THE FOLLOWING WEEK – MORNING – THE CAPITAL
The President and his staff, with the First Lady and Ms Brontenserious, arrive together with the bodyguards in the largest park in the city.
The Mayor and the main authorities of the city welcome them.
“Good morning to you all. Mr. President, I’m Jerry Morgan, mayor of the city and welcome you to Father’s Day.”
“Thank you, my good man, thank you.” replies Super Dan with the usual swagger. “stay where you are, guy.”
“It’s a great honor to have you here today, as you can see the whole area has been decorated to celebrate the fathers of the whole country.”
“We know, we know, that’s why we’re here…” Byjove comes in smiling.
“Uh, General,” Blanco tries to avoid embarrassment , “I think the mayor is referring to dads all over the country…”
“In fact,” continues the soldier, “the fathers of the country, the President and I.”
“And indeed here we are. So when does the party start?” Super Dan asks the mayor in awe.
“Actually, I…” stammers Morgan.
“Uh, Mr. Mayor,” Blanco says, already alarmed, “the president and the general are always joking. They’re both nuts. They wanted to ask you to lead us through the ceremony.”
“Of course,” answers Morgan, “I’ll be glad to. Please follow me, we’re going to watch the first parade. The stage has been set up over there for us.”
“Parade?!” mumbles Byjove as they follow the mayor.
“Stage?” mumbles Super Dan. “And what happened to the party?”
Immediately the First Lady’s elbow perforates her husband’s belly.
“But honey, this is the party. The parades, the music and even Mayor Morgan’s speech, right?”
“Of course, like every year. I’ll have to give my speech afterwards.”
“Cough…cough…” Super Dan trying to catch breath. “Sure…cough…sure, the speech.”
“We’re off to a bad start.” mumbles Byjove. “If a good beginning bodes well…”
After sitting on stage, the parade begins, led by the municipal band, with the traditional marches, then follow the majorettes and some men with the banners of various associations, representatives of all the fathers.
“…the parade, the marching band, the majorettes…” mutters Byove.
“…the dads’ march, the banners, the parents’ associations…” echoes Super Dan.
“…what else can happen, again?…” mumbles Byjove.
“And now,” announces the voice from the speakers, “here’s Mayor Morgan!”
“Perfect! That’s what was missing: the speech…”
“Smile and applaud, you wretch” whispers his wife with a pulled smile… Swish! Ms Brontenserious’s whip hisses a few inches from the President’s legs, making him jerk.
“Smile, schnell, smile!”
The President and Byjove stand and applaud, with a sad look lost on the horizon.
The mayor begins by recalling the origins of the event, its diffusion, until it becomes a true celebration of the father figure.
Super Dan’s mind begins to wander through a landscape of beer and sausages, Byjove dreams of the parade of tanks.
The first local citizen underlines the generosity of the fathers, their spirit of sacrifice, their importance for the family and society.
Super Dan’s neurons are in another dimension, Byjove’s gaze pierces the mayor and fades into the crowd.
The speech ends by emphasizing the leading role of the fathers, a model for the children, a point of reference for the family.
Super Dan’s synapses have atrophied, Byjove’s eyelids have surrendered.
A warm applause rises from the excited crowd, while the two sleeping beauty jumps on the chair.
Super Dan’s belly is bombarded by his wife’s elbow, while Byjove’s buttocks are “caressed” by Ms Brontenserious’s whip.
“You wretch, applaud, applaud and smile!” whispers the First Lady smiling.
Swish! “Aahh! Damn you Kraut! One of these days…” Swish!
“Nein! You General are like Herr President, same belly, same sleep! Applaud, applaud!”
“I’ll deal with both of you later…” threatening whispers the First Lady.
“Well, gentlemen,” Morgan says on the way back to them, “and now, after duty, a little pleasure. Have the pleasure of following me.”
“Where the hell is he gonna take us now?” mumbles Byjove, “to a funeral?”
The group gets off the stage and walks through the crowd, which approaches by shaking their hands.
