I just received the strangest telephone call. I still can’t wrap my head around it but the conversation that followed was both bizarre and intriguing and I couldn’t wait to write about it before I forgot what was said.
It was close to 10pm and my brother and his partner had just left after an enjoyable evening of good food, wine and Lisa Lampanelli, when my telephone rang. I rarely answer the phone this late, but I thought I recognized the number within the Los Angeles area code so I answered.
When I picked up and said, “Hello,’ the person on the other end of the line started talking so fast that I could barely understand him. I hesitated and he said something unintelligible and then “are you there? Did I wake you?”
I didn’t recognize the voice but I said, “No, I’m here, just getting ready to hit the sack. What’s up?”
“What’s up? What’s up? He went for it,” he excitedly exclaimed. “Can you fucking believe it? He completely trusts me and has agreed to do the show.”
At this point I was sure I didn’t know the voice or person, but decided to play along so I asked, “Who went for what?”
“George! George Fuckin W. Bush, you idiot, that’s who,” the stranger replied. “The show is a go. It took me a long time to get him to commit, but I told him that people would see him as just another average Joe, who eats, drinks, shits and cries, just like them, but what I think convinced him was when I told him he would come out of it favorably and that it would add to his approval rating. Once I said that he didn’t skip a beat. He wants to start as soon as possible, possibly as soon as October 1st. He has agreed to initially let us film for six weeks and then if all goes well he has agreed to a total of six months. Do you think you can get a crew together immediately? Can we can have the White House set up by the first of October? We may even get a time slot and get on the air for November sweeps. Can you say Cha-ching?”
Not certain what to say, I told him it would be tight but it might me doable. “Sounds fantastic, so what’s the plan though, what are you thinking,” I asked?
“Well, he is not immediately telling Condi Rice but needs our assurance that we not show her with her girlfriend. ‘You know how adamant we have been against the gays.’ I was taken aback by that but tried not to show my surprise. He also doesn’t think that Cheney would approve, and since he isn’t around much anymore, he isn’t going to tell him either. I told him we would start getting the White House wired and cameras mounted on the walls ASAP. It will need to be done in the evening and initially he is telling his staff the cameras and the crew are for a documentary to be shown at his presidential library once he leaves office.”
“He really loves the idea and he is such a nice guy. He is a bit of a ham though, ya know? Laura was apprehensive but the president was able to convince her. She doesn’t want the American people to know her little secret so I have assured him that we will have it put in the contract that she will not be filmed with a cigarette in her hand, or anyone smoking near her.”
“He also said that his elderly parents would have to be shown respect. He doesn’t want his mother portrayed as a boozing, over powering, ball busting shrew, and he was adamant that she never be filmed without her teeth.
He also asked that his father not be filmed with Bill Clinton. He told me, off the record, that his dad and Bill spend far too much time together and although he isn’t jealous, he isn’t comfortable with their closeness.”
“And what about the twins, “ I asked, attempting to choke back a chuckle.
“He didn’t seem too concerned about little Barbara at all, he told me she is never around. I guess she spends all of her time in Amsterdam, hanging out in cafes. He told me she is a chip off the ol block. As for Jenna… well… she is going to be a problem. You know she is engaged, right?”
“Yeah,” I laughed.
“What no one knows is that she is 6 months pregnant and is showing.”
I started to laugh.
“Stop laughing…the president has insisted that we not film her, or if that isn't possible, we must agree that we show her only from the chest up. Laura is a little embarrassed but not the president. He loves his girls and he even hinted around that he got a couple of co-eds knocked up at Yale but that his dad had it all taken care of and hushed up. Just like his DUI and drug problems,” he added.
At this point, I could hardly control myself. I had my hand covering the receiver and I was laughing my ass off.
“Call me in the morning so we can discuss this some more, okay” he asked. “We have a lot to get done in a very short amount of time. I want to get this started without the media catching wind.”
“I’ll call ya tomorrow,” I promised. “And don’t worry about the media. I’m sure we can get in and out of the White House without them ever catching on…night.”
I then hung up the phone and wondered what had just happened.