Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Little Elian That Could

I wrote this sketch five years ago when I was going through the writing program at Second City, right after Elian was taken away by the feds and sent back to his father in Cuba. Since 60 Minutes broadcast an update on Elian this evening, I thought I'd dig this out. Hope you enjoy it, and viva la revolucion!

The Little Elian That Could

We're in a brightly colored room where pictures of Castro, apparently drawn by young children, hang from the walls. There's a large, comfortable reading chair with the Cuban flag painted on it in the middle of the room. COMRADE WINKY, a man in clown make-up and an olive green military uniform, enters and smiles. He is holding a book.

Buenas dias, boys and girls. Welcome again to Uncle Fidel's Super Happy Time Story Hour. I'm Comrade Winky. Today, we have a wonderful story about a brave little boy named Elian. It's a story about how our Uncle Fidel takes care of all his little worker nieces and nephews.

Winky sits in the chair, opens the book, and begins to read.

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Elian. He loved his daddy. He loved to play. And he loved to fight against capitalist oppression for his Mother Cuba and his Uncle Fidel.

As Winky reads, we dissolve to a Cuban beach at midnight. ELIAN stands next to his MOTHER, her face painted green like a witch's. Elian is crying.

Elian! It's time to go!

But I don't wanna. I want my daddy. I want my Uncle Fid--

MOTHER (raising her hand like she's going to slap him)
Don't say his name. Now get down to the raft. We're going to...THE UNITED STATES.


Cut back to Winky reading.

Elian cried all the way to the raft. He didn't want to leave his daddy and Mother Cuba. He didn't want to go to the evil land of the Americans, who ate little boys they didn't like and used their bones for toothpicks.

Cut to Elian sitting by himself on a raft. Two DOLPHINS swim around him.

Soon, Elian's mother and the other traitors to the workers of the world drowned in the boiling sea. Elian stood alone on the raft when two dolphins came to rescue him.

Elian! Follow us.

Don't be afraid, Elian -- we'll save you.

Elian stops crying and starts to laugh at the dolphins.

Okay, Mr. Dolphin. (He leans over and pets the dolphin.) Can you lead me back home, to my beloved Cuba?

DOLPHIN 1 (sinister)
Oh, don't worry, my sweet Elian. We'll take you home.

What Elian didn't know is that these were American dolphins, tools of the capitalist fisherman who steal fish from Mother Cuba's ocean. They took Elian to Miami -- to his wicked great uncle Lazaro.

Elian stands in the backyard of LAZARO'S Miami home. Lazaro, his face painted witch green, stands next to him, holding a gift-wrapped box.

Lazaro and the other bad relatives tried to trick Elian into being like them. But little Elian was too smart for them.

Go ahead, Elian -- open it up.

Elian tears open the package and opens a box. He pulls out a pair of Nikes.

Nice, eh, Elian? Go ahead and try them on.

Okay I will. (He starts to put them on and stops.) Wait, I cannot. These were made with the blood of the workers. Take them back -- and take me back to Mother Cuba!


Try as they might, Elian's evil relatives couldn't make him into a tool of the American capitalists. So they decided that if he wouldn't join them....

Dissolve to Lazaro and MARISLEYSIS, Elian's cousin, stand around a boiling cauldron.

Then they would eat him!

He didn't want the Nikes?

No. He didn't want the shoes, the Tonka trucks, the Teletubbies dolls -- he didn't even want to watch Stuart Little on the TV.

What?! What kind of boy doesn't want to watch Stuart Little.

A little boy who loves his Mother Cuba and his Uncle Fidel more than anything in the world, that's who.

Well, if we cannot break him, then we will BOIL him!

They laugh maniacally as we dissolve to Elian sitting in front of the television.

But little Elian didn't give up hope. He kept thinking about returning to his Uncle Fidel, returning to fight the exploitation of the United States. And because he was a good, loyal little boy, his wishes were going to come true.

BILL CLINTON (VO, coming from the TV)
I understand the pain of Juan Miguel Gonzalez. I also have felt the pain of separation from my children, when my daughter Chelsea left for Stanford....

Please, el presidente, please send me back to my Uncle Fidel.

Some smoke begins to form in the room. JANET RENO, dressed like Glenda the Good Witch, appears.

Who are you?

I am your Fairy Godcomrade, Janet. Do not be afraid, Elian. We will return you to Cuba.


Just remember to say the magic phrase: "There's no system like Communism, there's no system like Communism."


RENO (dissolving her voice trailing off into an echo)
You will know the time. And remember to hold your breath...hold your breath...hold your breath....

Would the Fairy Godcomrade be able to save Elian? Or would he suffer the fate of all good Cuban boys in the greedy clutches of America?

Marisleysis stirs the cauldron while Lazaro holds Elian above the steaming liquid. Elian, while stuggling to get free, remains calm in the face of danger.

MARISLEYSIS (cackling)
Just a few minutes more, and the pot will be ready. It's your last chance, Elian. Do you want to stay in the US

Never! I want to go back to Mother Cuba! I want Uncle Fidel!

Very well -- into the pot with you!

No! There's no system like communism! There's no system like communism!

The AGENTS, dressed in night assault gear, appear in a puff of tear gas. Maryisleysis and Lazaro choke, but Elian holds his breath and is unaffected. The agents approach the cauldron calmly.

AGENT (sounding stiff robatic like Robocop)
We have come for Elian Gonzalez. Please hand him over and no one will be harmed. Thank you for your cooperation.

Quick! Into the pot with him, Lazaro!

Please refrain from cooking the boy.

The agent draws his weapon assumes the pose from the famous AP photograph, his gun apparently pointed at Lazaro.

And so the agents returned Elian to Mother Cuba, where he was reunited with his father and with his Uncle Fidel.

Elian stands with his father and Castro.

Elian, you are a shining example for all children in our glorious motherland. For bravery above and beyond the call of duty, I present you with this box of cigars and official Cuban league baseball. Remember how your Mother Cuba never deserted you, especially when you are pressed into mandatory military service.

I won't forget, Uncle Fidel, I promise.

They embrace. We cut back to Winky.

WINKY (closing the book.)
Well, that's all for today, boys and girls. Remember, your Uncle Fidel loves each and every one of you. Tune in next week when our story is, "The Three Little American Bourgeois Pigs." Bye-bye!

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