Off the Deep State End (a Playlet about Your Fox News-Watching Uncle Phil)

The front yard of a middle class home. GLADYS, a woman in her sixties, is pruning flowers. HERB, an elderly mailman, enters with his mailbag.

HERB: Morning, Gladys.

GLADYS: Hi, Herb, how you doing?

HERB: Fine. Looks like it’s going to be a hot one.

GLADYS: Looks like it.

HERB pulls some mail out of his bag and offers it to to GLADYS. Just then, PHIL, GLADYS’ husband, also in his sixties, stalks out of the house with an AR-15 rifle pointed at HERB.

PHIL: All right, step back from the lady unless you want a new AR-15 ventilation system!

HERB raises his hands in the air and steps back.

GLADYS: Phil, what the hell are you doing?

PHIL: (approaching HERB cautiously) He’s an agent of the Deep State.

GLADYS: Deep State? It’s Herb, the mailman.

HERB: Phil, it’s me, Herb.

PHIL: Shut your mouth, you goddamned socialist!

GLADYS: He’s been delivering our mail for twenty years. What’s wrong with you?

HERB (offering PHIL an envelope) I’ve got your social security check here, Phil.

PHIL: You see that, Gladys? He’s Deep State all the way!

GLADYS: (to HERB) He’s been watching that Sean Hannity.

PHIL snatches the envelope from HERB.

PHIL: I don’t want your socialist hand-outs!

PHIL tears up the envelope and throws the pieces on the ground.

GLADYS: We need that money!

PHIL: We are rugged American individualists, Gladys! We will no longer participate in that utopian socialist Ponzi scheme.

HERB: Listen, Phil–

PHIL: Shut up, Herb! I don’t want any more of your goddamned socialist mail delivered here either. You tell your storm trooper buddies that will be the last letter they ever deliver.

GLADYS: Calm down, Phil. Remember Dr. Ghorbani said you shouldn’t do anything that raises your blood pressure.

PHIL: And that’s another thing. We are through with that Deep State boondoggle called Medicare! From now on, it’s home remedies and chicken soup around here.

GLADYS: You’ll be dead by the end of the month.

PHIL: Good, I’d rather be dead than a mindless, entitlement-sucking slave in the Deep State gulag.

HERB: Phil, don’t you think you’re being–

PHIL: Get off my property, you lazy bureaucrat! Unlike you, I worked for a living instead of sponging off the taxpayers all those years.

HERB: Sponging off the taxpayers?

PHIL: I worked hard, put myself through college–

GLADYS: With the help of the GI bill–

PHIL: Worked in the aerospace industry–

GLADYS: Which thrives on government contracts.

PHIL: I bought this house–

GLADYS: With a low interest, government-sponsored Fanny Mae loan.

PHIL: What is your point, Gladys?

GLADYS: My point is that if you really want to free yourself from the Deep State, you should give up your pension and your house because it’s all tainted with filthy, dirty Deep State government money.

PHIL: (looking ominously at GLADYS) Oh my God, Gladys…You’re…you’re…(an epiphany) You’re right…I’m Deep State.

PHIL stares at the ground and lowers his gun.

HERB: Take it easy, Phil.

PHIL: All these years I thought I was a bold Fox News freedom fighter, and in reality, I’m just another dupe in the socialist Deep State conspiracy.

GLADYS: Honey, we have some excellent counseling services available through our plan. Maybe we can–

PHIL: No, no, I don’t want some Ivy league commie shrink to brainwash me into being a compliant stooge of the Deep State.

HERB: I thought you said you were already a compliant stooge of the Deep State.

PHIL: (raising his gun) I said I was a dupe, not a stooge!

GLADYS: (trying to usher him back to the house) Honey, let’s get a nice cup of tea and–

PHIL: (pulling away from her) No, there’s only one thing for me to do…I’m going to turn myself in to Sean Hannity.


PHIL: It’s the right thing to do.

GLADYS: But Phil–

PHIL: My mind’s made up, Gladys…

PHIL turns and goes back to the house, his head sagging in shame.

HERB: I thought he turned himself in to Sean Hannity last week.