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14 Jul

EPISODE 02: A new day – by Eugeniusz S. Lazowski

In the stinging air there was a sense of sweet rest, which made the sun pleasant, though pale, and the garden of the Big House almost seemed to shine, like a Van Gogh painting.

But inside it something and someone was about to spoil the enchantment of such a landscape…

INTERIOR – UPPER FLOOR OF THE BIG HOUSE – OLD EAGLE ROOM.

On the first floor of the Big House the new President is sitting in an armchair, with a new toupee.

The sulky face, covered with scratches and abrasions, shows the signs of the fight with the eagle the day before.

He is surrounded by two make-up artists trying to make his face presentable.

On his right, leaning on another armchair, is the large stuffed eagle, also surrounded by two make-up artists who try to make its look alive, rearranging and brightening the colours of her feathers.

It’s a desperate attempt, but made necessary by the death of the national symbol…

At that moment Moore enters and stops at the door, remaining  flabbergasted.

“Well, what’s the matter, you’ve never seen a president before?” the big boss yells from his seat.

Moore slowly turns his head in the direction of the eagle. ” Yes, sir, but never with feathers before.”

That’s when Blanco comes in. “Mr. President, they told me you were here. I wanted to remind you…” She, too, is stunned beside Moore at that scene.

“Yes, it’s hard to tell them apart.” Moore’s sarcastic. “The President is the one on the right.”

Moore then looks at Super Dan, just bows his head forward and squints to see better. “Yeah, yeah, that’s him.”

“I can’t believe it.” whispers Blanco.

“Well, what the hell’s the matter with you two, can I know what you want?” the President gasps.  “I’m getting ready for the picture!”

“Nothing, Mr. President, nothing…” stammers Blanco. “I… I just… I wanted… I wanted…”

“Ask for a pay raise after this morning,” adds Moore.

Embarrassed Blanco turns to Moore and then to his boss. “Oh, no sir, no, of course not… not at all.”

“Speak for yourself, Blanco.”

“So, are you going to stand there all day?” cries the man in the chair.

“No, you’re right, sir. I’m about to go to the manicurist and get my nails done too.” says Moore acid.

Blanco blushes: “Mr. President, I came to remind you of your first commitments as president.”

“Commitments? Ah yes, of course, my commitments…”

“The President’s commitments in the first few days of your presidency…”

Super Dan is silent with a serious air and a raised jaw.

“Your commitments, sir, your commitments as president.” Blanco continued.

“Of course, of course, my commitments. I’m the president now. I know that very well. And… what is it?”

Moore whispering to Blanco: “One at a time, please, and slowly, he might get confused.”

That’s when Bell comes in breathlessly and hangs himself next to Moore speechless.

“Be strong.” Moore suggests.

“Well, what are you doing standing there like a cod?” snarls the President.

“He’s trying to catch his breath after this vision.” Moore replies.

“Well, what’s the big deal? I’m getting ready for our national symbol photo, so what? What the hell are you staring at?”

At that moment one of the make-up artists, rather embarrassed, gently lifts the toupee to disinfect the wounds on his head, causing the wrath of Super Dan who rips the toupee from his hand and puts it back on his head, all crooked on one side.

At that sight Bell, educated from an early age to discipline and the study of economics but not to such shows, has a half panic attack, pulls out his asthma inhaler and begins to aspirate.

“Oh, God… My God, an asthma attack, I knew it.”

“What the hell are you doing, how dare you? I’m the president!” roars at the makeup artist.

“And this is his hair…” adds Moore.

The President glances at Moore, who says, “What’s wrong? I just made the introductions. Polite people use it.”

“Caught caught, help, I can’t breathe, I knew it.” coughs Bell.

Wright comes running in, too, standing incredulously beside the others, staring at the President and the eagle.

One of the eagle’s makeup artists speaks to the audience. “So what does it look like? It’s not looking bad, is it? It seemed impossible, but we almost made it.”

Moore looks at the eagle. “Yeah, you’re right, one more brushstroke or two and he might actually look like a president.”

“Oh, God, what’s happening now?” Wright says, recovering from shock. “What is… this?”

Bell keeps breathing in through his inhaler. “Oh, God, anf anf, a panic attack, I can’t breathe, I knew it.”

“And don’t you look at me like a dummy!” cries the President. “We’re getting ready for that goddamn ritual picture with our national symbol. What are you staring at?”

“Maybe our national symbol dead?” question Moore.

