The President – Episode 103
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 103 – Ghost Story
Busey: …and Tom Atkins never bothered me ever again.
Jackson: ‘Cause you chewed his arm off.
Jackson: I feel like I would’ve read about that somewhere.
(President Holden Jackson is tucked into his bed in the White House residence as Vice President Gary Busey tells him tales of 1980’s Hollywood..)
Jackson: (shutting his eyes) Alright, Gary. I think that’s enough cannibalism for one evening.
Busey: You want the door open or shut?
Jackson: (rolls over on his side) Open a little.
Busey: G’night, kiddo.
(All of a sudden a small creature scurries across the room in the darkness and Holden leaps out of bed, turning on the light and whipping his head around, shrieking..)
Jackson: What the heck was that?
Busey: (bursts into the room, bat in hand) Hooligans!
Jackson: (finger to his mouth) Shhh!
(The creature scurries back across the room again, through the shadows..)
Jackson: (pointing) There! You see that?
Busey: Uh oh.
Jackson: What? What was it?
Busey: (turns to Holden, resting the bat on his shoulder) We’ve got ghosts.
(Iverson “Ivy” Langford, the host of Ivy: The Ghoul Hunter is in the Oval Office, discussing President Jackson’s scare from the night before..)
Langford: We’ve done some research and we believe it’s the ghost of former United States President James Madison.
Jackson: Ah, yes. Our nation’s first midget President.
Chamberlain: (scoffs) Well, he wasn’t an actual midget.
Busey: (explodes with rage) Oh what do you know, Queen Elizabeth!!
Jackson: Easy, Gary. Wilby might be right. Which ones are the ones with the funny little arms?
Langford: Those are dwarves.
Jackson: Okay, ’cause he didn’t have those. I know, ’cause I would’ve laughed. So he’s gotta be a midget.
Busey: Could be a hobbit.
Jackson: Or maybe some sort of hobgoblin.
Langford: A hobgoblin is a fictitious animal.
Busey: No, I think they’re just endangered.
Langford: Regardless, we’re dealing with a ghost. I can expunge this spirit and send him back to his spirit land; but he is a former President, so we have to be very respectful in how we deal with this.
Chamberlain: Are you kidding me?
Jackson: Yeah, but he’s a midget; so we only have to be…like, half-respectful.
Langford: Now, I’m going to need complete run of the building for the next twenty-four hours.
Chamberlain: Impossible. Only those with the highest security detail can–
Chamberlain: Mr. President, you can’t let this ghost-hunting ninny have free rein of the White House. There are top secret goings-on around every corner; he could be privy to highly-classified information.
Langford: I am only concerned with the happenings of the spirit world; your mortal realm does not concern me.
Chamberlain: Do you hear this loon?
(Holden grabs Wilbur by the arm and drags him to the patio outside the Oval Office..)
Jackson: How ’bout a little respect, huh Wilby?
Chamberlain: Mr. President–
Jackson: That is Ivy Langford in there. Of Ivy: The Ghoul Hunter? On the Sci-Fi Network? My apologies, the SyFy Network.
Chamberlain: Yes, Mr. President. Science-fiction. Emphasis on the ‘fiction’.
Jackson: Yes, but also emphasis on the ‘science’.
Chamberlain: That man is a shill and a huckster. He is bilking you; and – by you – the American public.
Jackson: Oh, baloney.
Chamberlain: How much is he charging?
Jackson: Just a little bit.
Chamberlain: How much?
Jackson: Ten thousand.
Chamberlain: (throws his hands up)
Jackson: Well, these ghouls aren’t gonna hunt themselves. Although on this one particular episode of Ivy: The Ghoul Hunter, Ivy did enlist the help of a former Confederate foot soldier to help find his brother’s spirit in an old cotton mill in Eastern Georgia…
Chamberlain: You can’t possibly believe any of this, Holden.
Jackson: You just don’t get the spirit world, Wilby.
Chamberlain: I’m more concerned with this evening’s meeting with the Russian delegation. This is a very important arms treaty we’re about to sign into action. How do you expect to be taken seriously with a ‘ghoul hunter’ running about all willy-nilly.
Jackson: He’s going to be very discreet. Like a Thai hooker.
Chamberlain: Well, I hope so. For our country’s sake. (turns back inside)
Jackson: My country’s sake, Queen Elizabeth. Also, we’re gonna need about a dozen more security clearance cards for the film crew.
Chamberlain: Bloody hell.
(Ivy Langford is being followed by his film crew through the hallways of the White House..)
Langford: I just got a reading on my ghoulometer. This hallway is rife with ghouls. Rife, I tell you!
(The cameraman pans up and down the empty hallway as a page hurries by, head down..)
Langford: Now when I spoke with President Jackson and Vice President Busey earlier today, we came to the conclusion that the ghoul that spooked our President the evening before was none other than former President James Madison. If this is true, then this may be our most dangerous ghoul hunt yet. President Madison was a diminutive man and therefore his spirit will be quicker and lower to the ground, much like a jackrabbit. He also once called this building home, which could make it harder to expunge him from the grounds. That’s enough back story for now, onto the hunt!
(Ivy turns back to the camera with a finger in the air and a devilish grin..)
Langford: The ghoul hunt.
