this morning? These last weeks of campaigning have
been such a blur, I just can't keep track anymore.
That's exactly why you have a Chief of Staff, sir. Someone needs to manage
your schedule so you can focus on the Big Picture. Anyhow, sir, this happens
to be Ohio Day.
Yes sir. Ohio is a key swing state we need to win, Mr. President. You
have several items on the agenda today relating to people from Ohio. There's
a luncheon with the Chamber of Commerce from the city of Canton.
We're having some Chinese people over?
No, sir... that's Canton, Ohio, not Canton, China. Good Republican small-business
leaders. At 10:15, there's a Japanese-American gardener from Cincinnati coming
by. At 10:45, the pastor of the second-largest Baptist church in Toledo will
be here for a meet-and-greet and a photo-op about vouchers for parochial schools.
I would have liked some Chinese food.
Continuing on, at thirteen-hundred hours, you'll be meeting the mayor of Youngstown,
who's here to lobby for more airport security for their airport. That'll give
you another opportunity to remind everyone of your fight against terrorism.
Can't get enough of those opportunities.
Oh, and I almost forgot the first, and best one. This one should be easy and
fun, and have some good political payoff. You know how we need to reach out
to the African-American community.
And how we need to make inroads in the big, blue-collar urban centers.
Well, at 9:45, we'll have (slight pause) Kareem Al-Hasseem drop by for a handshake
and photo-op. He's a reserve player with the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball
team. It's perfect: In one swoop you get to connect with African-Americans,
sports fans AND cut into the Kerry stronghold of Cleveland at the same time.
And connect with another millionaire too?
No doubt... He'll be here any minute. (reaches behind desk or some other object
for a stepstool, and places it near the closed door) The guy is seven-foot-one-inch.
We'll have you stand on this so you two will look more balanced in the photograph.
(sound of a buzzer from desk)
Mr. President, Kareem Al-Hasseem is here.
(grabs a camera from desk): He's here already. Let's get ready. (George climbs
up a couple steps of the stepstool, leaving enough room for the door to swing
open). (Knocking on door)
Welcome, Mr. Al-Hasseem!! (The door opens, and in trudges a man who looks
exactly like... Saddam Hussein!)
GEORGE (almost falling off the stepstool):
JEEEZUZ H. CHRIST!!
SADDAM (with mild Mideastern accent):
Hello, Mr. President.
Good lord, aren't you supposed to be in some spider-hole or something?!
I am Kareem Al-Hasseeb.
You're not a basketball player! Why, you're not even black!
What the hell do you mean, you're Kareem Al-Hasseem?! How the hell did you
get in here??!
SADDAM: I am not Kareem Al-Ha-SEEMmm. I am Kareem Al-Ha-SEEBbb. I tell secretary
my name on the phone, and she tell me to come here right away, and to go right
in, and that you were expecting me.
You're telling us your name is actually Kareem Al-Hasseeb? Why are you
here? And who the hell ARE you?
I am a displaced Iraqi person. I have a, how-you-say, a grievance against
America for my suffering.
Look man, even the best bombs cause SOME collateral damage. We're sorry if
we blasted your house. Or your wife. Or your goat. It happens.
Freedom has its price. You can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs.
No, my house and wife are okay. My hurting is, how-you-say, economic.
We are trying to get the oil flowing as quickly as we can. Haliburton is right
in the thick of things.
The price of liberty is never cheap. But a free Iraq will soon prosper, and
be a light unto the world. You will have golden opportunities to come.
No, not for me. You have ruined my career forever!
How do you mean?
I AM A SADDAM HUSSEIN BODY DOUBLE!! You have destroyed my livelihood!! There
is no more work for me, no, never again! I used to live in palaces! Had my
way with many mistresses -- they did not know if I was real Saddam or no!
And you, your cursed war has ruined everything!
Jeez, sorry man, we had no idea...
I come here to seek justice! Fairness!! (Andy pulls George aside to confer)
Is he talking a lawsuit?
I bet John Edwards put him up to this. Goddamn trial lawyers!
What do you think we should do? (Just then, Saddam shouts in anguish and pulls
a previously-unseen handgun from his waistband)
Auuuggghhh! You've ruined me! (waves gun around) (George and Andy duck behind
Jesus Christ! How'd he get that past security?!
Okay, I'm definitely going to increase Homeland Security funding!
(Saddam continues to wave the gun, then puts the gun to his own temple, shaking
and close to tears)
I'm ruined... I'm ruined... I'm ruined... I'm ruined... (repeats on and on
and on, getting softer)
This can't be good for us!
What're we going to do?
We're expecting a real good show trial with the REAL Saddam! This is going
to mess things up seriously! A splattered Saddam clone right HERE? I don't
THINK so!! This is bad news!
Big time! But... we've got to do SOMEthing!
Hmm... you know, he might be useful to us... symbolically.
What do you mean? (Saddam has stopped talking, but is still holding the gun
to his temple and swaying a bit)
Well, the way he looks. Think of it -- we could parade him around in a campaign
ad. I don't know... maybe something like him saying, "I'm Saddam Hussein,
and I HATED being forced from power! But what I hate even MORE is John Kerry's
That's good, that's good!
Or wait. We have him saying, "Sure, I was a corrupt dictator with no regard
for my people. But that doesn't even COMPARE with John Kerry's tax-and-spend
plan for big-government health care!"
I'm liking it! I'm liking it! (The two men stand and address Saddam)
Mr. Al-Hasseeb, I think we can help you out. We'd like to have you participate
in a few TV ads for us.
SADDAM (pulls gun from head):
You want me to be... on... TELEVISION??
That's right. On TV.
SADDAM (Drops gun) (emotionally):
HOLLYWOOD!! I come here and you will put me in Hollywood!! Oh, this is so
wonderful! I am going to be in HOLLYWOOD!! (excitedly hugs the two men, who
are slightly taken aback)
Come back at 4 o'clock this afternoon, and we'll have Karl Rove take care
of everything for you. (with a hand lightly on Saddam's back, opens the door
to show him out)
This is best day of my life! (shouts) GOD BLESS AMERICA!!
We'll see you later. (sends him out, shuts door).
GEORGE (returns to chair at his desk):
That wasn't at all what we were expecting!
That was way too much excitement for today. (pause, looks at wristwatch) Jeez,
it's almost 10:15 already. I'm s'posed to meet some Japanese-American gardener
from Cincinnati, is that right?
That is correct.
What's his name?
ANDY (grabs small appointment book from his pocket):
It's a Mister... Osama.
Um... correct. First name Ben. Ben Lotton Osama.
GEORGE (sits blankly for a few seconds, then grabs overcoat):
Screw the Ohio Day stuff. If anyone asks for me, I'm off to visit Dick Cheney
in his bunker!! (he exits out door)
(Lights go off)