The Jeff Bridges Senate campaign, a play in one act

August 13, 2014

The candidate, left, with his guide Walter, right, and an unidentified, timid-looking man.


A way out west there was a fella I want to tell you about, fella by the name of Jeff Bridges. This Bridges, folks called him the Dude.

They call Montana "gold and silver," which is an odd state motto, but I'll allow it as there are some nice folks there. I'll tell you what, after seeing Montana and this story I'm about to unfold, I can die with a smile on my face.

Scene 1: Interior, a large house in Montana. BRIDGES enters and turns on the light. He is grabbed by a pair of INTRUDERS, dragged to the bathroom, and his head is thrust into the toilet.

INTRUDER: You better run for Senate, Bridges.

BRIDGES: (gurgling sounds)

VOICE: Run for Senate, Bridges.

BRIDGES: (gurgling)

They pull his head out of the toilet. BRIDGES doesn't recognize the pair, nor does he know what the "DSCC" on their name badges means.

BRIDGES: (sighing) Does this place look like I'm a f***ing politician?

The room is decorated in a marijuana leaf motif. One of the intruders looks at the decor, then at Bridges, and then looks at the rug.

Scene 2: Interior, a large mansion. BRIDGES is admiring a series of photographs showing THE MILLIONAIRE standing with various elected officials. An AIDE looks on.

BRIDGES: Hey, is that him with Michelle?

AIDE: (grinning) That is indeed him with the first lady, yes.

BRIDGES: Far out.

He catches a glimpse of himself in a mirrored replica of a magazine cover. "IS THIS THE FUTURE OF POLITICS?" the headline asks. BRIDGES stands, agape, until it's time for the meeting. He enters a large office.

THE MILLIONAIRE: Okay, sir, you're a candidate and I'm a millionaire, that's terrific. I'm very busy, so what can I do for you?

BRIDGES: Come on man, I'm not trying to scam anyone here, I'm just --

THE MILLIONAIRE: You're just looking for a handout, like every other wannabe senator. Are you employed, sir?

BRIDGES: F*** it.

He stands up.

THE MILLIONAIRE: Your revolution is over, Mr. Bridges!

BRIDGES: Yeah well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

He leaves.

Scene 3: Interior, bowling alley. BRIDGES is describing the visit from the DSCC INTRUDERS to his self-appointed political guide, WALTER, a larger fellow in Transitions lenses.

BRIDGES: They kept saying they believe in nothing.

WALTER: Nothing? Say what you like about the tenets of Libertarianism, Dude, but at least it's an ethos.

Scene 4: Exterior, bowling alley. BRIDGES, WALTER, and SEN. JOHN WALSH (D-Mont.) are confronted by the INTRUDERS.

WALSH: Are these the Democrats, Walter?

WALTER: They're staffers. Nothing to be afraid of.

WALSH: (under his breath) Nothing to be afraid of.

INTRUDER: We want that campaign, Bridges.

WALTER: Screw you. Screw the two of you.

The group scuffles. WALSH withdraws. THE PHYSICAL EMBODIMENT OF BRIDGES' SENATE CAMPAIGN, who was observing quietly from the bar in the bowling alley, dies of fright.

Scene 5: Interior, bowling alley. BRIDGES and the NARRATOR are having a drink, discussing the idea that celebrity is itself a qualification for the Senate.

NARRATOR: Take it easy, Bridges. I know that you will.

There's an uncomfortable silence. BRIDGES sighs.

BRIDGES: The Dude abides, etc.

BRIDGES' ASSISTANT appears, reminding him that he has another promotional event in 15 minutes and they really ought to get going. BRIDGES downs his drink and leaves.

NARRATOR: (To audience) I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there, the Dude, takin' her easy for all us sinners.

In the background, BRIDGES can be seen yelling at his assistant for wasting his time with this entire thing.


Note: It should be obvious that this borrows very heavily from the script for The Big Lebowski, but if you didn't know that, and you read this far, I'm very curious what you thought was going on.

Philip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He is based in New York City.
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