Is there anything that has a shorter shelf life than a topical sketch that isn't selected? Other than a nuclear agreement with North Korea? It's rough. You pull together a decent take on today's headlines only to learn they didn't pick your sketch to be in this week's show. Then what? Submit it around to the hundreds of comedy troupes that are looking for sketches from strangers? Save it for a Twitter Hashtag game? Or, do you just start posting on your own blog because you never know (actually you do, but you do it anyway)? During the height of President Trump's goofy interaction with the families of killed soldiers, I wrote this bit as a video piece. It didn't get picked. I even considered just making it myself with my video software, but I just never got around to it. Oh, well. So now it's here....
Letters to the Fallen
“Ashokan Farewell” (from Ken Burns’ Civil War) plays under.
NARRATOR (V.O.): The conflict had many victims and it fell upon the country’s commander-in-chief to relay the sympathies and prayers of the nation to the families of the fallen.
Visual: Old letter being written, quill and parchment.
PRESIDENT (V.O.): October the 18th.
My Dear Insert Dead Soldier’s Wife’s or Mother’s Name,
I write this letter to you to express my warmest condolences in my time of your grief. As you may have heard, your husband or son is dead. He was a soldier, killed in battle, which is what I’ve been told happens. It is a sad, sad time for all of us, mostly you, but he knew what he was signing up for when he signed up despite what the fake news says.
While I have been conducting this war in the most excellent way and winning every battle, soldiers die. It is the way of things. But we are doing great. I give myself a 10, which is the highest any president ever got rated for a war. But even so, I have to write these letters and it saddens me. I hope you understand just how hard it is for me to deal with these letters. I hate doing them but I do them, unlike other presidents who never, ever did them…
You husband-slash-son died a hero’s death, despite the fact that I prefer heroes who don’t die. We are in conflict with a terrible enemy, who seeks to destroy our way of
life, although I am sure there are fine people there as well, and [insert soldier’s name] answered his nation’s call with fervor I can only imagine, having not answered any calls myself. Not even close.
Remember my landslide win? The exact opposite of a close call!
In conclusion, I’m putting a check for $25,000 in the mail, not because I have to but because I like to say I do. Have a good time!
The President of the United States (me)
Please don’t show this letter to anyone else.