Jared Kushner's Flight Fight

The perils of flying commercial.

Image: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

IVANKA is signing her book at a Bucks County Panera Bread. Even though she is alone, IVANKA deliberately steps inside a family bathroom, giving the suburban white women in the restaurant yet another opportunity to associate the word ‘family’ with her. She turns on the faucet and phones her husband. JARED is at home, seated on IVANKA’s fainting couch and leveraging his government connections to enrich himself.

IVANKA [managerially]: Fly to Mar-a-Lago immediately for a staff meeting.

JARED [exhaustedly]: About Comey?

IVANKA [powerfully]: Don’t be a Democrat. [IVANKA fake smiles at herself in the mirror.] Your jet is unavailable. Chinese businessmen are using it to pick up their new visas.

JARED [reasonably]: Why couldn’t they just use theirs?

IVANKA [decisively]: We bundled the jet with the visas. [IVANKA examines the laminated document on the door listing the time the bathroom has last been cleaned and rolls her eyes.] The Wharton School has an executive MBA program which I will sign you up for if you ask me another question relating to product bundling. I’m emailing you your flight information.

IVANKA hangs up without clarifying. She finishes autographing her books, and then tells the manager that because no one ever swooped in to buy her lunch, she will likewise not be buying lunch for the staff today.

Meanwhile JARED gets driven to the airport, where he fumbles his way through check-in and security. He sits quietly at his gate until his zone is called for boarding. He realizes that he always thought a gate surrounds property and a zone is where there is war, and this makes him wonder what else he doesn’t know. He feels lighter, as a result, and hardly notices that a PASSENGER behind him is calling him a micro-aggression. The FLIGHT ATTENDANT is singing “All You Need Is Love” as the other passengers take their seats and infants cry. JARED has no idea how to read his ticket but because he is used to the world rising to meet him, he sits in the first available seat. The PASSENGER looks down at his own boarding pass, sighs deeply and then sits down next to JARED.

PASSENGER: Thanks to your family, the only place I feel truly, genuinely safe is my yoga mat. [The PASSENGER begins reading his Maxim magazine.]

JARED [lifting the shade, politely]: I’m sorry. Do you need light?

PASSENGER [looking at Selena Gomez photos]: No. I need you to get the fuck out of my face.

JARED [adjusting the shade back to where it was]: I’m sorry?

PASSENGER [to the WOMAN across the aisle]: Remember that Nike ad from the one Michael Phelps Olympics? It was a whole bunch of flashing images and that one Killers’ song. I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier. That one. [The WOMAN doesn’t look up from her reading, a Bible, which she is also highlighting.] And the tagline at the end of the ad was, like, everything you need is already inside.

JARED [lifting the shade, again]: I think I remember that one.

PASSENGER [turning to JARED aggressively]: Am I talking to you?

JARED [blankly]: Michael Phelps was something, wasn’t he?

PASSENGER [again to the WOMAN across the aisle]: I used to believe that. Everything I needed was already inside. [The WOMAN clears her throat and continues highlighting her Bible.] But if there’s a silver lining to this dumbass’s father-in-law being President, it’s that we’ve learned that, like, no. We need each other. Some of what I need is inside and some of what I need is outside of me. Other people.

The FLIGHT ATTENDANT ask-sings that all passengers ensure they are seated in their assigned seat.

PASSENGER [to JARED, kind of]: How good is Nike at making ads?

JARED [remembering his own favorite Nike ad, the Tiger Woods’ Father’s Day ad, where Earl is showing Tiger how to golf]: The best.

PASSENGER: I’m literally not talking to you.

The PASSENGER gets up from his seat and tells the FLIGHT ATTENDANT that JARED must be removed from the flight, using force, if necessary. He returns to his seat, opens YouTube and without headphones plays Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”

JARED [adjusting the shade back to where it was, again]: He’s the king.

The FLIGHT ATTENDANT shimmies over to JARED and PASSENGER, and then dances along to a few beats, conveying that she is with it and values customer service above all.

PASSENGER [to the FLIGHT ATTENDANT]: He’s the king

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: The pilot says he will bring the plane back to gate and you can get off.

PASSENGER [pointing to JARED with his thumb]: Him?

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: No, you. But the airline wants you to understand that if you do that, you will make us late and many of your fellow passengers will miss connections.

PASSENGER [wondering why no one has begun recording yet]: That’s fine. I don’t feel safe flying with this asshole.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: Sir, he’s harmless.

WOMAN [highlighting her Bible]: She’s right. He’s a beta male. He didn’t even flinch when you were blasting your music a second ago.

PASSENGER [recording himself]: Let’s do this.

The WOMAN who was highlighting her Bible also takes out her phone and begins recording. The FLIGHT ATTENDANT announces to the cabin that they’re returning to the gate so that a guest can deplane. The PASSENGER shouts that JARED is a fucking coward, and JARED shrugs in a way that makes it appear he agrees.

JARED [truthfully]: It’s not like this has been necessarily easy for me. I mean, I’m flying economy.

Because a seat frees up, the airline is able to seat their first standby guest. It’s STEVE BANNON. He stumbles down the aisle, hitting passengers, both accidentally and on purpose, with his carry-on duffel bag. He is wearing a t-shirt that reads “Shh. This is my hangover shirt” and tattered cargo pants.

STEVE BANNON [drunkenly]: Soon, folks, soon. Soon we will dismantle the FAA and be able to smoke on board once again.

The Bible-highlighting WOMAN trips him and STEVE BANNON loses his balance, three Viagra single packs falling onto the floor from his cargo pocket. Everyone in the plane able to see the pharmaceuticals throws up in their mouths. Some even throw up into their lap. The FLIGHT ATTENDANT announces that the entire cabin will likely have to deplane and everyone will miss their connections.

JARED [deleting a Nancy Pelosi campaign email before STEVE BANNON notices]: Hello.

STEVE BANNON [placing his cigarettes on his tray table, thinking that he is forcing the FLIGHT ATTENDANT into asking him to put them away]: Jeffrey.

JARED [without making eye contact]: Do you know what this meeting is about?

STEVE BANNON: It’s about suspending the 2020 Census as a dry run for suspending the writ of habeas corpus. Do I know what this meeting is about? This is my meeting.

JARED stares into his tray table until it is his turn to deplane, as the FLIGHT ATTENDANT asks STEVE BANNON for one of his cigarettes.

STEVE BANNON [putting on a pair of aviators]: Actually, Jeff. Stay here, I’ll drive this fucker myself.