A CoS Line

Auditioning for the big job

(c) 2018 U.S. Embassy Jerusalem via a Creative Commons license

[TRUMP, at his desk in the Oval Office, reads off index cards as JARED KUSHNER stands in front of him.]

TRUMP: OK, Jared. What is the capital of Swaziland?

JARED: [Momentarily looks horrified, then smiles] Ha ha, trick question, Dad, there’s no such country as Swaziland!

TRUMP: Oh, there is. There most definitely is such a country.

JARED: No, Dad, there —

TRUMP: Mr. President.

JARED No, Mr. President, there used to be a country called Swaziland, but they changed the name.

TRUMP: To what?

JARED: [uncertainly] Eswatini. That’s definitely it, I just can’t pronounce it very well.

TRUMP: Well, it doesn’t matter, because we’re not using the names these shithole countries make up for themselves. We're only using the old white-people names.

JARED: [Playing nonchalant] Oh yeah, sure, that makes sense, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Yeah, teach ‘em who's boss.

JARED: So then Zimbabwe will be... Rhodesia?

TRUMP: Zimbabwe, what you're making these up now. Zimbabwe? Holy smokes. Might as well call it Ungawa!

JARED: Ha ha, yeah, we’re gonna take a real hard line there, sir. Totally with you.

TRUMP: [Puts cards aside, stands up] OK, you know your geography, but we have people for that, what I wanna know is how you’ll take care of a situation where I got a guy in here and I want him out pronto.

JARED: Oh, okay.

TRUMP: [Presses button on desk] Okay, now look alive, because I have someone coming in right now and you have two minutes to get him out, okay?

JARED: Oh, well, but Mr. President —

[Door opens and KANYE WEST walks in]

TRUMP: [without smiling] Kanye, good to see you.

KANYE: What’s good, Mr. President! [shakes JARED’s hand] Hey Jared, what it is.

JARED: [sotto voce, gripping KANYE’s hand, eyes wide and darting between him and TRUMP] Two minutes. You only have two minutes, please, just two minutes.

KANYE: Leggo my hand, man.

TRUMP: Kanye, I didn’t like what you said but I’m a big boy and I understand why you did it. What I wanna know is what do you have to say for yourself.

KANYE: Yeah well you know, when energy flows like it’s supposed to, then there can be no conflict, everything is how it’s supposed to be but you know that is not how it is in the world right now, and what we have is reverse polarity in effect, like when you look at pictures of magnetic fields, you see how they bend the energy so it turns in on itself.

[JARED grows nervous, looks around, check his iPhone, pee-dances in place.]

KANYE: Now you and I, Mr. President, if I may be so bold, we are like two giant magnets, two great forces, and Twitter, the tweets on Twitter, are like tiny filaments, like in Woolly Willy’s beard, or in his hair, or in his beard and his hair —


[Three SECRET SERVICEMEN charge into the office and tackle KANYE WEST.]

TRUMP: Is he dead?

SECRET SERVICEMAN: No. You want me to kill him?

TRUMP: No, no, he’s a friend of mine. Also a very big star, one of the biggest! Is he awake? Looks like you fellas knocked him out pretty good there. Okay, tell you what, you carry him out to Pennsylvania Avenue and leave him in a gutter. People will think he’s on drugs, very sad, too much too soon.

[SECRET SERVICEMEN leave with the unconscious KANYE WEST.]

TRUMP: Well, that was a disaster.

JARED: [Tries to talk, but only gargling sounds come out]

TRUMP: OK, I have a few more people to see so go wait in the stairwell and I’ll let you know my decision. Bye now.

[JARED leaves, grabbing some nuts out of a bowl on a side table as he goes. Pause. JOHN KELLY enters.]

KELLY: How’d that go?

TRUMP: The kid is an idiot.

KELLY: Yes sir.

TRUMP: My new idea is, you come back with a mustache and a big gaucho hat so they can’t see your eyes, and we tell them you're El Furioso, the Toughest Chief of Staff in Argentina. Also we double your salary.

KELLY: Brilliant idea, sir, and very flattering.

TRUMP: Well, I tried. Okay, give me a minute to do a couple lines and then get Newt in here.

[KELLY crosses to the door, whistling. CURTAIN.]