“Thank you, thank you,” smiles Super Dan, smug as ever, “autographs later, don’t worry…cough!” The first lady’s elbow comes relentlessly to get her husband back.
“Autographs?” his wife whispers to him, trying to smile. “You’re not a Hollywood actor, you wretch, you’re the President!”
Swish! “Shake hands and thank people, belly in and chest out, ja?”
“When we get home…” he mumbles Super Dan in anger.
“If you keep this up,” whispers his wife smiling, “you won’t get home…” Worried Super Dan loosens his tie knot.
Byjove readily grasps the sabre, but his hand stops on the hilt, struck by the Austrian housekeeper’s whip.
“Gentlemen,” Blanco says firmly, “try to live up to your institutional responsibilities, you are before the people.”
“Well,” says the mayor, “it’s picnic time!”
“Hip hip hurray!” exclaims Byjove.
“It’s about time!” breaks out Super Dan, pierced by his wife’s gaze. “Um…I mean…um…picnics are the oldest tradition of this holiday…”
“Absolutely, my commander!” answers Byjove.
“And we know how attached you are to tradition, don’t we?” asks Moore with a smile.
“Very attached!” replied Byjove.
“Traditions are sacred!” exclaims the big boss.
“Well, I’m glad,” continues Mayor Morgan, “you will see that this tradition is still important here…”
“Let’s go see, let’s go…” says Super Dan happy.
“Let’s see, let’s see…” follows the general.
“Here gentlemen,” continues the mayor, “this is the table I had prepared. As you can see, there’s room for all of us.”
“Long and wide,” comments Byjove, “as I like it, so much space to fill…”
“Uh,” Bell immediately intervenes to avoid further embarrassing considerations, “thank you for your hospitality, Mr. Mayor…”
“And know that our participation in the picnic is only demonstrative…” the First Lady makes it clear. “We are going to limit ourselves to a few samples to honor your hospitality.”
“What??” Super Dan comes out. “But darling…um…you don’t want to offend these dear people who have worked so hard for us…”
“Dear,” snarls his wife trying to smile, “we have a long day ahead of us, that’s why we have to be light at the table.”
“Exactly,” replies Super Dan, “and so we need to have the energy to deal with this long party and…”
At a nod of Gwendoline’s head on time Ms Brontenserious obeys. “Nein!” Swish! “Nein! You eat what your wife says!”
Everyone takes a seat at the table, with a desperate Super Dan who is forced to sit, despite himself, between his wife and the housekeeper.
“Well, Mr. Mayor,” the general takes the floor without delay, “now that we have sat down, would you give us a chance to honor your hospitality? How do you intend to fill this table?”
“Uh… the general wanted to know,” Wright says, “what delicacies the local people are used to cooking on this occasion.”
“The local population?!” amazed question Byjove. “What are you talking about, I was talking about us…”
“…of us all gathered in this magnificent park to celebrate the father figure.” Blanco, already worried, interrupts.
“Actually,” insists Byjove, “I wanted to know…”
“What’s the menu for the day, Mr. Morgan?” Wright comes in again.
“Well, gentlemen, the local culinary specialties are well known and appreciated by all, believe me, and now you are going to see for yourself…”
The mayor turns around and with a nod of his head calls the person in charge of their table.
“Good morning, gentlemen, I’m Benny and I welcome you to this party. I hope you enjoy our culinary delights, because I’ll be taking care of this personally.”
“Perfect!” exclaims Byjove. “Now we’re talking!”
“Uh…” Blanco comes in worried, “the general wanted to ask for clarifications about the party menu, Benny.”
“Clarifications”? No clarification shit! I want to eat! So, Benny, how are you going to fill this table?”
“Uh…” stammers Benny, intimidated, “well… we…”
“And be careful what are you saying,” Byjove says threateningly, “all right?”
“Benny, our general’s always joking, don’t listen to him.” Bell intervenes, trying to dilute the situation. “Explain the menu instead.”
“We have all kinds of meat, from chickens to turkeys, sausages, kid, lamb chops to beef steaks…”
“Really?” says Moore looking at Super Dan. “You prepared all this for us? Well, I must admit, your hospitality is second to none, isn’t it, Mr. President?”
