The 3 A.M. telephone call in a McCain administration:
Ring. Ring. Ring. Hello?
Caller: Mr. President?
CM: Do I sound like that old buzzard? It's the First Lady!
Caller: Sorry ma'am. May I speak to the President? It's the Pentagon.
CM: Maybe. I'll see if I can wake him up. [to the inert snoring figure sleeping in the Commander of Chief pajamas] John! Wake up! Telephone call!
[there is no reaction from JM; CM shakes him violently]
CM: Wake up, dammit!
[still no reaction; CM rolls over onto the figure and yells in his ear]
CM: Wake up!
JM: [dreamily] Not now, Cindy. We already did it this month.
CM: Shit. Damn Ambien. Wake up John, goddammit!
[JM smiles in his sleep; he cuddles with his blanket]
CM: [shouting again in JM's ear] Wake up dammit! [CM knees JM in the groin]
JM: Ooof! Hanoi Jane! You miserable c**t! [he actually did call Cindy that, you know]
CM: No! John! It's Cindy, the First Lady!
JM: Oh, in that case, it's like I told you! Not 'til next month!
CM: No! Listen! Somebody wants to talk to you on the telephone.
JM: What time is it?
CM: It's 3 AM.
JM: [rolling over clutching his blanket] Tell him to call back after breakfast.
CM: John, it's not another siding salesman. It's the Pentagon! You have to take it. Here's the phone.
JM: [groggily] OK. [into the phone, grumpy sounding] Don't tell me you lost some more nukes.
Caller: No, Mr. President. We learned our lesson last time! We have a situation here, Mr. President.
JM: At the Pentagon?
Caller: No Mr. President, everything is fine here.
JM: Well it's a funny time to be playing twenty goddam questions, so just tell me where this situation is.
Caller: It's in Waziristan, specifically, North Waziristan.
JM: [after an uncomfortable pause] Where?
Caller: [sighing] North Waziristan. It's part of Pakistan.
JM: I know that!
Caller: Of course you do, Mr. President.
JM: Well, what's up?
Caller: We just chased a bunch of insurgents across the border into North Waziristan.
JM: You did? You mean there are Taliban operating in Iraq now?
Caller: No, no. We chased them out of Afghanistan.
JM: Well good for you! You'll be rewarded for the initiative. But it could have waited until morning, [under his breath] you little bootlicker.
Caller [sighing again] That's not the reason I called, Mr. President.
JM: What do you want from me?
Caller: We want to chase them into Pakistan, and we need your go ahead.
JM: Sure, go on. What's a little extra gas?
Caller: It's a little more complicated than that, Mr. President.
JM: [another uncomfortable pause] Have you checked with Sarah?
JM: THE GODDAM VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!
Caller: No, Mr. President, I haven't. I thought I should take this directly to you.
JM: For a military man, you don't know much about the chain of command, do you?
Caller: But Mr. Pres --
JM: Follow the chain of command! If Sarah has a problem, she can bump it upstairs. Good night. [slams down phone] Cindy, pass me the Ambien and get me a glass of water.