Sunday, April 22, 2007

One Afternoon in October

Washington, DC

October, 1961

(The interior of a Lincoln Continental driven by JACK KENNEDY. BOBBY KENNEDY is in the front seat; TED KENNEDY, LYNDON JOHNSON, and ARTHUR SCHLESINGER are in the rear.)

JACK: We did it! We lost ‘em!

TED: Woo hoo!

JOHNSON: Balls on a pump handle! I got to hand it to you, Jack, you sure can drive one of these things!

BOBBY: Okay, we lost them. Can we slow down a little now?

TED: What’s your problem, Bobby?

JACK: Bobby is just feeling extra bad for the Negroes today.


BOBBY: Very funny.

SCHLESINGER: Thir? Excuthe me, thir, but do you think ith a good idea to give the Thecret Thervice the thlip? It seemth kind of dangerouth.

JACK: Hell, it was worth it just to hear you say that, Arthur.

TED: Come on, Arthur. We do this all the time.

SCHLESINGER: Yeth, but it seemth thomewhat dangerouth, ith all.

TED: So what? Girls never want to put out when the Secret Service is standing around all over the place. By the way, where are we going, Jack?

JACK: I thought we’d drive out to Baltimore and hire some new stenographers. Bobby, you want to mix the martinis? The stuff is in the glove box.

BOBBY: Martinis? It’s one-thirty in the afternoon – oh, never mind. (Opens the glove box.) There’s not a lot of vermouth in here.

JACK: As long as there’s plenty of gin and olives.

JOHNSON: We can stop at a package liquor and send Arthur in. Nobody knows who the fuck he is.

BOBBY: Okay, but I told Ethel I’d be home by eight o’clock, guys.

JACK: Pussy-whipped.

TED: Pussy-whipped, pussy-whipped!

JOHNSON: Har, har, har!

BOBBY: Shut the hell up, Lyndon. Hey, look. Jack, look, look, up ahead!

JACK: What?

BOBBY: The limo, up ahead in the left lane! It’s Hoover!

JACK: Is it? I’ll be damned, I think you’re right.

TED: It’s Hoover! Speed up, speed up! Arthur, roll down your window!

JACK: Heh heh heh … Bobby, hold my drink so I can get my window down.

BOBBY: Here we go, here we go … honk the horn, Jack.

JACK: There he is! He’s looking!




JOHNSON: (Shoves Schlesinger into the door) Goddamn it, Arthur, yell!

SCHLESINGER: You – you homothexual!

TED: Hey, they’re rolling down their window – oh shit!

JACK: HOLY CRAP! (Slams his foot on the accelerator as gunshots ring out.) The crazy bastard just took a shot at us!

BOBBY: Floor it, Jack, floor it!

JACK: I am flooring it! Ted, are they still behind us?

TED: I don’t know, Lyndon is on top of me! Get the hell off me, Lyndon!

JACK: (Looking in the rearview mirror.) We’re okay. They’re way back there now. Wow, that was fun.

JOHNSON: That was some hairy shit. Cripes, they must have hit us. We got broken glass back here. Oh, it’s Arthur’s.

SCHLESINGER: Whath happening? Thir, I can’t thee!

JACK: Jesus, they shot Arthur?

JOHNSON: Naw, he ain’t shot. They blew his glasses off his face, but they missed his head.

BOBBY: Fucking FBI. I spilled my drink all over. Okay, guys, let’s take it easy, okay? We can have fun, but let’s not get ourselves killed.

JACK: Oh my God. Look who’s right in front of us.

BOBBY: Jesus, Jack, now what? Oh my God!

TED: What? What? Who is it?

SCHLESINGER: Oh dear, now what?

JOHNSON: Who the hell is it? Oh! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Ooh hoo hoo hoo!

BOBBY: I can’t believe it! Okay, Jack, maybe we should just back off and let it go, okay? We’re going to screw around and have a wreck.

JACK: Maybe you’re right, Bobby. Jackie’s going to have a fit as it is.

SCHLESINGER: Oh, uh - puthy-whipped! Puthy-whipped!

JOHNSON: (Punches Schlesinger in the face) Shut the fuck up, Arthur! You calling the President of the United States pussy-whipped?

