"The Godfather Strikes Back"

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"The Godfather Strikes Back"

Postby Kevin » Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:03 am

The Godfather Strikes Back

Disclaimer: The following story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Further Disclaimer: Our lawyers tell us that we have to say that Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, everyone at The Register-Guard, and even Dave Barry had nothing to do with this story. It's a parody protected by the First Amendment, one of the six amendments in the Bill of Rights that still apply, at least in part. It should not be read by anyone under the age of 13, anyone lacking a sense of humor, or anyone who can't distinguish fact from fiction. It's intended for entertainment purposes only, or to promote community dialogue. Void where prohibited by law. Your mileage may vary. So please don't come after us.

SOUNDTRACK: "Speak Softly Love (Love theme from The Godfather)," sung by Andy Williams: "Speak softly, love, and hold me warm against your heart. I feel your words, the tender trembling moments start. We're in a world, our very own, sharing a love that only few have ever known. ..."

EXTERIOR: Aerial view of a town at night. Fly over the lights below. Zoom to the tallest building around, capped with the name of a major financial institution in glowing lights. Zoom to a top-floor picture window with the drapes closed.

INTERIOR: A large, dark, smoke-filled room. Thick drapes are drawn over a picture window that looks out over the lights far below. The room is decorated with portraits of old, powerful men from earlier times. A large, heavy table surrounded by nine large, heavy chairs, all cut from old growth wood stained blood red, dominates the room. The seats are occupied by nine stocky men, all in smoking jackets and smoking big, fat cigars. The room is illuminated by a single lamp hanging above the center of the table. The nine are served by formally dressed young men who come and go from the shadows. The room has the feel of an exclusive men's club, a sanctuary, a place where no woman would ever be allowed.

NOTE: Except where indicated, all characters should speak like Marlon Brando with marbles in his mouth.

DON NIL AUDIO: I can't keep hearing how bad business has gotten.

DON NIL VIDEO: I don't see how we can keep going like this.

DON TACITO: I can't tell you how tough times are getting.

AUDIO: We used to run this town.

VIDEO: We used to make a killing.

TACITO: We used to be able to get our permits approved with just a phone call.

AUDIO: What is to be done?

VIDEO: About her?

TACITO: To fix the business?

The only door to the room swings open. A figure cloaked in a black robe slowly emerges from a cloud of tear gas, flanked by two bodyguards dressed in riot gear with gas masks.

LORD METAMUCIL: (scanning the room) The nine families. The Gang of 9. You're mere shadows of your former selves, nothing more than wraiths.

JOJO HIJINKS: (sounding like an out-of-place computer-generated character from some sci-fi movie with an annoying falsetto voice) Meesa thinks You're gonna bust some heads, my Lord.

DON TORREYANO: (sounding like James Earl Jones breathing heavily through a gas mask) It's Donna Piercerino's fault. Nothing's been the same since she took over. A woman shouldn't be allowed to do a man's job.

AUDIO: My sand and gravel business has dried up.

VIDEO: I haven't built an overpriced highway interchange in years. Now nothing but bicycle paths and speed bumps.

TACITO: My strip malls are all getting converted to mixed uses.

HIJINKS: Oh, meesa likes being able to live close to where I work, stop for a nice cappuccino, save money on the high price of gas...

TORREYANO: (slapping Hijinks in the face) Shut up, you gibbering fool!

METAMUCIL: (gazing at Torreyano) Yes, search your feelings. Feel the rage burn within you. Your anger will make you powerful.

TORREYANO: Yes, my Lord. She has taken... taken what is rightfully ours... rightfully mine.

METAMUCIL: You're right, Torreyano. It's her fault. Something must be done.

HIJINKS: Meesa thinks You're hatching a plan, my Lord.


AUDIO: Our Lord will find a way. He did it before.

VIDEO: He paved the way for a new hospital with just a series of cartoons.

TACITO: He knows the humorist's pen is mightier than the machine gun.

SOUNDTRACK: "Mack the Knife," sung by Bobby Darin: "... Ya know when that shark bites, with his teeth, spam, scarlet billows start to spread. Fancy gloves, though, wears old MacHeath, spam, so there's nevah, nevah a trace of red. ..."

AUDIO: He skewered the city council.

VIDEO: Left them impotent.

TACITO: All the while claiming his humor was intended to "promote dialogue."

METAMUCIL: Times have changed. The people want change. All they talk about is The Audacity of Hope.

TORREYANO: We need to keep preaching fear. Keep the people in line. Let them know who's boss.

METAMUCIL: You don't see the big picture.

TORREYANO: But the old ways have served us well. The old ways are my life. The old ways are all I know.

METAMUCIL: No, Don Torreyano. The times have changed, and we must adapt. Change to survive, change to thrive.

TORREYANO: But how, my Lord? I'm but a simple ad man.

METAMUCIL: Then you should understand the power of packaging, the power of message. We need to repackage you, make some improvements, make you better than you were before.

TORREYANO: Your will is my command, my Lord.

METAMUCIL: For starters, you need to change your brand. The Republican brand has tarnished. Bush bankrupted the whole party. Indeed, he's well on his way to bankrupting the whole country. You lost your last major race because people saw you as a clone of Bush.

AUDIO: The Clone Wars were terrible.

VIDEO: We lost everything.

TACITO: It was a clean sweep.

TORREYANO: You're not suggesting...

METAMUCIL: No, of course not. The Democrats are weak and clueless.

TORREYANO: Then what, my Lord?

METAMUCIL: You need to re-register with the Independent Party. Do it during an off-election year, professing disgust with your Republican colleagues. Appear to distance yourself from all you were before. Talk about how you're a moderate, an independent. Then volunteer your time for some good cause, preferably something having to do with kids.

