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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Kerry's Master Plan, Pt. II

Establishing Shot, Gulf of Tonkin
From above, we see a U.S. Naval vessel underway. As we get closer we see the name of the ship, USS GRIDLEY (CG 21).

Cut to:
INT. Officer Stateroom. A card on the door says ENS KERRY ENS WILLIAMS
We move inside the small room. ENSIGN JOHN KERRY is at a table writing in his DIARY.

VO as JOHN KERRY writes in diary
KERRY: Dear diary, I have hit a snag in my MASTER PLAN. Instead of being sent to Vietnam, I am now stationed aboard USS Gridley. We are operating in the Vietnam theater, which is good, but I need to be in, as the guys say, 'the shit.' In a few months we'll be heading back to Long Beach. That might be my way out. Gridley will be temporarily decommissioned when we get back to Long Beach. I think I'll request Swfit boat duty. That will put me in danger and, if I'm lucky, will get me wounded, and I'll also get the Silver Star and Bronze Star.

Satisfied, Kerry closes the diary, locks it, and stores it in a locker with a false bottom he had constructed. From another locker, Kerry pulls out a small typewriter. He sits down, feeds in a sheet of paper, and types out a request for duty in Vietnam. The task complete, Kerry takes his request to one of the ship's clerks for processing.

We FADE OUT, and cut to:
EXT.
HQ of COASTAL DIVISION 11, Saigon
We are in an office. Seated at desk is LCDR GEORGE ELLIOTT. Standing in front of Elliott is JOHN KERRY, now wearing the rank insignia of LIEUTENANT JUNIOR GRADE.

KERRY: Lieutenant John Kerry, reporting as ordered, sir.
ELLIOTT: Welcome aboard, lieutenant.

KERRY hands to ELLIOTT his paperwork.

KERRY: Sir, may I sit down?
ELLIOTT: Certainly.

KERRY SITS.

KERRY: I just had a few questions. I heard from one of the guys that if you get three Purple Hearts, the Navy will send you out of Vietnam?

ELLIOTT: Yes, that's the U.S. Navy's policy.

KERRY: I see. Commander, I wanted to...request something. It may seem a bit unusual.

ELLIOTT: Yes?

KERRY: Sir, I'd like to be the main person to write after-action combat reports.

ELLIOTT: What do you mean?

KERRY: I know it's a hassle to have all of these officers writing up different reports, and frankly, I can do a better job. At Yale I was recognized for my ability to write concise memorandums.

ELLIOTT: Oh yeah? Do you have any examples?

KERRY: As a matter of fact...

KERRY digs through notebook and produces several sheets of paper that he hands to ELLIOTT.

ELLIOTT: Why, this is fine work. Okay, Kerry, you can write up all of the after-action combat reports. I don't even need feedback from the other Swift boat skippers, or eyewitness accounts to back up anything you put in writing.

KERRY: Can I write up Purple Heart recommendations?

ELLIOTT: Sure.

KERRY: Excellent. It will be a pleasure serving here, sir.

ELLIOTT: Yes, lieutenant.

KERRY: By the way, if in 35 years you are asked about my service here, can you make sure and lie? You know, say I was a bad officer, stuff like that, or that I didn't qualify for medals or awards.

ELLIOTT: Sure, son.

KERRY: Permission to leave, sir.

ELLIOTT: Permission granted.

KERRY turns and leaves. As he enters the hallway, we can hear Kerry CACKLING.

KERRY: The world is my oyster!

Stay tuned for Part 3 of The Master Plan!


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