“Yes, of course.” mumbles the big nervous boss.
“And that’s not the end of it,” continues Benny, “so, gentlemen, may I make a suggestion?”
“As long as you hurry up and fill this table…” observes annoyed Byjove.
“Uh, I could bring you trays with all the specials so you can enjoy whatever you want.”
“You finally said something right.” the military rejoices. “Benny, I’m starting to like you.”
“Uh… Benny, I think that’s good advice, sure.” Blanco comes in and gives Byjove a dirty look.
“Sounds good, what do you say, Mr. President?” says Moore looking at Super Dan with a grin. “Lots of trays in front of us all…”
“An excellent idea, you can start Benny, fire in the stove!” exclaims Byjove.
“Wait a minute, Benny, before you go…” Moore comes in again. “General, haven’t we forgotten something? The drinks…?”
“Per thousand cannons!” jumps Byjove. “You’re right! Good Moore! Benny, listen to me, between the plates and trays you have to occupy every empty space with lots of nice fresh beer mugs, got it?”
“Except in front of us,” clarifies the First Lady, “we’ll just have a salad and a chicken leg. And still mineral water, please.”
“But…” Super Dan mentions a protest in vain, but the consort’s hand on his leg looks like a hydraulic press.
“It’s all right, I guess,” says Moore smiling, “Benny, we’re in your hands…”
“You can rest assured, I’ll take care of everything. Beers included.”
“Good Benny.” exclaims Byjove. “He’s a good son, this Benny.”
“Oh, yes, General, a very efficient boy.Don’t you think so, Mr. President?” Moore makes fun of him.
“No, I mean, yeah, yeah, he’s a real good boy.” says Super Dan red in the face, while the first lady’s hand is now crushing his leg.
A few minutes later, the waiters arrive with trays…
“But look,” exclaims Moore, smiling at Super Dan, “what grace!”
A wave of trays and perfumes invades the table, occupying it almost completely, leaving the few remaining spaces to the beer mugs. Moore’s mocking smile directed at Super Dan contrasts with his discontent, while General Byjove’s face triumphs over all, comparable to the midday sun.
“Very good, Benny,” echoes Byjove’s voice, “a great start, you just earned your corporal’s stripes!”
“Corporal…?! But I…”
“Don’t mind him, my boy, it’s his way of expressing his gratitude. Besides, I can’t blame him in the presence of such kindness, can I, Mr. President?”
“Moore,” Super Dan’s about to explode, “do you know where you can put his delicacies?…”
“In front of each of you,” the First Lady promptly intervenes, “while we’ll have three bowls with a salad and a chicken leg, as I said before. And two bottles of still mineral water, please.”
“What?” exclaims Super Dan. “But…”
Swish! Ms Brontenserious’s whip under the table grazes the first citizen’s legs, while his wife’s hand shakes his leg trying to stop his blood circulation.
“Well,” says Blanco, “we just have to thank Mayor Morgan and his wonderful organization of this party once again and wish everyone enjoy your meal!”
“Fire in the hole!” cries Byjove. “Attack!”
“Enjoy your meal,” says mocking Moore, “and enjoy your meal, Mr. President.”
“Moore,” says crazy Super Dan, “I…”
“…thank you and enjoy your meal.” his wife interrupts him. “And now let’s taste the chicken leg and this tasty salad. Come on dear, enjoy your meal…”
“Enjoy your meal, Mr. President!” Byjove joins in as he raises a mug of beer to the sky.
The diners taste some local specialties, talking about the various points of the day’s program, while Byjove proceeds like a tank to each tray around him, leaving only empty bones and mugs around him.
The chicken leg in Super Dan’s plate, unfortunately, has already been eaten, the leaves of the salad as well, all that remains in front of him is a little bone in a saucer and an empty bowl. And water, lots of mineral water…
While in front of him Byjove proceeds to the rhythm of a mechanical shovel, on Super Dan’s face all life is extinguished…
Benny comes back.
“Gentlemen, has everything been to your satisfaction?”
