President Fitzgerald Grant of Scandal Does The Crossword Puzzle

crosswordEvery time President Fitzgerald Grant appears to be reading or signing a stack of important documents on Scandal, he is in fact working on the Washington Post’s junior crossword puzzle, which he completes religiously every day of the week except for Sundays, when they run Sudoku instead. 

4AM. INTERIOR OVAL OFFICE. FITZ sits at his desk, a half-empty decanter of whiskey at his elbow, his right hand at his temple. FITZ picks up the phone.

FITZ [screaming, inexplicably]: OLIVIA ARE YOU AWAKE RIGHT NOW Y/N

INTERIOR. NIGHT. OLIVIA’S ROOM. OLIVIA sits up in bed and presses her hand against her forehead.

OLIVIA: Fitz? Is that you? What’s wrong?

FITZ: WHAT IS A THREE-LETTER WORD FOR CHICKEN

OLIVIA: What?

FITZ: IT’S FOR THE CROSSWORD
I DIDN’T GET TO FINISH IT THIS MORNING BECAUSE I HAD TO PRESIDENT
I HAD TO PRESIDENT ABOUT THE SUDANS

OLIVIA: I…’hen’?

FITZ: OH MY GOD
THAT’S TOTALLY IT
THAT TOTALLY FITS
OLIVIA THANK YOU

***

THE NEXT NIGHT. SAME SCENE.

FITZ: OLIVIA ARE YOU AWAKE

OLIVIA: I am now.

FITZ: OLIVIA HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE THIS WORD
[slowly, as if reading] S…U…D…O…K…U.

OLIVIA: Do you mean sudoku?

FITZ: YEAH, SUDOKEY

OLIVIA: No, it’s — it’s pronounced su-doh-ku.

FITZ: SUDKOW

OLIVIA: Sudoku.

FITZ: SUDKODS

OLIVIA: Sudoku.

FITZ: I FEEL LIKE I’M GETTING CLOSER
SUKDOTS

OLIVIA: No, that’s still not quite it.

crossword2FITZ: OLIVIA YOU LISTEN TO ME
I AM THE GODDAMN PRESIDENT
AND THAT INCLUDES THE CROSSWORD
I AM THE PRESIDENT OF THE CROSSWORD PUZZLE
I AM THE PRESIDENT OF THIS PHONE CALL
AND IF THE PRESIDENT SAYS IT’S PRONOUNCED SUNDIPS
THEN IT’S PRONOUNCED SNACKDEES

OLIVIA [as if to a child]: Okay, okay. You’re the president of crossword puzzles.

FITZ: AND SOKUDOS

OLIVIA: And…and sokudos.

FITZ: OLIVIA NOW THAT YOU’RE UP DO YOU WANT TO COME OVER
DO YOU WANT TO COME OVER FOR SEX

OLIVIA: I –

FITZ: HAHA OMG WAIT NO HANG ON
JUST KIDDING
I HAVEN’T FINISHED THE SODUKEY YET

***

crossword3THE NEXT NIGHT. SAME SCENE.

FITZ [stage whispering]: OLIVIA THAT LADY IS HERE AGAIN

OLIVIA [blearily]: What lady?

FITZ: THE MEAN LADY
THE MEAN LADY WHO LIVES IN MY ROOM
WITH THE MOUTH THAT POINTS AT THE FLOOR

OLIVIA: I don’t know who you’re talking about.

[O/S] MELLIE: Jesus Christ, Fitz.

OLIVIA: Do you mean Mellie?

FITZ: MMMMMMMMM IDK

OLIVIA: Is it your wife?

FITZ: I DON’T LIKE HER
MAKE HER GO AWAY
OLIVIA SHE TOOK MY CROSSWORD PUZZLE

There is the sound of a scuffle, then of breaking glass.

FITZ: MY DRINK
OH NO MY SHIRT CAME OFF

***

FITZ: OLIVIA WAKE UP

OLIVIA: Fitz, you can’t keep doing this. You can’t keep — calling me at four in the morning and taking me out of my own life. I have to be my own person.

FITZ: OLIVIA I NEED YOU

CROSSWORD4OLIVIA: You have to let me go.

FITZ: OLIVIA I CAN’T DO THIS WITHOUT YOU

OLIVIA: Are you talking about us, or about the puzzle?

FITZ: I DON’T SEE WHY THEY HAVE TO BE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE

OLIVIA: Oh, my God.

FITZ: NO IT’S JUST
OLIVIA GIVE ME A CHANCE
ALL THE ODD-NUMBERED ACROSS CLUES ARE PART OF A SERIES
THEY’RE BASED ON LIKE
IDIOMS
“A SUDDEN WIND, OFTEN”
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN
THAT’S SO CRYPTIC

OLIVIA: Fitz, can we forget about the crossword for just –

FITZ: OLIVIA I HAVE TO GO
GILLIGAN’S ISLAND IS COMING ON
IT’S THE ONE WHERE THE PROFESSOR BUILDS A RADIO TOWER OUT OF COCONUTS
I THINK IT’S THE ONE WHERE THEY FINALLY GET OFF THE ISLAND

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