(The following is intended with all good humor and that is how it should be taken. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.)
WASHINGTON, August 7, 2012 — I had just read Rachael’s post on Facebook, asking for advice: Should she vote for Romney or Obama? When the phone rang.
It was President Obama, again.
“Kerby, I just saw Rachael’s post,” he starts right in. “Before you write her anything, I wanted to give you a heads up. She should vote for Romney.”
Well, as you can imagine, I was surprised.
“Barack,” I said, skipping the formalities since we are good friends, “how can you say that? People have given hundreds of millions of dollars for your re-election. George Clooney and half of Hollywood will have a cow. How can you give up just like that?”
“Well,” he says to me, and I could hear him take a long drag on that cigarette, “I have given it a lot of thought, and I just can’t take it anymore.”
“What do you mean?” I stammered.
“Kerby, old buddy, I can be straight with you. It’s these darn cigarettes. I can’t smoke anymore now that I am president. They tell me it is not presidential. I am getting tired of sneaking around and smoking in the closet. Michelle smells it on my clothes, and there is hell to pay.
“I just want to be honest with myself. I like a good cig. Being president is just not worth it.”
He exhaled, slowly. I could tell he was enjoying that cigarette. He smokes Camels. More tar. He likes the tar.
“Besides,” he went on, “I want to move back to Kenya, and come out of the closet.”
“So, then, you are gay?” I asked, trying not to sound shocked. “Does Michelle know?”
“No, no, no, Kerby it’s not that,” he reassured me. “Although I wouldn’t mind being the first gay president.
“It’s just that I want to come out as a Muslim. I have been mouthing these Christian buzzwords for so long I can’t take it anymore. I just wanna be ME,” he said emphatically. “Allah Akbar.”
“And frankly, there is no way I will ever get any legislation through Congress. Four more years won’t change that. I can read the handwriting on the wall. I’m through.”
Well, this set me back.
“But why would you want people to vote for Romney?” I asked.
“It’s simple, Kerby, simple. If you had attended Harvard like me you would understand. For me simply to quit, I would be no better than Sarah Palin. No, I can’t do that. But losing fair and square to Romney, that is okay.
“But, Barry” I said, “how will you live?”
He took another long drag on that Camel.
“I guess you forgot that all presidents get $200,000 a year just to sit at home and watch TV,” he said politely.
“And, my homeboy Rahm Emanuel, you know, is mayor of Chicago. He’s offered me a job. A sinecure. If you know what that means.” I heard him give a little condescending chuckle, kind of like when he was in San Francisco and laughed about those who take refuge in guns or religion. That same snicker.
“What kind of job?” I ask him. I always want to know the details.
“Well you know Rahm. He’s not a detail guy. But I guess it has something to do with promoting Chicago values.”
This was, as you might imagine, confusing to me. I thought of Al Capone and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Wasn’t that in Chicago? I thought of ex-Gov. Rod Blagoevich, in prison for corruption. Wasn’t he from Chicago?
“Chicago values?” I said questioningly.
“Well, Kerb, you may recall that little brouhaha a couple of weeks ago where Rahm said they wouldn’t let that Dan Cathy guy open a restaurant in Chicago, because Chick-fil-A doesn’t share Chicago values.
“Well, Rahm tells me he has since found out to his horror that there are quite a few people like Cathy in Chicago. I was shocked, let me tell you.
“These crackpots think they can just believe what they want, or say what they want and hide behind the Constitution as if that was some kind of protection.
“Well, not in Chicago!” he said proudly.
“So we are working on resettlement of these people. Send them to Indiana or Kentucky. I would be kind of a community dis-organizer,” he said with a chuckle, that same chuckle.
“Kerb, excuse me, I have to go,” he said abruptly. “I guess Putin is calling me on that hotline again. Something about a promise I gave to Medvedev. Salaam Aleikhem.”
I could hear one last drag on that cigarette, like a long kiss.
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