“You bet your life, son!” Byjove replies, full as a barrel.
“Very well,” continues Benny, “because now we’d have our buns, savoury pies, rustic pies and baked sweet potatoes, all accompanied by various sauces. May I continue, or would you like to finish your lunch here?”
“Never!” Byjove says, “A real soldier never gives up!”
“What a hero,” says Moore, “a real fighter…”
“You bet, I’ve never raised a white flag in my life!”
“Hear that, Mr. President?” keeps poking Moore. “Never give up…”
“Moore, one of these days…” Super Dan is about to explode, immediately silenced by his wife. “We’re giving up. Our lunch is over here.”
“What?” exclaims Super Dan. “But we haven’t even…”
“Nein! You raise the white flag!”
“Bloody Kraut,” raves Super Dan, “someday…”
“…you will thank us for this.” Gwendoline concludes firmly.
Within minutes other trays, with the specialities listed above, replaced the empty ones, while Byjove directed the comings and goings of waiters and trays like Herbert von Karajan directed the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Buns, savoury pies, baked sweet potatoes and beer of all colors once again fill the table, while Byjove does his best to empty it again.
“Ahh… that was some lunch…” Byjove comments with a long sigh. “Benny, I’m putting you up for promotion to corporal major!” In front of him the table looks like a battlefield, trays full of bones and empty mugs everywhere.
“I’m glad you enjoyed our cooking,” says Morgan, “I hope it’s the same for the rest of the party. Gentlemen, how about following me?”
“Of course!” exclaims Byjove, standing at attention, “Come on, I’ll follow you! Who’s next? Turkeys? Roast chicken? Sausages?”
“Excuse me, Mr. Mayor,” Blanco comes in again, while the group stands up and follows Morgan, “the general wanted to ask what’s next for us…”
“Daddy’s parade on wagons.” replies the mayor. “It’s a tradition you asked us to include this year…”
“Yeah,” explains Wright, “imported from Germany… you know, we’ve looked at the various traditions in the world.”
“That’s right,” continues Bell, “and we imported the ones we thought best suited to this festive atmosphere.”
“Well, I have to admit, this one’s quite quaint.” Morgan admits. “Here we go. We’ve had these wagons prepared for the daddies according to your instructions: pulled by oxen and with a large wooden board all along the edge.”
“So the fathers can parade through the crowd…” Blanco explains.
“…and around them plates and beers resting on the long table!” concluded Byjove, with the buttons on the uniform about to explode.
“Gentlemen,” Morgan invites them, “will you be the first to go up?”
“Of course!” cries Byjove, now tipsy. “All aboard, sail the anchors, let’s go!”
“Excuse me?!” exclaims the mayor.
“Nothing,” Wright intervenes, trying to keep up appearances, “you know what these soldiers are like, always with their slang…”
“He’s completely drunk…” whispers worried Blanco to Moore.
The group climbs up a few wagons, while Super Dan tries in vain to get on with Byjove.
“No, dear,” snarls the First Lady with a smile, “we were supposed to get on together, don’t you remember?”
“Of course,” says Moore, “don’t you remember what we decided at the meeting? The President and his wife together, the symbol of family.”
“But… but I…” stammers hungry Super Dan as he’s being dragged on the wagon by his wife and the Austrian governess.
“You’re all right, all three of you, together!” cries mocking Moore. “Isn’t that right, Bell?”
“Of course, the typical family portrait.”
In the meantime, other dads have got on the other wagons too.
“All right, gentlemen,” Morgan says again, “shall we start the parade? We’re leaving.”
The crowd cheers festive, all the dads on the wagons greet the crowd and distribute the food and beer to those who approach.All but one… Super Dan’s hand grabs a plate of sausages, hands it over to the people, while the other hand grabs a sausage and carries it to the mouth when… “What are you doing?” the First Lady’s rebuke destroys all hope of the hungry Super Dan, and… Swish! On time, Ms. Brontenserious’s whip grazes the presidential buttocks of Super Dan, who, frightened, leaps forward. Unbalanced by his belly, he risks falling and clutches at the reins, shaking them, making the oxen gallop.
