Wednesday, December 27, 2006

George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld And Paris Hilton Meet In The Lincoln Bedroom

George Bush sat on the love seat in the Lincoln Bedroom. Opposite him was Donald Rumsfeld sitting in a chair. George was in his underwear, briefs, with a sleeveless t-shirt. Donald was dressed in white tennis shorts, white socks, white Nike tennis shoes, a grey polo shirt and he was holding a squash racket, bouncing a squash ball up and down effortlessly with the racket. Though George kept looking at the bed to his right, the bed where Abraham Lincoln’s son dies, the bed at the foot of which Abraham Lincoln’s autopsy was performed after he was shot at Ford’s Theater. George kept looking at the bed and thinking that Paris Hilton was lying on it in the nude. He wondered what Paris would look like in the nude. Would she be so skinny that she would look anorexic? Or would she have some meat on her, a bit of muscle evidencing a modicum of exercise other than dancing?

“I won today,” said Donald Rumsfeld.

“What?” asked George Bush.

“Squash. I beat my nephew,” said Donald.

“Good. That’s good,” said George as he glanced back at the bed.

“If you acknowledge it’s a civil war that means your presidency has been a failure,” said Donald.
“What?” asked George.

“Americans will not permit its boys and girls to be in the middle of someone else’s civil war. Iraq will have been a failure,” said Donald.

“I agree,” said a female voice.

“What?” George said as he glanced to his right at the bed. It was Paris Hilton. She was naked except for pink panties. Paris was holding a small digital camera and she was snapping pictures of George and Donald and she sat on her knees on top of the white puffy blanket.

“I said I agree,” said Paris.

“What are you doing here?” asked George of Paris.

“You asked me to come,” said Donald.

“What? No not you. Her,” said George pointing to the bed.

“Who?” said Donald.

“Her. Right there. On the bed,” said George.

“You feeling OK?” asked Donald.

“Tell that old geezer you feel just fine,” said Paris.

George looked over at Paris. “Smile,” said Paris as she snapped a picture. George smiled.

“I feel just fine,” said George.

“Getting back to Iraq, it is important that you salvage some good that was added to the world, to the United States, and define that goodness as part of an Iraq pull back,” said Donald.

“Ahhh, that’s such bullshit, George,” said Paris. “You made a mistake. Admit you made a mistake. And pull our troops out,” said Paris.

“I made a mistake,” said George.

“We don’t have to go there,” said Donald.

“Georgie, Georgie, go there. Go there. Ask yourself, how did you stop drinking?” asked Paris.

“I faced the truth,” said George.

“OK. You can face it, Mr. President, but face it privately,” said Donald.

“Did you go to any AA meetings, Georgie?” asked Paris.

“No,” said George.

“Did you tell Laura you were an alcoholic,” asked Paris.

“I told Laura, said George.

“Telling Laura is one thing, telling the public is another,” said Donald.

“Look where the old geezer got you. The whole thing is a big mess, George. A big mess. The only way out is to admit the mess, admit the mistake, and then get our soldiers out. Get everyone out. Let the whole place blow up. And you will be able to salvage something of yourself and of America,” said Paris as she was massaging her bare belly.

“I can salvage something?” asked George.

“Of course you can,” said Donald.

“Of course you can,” said Paris.

“Stay or pull out,” said George.

“Stay,” said Donald.

“Pull out,” said Paris.

“You pull out, the party will burn you as a coward,” said Donald.

“You stay, more Americans will die and the historians will look at you as weak,” said Paris.
“But a coward is weak,” said George.

“Exactly,” said Donald.

“No, no, no. A weak man cannot face the truth. A coward cannot face his buddies. Who are you?” asked Paris.

George looked at Paris. She was really quite stunning with her long blond hair. He found it surprising that she could be so smart, so articulate. Paris Hilton sounded smarter than Donald Rumsfeld. At least at this moment. George wanted to jump onto the bed. Paris saw a sparkle in George’s eye.

“Don’t even think about it,” said Paris.

“Don’t worry. I’m not. I’m not,” said George.

Paris winked at George. George smiled as Paris took another picture.

“You’re not what?” asked Donald Rumsfeld as he caught the squash ball in his hand.

“I’m just not. I’m just not,” said George.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Jennifer Aniston Meets With Stephen Huvane

Stephen Huvane sat on one of the two brown distressed leather couches in his fourth floor Wilshire Boulevard office, a corner office, with knee-high to ceiling windows and a late afternoon view of West Los Angeles. The panorama ran left from Century City to Beverly Hills on the right. The couch Stephen sat on had the better view than the couch supporting Jennifer Aniston, who was smoking a cigarette and air tapping the ashes onto a tray the size of toilet seat that sat on the burled oak coffee table separating the two couches. Jennifer was clicking a Bic lighter on and off she held in her right hand, the yellow flame playing off the falling orange California sun. Jennifer Aniston was wearing tight blue jeans, white socks, Nike running shoes and a navy blue tank top with string straps.

