MADONNA arrives to consult the ORACLE
The VEHICLE’s duplex, noonish. The VEHICLE is reading the booklet that came with her new deck of Tarot cards, which she bought yesterday. The ORACLE, the VEHICLE’s vagina and only accidental brush with fame so far (unless you count when she got in the paper for winning a junior archery tournament when she was fourteen, and a boy), doesn’t seem to be doing much of anything. Often the ORACLE doesn’t.
One of the annoying things about the Tarot deck is that every card seems to be capable of meaning pretty much anything. The booklet explains that this is a matter of interpretation, and practice, and experience. Why, thinks the VEHICLE, don’t people who write Tarot deck booklets bother to cut to the chase a bit, and just explain what they’ve learned from their own interpretation, practice and experience, if they’re going to be writing a how-to booklet. The whole thing smells a bit like a scam. But then it’s possible, thinks the VEHICLE, that the Tarot wouldn’t have much to say to her anyway. Presumably there’s not an ORACLE card. Or if there is, it wouldn’t be taking the form of a genetically engineered Supralute vagina, which talks.
Unless it were a very hip Tarot deck.
It’s been a while between consultations to the ORACLE, which at one point were pretty frequent, and meant that the VEHICLE (whose male name was EDMUND LUDENS) had a difficult time doing normal things that the rest of us take for granted, like showering, or doing laundry, or keeping up with her rent. But then the Schwarzenegger thing happened, and since then, there hasn't been as much activity. She supposes she scared them off.
Anyway. The VEHICLE turns a card over just for the hell of it. The Queen of Pentacles. Well, whatever.
It’s when half-naked men start climbing over the back privacy fence that she realizes that there’s probably another consultee on the way. The men are in speedos, either teal or pinkish-purple, and they are all, needless to say, very fit. And moisturized, from the looks of it. Possibly some spray-on tanning products are involved. There are six of them in all, who line up in the back along the privacy fence in the order teal-pink-teal-pink-teal-pink. The VEHICLE’s mind is racing. Who will the consultee be this time? Siegfried and Roy, perhaps? Well no, it'd just be Siegfried, she supposes. It’d be a bit flashy for him, but (oh dear God please let it be) Rupert Everett? Cher? Nathan Lane?
But when the knock on the front door comes (so why send the bimboys over the fence? wonders the VEHICLE), and it’s only MADONNA, the VEHICLE is a little disappointed. And then she realizes that this was bound to happen sooner or later, so she sighs and leaves MADONNA behind, and goes to the kitchen to make a sandwich.
Madonna: So, hey. Querent right here. We gonna talk?
Oracle [shouting from kitchen]: If you like. What is your question?
[VEHICLE holds stomach briefly, then takes bread out of freezer and opens refrigerator door]
Madonna: Actually I was more interested in talking to the Vehicle, no offense.
[VEHICLE pulls head out of the refrigerator, looking somewhat alarmed]
Madonna: Yeah, you. Hi. I’m a big fan.
[VEHICLE looks puzzled]
Madonna: I tried calling Kathy Najimy to find out what the deal was, and she started going on about vaginaburgers or something. And I was like, wow, you are incredibly disgusting. Buh-bye. So I thought I’d just come here. You have a cute place. Very Martha Stewart, but without the bogus insider trading shit. I’ll only be a little while.
[VEHICLE sighs, puts bread back in freezer]
Madonna: But oh. You’re getting ready to eat lunch, right? You want to go somewhere? I’ll take you to lunch. My treat. There’s a great place kinda close. Vegan. Or we could go to Spago’s. You wanna go to Spago’s? One call, five minutes, we could be there.
Madonna: You want to go someplace cooler than Spago's. That’s fine. That’s good. I appreciate a woman who’s tough in negotiations. Give me just a couple seconds. [Madonna produces cell phone, dials.] Brent. Hi. Need to get into that vegan place. We’re leaving now. [closes phone] Okay, well, we should get going. [shouting to SPEEDO MEN:] C’mon, bitches, we’re getting lunch.
