A SHORT PLAY
by Joel Schechter
Setting: White House cloak-and-dagger room. (Hats, coats and daggers are being checked and retrieved and passed around throughout the conversation.)
Donald: They’re telling me I can’t pardon myself. Not that I need a pardon …. until I’m convicted.
Jared: But you can pardon the rest of us.
Donald: Or fire you. But not you two, not this week. Mueller and Sessions are next on the list.
Jared: I have another way out for you, Don. It won’t solve all your problems, but it will allow you to say anything with impunity, and it will win you very high ratings from the Jewish community and exoneration at the highest level. (He holds up ornate prayer book.)
Donald: You mean, like, Trump Tower?
Ivanka: Oh Daddy, you’re so irreverent!
Donald: What’s the new pitch, Jared?
Jared: All you have to do is attend Kol Nidre with us this year.
Donald: A fundraiser?
Ivanka: They do ask for pledges, but it also involves some prayer . . . Go for it, Jared.
Jared (opens book, puts on tallis and skullcap, sings Kol Nidre in Hebrew): So at Kol Nidre you wear this outfit, hold this book, pretend to read it, and then at the signal you publicly announce — listen to this: “All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our personal vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths.” (Hebrew chant resumes, and whole White House staff briefly enters room to join in. As Jared directs the chorus, the Marine Marching Band plays along, then the whole crowd exits.) It took us a few hours to rehearse that number.
Donald: I love the sentiment. And if I sing along, I don’t have to fulfill any promises?
Jared: You’re covered for a year.
Ivanka: I’m going to teach our children those lines, too.
Donald: Can we make the coverage retroactive?
Jared: You’ve asked me to pray for you in the past — that should count for something.
Ivanka: There is one small problem, Daddy. Kol Nidre doesn’t begin until September 29th this year.
Donald: I could be asked to testify sooner!
Jared: They already called me in, but I had coverage from last year.
Donald: Can we go to an early-bird service?
Ivanka: Maybe the children’s service?
Kellyanne Conway: My wrap, please. (Takes it from Trump.) Wrong coat, Mr. President! This is a hairshirt.
Donald: Sorry, I thought you were Sessions.
Scaramucci: Someone just stabbed me in the back. (Removes a knife from his back.) Is this your dagger, Don?
Donald: No, looks like Chief of Staff, what’s his name, Kelly’s style. I hope you have a good healthcare policy.
Scaramucci: [Expletives deleted here] (Scaramucci exits.)
Ivanka: So how early do you need that service to be, Daddy?
Jared: Even the children’s service usually begins after sundown.
Donald: Really, really early. Like, August 15th.
Jared: I’ll see what I can do. Meanwhile, I have another win-win proposal. Why don’t you announce Israel is going to advise you on wall building? They have terrific expertise in walls all around the country.
Ivanka: That will distract the press for a few days.
Donald: You may be on to something. I’m thinking we should build a high wall around the White House, too. Many, many jobs there.
Ivanka: You could also ask China for advice. They have that great wall. And they manufacture excellent shoes — my brand!
Donald: A great country needs a great wall. Or does that sound too pro-China? I’m no longer against China, am I?
Jared: But we can’t let China corner the great wall market!
(They all agree, saying, “No, no, of course not,” as a curtain of bricks and mortar rises on stage. End.)