How the Draft Deals with Scandal or Operation Shell Game

When you are President, there is nothing worse than being wakened at 4 AM. Oh wait, yes there is. Being wakened at 4 AM by Spin Cycle, the code word for the White House Communications Director. You roll over in the bed and pick up the phone that’s making the annoying sound that woke you up. “Spin, if you have come to spread some cheer to me, I’m going to have Agent Smith shoot you.”

He bursts into your bedroom. “Oh there’s no cheer today, sir. And Agent Smith’s not here which oddly is the reason I came to talk to you.”

As you sit up and pull on your warmups, you recall groggily that Agent Smith and his team has been sent ahead to “secure” your hotel in Grindo Zero, codeword for Cartagena. Once again you’ve been tasked to attend a “summit” meeting, which is an apt description of all of these. They all are a lot like mountain climbing. It’s real hard, you have to be insane to do it even if you use all the safety equipment and it accomplishes absolutely nothing.

About that, how’s the speech coming?”

Oh,” he says all too chipperly, “it’s coming along nicely, I’ll have the first draft in a couple days.”

You jam the button for Alfred, codename for your excellent butler, a few times very hard because that was NOT what you wanted to hear. “Listen Spin, by speech I mean something like twenty seconds… NOT minutes. I realize you love these things, but to me it’s a lot like knee surgery with a .45.”

He looks momentarily dejected, “Ok… I’ll see if I can cut some of it.”

Cut most of it.”

Alfred arrives with early breakfast. He places the serving tray in front of you, “Here you are, sir, scrambled eggs, livermush and cheese on toast, and of course, your morning pills and something to wash them down.” By which, he means, a double Jack neat. He really is an excellent butler.

So what’s up with Agent Smith?”

Spin Cycle has a look of shell shock and stares at the tray, “Sir, I’m not sure I’d eat that even for dinner. And I’m not sure it’s a good idea to take those pills with liquor. Or, for that matter, drink this early in the morning.”

Good, cause I’m pretty sure it’d kill you. What’s going on at Grindo Zero?” Eating blood pressure pills at 4:30 in the morning makes you impatient.

Well, sir…” He pauses nervously, “There’s been an… incident.”

You smile recalling good times at a bar in Virginia. “So you woke me up to rub it in that I missed the fun?”

Well… it doesn’t look like as much fun this time. Er… ok yeah I’m sure there was a lot of fun, but it’s gotten a little too public. The news is all over it right now.”

Hmm… ok, so what happened?”

Well there was a disagreement between one of the agents and, um, a woman.”

You wonder what happened to Spin in his early life that prevents him from saying “hooker.” “And?…”

Well the police were called…”

Oh man, that’s not a small police force there. How bad was the shoot out?”

Oh they didn’t go to the hotel. I think they might have heard about the bar in Virginia. Anyway though, it’s worse, they went to the press instead.”

Damn…” you pause to think, “Well, lets get all the usual suspects into the Jungle Room (codeword for the Oval Office, thanks yet again, President Bill) and Smith and his MIB squad. We need to do some… some… what did the other presidents call it?”

Damage control, sir?”

Yeah! Damage control! Hmm… that actually makes it sound fun.”

A few hours later, you’re in the Jungle Room. Agent Smith and his squad is there with Spin Cycle, and for some reason your new friend, Vampire Bill is there, holding a glass of his new prescription medicine, a pink PJ. Lately he seems to hang around a lot now that he’s so much more mellow.

On the phone, you are chatting with Candy Cane, codename for your favorite political reporter from Certainly Not News. “…so… there’s nothing you can do?… Oh come on sweetie, you can’t still be mad about that, no one won the pool. Bridesmaid is way tougher than we all thought…”

Bridesmaid is, of course, the codeword for Senator McCain and Candy is a bit miffed that she didn’t win the pool on how many of your press conferences it would take to cause him to stroke.

…Ok… Well, how about this then, wanna be an ’embedded’ reporter when we head to Grindo Zero?… Hello?…” You hang up the phone, “Hmm… we got cut off.”

You turn to Agent Smith, “Well, so tell me what happened.”

He points to the agent on his right, “Sir, he’s Agent Smith.”

Ok, we really have to get you guys some name tags.” Turning again to Agent Smith, “So, what happened?”

