The Young and the Electless

Soap operas are in decline. Ratings are down. Guiding Light was recently canceled after 72 years on radio and TV. But even today, soap-opera melodrama retains its popularity as a favoured motif within one small segment of modern society – the Liberal Party of Canada.

Denis walks into the room. He pours himself a drink and turns to the camera. From over his shoulder we hear a voice.

Michael Denis, we need to talk.

Denis sips his drink, making that face that soap actors make when they sip their drinks to show they’re sipping a drink.

Michael You remember Martin? Martin Cauchon?

Denis Of course. His demise was tragic. [A sly smile.] Unforeseeable.

Michael I don’t know how to tell you this, Denis. Martin is… [long pause, pained expression] BACK FROM THE DEAD!

Denis turns, wide-eyed.

Denis But… how??

Michael The “how” is not important. What’s important is that I’m going back to him. Denis, I’m leaving you.

Denis turns, wide-eyed.

Denis But… why??

Michael Call it fate. Call it destiny. Providence, serendipity, crass expediency. The point is: Martin and I were meant to be.

Denis But I gave you everything – my loyalty! my devotion! several hugs! You took me in. You said we’d be together.

Michael You’re wrong, Denis. It wasn’t me who said all that. It was… [long pause, pained expression] MY EVIL TWIN!

Denis turns, wide-eyed. I guess this means he’s facing Michael again. It’s hard to keep track.

Denis But… who?? You never told me about having an evil twin!

Michael I told you, Denis. I told you all about him. It wasn’t my fault you… [long pause, pained expression] GOT AMNESIA!

Denis turns, wide-eyed. Feeling a little dizzy now.

Denis But…. whaaa?

He collects himself. A realization dawns.

Denis Wait, I remember now. It’s so clear. The evil twin, the amnesia, the kid who was a baby one minute and then a teenager the next. I remember it all. I see now that you’re just like all the others…

Michael No, you don’t, Denis. You don’t remember. You can’t remember! You can’t remember because you have… [hitting him over the head with a frying pan] DOUBLE AMNESIA!

Denis turns, glassy-eyed.

Michael Goodbye, Denis.

Music. Cut to closeup on Denis, eyes narrowed. Cut to closeup on Michael, eyes narrowed. Back to Denis. Back to Michael. Denis. Michael. Ian Davey throwing up his hands in frustration. Denis’ nostrils. Michael’s nostrils.

Michael leaves. Denis turns to the camera.

Denis I’ll get you for this, Michael Ignatieff. As God is my witness, if it’s the last thing I do I will make you pay. I will become your worst nightmare just as long as I avoid getting TRIPLE AMNES— uhh, what was I just saying? Oh dear Lord, who am I??!

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