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Zettel Film Reviews » Bushed – ‘bushed’ = Df: tired, worn out, exhausted. No George – us not you.

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Bushed – ‘bushed’ = Df: tired, worn out, exhausted. No George – us not you.

for $65,000 - how many sides has a triangle got?

for $65,000 - how many sides has a triangle got?

By way of a change…….

This was written in November 2005 – as a bit of fun. As we see January 2009 approach, not without a certain amount of personal relief I must say, then I guess it is almost a period piece. Though given the circumstances I guuess for most of us, much of the context is still fresh in the mind.

It just struck me that Laura Bush must have the patience of a saint. St Jude perhaps.

If it’s not your thing…..film review to follow.

Zettel

(For US readers – BBC World service has a non-denominational prayer each morning)
BUSHED

It is said that Laura Bush is the brains in the Bush family. She and Karl Rove and a Catholic Priest adviser are also described as G W Bush’s ‘brain’. Personally I prefer the traditional arrangement of having one’s own brain on board so to speak. But needs must when the devil drives.

Place: The White House. Presidential residence
Time: 11.pm. Friday evening.
Present George W Bush. Laura Bush.
Scene: GW is watching TV slouched back on a sofa, feet dangling over the arm. The volume is very high. Laura Bush is knitting what looks like a very long scarf that snakes across the floor and is coiled up on a nearby table.

LB Come on George dear….it’s time.
(GW turns excitedly towards her, grinning lasciviously)

No dear…later……..perhaps. You know what I mean.
(GW’s face falls. Glumly crestfallen he says)

GB Aw shucks Hun….do we have to?

LB Yes dear. Friday’s our de-briefing day.

GB Okay. If we must. It’s just not the kind of de-briefing I’m up for. (winks)

LB (Sharply) George! Don’t be coarse. Now turn off the Roadrunner and come over here and take this wool. I can wind another ball while we talk. I really don’t know how you can watch those cartoons for hours on end.
(GW shuffles over and places a skein of wool over both hands as LB begins to wind the wool into a ball.)

GB I just love the little guy. Keeps getting into all kinds of scrapes but it’s never his fault.

LB Doesn’t he just keep doing one stupid thing after another? OK – got it – let’s start with the usual.

GB OK. But you know how I like to do it.

LB (Sighs) very well George – if we must. So….in the beginning was the word.

GB (Eagerly) Great! I love this bit……and the word was???

LB ‘Nuclear’. Now concentrate George, just repeat after me……New

GB Nuke.

LB (Patiently) No George one step at a time. Now concentrate….we nearly had it last week…..Listen…………….clear

GB Clear.

LB Yeeeeessss! Nice one George and again…..clear……

GB Clear.

LB (Head raised…to no one in particular) He’s got it! By George he’s got it………………Now George, very carefully, we just put them together, one after the other OK now…..listen…………….
New……clear……OK? Now you.

GB (Deliberately) Nukular.

LB (Quietly with great restraint) No George. New…..clear. So……nuclear…..Right?

GB New…………cular. Right?

LB (Her voice gradually escalates) No dear new…clear…..new…clear. Nuclear is an adjective.

GB Know that one Hun. Rummy uses it all the time talking about our prime adjective in invading
I-ran.

LB That, my darling lobotomised lunkhead, would be objective….. objective! An adjective is something that does not really make sense in itself, but can help us to achieve something else more important. And I think you mean Iraq.

GB Well that really does sound like what Rummy calls our prime adjective in invading I-raq.

LB (desperately) One last try George…..new…..clear. New….clear……. Now you.

GB Nu…….cular

LB (To herself) Jesus H Christ. Where is Wittgenstein when you need him most?

GB Look Hun, it’s all very well for you but never a day goes by without Rummy talking about “nuking the bastards” I guess ‘nuke’ just naturally comes to mind..

LB OK dear. Let’s leave it for now. What was the high spot of your week?

GB (Excitedly) Well it’s only a small thing but I did make a good suggestion to improve something in the situation room.

LB (Warily) Yeees?

GB Well you know how important it is for things to be very clear in the situation room. Too important for any kind of mistake?

LB Yes….and?

GB Well that goddam red button, you know the nukular trigger……it scares the shit out of me.

LB That’s comforting George. Oh yes. Now I feel I’ll sleep easier in my bed tonight. So what about the button?

GB Well. You gotta agree we can’t afford any misunderstandings about Nukular war?

LB (Quietly but menacingly) Of course dear. But before you go on… I wonder whether you might do me a teensy little favour….could you maybe avoid the use of the word ‘nuclear’. Just for a little while you understand….(her voice escalates until the final remark becomes a shout) it’s just that it really is….how shall I put it politely….beginning to get on my tits!

GB Okay Okay. Cool it. You want to hear my suggestion or not?

LB My dear, dear boy, my breath is bated. No – don’t ask. Forget it. Tell me. Tell me before I Iose the will to live.

GB Aw shucks it’s nothing really…..but to avoid any possibility of mistake or misunderstanding, I’m having them paint ‘press’ on the red launch button.
(There is a very long pause)
So…whaddya think?