“Oh God, look at the President’s wagon!” cries Wright, pointing to the presidential wagon, which has left without any control in the frightened crowd.
“Stop him!” cries Blanco to the security men, chasing after it.
On time, Ms. Brontenserious’s whip grazes the presidential buttocks of Super Dan, who, frightened, leaps forward. Unbalanced by his belly, he risks falling and clutches at the reins, shaking them, making the oxen gallop.
“Stop him, quick!” cries Blanco to the security men, throwing themselves on the chase.
“What?” cries Byjove, full of meat and drunk. “Is there a race? Why didn’t you tell me?” He immediately shakes the reins and shouts. With his left hand he holds the reins, with his right hand he pulls out his saber waving towards the sky.
“I’ve never lost a battle in my life, not even a race with horned animals!”
“The President, the President!” Blanco yells out to him when he walks past her.
“The President’s first, I’ve seen him, he’s winning!” Byjove yells at her, now thrown at full speed. “He’s a real leader!”
“Make way, make way, the President’s in danger!” Bell yells, shoving his hand in his pocket looking for his inhaler.
The crowd runs in all directions trying to avoid the wagons, while Super Dan and Byojve’s wagons start flying sausages at people’s heads.
Seeing the escort men chasing Super Dan and hearing the cries of the presidential staff, Byjove finally understands the situation.
“The President is in danger! Move the damn carts, we have to save the father of the nation!” cries the soldier waving his saber.
“Dios mio!” exclaims Blanco. “This time he’s going to kill himself!”
“Says it’s the right time?” Moore echoes her.
“Por favor, Moore, we must save him! Wright, you go that way with the escort men, I’ll try to stop him on the other side! Bell, Moore, come with me, give me a hand!”
“What? Me????” Bell’s eyes pop out. “Stop a moving wagon?”
At that moment sausages land around Blanco’s neck and a pork rib flies in Bell’s mouth.
“Home service,” sarcastically Moore comments, “I’ll tell you, our President thinks of everything!”
“Mmmm… help…” mumbles Bell with his inhaler in his hand and a rib in his mouth.
“Blanco, you take care of Bell,” takes matters into his own hands, Moore, “I’ll try to coordinate the escort men.”
“Yippie ya ya ye!!” passes in that instant at full speed the wagon of Byjove, from which a salty cake takes off to land in the face of Bell, who faints in Blanco’s arms.
“Stop the President!” Byjove’s voice resounds.”Save him, or I’ll have you all shot for high treason!”
“He’s gone mad,” cries Wright to the escort men, “stop the general too!”
“Help, do something!” cries Super Dan, kneeling in the wagon, clutching at the reins, jumping with his toupee over his eyes.
“You wretch, look what you’ve done!” scrambles his wife. “Stop this wagon, what are you waiting for?”
“And what am I trying to do?” slams Super Dan, clutching at the reins, tossed left and right and unable to get up.
“Make way, I’m coming, don’t be afraid, Mr. President!” is the cry of Byjove echoing in the air, as the oxen in the other wagons galloped away, frightened by the hustle and bustle, and dragged by Super Dan and Byjove’s wagons.
“General, what the hell are you doing?” cries Blanco, while Bell, freed from the rib, is removing the pieces of salted cake from his face.
“Blanco, don’t worry!” cries the general as he cheers the oxen. “I’ve seen the Ben-Hur movie dozens of times, the chariot race at the end is my favorite scene!”
“Ben-Hur’s chariot race?!” Bell exclaims, hanging on to his inhaler.
“Help the President! Help him!” cries young secretary Naive, who jumps everywhere, trying to avoid the chariots. “The President’s hair, the President’s hair has moved!”
“Oh God, what a disaster,” mayor Morgan despairs, “what a disaster!”
“Get these people out of here!” Wright yells to the security men. “Save the crowd, and as soon as the President’s chariot is within your reach, stop him!”
By now all the galloping wagons are running aimlessly around the park, raising a huge amount of dust, while the jolts make the beer mugs and dishes fly over the surrounding crowd.
