From the mind of our systems administrator, Paul Jensen:
Gwen Ifill: Good evening and welcome to the Vice Presidential debate between Senator Joe Biden of Delaware and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. The format, as negotiated between the two campaigns, will go as follows: ninety-second answers, followed by two minute discussions and rebuttals, and ending with Evening Wear.
Palin (whispering): Yes!
Gwen: Our first question goes to Senator Biden about the current economic crisis. Senator, what do you think is the best plan for these troubling financial times?
Biden: Well, Gwen, as you know, we’ve had the best of times here in America. And now we seem to be having the worst of times. It’s an age of wisdom, but also an age of foolishness. It’s an epoch…
Gwen: Senator, forgive me…but isn’t that from A Tale of Two Cities?
Biden: Gwen, the tale isn’t of two cities, it’s of one America. You know, when I was young, my family had to move because of our economic woes. And I prayed to God to make sure we’d be OK. I got on my knees and said, “Are you there, God? It’s me, Joey Biden. We’re moving today. I’m so scared, God. Please make the kids at my new school like me…”
Gwen (sighs): And that’s Judy Blume. Let’s move on to Governor Palin. Governor, what is your take on…?
Palin: The Anchorage Daily News, Gwen.
Gwen: I’m sorry?
Palin: Gwen, I just wanted to answer the question from the Katie Couric interview if I may. I read the Anchorage Daily News. Every day. I do the Word Jumble too. And I love Family Circus. Jeffy is such a little scamp!
Gwen: Fine, but I want to ask you about...
Palin: And, if I may, Ms. Stefani, clear up one other matter: I do have examples of how John McCain is a maverick. John McCain broke with the Bush Administration on the subjects of health care, climate change and…uh… (looks at her palm) … gum legislation.
Gwen: Gum legislation?
Palin (squints at hand): Could be “gun”…or maybe “gurrr”…I got a little sweaty, Gwen.
Gwen: Senator, your thoughts?
Biden: Gwen, the problem right now isn’t with gum legislation, as my worthy opponent says. It’s with our economy. We see it everywhere we go. For instance, we did a campaign stop in Chicago recently. Great Chicago, glowing red before our eyes. Screeching trolleys, newsboys, gals cutting by, the smell of fried food and beer in the air, neons winking--"We're in the big town, Barack! Whooee!"Gwen: Jack Kerouac, On the Road?
Gwen: Let’s go back to Governor Palin and the economy. Governor?
Palin: Gwen, the important thing is, where are we going, as a country, when Putin is rearing is head over the border of Alaska and Russia, and the oil, and…the vast variety of…Americans know that…uh…I’m a maverick, and…no, wait…John’s the maverick, and a reformer, reforming…things…that need reforming, such as…and I think that for our future, and for our children’s future, and for the future of our children’s future’s future…because I believe that children are our future…we should treat them well, and also we should let them lead the way…
Biden (as if on a game show): Whitney Houston! (The audience applauds) Well played, Governor.
Palin: Thanks, Joe. It was me and Todd’s prom song.
Gwen: We’re running out of time, thankfully. We will have one last question. Server Reboot Wednesday, the night when Seattle Weekly employees are asked to close all their programs before leaving the office: are you for it or against it?
Palin: In what respect, Gwen?
Gwen (slowly): Are you for…OR…against…Server Reboot Wednesday?
(Long pause. Palin looks at both sides of both hands.)
Palin: I’ll find out and get back to ya.
Gwen: Can’t wait. Senator Biden?
Biden: I think I’ve made my stance on Server Reboot Wednesday very clear, Gwen. I’m for it. I support it. In fact, I think it’s Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-EAT!
Palin: Tony the Tiger! Tony the Tiger! I got that one!
Gwen: Good night, America. Hope you can sleep.
(Gwen leaves as the stage goes dark, leaving the two candidates behind their podiums.)
Palin: Hey…what about the evening wear round?
Biden (muttering): Don’t tell me I shaved my legs for nothing…