JACK: Fellas, Arthur is right. We got to do something, this is just too good to pass up. Lyndon!


JACK: Drap your trousers, Lyndon.

JOHNSON: What? Aw Jeez, Jack, you serious?

BOBBY: Goddamn it, Lyndon, when the President of the United States tells you to drap your trousers, you drap your trousers!

JACK: Drap your trousers, Lyndon.

JOHNSON: Aw, Jeez. Awright, hang on.

TED: Get up beside him! Get up beside him, Jack!

JOHNSON: Hang on, I’m not ready! Ow! Hold it steady, Jack, I damn near put my head through the back window –

JACK: Oh, this going to be great. This is going to be so good.

JOHNSON: Arthur, you want to get your head out of the way of my ass? Bend over, bend over, you fucking idiot! (Sits on Schlesinger and plasters buttocks against car window) Aw, this glass is cold, fellas!

BOBBY: He’s ready! Honk, Jack!

(Interior of a limousine. RICHARD NIXON and RONALD REAGAN are in the back seat.)

REAGAN: So, anyway, we said to heck with it, and we just pushed the couch overboard with Rita Hayworth still on it. Heh. But then … sigh … but then, Dick, I got a letter from a little six year-old girl –

NIXON: What is this shit you’re telling me, Ron? Driver! Where are my little blue pills?

DRIVER: There’s some valium in your briefcase, sir.

NIXON: Yeah, but where are my little blue pills, goddamn it?

DRIVER: Sir, if they’re not there, you must have taken them.

NIXON: I know they’re not here, goddamn it, I just told you they’re not here. I’m talking to Ron here, goddamn it. I’m sitting here talking to Ron and I’ve got a cup of coffee and a roll of fricking Alka Seltzer, so where are my little blue pills, goddamn it? What, what, what is it? What are you looking at, goddamn it, what?

DRIVER: Um, it’s probably nothing, sir, but there’s a car coming up behind us, fast.

NIXON: Well, goddamn it. Where, what, who is it, what? Okay, okay, I see it now, who is that, goddamn it? Why, it’s those Kennedy boys! Goddamn it, Ron, it’s all those Kennedy boys!

REAGAN: How about that.

NIXON: Well, don’t wave at ‘em, you fucking dummy! What are they doing, what? What? Oh … oh my God, oh! OHOHOHH! You bastards! You rotten cookie-pushing bastards!

REAGAN: Oh, my goodness.

NIXON: Goddamn it, Ron, don’t look! Don’t look at them, that’s what they want! Those disgusting bastards … look straight ahead, Ron, look straight ahead! Pretend like we don’t see them, Ron, goddamn it!


NIXON: We’re not interested in them, are we, Ron?

REAGAN: I guess not, Dick.

NIXON: Why, they’re not even interesting enough to make us sick.

REAGAN: Ha ha, no.

NIXON: Step on it, driver, get us out of here, goddamn it!

(Interior of Kennedy’s car)

BOBBY: Ha ha ha ha ha!


JACK: Ha ha hanh – ah, shit! I dropped my drink! SHIT!

BOBBY: Jack, we’re going awfully damn fast.

JACK: I know, Bobby, the glass is stuck under the accelerator! Hey, Ted! Lean over the seat and grab the wheel a minute while I get it. Hurry, damn it!


(A phone booth by the Potomac river. A crane is lifting a car out of the water.)

BOBBY: Ethel? Hi, honey. I just wanted to tell you I’m going to be a little late getting home. We were on our way to, um …

JACK: Gang rape Julie Eisenhower.

BOBBY: We were on our way to meet with some important Negroes, and we had a little accident. What? No, honey, we weren’t drinking. No, no. Well, we kind of wound up in the Potomac River, is all. Well, honey, it was … it was dark, and –

TED: Unfamiliar road.

BOBBY: It was an unfamiliar road, honey, and it was dark. Yeah. No, everybody is okay. We’re just trying to find Lyndon’s trousers now. Okay. Okay, honey, I love you. Goodbye.

Twenty-five percent of all automobile accidents involve alcohol. If you drive, don’t drink. If you drink, don’t drive. A message from the National Safety Council and the Republican National Committee.