“Well, it’s not my fault, that damn bird attacked me, chased me all over the room, hurt me too. I bet in America this kind of thing doesn’t happen to my colleague Donald Trump!””

One of his make-up artists lifts the toupee with one hand to show the scratches on the head. “It’s true, he’s right, poor thing, look what he did to him.”

“Give me that, what are you doing, are you crazy? How dare you? I am the President!” explodes red in the face with anger.

“Yeah, it’s unbelievable, isn’t it?” says Moore.

He rips the toupee off the make-up artist’s hand and slams it on his head, crooked on one side.

At that moment Wright’s dream of going into politics to really help others, putting the country’s interest before his own, began to crumble…

“What are you staring at, huh?” the big boss says.

“No Mr. President, nothing, I just… I just wanted to remind you of your upcoming engagements.” mumbles Wright blushing.

“You too! All of you with your busy schedule! All right, what are the goddamn commitments?”

General Byjove enters at the moment and stands on the doorstep stunned. “What’s going on here?”

“Don’t worry, it’s a beauty contest,” Moore explains.

“I think the eagle is going to win.” Blanco says.

Super Dan, red in his face, loses control. “What the hell is this, a family reunion?”

“No, Mr. President, it really sounds like a government meeting.” Bell replies calmly, with his inhaler in his hand.

“Bell, what the hell are you saying? That was a joke!” cries the man in the toupee. “Go back to the hospital, go back to your crypt, get lost.”

Super Dan takes off his toupee and throws it to Bell, who runs out, but misses him and keeps flying around the room landing at Naive’s feet, just arrived, who’s screaming in fear.

“Everybody, get out of here! Wait till I finish this goddamn picture!” the big, mangy boss screams.

His staff leave the room in a hurry.

INTERIOR – UPPER FLOOR OF THE BIG HOUSE – HALLWAY OUT OF THE OLD EAGLE ROOM.

“Oh, my God, poor President, he’s pulled his hair out.” the young secretary murmurs.

“Yes, did you see that? It’s really terrible.” adds ironic Moore.

“Miss Naive, I don’t mean to sound fussy, but that wasn’t exactly the president’s hair.”

“Oh no, I saw it well, it was his hair, he ripped it out of his head!”

“Yeah, look what stress is doing to you, isn’t it?” Moore says.

“Yeah, really, poor guy. But to get to tear his hair out…”

“Is she all right?” Wright asks the others.

“I’m afraid so,” replied Blanco.

“Miss Naive,” Wright insists, “I don’t want to seem pushy, but that was a toupee, not the president’s hair.”

“What? A toupee? Really? God be praised, poor President, I thought he pulled his hair out. But…wait a minute…if it was a toupee then does that mean…does that mean the president is bald?”

“Exactly! And now that you’ve guessed it, you’re entitled to spin the wheel!” exclaims Moore.

“I thought I was working for my country in better conditions than this.” Blanco mutters disconsolate.

Moore, watching disconsolately the toupee on the doorway, “Me too.”

Meanwhile, the First Lady arrives in a hurry. “I was told my husband is here.”

“Exactly, right behind that door. Achoo!” replied Bell, who had just been wigged out of the room.

“They told me he’s sitting and can’t move, he’s going to have some, isn’t he?”

From the doorstep of the room Moore, Blanco, Wright and Naive look at each other puzzled.

“He’s surrounded by make-up artists, I doubt they’ll let him out of his chair.” Bell replies.

“Great, that’s what I wanted to know. Thank you, gentlemen.”

“Yeah, they have to put his hair back on his head.” Naive says.

Gwendoline is astonished and follows Naive’s gaze as she stares at the toupee on the floor and when she sees it, embarrassed, she slowly approaches to pick it up. “Sorry, uh, you know, too many thoughts in his head…” Then with the toupee in her hand, she enters the room.

“Thoughts… in that head?” asks Moore.

The staff members look at each other curiously, then tiptoe to the door of the Old Eagle Room and peek inside.

Gwendoline is close to her husband, consoling him, pampering him, caressing him, puts the toupee back on his head, he smiles happily.

While his wife is leaning over him and hugging him, with one hand she skillfully pulls out his wallet, while kissing him on the cheeks she pulls out his credit card and puts his wallet back in his jacket.

The six of presidential staff speak softly to each other.

“Something’s wrong,” Blanco says.

“So do I. I don’t understand.” Wright agrees.

“What are you talking about?” sighs the young secretary. “She’s so romantic. Look how she loves him.”

“How many zeros is romantic?” is Moore’s joke.