“Get out of the way, this is Ben-Hur’s chariot, get up or I’ll step on you!” is Byjove’s cry echoing in the air as he stirs the oxen waving his saber in the air. A stall of doughnuts and sweets is overwhelmed by the general, causing an explosion of wood fragments and thrown pastries everywhere.
“The general is completely drunk,” Blanco yells to the escort men, “stop him!” as a savoury pie hits her in the face, throwing her to the ground.
“He’s winning,” cries Moore, “the President’s winning! Prepare the stage for the award ceremony!”
“Stop this damn cart! I order you to stop it!” swears Super Dan on his knees, banged from side to side. His unguided cart, running through the grass, hits a big rock and falls off the ground, landing heavily and causing the first citizen’s toupee to take off.
“Flyingl!” cries Naive astounded, “The President’s hair is flying!”
“Men,” cries Moore, “run and get the President’s hair before they take flight!”
“My hair!” echoes Super Dan’s voice all over the park, “my hair!”
Some security men run upside down, chasing Super Dan’s toupee, which ends his parable and his career skewered like a thrush on Byjove’s sabre.
“My head,” cries Super Dan, “my head, give me back my hair!”
Bonk! At that moment a steak thrown from one of the wagons lands right on the President’s shiny head.
“Et voilà!” exclaims Moore. “No sooner said than done!” exclaims Moore. “A headgear worthy of a president. Bell, shall we take a souvenir photo?”
“Moore,” Blanco intervenes, “I don’t think so, the paparazzi are taking enough of them already! Let’s try to stop the wagons instead!”
The screams of the terrified crowd fill the park, a huge fuss envelops everyone, when another abrupt jolt of the wagon makes Super Dan fly to the ground. “Help me!” cries the big boss on all fours. “Pull me up!”
A moment later, his wagon and Byjove’s wagon cross each other.
“Yippie ya ya ye!!” is the cry of the soldier, whose chariot flies meat skewers, circling in the air drawing circles before they go and stick themselves up Super Dan’s ass.
“Aaahhhh!!” is his cry of pain echoing in the park.
“Tarzan! Tarzan’s scream!” comments Moore, as the last remaining beer mugs are thrown up from the presidential chariot and spilled on Byjove’s face, grazing him.
“Yuck!” the general gasps. “Beer! Who dares waste beer like that? I want to know who’s sacrilegious,” he continues, waving his blade with Super Dan’s toupee still stabbed, “I’ll pierce him with my saber!”
At yet another slash in the air Super Dan’s toupee slips out of his sabre and is thrown into the air, and after a few vaults lands on Bell’s face.
“Ahh!” cries the Treasury Minister. “Help, I can’t see, an animal attacked me! Help, I’m blind!”
“Aaahhhh!” echoes him from his Super Dan wagon, crawling on all fours, skewers stuck in his buttocks, bouncing against the walls of the wagon.
The First Lady and her trusty housekeeper clinging to the wagon so as not to be thrown out. “You’ve made another mess, let’s deal with it at home…” explodes the First Lady.
“My ass, my ass, my ass…”
“I’m blind! I’m blind!”
“If you’re going to throw the beer away like that, give it to me!” cries Byjove, who speeds by Super Dan’s cart and sees the skewers!
“What?!” Byjove slams down. “Get those skewers out of the presidential buttocks at once, it’s an outrage!”
“There’s no way…” stammers Wright in disbelief, seeing the President’s wagon crawl past on all fours on skewers.
“Oh, God,” cries Naive next door. “The skewers! He’s been skewered!”
Byjove pulls the reins trying to make a U-turn at full speed. “Get those damn skewers off your goddamn presidential buttocks, I said!”
But Byjove’s sudden steering and speed make the wagon skid first and then proceed tilted on two wheels alone, until it crashes into a bench. The oxen fall to the ground, stunned but not injured, but the crash is thunderous … the cart takes off, drawing an arch in the sky, and then land on a tent, which collapses.
To be continued…
See you next week. Ending theme!