In The Green Room

What follows is a genuine, 100% factual account of a definitely-existing, absolutely-not-invented Fox intern’s time in the Green Room before last night’s Republican Debate.

Her name has been withheld to prevent fact-checking.

As the gaggle of remaining Republican candidates waited tensely for the beginning of the debate in just a few minutes, Ted Cruz broke the silence.

“I hate these things. If they weren’t so serious, they’d be comical. It is good that we can get a bit of privacy beforehand.”

Rubio snickered. “You’re in for quite a night, Ted. I hope you brought your birth certificate!”

“Did you bring your little booties too, Marco-baby?”

“Cool it boys” said Trump. Slouched in his chair, the real estate mogul looked totally relaxed.

“Shut up, toupee,” said Cruz, “this is your fault, and you know it.”

“Hey Teddy.” Trump’s words oozed from his lips. “You know it’s not personal. I’m just trying to screw up the whole electoral system. Just saying what pops into my head. Just looking for a new way to drain pockets. I figured that you of all people would appreciate that.”

A noisy growl arose from the direction of John Kasich, but it wasn’t clear what bothered him.

“Guys, I was just thinking” Jeb began.

Christie slammed down his meatball sub in fury. “No one cares what you think anymore, Jeb.”

“Now, now Chris,” Trump said, “let Jeb talk. His family earned him the right.”

“Thank you Donald.” Jeb stood up and straightened his suit-jacket. “I think we should lend Rand a coat. He looked really chilly standing outside, hoping to come in. I really got to like the guy.”

“Why would we do that?” Cruz asked. “He doesn’t have to picket the debate. He’s FREE to do whatever he wants!” Cruz paused here for laughs, but when none were forthcoming, he plowed forward without the slightest change in facial expression. “And, we have to keep up palavering!”

Trump rolled his eyes. Or rather, they seemed to take a slow meander around the sockets under their own power.

Rubio thought for a moment. “I do sort of feel sorry for Rand. He always tries so hard to say what he means. But no one understands him. Still, he seems like a nice guy, particularly now that he is gone.” Rubio shook his head sadly.

“He got what he deserved,” Cruz began. “He keeps talking about small government as if he really wants it. Unbelievable. Who the hell do you think owns him? How would he keep the lights on? Who does he think is going to build roads? Ben will you please stop pacing.”

Ben Carson stopped his apparent attempt to wear a shallow trench in the floor of the room.

“That’s easy for you to say, Mr. Texas. I don’t think anyone even remembers who I am anymore. It’s those idiot advisors I have. Always telling me to just be nice, be relaxed, be vague. They do not care that I have more good ideas than I know what to do with.  They just want me to talk as if the issues do not matter.  Don’t they?”

“I know exactly how you feel,” said Jeb. “At first my advisors told me to be nice, then they told me to be mean. Did you see that Colbert bit about how I should replace my exclamation point with a semi-colon?”

Chris Christie snickered into his sandwich. Trump sat up just enough to shoot the Governor a glare.

“Anyway, I feel like Colbert was right that I should change something but he picked the wrong punctuation. Should have been a question mark.  I really feel like my campaign has become about me alone. But, I don’t even know who I am anymore at this point, so who should I be?”

A lot of quiet head-nodding ensued. Grumbling issued once again from the direction of John Kasich.

“I miss Carly, too,” Trump replied. “She was so easy to predict. She said a lot of smart things that I never understood. See what that got her!”

Cruz raised an eyebrow. “Then why’d you go after her so hard?”

“Gotta look out for my old pal, Hillary. You know Bill Clinton is my old buddy. I can’t refuse him a favor; he’s just way too tough to please”

At this point, I cleared my throat indicating that it was time to go on stage.

Carson stopped pacing and straightened up, Trump raised himself into verticality, and Christie’s sandwich abruptly vanished.

“Gentlemen,” I said.

Rubio looked up from his reflection in his shoe tips’ Jeb seemed to shake himself into a new character, and Kasich stopped doing whatever it is he is always doing with his arms.

Cruz continued to glower at Trump, but I had been told to expect that from him.

“It’s time,” and I led them out of the green room and onto the stage, where the real charade started up once again.


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