A Tragedy in One Act
by Charles Lupia,
which should be shorter
BILL CLINTON, former U.S. president
MELANIA TRUMP, former model
MICHELLE OBAMA, former hospital administrator
DAN RATHER, TV anchor
Place: A TV studio.
Time: Autumn, 2016. Evening.
A television studio is equipped as a kitchen. Trays are on counters, as are bowls, measuring cups, etc.
Dan Rather stands with microphone before a TV camera. Near him, on each side, are Bill Clinton and Melania Trump. As Dan speaks, Melania waves toward the camera, and Bill alternately dances and acts is if he is preparing for a boxing match.
Good evening, this is Dan Rather for a special evening. We are here at a crucial event in the 2016 presidential election. We have here two prospective first spouses-
(Bill grins. Dan looks at him.)
I’m the first guy.
(Melania waves at the camera.)
And former President Bill Clinton.
(Bill also waves.)
I’m gonna win this.
They are engaged in a contest to see who can come up with the best cookie recipe.
Ask not what your country can do for you.
Neither party has been very forthcoming about the ingredients they are using.
It’s a secret.
(Dan looks at his watch.)
And the time to begin is…now!
We are out of the gate!
The bakeoff has begun. I’m going to give them some privacy.
(Dan moves to leave.)
Dan my man!
(As Dan exits, Bill gives him the thumbs up. Melania produces a tray of already-shaped cookies.)
How’d you do that?
Donald tells me to be prepared.
(Melania puts her tray in the oven.)
(Bill takes another look at Melania.)
You’re a good lookin’ cheater.
You’re an old looking cheater.
(Trying to do his best with Melania’s comments, Bill starts to mix ingredients in a bowl.)
I tried to pay you a compliment.
And I’m trying to ignore you.
You shouldn’t be listening to what other people say about me.
And they say you’re a pig.
(Bill is a bit saddened by her comment. He tastes a little of his mix.)
This tastes like crap.
(as if reciting something she’s learned)
Just like your economic policies.
My policies helped the country.
(Bill looks at a bottle of Jack Daniels. He thinks about it. He pours some whiskey into his mix.)
A little Jack Daniels helps, too.
(He tastes the mix. He smiles.)
It’s a lot better.
(He pours more Jack Daniels in the mix. He tastes again.)
A LOT better.
(Bill pours himself a glass of Jack Daniels. He drinks. He offers some
(Melania doesn’t answer. Bill keeps looking at her.)
No, I do not.
More for me.
(Bill pours himself another glass.)
You live in Manhattan?
What about it?
I have an office… upper Manhattan.
(Melania stands by her oven. Seeing her, Bill quickly puts down his glass,
and starts placing prospective cookies on a tray.)
We could hang out some time.
Let’s not, and say we did.
(looking closely at her)
You’re not afraid of me.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
(Bill quickly takes his second glass of Jack Daniels.)
Need something to make you sound original.
(Bill takes another swig. He places his cookie tray in the oven. Melania takes hers out. Bill takes a look at her cookies.)
Those look like Hillary’s cookies.
It looks like you took Hillary’s recipe.
Here! Watch this, swine!
(Melania quickly pours a glass of Jack Daniels, and gulps it down.)
That’s gotta make me look better.
You still look like a pig.
(Dan Rather returns. He looks at his watch.)
The time is now up.
(Bill rushes to his oven, and pulls his cookies out.)
Bill Clinton is disqualified.
(Bill puts his tray down in disgust.)
Come on now!
(Melania proudly shows her tray. Dan takes a cookie of hers, and tastes it.)
(Bill comes forward.)
I’m comin’ back! In the White House! First guy.
And the winner is-
Yo, Donald, we did it!
(Bill and Dan both look at Melania.)
(Bill and Melania both look in shock at Dan.)
We have Michelle Obama here.
I was the last one standing.
You used Michelle Obama’s recipe.
I changed the sugar content.
(Michelle Obama enters, and approaches Dan Rather. Bill claps.)
Michelle, it’s good to…
(Bill tries to put his hand on Michelle’s shoulder, but stops when Michelle gives him a very cold stare.)
(to the TV audience)
Thank you, everyone.
(Bill embraces and attempts to kiss Melania.)
What are you doing?!
(Melania pushes him away.)
A little more sugar.
Get away from me!
(Melania gets away from him.)
I want to thank you all for thinking of me.
(Bill grabs the Jack Daniels bottle, and starts directly drinking from it.)
But cookies are bad for you. You should throw away your cookies.
(holding his bottle)
That’s a little severe.
(Melania grabs a cookie from her tray. Bill guzzles from his bottle.)
You should be eating vegetables from your garden.
(Melania approaches Bill.)
You want sugar? Here, you can have sugar!
(Dan and Michelle look in horror as Melania crushes a cookie onto Bill’s face. Bill takes the cookie, and eats it.)
Doesn’t taste half bad.