Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Barack Obama, making a campaign stop in a small town in Michigan, decided to have some waffles at the local IHOP. Warned by his handlers not to be standoffish to the press – he had created a minor flap during the primaries by saying to a persistent reporter over breakfast, “Can I just eat my waffle?”, which utterance came dangerously close to being successfully touted by his opponents as the real theme of his campaign – he made a determined effort to convey openness and conviviality.
A talking head from the local NBC affiliate was perched on the stool next to Obama at the counter. A lovely blue-eyed blonde who had majored in “Communications” at the community college (having flunked out of beautician’s school), she practically gushed with enthusiasm. “Senator Obama”, she cooed, “you’ve been called the first potential ‘female president’. How do you plan to put your feminine side to best use?”
Obama simpered and was preparing an answer – momentarily staring at his waffle, as if looking to it for guidance – when his view was filled by a large hand holding a stainless-steel flask. The flask was upended, pouring a stream of bourbon over Obama’s waffle. The senator looked up in indignation and surprise to see a vaguely familiar figure sitting next to him – a big man in a trench coat and a fedora. The man stuck a gasper in his mouth, lit it, then tossed the lighted match in the pool of bourbon in which Obama’s waffle was now floating. His breakfast flickered under a bright blue flame, like an edible Bunsen burner.
“I figured that a beta male like you would prefer crêpes suzette”, the big man said. He turned to the waitress. “Here’s a ten spot, baby. Buy yourself a fire extinguisher.” He slipped off the stool, strode to the door, and walked out into the cool morning air.
The young reporter gaped at Obama. “Senator, that man looked just like Bob Mitchum! What was that all about?”
Obama grimaced irritably. “Can I just drink my mango nectar?”