Well, sir, Operation What’s that Smell was going without a hitch. We had worked out most of the kinks… well we found all of the kinks and got them all maps to the hotel. So, after work, we felt it was our duty to test the kinks, just to be sure you know. Unfortunately there was a problem between Agent Jones here,” he points to the agent on the far left of the three, “and his assigned target.”

You turn to Agent Jones, “What happened son?”

Well, sir, at the bar I had pre-negotiated a price with the target. But when we got to the hotel, the target attempted to renegotiate the price. She was asking for ten times the original price. Well I wouldn’t stand for that…”

Suddenly there’s that familiar sound. Only it’s not Scotch this time. Well, it could be, you really don’t know. But a pink spray of PJ had just blasted from Vampire Bill’s nose. After a short fit of coughing, he stammered, “You argued over price?!?” Now he was yelling, “Since when have you guys ever cared about price?!?”

Just as it appeared that Bill was going to attempt strangling the agent, Mr… er… Doctor Frost appeared with Brick House in tow, “We have to get this man another PJ stat” and was abruptly forcing a new pink drink into Bill.

For a moment Bill’s face flushed warm and he slumped down onto the couch, “Thanks, doc. That one kinda burned.”

I doubled the dosage, since it was an emergency.” Doctor Frost says.

You turn back to Agent Jones, “He does have a point though.  Ok so how much was she asking for?”

Sir she was asking for eight-hundred.”

Vampire Bill had jumped back to his feet, “Eight… HUNDRED?? WITH ONLY TWO ZEROES?? THAT’S IT??”

Doctor Frost turns to Brick who’s at the liquor cabinet, “Nurse House, another PJ stat, triple dosage this time.”

Way ahead of you doctor,” she says as she hands him another PJ which goes rapidly down the gullet of Bill. Bill sits down again, much more relaxed now.

While all this is going on, an idea occurs to you. You decide to test a theory. “Spin, does the press have the names of any of the agents?”

Just Agent Hart, cause of his Facebook page.”

You shake your head as you turn to Agent Hart, “You have a Facebook page?”

He points to the right, “Sir, I’m Agent Jones, he’s Agent Hart.”

Ok, I think this could work.” You turn to Hart, “So… what about this Facebook page?”

Well sir…” he falters, “I’ve had it for a while. Might have said some things I shouldn’t have…”

Spin finishes, “Like pictures of you oogling Palin’s butt.”

You shudder, “You’re kidding me right?”

Hart speaks up, “She does have a nice butt sir. I’m just sayin’”

Yeah, but the voice…”

I had earbuds in and turned up loud sir. She definitely has Drescher’s Syndrome.” Everybody shudders.

Ok… I think I have a plan, but first we need a test. You guys know how to play musical chairs right?”

All the Agents look puzzled. Well, no, they don’t look anything, they never do. But you can imagine it. They do sorta nod though, that helps.

Ok get to it Imagine there’s music and walk around the couch.”

So they go around a few circles and you say, “Stop.” They all plop on the couch. “Ok get up.” They stand up.

You turn to your test subject, Vampire Bill, “Ok Bill, see if you can tell me which one of these guys is Agent Jones.”

Everybody’s eyes turn to Vampire Bill. He snores. A little drool slides down from the corner of his mouth.

Might have over done it a bit with that last PJ sir.” Doctor Frost says. “Nurse House, have him take two aspirin in the morning and call me tomorrow night.” She does not look amused. She never does.

You turn to Spin, “Ok, then you, which one’s Jones?”

He points to one of the guys, “That one, of course. I’m right, right?”

I have no freakin’ idea. Which one are you?”

I’m Agent Smith, sir.” It occurs to you that they could lie to you and you’d never know.

Perfect! Ok, here’s the plan: We’ll announce that the unnamed agents have quit, will ‘fire’ one just to be sure, that’ll be you, Hart, since everyone knows you…”

I’m Jones, sir, he’s Hart…”

…Ok, anyway we’ll ‘fire’ Hart. And we’ll actually just reassign him.”

Spin asks, “Reassign him where?”

Milf patrol obviously. I got two requirements though, no Facebook page, and please, PLEASE, no Palin voice. I don’t have earbuds.”


People always seem surprised that life imitates art. Where the Hell do you think the art came from?