VOICEOVER: The following preview has been approved for all audiences.
INT—CASTLE ROCK HOTEL ROOM—EVENING
Democratic presidential nominee JOHN KERRY walks about, nervously. Wife TERESA HEINZ and running mate JOHN EDWARDS sit in armchairs, watching the candidate pace.
VOICEOVER: In a world…full of politics…
The TELEPHONE rings. KERRY jumps, startled, then stares at the telephone with apprehension.
VOICEOVER: One man seeks to become the most powerful person on the face of the Earth…
HEINZ: Well? Answer it, John.
KERRY: Oh why bother, momma? I already know what they’re going to say!
EDWARDS: C’mon there, gloomy Gus! You need to be relentlessly optimistic, like me.
KERRY slowly approaches the TELEPHONE and cautiously picks up the receiver.
KERRY: Hello? Oh, good evening, Chief Justice Rehnquist.
VOICEOVER: He is about to get his wish…
KERRY: Wha-? You…you picked me? Are you sure? I mean—this isn’t some kind of trick, is it? Unanimous vote? Even Scalia? I…I just don’t believe it. Thanks a lot, you guys!
KERRY hangs up the TELEPHONE and turns, stunned, to HEINZ and EDWARDS.
KERRY: They ruled in our favor. I’m the president.
EDWARDS leaps from chair, crosses to HEINZ.
EDWARDS: Woohoo! High-five, ketchup lady!
KERRY: It’s…it’s incredible.
KERRY stands dazed for a moment, then violently shakes his head.
KERRY: No. No, it’s a Republican trick. It’s got to be.
HEINZ: What are you talking about, John?
KERRY: I bet George is setting me up, like the time he sponsored my membership into Skull & Bones. Once I was admitted they just made me do beer runs in a Courreges baby-doll dress.
EDWARDS: There’s no way the Supreme Court would be in on a joke with the Republicans—those guys are totally non-partisan.
KERRY: But why would they pick me over George? I mean, that guy has it all: looks, brains…
EDWARDS: Why ask why, big guy? Let’s head out there and make our acceptance speech!
KERRY shrinks back.
KERRY: I can’t!
HEINZ: Your supporters are waiting.
KERRY: They’re going to laugh at me, momma!
EDWARDS: C’mon Johnny-boy! You’re the President of the United States—no one is going to laugh at you now!
KERRY: Are you sure?
EDWARDS: As sure as you were in Vietnam!
KERRY: It’s just…
KERRY: It’s all so amazing. I still don’t know why people didn’t vote for Dean in the primary—he’s so charismatic and thick-necked. Then you, the cutest guy out of all the candidates, agreed to be my running mate…and all those foreign leaders started secretly supporting me… Now this? It’s like a wonderful dream.
EDWARDS: Well wake yourself up and let’s go address the nation!
VOICEOVER: But nothing can prepare you for what happens next…
EXT—KERRY and EDWARDS stand on a stage in front of an applauding audience of hundreds. KERRY shies away from the front of the stage.
KERRY: They’re going to laugh at me!
EDWARDS: You can do it!
EDWARDS gently prods KERRY toward the microphones. As KERRY approaches the podium, the crowd grows quiet.
KERRY: I…gee whiz, I don’t know what to say. Thank you, everybody. I never thought anything like this could happen to a boy like me. It’s like, like something out of a fairy tale.
Suddenly a torrent of red, sticky fluid falls from the scaffolding above. It splashes over KERRY and EDWARDS, drenching them. KERRY slowly looks upwards, dumbfounded.
EDWARDS: What the-? Well, that there is some negative campaigning.
A large bucket labeled STRAWBERRY WAFFLE SYRUP falls from above and hits EDWARDS on the head, knocking him unconscious.
A few in the audience point and titter. The mirth becomes infectious. Soon the entire crowd is roaring with laughter.
KERRY looks down from the scaffolding at the body of EDWARDS, and then out upon the crowd.
KERRY: I knew it.
His entire demeanor has changed. For the first time he looks confident and resolute. His eyes narrow as flames erupt behind him.
KERRY: These guys are the most crooked, lying group I’ve ever seen. But they’ll pay. Oh yes, they’ll pay!
VOICEOVER: This November, get ready for mourning in America… No one will ever ask him, ‘Why the long face?’ again.
A big thanks to Sean Michael for the creation of the image.