LB Well you know Georgie dear. I’m really not quite sure what to say. It is true that in the Guggenheim a little red button that will initiate the end of life on earth carrying the word ‘press’ might have a certain insouciant, post-modern irony to it. In the actual national defence situation room my first thought is that we must hope one of the little boys with toys doesn’t mistake it for the control to the air conditioning system. My second, no less comforting notion, is that it would prove a temptation beyond Rummy Rumsfeld’s control. It’s what we must call I guess another of your little winners…………………………

You have no idea how difficult it is for to me say this dear….but do you want to tell me more about what’s been happening since our last briefing?

GB Well, ya know Hun, it’s been a kinda weird week.

LB You can say that again.

GB It’s been………

LB (Impatiently). George! We been through this so many times….. when I say……..

GB OK. OK. I’m getting there. I just forget. Anyway if the usual crap news from I-raq wasn’t enough there’s the Libby thing. And what the hell they’ve all got against momma Babs I just don’t get.

LB (Tartly) Maybe they felt checking our tax returns wasn’t quite enough legal experience to head up the Supreme Court for the rest of her life.

GB Don’t see why. Have you ever tried to read one of those mothers?

LB George I really do wish you wouldn’t use that expression. Now what’s the worst thing this week?

GB Well Hun. I think I’m gonna invade I-ran.

LB You think?

GB Well yeah. It’s the….the…..well you know….they’re back.

LB (Sharply) They George?

GB Aw…c’mon Hun, you know what I mean. Them. The…..er voices.

LB George I really am going to get cross with you if you keep on about this.

GB But they’re so real. I sort of hear them and don’t hear them if you know what I mean.

LB When do you hear them George?

GB That’s the thing Hun. Its every morning. I wake up and they’re ringing in my head.

LB What do they say George?

GB Well there’s a lot of weird shit I don’t understand but mostly it’s about me invading I-ran. Gotta tell you Hun. I think it’s a sign.

LB (Sighs deeply) Yes dear. I think so too.

GB There’s another weird thing Hun. These voices…they’ve all got English accents.

LB (tartly) Well at least that let’s God out. He comes from Texas.

GB Yeah but what do you think it means? And Hun that’s not all.

LB (Wearily) What else George?

GB Well the other morning they were praying to me.

LB I beg your pardon?

GB Still limey accents, but they were asking my forgiveness for their sins and all that stuff. Hun I know it sounds weird but you don’t think I might somehow actually be……….well you know…..

LB Ohmigod George…..

GB (Shocked) So ya do think it’s a possibility?

LB George dear, I find the idea that you are the most powerful man on earth scary enough without having to think of people praying to you.

GB Well Hun…maybe I am called.

LB Yes George. I think you’re right. Absolutely.

GB Well last Sunday morning the voices called me ‘O Lord’

LB (In exasperation she shouts) Jesus!

GB See! – you do think…..

LB (Screams at him) No you ten-gallon Texas turkey. The nearest you get to the Almighty is being an almighty pain in the butt.

GB (Crestfallen) Well there’s no need to get personal about it. (Triumphantly) Anyway, we’ve still got the voices to explain. Get outta that Miss Smartipants. I don’t make ‘em up. I hear ‘em. They’re there goddammit. Whatya gotta say to that?

LB Well if you’re right you’ll have to watch the logic of self-reflexive expressions like ‘goddamit’ for a start.

GB Huh?

LB Maybe you should watch some more Roadrunner George.

GB (shaking his head) No. We gotta sort this out. I mean I’ve always wanted to invade I-ran. Between you and me Hun, I thought we already had until Condi showed me both I-ran and I-raq on the map. I mean..shit…they look so alike.

LB (Sarkily) Yes well I suppose it’s both starting with an ‘I’ that does it.

GB Hun are you taking the piss?

LB (wearily) No dear, but I’m thinking that if you do invade Iran with the same level of justification as you did Iraq, then the inhabitants of Iowa, Idaho and the Indian Sub-Continent may start getting nervous.

GB C’mon Hun, you know I’m a man of peace – even the voices said that.

LB Yes dear, I know you are. But you sure-as-hell have got some bellicose bastards calling the shots around you.

GB Belli….what?

LB Time out – let’s get back to these voices. I need to ask some questions.

GB OK Hun……shoot.

LB (distractedly) I wish. The voices…is it every day?

GB Pretty much. Though I never hear them when I’m awake. I just sorta remember them as soon as I wake up. I’ve talked to Charlie about them but he can’t help.

LB Who the hell is Charlie?

GB Charlie….my body man.

LB For Chrissake George, Charlie Young is Jed Bartlett’s body man in The West Wing. Your body man is Clive.

GB It’s just a bit of fun Hun. I like to josh the guy and….well they’re sorta similar don’t ya think?.

LB Tough one that George: Charlie Young is good looking, very bright and black: Clive is nice, has a face even his mother would have to call interesting, is a few cents short of a dollar, white…………………and gay. So yes, I guess they’re hard to tell apart.

GB Gay? Howdya mean?

LB (Sighs deeply) We’ve been through this so many times George…(shouts) gay! A homosexual.

GB Laura! Are you telling me my body man is a goddam faggot!

