Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hangin' With Dick, a mildly diverting fiction...

Dick Cheney was in town today. Usually, when dignitaries and powerful people visit the Twin Cities, I like to call them up and invite them out to the bar. Most of the time, our schedules conflict and we can’t get together. Then I must content myself with favors, patronage and glossy autographed photographs. Other times, however, the V.I.P. in question is able to escape the barrage of fundraisers and official dinners and whatnot in order to get in some quality time with me, your humble blogger. These are good times for both of us, and I don’t think it’s too presumptuous of me to think that Vicente Fox smiles to remember the evening we spent shooting rats at the dump or to believe that Madeline Albright treasures all the sloppy make-out sessions we've shared.

Well, Dick Cheney and I certainly didn’t make out, but I’m happy to say he was able to work me into his plans. Now, if you know Dick like I know Dick, you know that he’s a real big fan of girly drinks and greasy Chinese food. For this reason, I suggested the Red Dragon, on lovely Lyndale Avenue, in glorious South Minneapolis. The Vice-President readily agreed, largely because of their diverse jukebox selection, but also, I suspect, because he wanted to ogle a bunch of 25-year-old punk princesses. Dick’s a real horndog that way. So, anyway, we rolled up–and after being ID’ed by the bouncer–we found a booth. I ordered my usual, the Red Dragon Special, while Dick went with the Wondrous Punch. All I wanted was an order of wontons, but Cheney insisted on getting the whole Pu-Pu platter. Usually, I don’t let White House officials steamroll me, but I make accommodations for Dick. A long day pretending to be an affable “normal guy” takes a toll on him. It makes him cranky and you’ll never hear the end of it if he doesn’t get his way with the Chinese food. You should hear some of the things that slip out of the side of his mouth. I’d reprint them here, but then everyone’s work internet filters would kick in and block you all from reading me. Seriously, the crusty old bastard can swear. It’s a thing to behold.

Anyway, once the Pu-Pu controversy was out of the way, Dick and I got down to a nice chat. We don’t agree on anything political, of course, but we find common ground in our shared love of Wyoming, Washington gossip, and rococo painting. Plus, he and I are both lightweights when it comes to the booze. Condoleeza Rice and Vladimir Putin can drink me under the table without any trouble, but Dick I can keep up with pretty well.

“Come on, you little shit, let’s take a piss!” he shouted at me after we had killed our first round. This is something I’ll never understand about those western-state alpha-males: they have to make everything into a competition. The next thing I know, we’re standing at the urinals and the Vice-President of the United States of America is cackling like mad, growling “You call that a stream, you little girl? Piss like a man, goddamn it!” I’m used to this sort of behavior by now, so I just said, “Jesus, Dick, you sure do urinate in a more masculine fashion that I, a sissy Democrat, do...” He wheezed a little at that, zipped up, and patted me on the back. I think he has paternal feelings towards me. One thing I confess, though: we did not wash our hands on our way back out. The secret service guys were appalled, but what did we care? We were men of the world, out on the town. Next on the agenda: senseless bellowing.

“WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I enthused as the waitress brought us our second round.

“HELLLLLL YEAAAAAH!” boomed the second most powerful man in the entire world.

“YEAAAAAAAH” I seconded and–after a mighty belch–Dick outdid me again. He hollered, “AAAAAOOOOOOOOGAAAAAAAH!” with such force and vigor the entire room turned to stare at us. We slapped five then, and I started to gather wind for my rejoinder, but I stopped when I noticed that Dick had become distracted. He leaned across the table, his bald head a glistening pink, and whispered, “Get a load of her!” He was waving his gnarled hand at a woman across the room. I looked at her and grinned–she was Dick’s type alright. Strange as it may seem, the leading neo-conservative voice in our nation’s administration has real yen for willowy, bookish former women’s-studies majors.

“She’s cute, but I doubt she’s a Republican, man...” I said and Dick pounded the table with his fist.

“How the fuck do you know that? You don’t know that for sure!” he thundered.

“You can tell. You can just tell...” I reasoned.

Dick waved a finger in my face and went on screaming “You fucker! You don’t know shit! She’s a Republican! She’s a beautiful, beautiful Republican!”

I just shrugged and said, “Maybe, Dick. Why don’t you ask her?”

“Ssssssssh!” he hissed, “She’s going to hear you! Christ, don’t you have any sense at all, you little anti-American candyass!”

“You’re the one yelling,” I pointed out, but by the look on Dick’s face I knew the night had progressed to its last phase: teary confessions.

He wiped his eyes, doing a bad job of pretending that some Pu-Pu seasoning had gotten in them, all the while muttering brokenly, “It’s bullshit...it’s all bullshit, dude...”

“I know it is, Dick,” I said. He was still staring at the girl and I watched her flag down the bouncer and ask for a new seat. It was embarrassing for me, but nothing new. I’ve been down this road with more prominent right-wingers than I care to count. It’s sort of a theme with them, I guess.

As he has so many times before, the Vice-President seized my hand and rained liquor-laced spittle over my face. “You know what the worst part is?” he asked, all wild-eyed and crazy intense. “Do you have any idea?”

“Ease down, big boy. Ease her down,” I said, using my gentlest tones.

“It’s that I’m...I’m...I’m so...fucking...insecure!” he bleated in the seconds before his head crashed onto the table. I watched his shoulders twitch. I pulled my fingers free from his. After getting an approving nod from the secret service, I went digging in his coat for his billfold. I needed to settle the bill, after all. It was obvious that our evening was over.

I left a generous tip and stumbled out to catch a cab, leaving the Vice-President to sob in the wreckage of his Pu-Pu platter. I hope that he made it to his plane alright.