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Loose Cannon, Part I

Background: Voting today is a means of granting the state greater control over our lives.  We are given bad choices and told to choose.  But what if we decide not to choose?  What would the political class do if no one shows up at their party on Election Day?  What would happen to the country if the people who comprise it developed a spine?

Nonvoters have always outnumbered voters.  But nonvoters have not had a voice.  They have not had a moral defender.  Until now.

Now they have Loose Cannon.  They have an outraged military vet who sees voting as the means by which we destroy our lives gradually…  

(For a helpful overview of script format, see this.)


LOOSE CANNON - PART I
by
George Ford Smith
© All Rights Reserved 



FADE IN:

EXT - DRIVEWAY AND HOUSE - DAY

A black 1988 Chevy pickup ROARS up a long, unpaved driveway, flying past an adjacent house, then screams to a halt inches from a large oak.

The driver, BRANDON DOUGLAS, late-20s and military slim, hangs his head and hammers the steering wheel with his fist.

He backs down the driveway.


INT - TRUCK - DAY

He looks morosely at the oak at the other end while pumping the accelerator.

He struggles to get his nerve up.  He keeps revving the engine.

JEESEE, his girlfriend, SCREAMS HIS NAME from inside the house, over and over.  He doesn't flinch.

His breathing gets faster.  He's beyond determined - he's maniacal.  No backing down this time.


BRANDON
Sheeee-IT!


EXT - DRIVEWAY - CONTINUOUS

The truck roars and kicks up a rooster-tail of dirt and gravel, picking up speed as it reaches the front edge of the house.

The side door of the house swings open violently. Jeesee bursts out waving her arms in a panic, clutching a scrap of paper in one hand.

The truck swerves sharply to avoid her.  She SCREAMS.

The truck sideswipes the oak, crashes through some underbrush and flips over as it tumbles into a shallow ravine, leaving the engine idling.

BRANDON, bleeding and dazed, works the door open upside down.  He manages to turn the engine off.

JEESEE plows through the weeds like a crazed animal to get to him, trips, falls, gets up quickly.


JEESEE
Baby!  Baby!


He tumbles out, groaning.  She leaps on him.  She ignores his agonized SCREAM and rams the paper in his face.


JEESEE (Continued)
(Shrill)
Look!  Look!

BRANDON
 (struggling to unload her)
Get off, damn it!

JEESEE
Look!


She swoons.  He pushes her away and rests for a moment.  He pounds the ground limply with his fist.


BRANDON
(to himself)
Damn.


He struggles to his feet then notices she's unconscious. He kneels next to her and shakes her gently.


BRANDON (Continued)
Hey, baby.  Come on, get with it.


She mumbles incoherently. He pulls the paper from her hand and frowns at it.


She sees him and smiles.


JEESEE
It's a miracle, baby.  A miracle.


He drops the paper and attempts to get up.  She pulls on his arm to stop him.  He SHRIEKS with pain.


JEESEE
Baby doll! God has spoken!

BRANDON
What the hell's wrong with you?

JEESEE
(Loony)
God has spoken.  To you!


He stoops and struggles to pull her to a sitting position.

She thrusts the scrap of paper up to his face again.


BRANDON
Yeah, I see the gibberish.  What of it?

JEESEE
"What of it." "What of it" is the question.  Now, that's a question for you. I -- I would answer the question by saying--


She drops her hand to her lap, suddenly alert to his capsized truck.


JEESEE
What were you doing when I came out?  You almost killed me.  You were driving like a maniac!

BRANDON
(avoiding her eyes)
Testing my brakes.


She knows he's lying.


JEESEE
Oh.  The old brake test.  Well, they failed, didn't they, soldier boy?  You can get new brakes now.  Know why?

BRANDON
I'm sure you'll tell me.


She snaps the paper and seems to ram it into his skull.  He backs away.


JEESEE
If God were to speak to you, Brandon Douglas, what do you suppose he would say?

BRANDON
How the hell would I--?

JEESEE
This -- THIS -- is what he would say. Only it's not on a stone tablet this time.


He snatches the paper from her and closes his hand around it.


BRANDON
Look, baby.  I'm not up for puzzles, okay?  If this is God speaking . . .


He glances once more at the paper.  He panics.  He looks at it again, then stares at her.


BRANDON
No!

JEESEE
It's God, Brandon!

