Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Bailing out the President: Dick Cheney is pacing around your office like the tiger he has tattooed on his ass stalking an elk through the high grass. (The tattoo was gift of Princeton alum George Shultz after a long night of coke and ecstasy with the Kuwaiti royal family and three former Miss Wyomings following the first gulf war. Dick still doesn't know it's there, and you're not about to tell him.)

"He just says these fucking things," Dick says. "I think it was Karl's idea. Fucking asshole. These guys never even read the files I give them."

You remind yourself that this is your fault. If you hadn't got drunk Sunday night you'd be enjoying a quiet morning—dodging calls from media moguls, asking your secretary to fetch the Stepford files from the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, and sipping anis laced lattes. But last Sunday was a night ending in 'y' and you decided it would be a good idea to get palatic. Somewhere in the midst of your seventh martini, the bartender at Marion's tapped your shoulder. Closing time. You knew what that meant—slide off your stool, stumble outside, turn left, and tumble down into the Slide for another cocktail.

The rest of the night is unclear but you woke up at half-past three Monday afternoon with a business card on your dresser bearing the name "George P. Bush." It was stenciled in very expensively raised ink, so you called the number. The next day the vice-president is in your office.

"Look, Dick, I think I can help," you say. You wonder if you'd sound more reassuring if you'd done one less line this morning.

"That's what the fucking other guys said about Weapons of Mass Destruction. Some asshole puts Iraq in his axis of evil speech, and before you know it we're blabbering on about chemical weapons in the desert. Why would Saddam Hussein need chemical weapons? No-one's bothered him for ten years, and he started it last time."

"So you made up the Weapons of Mass Destruction?"

"Don't be an idiot. That was Miramax. They came up with the whole thing. Promised they could get it done. Then time comes, we're rolling through the desert, and that fat fuck Harvey is all moaning about being behind schedule and over budget. Wants to know if we can put the weapons in a sequel that we'll shoot in Iran or Syria or somewhere."

Your secretary walks in with coffee. She's wearing that red leather skirt with the fishnets and manolos again. You've got to get the vice-president out of here now.

"Look, Dick. We can do the moon thing no problem. President said 11 years? I'll promise you six. We'll use the old lot in New Mexico where the shot they last moon landing. It's not a problem."

Dick's smiling. It might be the Ritalin you had your secretary put in his coffee but you think it's because he trusts you. You've been recommended by the President's nephew. You did so well covering up the whole Britney overdose incident by writing the faked AP wire story about it. You've got the best drugs and the hottest secretary. Fifty-Cent borrowed your watch when he was on Saturday Night Live last week.

Dick leaves. You hit the intercom. "Uhm, Gloria, can you come in here a moment? I need the Stepford files."