Ben Greenman’s Fake Celebrity Musicals
A Series of Brief Unstaged Musicals,
Each Responding to a Current Event,
Each Written and Scored by Ben Greenman,
With Satiric and Comic Intent.
Fragments From Spitzer! The Musical.
BY Ben Greenman
(ELIOT SPITZER is in a hotel room in Washington, D.C. He is speaking to his wife, SILDA WALL SPITZER, on the phone.)
… And then, after that,
I proved once again
That my brain is more mighty
Than the sword or the pen.
It was just like that time
That Joe Bruno tried
To abuse his position.
How he wriggled and lied!
I told James Tedisco,
“I’m a fucking steamroller!”
Also, I dealt with
That crooked comptroller.
The things that I’ve done
Are fine beyond measure.
I’m smart, and I’m handsome:
A national treasure …
SILDA WALL SPITZER
Kids are back.
Must go—all right?
I think tonight
Is pizza night.
You’re hanging up?
No, don’t depart!
Who will tell me
That I’m smart?
SILDA WALL SPITZER
You’ll be back home soon.
See you in a day.
Kids are all fine.
Don’t be lonely, OK?
(ELIOT SPITZER hangs up the phone.)
Now that she says it,
I guess I am lonely,
For, as it turns out,
I am the only
Man who is as smart as me—
Or should it be “as smart as I”?
An average man might well not care,
But higher standards here apply.
No one is as smart as me.
I missed just one on my SAT.
The LSAT was even more of a breeze.
I attained a perfect score with ease.
“Attained” is a word that means “got” or “earned.”
That is just one of the things I have learned.
People say I’m arrogant,
And that I am disdainful,
But you try being smart like me.
It’s confusing and it’s painful.
(There’s a knock at the door. ELIOT SPITZER answers. It’s a hotel MAID.)
Are you sleeping?
Someone ordered more shampoo.
I’m sorry, sir, but was it you?
(ELIOT SPITZER, desperate for attention, drags the MAID inside the room.)
My hair is clean. I washed it twice.
The instructions said that would suffice.
But, still, I can work up a lather
About my reputation: or, rather,
About the way these goddamned clowns
Have done their best to keep me down.
I had national ambition,
But, they say, my disposition
Is proving to be my demise.
Who are they to criticize?
For 10 years now, I have been proud
To serve the great state of New York.
I served notice to criminals
That it was time to stick a fork
In them because their time had come.
There’s no more room for them in here.
I’ve targeted each liar, scumbag,
Mobster, thief, and racketeer.
I’ve been resolute and tough,
And, if that is not enough,
I’m smarter than the older guy who drives me in my car.
I’m smarter than the woman who served me at the bar.
I’m smarter still than Hillary or Barack Obama.
I’m smarter than you, too, you know—
I’m smarter than your mama.
Please, sir, must you insult my mother?
I don’t see what one has to do with the other.
(The MAID leaves. ELIOT SPITZER naps. He dreams of taking the SAT. He wakes to find a tiny little ELIOT SPITZER on his shoulder. He squints at TINY ELIOT.)
Is that a pitchfork? Is that a tail?
Wow! What a great eye for detail!
Also, look, I have horns on my head,
And, oh—my freakin’ skin is red!
It is incarnadine, I think.
That means blood red or reddish pink.
Shut the hell up, teacher’s pet!
I’m not finished talking yet!
I give voice to your appetites.
I’m a delusion that incites
You to commit an indiscretion
As a vent for your repression
Or the hubris of high office.
Heed me now! Get up off this
Hotel bed and make a call.
That which rises up will fall
Victim to the sin of lust
And take with it the public trust.
Your legacy will be demolished,
All because your knob was polished.
(TINY ELIOT touches ELIOT SPITZER once, just beneath the ear, quickly but sharply. A bead of blood appears and then evaporates. As if hypnotized, ELIOT SPITZER makes a phone call to the Emperor’s Club, an exclusive escort service in New York.)