BRANDON
No, not possible.  Not possible!  Not possible!

JEESEE
The numbers match!  I checked them five times!  Maybe six!

BRANDON
Not possible!


He falls back against the truck.  His mouth moves but no words come out.  He can't get any air.


JEESEE
Easy, baby!


He pleads to the sky.


BRANDON
Why?!


Jeesee SCREAMS in ecstasy and throws herself on him. He SCREAMS in agony.


INT - LIVING ROOM - LATER

Brandon is on his couch with Jeesee coaching him in the art of conscious breathing.


JEESEE
Slow, deep breaths, baby.  Nice and slow.  Good.
(Pauses, then)
Let's order out tonight.


INT - TRUCK SHOWROOM - DAY

Dressed like a poor redneck, Brandon kicks the rear tire of a shiny new Silverado.  A concerned SALESMAN approaches him.


SALESMAN
Can I help you, sir?

BRANDON
Maybe.


Brandon pulls the $51,999 price sign off the truck.  He hands it to the salesman, then hands him a thick envelope.


BRANDON
This should cover it.


The wad of cash in the envelope alarms the salesman.


EXT - DRIVEWAY - LATER

Brandon and Jeesee are looking over the new truck.


BRANDON
Paying cash scared the hell out of him.  I figured it might.

JEESEE
So you drove this to work?  How’d that go over?

BRANDON
Well, for starters, Russ canned me.

JEESEE
(laughs)
Really?  He fired you?

BRANDON
For being late again.  Then as I was clearing out my stuff he came in and apologized.  I mean, he was pathetic.  I thought he was going to cry.

JEESEE
So you’re not out of a job?

BRANDON
I told him he was right to fire me but if he wanted to accept my resignation instead that would be okay.  He wrote up a letter and I signed it.  He feels much better.

JEESEE
I think he was afraid you'd buy the company.

BRANDON
(Smiles, then)
(Re: Silverado)
I'm gonna sell this thing.  My old one is fixable.  And it's a good truck.  Just because I've got it doesn't mean I have to spend it.


Jeesee snaps her smartphone up to answer a call.


JEESEE
Hello? . . . Oh, hi!  I was just about to.  Hang on.
 (to Brandon)
The TV news wants to send a crew over to interview you.  That's okay, right?

BRANDON
No, it isn't okay.  I want this kept private.  Whose business is it other than mine?  And yours?

JEESEE
Listen, baby, you gave up your privacy when you bought that ticket.

BRANDON
The hell I did.


EXT - HOUSE - DAY

Brandon waves his arms from his front porch to clear the CROWD that has gathered in his yard.

They rush him instead.  They tear into him and pull him off the porch, all jabbering at once, pushing one another.

They're hawking insurance, investments, the ultimate truck, the latest jet, and endless love.

Four young TARTS are clawing their way to get close to him.


TART 1
(shouting)
Four tens!  Right here!  Four tens!  We're yours!

TART 2
(shouting)
Four for the price of one!


He can barely keep his feet. More vehicles pull up, dumping people into his yard.


BRANDON
Jeesee!  Help!


Push comes to shove comes to punches. It's a melee with Brandon ducking and shielding himself from the blows.

Jeesee rushes out of the house and fires a SHOTGUN into the air.  No effect.  Tart 1 tackles her.


TART 1
Get lost, bitch!


An OLD PICKUP pulls onto the scene.  Out steps a giant of a man, CEDRIC "ROSEY" GREER.  Yes, he's black.


EXT - BRANDON - DAY - CONTINUOUS

Brandon crawls under the mass of altercating bodies in the direction of his front door.

He suddenly confronts two very large legs and looks up.


ROSEY
We can do better than that, Chief.


ROSEY pulls him to his feet and rolls him over his shoulders, like a dad rescuing his little boy.

Then he finds Jeesee and separates her from Tart 1.

He carries her under one arm and sets her down on the front steps.  Brandon dismounts.  Rosey turns and surveys the madness, arms akimbo.

He cups his hands over his mouth.


ROSEY
(shouting)
School's out!


The fighting eases.  He has their attention. He moves slowly among them.


ROSEY
Time to go home, kiddies. Don't be late.


They back away and keep backing away until they reach their vehicles.


ROSEY
That's good, that's good.  You rugrats have a safe trip home.