“That’s not possible. He’s robbing the President. Attack.” General Byjove breaks out, trying to draw his saber, immediately blocked by Blanco…

“What are you doing? Are you crazy? Stop.” intimate Blanco. “That’s not a robbery and that’s not a president.”

“Oh, no? Who are they, then?”

“She’s a wife and that’s her husband.”

Bell: “She’ s coming out, leave soon!”

The sixes return with a few quick steps back to where they were before in the hallway. Gwendoline comes out fast, passes in front of them with a smile and leaves. They say hello to her pretending indifference.

“Caught. Uh, so how’s it going… the business plan?” stutters Bell.

“On a roll,” says Moore. “Especially the tax deductions.”

From inside the Old Eagle Room you can hear the President shouting.

“No! No! Not my credit card again! No! No!”

The big boss comes running out of the room with a crooked toupee on his head.

“And these are the expense claims,” concludes Moore.

“Which way did my wife go?”

All six of them point at the opposite side to the one she went: “Over there!”

“Close the gates, don’t let my wife out!” cries the President, running after her, making his belly jump.

“I suggest we go after him. I don’t want anything unpleasant to happen.” Bell proposes.

“Like getting lost in the Big House?” says Moore.

“I’m starting to like that muchacha.” Whispers Blanco.

“My brave men, let’s split up like soldiers on patrol,” the general cries. “We’ll find him first!”

Ms. Brontenserious arrives with a fast pace, Moore stops her and asks to accompany him to look for the President, while the others go in other directions. A few minutes later…

INTERIOR – UPPER FLOOR OF THE BIG HOUSE – ONE OF THE HALLWAYS.

Super Dan’s running around the hallway, looking for his wife everywhere. He opens the library door, enters and looks around with a puzzled expression.

Moore and Ms Bronteserious see him, join him and enter. The big boss is disoriented and looks around with his arms on his hips.

“Can we help you in any way, Mr. President?” questions Moore.

“What? Ah, yes, perhaps…”

“Say, do you need anything?”

“Here… this room…”

“Yes?”

“This room… what the hell is this?” asks the President. “Do you guys happen to know?”

“But Herr President… this is a library.” replies the Austrian housekeeper.

“Aaahhhh… that’s… What on earth is that?”

“But… but… Herr President…”

Moore takes Ms Bronteserious by the arm interrupting her.

“It’s a closet, Mr. President, a big closet for old junk.”

“Aahh, I said it, a useless place, no use.”

Super Dan comes out, smiles back on his face, pulls a notebook and a pen out of his jacket. “Here you go, I’ll put you on the list of useless rooms to avoid.”

“It’s gonna be a rough four years.” Moore sighs.

“I had to stay and work in Austria, ja.”

“I had to ask for triple.”

They come out, Ms Bronteserious goes to the right and Moore chases his boss, who crosses Wright.

“Mr. President, I don’t mean to sound pedantic, but you remember the meeting with the foreign ambassadors, don’t you?”

He remains frozen, silent, clenches his jaw and stares at the emptiness in front of him to show himself safe, but he actually doesn’t even know what he’s talking about.

“Mr. President, the meeting is imminent. Have you chosen the topics you’ll be talking about together?”

Super Dan statuesque looks at his co-worker with his guard up. “Of course, the topics you’ll be talking about…”

Wright is puzzled. “You will face… you, Mr. President, not us.”

The big boss raises his chin even higher, he puts his fists on his hips looking up to show off his confidence.  “Absolutely, that we’ll face, together!” he proclaims. “It’s all right, don’t worry. You can go.”

“Mr President, if you wish a different opinion or an outside view, I’m at your disposal.”

“It’s all right, I said, don’t worry, it’s all done. You can go, you can go.”

Wright walks away doubtful, the President goes the other way.

Wright meets Moore, Bell and Blanco in the hallway.

“How that turned out?” Moore asks him.

“Well, I don’t know, he seemed confident.”

“Which means he doesn’t know anything.” Moore explains.

“But really he said it’s all right!”

“Was his proud gaze turned to the horizon?”

“Yes, that’s right!”

“High jaw and air like a real leader?”

“Exactly!”

“A commanding posture and a tone like a true commander?”

“Precisely! Exactly!”

“He doesn’t know a damn thing. He didn’t even know what you were talking about.” concludes Moore, who turns around and walks away casual looking.

“Now what? What can we do now? What’s he gonna tell the ambassadors?” Wright wonders, concerned. “Oh, God, this is going to be a disaster.”

