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Two Candidates Walk Into A Bar
by Nick Edinger

Two comedians, each best friends, are hired as digital strategists by rival presidential campaigns. Their jobs are to create the memes that sway the election "Sounds interesting!"

Chapter I

The Setup
Holy shit, this stupid comedy book has parts?!?

Chapter 1
This was the last happy night Amal would experience until two years later, after the 2024 presidential election. He spent most of that night at an Arizona...

Chapter II

Chapter 2

Henry stood backstage. He tapped his foot, waiting for Amal to join him. He had developed fifty different non-sequiturs to help Amal ease out of awkward conversations, and had used none of them in the past two years. Whenever he got Amal out of poli...

Chapter III

Chapter 3

Amal waited to speak until Henry finished— he knew Henry was on a roll. Henry outlined several strategies for tonight’s bit, but made Amal’s role clear— film Henry and Fulton when they talk later on. Henry would put the vide...

Chapter IV

Chapter 4

If Henry knew one fact, it was this: comedy was the most real thing in the world.

That statement wasn’t exactly true: Henry believed he knew several facts. He knew that Amal had left to work on his routine. He knew, as he peeked at the ...

Chapter V

Chapter 5

It was a killer performance, at least to Amal— he found himself laughing at some of the jokes he tore apart during his workshops with Henry. Henry, on occasion, joked about hiring Frederick as a professional laugh track. If he did, he needn&...

Chapter VI

Chapter 6

Henry joined Amal at the bar for the final act. The bartender (who played the police officer) resumed his duties after returning the uniform to the costume closet. The headliner performed after the double feature of Henry Cockburn and Amal Beck, to ...

Chapter VII

Chapter 7

Amal, filming, had to grab Henry’s phone with both hands to stop it shaking. Few people in the Chandler Comedy Club could contain themselves. The moment Amal caught on a phone; where Representative Fulton just repeated a crass (and worse yet, ...

Chapter VIII

Chapter 8

“It is a hit!” shouted Henry, stretching his arms and leaning back in his arched, wheeled computer chair. None of his energy had left him. He and Amal were in Henry’s shabby apartment. Only a few hours had passed since they left th...

Chapter IX

Chapter 9

Amal woke up to a knock on the door. He stirred, and then arched his back. Amal once practiced his fire-starting routine on this couch, in partial hope that the ratty thing would die a deserved death. Amal sat up and stretched his arms, reaching tow...

Chapter X

Chapter 10

A dozen thoughts spun around Henry’s head. It was like a dream come true… but not a normal dream, more like one of the X-Men-circus-parade ones Henry might experience after eating too much frozen cheesesteak. Sam’s cute half-smil...

Chapter XI

Chapter 11

Amal had had enough. Just as Henry hopped up from his chair, his outstretched hand ready to shake Sam’s, Amal stepped forward to push Henry’s arm down.

“Amal, buddy…”

“If you liked Schmeling, then ...

Chapter XII

Chapter 12

Henry staggered. All his energy drained out of his head, and his body turned into a statue of jelly. He looked at Amal. Amal sat there, in Henry’s chair, his eyes glued to the floor, his legs tight together… how could he just sit there...

Chapter XIII

Chapter 13

Amal helped Henry pack in silence, for the most part. They placed books in boxes, argued about toilet roll placement, dismantled the computer, pried the katana off of the mantle, and left the couch for the next poor renter to worry about. Amal&rsqu...

Chapter XIV

The First Story
Political satire’s not dead, it just wants to sleep a little longer.

Chapter 14

On the flight to New York, in an under-lit and sterile plane cabin, at the middle seat between two large women, Henry Co...

Chapter XV

It was obsession at first sight.

The first time Amal saw Kaleo, he couldn’t stop staring at the birthmark on his forehead.

Amal was in a conference room of smooth tables and chairs. A pine air freshener hung from the overhead projector. Amal had ...

Chapter XVI
There's a cute kitten in this video

Their first ElectON assignment was to make something popular. Anything would do.

Henry stood on top of a boulder pile in Central Park. His fists dug into his hips. He surveyed the New York City landscape in a Superman pose. He dressed as if he were a hips...

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