Election 2016

I wrote this years ago as a throwaway intro for a baseball blog post that never saw the light of day. With deep apologies to¬†Samuel Beckett, I’m publishing it today.

 

EXT. SHOULDER OF A DIRT ROAD. A SINGLE DEAD TREE PROVIDES SLIGHT SHADE. — DAY

TWO MEN STAND BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.

“You know, I never got the saying ‘Dog Days of Summer.'”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. I love dogs. Dogs are great.”

“Yup.”

“They’re loving, they’re loyal.”

“Yup.”

“They stick with you, you know? You can always count on a dog.”

“Yup.”

“Chickens, though. Fuck chickens, man.”

“Yup.”

A QUIET SETTLES OVER THEM.

“Now, to be sure, a turkey is no chicken.”

“Yup.”

“Not literally, of course. I mean, turkeys are quite clearly chickens.”

“Oh?”

“Sure. Big Turkey wants to hide that. But it’s true. Turkeys are just huge chickens. Ask anyone. Ask anyone who KNOWS.”

“Yup.”

SILENCE.

“You ever seen one? A turkey, I mean.”

“Yup.”

“Not like, in a market. Not the 15-pound, frozen bowling balls you buy for Thanksgiving. I mean a real, honest-to-god turkey.”

“Yup.”

“I had a moment with one once. It changed me.”

“Oh?”

“Sure. I was a success, once. I had houses, cars. I had shoes. My god, the shoes.”

SILENCE.

“Now look at me. No house, no car. I got shoes, but look at these. Filthy.”

THE FIRST MAN LIFTS HIS FOOT OFF THE GROUND AND WAGS HIS DIRTY BOOT-CLAD FOOT IN THE DIRECTION OF THE SECOND MAN.

“Yup.”

“It was that turkey. I blame him, but damned if I don’t respect him.”

“Yup.”

“Women, man. Women. They don’t understand. There’s a bond between a man and a medium-large ground fowl that they’ll never fully grasp. Once it got out…well, you know what happened next.”

“Yup.”

“The press got in on it, and I was done. There went the houses. The cars. The love of a good woman, all thrown away.”

“Yup.”

“You ever seen a turkey after a three-day corn bender? My god.”

“Oh?”

“Feathers pointing the wrong way. Broken claws. Cracked beak. Wattle out of place.”

“Yup.”

“And that smell. The bile rises.”

SILENCE.

“Like a horse took a shit in a fish market.”

SILENCE.

“The smell. My god.”

SILENCE.

AN OLD FORD TRUCK APPEARS ON THE HORIZON, A CLOUD OF DUST IN ITS WAKE. THE MEN STAY SILENT AS THE TRUCK DRAWS EVER CLOSER.

“I think I know that truck.”

“Oh?”

THE TRUCK SLOWS AND PULLS ONTO THE SHOULDER.

“That your ride?”

“Yup.”

THE SECOND MAN OPENS THE PASSENGER-SIDE DOOR AND GETS INTO THE TRUCK. IT IS DRIVEN BY A TURKEY. THE FIRST MAN BRIEFLY LOCKS EYES WITH THE TURKEY. THE SECOND MAN SLAMS THE TRUCK DOOR AND THEY DRIVE AWAY.

THE FIRST MAN WATCHES THE TRUCK RECEDE INTO THE DISTANCE, UNTIL NOTHING IS LEFT BUT THE RAPIDLY DISSIPATING CLOUD OF DUST, GLOWING RED FROM THE SETTING OF THE SUN.

“Man, fuck turkeys.”