I wish I could say that I was in the neighborhood and just dropped by, but I was escorted to the White House by some very serious looking men in dark gray suits and black ties.
It started with a phone call. Usually when Obama calls, I jump--it's the least I can do for the man who once saved my life in 'Nam-- but I was watching a TV marathon of Will & Grace on the WE Channel, and my daughter and I were debating which character was funniest, who we liked more, and if the two could be the same.
"You're wrong, Dad, and let me tell you why..." she was saying, when I heard the phone ring in my office. Not my landline, or even my cell phone, but the special Red Phone that links me directly with the Oval Office. And to Bob Guccione, but that's another story.
My wife answered it.
"Jim!" she yelled from where she was.
"I'm not here!" I yelled back.
The door bell rang, and I got up to answer it. It was those serious looking men. The next thing I knew I was on a unmanned drone headed for the Washington. It wasn't so bad. It had satellite radio, and I was able to listen to Ron & Fez. The next thing I knew after that, I was waiting for the President in his Oval Orifice.
"Sorry to take you away from your family," he told me, "but I needed somebody to talk to."
"My daughter and I were watching Will & Grace," I told him, somewhat snippily.
"Spoiler alert," he said, "Will's gay..."
"It was a marathon."
"...and they don't get married."
His joke fell flat. Unless he's reading them off a teleprompter, they usually do.
"There must be a reason you wanted to see me?"
Obama paused. He wasn't a man who liked to show weakness.
"It's the media," he finally told me. "They've got the American people thinking I'm a liar."
"Yeah, the media. They've been on my back ever since this whole Affordable Care Act fiasco with the website."
"Then it's your first victory."
"What do you mean by that?"
"ObamaCare finally brought the media out of its five-year coma."
Obama threw his head back and laughed. A good long laugh. I hadn't seen him laugh like that since he talked Hilary into taking the hit for Benghazi.
An aide knocked timidly on the door. The President stopped laughing.
"Mr. President," the aide said. "I've got some bad news..."
"Get out of here!" the President bellowed, not even getting out of his chair. "Can't you see I'm busy?"
"Out! Don't make me make you cry!"
The aide ran, too scared to even close the door behind him.
"That's right, fat boy," Obama chuckled. "You'd better run." And then to me, he said, "I never get tired of that. Never."
"Mr. President," I interrupted, trying to find the path that would get me back home the quickest.
"You were saying?"
"Oh, yeah... the media. Well, my approval rating's gone to crap. My stature among the American people's at zero. And my hair's going gray like nobody's business. But it's not my fault," he was quick to point out.
"George Bush?" I suggested.
"No, not George Bush. I wish I could blame him, it's always worked for me before, but this time it's my own people. Nobody ever tells me anything. I'm kept in the dark, and when the shite hits the fan, I look like a liar."
"Surely they told you about Benghazi," my enquiring mind wanted to know.
"The NSA spying?"
"The IRS targeting of conservative groups?"
"Fast & Furious? Syria? Solyndra?"
"No. No. And no."
"No one told you any of it?"
Before the President could answer, the aide was back at the door.
"Mr. President?" he asked, peeking around the door. "I really need to talk with you."
"Didn't I tell you to get out?" the President yelled at the aide. He turned his head in my direction. "Jim, shoot him," he ordered presidentially.
"I can't shoot him, Mr. President."
"Because it's against the law."
"Against the law?"
"That's right, sir."
"Then give me your gun and I'll shoot him."
"I can't do that either."
"Because that would be illegal, too."
"What's the point of being president, if I can't shoot anybody?" he howled, shaking a fist at the heavens. "Man, I miss Chicago."
By this time, all we could hear was the aide's footsteps echoing down the hall as fast from us as humanly possible on chubby little legs.
"I never get tired of that. Never. How much you want to bet I can make him cry?"
I got up from my chair.
"Mr. President," I told him, "I've got to go. I've got a little girl at home waiting to tell me why I'm wrong."
"You think you've got problems? What about me? No one ever tells me anything," the President continued, not even noticing me leaving the room. "The ObamaCare website doesn't work! The insurance companies were going to cancel their policies! There's been three months of secret meetings with Iran and now I've got to go sell a deal to the American people that I don't know anything about!"
By this time I had already stepped through the doorway and was on my way down the long hallway home. On my way out, I passed the same aide on his way back in. He was shaking his head, and mumbling to himself, "Why can't we ever tell him anything?"
I didn't even bother to turn around when I heard the President firing up his temper again.
"What? You again? I told you to get out! You're fired! You hear me? Fired!!"
The aide flew past me so fast he could have run around the White House and kicked his own ass. And...
...I think he was crying.
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