Jared and Ivanka Host Dinner
Twizzlers and hiccups.
IVANKA is project managing a dinner she is hosting to convince JUSTICE KENNEDY to retire this summer. She understands how important a right-wing judiciary is to her father’s base, and believes that a vacancy on the Supreme Court could distract from the all the obstruction of justice and treason talk. IVANKA realizes that she hasn’t heard from JARED in a few hours and rushes to her bedroom to scold him for sleeping during the day.
JARED [sitting on his bed and flipping through an old yearbook, reading his senior quote, a lyric of his favorite band at the time, the Wallflowers.] We could be heroes, just for one day. [JARED smiles as he remembers the day his father wrote the check to Harvard, how special it made him feel to have a dad who would open doors for him, especially at the expense of worthier individuals.] I can be a hero anywhere. I don’t need to be a hero in Washington. Where do Democrats always want to move? Scandinavia? Denmark could be fun.
IVANKA [standing in the door and imagining that she is drowning JARED, not herself]: Another soliloquy? To leave or not to leave? Wake up, Jared. This is your life now. You’re not going anywhere.
JARED [existentially]: I haven’t had a dream since we moved into this dumb house.
IVANKA [logically]: If you’re Hamlet that makes me Ophelia. Which means you’ll be the one who kills my father. [IVANKA takes the yearbook from JARED, and begins tearing pages from it, until the binding breaks.] Go downstairs and help the help with dinner. This is not Hamlet. It isn’t even King Lear. It’s Frontline and we are about to defund PBS. Besides, the President is mine to avenge, not yours.
JARED [putting on his tie and jacket]: First, can I try to get the Lockheed Martin CEO on the horn again?
IVANKA [shaking her head]: Don’t use my brothers’ diction. [IVANKA texts JUSTICE KENNEDY that they will be serving Korean tacos tonight, and that he should please, please bring his appetite.] If we are moving anywhere it will be France and I will probably leave you for Emmanuel Macron.
JARED walks to the dining room, dragging his feet and whining the entire way. JARED is really crabby even though the media reported that he was the one who convinced TRUMP to fire James Comey earlier this week. IVANKA pays no attention as she directs her staff to fill a piñata. JARED eats a carrot stick from the veggie tray and immediately gets the hiccups.
JARED [hiccupping]: Why the fuck do carrots always give me the hiccups?
IVANKA [inspecting the fill of the piñata and then showing her assistant the tree in the yard it should hang from]: It’s been a stressful week for all of us. No one cares about how much air you swallow while eating.
The doorbell rings and it is JUSTICE KENNEDY. He is wearing his judicial robes, tattered and soiled, and he is extremely out of breath.
JUSTICE KENNEDY: I’m sorry that I am catching my breath, before meeting with the family of a coequal branch of government, but a terrier chased me half a block.
IVANKA gestures to JARED to get up and greet the Supreme Court Justice. She motions to her staff to bring JUSTICE KENNEDY a towel to dry his sweaty face.
JARED [rolling his eyes]: Hello Justice.
IVANKA [lying]: Justice Kennedy, it’s so nice to finally meet. In this household, we worship your judicial restraint and moderation. [IVANKA dabs the Justice with the towel.] Please accept my deepest apology for the damage. She’s Steve Bannon’s dog and sometimes she loosens herself out of her leash.
JUSTICE KENNEDY: That’s kind of you to dog sit for Mr. Bannon. I didn’t realize he was still in the picture, to be frank.
IVANKA [shamelessly]: He may join us for dinner. He has been staying upstairs.
The KUSHNER CHILDREN enter, singing “But Her Emails,” a song they wrote themselves, to the tune of “Frère Jacques.”
JUSTICE KENNEDY [eating a carrot stick and then hiccupping]: What delightful children!
There’s a loud rolling sound coming from upstairs. IVANKA knows that it is STEVE BANNON, awake from his nap and bowling with cannon balls he has pilfered from the Coast Guard.