LB George! Don’t you dare use such appalling language. Of course he’s a faggot.

GB Why wasn’t I told for Chrissake?

LB (Wearily) Well now George, you see, I thought those salmon pink silk shirts and the name ‘Clive’ might have given you a clue. And the “I love Judy, Barbra and Kylie” lapel pin is a clincher.

GB He’s gotta go Hun. I can’t have a gay body man. Hell, he runs my bath and hand’s me my towel when I’m……well when I’ve…..well when I’m naked.

LB Oh for God’s sake George, I know you’re a Bush but even you’re not that dumb. (stops as if turning something over in her mind)….or at least…..I’ve been briefing you about gay people for so long now. Think of it like one of those old Tarzan movies you like:
He gay….you straight. He doesn’t swing your side of the forest.
Gay guys like other gay guys – you straight not gay – so you safe as White Houses.

GB Laura, are you telling me that Tarzan was gay!

LB Jesus wept! Give me strength. George just look at Johnny Weismuller – does he look gay? (Thinks for a moment). Mind you that Lex Barker wasn’t too convincing with Jane…………. What the hell am I doing here? No George Tarzan wasn’t gay. Now can we please change the subject?

GB He’s gotta go Hun.

LB George you can’t! The Gay lobby would crucify you….er let me re-phrase that…they’d murder you in an election. Anyway we’ve talked about this – you’re no more at risk from Clive than I am from Condi Rice.
GB But Condi’s a woman Hun.

LB Just don’t go there George. Females can be gay. When they are, they are called Lesbians. Gay men are called homosexuals. Though strictly that’s wrong because here ‘homo’ actually means ‘same’. (to herself) Whooaaa Laura back-up. George! George! Come on dear come back to me, forget what I said, it will just get you confused.

Look dear, Clive’s just a nice guy, absolutely superb at his job, and he just has shall we say, a different perspective on life than you.

GB (With feeling) You can say that again.

LB He just has a different………..

GB (Triumphantly) Gotcha!

LB (Blushes) OK. Rumbled. Sometimes you know George you’re not as stu……….er well let’s not go there.

GB OK. I guess it’s OK. Anyway Char……….Clive is just a whizz with technology, I couldn’t do without him.

LB How do you mean?

GB Well the guy can set up to record a DVD player. Ain’t that something? And that’s not all. He can do more than one programme. Now that really is neat don’tcha think?

LB Well George I suppose it is. Why the man’s a positive electronic Einstein.

GB That’s the guy in the picture with his tongue out right?

LB Why yes dear – I’m sure the late Albert, genius, Nobel Laureate, the greatest scientist who ever lived, who revolutionised our view of the universe and the place of man in it, would be most gratified to be remembered most as ‘the guy in the picture with his tongue out’.

GB Ya know Laura, sometimes I can’t really tell whether you’re joking or not.

LB George….sometimes I’m not sure myself.

GB Well anyway. Clive can even programme my clock radio.

LB How do you mean George? You get a wake-up call every morning. You don’t need a radio alarm.

GB Well no, but the clever way Clive does it, instead of an alarm buzzer, the radio just switches itself on. All by itself. Now how cool is that?

LB Breathtaking George. Why the list should run Da Vinci, Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Max Planck, Einstein………and Clive the body man.

GB Well I don’t know the others but it’s a damn good book.

LB (Hysterically) What’s a good book?

GB That DA Vinci thing. (Laura Bush grabs the wool from George’s hands, rips the wool apart and nonchalantly tosses wool, knitting needles over her shoulder into the corner. Then with intense concentration begins to furiously unravel the monster scarf).

GB Hun. Hun. What the matter. What’s that all about?

LB (Still maniacally yanking the knitting undone – her voice slightly hysterical) it’s all right dear…I don’t really like knitting…..its just that…..well it helps sometimes. Now can we come back to this radio thing?

GB Sure. Whaddya wanna know?

LB What time does Clive set it for?

GB seven o’clock.

LB But George, your call isn’t till eight.

GB Well no I know but it’s kinda nice to wake up a bit before to the sound of the radio.

LB (A mixture of resignation and exhaustion in her voice) He doesn’t tune it in to the BBC World Service by any chance does he?

GB Hey Hun that’s incredible…….. How in hell’s name did you know that?

LB Well do you know something George. I’m thinking of having my photograph taken with a stupid expression on my face and my tongue sticking out.

GB What a neat idea.

LB George?

GB Yes Hun?

GB They did finish fitting that gas oven in the kitchen didn’t they?

GB Yeah the guy connected it up today. Why?

LB Nothing dear. Just pass me that cushion will you? Now I’m just going into the kitchen for a while. And I don’t want to be disturbed. OK?

GB Whatever you say Hun.

LB Tell you what dear, why don’t you watch some more Roadrunner while I’m gone. I really do think I begin to understand him now.

(GB turns on the TV. Very loud. The Roadrunner screams off into the desert chasing Bugs Bunny.)

LB (Shouting slightly over the TV) Well I’m going outside now George….I might be some time.

GB (Laugh’s out loud at the TV) OK Hun. Thanks for the talk. Same time next week?

(November 2005)

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