So now hang up the telephone
And say out loud what happens next
As if the plan were all your own—
Say “I deserve expensive sex.”
I do deserve expensive sex.
That is absolutely true.
The rarest carnal luxury
Suits a great man through and through.
This long and steep road of achievement—
My climb up to the heights of power—
Has brought me to the point where I
Can pay 2,000 bucks an hour
For a woman to have sex with me.
I once was blind but now I see.
(TINY ELIOT snickers and hides in the minibar. A few minutes later, “KRISTEN” enters the room.)
My name is "Kristen"—it’s in quotes.
Does someone want to sow his oats?
Yes—it is I.
I will supply
And then we’ll quit.
I hear you have special requests.
Should I put clothespins on my breasts?
Or maybe you’d prefer I wear
A mask of Hayden Panettiere?
And, of course, if you insist,
I can also play contortionist.
No, no, my tastes are more elite
Than any acrobatic feat.
I’m not much for whips and chains.
I’d rather talk John Maynard Keynes’
Theories of macroeconomic
Deviance in the atomic
Age, or maybe jurisprudence,
Or the fact that the word “chintz”
Comes from the Hindi, not the Yiddish.
Why are you leaving? Are you skittish
When confronted with true genius?
I’m paying you to touch my penis!
(“KRISTEN” undresses ELIOT SPITZER. The two begin to have sex. She tries some dirty talk.)
You’re huge down there.
Come in my hair.
(The dirty talk has no effect. “KRISTEN” tries something else.)
If a normal brain’s a movie,
Your brain is an IMAX.
No governor’s smarter.
I think I had a climax.
(ELIOT SPITZER falls asleep.)
After all of that buildup,
What the hell was he doing?
You’d need a stopwatch
To time that guy’s screwing.
(TINY ELIOT pokes his head out of the minibar.)
I got loaded on vodka in here.
Can I get you some gin, or a wine or a beer?
Have you ever been nailed by a little devil?
You know what they say about the lower level.
(While ELIOT SPITZER sleeps, TINY ELIOT and “KRISTEN” have sex on the bed, on the floor, in the shower, and in the closet.)
You sure know how to scream.
The pleasure is extreme.
Did I scorch your lip?
Grab on to my hip!
Your cries and moans are growing strident.
I think you poked me with your trident.
(They finish. ELIOT SPITZER begins to stir. TINY ELIOT leaps into "KRISTEN"’s purse.)
How was I? Great?
It must be late.
Consider our intercourse a kind of tutorial
From a man who is brilliant and gubernatorial.
(ELIOT SPITZER settles with “KRISTEN,” counting out hundred-dollar bills onto the desk. “KRISTEN” leaves. Before she reaches the elevator, TINY ELIOT pops out of her purse.)
Hey there, fellow,
Are you new in town?
You look tired.
We should go lie down.
Just say the word
And I’ll get busy.
I’ll work you so hard
You’ll be dizzy.
(Back in his room, ELIOT SPITZER sits on the bed.)
A man who has great power
Is a funny, fragile thing.
He dreads the creep of time
And that which it may bring.
But all that has to happen
To set him right once more
Is to pay $4,000
For a visit from a whore.
Does that make him foolish?
Perhaps, but don’t you see
That great power is accompanied
By great banality?
Now I must get back to work.
I am a great reformer.
It’s easier to do it
If the bed is warmer.
(TINY ELIOT and “KRISTEN” are in the elevator. TINY ELIOT leaps up on her shoulder and begins to whisper in her ear.)
Once you go demon,
You never go back.
I will turn you over
And give you a smack.
Then I’ll flip you again.
I can watch as you shave it.
And then we will go
Fill out an affidavit.
(TINY ELIOT touches “KRISTEN” once, just beneath the ear, quickly but sharply. A bead of blood appears and then evaporates.)
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