Bush and I go back a long way. He even gave me my nickname, Jimmy the Saint. We first met during Spring Break in Pensacola, Florida. I was a sophomore at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, and he was, ahem, on leave from the National Guard. I beat him in a tequila drinking contest, and a life-long friendship was born.
"Come on down and we'll have a good time," he told me, "and whatever you do, don't tell my momma about the man we killed down in Biloxi, Mississippi."
It was a more innocent time. I was chowing down on a plate of beer-boiled shrimp in some dive-bar by the beach. It was a ton of shrimp piled on a paper plate, and it was only 25 cents on Mondays. Living close to the Gulf had its advantages.
Bush strutted up to me. On his arm was a cute little co-ed in an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot bikini. A librarian, he told me later.
"You're at my table, buddy," he told me, as cocky then as he is now.
I looked at him. He was taller than I was, but one nice thing about tall guys is that they count on their size to do their fighting for them.
POW! I punched him right in the sniffer.
He stumbled backward, but didn't fall. He was up and on me faster than a Benghazi cover-story from the White House. The fight itself was a draw, so when he challenged me to a tequila-drinking contest, I couldn't resist.
"Loser pays, rich boy?" I taunted.
"Loser pays, muchacho," he taunted back. "Now get ready to lose."
Two and a half bottles of Jose Cuervo later, he was on the floor and I was leading his pretty little librarian back to my room at the Motel 6.
The last time I saw Bush was during Hurricane Frederick. I was heading back to El Paso, Texas, because I discovered that the one thing I required from weather is that it doesn't kill me. Bush? He was heading to the beach for some bodacious surfing.
We kept in touch off and on throughout the years, but getting together never seemed to materialized. His mother had warned him to stay away from me. She thought I was a bad influence. She was especially mad at me for, when he asked me to write his Presidential memoir Decision Points, I sent him my first draft of Fifty Shades of Gray.
"I don't remember doing any of this," he said, shaking his head.
So, when he flew me out to his library, I was more excited than Rosie O'Donnell at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
When I got there, he was sitting behind the desk in his office. Just as cocky as I remembered.
"Yes, Mr. President?"
He pulled out a bottle of Jose Cuervo.
"Get ready to lose!"