[SPEEDO MEN come through patio doors.]
Madonna [to one of the SPEEDO MEN]: Maybe not anything for you, though, Jefe. You’re incredibly fat. You can do crunches in the parking lot while we eat. Okay, kids, we’re rolling.
[MADONNA, VEHICLE, and SPEEDO MEN exit the duplex. A white SUV with blackout windows is in front of the house; two SPEEDO MEN get in front, one holds the door open for MADONNA and VEHICLE to get in the middle row of seats, then the remaining four SPEEDO MEN get in the very back, the last one closing the door behind him.]
Madonna: Whew. Some AC would be nice. [to VEHICLE:] Bottled water? It’s cold, I promise.
[VEHICLE nods. MADONNA hands her a bottle of water.]
Madonna: [to driver SPEEDO MAN] We’re going to the vegan place. Ideally today. [SUV begins to move]
Madonna: [to VEHICLE] So. You’re the Vehicle. You know, you’re like the hottest thing on two legs right now. Everybody is talking about you. How’s that working out?
[VEHICLE mimes being choked to death.]
Madonna: Oh I know. Fame’s such a bitch. But it beats being nobody, am I right? [pause] Oh. I should probably get you a pen or something. I forgot that you don’t talk. Felipe, pen. [SPEEDO MAN in front passenger seat gets pen from glove compartment, passes it back.] I don’t think I have any paper, though. Um. Oh! I know. You can write on Jefe. Jefe, drape yourself over the seat between us here. [JEFE does so from the back seat.] More environmentally responsible anyway. It washes off, and no trees have to die.
[VEHICLE stares at JEFE’s back.]
Madonna: So where’d you get this vagina of yours?
[VEHICLE writes “SUPRAluTE” on Jefe’s back.]
Madonna: And it works okay? I mean, aside from the talking, it works like a normal vagina?
[VEHICLE writes “?”]
Madonna: You know. You can get it on with the guys. Or girls. Whatever.
[VEHICLE writes “DoN’t know. CELIbatE.”]
Madonna: Oh, honey. Well, but you’re right. Who needs sex when you’ve got a fucking Oracle. Some holes shouldn’t be plugged. Like there was this one time when I, I must have just been a kid, it seems like forever ago, and I’d had God knows what to drink, and a terrific amount of coke and God knows what all else, and I wound up in bed with this guy who – I swear his dick had to have been just microscopic, and I was so out of it that I was thinking maybe we could have nasal sex, ‘cause he was so tiny. And then he came right as he was getting it up there, and I was so surprised that he came, I inhaled, and so I had cum in my sinuses for, like, weeks. It was horrible.
[VEHICLE: wide-eyed look.]
Madonna: Okay, I made some of that up. But I really did have cum in my sinuses for a few weeks, a long time ago. Long, long time. People will believe anything about me, sexually speaking, and I like to fuck with people’s heads. But anyway. So I was thinking – do you think –
[SUV goes over bump; all in car jerk around]
Madonna: Holy fuck, Steve. Trying to have a conversation here. Now I’ve lost my train of thought. Um. No. Okay, so I was thinking, you know, if one vagina is fun, then maybe two would be even better. Do you think there’d be room for me to put in my own Oracle? A regular vagina on one side, and then a second, oracular, vagina, on the other?
[VEHICLE looking doubtful]
Madonna: No, you’re right. Birth canal. I mean, I’m probably done having kids anyway, but I could see how there’d be problems. And God knows I don’t want a c-section. It’s like, hi, I’m Madonna, and I’m world-famous but I’ve got this big honking scar across my stomach and two vaginas. No thanks. But let’s get back to how hip you are. Have you ever been in a music video?
[VEHICLE shakes head.]
