"THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (TOMMY & BENJY)"
INT. 18TH CENTURY OFFICE -- NIGHT
July 3rd 1776. Thomas Jefferson sits at his bureau, feverishly quilling away at the American Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin stands at his shoulder, peering over at his writing.
POV FROM THE FRONT OF THE TWO THROUGHOUT
JEFFERSON (BOY-ISH INNOCENSE)
Why have I got to do this again, Benjy?
FRANKLIN (MATURE, ARROGANT AIR)
You've got the neatest handwriting, Tommy.
(Slowly enunciating as he writes) "...that all men are created equal... except me, I'm great and allowed to keep three hundred..." no, "...six hundred slaves, who are also not equal, because they are just slaves."
You can't write that into the Declaration.
I have to – it's the truth. See here where you made me write, "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." I can't follow that with a great big whopper, now, can I?
You have much to learn about politics, Tommy. It's all about lying.
Are you telling me that we're going through all of this so that we can create an independent government of liars?
Yup. I'd say that's about it.
That's very honest of you.
Look, Tommy, the boys are not going to sign something that implicates us all in the keeping of slaves. We've got to get round to making that illegal at some point.
That's such a shame. Do we really have to acknowledge them as real people like us?
Eventually, yes. Luther Martin's getting a bit edgy about it, but we'll hold out for as long as possible.
He pats Jefferson on the shoulder.
Okay, Benjy, I'll cross out that bit about the slaves, but I really want to put something in about us all having big willies.
(Rolling his eyes) If you must. But remember, Tommy, we're not actually granting people anything in this declaration – we're only saying that people have the right to stuff. And it sounds more professional if you put it as 'well endowed,' anyway.
Okay, the right to big willies....Blah, blah, blah... "...all men are created equal, that they are well endowed by our Lord God and have certain unalienable Rights." I do like that 'unalienable' bit.
Yeeees, there may be a little editing required there tomorrow. And certain... er... sections are quibbling the use of the word 'God.' Might have to bung in 'Creator' or something instead. Bloody Political Correctors. Now for the ending. I want a big finale. Nice and punchy. What would you say are the most important things after having a big cock and keeping slaves?
I'd say that not being killed was quite important. Not being bunged in prison by King George III would be quite good too. Oh, and being rather jolly... that would be nice for everyone as well.
Good. But we need to be careful here. We don't want to be guaranteeing happiness to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Some people are always going to be miserable buggers, however much we do for them. Read me back that bit...
From 'endowed...' that bit's 'Creator' instead – sorry about the smudge – and we've got... tum te tum... "...unalienable rights, that among these are not dying, not being chucked in prison, and a shot at happiness." Now we just list all the naughty things that George III has done, and Bob's your Auntie's live-in lover.
Bugger. I forgot. There won't be enough space at the bottom to put all our signatures on. You know how John Hancock likes to write his name big and fancy with all the curls. We'll have to edit it down. 'Life' instead of 'not dying.' Instead of 'not being chucked in prison,' just 'Liberty.' And I think we'll cover our arses well enough with 'the pursuit of happiness.' Not actual happiness or anything.
'Pursuit of happiness...' I like it, I like it. You are a whiz at this, Benjy.
Oh, and we'll have to cut out all that bit about wearing short sleeves when it's hot. We'll probably have to put that in another document, like a Constitution or something.
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