Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Heaven & Hell: Hail To The Chiefs
Me: Sorry about the above, gentlemen, that's the only one I could find at short notice.
PM: Quite all right, old chap. Capital joke, by the way.
President: Maybe more suited for one of my predecessors though.
Me: Well, I won't keep you long. I know you're busy, after all.
President: When am I not busy? I've got a cabinet meeting later.
PM: And I have to meet with the Queen.
Me: Well, gentlemen, let's get down to it.
PM: Of course. Whenever you're ready.
Me: I'll start by asking how you two feel about the book so far.
PM: Well, you're writing me quite well. In fact, complimentary.
President: Me too. I'm wondering, why aren't you just calling us by name?
Me: You mean why not just call you President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron?
PM: It would be nice to have a proper name.
President: Unless I'm not supposed to be him?
PM: Look, old chap, that's getting a bit existential.
President: What do you expect? We're characters in his head.
Me: I decided to go that way because I didn't really want to tie my narrative to a specific time. It's up to the reader to decide if you're the current President and PM or just a fictional version.
President: Oh, so I'm doomed to remain just a nameless President?
Prime Minister: And I don't even get a scene with the wife and kids?
Me: Guys! Guys! Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, look, there's only so many characters I can write.
President: Point taken. We have it on good authority that you're planning on giving the Iranian President a cameo when this Very Bad Thing happens.
Me: Well, yes, I'm kind of going for international reaction once the crisis hits...
PM: In fact, we have it on good authority that you intend to use Iran again in the future for your writings.
Me: How in the world could you know that?
PM: Inside intelligence coming from your side of the Fourth Wall.
President: Someone named Karla doesn't much like what you did to her Grover.
Me: Write one little Grover as a killer blog series and you never hear the end of it.
President: In fact, we hear that you're planning on having a different President in a book down the line. Why can't I stay in power? Come on, I promise not to start any wars, or choke on pretzels, or get impeached, or fumble my way through press conferences. I'm not Dubya or Bubba Clinton, you know. I mean, I actually understand the dignity of the office.
Me: Sorry, Mr. President, but the other fellow I've got in mind has a family history that'll be essential for plotlines in Book Four.
President: Damn. Note to self: start a war with Canada.
Me: Sorry, what was that?
President: I didn't say anything.
Me: Let's wrap this one up, gentlemen.
President: Very well. I have a war to plan.
PM: And the Queen's no doubt ready to chat. I really can't keep her waiting, I'll have you know.
Me: Say hi to her for me. Gentlemen, how are you going to feel when you're in the midst of the crisis?
President: How should we know? You haven't written it yet.
PM: Indeed, this Very Bad Thing had better happen soon.
President: Your readers are getting anxious about it.
PM: As to how we'll feel, well, it'll be my first big crisis.
President: I've been coping with a few since I took office.
PM: Oh, yes, that rotten broadcaster with the glasses.
President: And the not so bright former governor.
PM: Mr. Kendall, are you sure whether or not he's President Obama?
President: I sometimes feel like President Obama. Yes we can!
PM: I have a question for you. Why haven't you written in your own PM?
Me: Because I can't stand the guy.
President: Neither can I.
PM: Me neither.
Me: Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. President. Maybe we can do this again when the book is done.
President: That's assuming he and I survive to the end of the book. We've read other conversations.
Me: Fellows, I can assure you that at least you two will survive to see the end of the book.
PM: How kind of you, Mr. Kendall. Thank you!
President: Why not let me win reelection then?
Me: Sorry, guys, we're out of time here.