Gloria: Thank you for attending. Although we don’t have a representative quorum of your group—not even close—we are going to proceed. Time is of the essence. I speak for everyone with a thinking brain in the head on their shoulders when I say I hope your time here has afforded you ample opportunity to reflect on tonight’s theme: Remorse for Reprobates.
Before we start, we need to review The Field’s Three Rules.
Rule number one: When in the presence of others, whether they are awake or asleep, you may not touch them or your genitals. This may prove problematic for most of you, so we have restraints and muzzles on loan from Petco.
Rule number two: You must honor the dress code 24/7 by not wearing your misbegotten personal bathrobes that open from the front, but rather The Fields-issued, full-length muu muus provided courtesy of the Five Seasons Hotel. We maintain a strategic partnership with the hotel so when you leave here in 90 or 120 days you have somewhere to go if not jail. Your relatives have told us that returning home is not and will never be an option. And no, you may not take the muu muu with you.
Note the hotel has kindly provided yoga and meditation instructors who will be teaching 2- to 3-minute sessions, aligned with your performance stamina, from behind glass while wearing burkas.
Rule number three: No crosstalk. You know this rule. It’s hard for egomaniacs, harder for narcissists, hardest yet for megalomaniacs, all of whom are represented here. So check yourself.
Okay we will now commence sharing by exploring remorse. Who would like to start? Use “I feel” statements.
Harvey (more bloated than usual, throwing reptilian eyes into sharp relief): I will. I feel I owe you all an apology but I’ll get to that. I’ve used this time to start my book and am torn as to the title. I need your focus-group input stat. It will either be What I Wouldn’t Do to Get Off: Nothing or The Ultimate Power Play: Plant-Ejac Erotica. What do you guys think about …
Gloria (interrupting, hands him the Silencing Stick): You need to hew to the theme. No book talk. Also, the apologies are not to the perps in this room, but rather to your victims. Let’s try …
Roy (dressed as in Toy Story): Now wait a cotton-pickin’ minute. I feel I was promised that tonight’s theme would be unfounded, blanket denials as an affirmative defense to the second-degree sexual abuse of minors so I can get back to my evangelical policymaking. And why isn’t Al F. here?
Gloria (forking over another Silencing Stick): He’s at work but maybe not for long. You’re also off-topic.
Roy: Call me Jesus.
Clarence T: Shut up cracker. Didn’t you learn anything from me? I told you: no thoughts, no words, blank stare. And no laughing when they say pubic hair.
Bill Clinton (rises, chortling): Actually boys, I would like credit for taking the heavy hit when I blew open—well someone (air quotes) “blew open” (wink, shrug and thumb thing)—this Pandora’s Box (more chortling). If we stick together, I think we can spin this thing on it’s ass … pardon me, axis to point to the true societal danger which we all know is yoga pants.
Donald T (laughing loudest, orange head bobbing as if on swivel, hair helmet flapping): You’re funny, Little Billy. And a horndog. I’ll give you that. But I’M the HUGEST master of serial pussy grabbing and coarse, actionable remarks. YES, it’s past time for my pageant and reporter girls to apologize for their FAKE BOGUS accusations. My MOST EXCELLENT lawyers are demanding written …
Gloria (incredulous, slams Silencing Stick into his palm): Stop. Talking. Now. And Harvey please come back to your seat. There’s nothing to see in the corner. We had the ficus removed.
Louis CK (tonsorial neglect evident): Wait, wait. I’ve got this, Gloria. I was the first Circle Jerk to own my mistakes. Chicks love that. Just saying that gets me a little worked up. But having traveled the road of self-flagellation, I was just rounding the bend to perdition when I realized chicks love that too. And they dig funny, which I am, at least seven percent of the time. But I’m better at veiled remorse than real remorse. Watch my face when I say it. “I’m sorry.” See? It’s confusing. And could be funny.
Gloria: Or not. I’m out of Silencing Sticks but at least you’re talking about remorse. What’s wrong with genuine remorse? Why can’t you be 100% prostrate?
Bill Cosby (decrepit, possibly blitzed): Hold up. Put some perm in that attitude, missy. My jury deadlocked because everyone knows I’m innocent, and I have no issue with my prostate.
OJ S: (atrophied chest thrusting past expanding waistline): I’m with you in the jury department, Cliff—I mean Bill. Can you say “hashtag celebrity”? My regret is not getting what was rightfully mine. Those meanies took my signed baseballs. And then FX Networks ran all the way to the bank with my story. They ALL owe me!
Gloria: Stay on topic: YOUR remorse. Can you say without qualification “I’m sorry I harmed these women?” and mean it?
Bill O: Harmed? One of my, umm, accusers made $32 million based on a few unspeakable acts I committed when I was so self-absorbed I didn’t know right from wrong. Being deeply delusional is a bona fide defense. I’m with OJ. She owes ME.
Gloria: Whoops, we’re out of time. In closing, needless to say, we have a team of Field staffers trying to manage the ever-growing waitlist to get into this circle—Kevin, Charlie, Matt, and Garrison, for example—so show up or you will lose your spot. Same time next week. The theme will be Family-of-Origin and Childhood Traumas that Turned You Into Monsters.
* fiction for humor in an increasingly bleak world.