“What? A disaster? The second day of his term?” mumbles Bell. “Oh, no, no, my God, I feel sick.” And he pulls out his asthma inhaler and starts taking a deep breath.

INTERIOR – UPPER FLOOR OF THE BIG HOUSE – IN ANOTHER HALLWAY.

Super Dan doesn’t feel so Super anymore, he’s alone, all his boldness is gone, panic is attacking him, enters a room not to be seen and starts walking up and down the room worried.

Worried, with one hand he lifts the wig off his head and with the other hand he gives himself a scratch. He’s thinking out loud.

“The ambassadors, and how many will they be? And who knows them? From all those countries. I can’t even remember the names of my neighbors!”

“There must be a solution. There’s got to be a way to… there is! I’ve got it! Of course, that’s what I have to do!”

He’s gonna run out and find Moore.

INTERIOR – UPPER FLOOR OF THE BIG HOUSE – IN AN ADJACENT HALLWAY.

The President comes running, in the meantime Moore, Wright, Bell, Blanco are talking about the meeting with concern.

“Moore, Moore!” cries the big boss.

“We finally found you. Now you’ve got to listen to us, stop going around,” says Blanco worried. “You must prepare for the meeting. The image of the country is at stake.”

“Moore, I’ve been looking for you. I need to talk to you.”

Super Dan grabs Moore by the arm and takes him aside so the others can’t hear.

“About the meeting, the one with the ambassadors, I wanted to ask you … here … do you think there will be a book where all the countries in the world are listed? Have they ever written one like that?”

Moore, pretend he’s thinking about this hard. “So, let me think. Maybe there is such a thing as, um…”

“Really? There’s really such a book? God be praised. And you don’t know where I can find it?”

“If I’m not mistaken I’d heard of him once, well, sure, it’s been a long time…”

“Ah, well, sure, it gotta be ancient stuff, a rare thing. But is there any left?”

Moore looks at him with disappointment. “Exemplary, you say? Yes, a puppy or two.”

“What?

“I meant copies, Mr. President, copies. I believe they called it an atlas, if I remember correctly.”

“Really? Awesome! And tell me, where can you find one of these atlases?”

That’s when Naive comes in and she hears the end of the conversation. “Atlantic? Ocean? Are we going on a cruise? How nice, and when do we leave?”

“Hurry up, miss Naive,” says Moore. “The President is just about to board.”

“Awesome! I’ve always loved cruises! I’ll get my bikini and suitcase and I’m ready. When do we leave, Mr. President?”

“Even now, I’ve booked two tickets for you.” Moore replies.

“Wonderful! I love cruises! And what’s the name of the ship?”

“Titanic.”

“What a cruise and cruise” slams Super Dan. “Stop this nonsense, now I need one of those things you read…”

“They’re called books,” says Moore.

“Books, indeed, books, and I said. Do you know where I can find one of those atlantists?”

“I think there’s one left in our library.”

“And what is a library? Where the hell can I find it?”

“Try the big closet, you know where we put all the old junk, remember?”

“But yes, of course, of course. Ah Moore, you’re a genius. In the middle of all that junk I’m sure I’ll find the damn Atlantis. Thank you, thank you very much.”

The President’s on his way to the library.

“On a cruise, the President’s taking me on a cruise!” rejoices the secretary who leaves shouting the news to the four winds.

“Wait till his wife gets back…” mutters Moore.

INTERIOR – GROUND FLOOR OF THE BIG HOUSE – HALLWAY OUT OF THE CEREMONIAL HALL.

After a few minutes. Wright, Bell, Byjove and Blanco are having a concerned discussion.

“The ambassadors are already inside, in the Ceremonial Hall. And the president has disappeared,” Blanco says alarmed.

“What are we going to do? This has never happened before.” Bell breathes. “It would be an insult to all the nations they represent. “

“We have to buy time somehow, waiting to find the President,” Wright proposes.

“Right! We have to buy some time.” Bell agrees. “Yeah, but how? And where has the President gone? Oh God, my inhaler…”

Blanco: “I’ve unleashed all Big House service personnel in search of the President, but so far no news, it seems to have disappeared.”

“I, too, have ordered all officers to find him, but he seems to have vanished.” explains the general.

“We’re ruined, this is the end, before we even start.” Bell says, aspirating from his inhaler.

“Don’t even say it, I’ve never given up in my life!” says Byjove with his ready hand on his sabre.

“What are you going to do, go in there and tell everyone to come back another time?” Wright asks him.

“Do you think it can be done? Yes?” Bell hopefully says.

