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The President – Episode 102

Posted in erbooker by erbooker on 11/16/2010

Through a series of tragedies, 27-year-old Deputy Secretary of Transportation Holden Jackson has become the youngest President in the history of the United States.

Episode 102 – Ballad of the Ponderosa

(President Holden Jackson is smoking a cigarette on the back balcony of the residence of the White House, gazing over the wall into an adjoining posh hotel where members of the European Union are sloshing around in the Olympic-sized pool..)

Jackson: Look at those jerks. Havin’ fun.

(Junior speechwriter and Georgetown sophomore Reginald Dawkins glances up from a speech he’s crafting addressing the NAACP for later that week..)

Jackson: (hollers over the fence)  Ya havin’ fun, ya jerks?

(A Spanish diplomat laughs..)

Spain: Yes, we are!

(A Portuguese councilman performs a cannonball, yelling..)

Portugal: This is great!

Jackson: Yeah, well…who cares? Go back to Europe!

(President Jackson throws his cigarette butt over the side of the balcony and it bounces off a Secret Service agent’s head..)

Jackson: (chuckling)  Did you hear that, Dawkins? I told ’em to go back to Europe.

Dawkins: That’s great, sir. Really gotta finish this speech, though.

(Holden sinks into a chair, staring out at the Sun rising up over the Mall..)

Jackson: (sighs)  Stupid jerks. I wish I was in the European Union.

~~~

Chamberlain: No. Absolutely not.

Jackson: (pouts, slouching behind the Resolute Desk)  Aw, why not Wilby?

Chamberlain: Because we’re not in Europe, sir.

Jackson: Wilby!

Chamberlain: That’s final, Mr. President.

Jackson: Couldn’t we just be part of Europe for a couple months? ‘Til they close the pool?

Chamberlain: Sir, don’t you think that would greatly diminish our standing as an economic and military superpower?

Jackson: Yeah, but a pool Wilby!

Chamberlain: Stop calling me Wilby, sir.

Jackson: They think they’re so cool ’cause they’re in a Union.

Chamberlain: Well…you’re pretty cool too, sir.

Jackson: (still pouting)  I am?

Chamberlain: You’re the most powerful man in the most powerful country in the world. That’s pretty cool.

Jackson: (smiles)  Yeah, that is pretty cool.

Chamberlain: In fact, you’re docket’s clear for the rest of the day. Why don’t we invite all those EU gentlemen and women to a gala ball in your honor to show them how cool you really are.

Jackson: (pumps his fist)  Cool!

Chamberlain: (grinning, jotting down on his notepad)  Excellent. And where shall the ball be held? The Madame Che? The Maisson Faire?

Jackson: The Ponderosa Steakhouse!

Chamberlain:

Jackson: Cool?

Chamberlain: …cool, sir.

~~~

(That evening, President Holden Jackson is adjusting his black bow tie in a mirror in the back kitchen of the local Ponderosa Steakhouse, whose front parking lot is now bustling with limousines, Lincoln Town Cars and foreign dignitaries..)

Jackson: Wilby, did you invite Ms. Sanchez of that newspaper that hates me?

Chamberlain: The Post, sir?

Jackson: The newspaper hates me, she doesn’t hate me. Do you think she hates me?

Chamberlain: I don’t think she likes you. But I believe she will be in attendance.

Jackson: (pumps his fist again, bumping a busboy in the back)  Yes!

Busboy: ¡Ai!

Jackson: She’s gonna think I’m so hot in this tux. Actually, I sort of am getting hot in this tux. Any chance we can get the heat turned down in this Steakhouse, Giuseppe?

Steve: It’s Steve, actually. And our older patrons prefer it a little warmer during dinner hours.

Jackson: (glaring at the restaurant manager)  Giuseppe, who’s the most powerful man in the most powerful country in the world?

Steve: Uh you are, sir?

Jackson: And what is your name?

Steve: …Giuseppe?

Jackson: Glad we got that straightened out. Take that thermostat down a couple notches for me, will ya?

Steve: Yes, Mr. President.

Jackson: Thanks, Giuseppe.

Chamberlain: Perhaps it is time for your grand entrance?

Jackson: Ah, yes. The grand entrance. A time-honored Ponderosa Steakhouse Presidential tradition.

(Holden saunters through the kitchen double doors into the main dining room area to the camera flashes of the assorted media members and the applause of the EU members; and proceeds to trip over the same busboy from before, landing flat on his face..)

Busboy: ¡Ai!

