Friday, September 05, 2008

Imagine, if you will

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?

Caller: Who?


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.

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