Jared Kushner Reads A Book

And everyone nurses a hangover.

EVERYONE is hungover from the Fake Media Awards, even the staff who don’t drink. JARED is reclining on IVANKA’s fainting couch, a damp cloth on his forehead, and a pack of cigarettes on his chest. He doesn’t smoke; he never has. But on the way into the West Wing this morning, he thought, what if he did, he could if he wanted to, and the thought made him feel lighter. Even though his feet were dragging from the contact hangover, he felt in control, cocky even, for the first time since [redacted]. Plus, IVANKA isn’t at work today. The government is shut down, she murmured earlier that morning, as he laced up his new sneaks, head pounding, so there isn’t much to do. She isn’t wrong. She rarely is, JARED thinks. He pretends not to hear as his DAUGHTER asks why he’s on mom’s chair. She’s flipping through a book, Facts and Fun About the Presidents, and appalled by how little her grandfather has in common with his predecessors.

KUSHNER DAUGHTER [provocatively]: According to this book the only thing Grandpa has done that other presidents have also done is get stuck in a bathtub?

JARED [to himself]: That’s not true. [JARED wracks his brain.] Is that true?

KUSHNER DAUGHTER [nodding]: He’s stuck now. I can hear him yelling.

GENERAL MATTIS [while removing a lamp shade from his head, and startling EVERYONE because they didn’t realize he was present]: No. Taft never got stuck in a bathtub. His political enemies made that up. Each Gilded Age has its own Pizzagate.

[KELLYANNE CONWAY breezes into the fray. She’s not hungover or fighting off the flu because she’s not exactly human. She’s with GARY COHN, who’s not hungover either, but only because he drank, like, a quart of water before he passed out, and then this morning took four Tylenol and went to spin class, and then had a breakfast sandwich from a cart outside, and then a red Gatorade, and then a Klonopin, and then a yellow Gatorade, and then one of JARED’s muscle relaxers, and then one of KELLYANNE CONWAY’s muscle relaxers, a different brand, it hits faster but fizzles out sooner, but in tandem, chef’s kiss emoji, and then a coffee, black, no, maybe a splash of half and half, no, black, and then a slice of pizza, cheese only, he’s not a fucking savage, and then another slice, cheese, both from his place in New York, the one with the guy who runs the football squares, whose daughter he helped get an internship at—wow, why can’t he remember the name of the bank he just worked at?]

KELLYANNE CONWAY [bossily]: The President is not stuck in a bathtub. He can stand up if he wants to.

[EVERYONE gets quiet for a few seconds. There are loud shouts from TRUMP’s bathroom.]

KUSHNER DAUGHTER [powerfully]: He’s definitely yelling.

[KELLYANNE CONWAY shushes EVERYONE. She cups her ear.]

KELLYANNE CONWAY [happily]: No, no. That’s not a cry for help. That’s the pitch he uses when he is yelling at someone. [KELLYANNE counts heads. She giddily realizes IVANKA is not present.] He’s yelling at Ivanka like that?

KUSHNER DAUGHTER [protectively]: No, mom didn’t come to work today.

[KELLYANNE CONWAY counts heads again. As she’s ticking through people, she remembers how, when she entered college, she thought she’d become an elementary school teacher, and muffles her own laughter. GARY COHN takes the book from KUSHNER DAUGHTER and starts flipping through it.]

GARY COHN [dickishly]: James Madison looks like the kind of guy—

KELLYANNE CONWAY [pulling the book down to her eye level]: Who would call a female friend “m’lady.”

KUSHNER DAUGHTER [precociously]: James Madison was the first President to wear pants and not breeches.

GARY COHN [tossing the book onto the floor]: If your grandfather wore breeches, circulation would cut off in his legs, and we’d eventually have to amputate.

[JARED takes the book and flips to a photo of Herbert Hoover tossing around a medicine ball with his cabinet on the White House lawn. Enjoying this exercise in negative bonding, he shows EVERYONE.]

KUSHNER DAUGHTER [accurately]: Grandpa doesn’t exercise.

[JARED flips to Dwight Eisenhower, who’s golfing and surrounded by many, many, rich-looking white people.]

KELLYANNE CONWAY [winking]: See. Not every norm has been shattered. [KELLYANNE CONWAY takes her turn with the book.] He wears a wig like George Washington did.

GARY COHN [impishly, maybe]: He killed a person like—which one shot Hamilton?

GENERAL MATTIS [curtly]: Aaron Burr was never President.

JARED [whispering to KUSHNER DAUGHTER]: Your grandfather didn’t kill a person.

KELLYANNE CONWAY [opening the book to the twenty-eighth President]: Look. He’s like Woodrow Wilson after he had a stroke and someone else did his job for him.

GENERAL MATTIS [wistfully]: He’s like FDR in that way too.

KUSHNER DAUGHTER [to JARED]: Does Grandpa have polio?

KELLYANNE CONWAY [not at all shocked by the hypocrisy of Democrats]: Eleanor Roosevelt kept a pistol in her glove compartment?

STORMY DANIELS [also removing a lamp shade from her head]: The only thing your grandfather has in common with Eleanor Roosevelt—

KELLYANNE CONWAY [actually kind of amused]: What the fuck.

[STORMY DANIELS exits. But not first without asking where the hell GENERAL KELLY is, because she needs to tell him what a piss poor, basically racist job he’s doing, even though mainstream media would have everyone believe otherwise. KUSHNER DAUGHTER looks at her watch and explains that GENERAL KELLY is most likely getting the screens set up for Executive Time.]

GARY COHN [truthfully]: He’s like—which one was a Know Nothing?

GENERAL MATTIS [correctly]: Millard Fillmore.

KUSHNER DAUGHTER [correctly]: Millard Fillmore was from Buffalo.

GARY COHN [correctly]: Exactly my point. Knows nothing.

KELLYANNE CONWAY [reading]: They had to remove Andrew Jackson’s pet parrot from his funeral services because he kept squawking swear words

KUSHNER DAUGHTER [to EVERYONE]: Who’s this President’s pet parrot?

EVERYONE [in unison]: All of us?

[There’s crosstalk as KUSHNER DAUGHTER asks GENERAL MATTIS why the contraction of “will” and “not” is “won’t” and not “willn’t.” She says she asked her father earlier, but he pretended not to hear her. STEPHEN MILLER exits TRUMP’s bathroom and EVERYONE groans. KELLYANNE CONWAY bums a cigarette from JARED. She holds it up for him, but he says he doesn’t have a lighter. She asks GARY COHN why she even bothers with this one. GARY COHN lights her cigarette and then his own, and they smoke indoors for the rest of the day.]