The Drama Begins
By Patrick F. Cannon
A One Act Play
Scene: We are in the Oval Office at the White House at 5:00 pm on January 20, 2017. President Trump sits behind his desk. The room looks much the same as we might expect, except that the President’s chair is set on a riser and is trimmed in gold. Oh, and there is a row of slot machines placed rather discretely against one wall. The word “Trump” flashes in neon at the top of each.
Sarah Palin, the White House Chief of Staff, enters and bows to her boss, who beckons her to be seated. Through a secret door, a hairdresser enters and begins to reassemble the President’s famous orange hair, which became somewhat tousled during the inaugural parade, what with the wind and his white horse bucking occasionally.
Trump: Sarah! We’ve got them by the shorts now! I can’t wait to get started. Did they start on the wall yet?
Palin: Well, see, I tried to do it first thing, but Inauguration Day is some kind of Federal holiday, so I couldn’t find anyone.
Trump: Damn! Well, let’s get on it first thing tomorrow. And let’s make sure we send that Mexican president guy – Jose or whatever his name is – a bill once a week until it’s done.
Palin: I think his name is Pablo, but I’ll double check. Anyways, tomorrow’s Saturday and no one will be in their offices until Tuesday, since Monday is another Federal holiday.
Trump: Another one?
Palin: Jeez, I asked the same thing. It’s Civil Service Day – it’s the anniversary of the passage of the Civil Service Act, which prevents the President from ever firing anyone.
Trump: You mean I can’t fire anyone? Me? I’m the biggest “you’re fired” guy in the universe, maybe even the whole world, and I can’t fire anyone?
Palin: Oopsy, sorry for the confusion, Mr. President, you just can’t fire career bureaucrats any time you want. You have to go through the 1,340 steps as required by the regulations passed by Congress at the suggestion of the AFL/CIO. Folks you appoint, you can fire anytime you want. By the way, to get the wall started, you have to issue an Executive Order.
Trump: Do you take dictation, Sarah?
Palin: Sorry, they didn’t offer that at the Alaska School of Mines and Petroleum Jelly at Sketchifyoucan. I did pass a course in rudimentary English. Anywho, they won’t carry out an Executive Order unless it’s drafted under Regulation 640-88 as published on March 2, 1938 in the Federal Register. The guy who wrote it, I think his name is Cannon, is coming in first thing Tuesday morning to give you a hand. But there’s no hurry, since the factory in Mexico that’s going to provide the concrete for the wall takes January off so the employees can go skiing.
(President Trump, whose complexion heretofore has rather matched the color of his hair, has suddenly turned a deeper shade of red as he begins to rise out of his throne. Just then, the intercom comes on and his secretary, who speaks like an Eastern European Marilyn Monroe, breathlessly announces the arrival of the Secretary of Defense. The president takes a deep breath and sits down.)
Trump: OK, send him in.
(The door opens and Donald Rumsfeld enters. He looks around a bit before speaking)
Rumsfeld: Well, it’s been a few years, but it looks like the here is still the here I remember.
(The hairdresser has finished his work and is withdrawing.)
By golly, your hair does remind me of Reagan’s. Maybe not the exact shade of orange, but close enough so the country will feel safe again.
Trump: You’re right, Don. His hair was the greatest for this time, but mine is the greatest of all time. You don’t mind if I call you Don, do you? We wouldn’t want any confusion about who’s the greatest Donald of all time, even including Mr. Duck.
Rumsfeld: Don’t worry, Mr. President, I’m just happy to have another crack at those bastards at the Department of Defense. Who says we can’t go to war with Mexico if we want to?
Palin: I checked into that and those pinkos in Congress said they wouldn’t give you the money, and that you couldn’t do it without some kind of Congressional Resolution anyway, like the one they gave Bush on Iraq. I told them they’d be sorry, but they just laughed at me, even the Republicans. I tried my best, but couldn’t get them to budge.
Trump: I need someone to get those losers to get with the program. Palin, you’re fired! Don, how would you like to be the first man to be both Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense? Let’s talk about it while I show you my new man cave. It’s where the White House press corps used to hang out and make up lies about me.
Copyright, 2016, Patrick F. Cannon