(President Jackson, Vice President Busey and Wilbur Chamberlain look on from the secretaries’ office..)
Jackson: That man is gonna find so many ghouls.
Chamberlain: Mr. President, for the last time: There’s no such thing as ghosts.
Jackson: Then what was that thing scurrying around in my bedroom last night? What, somebody’s pet midget got loose?
Busey: (chuckles) Now that’s a ludicrous thought.
Chamberlain: Perhaps it was an opossum.
Jackson: (chortles) A what?
Chamberlain: You know, an opossum?
Busey: That like a beaver?
Jackson: (smiles) Beaver. No, I think ‘ol Wilby is referring to a possum. He’s just slapping an unnecessary ‘o’ on the front in order to sound all fancy and British.
Busey: (scowls) Oh, that’s just like him!
Chamberlain: You know, I’m standing right here.
(Ivy and his cameramen are rooting around in the President’s bedroom as Jackson, Busey and Chamberlain watch from the door jam, off-camera..)
Langford: Now we are knee-deep in the room where it all took place. This is where former President Madison struck fear into the bones of President Jackson.
Jackson: (raises his hand) Uh, he didn’t actually strike fear in my bones. He just spooked me a little is all.
Chamberlain: (whispering) Please don’t speak for the SyFy cameras, sir.
Langford: No no, this is great. The President of the United States himself has joined us. The most powerful man in the free world has invited us into his home to discuss his frightening ordeal.
Jackson: (joins Ivy on-camera, fixing his hair) Just the free world? He he.
Busey: (guffaws loudly)
Chamberlain: (buries his head in his hands)
Jackson: No, seriously. It really wasn’t all that scary. I just wanna know what this midget spirit wants. Is it lonely? Is it hungry? Are the doorknobs too high? Do ghosts even use doorknobs? (yelling) WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US, PRESIDENT MADISON!
Langford: (thrusts a finger at the camera) That’s what we intend to find out. On Ghoul Hunter!
Jackson: (throws his hands in the air) Ghoul Hunter!
Busey: (throws up a fist) Whoo, Ghoul Hunter!
Chamberlain: Oh, God.
(That evening President Jackson – all tuxed out – is being photographed with the Prime Minister of Russia, Grigor Rasputemkin, as they discuss the impending arms control treaty to be signed the next morning..)
Rasputemkin: (shaking the President’s hand, smiling at the camera) This is an historic day in Russo-American relations.
Jackson: (smiling) I kinda saw it as more of an Amero-Russian-type thing.
Rasputemkin: (glares at the President) Russo-American!
Jackson: (getting in the PM’s face) Amero-Russian!
Langford: Got it!
(Holden hears Ivy Langford hollering from the adjoining room and politely excuses himself..)
Jackson: (grabs PM by the shoulders) Ghouls!
Rasputemkin: (aghast) What did he call us?
Chamberlain: (chasing after Holden) Mr. President!
(Holden, Wilbur and VP Gary Busey burst into the meeting room where Ivy Langford and one of his cameramen are sitting on a jostling upside-down clothes hamper..)
Langford: I’ve managed to trap the ghoul under this laundry basket!
Jackson: Wow! Like Ghostbusters!
Busey: (eating a sandwich) I was almost a Ghostbuster.
Jackson: Cool, you were almost in that movie?
Langford: Let’s lift up the hamper and have a look-see, shall we?
Jackson: (thrusts a fist in the air) Yeah!
(The cameraman tilts the hamper slightly and a small creature bounds out from under and starts tearing around the room..)
Jackson: Oh, wow! Look at James Madison go!
Rasputemkin: (enters the crowded meeting room) What is the meaning of all this? Who is that small man?
Busey: (drops his sandwich) Ah, shit. That ain’t no ghost.
Chamberlain: (elaborately exaggerated air quotes) We know, Gary. It’s a “ghoul”.
Busey: Nope, that’s a midget.
Jackson: Well, duh. Look how teensy he is. It’s a ghost midget.
Busey: Nope. That’s a real, live midget.
Jackson: What? Baloney.
Busey: Go ahead. Pinch it.
(Holden shrugs, reaches down and pinches the midget; who emits a high-pitched shriek and runs to hide behind Gary’s legs..)
Jackson: Well, I’ll be. He sure has seemed to have taken a liking to you.
Busey: (picks up his sandwich and finishes it) That’s ’cause he’s my pet.
Chamberlain: Oh, dear.
Jackson: You have a pet midget?
Busey: Yup. For good luck. He must have gotten loose from his cage the other night. Sorry about that, Prez.
(Jessica Sanchez is in the corner, furiously jotting down notes..)
Jackson: (spins around) ‘Sup, Jessica? Did you hear? I’m gonna be on Ghoul Hunter. It’s on the SyFy Channel. Not a big deal. Just another day in the life of the coolest guy in the world. You doin’ anything this weekend?
Chamberlain: You’re going to write about the Vice President owning a pet midget, aren’t you?
Sanchez: ‘Fraid so.
Chamberlain: (throws his hands up) We’re ruined.
(Wilbur, the Russian Prime Minister and Ivy and his camera crew storm out of the room..)
Jackson: (leans toward Jessica, smiling) You wanna pet it?
Sanchez: (grins, bends down)
Busey: (eating another sandwich) Careful. He’ll bite ya.