West Wing

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Deborah: A+ | Grade It Now!
Smoke 'em If You Got 'em

It's Thursday morning. Sam is trying to work in his office, but something keeps being whapped against the glass partition between his office and Toby's. He gets up and goes to Toby's office. Toby is wearing a blue and red baseball cap and holding a rubber ball in each hand. Sam patiently says, "I'm here." Toby says, "Thanks." Sam inquires, "We're doing this again?" Toby says, "Yeah." Sam: "'Cause I just got you off that little bellman's thing." He makes the gesture of someone pushing down the button on one of those bells like the ones they have on the counter at the dry cleaner. Sam has the patience of the saint, putting up with being summoned by Toby in various demeaning ways. I had a supervisor at my last job (prior to the glory of self-employment) whose cubicle was next to mine, and he would occasionally throw balls of wadded-up paper and paper airplanes over the top of my cubicle to get my attention. I was annoyed at first, but then I learned to ignore him until he was forced to climb up on his filing cabinet and peek over the top to see if I was actually there, and then I could hurl something back at him. Usually he had something really important to share, like his latest tongue piercing or something. Sam plops down on Toby's couch as Toby takes off his hat and says, "Here's my problem." He goes on to explain that the AARP wants Seth Gillette on the Blue Ribbon Commission, as does the AFL-CIO. They both agree that Seth's presence on the Commission neutralizes him; obviously it's harder for Gillette to attack the Commission if he's on it. Toby thinks that's why Gillette would refuse if they ask him to be on the Commission. Sam's not sure whether Gillette will refuse, but Toby says they can't risk it. They need him on the Commission, politically, and if he's not on it, it can't be because he turned them down. Sam summarizes, "So either we get him on the Commission or, if we don't, we make sure it's 'cause we never asked him." An assistant walks in (I think it's Ginger, but we only see her blurry torso), and tells Sam someone's on the phone for him. Sam gets up and says, "Yeah, I don't know the answer to that." Toby says, "Okay." He thanks Sam for stopping by.

As Sam goes into his office to take the call, Toby hurls another ball at the glass. He must be pretty damn sure of the strength of that glass, because he's really hurling the ball. Sam's on the phone with Charlie, who's on the flight back from Tokyo. Charlie greets Sam with a few words of Japanese. Sam says, "Yeah, listen...did you have a phone conversation with a movie producer named Morgan Ross?" Charlie apparently spoke with him last week; they wanted to screen Prince of New York at the White House. Charlie had looked at the print the week before and passed on it, because he didn't think the President would care for it. The President was not involved in the decision at all; turns out he lets Charlie choose the movies. Charlie picked Dial M for Murder instead. Sam says okay. Charlie says, "Domo arigato." Sam sings, "Mr. Roboto..." Not really. What a missed opportunity! But Sam's not in one of his frisky, crime-fighting-Pilgrims kind of moods.

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West Wing




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