"This is Eric Holder. I'm calling for President Obama, at his request."
I don't know why the AG was trying to sound so formal. The last time I saw him was when Johnny Ola took me and some loser named Fredo to see the future AG's special nightclub act in Cuba. After seeing Eric's act, I immediately got on the red phone and called the President.
"Hey, 'Bama," I told him, "have I got an attorney general for you."
To Eric Holder, whom I was currently pretending to be listening to on the phone, I said: "Yes, I understand. I'm listening."
"You owe the President a service. He has no doubt that you will repay him. That you will be happy to have this opportunity. In one hour, not before, perhaps later, he will be at your humor blog office to ask for your help. Be there to greet him. Don't have any people who work for you there. Send them home. If you have any objections to this, speak now and I'll inform the President. He has other friends who can do him this service."
That sure was a lot of words, I told myself. To Eric Holder, whom I was currently trying not to fall asleep on, I said: "How can you think I would refuse the President? Of course I'll do anything he wishes. I haven't forgotten my debt. I'll go to my humor blog offices immediately, at once."
I chuckled to myself. I was already there. Alone.
"Thank you," he told me, as sincerely-sounding as he could muster. "The President never doubted you. The question was mine. Oblige him tonight and you can always come to me in any trouble, you'll earn my personal friendship."
Thanks, but no thanks. I've already seen his "personal friendship" extended once already. In Cuba. I didn't especially care to see it in action again. To Eric Holder, whom I was currently amusing myself by wondering if that was him in the old Barney Miller TV show, I said: "The President himself is coming to me tonight?"
"Yes," he said in his weren't-you-listening? voice.
"Then he's completely recovered from his dealings with Putin, thank God," I said. It was a statement, but my voice made it a question.
There was a pause at the other end of the phone, then Holder's voice said very quietly, "Yes." Putin was apparently a touchy subject.
There was a click and the phone went dead.
Well, there was nothing for me to do but wait, so that's what I did. Wait. Waiting's what I do best. It's a trick I learned in 'Nam, and it's gotten me out of many a jam. Why, I remember one time when...
There was a knock at the door. Obama was never much for doorbells. Any kind of new technology he treated with contempt.
Myself, I was a bit irritated. He got here so quick, he hadn't left me any time to reminisce. But I opened the door and put on a happy face. It was the least I could do for the man who could sic the IRS on me.
He walked in and got straight to the point.
"Well, old friend," he told me, "are you ready to do me this service?"
I couldn't help but think to myself that, by the sound of him, he's been hanging around Eric Holder too long. To the President, whom I was currently trying not to laugh out loud at, I said: "What do you wish me to do?"
"I want you to use all your powers, and all your skill, as you love me. I do not wish America to see it as it is."
He walked purposefully to my office desk and threw down two thousand pages of confusion.
"See how Congress has massacred my health care act," he thundered in pain and anguish.
What he wanted me to do was to explain ObamaCare to the American people. He wanted me to explain it in this, my Nobel Prize-winning humor blog. And he wanted me to keep it as simple as I could without drooling.
"You'll be explaining it to the American people," he stressed. "Use as many one-syllable words as possible. Like I do, in my speeches."
"You've got it, boss," I assured him.
He seemed pleased.
"Thanks, Jim," he told me, and started walking to the door. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go. I have a big job tonight shutting down the U.S. government and blaming it on the Republicans."
I knew all about this. At twelve midnight all non-essential government employees and agencies were going to be shuttered "for the good of the American people."
I couldn't help but ask.
"Is it true that all military personnel are going to receive IOUs instead of their paychecks?"
"It's true," he admitted. "I'm hoping it won't come to that, but it's true."
"I guess in an act of solidarity you and all the members of Congress will also be receiving IOUs instead of your paychecks?"
He looked me right in the eye...
...and laughed and laughed and laughed.
to be continued