Wednesday, December 24, 2014

anywhere within miles

Joanne Herring -- I'll fly in tonight.  Buy me a drink?
Charlie Wilson -- Yes ma'am.
Joanne -- We're almost there, Charlie.

Congressman Wilson announces in a genial shout to his office staff, "I'm goin' back to Pakistan tomorrow!"

The girls chorus:  "Let's party!"

INT. - A bar - NIGHT

Girls whooping, squeaking, laughing, dancing around.
David Bowie's "Let's Dance" plays droningly from the jukebox.

The congressman directs proceedings with his laconic, laid-back confidence, ordering drinks -- "You want a refill here, darling?" -- "Can we get another round?" -- "Mario!"

Office girl -- "Oh, Charlie!"

Let's dance, put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let's dance, to the song they're playin' on the radio
Let's sway
while color lights up your face
Let's sway,
sway through the crowd to an empty space...

Joanne Herring is seated at a small table; Gust Avrakotos swoops in to claim the chair opposite her.

Avrakotos -- Hey, Joanne.  Can I call you Joanne?

Joanne (with amused reserve) -- Yes.

Gust proceeds to advise.
"You'll want to dress considerably more modestly when we're at the border."

Joanne's reply bristles delicately with her own brand of supreme confidence which is based on We-Don't-Know-What -- "Well thank you but I have been passionately involved with the cause of the Afghans for three years.  I've been there many times."

Gust -- Okay, well then I'll just go

Joanne Herring looks at him directly, and speaks in a direct manner.
"I am not easily shocked, Mr. Avocados."

Charlie Wilson appears by the table, draws up a chair, and says with understated irony, "I knew you two were gonna hit it off right away."

"Charlie!" someone calls.  "Sorry, Stu's on the phone.  You can take it at the bar."
Congressman Wilson -- "Stu.  This can't be good." 
He gets up and wades back through the mild, uncrowded swirl of partiers.

Joanne -- "How'd you hook up with Charlie?  Are you also passionately involved with the cause of the Afghans?"

Gust Avrakotos -- No, I just wasn't really doin' anything else.

Joanne lowers her voice and speaks conspiratorially -- I mean, how did you get into the

C.  I.  A. ?

Gust -- Oh, I didn't.  I'm with the Department of Agriculture.

[We can tell Gust is deeply involved with and knowledgeable about agriculture since he carelessly pronounces it "agger - culture."]

Gust -- Food and Plant Division.  Specifically apple imports.

Joanne -- Now, you don't seem like the apple type.
Gust -- I know. 
Joanne -- What's that mean?

He does not answer her, this time.

She advances from another angle, with Texas-style hospitality and charm condensating in each syllable she speaks.

Joanne -- Where are you from?
Gust -- What do you care?
-- Are you a Catholic?
-- Greek Orthodox, Mrs. Herring.
-- That's still Christian.
-- Imagine my relief.

Joanne -- What's your problem with me?
Gust -- You know, I've found, in my business, that when people with time on their hands get involved in politics, I start forgetting what I'm supposed to be shooting at.

-- That would be in the apple import business.
-- Yes, ma'am.
-- I'll have to remember that.
-- Please do.

Congressman Wilson (shouting happily, announcing for everyone) -- It's over!  It is over!  That was Stu, and it is over!

Office assistant -- Wait, wait -- Crystal didn't name you?

Charlie -- Well, she witnessed me doing coke in the Cayman Islands.
-- Oh shit, Charlie!
-- No, it's all right.  That's out of the Justice Department's jurisdiction, so it is over.  I'm going home!  Gus, Joanne, the most important trip of our lives is in the morning, so let's get plenty of sleep.  I'm going home.  Jailbait, slap my hands!

"Jailbait" slaps his hands in mutual triumph, to which he responds good-naturedly, "Ow-ow!"  Then adds, to the bartender, "Mario, this is all on me."
-- Yes sir.

Joanne says to Gust Avrakotos, "He may be in trouble with the press, but he stayed out of jail.  You don't see God's hand in this?"

Gust -- Well, reasonable people can disagree, but I don't see God anywhere within miles of this.  On the other hand, if you slept with me tonight, I bet you I could change my mind in a hurry.

-- Oh, you would.
-- Yeah.

(She turns him down) -- "I'll see you on the plane."

Let's dance, for fear your grace should fall
Let's dance for fear tonight is all
Let's sway, you could look into my eyes
Let's sway, under the moonlight,
this serious moonlight...

{Charlie Wilson's War.  2007.  Directed by Mike Nichols.  Screenplay written by Aaron Sorkin.}


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