[Context: My friends Anthony Clark and Kevin Ryan are hosting a combination "Iron Chef" competition and political debate for their old school, St Aidan's in Mineola.
I am for this, not just out of friendship, but because many years ago, when the world was new (that is, between college and law school), I appeared in a production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" at the community theater St. Aidan's sponsored, and got do a great song, "The Company Way," even though I had a small part.
Here's the original of that, by the way:
So, here's the promo I wanted to make for the FoodFight for St. Aidan's, but alas, the two stars don't seem interested.]
Well, Did You EV-AH?
Scene: A well furnished library/study backstage at what is suspiciously like the 2012 Vice Presidential debates. There are comfy chairs, a sofa, a full wet bar, book-lined shelves, and, unfortunately, the occupants of the room can sometimes hear their VP ticketmates flub a line or argument.
Those occupants, by the way, are fictional. One, BARRY, is our first African-American President, but not the real one. He is tall and thin, with slightly projecting ears, and is cool and analytical in demeanor. Therefore, totally unlike Barack Obama, who does not feature in this work of complete fiction. His equally fictional adversary, MITTENS, is somewhat older, graying at the temples, but with the rangy build and quick smile of the venture capitalist, who hasn’t decided whether you’re an investor or lunch—fellow predator, or prey. Nothing, in short, like the avuncular and charming Mitt Romney, and aren’t we lucky to have such paragons running for President this year?
Alas, for the moment, we must leave behind this happy state of affairs, and go backstage in the well-appointed room I have sketched out for you (and in what reality is such a room backstage, anyway?)
The two men are, quite sensibly, ignoring each other. BARRY is in one of the comfy leather chairs reading a heavy tome titled, FORGING GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS: COLD WAR ERA; MITTENS is re-reading an old favorite HELLO, HE LIED: A PRIMER.
Something said in the debate, though by whom is unclear, ruffles BARRY. He looks at MITTENS, and the orchestra impels him:
BARRY: Do you think that it’s a plan,
National government by Ayn Rand?
MITTENS (bored): Well, did you ever?
(sings): Just the veepstakes, my friend…
They pause. Something is said offstage; MITTENS is visibly irritated.
MITTENS: That last line’s not just a crock—
Joe stole it straight from Neil Kinnock.
BARRY: Well, did you evah?
(speaks) Sometimes he goes with the classics, champ.
[Together]: Can’t the veepstakes just end?
MITTENS: It’s all just, too, too tedious.
BARRY: I feel you Mittens.
MITTENS: Isn’t there anything in the news?
BARRY [sings]: Have you heard, it’s in the Press
Ryan and Clark are gonna host a fress.
MITTENS: Well, did you evah! What a swell party that is!
MITTENS [checks his IPhone 4.9]: And did you know, they’ll debate the news,
cooking up dishes to amuse.
BARRY: Well, did you evah?
What a swell party that is.
What meats! What fish!
All a redstater could wish!
BARRY: What veggies français!
Michelle'd call it OK!
BARRY This French
MITTENS (interjecting): Freedom!
BARRY (continuing) champagne,
too good, for the guy from Bain--
TOGETHER: We still won’t abstain
It’s all, too, too bipartisain—
TOGETHER-faster]: Have you heard out there on Mars, robots are flying stripes and stars!
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is
BARRY: And had you heard that the ACA
lived to fight another day!
MITTENS: Well, that's law (or politics!)
But what did Nino and Clarence say?
MITTENS: Buying tix is easy, though
BARRY: Just click the link right there below.
MITTENS: I might donate Rafalca’s medal…
BARRY: Didn’t you know--
MITTENS smiles; they both laugh.
TOGETHER: One thing’s clear
we all can cheer
St. Aidan’s Fundraising going on ‘round here
Well did you ever!
BARRY What a liberal
TOGETHER: This is!
Forgive me Cole Porter, I knew not what I did. Don’t let it all be in vain—click the link and donate!
For the melody, and to check my lyrics, see this version: