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Straight Eye for the Liberal Guy
by John Fucile
3 August 2003

Politics and Hollywood make for hot new fictitious ‘reality’ series And Sunday mornings will never be the same…


California governor-for-now Gray Davis and FoxTV political host Alan Colmes meet up for a long weekend with the makeover team of Ted Nugent, Jesse Ventura and Alexander Haig. The goal is to turn them into proud, freethinking, freedom loving, American Men - in order to surprise and impress their loved ones.


Day 1

On the set of Alan’s talk show Hannity and Colmes, when asked about the accuracy of intelligence presented to convince dreamers like Mr. Colmes that war with the Iraqi leadership was unnecessary, that mass graves, torturous homicides and 16 U.N. Security resolutions weren’t enough reasons to remove a dictator with ties to terrorists, Alexander Haig responds with a graceful, “Are you getting along with your new bride Alan?” - the secretary gets the joke.

Not to miss an opportunity to ‘feel,' Alan admits defeat with a bashful, “Funny…” willing the camera to break.

Alan learns. Alan learns the hard way, but Alan learns. He learns that Haig can take a punch and maybe also that Alan can’t. Not yet.

Alan Colmes, “Note to self – Haig is a tough SOB.”

He also wonders if Gray Davis is doing any better.

Ted Nugent and Gray Davis take to the tree top perch of an Upper Peninsula forest for an early morning Michigan deer kill. As Gray internally and externally struggles with the ‘appropriate’ amount of camouflage face paint, his mind wanders to a long ago, long forgotten weekend in Big Sur and the fog begins to lift. Suddenly a rifle blasts close to Gray’s ear.

“Hey!" Gray snaps at Ted wondering again what exactly he did to deserve such treatment.

“That was a hell of a shot! G.D. did you see that?! Hey, pull your car up to the lot near RR6 alright?” commands the trigger-happy rocker running off into the bushes below, “I think we got us a keeper.”

Gray Davis learns that he might have to ask Ted Nugent for some of the meat – ask, or go hungry.

Gray is a sort of broke right now, strapped for cash if you know what I mean.

 

Day 2

Jesse Ventura, a dozen of Minnesota’s finest bass fisherman and Alan Colmes sit around a fire on the banks of the Minnehaha River, enjoying their own smells and noises, laughter and stories.

After a successful day guarding the bait pail, Alan loosens up enough and explains the funny way he met his wife and the first time he knew, he really knew, that he really loved her.

Alan inquires further as to where he will sleep. Jesse’s 9-fingered high school friend, Gooch seems to be the only one willing to answer, but instead he simply drops his head in shame.

Alan Colmes thinks.

He thinks again.

He thinks for a third time in a row. Then it hits him - sometimes you have to do things on your own. Make your own bed and maybe sleep in it, even if it is hard. Literally. Alan begins to understand; Alan begins to learn.

“I can make a bed out here. I can pitch a tent, or build a ‘lean-through’”, Alan proclaims tripping into the fire to the jeers of the group.

“I’ll show you," Alan resolves, stumbling off.

He awakes stiff in the backseat of his rented Delta 88, with amnesia, a draft-beer hangover and a false sense of accomplishment.

Things are not getting any brighter for Gray. Gray thinks Ted Nugent can be a tad set in his ways. His broad slippery shoulders are weary with the angst of a Coney Island freak forced into autumn sommelier duty in Carmel. Gray is tired and hunting is making his tennis elbow become, well noticeable, if not sore. His friends and loved ones at home are counting on Gray to buck up, and the pressure is getting to him.

Tonight he will show Ted his true self, his inner being.

Gray Davis thinks.

He thinks again.

Gray thinks for a third consecutive time. He focuses in on his audience, and decides that perhaps there has been enough talk. Perhaps there has been too much talk. It is time for Gray to act, to ‘act’ like a man.

“Dick York did it," he proposed to Mr. Nugent.

“Excuse me?” Ted says whipping around.

“Never mind," Gray quips realizing the irony.