They begin driving off.  He turns to Brandon, tosses a little salute, then heads for his truck.


BRANDON
Wait!
(Rosey stops, turns)
Who on earth are you?

ROSEY
Just one man helping another.

BRANDON
You're not selling anything?

ROSEY
Got nothin' to sell.

BRANDON
Well, I thank you.  You might've saved our lives!

ROSEY
We do what we can.


He turns to his truck.


BRANDON
Wait!  You for hire?

ROSEY
 (turning back)
To do what?

BRANDON
You know, hang around.  Keep me out of trouble.  Like you did.

ROSEY
Can't do it, boss.

BRANDON
Why not?

ROSEY
Can't keep someone out who's already in.  And you're in about as deep as a person can go.

BRANDON
Don't I know.

ROSEY
Get yourself some mean-lookin' dogs.

BRANDON
I'll throw in a truck as a bonus.


He nods at the Silverado.


INT - HOUSE - LIVING ROOM -DAY

Rosey sports a fine suit as he sits comfortably watching AMY POWERS, an attractive young journalist, interview Brandon and Jeesee.

TWO CAMERAMEN work the interview from different angles.

Brandon seems lost in space. Jeesee glitters.


AMY POWERS
Does it seem real to you yet, Mr. Douglas?


He finds that amusing.


AMY POWERS
Especially after the pandemonium yesterday?  That was some riot, I understand.


Brandon shakes his head, too weary to answer. Amy smiles uneasily and continues.


AMY POWERS
Everyone in the country, it seems, has said what they would do with the money if they won. Can you tell our viewers what your plans are?

BRANDON
No plans yet.

AMY POWERS
I understand you're a war veteran.  Any thoughts about helping your fellow veterans?

BRANDON
No, no thoughts.

AMY POWERS
None, really?

BRANDON
Really.  Other than stopping the damn wars.

AMY POWERS
Good luck with that.  Jeesee, will you be helping him decide what to do with his winnings?


Her face lights up at being asked.


JEESEE
Well . . . I suppose.  If he wants.

AMY POWERS
As a woman you must have some idea of how to spend a billion dollars.

JEESEE
Well--

BRANDON
I was trying to kill myself when Jeesee gave me the news.


Amy looses her edge.


AMY POWERS
Oh.  Well, I hope that idea has lost its appeal.

JEESEE
Oh, all that's changed. He's--

BRANDON
It's no longer a priority.

AMY POWERS
That's a relief. What's replaced it?

BRANDON
Not sure.  I'm no longer part of the real world.  The real world is always trying to get rid of you.  Have you noticed?  War, disease, divorce, poverty.  Accidents. Indifference.

AMY POWERS
Can you expand on that?

BRANDON
You wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t been lucky.  That takes care of indifference.  I’ve already been to war, and the rest money can deter, except for the scars.

AMY POWERS
So . . . Where does that leave you?

BRANDON
I got a taste of that yesterday.
(Glances at Rosey)
That's why there's three of us here.

AMY POWERS
Yesterday certainly won't be typical.  Other billionaires aren't mobbed when they go out.

BRANDON
Other billionaires earned their money.  I won mine.  People figure I can give it up as easily as I got it.

AMY POWERS
Do you think that's true?

BRANDON
No one walked away any richer yesterday.  Except Rosey here.  And he didn't walk away.

AMY POWERS
I'd like a million dollars, please.  It's for a good cause.

BRANDON
Nice try.

AMY POWERS
I wanted to ask you, have any of the presidential campaigns appealed for donations?

JEESEE
Gosh, yes!  They're all millionaires, right? They're on the take from the banks.  So why do they have their hands out asking for money?
(gestures with palm up)

AMY POWERS
(shrugs)
Pay now, favors later.

BRANDON
Then there are those who don't ask.


He takes playful aim at Amy, his hand shaped like a gun.


BRANDON (Continued)
Uncle just takes.

AMY POWERS
Well, you don't want to seem ungrateful, I'm sure.  Without him . . . where would we be?

BRANDON
Uncle just took 350 million of my winnings.  Where would we be?  I know where I'd be, honey.


INT - LOUNGE - NIGHT

A GROUP OF VETERANS, including SAM HARRIS and TRAVIS RODEN, 30s, watch the closing words of the interview on TV.  Travis is angered, Sam is intrigued.


