It Takes a Pillage, Part X

world cigar 0 It Takes a Pillage, Part XThe setting: A large home in Washington, D.C. Heavy fog presses against the windowpanes. Somewhere—somehow—a coyote can be heard howling.

THE AIDE: Still no luck. All three times I’ve called, someone says, “I’m terribly sorry, Ms. Angelou is not at home.”

THE SENATOR: I see. Why don’t you use your Harvard-summa-cum-cocksucker brain and track her down? Do I have to do everything?

THE AIDE: Yes … it’s … umm, well, actually, it’s kind of strange, because the voice that answers the phone—it sounds sort of like Ms. Angelou’s voice—you know she has that beautiful, distinctive voice—and, well, I mean that’s crazy, right?

THE SENATOR: Of course, it’s crazy, you moron—she spoke at Bill’s inauguration, read that ridiculous poem about rocks and trees and, well, whatever it was about, and we’re friends, she’s not about to dodge my calls. Next time you call, tell the “voice” that if Ms. Angelou campaigns with me in South Carolina … I will ask her to be the speaker at my inauguration.

THE AIDE: I’m afraid you’ve already booked someone to speak at your inauguration—Sinbad.

THE SENATOR [with a far off look in her eyes, sings in a lilting voice]:

Oh, a Scotsman clad in a kilt left the bar one evening fair,

And one could tell by how he walked he’d drunk more than his share—

He staggered on until he could no longer keep his feet,

Then stumbled off into the grass to sleep beside the street.

THE AIDE: Ummm … Anyway, I’m pumped—we all are—for the next stage, starting tomorrow I’ve arranged to have—

THE SENATOR [singing louder]

Ring ding diddle diddle i de o!

Ring di diddle i o!

He stumbled off into the grass to sleep beside the street!

THE AIDE: I have a really good feeling about Nevada; even if we don’t get Ms. Angelou, you have a good shot at South Carolina.

THE SENATOR [singing]

Later on two young and lovely girls just happened by,

And one says to the other with a twinkle in her eye

You see yon sleeping Scotsman who is young and handsome built

I wonder if it’s true what they don’t wear beneath their kilt.

[pauses]

Do you hear that?

THE AIDE: Hear what, Senator?

THE SENATOR: The foghorn. I really love the fog … But the foghorn keeps me up at night … Now what were you saying, dear boy?

THE AIDE: Oh … that we all have a good feeling about Nevada; and Penn says you have a good shot at South Carolina.

THE SENATOR: Oh stop blowing smoke up my ass. Anyway, Nevada, South Carolina—it doesn’t matter. If I can’t have the nomination, no one will. I’m going to stay in this thing till the last minute, and I’m going to hit him so hard, I will unleash Penn and Wolfie and all the hounds of hell, we will hit him with every goddam rumor I can find, and by the time he gets the nomination, he will be too damaged to beat the Republican in November. Now why, you might ask, would I want this? Because, dear boy, after eight years of another Republican president, it will be 2016 and the country will be begging for a Democrat. A Clinton.

THE AIDE: Yes, Ma’am. Indeed. But—no offense—but you’d be 69—some might feel that’s …

THE SENATOR: Yes, you’re right: In 2016, I will be 69. That is true. But Chelsea … Chelsea will be 36.

THE AIDE: Oh my God.

THE SENATOR: [singing]

Ring ding diddle diddle i de o!

Ring di diddle i o!

I wonder if it’s true what they don’t wear beneath their kilt!