Gray awkwardly ties the last hoof to the front bumper of the rental car, somewhat surprised at himself and empowered by his new skill set.

“You’re going to clean the mud off your feet before you get in the car right Ted?” the Governor begins to suggest, realizing Ted is already sitting in the driver’s seat.

“Never mind."

The drive back is a quiet, reflexive time for Gray as he stares out the passenger window counting punch-buggies and dreaming of a good facial.

Day 3

The Men have assembled for breakfast.

Gray and Allan soon arrive. An informal discussion about politics, national safety and morality simmers.

When the waitress returns to top off Mr. Haig’s coffee, Alan asks for a glass of water with no ice (sensitive teeth), and a ‘few more minutes’ to decide.

Gray takes the waitresses hostility towards Alan as an opportunity to ask if there is the chance of getting a cilantro and brown rice burrito, but then he remembers that this is planet earth, America, and the East Coast and he is forced to ‘settle’ for eggs, coffee, bread, fruit, sausage, water, jam and bacon, French toast and pancakes. He fights his feelings of panic and decides not to pass out in front of the guys.

“Could I get an egg-white omelet, with sliced tomatoes on the side instead of hash browns?” Alan gingerly asked the waitress.

“Onions upset my stomach," he is quick to add.

“Would you like me to cut the crusts off your toast for you too sweetie?” says the waitress.

Alan looks to the group for approval. When he realizes that none is coming he responds.

“No," dejected, “that’s okay…”.

During the meal a well-dressed Haig speaks little, listens intently interrupting only Ted Nugent from time to time with a, ”that’s right," or an “attaboy” as the motor-city rocker dishes to Gray Davis about responsibility, popularity, longevity and passion.

Gray is distracted by a run in his left sock, nodding automatically as if he is receiving the communication loud and clear, complaining only briefly twice about the pain in his chest caused by the grease on the bacon. It then dawns on him that he IS the governor of California and the fact that the state is in such a fiscal crisis might have something to do with his performance. He vows to immediately fight harder than he ever has for anything in his life. To spend whatever it takes to win the governorship he already has and to find out how the state’s spending got completely out of control.

“I don’t care if it takes $50 million dollars," Gray stood and shouted searching for approval.

“When I become governor I will find out who did this and heads will roll."

Despite the fact that 1.7 million people in California, roughly the number of people in the state that can read, had signed their names to a petition calling for a new election due to Gray’s incompetence, Alan thought this was a great idea. He went on to speak about how the folks of California, as a group, had a crazy plan to do things like to rid the state of Gray Davis, illegal migrant workers caught committing crimes and Christmas.

“And if you squint your eyes, if you squint your eyes…," Alan continued, “when a conservative talks, you can almost hear the ocean.” No one understood him, but this was also just fine with Alan.

“Yeah," shouted Gray, as Ted Nugent looked around for the waitress and the bill, “and since the president has been on this terrorist ‘gig’ there have been no more attacks in America. That proves he’s wrong," concluded the soon-to-be consultant to his like-minded surfer friends.

Jesse honked the horn in the parking lot, as he and the Haig were already waiting for Teddy in the car. Paying the bill, Teddy made his way to the café doors.

“How are we going to get back home?” asked Davis as Colmes takes a minute to go over the money to make sure everyone put in enough.

The door swings closed and Ted’s boots are heard crossing the gravel parking lot towards the car.

“Hey, Gray?”

“Yes Alan?”

“What’s 10% of $32.40?”

Grabbing the money Gray places the amount for the bill on the table, $2.40 down for tip, the other buck in his pocket.

The pair makes their way to the highway in search of a way home.

You can’t win ‘em all.

Next week our makeover team of Gary Busey, Oliver North, Rudy Giuliani, surprise tackle Kofi Annan and Jacques Chirac with their own unique makeover style.



John Fucile is an award-winning filmmaker, music video director, author, media theorist and lecturer. He is the co-founder of SmackDabMedia, a traditional and new media Production Company, and received his M.A. in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research in New York City. He is single and currently lives in Brooklyn.

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