SCENE: A bar down the street from DC’s Shakespeare Theatre.10:38 PM.
MARK WARNER (D-VA): That was intense.
DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): Seriously. Better than the one on Broadway with Jude Law.
MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): I didn’t get it.
WARNER: Didn’t get what?
RUBIO: Did Claudius actually kill Hamlet’s father?
TOM COTTON (R-AR): I was wondering that myself.
(Other REPUBLICANS mutter in agreement)
KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): Of course. It’s the premise of the whole thing.
RUBIO: That’s not what I got from it.
RICHARD BURR (R-NC): Me neither. I found it ambiguous at best.
WARNER: Well, it’s not really in question — I mean, you’ve all seen or read Hamlet before, right?
(All REPUBLICANS shake their heads “no” or stare blankly.)
COTTON: I saw Hammer, in ‘91, after he dropped the “MC.”
RUBIO: Wow, live?
COTTON: No, on Arsenio Hall.
WARNER: Well, anyway, yes, Claudius definitely killed the king.
JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): But how do we know that?
WARNER: For starters, there’s the ghost—
JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): Ghosts aren’t real.
WARNER: They’re real in the play.
LANKFORD: Oh, they’re real in the play? How do you know? Were you in it? Did you write it?
HARRIS: The ghost was Hamlet’s dead father. He was the victim. He told Hamlet that Claudius murdered him.
CORNYN: Whoa, slow down there. Why would Claudius even do that?
HARRIS: He got to steal the throne and marry Gertrude.
BURR: I think it’s pretty far-fetched to say that anyone would commit murder just for money, sex, and power. Especially someone who already had a good deal of power and yet was tantalizingly close to getting much more of it.
ROY BLUNT (R-MO): To me, the real question is: why did Marcellus and Horatio leak their sighting of the ghost to Hamlet? Seems like they were injecting themselves inappropriately into a classified investigation.
ANGUS KING (I-ME): This is ridiculous. You don’t even need the ghost. Claudius admits, repeatedly, that he murdered the king.
JIM RISCH (R-ID): Like where?
KING: Act III, scene 3, “My offense is rank; it smells to heaven…”
RISCH: That’s a confession? I thought he was talking about his fantasy football team.
RUBIO: Now hold on, if that were true wouldn’t he pronounce it OFF-ense?
RISCH: Nope. Elizabethan scanning.
RUBIO: Oh right. Sorry.
KING: Then he says, “What if this cursed hand were thicker than itself with brother’s blood?”
RISCH: Exactly. What If. Hypothetical.
KING: In modern English it would be “so what if…”
RISCH: I don’t know where you got this idea that the language is different.
HARRIS: Guys! He says, “I am still possess’d of those effects for which I did the murder, my crown, mine own ambition and my queen.”
WARNER: And then he admits that he wants those things so much he can’t repent.
COTTON: But how do you know he said that? He was alone at the time.
MARTIN HEINRICH (D-NM): On stage! It was a soliloquy!
RUBIO: Has anyone in your experience ever been prosecuted for a soliloquy? No? No.
BLUNT: John, you’ve been quiet, what do you think?
JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): Well, at least in the mind of this member, there are a whole lot of questions remaining about what went on, particularly considering the fact that, as you mentioned it’s a ‘big deal’ as to what went on during the campaign so I’m glad you concluded that part of the investigation but I think that the American people have a whole lot of questions out there, particularly because you just emphasized the role that Russia played and, obviously, she was a candidate for president at the time, so she was clearly involved in this whole situation where fake news — as you just described it, ‘big deal’ — took place. You’re going to have to help me out here. In other words, we’re complete the investigation of anything that former Secretary Clinton had to do with the campaign is over and we don’t have to worry about it anymore?
WARNER: John, we’re talking about Hamlet.
McCAIN: I know.
ALEX JONES (R-InfoWars): You know who really killed Hamlet’s father? Loretta Lynch.
FEINSTEIN: Alex, you weren’t even there.
COTTON: I like this theory though. I think he’s on to something.
RUBIO: Yeah. There’s all these accusations about Claudius and nothing about Loretta Lynch. Doesn’t that seem a little strange to you?
(Republicans mutter in assent. CORNYN checks his phone.)
CORNYN: Republican caucus, we’ve gotta split. POTUS wants us to meet him and the Russian ambassador at the abandoned loading dock at midnight.
RUBIO: Do we have to come naked again?
CORNYN: Of course we have to come naked. He’s the president. What kind of a country do you think this is?