IVANKA [texting STEVE BANNON to quit it, unless he wants to scare off their best hope for reclaiming the narrative]: Jared, why don’t you tell the Justice about your newest business plan?
JARED [entering his carrot sticks into MyFitnessPal]: It’s Netflix but for tap water.
JUSTICE KENNEDY [raising his water glass disgustedly]: Is this from a tap?
IVANKA: No, no. Jared’s product will be bundled with the AHCA if the Senate can ever move away from —
STEVE BANNON enters. There are still marks on his bloated face from the mask his doctor prescribed him for his sleep apnea. He is eating Twizzlers and yelling at his dog to heel.
JUSTICE KENNEDY [randomly]: I’ll never forget where I was when I learned Twizzlers were made of mostly flour.
STEVE BANNON [shoving the Twizzlers into JUSTICE KENNEDY’s personal space]: Want one? Be careful. [STEVE BANNON winks theatrically.] Yours might be poisoned.
IVANKA [texting her chef that they are ready for dinner to be served]: Steve is kidding. He doesn’t think you’ll voluntarily retire while my father is President.
STEVE BANNON [truthfully]: You’re not in the family.
JUSTICE KENNEDY [enjoying arguing]: What about my vote that healthcare, one of the largest sectors of the economy, is not commerce?
STEVE BANNON [enjoying arguing]: What about your vote to uphold the constitutional right to abortion, only in the narrowest of circumstances?
JUSTICE KENNEDY [acknowledging that he agrees to disagree]: I thought it was just brilliant to submit to the media a list of judges the President, if elected, would like to appoint to the Supreme Court, to help convince those otherwise disinclined to voting for him that he cares deeply about dissolving public sector unions. It worked on me, in fact.
STEVE BANNON [eating a fistful of Twizzlers]: What’s for dinner?
KUSHNER CHILDREN [in unison]: Taco night! Kimchi! Kimchi!
STEVE BANNON [gagging himself]: Barf.
The staff sets up the taco making station on the dining room table. Everyone but STEVE BANNON digs in. Even the BANNON DOG begs for kimchi.
JUSTICE KENNEDY [chowing down, and getting food everywhere]: I never knew a dog to eat vegetables. She must like the funk from the fermentation.
IVANKA [kicking the dog]: Please excuse her.
STEVE BANNON: The bitch hasn’t been the same since they made me spay her.
IVANKA [powerfully]: We asked that if you insist on not crating her, you make an accommodation. Spaying a dog that regularly escapes from her restraints seems reasonable, don’t you think, Justice Kennedy?
JARED takes a Twizzler from STEVE BANNON’s stash, and begins coughing hysterically. JUSTICE KENNEDY texts his former clerk and current colleague, JUSTICE GORSUCH, that he wasn’t wrong about these people.
IVANKA [calmly]: Steve, you told me you were kidding about the poison.
STEVE BANNON [truthfully]: I was. He isn’t choking.
IVANKA [sternly]: Jared, you aren’t choking. Justice Kennedy, he isn’t choking. [IVANKA gestures to her children to begin their presentation about why JUSTICE KENNEDY should retire before the market crashes and even government pensions disappear.]
JARED [having an aha moment]: What does it even matter? [JARED dramatically pushes away from the table.] I’m going back upstairs.
JUSTICE KENNEDY [rising to shake JARED’s hand]: The Prince of Washington, what a delight to finally meet you. I see now that the executive branch is in very steady hands. [JUSTICE KENNEDY texts ROBERT MUELLER to please pick him up as soon as he can. He has lots to share.]
JARED brushes past JUSTICE KENNEDY, and walks not upstairs, but into the yard. He picks up the broomstick next to the tree where the piñata is and begins whacking the papier mâché skull. He whacks and misses, whacks and misses. Eventually the piñata falls down, without breaking. He kicks it, but he still can’t break it open. Defeated, JARED sits on the ground and texts IVANKA that he is outside and asks whether someone can bring him a jacket.