Quality Time With Pete and Deb — The Democratic Convention

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 Democratic National Convention. They wrote on July 27th 2016.

PETE: I was going to start by talking about Hillary officially getting the nomination but screw the history that was made last night, Trump made history today by being the first presidential candidate to openly call for another government to hack his political opponent’s emails. This whole election is like someone put a Robert Ludlum novel and a script for The Young and The Restless in a blender and poured it out onto the 24-hour cable channels. What the F?

DEB: What if Joe Biden threw his hat in the ring tonight? I mean let’s get crazy up in here. I just want to go to the CNN Grill and order a Brook Baldwin BLT and have a John King of Beers to drown my sorrows. Then I’ll get brave and order a Donna Brazillian. (That’s off the menu). International diplomacy aside, I am mainly fascinated with the CNN Grill. I really want to go there for our next date night. It looks like there is a lot of plastic and paper cups but everyone is dressed pretty nice so the food must be pretty classy. I’ve heard good things about the Don Lemon-aid, the Elliot Spritzer, the David Gergenkin pickles, and the Wolf Blitzer (not a food item, he just eats with you, which is a delight.)

No matter what kind of drama is stirred up this week, no one can change the fact that a woman is the nominee of a major party. That matters. And, by the way, just in case there is not enough going on to worry about, they are releasing John Hinckley Jr. Remember him? He shot Reagan. And Jim Brady. And two secret service officers. What about all the inmates serving very long sentences for minor offences who may never get out? What the F indeed!

PETE: Oh my god, what if Biden did get up there, took off his shirt, smeared his face with war paint and dared anyone to come up there and fight him for the presidency? It’s all so crazy and the fact that CNN has a travelling bar and grill at the conventions is just as crazy as anything else. Billy Joel could write an updated version of “We Didn’t Start The Fire” about just the last month and it would be 20 minutes long.

DEB: Wait — It’s a traveling bar and grill? Can I follow it around like a Phish tour?

PETE: Totally. Last week Cleveland, this week Philly, then next weekend they’ll be on a giant farm in upstate New York. I’m going to take a bunch of molly and see if I can get Anderson Cooper to play “Tight Black T-Shirt”.

DEB: The Coop can do anything. I’d love to share a plate of Anna Navarro Nachos with that guy. So will the CNN Bar and Grill be at the Libertarian Convention?

PETE: No, the Libertarians already had their convention actually. Gary Johnson beat 20 other men and women in a bong making contest and swore an oath to dismantle the government with his hand on Ayn Rand’s personal copy of The Fountainhead.

At this moment if I ask you who do you think is going to win the election what would you say? Remember, Trump has the Russians secretly reading this while we write so be careful what you say.

DEB: First of all, thanks for Mikhail Baryshnikov He was amazing in Sex and the City. Secondly, I never finished Anna Karenina and I’m sorry about that. I was living in Chicago and taking a lot of trains on snowy nights. Too close. Thirdly, can you get me a discount on Viking River Cruise through Moscow?

PETE: Yes, I’d also like to tell the Russians how much I loved Moscow on the Hudson, a very underrated Robin Williams movie. And borscht. Soup made entirely of mashed up beets? Yum! Why didn’t anyone else think of that? (PETE ROLLS HIS EYES SO RUSSIAN HACKERS CAN’T SEE.)

But you didn’t answer my question… Who’s gonna win?

DEB: Well… I don’t want to jinx anything. So I’m not going to say. But I will say, take nothing for granted and get the vote out. Are you concerned at all about Gary Johnson taking a lot of votes away from Hillary? Enough to make a difference? By the way, doesn’t Gary Johnson sound like an Australian name?

PETE: Totally. He sounds like a surfer from Melbourne. Look into that, Russian hackers.

I agree about the election. Someone on twitter wrote this week that they’d be OK with Trump leading in the polls for the next two months just to drive liberals, Democrats and all sane people who want there to be existence past January 20th, 2017 to register voters, get activated and then have Hillary surge in the fall. Maybe that’d be OK but it would make me INCREDIBLY ANXIOUS over the next few months. Still, I don’t know if would-be Hillary people vote for Johnson. I think maybe he’s Republicans’ other option if they can’t get themselves to vote for Trump.

DEB: That makes sense. The surfer part, I mean. It seems like many people who are “Never Hillary” aren’t even aware of him. I guess they are on a tight budget. Let’s face it, if you want a Gary Johnson T-Shirt, you’re gonna have to make it yourself.

PETE: Yeah, I feel like if he can get into the debates it’ll be a shit show. No idea who it harms more. The thing is –


BILLY JOEL: Gary Johnson, Donald Trump, National Convention bump. Email hack, Bubba’s back, lives that matter can be black –

PETE: Oh crap…

DEB: This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

BILLY JOEL: You should’ve seen me in Russia!


MAN’S VOICE (SINGING): Back in the USSR! (SPEAKING) I was at that concert! It was amazing, citizen!

DEB: Did we get a new intercom system and a new doorman?

PETE: First of all, you guys are talking about Billy Joel’s 1987 album, Konstert, live from Leningrad. And second — Ah!!! The Russians have hacked into our building, installed an intercom system and replaced our all American doorman with a Russian stooge. Only Donald Trump, he alone, can protect us! Now I know why he’s making everyone so afraid. There’s a wolf at the door and only he can kill the wolf with his bare hands and –

BILLY JOEL: Scary wolf, um… Steppenwolf… Beowulf… I don’t know guys. Not a lot rhymes with wolf.


WOLF BLITZER — Order up. Two Brook Baldwin BLT’s and two John King of Beers?

PETE: Boy, this new doorman will let anyone in, huh?

MAN’S VOICE OVER INTERCOM: I ordered the borscht…

DEB: I am so happy right now. See, everything works out in the end. I guess the big life lesson here is if you are a woman in this great country, and you have a dream, it can come true. I am talking about having dinner with Wolf Blitzer, but I am sure there are other women who have bigger aspirations although I can’t imagine what could trump this.

BILLY JOEL: Dream come true, dinner for two –


BILLY JOEL: Whatever. Belgians in the Congo! We Didn’t Start The Fire…