Quality Time With Pete and Deb — Hillary and the FBI
Peter Grosz and Debra Downing are alums of The Second City Theater, writers, actors and husband and wife. This piece was composed on their home computer exactly as you see it. One person would write and the other would respond, essentially like an improvised written “conversation”. The content was not pre-planned. They only decided that they would talk about the FBI not recommending criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. They wrote on July 6th 2016.
PETE: I kind of can’t believe where we are in this presidential campaign. If you read the description on the back of an airport novel you’d never buy it. “The stakes couldn’t be higher as a presidential candidate is in hot water over the lack of transparency and security risks from her private email server.” Snooze fest.
DEB: Let’s remember, Bernie is still in. I wonder what server he uses? I hope it’s secure. I don’t take any chances myself. I use the US Postal system. It takes a little longer to communicate but it is faster than the Pony Express. Although I do miss those ponies. Which reminds me, when can I get a pony?
PETE: Bernie is on TV right now talking to Wolf Blitzer. It’s the only conversation in history between two guys named Bernie and Wolf that isn’t about smoked whitefish. It’s odd, the fact that Hillary wasn’t formally charged actually could kind of come back to bite Democrats in the ass. If she was charged Democratic leaders would knocking on the door of Bernie’s VW bus saying “Hey Bern… what are your plans 3 weeks from now and would like to come to Philadelphia? Just to hang and see what happens?” The way it is now she could still run, be mortally wounded without knowing it and lose.
DEB: Nice dodging the Pony question by the way. Did you notice how I mentioned him and he appeared? Magic! (That’s the kinda thing could get a woman hanged a coupla hundred years ago). Hillary will run and she will win. (LONG PAUSE. CRICKETS.) Right? Anybody? Is this thing on? I feel like I’m shopping at The Enthusiasm Gap here. I’m buying a lot of grey shapeless t-shirts on sale. We need to get fired up! (To myself) I gotta get one of those microphones that has the applause button built in it.
PETE: So does Jeb Bush. Please clap… (CRICKETS) And I didn’t dodge the pony question. I ignored it. NO PONY FOR YOU! We already have a cat and are getting a dog. I’m not going to be outnumbered by animals in my own home. Fortunately for Hillary she’s running against a straight up bonkers crazy delusional race-baiting narcissist. You gotta wonder what Kasich and Rubio and Bush and Paul and any of them are thinking right now. Other than, “Please God, don’t let reporters ask me who I’m voting for.”
DEB: I’m sure this has all been upsetting for them. They all have had pretty successful careers as politicians then someone comes along out of the blue and wipes them out. I wonder who will come to the convention? I have a feeling it’s going to be like a really dysfunctional family reunion. Do they serve booze there? Then we’ve got ourselves a Grand Old Party!
PETE: I don’t think any of those guys I mentioned are going. They all “accidentally” made vacation plans that week and will be staying at the same Sandals in Turks and Caicos, sharing one of those giant skull heads with rum punch inside, drowning their sorrows and dreaming of 2020. You know who will be at the convention? Mike Tyson and Bobby Knight, so cover your ears and bolt down your chairs cause shit’s gonna get crazy!
DEB: Uuuuuuhhhhh. I don’t mean to sound like an alarmist, but I don’t think it’s safe for any women or young basketball players to attend this convention. (A woman could be hanged for saying that a coupla hundred years ago, or maybe more recently.) I’m confused, is the convention a get together for bullies? Is Bugs Meany gonna show up? What about Carlo Rizzi? Virgil Sollozo? Don Barzini? Somebody’s gotta answer for Santino!
PETE: By the way, with Trump’s big game hunting sons there your precious pony should stay away too. It’s like Trump is using his guest list to highlight his mean, aggressive unpredictability. He’s also inviting Biff from “Back To The Future”, Johnny from “The Karate Kid”, the Alpha Betas from “Revenge Of The Nerds”, all the Heathers from “Heathers” and Chevy Chase from real life.
DEB: Wow. Maybe he could book Up With People just to even things out a little bit. OK, speaking of my little pony, I was just looking at an actual old timey (yes, that is the correct term) ad for Pony Express Riders — “WANTED — Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. $25 per week.” I’m not sure what that has to do with anything, but I just thought it was interesting. Sometimes this race for President really brings me to a low place where I read an ad like that and think, ah, simpler times.
PETE: Look, I get it. You’re all depressed because the first major female presidential candidate had a shitty week, it looks like Trump and Vice President The Guy Who Played The Headmaster In “Dead Poets Society” might get elected and I won’t get you a pony. Well I can’t do anything about the first two but…
PETE GOES OVER TO THE CLOSET, OPENS THE DOOR AND A PONY WALKS OUT. IT’S GRAY AND DISHEVELLED, IS SMOKING A CIGAR AND CONSTANTLY COUGHING.
PONY: Hey toots. How’s it going? I’m Tony the Pony (COUGH) and I wove you.
DEB: He’s perfect! I wove you too!
DEB HUGS THE PONY AND PETS HIS MANE, WHICH COMES OFF.
DEB: Oh… how… cute…he’s got a mane toupee. That is precious! No matter! I’ve got some double-sided tape that will stick that right back into place! Now, let’s go for a ride in the park!
TONY THE PONY: Yeah, I’m not really that kind of pony. I’m more of a sitting on the house and watching the World Series of Poker on ESPN kind of pony. (COUGH) Now how ‘bout you get ol’ Tony the Pony a special pony beer from the fridge? I’ll take a Coors Light, toots.
TONY THE PONY SLAPS DEB ON THE ASS AND SITS ON THE COUCH.
PETE: Hey man, don’t do that to my wife. And we don’t have Coors Light. We have Brooklyn Lager and Stella Artois.
TONY THE PONY: Then go get me some, you scrawny big nosed doofus.
DEB: Get him a drink Pete. (To the Pony) Have a seat.
TONY THE PONY SITS AWKWARDLY ON THE COUCH
DEB: I’m gonna ask you a question and I want you to answer me. Who sent you? Was it Barzini? Tataglia, Stratchi?
TONY THE PONY DOWNS HIS DRINK, PUTS IS HEAD IN HIS HOOVES AND WEEPS.
DEB: Don’t worry, Tony The Pony, what am I gonna do, send my only pony to the glue factory? Just don’t lie to me, it insults my intelligence.
TONY LAUGHS NERVOUSLY.
TONY: It was Barzini.
TOM HAGAN ENTERS.
DEB: You know Tom. He’s gonna escort you to a nice horse farm upstate.
TONY: I’m sorry –
DEB: Get him outta here.
TOM ESCORTS THE PONY OUT OF THE ROOM. HIS TOUPEE FALLS OFF.
TOM PICKS IT UP AND POCKETS IT.
PETE: You know if someone hadn’t seen The Godfather they would have no idea what just happened there. I mean, I’ve seen The Godfather and I still don’t know what happened there. I guess the point is… um… Hillary is the pony and Trump is… um… an ass?
DEB: No. Stop reading into things. You need to get me a new pony!
PETE: Here we go again…