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Feature Story July 26, 2001
 
OVAL OFFICE! The Nuking Of Sweden in one act
 
 
Act One. Scene 1

The Oval Office. Seated at his desk is PRESIDENT GREGORY KOOST. He is a youngish man in his mid-forties, tanned, like a Men's Health cover model. At a chair pulled up next to the President's desk is MILT GREENSTEIN, a White House communications aide. A trim, young, nervous-looking man with dark hair and glasses, GREENSTEIN is holding up flash cards to the President, who keeps looking at his watch. In the far corner of the room there is an AIR FORCE OFFICER standing motionless, carrying a briefcase.

 

GREENSTEIN: And this one?

MR. PRESIDENT: A sheep.

GREENSTEIN: More like a lamb, Mr. President. Look at how small it is next to the fire hydrant.

MR. PRESIDENT: (stares back blankly)

GREENSTEIN: Okay... moving along now... And this one?

MR. PRESIDENT: (pauses) Can you show that to me again?

GREENSTEIN: I'm still showing it to you, Mr. President.

MR. PRESIDENT: Pass for now.

GREENSTEIN: (flipping the card) That was a lion, Mr. President. You remember, we talked about this, with the... (waving a hand in a circle near his face)

MR. PRESIDENT: The big hair thing around the head, right, a lion. That one's a dog.

GREENSTEIN: Yes. And what kind of dog, Mr. President?

MR. PRESIDENT: A wolf dog.

GREENSTEIN: A wolf dog, excellent. Sometimes we just say wolf for short.

MR. PRESIDENT: Wolf dog. (Becoming distracted, letting hands wander around the desk, accidentally pushes a stapler off the desk onto the floor.) Damn it.

GREENSTEIN: You've dropped something there, Mr. President.

(The PRESIDENT falls to his hands and knees and goes after the stapler, which is under the desk.)

MR. PRESIDENT: I'm still listening, go ahead.

GREENSTEIN: (Flipping card, leaning hand over and aiming card down in the direction of the floor, so that the PRESIDENT can see it) And this one?

MR. PRESIDENT: A farmer!

GREENSTEIN: Correct, Mr. President.

MR. PRESIDENT: Ha! (bumps head on desk leg) Ow!

(A SECRET SERVICEMAN enters immediately.)

SS MAN: Is everything okay, Mr. President?

MR. PRESIDENT: Everything's fine, Rick.

SS MAN: It's Steve, Mr. President. (exits)

MR. PRESIDENT: Rick. (to GREENSTEIN) Give me another one! (GREENSTEIN flashes a card) A tractor!

GREENSTEIN: (pauses, sighs) It's a moose, Mr. President.

MR. PRESIDENT: A moose, huh? Well, whatever. Looks like a tractor. You can go now. (buzzes intercom) Mary, send in Conley and his people for that thing.

MARY: (Through intercom) Yes, Mr. President.

GREENSTEIN: (long pause) Mr. President, excuse me, but please take another look. It does not look like a tractor.

(The PRESIDENT slowly gets up from the floor and examines GREENSTEIN closely.)

MR. PRESIDENT: Greenstein, what's on your mind? Having trouble at home?

GREENSTEIN: No, Mr. President, I'm perfectly fine. It's just -- Mr. President, this is clearly a moose. You see these great big antlers, and the nostrils, it's quite a large animal -- I grant you, nearly tractor-sized, but still quite clearly... an animal. Please take another look.

MR. PRESIDENT: I already looked at it. Dismissed, Greenstein.

GREENSTEIN: But, Mr. President, this is important...

MR. PRESIDENT: (Clutching wildly at his tie, lowering head to screech into a small microphone hidden in it) Fumble! Fumble!

(Three SECRET SERVICEMEN rush into the room. The PRESIDENT points at GREENSTEIN.)

MR. PRESIDENT: Take Greenberg away and have him arrested!


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