I WAS IN HOLLYWOOD at Crypton Pictures with an old USC classmate named David David who was running the place. While we were drinking natural spring water in Waterford goblets, Johnny Kohn, a Hollywood writer, was ushered in with his agent, Bernie Bowwater.
Bernie said to David, "Johnny has a hot story for a movie, and we'll let Crypton have first crack at it.
"It takes place in Washington, D.C. It's about a woman lawyer who's lost all her billing records for a real-estate case she handled for the Red Sea Development Company. A special prosecutor subpoenas her to appear before a grand jury to explain why the records turned up in the air-bag compartment of her car."
David said, "What's the big deal about that?"
"The lawyer happens to be the first lady of the land."
David said to Bernie, "Get him outta here."
"Wait, there's more," says Bernie. "A senator from New York is out to get her, a special prosecutor is out to get the senator, and the president of the United States wants to punch a New York Times columnist in the nose for calling his wife Pinocchio."
A far-fetched plot
"Who the hell is going to believe a plot like that?" David asked.
"Nobody except for the fact that the lawyer refuses to testify in front of a full session of Congress,
the opposition threatens to close down the government and forces the United States to default on its loans."
Bernie, the agent, says, "Did you tell David about the White House travel office?"
"It's run by Paula Jones."
David David sighs, "I'd rather have Sharon Stone."
"No," Bernie tells him, "Sharon is too expensive. The first lady wants to fire her because Paula screwed up her reservation to Albuquerque for a book tour. Paula decides to avenge this by suing the president for breach of promise."
"What kind of breach of promise?"
"The president had promised Paula a new Medicare plan. And you haven't heard the best part yet! This is a movie within a movie. When it's finished, Tipper Gore, the wife of the vice president, goes on TV to warn the public that it is not suitable for children."
"Bernie, your time is up."
Bernie says, "Johnny, tell them about the final scene where the ++ first lady goes back into practice to defend herself because she's broke."
David yells, "I've been in this business a long time, but this is the most far-fetched story since 'Godzilla.' "
Bernie tells him, "We'll change it if you want. How about we only close the government once, and instead of our lead being the first lady, we'll make her a secretary of energy who lost all her travel records?"
Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.