Saturday, March 29, 2008
We need to revisit that 3am phone call. That image has been worrying me. All three of our esteemed presidential contenders dont strike me as the type of people that would have the quality that Ulysses S Grant was said to have called 'two o'clock in the morning courage'. When Sherman woke Grant up after the first day of Shiloh and told him that his army had been driven back against the river Grant replied steadily, "Thats alright, we'll whip'em tomorrow." Hard to imagine that sort of reaction from any of the three geniuses we get to choose from in this contest.
Scenario #1-- The White House phone rings. Michele's hand reaches out of the covers and lifts the receiver. Now, Michele, politically speaking, comes across as angry and argumentative. Tall and physically fit, ready to wrassle. And after a hard day of raising taxes, cutting the military and tightening the gag on talk radio what better sport for president Obama then to corner and mount this wild firebrand, using the last ounces of his already depleted energy and finally rolling over into a comatose sleep. Yes, Michele would be no Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower or Barbara Bush. She is hot, the kind of woman who needs to be tamed nightly. So the phone is raised to her ear,
"Yeah, what you want?"
"Say what? The Chinese are doing what?"
"You want me to wake him up for that?"
"Well you go tell that Secretary of Whatever The F--k It Is that I aint waking my man up for some Chinese bull---t and if he keeps on calling this late I'm going to come over there and kick his...."
scenario #2-- The White House phone rings. The wrinkled hand gropes in the dark blindly. The phone continues to ring as finally the gnarled fingers grasp the receiver and the other hand reaches into the glass for the now-clean false teeth so necessary to make one understood.
"Yeah, who is this? Who? Mr President? Who's the President? What? I'm the President!? So why are you calling me? I cant hear you. Is this Vice President Lieberman? Chinese what? Gristles? Well eat at a better restaurant! Missiles? What? Why are you phoning me? I dont have any Chinese missiles! Oh, I'm the President! Right, and dont you forget it , buddy!"
scenario #3-- She's dreaming again of the descending, corkscrewing aircraft dodging the Chinese anti-aircraft missiles the Chicoms gave to the Serbs, the ones whose accuracy increased so greatly after the five million dollar campaign contribution her and Bill had worked so hard to collect from the Buddhist Nuns-- what a fuss that doltish chump of an Algore made when we sent him to LA to pick it up! In her dreams the bullets were whizzing by on the runway as she ran for the crude, sandbagged bunker into which she dove for cover. Somewhere, in the noise of the bombardment the phone was ringing, and ringing. Even the two Vicodins she washed down with savage gulps of Wild Turkey straight from the bottle (all those years in Arkansas taught her how unnecessary a glass was when you needed to get some sleep) hadnt been able to drown out the squeals of the interns from the Lincoln Bedroom and she needed two more of the blessed little white caplets and the rest of the bottle to finally black out. But the ringing...the doleful dream of bursting artillery shells, the little girl throwing the flowers into the medivac helicopter, which explodes, the girl torn apart as Robert Duvall, standing on the skid... ring, ring
"Huuuuuuuhhhhh. Yeah. Whaddaya want?"
"Chinese what...we'll tell'em to leave the cash with Cynthia...er, I mean Vice President McKinney...they're doing WHAT?"
"Well..."(long pause as she nods out and regains consciousness)
The rest is silence.