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The 7 Scenes that Create the Life of President Franklin Pierce

January 3, 2011


Scene 1:  The Discovery.

Young FRANKLIN PIERCE enters.  He looks in a hand mirror, he’s quite handsome.  From across the room a bottle of whisky enters.   It’s good, expensive and top shelf.  FRANKLIN PIERCE spies the whiskey, it spies him.  A love song plays as they meet center, and dance.

 

Scene 2: Courtship of a Good Woman.

JANE APPLETON is sitting at a table with FRANKLIN PIERCE.  They are sharing a malted root beverage.

 

JANE

Oh, Franklin, this is the best malted root beverage I’ve ever had.

 

PIERCE

I just like it cause I’m with you . . . Jane Appleton . . . future wife of me, Franklin Pierce . . . of history . . .

 

JANE

Oh, Franklin.

 

Then BLUTO enters, he’s a big burly sailor with a black beard and blacker heart.

 

BLUTO

Plain Jane?  Hardly, what a dish!

 

BLUTO moves between PIERCE and JANE.

 

PIERCE

Hey buddy, don’t musckle in on my lady–

 

BLUTO

Pipe down, pipsqueak.

 

BLUTO bashes PIERCE on the head he falls to the floor.  BLUTO throws JANE over his shoulder.

 

BLUTO

Let’s go somewhere secluded, heh, heh.

 

JANE

Oh help!  Franklin!  Help!

 

BLUTO starts to carry her off.  FRANKLIN reaches into his pocket takes out a bottle of rum.

 

PIERCE

Looks like a job for me personal stash.

 

PIERCE chugs the rum and for some reason gains super strength, he leaps to his feet and runs over and punches BLUTO in the stomach.  BLUTO drops JANE, whom PIERCE catches and daintily places on her feet.  He then savagely beats BLUTO to a pulp; it’s unsure whether he’ll survive.

 

JANE

My hero!

 

JANE embraces PIERCE.  BLUTO lets out a death rattle.

 

 

Scene 3: The Road to the White House!

PIERCE stands next to a tree holding a bottle of wine.  Several other people including the DEBATE MODERATOR and WINFIELD SCOTT stand around watching him.

 

PIERCE

(To the tree.)

You pathetic fool!  You think and you bray like a donkey in a stew pot!  But you mean nothing!  I want change, vote for Pierce!  Your reply, sir?

 

Beat, the tree of course says nothing.

 

PIERCE (cont.)

Cat got your onion.  Onion?  No thank you I’m on a diet.  I win this debate!  You lose.

 

DEBATE MODERATOR

Mr. Pierce . . .

 

PIERCE

(Looking around.)

I think he left.

 

DEBATE MODERATOR

You are Mr. Pierce.

 

PIERCE

I know.  Keep up, fellow.

 

DEBATE MODERATOR

I’m afraid the debate is going on over here, sir.  You have wandered off and started talking to a tree.

 

WINFIELD SCOTT

Yeah!  Debate me!  For I am Winfield Scott!  Old Fuss and Feathers!

 

DEBATE MODERATOR

So if you’re done let-—sir, are you urinating?

 

PIERCE is in fact urinating with no regard to anyone.


PIERCE

I’m just a little out of it, because I have a cold which has unaligned my humors, plus the lights on the video-cameras are bright.

 

DEBATE MODERATOR

Video-cameras have yet to be invented.  There be no reason to your dunderness, but let us finish the debate over here.

 

PIERCE

Yes, yes, in two shakes.

 

DEBATE MODERATOR, WINFIELD SCOTT and exit.

 

PIERCE

(Noticing the tree as if for the first time.)

Don’t tell my wife, but after I win this debate wait here and I’ll show a lady of your charms what she’s good for.  What say ye?

(Pats the tree.)

That-a-girl.  See you in a quarter past!

 

DEBATE MODERATOR

We are waiting on you!

 

PIERCE goes over to DEBATE MODERATOR.

 

PIERCE

OK, gramps, but no hard questions my head didn’t get this pretty by thinking.

(He vomits a little on the Moderator’s shoes.)

Ignore that.

 

PIERCE and the MODERATOR exit.

 

Scene 4: Humble in Victory

PIERCE humps the tree, his pants around his  ankles, his arms out stretched a bottle of bourbon in each.

 

PIERCE

I’m king of the world!

 

 

Scene 5: Pierce’s Son Is Beheaded on the way to the inauguration . . .

PIERCE with his son (who is a bottle of alcohol) stand at some train tracks.

 

PIERCE

My son, we’re going to Washington!  I’m going to be president . . . go play on the tracks!  Nothing bad ever happened on train tracks!