“Bell, you wretched ectoplasm, stop talking nonsense!” Byjove says. “Will you two stop whining like a bunch of pussies? I got it, I got it, just like old times! I’ll take care of those ambassadors!”

Byjove draws his saber and holding it high he goes with a strong step to the Ceremonial Hall.

“I have faced hordes of enemies on every continent of the world. You want me to be afraid of four stockfish dressed as penguins? Make way, here comes Byjove!”

The door slams shut behind him. The others remain frozen, silent and frightened.

Here comes Moore panting. “Have you heard from the President?”

“No, he’s nowhere to be found,” Blanco says. “Everyone’s looking for him, from officers to service personnel, but nothing.”

“I fear the worst.”

“Worse than that”? Are you kidding me?” panting Bell agitated.

“Sadly, no.” continues Moore. “I have a bad feeling about the President.”

“What do you mean?” question Blanco.

“Secretary Naive was jumping for joy all over the hallways telling the world the President is about to take her on a cruise,” continues Moore.

“What? Has she gone crazy?” Wright exclaims. “The President would never do something like that!”

Bell, Blanco and Moore turn to Wright and stare at him.

“The President would never do that, would he?” Wright shyly asks.

Bell, Blanco and Moore keep staring at Wright without talking.

“He didn’t, did he?”

“Good heavens, he’s run off on a cruise with his secretary.” whining Bell. “Tomorrow the papers will put us all on the grill. I’m gonna end up selling refrigerators in Alaska. Give me my inhaler.”

“He didn’t run anywhere, he didn’t make it in time. His wife passed Naive along the hallway.” Moore points out.

“And how did she take it?” Wright asks.

“She took an antique axe off the wall in the Hall of Arms and went looking for her husband.”

“Oh, God, an axe!” sighs Bell looking for pills to stop the panic attack.

“Now what? What can we do now? Should we resign and change our name?” says Wright disconsolate.

“We’d better prepare something else first,” concludes Moore.

“And what?” Blanco asks.

“A funeral, and right after a new president election.”

“And it’s not over.” Blanco continues. “Byjove has just entered the Ceremonial Hall to speak with foreign ambassadors. In place of the President. He was holding his saber.”

“I never thought I’d say this, but I regret the President.” sighs Moore.

INTERIOR – GROUND FLOOR OF THE BIG HOUSE –  FORD ROOM – LATE AT NIGHT.

Blanco, Wright, Bell, Moore and Byjove reunited are talking about the latter’s meeting with foreign ambassadors. Meanwhile, Naive arrives with some documents.

“Here’s the list of countries you asked for.”

“I asked for it. It’s the report of the evening,” Blanco says, taking the papers to examine them. “This is the list of countries that have broken off diplomatic relations with us. These are the countries that have left the trade agreements with us and finally here are the countries that have withdrawn their diplomats from Mont of Groovia awaiting our official apologies.”

Everyone’s eyes are on General Byjove, who tries a desperate defense.

“It’s a conspiracy against our beloved president! It’s a conspiracy! That’s what it is! To arms, let’s defend the country!”

And he draws his saber vehemently by hitting Bell in the face with his fist again, who flies backwards again, landing on his back. Bleeding from his nose, Naive leans over him, still pulling his eyes out of his sockets.

“Do you really want to kill this poor guy?” Blanco exclaims.

“Well, we don’t miss much.” is Moore’s consideration.

“Still down? What’s he still doing on the ground? Where did they find you, in an orthopedic ward?” the general mutters. “Put him back in his iron lung and get him out of my sight. No prisoners are taken here.”

Byjove twirls his saber in the air, no one can get close enough to stop him.

“Attack! We must convene a war council at once!”

“Who in the government called this?” Blanco’s question outrageous.

“The President,” answers Moore. “He’s chosen two: him and Secretary Naive.”

At that moment Gwendoline breaks into the room, looks around and goes straight to Naive.

“Ah, there you are. I’ve been looking for you. I heard you were leaving…”

“Yes, I’m leaving on a cruise. Isn’t that great?”

“Yeah, really great. And you’re going alone on a cruise?”

“Oh no, with the President! We’re leaving right now. Excuse me. I’ll get my bikini.”

Gwendoline rushes on Naive who runs away trying to take cover behind the members of the government, Byjove shakes his saber screaming for arms, Bell on the ground bleeding risks being trampled by the others who try to avoid the general’s blows.

This is the second day of the new Kramp government.

See you next week. Ending theme!

Super Dan
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