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

Monday, July 8, 2024

The Odyssey Of A Bad Girl - In Washington A Good Lay Always Paves The Way To Success

Penny Wannamaker was a bad girl with a hooker mentality -  anything goes if the price is right - but with a canny, natural intelligence that trumped all. The world was not a bowl of cherries, and the sooner women wised up to that fact, the better off they would be. Penny had read the libretto and was already singing.  


She knew from a very young age - eleven if fact when she saw boys looking down her sleeveless blouse - that men were there to be had, dray horses to women's plows, dupes, and dreamers.  Take the counts, chevaliers, and princes who came to woo Shakespeare’s Portia - each of them were promised her hand if they could guess what was in the ornate coffers before them, gold, silver, or lead.  Each of them, one more clueless than the next, offering the most importunate and fantastical reasons for their choices, were ushered to the gate with nothing more than an empty feathered cap in hand. 

Portia understood men and their panting, dogged pursuits - not the enemy, the male obstructionist but the fool.  Men were to be had, enjoyed, suckered of their wealth and position, and left on the emotional curb while they took lovers in and out of court, and made their own, happy, fluid way despite patriarchy and kingship. 


Sexually precocious as she was, there was no stopping Penny's rise to...well, she wasn't exactly sure where...but wherever it might be, it would be within easy reach if men were involved.  Spreading her legs wasn't the issue here. Tempting, teasing, promising were.  

Take Aurelia Graham, heir to a Philadelphia fortune with only a few siblings in the way.  With marvelous aplomb and irresistible gesture, she bedded the uncle who held the purse strings and found herself lying on a bed of impossible riches. Or Marva Plain, the Vegas line dancer who knew that Sebastian T. Owen's octogenarian last wish was her lithe, smooth, young body which she easily and quite willingly gave to the tune of ten million left to her in his will. 

Penny made her way from Midwestern calico and embroidery to the nation's capital.  There, she knew, were the same, nose-wide-open, gullible, impossibly naive men as she had bedded in Ames and Chillicothe but with money, power, and influence.  A rich harvest and easy pickin's if there ever were any.

She met Congressman ____, influential member of the House Ways and Means Committee, at a popular K Street watering hole.  The Congressman was letting off a little steam after weeks of haggling and horse trading over a multi-billion dollar boondoggle designed to benefit everyone from Arlington to the Bay, and took notice of Penny nursing a Shirley Temple at the bar.  The rest is as predictable as corned beef and cabbage, and the two became an item - off grid of course, for the Congressman was married with two children, but an item nonetheless. 

Penny was not interested in the usual sinecure -  a flat in Adams Morgan or, depending on the rank and position of the offeror, a corner apartment at the Watergate - but a seat closer to the center of power; or in more crass but more realistic terms, a seat where money could be made. 

An internship, first step to Associate Aide, then Assistant to the Assistant, etc. etc., but in the Dirksen Building and with access to millions, indirectly of course, but there for the asking.  The Congressman was on the avant-garde of African foreign assistance - there was no way that the American people, let alone their elected representatives, could turn an eye to the black millions suffering in poverty on the Dark Continent.  With a little creativity and Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme deftness, the Congressman was able to siphon off tens of thousands to his constituents and via them to his offshore Aruba accounts. 


Like every older male taken in by youth he brought Penny into his inner circle, and both profited and profited handsomely.  This is not to say that Chad, Angola, and the Central African Republic did not benefit from the Congressman's legerdemain - they did, and although the presumed beneficiaries of American largesse saw not a penny, the intention was there and the bi-lateral political friendship was confirmed and consolidated.  

By this time the astute, savvy Penny Wannamaker had become known as a player, a voice to be heard; and while rumors circulated concerning her relationship with the Congressman, they did nothing to divert attention from her political savvy.  She was in demand; and as such it was time to move. 

Foreign affairs seemed to be one of the easiest and most lucrative sinecures of government.  No one seemed to care what was done with the billions doled out because giving was ipso facto right.  No one looked or cared to look at the bounty gifted to Zelensky of Ukraine which he in turn used to make all of his relatives and close circle of advisors wealthy beyond their dreams; so the rest of the world, Africa in particular was an off-budget gold mine.  

Americans, deep in the throes of diversity, reparations, and black supremacy, wanted to....needed desperately to...throw money black people's way, so the Congressman had no difficulty in channeling American monies to Africa where they were thanked and sent off to Switzerland.

Thanks to her reputation, both political and sexual she had no trouble securing a position with Congressman ____on the Foreign Relations committee and together they made the regime in Burkina Faso, the constituents of the Congressman's district, and themselves, very, very financially secure. 

Yes, she had to service the Congressman now and again, but this sexual complaisance was nothing compared to her bank account. It was a match made in heaven, 

To those uninitiated in the ways of Washington or the stone naive, such goings on might seem untoward or at worst unethical and immoral; but to insiders and those in the know, it was par for the course and a perennial replaying of Shakespeare.  There are no namby-pambies in government, at least not in the corridors of power.  Self-interest, enlightened or not, is the ethos, the meme, the score. 

The potency of the dyad, sex and power, has never been challenged.  Henry Kissinger put into words what everyone inside the Beltway knew - power is the greatest aphrodisiac - or to put it more crudely a roll in the hay trumps all. 


So Penny Wannamaker was not an outlier, an ambitious comer, an amoral one-off who slept her way to the Capitol. She was simply one of many upwardly mobile, opportunistic Americans who sniffed out value and opportunity and took good advantage.  A genius at it actually, and her odyssey did not end with Chad or Angola.  She made her way upward to the top of the legislative heap, and only after her financial portfolio was secure and overflowing did she retire from public service. 

When last heard from she had invested her millions in AI and had already turned a two hundred percent profit.  At this point in her career there was no point in being with the Silicon Valley dorky geniuses behind the cybernetic revolution.  Virtual engagement was enough. 

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