THE SCENE: the press room of some prominent Governor. He's popular and well-liked; he's been mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2012.
The room is packed. Media vultures perch, noisily cackling. Boom mikes sway like palm fronds. Beefy cameramen jockey for position.
PRESS SECRETARY enters.
PRESS SECRETARY: Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please. The Governor will now give a statement.
GOVERNOR and WIFE enter. The GOVERNOR, believe it or not, is a white man in a blue suit. WIFE is an attractive woman of perhaps 45 dressed in churchgoing attire. Her face is an inscrutable mask.
As GOVERNOR begins to speak, WIFE stands primly beside him, eyes downcast — at first.
GOVERNOR: Thank you for coming. Ladies and gentlemen, when the people of this great state elected me, I made a commitment. I made a commitment to our citizens. I made a commitment to my family. Today, I am here to tell you that I have failed in my commitment. I regret to say that —
WIFE: [abruptly interrupting] Oh, snookums?
GOVERNOR: . . . .
WIFE: Honey pie?
GOVERNOR: [Confused] Dear, I'm trying to . . .
WIFE: I have a little something for you, sweetie.
WIFE reaches into her jacket and withdraws some neatly folded papers. There is an audible intake of breath from several reporters who recognize blue-backed legal documents.
WIFE hands the papers to GOVERNOR, who stands stupefied.
WIFE: Honey bunch, you've been served. I've filed for divorce this morning.
Chaos erupts in the room — reporters and cameramen shout. GOVERNOR opens his mouth to remonstrate with WIFE. PRESS SECRETARY, eyes agog, begins to approach.
WIFE raises one hand, palm out, to the press. They quiet. GOVERNOR stares at the papers in his hand.
WIFE: Don't worry. You can get your aide to help you with the big words.
GOVERNOR: Dear, now is . . . .
WIFE: Shut up, please. Now, I know that I agreed to stand next to you like the good little wifey while you minimized damage and positioned yourself for a comeback. But it ain't happening, Jack. I forgave you the first time you fucked around. I agreed to live with the pretense of forgiving you the next few times. I might have even gone on with the charade this time.
GOVERNOR: [Trying to handle it, turning partially to cameras, using the Voice]: I accept that I have . . . .
WIFE: Shut up. But when you and your soulless staff of hacks told me that it was my duty to debase myself by standing here as your prop — to salvage you and your career — I decided I wasn't going to take it any more. Especially when you told me I had to do it for the children.
GOVERNOR: The children will . . .
WIFE: The children — our daughters — will learn that being a woman and a wife does not mean standing around all docile while some sociopath shits on them. Our daughters will learn that a woman stands up.
GOVERNOR: [still gamely trying the Voice, playing to the cameras]: You have every right to be angry. I realize now that I have . . .
WIFE: Oh, don't fucking bother. Your staff may have told you that you can survive this. But they're positioning themselves for their next job. This is a killshot. You're pathetic.
GOVERNOR: I have no thought of . . .
WIFE: We're through here. You can go be with your little friend now. Tell her that I found you irresistible once, too. My mother always said you were an empty suit. I should have listened. My bad. Tell her she's got six months, ten tops, before the bloom fades and she figures out sleeping with you is like sitting through a bad infomercial.
GOVERNOR: . . .
WIFE: I've got to go now. I need to hand your donation records over to the FBI. You know, the real ones. Not the ones that get filed with the FEC. The black book? The one you keep in the safe? That one? You remember that one, snookums?
GOVERNOR: My campaign finances are . . .
WIFE: Take it up with them. Oh, and you should go rent a truck. I've arranged for the staff to throw all your shit onto the lawn of the mansion. They were quite happy to help. You should get it.
GOVERNOR: . . . .
WIFE: You might want to hurry. It looks like it might rain.
WIFE nods politely to the press, and EXITS.
PRESS SECRETARY: There . . . will be no questions.
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