TRAVIS
What a jerk!  Can you believe this guy?!

SAM
Yes, I can, actually.


INT - KITCHEN - EVENING

Jeesee and Brandon are watching a presidential debate on TV.  Anchor MEGYN HUNTER is issuing questions to contenders RICHARD WILMAN and BETHANY PRITCHARD.

ON TV,

HUNTER
Mr. Wilman, voters are complaining about the lack of policy debate in this campaign.  Why are you and Ms. Pritchard providing only superficial discussions of policy?

WILMAN
Well, Miss Hunter, I've wanted a policy debate from the beginning but my opponent seems determined to make this election a contest of insults. I undertstand why -- she has nothing to say.  And the media seem to love it.  They play it up.  I've been called a racist, a misogynist, a bully, and so many other things, I'm sure you have a list in front of you.

But folks are catching on, they see this as a way of deflecting attention from serious issues.  We have to fix health care, we have to solve the immigration problem, we have to see that Americans have jobs that will support their families, we have to let terrorists know we mean business, and that our business is to stop their business, wherever it is.


On TV, mild applause from the audience.


WILMAN
America is the greatest country on earth, yet it is suffering from bad government.  That's why this election is so crucial.  We need to get government working again.
(tepid applause)

HUNTER
Mr. Wilman--

WILMAN
As president, I will resurrect the lost art of statecraft. I will see that the vast machinery of government is properly tuned to serve the working families of America.


A LITTLE LATER...

PRITCHARD
What my opponent refers to as insults are labels he has worked hard to earn.  But I'm well-aware of the need to bring people together -- in spirit.  We are the states united, united for common causes.  We cannot go forward otherwise.  We cannot have Americans fighting one another.  I am the candidate who can calm hostilities. Unlike my opponent, people don't stone me at my rallies.

As for his claim that government is not working, I would like to point out that it has been his party that has opposed social progress at every turn, preferring instead to endow the richest one percent with even more favors at the expense of working Americans. When I'm elected, it will be my sole objective to make government the servant of those who need it most, the ones who have suffered from the larding of the privileged.


A LITTLE LATER...

WILMAN
As you've heard once again poor Ms. Pritchard has nothing to offer but stale bromides and vague generalities.  She's so much more interesting when she's hurling insults, more so because they're not true.  So, Ms. Pritchard, I hope you return to your old ways.  Your people love to hear you call me names.  It's so much safer than discussing policy.   You have nothing to offer but the same old same old, which only puts everyone to sleep.  You have full-time people on your staff who do nothing but troll the internet for the latest put-downs.  I encourage you to keep them working.  You don't want your supporters actually thinking, because if they ever start you might lose them.

PRITCHARD
How ironic, not to mention hypocritical, that Mr. Wilman should bring up ideas when it is ideas that will sink his arrogant ship before this campaign is over.  Like the Titanic, he would take this country full-speed into disaster.  Like the Titanic only the super-privileged will be allowed on the lifeboats, while the rest of us will go down on his ship.

The audience applauds and hoots.  Brandon stands and starts to leave.


JEESEE
Going somewhere?

BRANDON
Yeah.  To throw up.


INT - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Jeesee and Brandon are lying in bed side by side under the covers. She's perky, he's staring up at the ceiling, hands folded under his head, lost in thought.


JEESEE
You know, baby, we don't have to move into some big mansion.  We could fix this place up real nice. Like you're doing with your truck.  Maybe a motorcycle, too.  Maybe.  A big hog.  Maybe two hogs.  Maybe a thousand hogs!


She screeches with excitement but calms herself quickly.


JEESEE (Continued)
Okay, okay.  Back on earth.  Some nice furniture.  We can get some nice custom-made stuff.  And landscaping.  Get someone to pretty the place up with azaleas and roses.  Do you like azaleas?

We need a security system and a couple of mean ol' dogs. You know, come to think of it, maybe we'd be safer living in one of those fancy communities with gates.

People are always trying to cheat you. I had a crazy thought.  Maybe we -- or you, at least -- should change your name.  Our life would be more peaceful, don't you think?

He turns to her, suddenly alert.


BRANDON
 (sitting up)
That's brilliant.

I'm going to get into politics.
I'm going to get into it to end it, once and for all.

JEESEE
 (sitting up)
What are you talking about?

