"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, June 10, 2024

When The Switch Won't Turn On The Lights - Joe Biden's Delightful Flights Of Fancy

 'Joey....Joey!' the President heard his mother call. 'Time for dinner'; and with that Joe picked up his beach toys, did one last dig of the moat around the sand castle, and ran up the stairs to his mother, the simmering pot roast, and the nearest thing to heaven he could imagine. 

'Joe...Joe!!' he heard again but this time not his mother but that other woman - the shrill one, the bothersome one.  The soft evening light of the a Rehoboth summer evening faded, and he slowly began to realize where he was - not with his mother at their summer cottage, but in this huge, overstuffed, garish place...Oh yes, remembered, The Presidential Suite, his bedroom, and the shrill loud voice was that of his wife Jill. 

'Sweetheart', she said much more kindly, it's time to get dressed.  The President of Azerbaijan is coming to dinner tonight'. 

'Who?', the President said, and then remembered.  'Another Arab...why didn't the Turks finish them off when the could, or was that Armenia?'  

He remembered his mother telling him about the Terrible Turks and how if he wasn't a good boy they would come and take him away.  That image - turbaned wild men with scimitars and lances coming after him - had stayed with him to this day, although softened by Ayesha Baikal the Istanbul movie star who had paid him a visit on Republic Day.  The most beautiful woman he had ever seen, a vision out of the Arabian Nights, a wife of Sultan Ahmed waving like Juliet from the balcony of her bedroom in her husband's luxurious palace on the Sea of Marmara. 


'Joe', the President's wife said more sternly. 'It's getting late', and those words reminded him of his mother again, calling to him after the sun had set and he was still making sand castles, 'time to come in'.  It wasn't his mother calling but Jill, and the vision of Ayesha, Turkish princess, her pasha, his harems, and the flashing scimitars of Mongol hordes sweeping down the steppes disappeared. 

The President was getting very scratchy and unpleasant about these state dinners arranged by his staff as a show of his international diversity.  'All second rate', he mused thinking of Amin el-M'bele president of some African state loaded with the oil and rare earths we wanted to get, a tinpot dictator who strutted in in a white military uniform dripping with medals and surrounding by a coterie of young women like the Caryatides of Greece, scented with sandalwood, dressed to beat the band, attractive an African sort of way but nothing like Ayesha Baikal 

The harsh fact was that the President's staff didn't trust him any more with power hitters like Macron, Netanyahu, or Modi.  Their last mistake was inviting Giorgia Meloni, the young, beautiful President of Italy.  Biden simply couldn't take his hands off her, gave her a kiss on the forehead and wandered off, back to Delaware as she explained in rapid fire the consequences of a Leftist victory in the upcoming EU elections, 

No it would have to be the minor leagues at least until the election in November, then God only knew what the President's second term would be like.  The way he was going he might have forgotten his own name by then. 

Ah, Georgina, the President remembered, a child barely out of diapers and the President of Italy! Or that Marion Marechal, even younger, even more beautiful and primed for high office, should invite her here; but his staff objected.  She was a far right bigot who wanted all Muslims out of Europe and back to where they came from, recalling Roncesvalles and the decisive victory of Charlemagne and Roland who defeated the Saracens and sent all Muslims back to the Maghreb, keeping Europe safe and Christian. 

'Can't have her here', the President's chief aide said, and Joe reluctantly agreed.  What was needed around here were some of Europe's blonde beauties, not in the Oval Office of course, for that was reserved for him, but on the staff.  This diversity thing had gone too far.  Why there was every possible combination and permutation of human being in here except no beauties - no Marions or Georginas?

He looked at the briefing folder left for him by his chief of protocol - what to do and what not to do with the President of Azerbaijan, including some talking points, refresher notes about his country's high points - the National Carpet Museum, for example, or the Mausoleum of Yeddi Gumbaz -and of course the only real reason to have the man here - oozing Caspian Sea oil, barrels and barrels of it in a bidding war with Russia, Turkey, and Western Europe. 

But first the President would have to get through another long day, a lightened load because of the evening's activities, but still more than he wanted to face.  Another ladies' tea in the Rose Garden, these old crones from the DAR had a permanent place on the White House calendar, something to do with Lexington and Concord, relatives of Paul Revere or Benjamin Franklin, a boring, tedious affair but deemed necessary to show his patriotism. 

LaShonda Phillips and the White House Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  These women never were satisfied, always wanted more, and hectored the President day and night for more women of color, more transgender this and that, more impossible set ups he never could have imagined as a young boy on the beach at Rehoboth. 

Armand Luck and his binders of charts, graphs, and impenetrable numbers - all chicken scratch to the President even in his better days, but now totally, utterly meaningless. 

Somehow he got suited up in his tuxedo and made it to the head of the receiving line.  The President of Azerbaijan insisted that every last one of his coterie of beautiful young women meet Biden, so one by one these bejeweled, dark-eyed, scented, perfectly gorgeous women shook his hand, bowed, smiled invitingly, and moved on

Ah, thought the President, if only....if only....but standing before him waiting for a handshake was the first of old, grizzled Arabs, the other half of the Azerbaijan contingent - cousins, brothers-in-law, tribal chieftains, investors.  The evening dragged on forever. 

By the time the band played the Presidential Recessional, Biden was dazed, confused, and disoriented.  Jill knew that look - the vacant, despairing one - and took her husband by the arm and led him out through the honor guard, security and to their bedroom. 

She tucked him in, read him one of the Robert Louis Stevenson poems he liked from A Child's Garden Book of Verse, and waited until he fell asleep before she made her toilette. 

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