CELL PHONE NOISE

“Goddammit, I’m on vacation. Why do they only call at three in the morning? Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Yeah, what?”

“Maggie, it’s Bob Corker.”

“Hello, Senator.”

“Call me Corky.”

“No.”

“No one ever wants to. So weird.”

“What do you want, Senator?”

“Whatcha up to?”

“Really?”

“Sure. Just calling to shoot the shit. Jaw atcha f’r a while. Be folksy. And tell you that John Kelly has physically wrestled the nuclear football out of Trump’s hands three times this week. So, you know, just keeping in touch.”

“Uh-huh. What, uh, was that thing you slid in there?”

“Oh, nothing. Just talking. Titans don’t look so great this year, huh? That soggy-brained bastard’s gonna get us all killed. How’s the weather by you? Still hot?”

“Senator, I see what you’re doing.”

“Was it obvious?”

“A little bit.”

“Maggie, imagine an orangutan. Big ol’ cheekflaps, orange, the whole deal.”

“Right. Orangutan.”

“Majestic creatures. So like us.”

“Get on with it, Senator.”

“Okay, so take this orangutan and deprive it of sleep for, like, two or three nights running. Then you take some whiskey. You know we make the world’s finest whiskey in Tennessee.”

“Highly debatable.”

“You take the whiskey and you hit the monkey right the fuck in the head with the bottle.”

“Ape.”

“Whatever. And then y’ give it a Twitter account and the nuclear codes. That’s the situation we’re dealing with at present. And it ain’t a secret. Less people knew about that fat Jewish fellow. White House is leakier than a lazy colander, man.”

“I hear stories.”

“Not all of ’em! It’s scary, Maggie! He’s fixin’ to bomb Korea!”

“Does he know there are two?”

“No! I cannot overstate the depths of the man’s stupidity and recklessness. You got, like, a handful of adults over there. Kelly, Mattis. They take turns distracting him. Tell him stories, that kind of shit. Kelly straight-up jingles his car keys in front of him a couple times a day. Probably why Dummy’s trying to fire him.”

“Trump’s trying to fire Kelly?”

“Shit, yeah. Who do you think leaked that thing about Kelly’s phone being compromised? Trump’s mad at him for not letting him talk to Roger fucking Stone all day.”

“Jesus. Who would replace him?”

“I don’t know. OJ? Who the hell would take this job but the damned?”

“Well, it’s brave of you to speak out now that you’re not running for reelection, Senator, but you helped Donald Trump become president. You were on the short list to be Secretary of State.”

“That a joke about my height?”

“No, sir.”

“Good.”

“Did you not realize he was unstable all this time?”

“Course I did! Man’s nuttier than a gay bathhouse in pecan country! But we all thought he was, you know, manageable. We thought we could control him, but our creation got away from us.

“If only there were some sort of warning in literature or film about this very thing.”

“You said it, Maggie.”

“Can I go to sleep now?”

“Absolutely. You have yourself some sweet dreams, young lady.”

“Huh. You’re not gonna say anything sexual or hit on me?”

“Oh, no. I like little boys. Everyone in Congress knows.”

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