BRANDON
(surprised)
The government.  The people are angry.  Government is a machine -- of the cheats, by the cheats, for the cheats.  No one wants that kind of organization running their lives.


He looks and sounds serious.


JEESEE
Baby . . . you can't run for president.  You're not old enough.

BRANDON
I'm not running for president.  I'm not running for anything.

JEESEE
I thought you said you were getting into politics.

BRANDON
I did.  By voting for me voters promise not to show up on election day.


She stiffles a laugh.


BRANDON
I'm serious.

JEESEE
How will they vote for you if you tell them . . . not to vote?

BRANDON
I'm working on that.  There has to be a way.

JEESEE
I think you've riddled yourself into a corner.

BRANDON
There's no riddle.  I'm sick of letting crooks run my life.  Most people feel the same way, except the ones who want a piece of the action.  Which, come to think of it, is almost everyone.

JEESEE
That's why we have to vote for the best candidate.

BRANDON
The best candidate?  Like the little liar who sent us to Iraq?  Or Afghanistan?  We're supposed to be heroes!  For what, killing people defending their country against an invading force??  For killing teenagers trying to avenge the murder of their families with homemade weapons?

JEESEE
You've got to make peace with it, baby.  Or it'll kill you.

BRANDON
It is killing me!  It is killing me, goddamn it!

JEESEE
 (hugs him)
Easy, baby.

BRANDON
The media is calling Wilman a loose cannon.  There are no loose cannons.  There are only liars running for the legal privilege of shoving other people around.  They're about as honest as the paper dollar.

JEESEE
We do the best we can, baby.

BRANDON
No, we don't.  We don't come close.  That's the problem.  We accept the same thing every election season.  Vote for the crook of your choice.   What if we don't want any crooks?

JEESEE
How would you do any better?

BRANDON
For starters, change my name, like you suggested.

JEESEE
Excuse me?

BRANDON
I'll change my name.  To Loose Cannon.  I'll campaign as Loose Cannon.


She's silenced by disbelief.


BRANDON (Continued)
My message is simple: Don't vote.  Stay home on election day.  Take charge of your life, instead of turning it over to crooks.

JEESEE
Loose Cannon.

BRANDON
That'll get their attention.

JEESEE
Oh, it will.

BRANDON
I'm already a news item.  That'll help get my message out.

JEESEE
Let's talk about this tomorrow, maybe, okay?  After you've had some rest--

BRANDON
A lot of voters think they've found a loose cannon candidate.  I'll show them what a real loose cannon looks like.

JEESEE
 (snuggling)
Baby, please hold me.

BRANDON
The system is rotten.  We don't save it by electing a better crook.  We blow it up.

JEESEE
Hold me.

BRANDON
We'll run our own lives from now on.


INT - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Brandon is busy setting up a video camera on a tripod.  He's excited. The camera has a mic attached and is pointed at a wall with posters of beach scenes.

Jeesee walks into the room and looks around cautiously.


JEESEE
What's happening?

BRANDON
It's the first day of my campaign!  I'm announcing my candidacy.

JEESEE
I don't understand.

BRANDON
I'm making a video announcing my candidacy to post on the World Wide Web.


She stares at him, perplexed.


BRANDON (Continued)
You!  You've got a bikini.  Put it on.  Please!  It'll help it go viral.

JEESEE
Brandon--

BRANDON
Please!  Time is wasting.  We've got to get moving if we're to save humanity.  That's what we're doing, by the way.

JEESEE
Brandon!  I don't want to.

BRANDON
It'll be done in good taste.  Nothing risqué.  I promise.

JEESEE
I said no, Brandon.  I mean it.  You're acting like a damn fool.

BRANDON
How do you figure?

JEESEE
 (Sweeping a hand around the room)
This -- this is how I figure!  Baby, you need to slow down and get hold of yourself.  You haven't slept since you piled up your truck.


He ponders her words for a moment.


BRANDON
Okay.  Okay.  Okay, here's what I'll do.  If this campaign doesn't pick up steam in a week I'll forget the whole thing and go back to being one of the sheep.


She still doesn't like it.


BRANDON (Continued)
Give it a chance.

JEESEE
You want to run a campaign?!

BRANDON
Yes!

JEESEE
You won't be on the ballot.

BRANDON
Right.

JEESEE
But you want people to vote for you.

BRANDON
Right.

