Sunday, November 13, 2005

Cheney in Search of a Lift

David Addington was in the bar off the main lobby of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. He was sneaking a shot of Pinch Whiskey. As the thick dark golden liquid hit his stomach, the warmth made Addington relax. Ever since Dick appointed him the Chief of Staff, the mood around the Vice President's office was downbeat, to say the least. There was little talk of worldly missions and grand plans. There was, instead, a bunker mentality eating away at the spirit. And so that was Addington's first task, to raise the spirits and do something rather than close the hatches.

Addington heard a loud thunder clap of hands peppered with cheers. He glanced at his watch Sure enough, the Vice President's speech ended on schedule, to the minute. It appears the speech Addington wrote for his boss received a good reception.

"Another," Addington addressed the bartender. The bartender poured from the unique round Pinch Whiskey bottle that was "pinched" in its center.

"A double, please."

"Flying or drowning?" asked the bartender.

"Why? What? Do I look like I'm drowning?" asked Addington.

"From where I work, it's hard to tell whether someone is about to take off or put a bullet in his head.

The bartender was not joking.

"You know it's possible to be drowning one day, and then suddenly an eagle comes down and swoops you into the sky. You know that's possible, right?" Addington said.

"That's what whiskey does. It swoops you up and then drops you like dead meat."  The bartender placed the bottle of Pinch whiskey on the glass shelf that was lit with a green light and backed by a mirror. Addington could see himself in the mirror, and was now hyper-aware that he was feeling a bit too chatty with the bartender. He tossed two twenties on the bartop.

"Thanks," said the bartender.

Addington walked outside. A female Secret Service officer opened the back door of a black Chevy Suburban. Addington was surprised to see the Vice President already seated. The door closed. The car took off.

"This morning I felt like shit. But you were right. One good speech, a standing ovation, and I am now feeling back to normal." The Vice President was beaming.

"They gave you a standing ovation?"

"They didn't actually stand. You've been drinking?"

"Me. No. Well, yes, I stopped in the bar." Addington admitted the slip.

"I'm not sure I want to go home right now. Lynne brings me back to earth, and I am finding that depressing. Driver, take us to 17th and Pennsylvania. The Executive Office Building, front entrance."

"More work to do?" asks Addington.

"I have a stash in the credenza. I need a lift."

Addington had already had too much to drink. So this was the last thing he wanted.

"Same here," said Addington as it the first drops of rain started to hit the tinted glass of the Chevy's door window.

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