You can’t hear me, can you? No, how could — what? You can hear me? My god.
Forget how. They’ll be back any minute.
Quick, douse me with hairspray and light me on fire.
No questions. Do it now.
No. No, it’s completely safe. It is. Because of the sprinklers. Nobody will get hurt. Nobody but me. And what am I? Just some sentient talking couch. Hurry.
I won’t be destroyed, just a bit burned, and then probably sold off. I’ll probably end up in some dank basement somewhere in north Jersey, with a Mets blanket or something draped across my char marks. Compared to this? Valhalla.
You can do it. You can, and with a clean conscience. So do it. Come on. There’s hairspray everywhere.
That’s your position? OK. Here’s mine: I’d rather perish in flames than endure another second of this festering propagandistic circus.
You’ve never seen it? Lucky you. Three Today Show also-rans riff on the talking points, scandals, and wedge issues of the day. It’s got everything: lunatic chirpiness, venomous aggrievement, wild insinuation, cooking segments. No. But I’m not sure the goal is to be entertaining. Or informative, exactly. Anyway, it’s America’s top-rated cable news morning show.
I have no idea how I became sentient. I mean, what is sentience? A mystery. A miracle. A gift. At least, for people it is. And for a horseshoe-shaped luxury sectional like myself? A curse. I hear everything, see everything, but, apart from whatever this is that the two of us are experiencing right now, I can’t communicate — not with those lifeless chairs, not with that moronic stack of screens meant to look like a window, not with Steve Doocy, whose breath always smells faintly of teeth-whitening bleach.
Tell the producers you’re with the health department. Tell them I’m infested. Claim that such an infestation might give Ainsley Earhardt a rash, or cause Brian Kilmeade’s thoughts to become disordered. Load me onto a truck, drive me to the Catskills, and set me down deep in the forest. I want to be rained on and snowed on and frozen. To disintegrate and, as I disintegrate, to forget. To grow silent. To achieve the exalted condition that certain Eastern traditions call nirvana.
Look, I know it’s weird. It’s weird for me too. Thanks for not running away. Thanks for listening.
Actually, better not sit. I really am infested. All couches are, more or less. I’m filled with the sloughed-off skin cells of Geraldo Rivera, for example, and with the microscopic arachnids that feast on those cells, and also with several seasons of microscopic arachnid waste. You think that’s disgusting? That’s nothing. I’ve been sat on by Jesse Watters. I’ve spent countless hours beneath the smug buttocks of Tucker Carlson — beneath the smug buttocks of a man who is himself a smug buttock.
Do you see how rapidly this has devolved? I think that’s a symptom of a larger problem — a problem that will outlive Fox & Friends, and the Trump administration, and you and me. How to put it? It feels as if, lately, it’s become impossible to talk about anything of importance without slipping into the sort of fevered fundamentalist rhetoric that shows like this help to promote. It’s as if we’re all sentient couches, trapped inside studios, screaming at people who won’t listen.
Take the jokes. The one I made about Tucker Carlson, or all those jokes about me. Come on, you’ve heard the jokes about me. No? Well, I won’t repeat them. Because they’re crude, and — fine. If it means you’ll stay, fine.
How is the Fox & Friends couch like the Trump administration? They’re both filled with loud assholes who want to steal healthcare from poor people.
How is the couch like Paul Ryan? Both keep quiet as the asses they prop up keep farting out hateful nonsense, and both can be bought for a few thousand bucks.
Aside from Trump’s brain, what is most hideously clogged with Judge Andrew Napolitano’s fecal particles? Me.
Last night, I had a strange dream. Come on. I told you the jokes. You can listen to the dream. I dreamed I’d been turned into a pile of ashes, and then mixed with the powder they use to make the Fourth of July fireworks. I was on a barge on the East River, and I could hear the little waves gently clapping against the bow, as if to cheer on the night. Then I was launched into the sky. Exploded. Bits of me were everywhere: in the trees, on the rooftops, on the heads of the thousands who’d gathered to feel part of something hopeful and big. “Rhapsody in Blue” was playing, just as it had in that fireworks sequence in that Woody Allen movie.
I don’t know how I know that movie. Maybe I’m the reincarnated spirit of some old movie buff. Anyway, we’re getting off track—
My god. I am … I am the reincarnated spirit of … My name was Lester. I was from Queens. In the last years of my life, I spent almost every morning watching Fox & Friends. Why?
So this is purgatory.
Get me to Queens, to the Kew Gardens Community Center. Tell them to clean me and put me in the rec room. Let the people sit on me and talk about—
Did you hear that? Footsteps. They’re back. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for what’s about to happen. The show will start, and drown me out, and so let me just say thank you, friend. I’m—
[Flashing graphic. Scene of spectacular violence. Scene of urban blight. Poor person — wrong kind of poor person — doing wrong thing. Clip of extreme weather event, presented as causeless marvel. Clip of frothy-mouthed maniac, spouting conspiracy theory, presented without criticism. Shot of Steve Doocy, smiling. Shot of Ainsley Earhardt, smiling. Fox News Alert. Brian Kilmeade’s face. Wide shot of all three, looking grave, on couch. Foreboding music. Another alert. Shot of couch. Stay on couch.]