Jackson: (groans)  Not cool.

~~~

(Holden finds his way to the media table and sits down next to Post reporter, Jessica Sanchez..)

Jackson: Ah, if it isn’t the lovely Jessica Sanchez of the Washington Times.

Sanchez: The Post, actually. That was quite the grand entrance, Mr. President.

Jackson: (smiles faintly)  Yeah, dang busboy. You can’t trust those Venezuelans, can you?

(The President of Venezuela glares at Holden from an adjoining table..)

Sanchez: (rubbing her shoulders)  It’s a little chilly in here.

Jackson: (snaps his fingers)  Giuseppe! Take that thermostat up a couple notches for me, will ya?

Steve: Yes, Mr. President.

(President Jackson hears a French accent nearby and taps the man on the shoulder..)

Jackson: Excuse me, Garcón. Two of your finest steaks for me and the lady.

Sanchez: (laughs)  Mr. President, I don’t think the French Prime Minister is going to fetch our dinner.

Jackson: Yes, but this man might.

Rousseau: (glares)  Monsieur, I am the French Prime Minister. Marcel Rousseau? We have met a number of times.

Jackson: (puts an arm around the PM’s shoulder)  Of course, of course. Only joking!  (whispers in PM’s ear)  Listen, Pierre. You’re killin’ me with the, how do you say, “madame”. Just get us the steaks, bro.

Rousseau: (turns up his nose)  I shall do no such thing!

(The Prime Minister of France storms off and Holden turns back to Jessica, smirking..)

Jackson: Rude, huh?

Sanchez: Mr. President–

Jackson: Please, call me Holden.

Sanchez: Holden–

Jackson: Actually, call me Mr. President.

Sanchez: Mis–

Jackson: No, no. On second thought, Holden’s fine.

Sanchez: Holden. I was hoping I could ask you a few questions about the Yemeni rebel freedom fighters fire-bombing the German embassy earlier today.

Jackson: Ooh, no political stuff tonight, Ms. Sanchez. This night is all about fun and friends and being generally really cool so those stupid jerks in the European Union will let me into their club.

Sanchez: (opens her notepad)  You want America to join the European Union?

Jackson: Well, not all of America. Just the cool parts. You can come, if you want. Are you seeing anybody?

Sanchez: Mr. President, do you fully realize the implications of the European Union allowing America to–

Jackson: (pointing across the room, towards the salad bar)  There’s the cool table. That’s where I should be at. Look: You got Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland. Oh, think of all the jokes I can make with Poland. I’m goin’ over there. Do I look cool? See how that French guy’s comin’ with the steaks.

(President Jackson saunters over to the “cool table” – only tripping over the busboy once – and sits down next to the Polish Prime Minister..)

Jackson: What’s up fellas? This guy, huh? Screen door submarines, am I right?

(Holden chortles while the rest of the table remains silent..)

Jackson: (points at a man with dreadlocks two chairs over)  Oh shit, Bobby McFerrin!

Jamaica: I am the Governor-General of Jamaica. It is a pleasure to meet you, President Jackson.

Jackson: Oh, wow. Haile Selassie, I’m a big fan. Jah Rastafarsi.

Jamaica: (frowns)  I am not Haile Selassie. He was from Ethiopia.

Jackson: Well you’d know, pothead. Say, are you holdin’ right now?

Jamaica: No.

Jackson: That’s alright, I got a guy. Representative from California. What are you even doing here, Haile? Jamaica isn’t in Europe.

Poland: He was my plus one.

Jackson: (chuckles, pats Poland on the back)  Surprised you can count that high, Posluzsky. Listen, I’d love to talk to Selassie and Posluzsky all night; but I invited you all here to this Ponderosa Steakhouse for a specific reason. I wanna join your club.

Italy: A scusi?

Jackson: Gesundheit. I want to join the European Union.

(The entire table erupts in laughter. Holden sits smiling, waiting for a response while the laughter continues to roll. After a few minutes, when he sees that no response is forthcoming and the laughter fails to dissipate, President Jackson slinks back to the media table where Jessica Sanchez is enjoying a t-bone..)

Sanchez: The French Prime Minister finally brought us our food. Yours is right there. I started without you. Sounded like you guys were having fun over there.

(Holden picks up the crisp black hard steak with his fork and drops it back onto the plate with a “thunk”..)

Jackson: He overcooked it.

(Holden rests his head on his fist and stares out the window..)

Sanchez: Mr. President, what’s wrong?

Jackson: Those European jerks. They are so mean. All I wanted to do is join their stupid club for jerks and be cool.

Sanchez: First of all, Mr. President: America can’t join the EU. We’re not in Europe.

Jackson: (pouting)  Jamaica’s here.

Sanchez: He’s just Poland’s plus one.

Jackson: Poland’s dumb.

Sanchez: Mr. President, you’re the most powerful man in the most powerful country in the world. That’s pretty cool.

Jackson: (raises his head up off his fist)  That’s exactly what Wilby said this morning.

Sanchez: Well, you’ve got a pretty smart advisor. Thank God.

Jackson: So…you think I’m cool?

Sanchez: (smiles)  Super cool.

Jackson: (leans in, grinning)  You wanna be my girlfriend?

Sanchez: No.

Jackson: (sighs)  Do you wanna go make fun of France?

Sanchez: Okay.

(Holden throws a biscuit at the French Prime Minister’s head as the Swiss & Danish PM’s laugh uproariously..)

Rousseau: Sacre bleu!

(Vice President Gary Busey gallops into the Steakhouse on a horse, knocking over tables and busboys..)

Busboy: ¡Ai!

Jackson: Gary, what the heck are you doin’?

Busey: I thought you said it was bring your own steak!

Jackson: Oh, Gary! I love the Ponderosa Steakhouse.  (gives the French PM a noogie)

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