The One Where Everybody Thinks About Voting
Earlier this week NBC hosted their much-anticipated Friends reunion special, a nostalgic reprieve from the stream of presidential debates clogging the airwaves lately. The reunion was a little grassy knoll in the desert of election season, and we couldn’t help but think how much better all this would be if we had our six Central Perk besties to walk us through the drama. And so…
[Scene: Phoebe walks into the apartment holding her guitar. Chandler is sitting on the couch drinking a beer with a blanket on his lap, and Rachel is talking on the phone, trying to untangle the phone cord.]
Rachel: Dad, you do this every election year. I do not want to marry one of the Republican candidates… no I really do not, and anyway, they all have wives already. Plus, they’re all terrible looking! Donald looks like he ate all the carrots in Wisconsin while sitting in a spray tan booth, Ted’s nose looks like it got stuck in an elevator door, and Marco… okay, well his wife is almost as hot as me so he’s not going to leave her… Dad, you know what, I’ve got to go. I’ll talk to you later, okay? (Hangs up the phone and sighs.) I just hate elections. My dad still hasn’t given up on me marrying a politician. He thinks the debates are primetime speed dates.
Chandler: Well I guess they sort of are—romancing us prudish voters into the big bouncy bed of our future America. Still I feel like actual romance doesn’t tend to go hand in hand with carpet-bombing ISIS… although Planned Parenthood, I’d say some romances definitely start there. Did you see that movie Obvious Child?
Rachel: So you’re telling me you don’t vote for the person you want to sleep with the most?
Chandler: Historically speaking, there haven’t been a whole lot of candidates that appeal to my particular sexual orientation—well exactly none, but—wait, have you been talking to Monica about this? This is the exact argument she keeps making for why I should vote for Hillary. It doesn’t seem very feminist, I must say.
Rachel (shrugs): Sometimes I wear bras, sometimes I don’t.
Phoebe: Well, you’ll both be happy to know I’m voting for Bernie, because I’m a socialist so I believe everyone else should give me their money. But you know what? I’ve gotten really fed up with everyone making these stupid “Feel the Bern” acid reflux type jokes, saying he always looks like he’s running late for a flight. It’s mean—he can’t help that he’s old and rumpled like a used napkin, and I like him that way. He reminds me of that nice man always sleeping in the dumpster on Christie Street, who told me he was my father once and asked to change my diaper. Anyway, I’m sick of all the jokes, so I’ve decided to help Bernie out with a little jingle I wrote. I’m pretty confident this will set everyone straight…
[Phoebe sits on the arm of the couch and pulls her guitar onto her lap.]
♫ Smelly Bern, Smelly Bern
It’s not your fault
Smelly Bern, Smelly Bern
What are they feeding you?
Smelly Bern, Smelly Bern
They won’t take you to the dry cleaners
But income equality is not about looking fly, Mr. Sanders
Smelly Bern, Smelly Bern
It’s not your fault… ♫
[Chandler crosses his arms and squints thoughtfully; Rachel cocks her head to the side and nods. They offer a collective “Hmmm.”]
[Monica and Ross enter, wearing Hillary For America t-shirts and carrying picket signs. Chandler tries to slide his beer under the couch.]
Chandler: Heyyy you made it back from Brooklyn alive! I’ve heard it’s pretty rough over there these days.
Monica: It’s all true. We were almost run over by some kids in Hawaiian shirts driving an Uzbeki-Mexican-Chinese fusion food truck.
Ross, dreamily: Narrow miss. But nothing could dampen my spirits after hearing Hillary lay out her fiery pragmatic plan to sustain the mediocre future of our country. I’ve just always had a thing for women in pants suits… I’ll never forget that pantsuit Carol wore on our first date…
Chandler: Oh, yes, Carol, your lesbian ex-wife. Women in pants suits do work out for you.
Monica: Well, Chandler, you may have missed the rally today—I’m happy to see you’ve recovered from your chicken pox scare this morning—but you know what will not be happening to you in that bedroom there for the next four years if you’re not scribbling in a bubble next to Hillary’s name come election day.
[Chandler nudges his beer further under the couch with his foot. Joey enters in a suit, tightening his tie. He puffs out his chest and spreads his arms wide.]
Ross: Why are you wearing that suit?
Joey: Tell me, I look presidential? Right?
Chandler: Yeah! Exactly like the president of the New Jersey Used Cars Club.
Joey: Hey, hey, listen—I’m not actually running for President. I got an audition for Celebrity Apprentice, so I’m going to win that, and then I’ll be Trump’s Vice President.
Ross: I’m not sure that’s how it works.
Joey: Let me assure you, it is. I can’t believe I’ve wasted all this time trying to be an actor when here it was, right in front of me, my true calling: politics! Politicians are basically the same as actors—they’re just bad actors.
Monica: Joey, do you even know what the D.C. in Washington D.C. stands for?
Joey: Did I go to third grade? Everyone knows it stands for Dinosaur Century, for when they built the White House to shelter George Washington from the dinosaurs. Anyway, if Trump is qualified to be President, I am at the very least qualified to be Vice President.
Chandler: He has a point.
Ross: What did you say about dinosaurs?
Rachel: Oh, Ross (handflick). Joey, I think it’s not a bad idea.
Phoebe: ♫ Oh, Smelly Bern, Smelly Bern… ♫
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