(Official Secret Clubhouse of the He-Man Truth & Cuddly Cat Haters Club)
Scott Pruitt: Jesus, this place is awful
Ben Carson: Why, what’s wrong with it?
Scott: It’s dusty, there’s leaves and dirt all over the floor, doesn’t anyone wipe their feet?…it’s just so….treehousey…so common. Shit, I need a wipe. And is this lead paint?
Ben: I don’t know, you’re the guy who should know that right?
Scott: Watch your tone Ben, and yes, I do know, but it depends on the company and who I’m paying to have it (air quotes) “tested” and then, of course it depends on the relationship with the company that makes the paint etc…etc…it’s a lot of what I do.
Ben: Did you just air quote?
Scott: Maybe. I just don’t recognize this particular paint’s…mmm…imprint you might say. It doesn’t seem to have enough green.
Ben: Should we have it tested?
Scott: (air quotes) “tested” Ben. It’s always “tested”
Ben: ummmm…?…ok…but if it is lead paint, isn’t that dangerous?
Scott: You’re funny Ben. It’s complicated. You understand complicted right?
Ben: I am a neurosurgeon.
Scott: Right…of course you are…he doesn’t eat the paint chips does he?
Ben: I don’t know, he does snack a lot.
Scott: Could explain some things. Anyway I’ll look into it. Just gotta make a couple of calls, but not here.
Ben: Why not?
Scott: Pretty obvious isn’t it Ben? There’s no booth.
Scott: Never mind. I have a spot for calls back at my office. Plus we really should tidy up before he comes back.
Ben: Yeh when is that?
Scott: You never know. Depends on how quickly everyone abroad is reminded of how much they hate him.
Ben: So he could have been back before he left?
Scott: Very funny again Ben. You’re a riot. No, we really should do something for him. Maybe buy him some new furniture here, spiff the place up.
Ben: How about a dining set. My wife knows a great place.
Scott: Great idea! Would it be bulletproof?
Scott: This dining set place place your wife knows, do they carry any that are bulletproof?
Ben: Is that a thing?
Scott: It is when you’re me. Lot’s of crazies out there.
Ben: That wanna shoot up your dining room set?
Scott: You never know Ben. Ever vigilant I say, with a good solid piece of bulletproof furniture to cower behind. Important people can never be to careful you know.
Ben: Right, of course. Well I’ll ask my wife to check. But it never really feels like he’s gone anyway though, even when he is.
Scott : Yes he does have that kind of presence doesn’t he?
Ben: What? No, that’s not what I meant.
Scott: Then what?
Ben: It’s that portrait of Andrew Jackson over his step ladder.
Scott: His step stool?
Ben: Yeh, every now and then he just stands on it, top step, I don’t know why.
Scott: Well….alright, whatever. Probably to check out those shoeboxes on the bookshelf or change a lightbulb or something right?
Ben: No. He just stands on it, the top step, and stares out in the distance. Raises his arms.
Scott: Ok then…so what about this portrait?
Ben: I don’t know, it’s weird. Seems like the eyes follow you everywhere and it creeps me the hell out….all the way down to my ancestor’s toes…though I don’t know why.
Scott: You’re black Ben
Ben: Oh, right. Makes more sense now.
(A cough sound from behind the portrait and the sound of falling stuff / cursing)
Ben: Hey, did you hear that?
Scott: Hear what?
Ben: It sounded like that Jackson painting just coughed and knocked over paint cans or something.
Scott: Sure it did Ben. I didn’t hear anything.
Ben: It did, I swear!
Scott: Ok, look, your big neurosurgeon, dumbest smart guy ever brain is just overly tired Ben, maxed out, probably making you hear things…you’ve been working really hard.
Ben: You’re right, I have.
Scott: Yes you have. (assuringly) It’s not easy trying to fuck poor people by raising their rents in order to make them pick themselves up by their bootstraps.
Ben: No, it’s not.
Scott: Especially when there’s absolutely no logic to it.
Ben: I know, right?
Scott: Exactly. Now take a breath and let’s get back to this cluttered mess here. I mean, what the hell are all these shoeboxes on the bookshelves anyway?
Ben: Don’t touch those.
Ben: I don’t know. He just said NOT to touch those.
Scott: You mean you haven’t looked?
Ben: No. That would be bad.
Scott: You’re not curious?
Ben: No, plus, doesn’t curiousity kill stuff? I’ve heard that it does. Like cats?
Scott: You like cats do you Ben?
Ben: Oh, verrrry much. They’re soft.
Scott: Yes they are Ben, very soft, and cuddly too right?
Ben: Yes, I like cuddly.
