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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nancy on the Phone

Nancy was on an important phone call, and I needed something out of the office.
You can stop reading here if you already know where this is heading.
I don't know what it is about Nancy's being on the phone - what sort of electrical signals are transmitted directly to my brain that tells me I must get the heaviest thing I can find off the top shelf or check to see if all our skyrockets are in working order, but whatever it is, as soon as I hear Nancy in the midst of a high-level conference call, something compels me to go in the office and stop rummaging around, and I am helpless as if in the grip of a demonic puppet master.

SCENE: Interior, Daylight.  NANCY sits at computer, talking on speaker phone.  MAN enters, stage left, on tip-toe and enters closet.

NANCY: Yes, Mr. President, I believe it may yet be possible to salvage the global economy and find a cure for cancer, but my data shows...

SOUND EFFECT: Tubes of watercolors falling from shelf in closet.

NANCY: (Putting speakerphone on mute.) Jesus, Man, what are you doing?

MAN: Just getting some art supplies.  I'll be done in a second.  (MAN begins setting up special portable easel in far side of room.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA (On speakerphone):  So, Nancy, you were saying about this data, involving the cure for cancer and the global economy.

NANCY: Yes, we just need to...

SOUND EFFECT: Portable easel collapses: loud crash followed by several slightly softer crashes.

MAN: (Softly) Sorry.

OBAMA:  Good Lord, what was that?

NANCY: It was my husband.

MAN: Sorry, Mr. President.  I'm almost done.  (Returns to closet.  Sounds of soft rummaging.)

NANCY: (After a pause)  So anyway, Mr. President, what I was saying about this new data...

SOUND EFFECT: Incredibly loud crashes of shelves falling from brackets, amplified by unexpected acoustic qualities of closet.  25-pound weights, snare-drum sets and bowling balls strike floor accompanied by muffled screams of terror.

SILENCE.  (If possible stage manager should contrive to have flecks of plaster float down from ceiling.)

OBAMA: Your husband?

MAN: (From inside closet. From the quality of his voice, we can tell he is lying prone amid the wreckage.) Sorry.

OBAMA: You know, Nancy, we have special operatives who take care of this sort of thing.  Like with Bin Laden.

NANCY: Believe me.  I'm considering it.

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