Back in 2007, the Iraq War was experiencing a “surge” courtesy of the U.S. military and I was a college student sitting at a dining hall table, wondering how I could capture the political debate of the day in metaphor through a short film script. Thus, the following piece of trenchant political satire was born. The three characters in it—George, Harry, and John, creatively representing George W. Bush, Harry Reid, and John McCain—I recast as students at a dining hall table stuck in a debate that seemed quite similar to the one occurring at the same time in Washington. I recently found this in my files and just had to let the world see its genius. Get your popcorn out for:

THE MEAL

INT. CAFETERIA – DAY

Three guys are sitting at a table eating lunch. The conversation is pretty heated.

GEORGE
Dude, what’s wrong with the Patriot Act?

HARRY
(with contempt)
Ever heard of Thomas Jefferson? Well, as one of this country’s founding fathers and the primary authors of the Declaration of Independence, he knew his stuff.

GEORGE goes in for seconds on all of his plate as conversation continues.

HARRY (cont’d)
And one very important thing he knew was that “those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” So say so long to your liberty and your safety, because the PATRIOT
Act just stole both of those away from you.

JOHN
Dude, I don’t need a history lesson right now.

HARRY
George, it looks like you won’t be able to finish.

GEORGE
Yeah, it looks like I bit off more than I can chew.

JOHN
You still need to stay the course. If you don’t eat the food here, we’ll have to eat it at home.

HARRY
That’s ridiculous! You need to get out of this meal now. Do you have an exit strategy? A timetable for withdrawal?

JOHN
He wants you to cut-and-run from this meal. Do you really think that’s the best option? We’ll look weak to everyone here.

HARRY
Weak? They’ll respect you more for knowing when to call it quits. Besides, you only have one friend in this place anyway.

Cut to a British guy eating fish and chips.

GEORGE
Listen, ever since I got seconds, times have changed. There are people that want me to finish this meal—and by finish I mean there being less food—and there are other people who hope that I will not finish this meal. If I don’t finish this meal,
those people will win.

HARRY
George, you took on more food than you were prepared for. You’ve mismanaged this meal and you need to end it immediately. Don’t make things worse. Don’t
you remember last time this happened, at the Vietnamese restaurant? You’re making the same mistakes right now as you did then.

JOHN
This is entirely different. We’re eating a whole different kind of meal, eating different food entirely. This food is unlike any food we’ve ever eaten. It will not stop once you’ve eaten it. It will attack you when you sleep, through indigestion and diarrhea. If I don’t finish this meal, the food will win.

HARRY
Pulling out now won’t be the disaster. Getting seconds on this meal was the real disaster!

JOHN
I think we need a food surge. Morale is low and escalating the food is the only way George can finish this meal.

GEORGE
I’m the Decider, and the Eater guy. I say that we stay the course and eat it here so we don’t eat it at home.

HARRY
George, you’re the worst eater ever. I’m going to get the manager to throw you out of here.

GEORGE
Look, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: when the meal stands up, we’ll stand
down. Until then, I’m staying the course. If it doesn’t end before I leave, whoever comes in here next will have to finish it.

HARRY
They’ll have a lot on their plate.

Fade out.