Jared Kushner's Nightmare

Barack Obama, James Comey, and the salmon ladder.

Image: glasseyes view

JARED is dreaming he is competing in a qualifying round of “American Ninja Warrior.” Even though he is horrible at the obstacle course, and the slowest entry in his bracket, by far, the CROWD is cheering. They’re seated on metal bleachers and stomping their feet. JARED has never attended a high school football game, or a track meet, but his subconscious recreates the energy fairly accurately. He is about to begin the event where the ninjas use their entire core to traverse a fake moat via one movable monkey bar. JARED falls into the fake moat the second he begins. Instead of water, the fake moat is full of Happy Meal toys from his childhood.

JARED [screaming while chucking a plastic Chicken McNugget wearing a marching band costume]: Can someone please help me?

PRESIDENT OBAMA [appearing suddenly, and pointing at individual members of the CROWD]: It’s in my rider. It was Bono’s idea to have a rider in place everywhere I go.

JARED [chucking a plastic French fries Transformer at the audience]: To fill the moat with Happy Meal toys? These fucking hurt to land on.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [leading from behind]: No, to fill the bleachers with enough fans that I could pretend I was one of the Friday Night Lights football players. [PRESIDENT OBAMA stretches out his hand to rescue JARED.] I’m only here because I wanted to finally meet someone who voted for me twice and then Trump.

JARED looks down, sheepishly, at the toys.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [community organizing]: What? You don’t vote?

JARED [petting a rooster Beanie Baby]: I voted for Mitt Romney and then Hillary. I voted for you the first time though.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [shaking his head wistfully]: Mitt Romney. Life was so simple four years ago.

THE CROWD [adoringly]: President Obama, say something to us!

PRESIDENT OBAMA [shrugging to JARED]: Bridesmaids was the best comedy of my Presidency and it’s not even close!

The CROWD boos because they are misogynists.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [channeling his second term and especially his final two years as President]: Please at me about this statement. Please. I would love if you all atted me.

JARED [petting a raccoon Beanie Baby]: Why are you here?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: To tell you that if you want to save your father-in-law’s presidency, you must stop Jim Comey from testifying.

JARED stares at the CROWD but he is looking through them and thinking about how before his father-in-law, large groups of goyim terrified him.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [in retirement mode]: I’m also training for a triathlon and I want to win my age bracket. [PRESIDENT OBAMA flexes and the CROWD cheers wildly.] Your brother is doing it with me. We’re doing one in New Mexico later this summer. [PRESIDENT OBAMA explains to someone in the CROWD, who’s broken past security for an autograph, that it’s hot there, but it’s a dry heat.]

JARED [defeatedly]: My brother, Josh?

PRESIDENT OBAMA [smiling proudly]: Yes, we are blood brothers now. [PRESIDENT OBAMA shows his pinky finger, bandaged where CHARLIE KUSHNER wears a ring, to JARED. The ball pit of Happy Meal toys transforms into water. JARED wakes up to STEVE BANNON putting his hand in a bowl of lukewarm water. JARED has also wet himself.]

STEVE BANNON [spitballing with a straw wrapper, but JARED doesn’t see a Happy Meal anywhere]: You were dreaming, dolt.

JARED [stretching and then pulling on his cool windbreaker]: I have to go do something.

IVANKA [reclining on her fainting couch, which is floating because JARED is still dreaming]: Jared, change your underpants before you go outside. [IVANKA scrolls through her phone.] In fact, change them even if you don’t go outside.

JARED exits and walks aimlessly to a Patagonia store where JAMES COMEY is talking calmly into his phone.

JAMES COMEY [plain-spokenly]: James. Comey.

JARED pushes JAMES COMEY. It’s not aggressive whatsoever, even though that’s what JARED intends.

JAMES COMEY [patiently to his customer service representative]: No.

JARED pushes JAMES COMEY again. This time, even less aggressively. He barely touches the former FBI Director.

JAMES COMEY [calmly to JARED]: No.

JARED complies and leans on a pile of fleece jackets.

JAMES COMEY [into his phone]: Yes. 1960.

JARED tries on a fleece jacket and poses in front of the mirror. He mimes to a SALES CLERK that he needs help.

JAMES COMEY [raising his voice ever so slightly]: Six. Zero. [JAMES COMEY cups his phone and addresses JARED and the SALES CLERK.] I’m paying a bill. I’ve had such a busy — you know. [JAMES COMEY returns to his call.] Thank you, sir. I will print that for my records as soon as I find a Kinko’s.

SALES CLERK [referring to JARED]: He wants to know if you’re done.

JAMES COMEY [competently]: Yes, yes. How can I help you? [JAMES COMEY begins dialing.] Before you answer that, I need to call my friend who is a law professor at Columbia and ask him to record this conversation.

JARED knocks the phone from JAMES COMEY’s hand.

JAMES COMEY [making eye contact with the SALES CLERK]: He can’t fight me. I’m somehow 6’8”.

JARED [lying]: I’m 6’4”.

JAMES COMEY [patriotically]: That was Abraham Lincoln’s height. You’re not the height of the greatest American.

JARED [course correcting]: Six feet.

JAMES COMEY [sassily]: Warren G. Harding’s height. Yes, that is more likely.

JARED [desperately]: Why did you send out the letter a week before the election?

JAMES COMEY [nudgingly]: Is that really what you want to know? My best friend Robert Mueller is investigating you and your father-in-law for many crimes.

JARED [correctly]: I mean, I know why you’re doing that. But the letter. Why?

JAMES COMEY [sighing]: Honestly, I don’t know.

JARED [cleverly, for JARED]: You promised my father-in-law honest loyalty.

JAMES COMEY [sensibly]: I don’t know how to make an adverb out of that.

JARED [panicking]: So what then?

JAMES COMEY [stooping down so that he can make direct eye contact with JARED]: There is no movie. There’s no Mekhi Phifer.

JARED [resignedly]: This is my life now.

JARED wakes up, for real this time, to STEVE BANNON blasting his running mix. It’s Eminem’s Lose Yourself twenty times in a row, and then some power pop ballads. IVANKA is thanking STEVE BANNON for helping her with JARED, again, and then handing him an envelope, stamped with the State Department’s insignia, full of cash that he will launder via REBEKAH MERCER back channels.

IVANKA [nastily]: Sweet Prince, you had a dream within a dream again.

JARED turns on three of his flat screen televisions. It’s wall-to-wall COMEY coverage. IVANKA dumps a box of Happy Meal toys onto JARED.

JARED [pointing to the screens]: This already happened?

IVANKA [powerfully]: Your mother sent us this box of toys. Please return to sender. We aren’t the Goodwill.