JEESEE
How will they do that?  Raise their hands?!

BRANDON
Please . . . a week.  Two at the most.


She glares at him.


BRANDON
But I won't stand a chance if you don't put on a bikini.


INT - LIVING ROOM - LATER

Jeesee appears to be sleeping on a beach lounge wearing a blue bikini and sunglasses.  She's an attractive sight.

Pacing between her and the camera is Brandon, wearing cut-off jeans, an old T-shirt, and no shoes.


BRANDON
Folks, what the world needs is not a good five-cent cigar but an honest political candidate.  I, Loose Cannon, am that candidate.

You might recognize me as the recent winner of the national lottery but I won it under a different name.  Since I want to keep you focused on my message I decided to change my name to Loose Cannon.  I want to be YOUR loose cannon.

You're thinking, "Oh, this guy's a nut case.  He's putting us on.  He's not really a candidate."  Let me assure you, I'm as real as the air you breathe, only a lot cleaner.

Now, other candidates are telling you what they will do for you.  They're telling you what you want to hear.  They'll get tough with our enemies.  They'll give you lots of free stuff because you deserve it.  They'll make the rich foot the bill.

So the candidates, who just happen to be rich, are saying they're going to fleece themselves and their rich friends.  How kind of them.  How kinder of you to believe it.  But you have to believe it because there are no other choices.

But maybe there are.

I have only one promise, and that is to restore your humanity.  Or for those few of you who still have it, protect it.  How will I do this?  By eliminating the fraud of voting.

Voting fills job vacancies in the Imperial City.  Think about that.  Their job, if elected, will be to stay the course, only in bigger doses.  That means more debt, more war, more blowback, more surveillance, more nannying, more indoctrination, more economic pain, more lies, and more pliable citizens to accept it all.  Where is this course taking us, do you suppose?

They will continue their bloated, belligerent ways...

...with money you earned...

...but didn't get...

...because they snatched it from your paycheck first.

They will continue their bloated ways because they devalued the money in your wallets...

...because you let them.

Because you didn't have the courage to tell them they're crooks.

Because you didn't know they were crooks.  You didn't know because they were in charge of your education.  You really do believe there is such a thing as a free lunch.  You really do believe we can print our way to permanent prosperity.

Voting for me, Loose Cannon, means voting to eliminate their jobs.  If their jobs are gone so is the mischief they can do.  If their jobs are gone we don't have to listen to their nonsense every time there is an election. The only elections we will need are the kind we do everyday, when he buy or abstain from buying products and services.

If their jobs are gone, our lives are free.  We are in charge of our lives, not them.

Crazy talk, right?  "Freedom, without government?  Whoever heard of that?"  Tune in to my next installment and we'll talk about this some more.  Until then enjoy your day and think about Loose Cannon.


He snaps the camera off with a tiny remote and turns to Jeesee with a self-satisfied smile.


BRANDON
What do you think?


Jeesee is snoring lightly.


INT - BEDROOM - COMPUTER - DAY

Brandon furiously punches a few keystrokes while seated in front of their computer.  Jeesee stands over him, watching. She's not happy.

He hits one last key and stares at the screen.

BRANDON
431 hits.  Okay, well. . . it's only been a day since I put it up.

JEESEE
I'm surprised it has any hits.

BRANDON
Wait, there're some comments.
(reading)
"If you're loose cannon is she loose woman?  Hahaha!"

BRANDON (continued)
"Next time put her in front, jerk.  Better yet stay out of the picture altogether."

BRANDON
 (deflated)
Seems you're the star of the show.

JEESEE
What do you expect?  They're sleazes.  You set up your movie to appeal to that kind.

BRANDON
I was trying to appeal to the human race.  What's wrong with showing a pretty woman in a bikini as a backdrop?

JEESEE
Brandon -- you don't mind if I call you Brandon, I hope, even though your fan will address you differently -- are you really that naive?


EXT - DRIVEWAY - LATER

Brandon washes the new Silverado with a big sponge.  Rosey watches from a lawn chair, hands clasped behind his head.

Brandon gripes to himself as he works.


BRANDON
"My fan." How nice to have support at home.


He dunks the sponge in a bucket of suds, then flings it at the windshield.


BRANDON (Continued) 
I'm trying to do an end run, woman!

BRANDON
 (Pauses, then to Rosey)
How does it feel to have a billionaire wash the truck he gave you?