TORREYANO: But if I renounce my party, who will still support me?

METAMUCIL: Patience. You need to go underground for six months, act as if your political days are over.

TORREYANO: But I want the power. I want to win.

METAMUCIL: (eyes glowing bright red) Yes, your desire will make you strong. Search your feelings.

TORREYANO: I want to be... mayor. Yes, that's it. I want to be mayor again. She took it. It's mine, my precious.

METAMUCIL: Then at the last possible moment, announce you're running against her.

TORREYANO: That's crazy. That's only 10 weeks before the election. How will I ever be able to raise a campaign war chest to blanket the air waves with lies in such a short time?

METAMUCIL: You will have the element of surprise. She will be unprepared, weak, poor.

TORREYANO: I'll need... 150... no, 200 thousand dollars at least to win.

METAMUCIL: (taking out a checkbook) Will this suffice?

HIJINKS: (gasp) My Lord, how can you? Meesa has never before seen a check so large.

AUDIO: It's a wise business investment that will pay many dividends.

VIDEO: He has deep pockets, filled by His hospital deal.

TACITO: It's just the quarterly interest He earns off the cool $16 million He cleared.

METAMUCIL: It's a windfall I would have never received if Don Torreyano hadn't gone along with the whole hospital deal. I treat my loyal subjects well.

TORREYANO: My Lord, I'm honored by your trust in me. I'll not let you down. But I'll need more than money. I'll need a message.

METAMUCIL: (laughing maniacally) And that, Don Torreyano, is the best part of my plan. Don't go after her weaknesses, go after her strengths.

AUDIO: That's insane!

VIDEO: She's too popular with the people, a mayor for all.

TACITO: It won't work.

METAMUCIL: Karl Rove showed us how. Donna Piercerino brought in a police auditor, so say she's soft on crime. She's working with the business community to encourage sustainable businesses, so say she's hurting jobs. She pushed through a gas tax to fix the streets, so talk about potholes. And she's working to solve traffic problems in the west, so say she hasn't improved the highways. In short, criticize her for all you left undone during your two terms in office.

TORREYANO: But she's so popular, a mayor for all the town. Her door is open to everyone, regardless of point of view.

METAMUCIL: Then call her a divider. Challenge her to a debate, man-to-woman. Then criticize her when she wants to take questions from all the people.

TORREYANO: But will the people fall for such a transparent lie?

METAMUCIL: It worked for the parkway vote, didn't it? Remember? "The money is there." "It is thoroughly planned and ready to go." Those were heady days. The bigger the lie, the more people will fall for it.

AUDIO: We will be in charge again.

VIDEO: We won't have to listen to the people.

TACITO: It will be like the good ol' days.

METAMUCIL: And best of all, portray her as the business-as-usual candidate and you as a force for change. Say she's the insider in a corrupt government and you're the populist coming to save the day. Parrot her inclusive slogan with something catchy, something like: "Yes, we can!"

TORREYANO: But she has gotten to so many of our old friends with her open door policy, turned them to the other side.

METAMUCIL: The Force is strong in you, Don Torreyano. Go to your old friends, twists their arms, make them offers they can't refuse. Don't worry. The good ol' boys network will fall back in line. They understand strength. They understand power.

TORREYANO: As you say, my Lord.

METAMUCIL: JoJo, you give me the creeps. You aren't a spy, are you? If word ever got out about our plan to take back control, our lies would never work.

Hijinks jumps, causing a previously hidden wire down his back to fall loose.

HIJINKS: (nervously) Meesa is no spy. Meesa is loyal. Meesa is here for you, my Lord.

METAMUCIL: (grunting skeptically at Hijinks then turning to Torreyano) Now go, Don Torreyano. Change your party. Hide somewhere inconsequential. Join the school board. Then just before the filing deadline, announce your candidacy. Do this and we cannot fail. You will be the town boss again...

TORREYANO: I'll not fail you, my Lord.

AUDIO: We will rule again!

VIDEO: We will own this town!

TACITO: Like we did before.

Hijinks and Torreyano turn and leave the room.

METAMUCIL: (whispering to himself) ...and I'll be your Lord and Master.

Metamucil slithers into the shadows, laughing Himself all the way to the bank.

SOUNDTRACK: "Speak Softly Love (Love theme from The Godfather)," sung by Andy Williams: "Speak softly, love, and hold me warm against your heart. I feel your words, the tender trembling moments start. We're in a world, our very own, sharing a love that only few have ever known. ..."

Fade to black.


Okay, the story is still in rough draft form. It's a bit dark, as the middle movement in a trilogy often is. And if you read what we wrote years ago about the "Hospital War,"
http://www.robzako.com/choices/digests/ ... -13.html#2
you'll agree it's a bit too familiar, as sequels often are.

But remember that it's often darkest just before the dawn. And there is good in everyone, even in Darth Vader or the Grinch. (Am I the only one who sees a similarity between the Grinch and Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy?) In the end, Darth Vader returned to being Anakin Skywalker, and the Grinch learned to care for the children of Whoville. Many would be better off keeping their promises to children rather than chasing power and stroking their egos. And rich men with deep pockets have hearts, too, and have been known to do good things. Industrialist Andrew Carnegie used his fortune to build thousands of libraries across the country.

In any case, this is only a story, a work of fiction. Surely in real life, sand and gravel barons, developers, and speculators with deep pockets would never conspire to install their own man in place of a mayor for all the people, would they? Surely in a free and democratic society, the people come first.

Speaking of a government of the people, by the people, for the people, we need to speak truth to power, truth to the man. And there is perhaps no better way to do so than to support the woman.

More for my own amusement than for CHOICES,
Rob Zako
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