 

PIERCE buts the SON on the tracks a little train comes, runs him over, knocking the top off the bottle spills everywhere!

 

PIERCE

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

 

PIERCE cries then starts drinking his son a little.

 

PIERCE

So tragic!  So . . . deliciously . . . tragic.  Tragic!

 

Scene 6: The Presidency

PIERCE, hung-over at his desk.  He is staring at a spoon.  WILLIAM MARCY his Secretary of State is next to him.

 

MARCY

Mr. President—

 

PIERCE

Shhh.  I’m trying to move that fork . . . with my mind.

 

Beat.

 

PIERCE (cont.)

It moved, did you see it move?

 

MARCY

You do know that that object is a spoon not a fork.

 

PIERCE

(Glares at him.)

Did you see it move?

 

MARCY

If I say yes can we get on to the matters of state?

 

PIERCE

Yes.

 

MARCY

Fine, it moved.

 

PIERCE

Now say that it’s a fork—

 

MARCY

Sir, my father was a flatware-smith to call a fork a spoon would be akin to desecrating his grave, rather—

 

PIERCE starts tearing up the documents on his desk.  He spills ink on some others.

 

PIERCE

Ooops, clumsy me.

 

MARCY

Fine sir, though my father may roll thrice in his grave that object is . . .

(A deep sigh.)

A fork.

 

PIERCE

(Throwing up his hands.)

I’m the greatest!  Ow.

(Clutches his head.)

Ow.  Shouldn’t have moved so fast.  Stupid hangover.  Do you think hangover and hanger steak come from the same root?  Steak.  No.  Greasy—oooh.  Don’t upchuck, Franky, hold it in, recall the vomitious tide . . . remember how you opened Japan to the West . . . that was . . .

 

PIERCE vomits a good deal.

 

PIERCE

(Considers the vomit.)

Is that chipped beef?

 

MARCY

Moving on.  With Congress—

 

PIERCE lets out a large belch

 

PIERCE

Tastes like peaches . . . and day old kittens.

 

MARCY

(Ignoring him.)

Congress passing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and—-ew, kittens, that is repugnant!

 

PIERCE

What?  Kittens is my maid.

 

MARCY

(Restrains from exploding with rage.)

Fine.  Great.  Anyway the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which you signed into law . . . for some reason.

 

PIERCE

Senator Brooks double-dog dared me.

 

MARCY

Well, because of that double-dogged dare a veritable war has broken out in Kansas.  The Free Soilers are clashing with—

 

PIERCE

Which one is Kansas the one the looks like Andrew Jackson’s loins or the one that looks like a scone?

 

MARCY

It’s the near rectangular one.

 

PIERCE

No.  That’s not right.  Are you thinking of Canada?  That sounds like Kansas.  Canada.  Kansas.  Canada.  Kansas.  Canama.  Ha.  Canama.  Who would live in Canama?

 

MARCY

I assuredly don’t know.

 

PIERCE

Canamaniacs.  SLAM! Ow—

(Grabs head.)

Ow.  Still, I got your goat with that.

 

MARCY

You can keep it.  What we need is a resolution that—

 

PIERCE

(Puts a handkerchief over his eyes.)

Look.  I’m too depressed for that.  My son was beheaded on the way to my inauguration as president.  It’s so terrible.

 

MARCY

It was terrible.  It was also three years ago.  Whenever we try to legislate you bring up your son—

 

PIERCE

(Singing.)

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you feel the same
If I saw you in heaven?

 

MARCY

Anyway—

 

PIERCE

I just wrote that song, just now.  I am amazing.

(Grabs his head.)

Ow.  Ow.

(Beat.)

Look can’t you just do it and I’ll sign it.

 

MARCY

Do what, Mr. President.

 

PIERCE

Whatever.  Look.  Just make me look good.

 

MARCY

I think that—

 

PIERCE

Beheaded son.

 

MARCY

Fine.

 

Scene 7:  Death Comes at Last

PIERCE in his deathbed.  He thrashes around.

 

PIERCE

I’m dying . . . oooh.  It hurts.

 

A giant, empty bottle of Scotch enters the room in a cape, and somehow holding a scythe.  It comes ominously toward PIERCE.

 

PIERCE

Now I see.  In life I drank of you.  Now in death, you drink me.  But be gentle.  My son was beheaded you know.  So I should go to heaven.  I know I said the South was right in the Civil War but . . . come on: beheaded son. Besides all presidents go to heaven, right?  Right?

 

The bottle drawers closer.  Closer.  It touches PIERCE and begins to fill with liquid.  PIERCE dies.  A white light shines down upon him.

 

END OF PLAY

 

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