Madonna: Do you play a musical instrument of any kind? Or, well, I guess you wouldn’t really have to. Would you want to pretend to play a musical instrument in a video for my next album?
[VEHICLE: blank look]
Madonna: Or, hell, all the videos on my next album. I’m thinking of doing a sort of thematic thing anyway. I’ve got some very talented people working on some songs about the Oracle right now. Does the Oracle ever sing? And when she does, is it hot?
[VEHICLE writes “SHOw TuNES.”]
Madonna: Oh. That’s not what I had in mind. [pause] It just seems like the show tunes thing is kind of tired. I mean, that big swing revival they were talking about lasted what, like five seconds? I don’t think retro is the way to go. But hey, you know, whatever you want, I mean, Maverick would put it out there. You're the boss. ‘Course I really don’t want to have to compete with another singer; they can do some amazing shit with electronics but maybe it’d be better to just have the Oracle lip-synch, for the videos. Maybe a sample, get the Oracle sampled electronically and then loop it on the track. But the buzz on you is amazing, have I said? People are expecting some fantastic shit to happen. Somebody said you were backing Joycelyn Elders for President, I mean, how fabulous is that? Not just a woman, but a black woman. If only she were a lesbian, am I right? Of course I’m right, I'm the boss. Oh, shit, we're here.
[All emerge from the SUV and line up behind MADONNA as they enter the restaurant.]
Madonna (to MAITRE D'): Madonna, table for seven.
Maitre d': Of course. But . . . I count eight.
Madonna: Jefe. Parking lot. Crunches. Steve, you've been promoted to note pad, for your shitty driving. [to MAITRE D':] Seven. By a window. [to VEHICLE, as they're being seated:] Maybe I should just whack off these guys' dicks and go with it. Have my own transgenic transgender backup Oracular singer/dancers. Can the Oracle still talk when you're moving?
[VEHICLE, after some seating adjustment, writes, "POORly."]
Madonna: Maybe more of an "Addicted to Love" kind of look, then. Naked hunky guys kind of swaying gently, in the background.
[VEHICLE writes, "MIght AS welL FAce iT"]
Madonna: But find some way to make it different. Envelopes to be pushed. Maybe leather harnesses. Have I already done leather harnesses? God, why can't I remember? You'd think you'd remember your first leather harness video. I'll ask Brent later. But so you're on board? Ready to work with me? I'll pay you barrels of cash, of course.
[VEHICLE writes, "LOTS? in bUndLEs?"]
Madonna: Sure. Whatever you want. Hey, what's the deal with some of the letters being in caps and some in lowercase?
[VEHICLE writes, "CAPITalizAtiON Is hARd. can't Go fAst. MistakES."]
Madonna: Oh. I never use lowercase, personally. But whatever. Let's order, if the waiter ever shows up, and then we'll draw something up and get it signed in the next couple days. Garçon!
[VEHICLE writes, "Need tO aSk orAcLE. SHY. Later."]
Madonna: Of course. I'm sure the Oracle knows about my support for the transsexual and transgendered community. You know, I was the one who made people like you mainstream, in the early 90s. My "Vogue" video.
Madonna: Seven of these. Thanks. No bread.
[VEHICLE writes, "fEtiSHy UrbAN MINorIty DraG"]
Madonna: Yes. You know, they had an amazing subculture going, with the voguing thing. Invented it entirely on their own, these inner city queers without a lot to live for, and they created this beautiful culture, this style of dancing all their own. I sent some of my people in to check it out, and the rest is history. Now everybody thinks of it as something I came up with, and of my video, but really it was all about these kids. I could do the same thing for you.
[VEHICLE writes, "ThAt's GREAt foR yOu."]
Madonna: Oh. That was rude of me. Did you want bread? I could make them bring bread.
[VEHICLE shakes head.]
Madonna: So can you play the tambourine, then? Let's really talk about this.
(Story continues at THE STATES OF NEBRASKA, IOWA, AND MINNESOTA.)