News From Paris



In a small room filed by a low-to-the-ground black leather sectional sofa (square shape), several men sit smoking cigars and drinking scotch. The air hangs heavy with gray smoke. In front of the men on the table are stacks of old-school bank ledgers. Seated in this “lions den” are Jon Voight, Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Kelsie Grammar, Dennis Miller, Mel Gibson, and Charlton Heston who is actually, of course, dead but non of the other men seem to notice. His cigar has gone out in the ashtray, the ice in his scotch is melted. 

The large mahogany door creaks open and Jeff sticks his head in. 

KELSIE GRAMMER: Ah! Here’s the man of the hour! Come in, Jeff!

The men make welcoming grumbling noises as Jeff takes his seat. A young woman in a skimpy retro flight attendant uniform snips the end of a cigar and sticks it between Jeff’s teeth. Another busty young woman, similarly clad, puts a rocks glass full of ice in his hand and begins to fill it from a Waterford decanter of scotch. 

CLINT EASTWOOD: We’re all having scotch. I trust you like scotch.

JEFF: Well actually I don’t—

JON VOIGHT: Of course he does! What real man doesn’t like scotch?

JEFF: Actually I don’t drink at all.

The men explode in uproarious laughter as if Jeff has just delivered the punch line to the funniest joke in history. 

CHUCK NORRIS: Good one, Jeff! I agree. Never trust a man who doesn’t a drink from time to time, right Heston?

Chuck Norris elbows the corps of Charlton Heston knocking it over a bit. Even the “gentle” blow from Norris dislodges Heston’s upper plate which now hangs precariously on a bungee of Polygrip visible in the cavern of Heston’s open mouth. Again, no one notices— no one but Jeff that is, who stares briefly at Heston with a look of horror. 

JEFF: (“snapping out of it”) Well, be that as it may…

Jeff places the glass of scotch on a silver tray next to the antipasti. Mel Gibson looks at him with disdain. 



Jeff sits behind the news desk looking over some papers in front of him. A sound technician is hooking an earpiece over his left ear, tucking the spiral cord down in the back of Jeff’s collar.

SOUND TECH: Is that alright?

JEFF: Fine. Thank you.

SOUND TECH: You wanna put that—

JEFF: Huh? Oh, yeah.

Jeff sticks the ear bud into his ear.  The sound technician makes a quick check of Jeff’s lapel mic and then hurries off the set. 

The onset director has heard something over her headset, alerts the camera operator on the shoulder. 

DIRECTOR: (counting down with fingers) Okay everybody we’re live in three…two….

JEFF: (reading from monitor) We interrupt this blog to bring you breaking news from Paris. Two gunmen and an apparent accomplice are on the lose after an attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine most widely known for publishing pictures of the prophet Muhammad which is forbidden by Islamic law. It was not known until today that Islamic law applies to all of us and usurps all other freedoms and liberties guaranteed by any constitution or system of laws of any country, but apparently that is indeed the case. Before the gunmen had even left the site, those employees of the paper who had not been killed in the attack actually ran outside, kissed and hugged their attackers and thanked them for showing them to true and right way to a better life through Islam. The shooters first tried to enter what appeared to be a Citroen but the growing crowd, shouting “Non! Non! Laissez-nous vous portons!” which loosely translates as, “No! No! Let us carry you!” At one point, the throngs were in danger of crushing their newfound saviors because of the frenzied enthusiasm as they tried to garner more information about this new and better way of life that the terrorists—I’m sorry, ministers had just demonstrated. Around the world, more moderate Muslims are said to be renouncing their watered down and fraudulent version of the true and sacred religion and converting to the right and pure version demonstrated by the messengers of truth today. Jews and Christians as well are said to be taking part in mass conversions, virtually beating down the doors of the nearest mosque to get inside. Governments of most every country in the world are said to be having public burnings of their constitutions announcing that the worthless documents were no longer needed as we will all be governed by Sharia Law. And in fact—

Jeff removes the earpiece from his ear and steps around the desk, closer to the camera. He looks in ernest at into the lens as if looking into the eyes of each of his viewers. 

JEFF: I myself have decided, based on this brave and beautiful demonstration of faith by these young Jihadists, to join their ranks myself. I would like to declare publicly now that I believe that there is but one God, Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet. I will be joining the most conservative mosque I can find and— by the way, as you can imagine, I am now heterosexual so if there are any appropriately obedient women out there who would love to serve me as my wife I will be accepting applications starting immediately. Allahu Akbar!

Jeff turns and begins to exit the set leaving everyone around standing slack-jawed. Jeff stops, slowly turns with an impish grin, then slowly starts walking toward the camera. 

JEFF: Naaaaaaaaaaaah! I was just fuckin’ wich’all. Listen here— (looking piercingly into the camera) if y’all shooters are out there and hear what I’m saying– if you ever thought that there was any validity to the bullshit y’all believe, you can just know that shit you pulled today in Paris has just reaffirmed to the entire fucking world what absolute camel shit everything you believe and everything you stand for is! Here, here—!

He takes out a Moleskin notebook from his back pocket, also withdraws a pen and begins to scribble on one of the pages of the notebook. After a few seconds, he rips the page and holds it up to show the small character to the camera. 

JEFF: (laughing) Here you go, I know I’m much more of a writer than I am cartoonist but that there is you’ prophet Muhammad! I’ll draw him and Jesus and Moses and whoever the hell else I want to draw because I am what’s known as a free man! And I know a kind and a level of freedom that your self-imposed lunacy will always keep far out of your reach!

He shakes the pen in the “face” of the camera.

JEFF: You see that? That little thing is more powerful than all the weapons you could ever amass. And it might fall to the ground should you ever put a bullet through my heart but you know what will happen right after that? Some other crazy, bohemian, poet with a taste for freedom and liberty will pick it up and go right on writing!! You can never take away our freedom! Only we can give that away and for me, that’s not about to happen! Strike me down and even in death I will have won—just like my compagnons who died in France today, who will live eternally  as martyrs to the cause of freedom! Yours is a backwards, fucked up, fairy-tale version of a  religion with absolutely zero validity. That’s what was reaffirmed for me today.

He crumples the paper, throws it at the camera, and turns to march off. He freezes and turns to the camera again with an afterthought. 

JEFF: You wanted to make a statement to the world today? You certainly did. I’m just pretty goddamn sure it wasn’t the one you intended! (to the crew) Good job people, see y’all tomorrow!

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