CELL PHONE NOISE

“I hate my fucking life. Why do they keep calling? Why do they…yeah, what?”

“Maggie? Hi, Tommy Price.”

“I had a feeling you’d find my number.”

“Whatcha doing?”

“Sleeping. It’s three in the morning.”

“Breakfast time in Rome. You should see the spread the Four Seasons puts out. A literal tub full of bacon. Can’t beat it.”

“Why are you in Rome?”

“Government business.”

“You got fired today.”

“Right, sure, but here’s the thing: no one took my credit card back. So, you know.”

“I know what?”

“Uncle Sam’s paying for the party.”

“Dr. Price.”

“Tommy.”

“No. What you’re doing is a federal crime.”

“Oh, those don’t exist any more. Just state crimes.”

“You might be right.”

“You should join us, this place is great.”

“Us?”

“Brought the whole family. We’ve got a floor to ourselves.”

“Dr. Price, can you explain just what the fuck you were doing? A million bucks in travel expenses in six months? That’s almost impressive.”

“Well, Maggie, I took over at Health and Whatever Whatever on February 10th. And on February 11th, I came to a realization.”

“Which was?”

“Fuck this shit.”

“Uh-huh. If you didn’t want to do the job, why didn’t you just resign or not take it in the first place.”

“Because then they wouldn’t have given me the credit card. Duh.”

“What else have you bought with that thing?”

“Not much. Mostly the travel. Some jet-skis.”

“Some?”

“Not too many. Like, not an absurd amount of jet-skis. But more than two.”

“What else?”

“Cat.”

“You bought a cat with taxpayer money?”

“You didn’t let me finish.”

“I apologize.”

“Accepted. Catapult.”

“You bought a catapult with taxpayer money?”

“Big sucker. My son was arguing for a trebuchet, so I flew down to see him at college six or seven times to discuss it.”

“Why did you even need a catapult?”

“How else was I going to hurl things?”

“This is the most irresponsible use of government funds I’ve ever heard.”

“Hey, hey, hey! I gave quite a bit to Irma.”

“I have a feeling you’re not done with your thought.”

“I wasn’t. Irma is a stripper.”

“Of course.”

“Much like President Trump, I am a job-creator.”

“Hand-jobs are not jobs, Dr. Price.”

“They cost a grand apiece.”

“Holy shit, were you overpaying for everything?”

“They were exemplary tuggers, Maggie.”

“I truly wish you hadn’t used my name in that sentence.”

“Many of the things reported in the press were false, though. Some of the more questionable activity did occur, but there’s quite a bit of fake news.”

“Such as?”

“Politico said that my wife and I went to Europe and Asia on military jets.”

“Okay.”

“We also went to South America.”

“Jesus, man.”

“When Rio calls, you answer the phone.”

“Wow.”

“Funny story about Rio: got all my jet-skis stolen.”

“That’s not funny. I’m hanging up.”

“Where are you? Washington? How about I send a plane for you?”

“Good night, Dr. Price.”

“You want some ivory? I bought too much ivory.”

DIAL TONE NOISE EVEN THOUGH PHONES DO NOT DO THAT ANY MORE