Rosey grins.


INT - TV NEWS STUDIO - DAY

TV anchor LYMAN LOVETT wraps up his broadcast for the day. On a big screen behind him is a photo of Brandon extracted from his candidacy speech.


LYMAN LOVETT
The candidates for president are a homogeneous pair.  They both love dirt.  It's their proficiency with the dirt of their opponent that might make the difference in this election.  Because without the dirt there's no way to tell them apart.

Outside the country, they both promise a tougher posture in the Middle East and elsewhere.  They're even drumming up interest in World War III with Russia and China, which if nothing else would vindicate Woodrow Wilson.

Who needs planet earth anyway?

At home, they promise to invigorate the economy with more government spending and threaten tighter scrutiny of companies that put profit above the national interest. That many of those companies are funding both candidates would be relevant in a rational world only.  So where does that leave us?  Where voters are always left, hoping somehow to survive another four years.

But worry not.  If you find yourself not liking either candidate very much, you can always flip a coin and blame the result on Lady Luck if your candidate wins.  That is, if you still have a coin. 
(Smirks)

Okay, okay, time to confess.  There is one candidate, so to speak, that stands out from the rest.  I'm referring to our lucky hero in Barnesville, Georgia, wherever that is.

It seems that winning a king's ransom was not enough for Brandon Douglas.  He's recently decided that rather than kill himself, he wants to kill the foundation of our freedoms.  He wants to kill the vote.

By getting rid of voting he believes we will eliminate our government, which he thinks is doing a bad job of running things.  Well, that's certainly one solution, isn't it?  Fire the gardener and let everything go to seed.

The problem is Mr. Douglas sounds serious, and he has gone so far as to change his name to match his ambition.  Are you ready?  He prefers we now address him as Loose Cannon.  Yes, you heard me right.  Billionaire Loose Cannon wants your vote so can put the government of the United States out of business.

To some that may be a refreshing idea, but to those not afraid to think, it is a call for revolution and dictatorship.

Of course neither he nor his proposal will be on the ballot but that hasn't stopped him.  When you're really determined and really rich you don't let reality get in the way.

Neither has he said which party he represents, though I think it's safe to assume it's the perennial lunatic fringe party.

Personally, I believe Mr. Douglas is launching a career as a stand-up comic, perhaps in the tradition of deadpan comedian Jackie Vernon. And what better time to do it than a presidential election year?

He's either a budding comic or we're witnessing the latent effects of a combat injury received during his tour of the Middle East. . . in which case what we're seeing is not a farce but a genuine tragedy.


INT - HOUSE - KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Brandon and Jeesee are viewing the newscast on a small TV while dining on Buffalo chicken wings and beer.


LYMAN LOVETT (Continued)
That's the news for today.  I'm Lyman Lovett.  Have a good evening.


Brandon clicks the TV off. He's excited. She's upset.


BRANDON
This is what winning the lottery has done.  I'm a news item, no matter what I do.

JEESEE
You're a news item, all right.

BRANDON
What's wrong?

JEESEE
A big shot newscaster has just called you a fool, and you're thrilled to death about it.

BRANDON
What else would you expect from a big shot newscaster? He's an overpaid puppet.  He's part of the problem.

JEESEE
Don’t you think you’re being a little hard on the people who run things?  If they’re all rotten, as you say, then maybe running the government is something that can’t be done without being rotten.

BRANDON
When a job can't be done without being rotten, it's time to look for another way of doing it.

JEESEE
You're not offering another way.  You're just throwing the whole thing out.

BRANDON
And by throwing it out people will be able to govern themselves through voluntary association instead of coercive association.


She turns away in disgust.


BRANDON
Baby, look.  The numbers are on your side.  My little speech has only a few thousand hits on YouView.  I need millions. Tens of millions, in short order -- if my campaign is to take off. And what do I have?  A week?

JEESEE
Five days.  And then what?  Back to testing your brakes again?  God, Brandon!  Maybe you do have a brain injury.


She turns and leaves.


BRANDON
Where are you going?

JEESEE
Someplace quiet where I can pray.


He thinks for a moment.


BRANDON
(shouting)
When you're done, get your bikini again, will you?  I want to make another campaign video.  But wear your robe this time.


A door SLAMS off-screen.

END OF PART I

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