Scott: I’m sure you do Ben, but you’re right. Curiousity does kill stuff…a LOT of stuff …that’s why we leave curiousity to the “experts”, like me and lobbyists.
Ben: Did you just air quote that too?
Scott: No. (looking in the shoeboxes)…it’s just rocks Ben, lots of rocks in lots of shoeboxes on bookshelves instead of books Ben.
Ben: Any of them small rocks? Small enough to be gravel?
Scott: What? Gravel?
Ben: Yeh gravel, at our last meeting we….
Scott: Yes, well I wasn’t at the last meeting Ben (sigh). Where’s Jeff by the way? A “friend” of mine who’s in some “difficulty” needs to “talk” to him.
Ben: You didn’t air quote AGAIN just there, a LOT, did you?
Ben: He’s probably out on the balcony.
Scott: This treehouse has a balcony?
Ben: Yeh, just over there. Right outside one of the “Alice” doors.
Scott: “Alice” doors?
Ben: Special small doors for Jeff from the boss for some reason. I don’t know. But the balcony overlooks a children’s summer camp. He likes to go out there every now and then.
Scott: A kids’s camp? Why?
Ben: I don’t know, he says it’s to think, to clear his head. Watching the kids helps I guess. Big hearted guy. He also said something about channeling Ralph Feinnes. Some sort of movie reference. I’m not a big movie guy.
Ben: Though I did like “Concussion”.
Scott: Right up your alley huh?
Ben: Yeh. It was about brains. And Will Smith is black.
Scott: I’ve noticed that. In all of his movies. He’s black just like you right?
Ben: Ummm….yeh…exactly. Black. Do you think he voted for the boss?
Scott: Probably not Ben, he’s one of those Hollywood elites.
Ben: Fucking elites….sorry, excuse my language sir.
Scott: It’s alright Ben. You’re allowed that. Especially when it comes to those fucking elites.
Scott: Were we expecting someone?
Ben: Wait! The coughing from behind the Andrew Jackson painting? Do you think someon…
Scott: NO I DON’T. I’ll get it. (whispering to himself as he walks to the door ‘wish I had something bulletproof to hide behind…just in case’) (wary) Who’s there?
Ryan Zinke: Ryan.
Scott: Zinke, is that you?
Zinke: Damn shootin’ straight!
Scott: Hold on. Hey Ben? What’s today’s password?
Ben: Well…I don’t know. The boss isn’t here so we don….
Scott: You mean he didn’t leave a password?
Scott: Hold on Ryan….If. That. Is. You.
Zinke: If. That. Is. Me? What the hell are you talking about?
Scott: What’s the password?
Zinke: Password? I just heard you ask Ben if there was one.
Scott: No you didn’t.
Zinke: Yes I did.
Scott: No YOU didn’t
Zinke: YES I DID. It’s a treehouse Scott. The walls are pretty fucking thin.
Scott: Well if there WAS a password what would it be?
Zinke: Are you fucking serious?! You know I just got an NRA tattoo on my ass and I’m armed right? To the nines and 47’s and you’ve got no bulletproof shit to hide behind Pruitt! Plus we’ve got a situation here!
Scott: Situation, Shmittuation. (aside) Ben, what would the password be?
Ben: I don’t know…ummm….treacle?
Ben: What? I like sweet stuff.
Scott: You’re not English Ben!
Ben: I am black though.
Scott: Yes, and the boss appreciates that….c’mon!
Ben: How about “Cuddly”? We were talking cuddly earlier.
Zinke: You know I can STILL hear you right?!
Ben: I got it! (whispers in Pruitt’s ear) The password is “Extinct”
Scott: Ooooh, that’s a good one…Ok, Zinke…If. That. Is. Really. You…what’s the password?
Scott: Damn this guy is good.
Zinke: (bursts through the door) You are both idiots. And where’s the door I ordered for here for me to make my bursting through appear more impressive?! And what the fuck is going on? I told you, we have a situation.
Scott: And? The boss is gone, we passworded you, and quite effectively I might add, you came in. Done. What “situation” tops that?
Zinke: Sessions is trying to pick off kids in that camp next door…
Zinke: …and his aim is ALL off…
Zinke: …and since when does he smoke while shooting?…
Scott: …I don…
Zinke: …we gotta get this guy to the range…
Zinke: ….fucking amateurs…
Ben: …have you seen my cat?…
Scott: …you have a cat here?…
Zinke: …was he furry?…
Ben: …well, yes…
Scott: …seriously, you have a cat here? I thought that was metaphorical…
Ben: …oh yes, very much so…very furry AND cuddly…
Zinke: I shot it.
Zinke: …it’s been extincted…
Ben: …oh…(single tear falls)