“What happened to the gold lighter I gave you,” asked Stephen.

“What do you do with a gold lighter, Stephen? You keep it. You use it. And if I use it, that means I am smoking. And I am trying to quit, remember,” said Jennifer nervously.

“But you’re using that cheap lighter. Bad image. If you are going to smoke, you might as well do it with gold,” said Stephen.

Jennifer shot Stephen a look and then put the cigarette out in the large tray. She then pulled out a pack of Merit Ultra Lights and flipped a new cigarette in her mouth, lighting it with the Bic. She took a long drag and then blew smoke rings into the upper center of Stephen Huvane’s office. Stephen Huvane was the younger brother of Kevin Huvane, the famous and powerful talent agent who was a partner of Creative Artist Management. Kevin Huvane managed the money and contracts of movie stars. Stephen Huvane managed the image of movie stars. Publicists were once considered the lapdogs of Hollywood. They were now the first to call on a celebrity’s emergency list.

“I like smoke rings. Is that a good image,” said Jennifer Aniston.

“Only if you are acting in a movie. But the way I have positioned you, smoking is not a good image in general. You are Jennifer Aniston, the perfect American white girl. Smoking is an imperfection,” said Stephen.

“What about being dumped by Brad Pitt? Is that an imperfection?” asked Jennifer.

“Well, actually, that is a part of the American Girl experience. It is not an image problem if handled correctly, and I think we handled it correctly,” said Stephen.

“OK. OK. So how are we handling this one?” asked Jennifer.

“With Vince Vaughn, I think we say it was a mutual separation,” said Stephen.

“Is lying part of the American Girl experience?” said Jennifer.

“Very much so,” said Stephen in all seriousness.

Jennifer Aniston listened to Stephen Huvane, listened to his speech about the American Girl, the American White Girl, that is. But it did not seem to maytter, this idea. The image was important to Stephen Huvane, not the human being.

“Is something wrong with me? How can I possibly be that perfect American girl? How? I am really quite pleasant, you know. I am low maintenance. I do not demand a lot from a man. But they…they keep…they keep leaving,” said Jennifer as she shoved the cigarette in her mouth for the twentieth time.

Stephen recognized that his client was upset, nearly in tears. It was touching, and though he at times allowed himself to get caught up in the emotions of his high profile clients, he viewed the emotions as publicity opportunities. Maybe the “jilted” Jennifer was a better image move than the “mutual separation” scenario he had proposed. Look at her. You wanted to hug her, take care of her. To say Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn separated mutually lacked any market value. It was avoidance. It was weak. It did not have balls. But sitting in front of Stephen Huvane was a story with balls, a story with value. To get dumped by a string of men can add value. Look what happened to Judy Garland. Sure Garland’s life was a mess and Judy Garland was a drug addict and miserable. That wasn’t the point. The Judy Garland name and image was golden. That was the point. That’s what was important. The market value of the life, not the quality of life.

“Maybe we should be honest. Maybe we should approach this from a perspective of truth,” said Stephen.

“The truth. That would be a new approach,” said Jennifer.

“Jennifer, there is the factual truth and there is the essence of truth. Sometimes the facts and the essence are in conflict. So it is my job to decide whether the facts or the essence serves you better,” said Stephen, knowing that he was shoveling shit with a big scoop, but hell, it was his business to mix shit into something digestible.

“Yeah, so what are you saying,” asked Jennifer.

“Maybe here, now, we go with the facts. Maybe the factual truth is the essence,” said Stephen Huvane. Stephen enjoyed making these pronouncements, and it reminded him that he should write a book on representing celebrities. It was all a matter of how you said things. Shit is only shit if you call it shit. He chuckled at the thought.

“What are you laughing at?” asked Jennifer.

Whoops. His client caught him doing a daydream, a private thought, a mind journey that happens often while dealing with these movie stars who, bottom line, were really only interesting on the screen. In person, they were generally boring, causing Stephen to get lost in thought at odd moments. But he considered it work. He was paid good money to think things through, and so he was thinking, even though he should be conversing with Jennifer Aniston. His clients saw Stephen as part magician, part therapist. And right now Jennifer needed a therapist.

“I am just glad you are rid of Vince Vaughn. He was not good for your career,” said Stephen. He just pulled that one out of a hat.

“Vince is very talented. People like Vince. I liked Vince,” Jennifer said holding back tears.

“Yes. Yes. Yes. But you have class, Jennifer. You have a lot of class. Vince Vaughn is a big lug from the working class. You are from Tiffany. Vince is from…from Home Depot,” said Stephen.

“Just say it was mutual. I’d rather lie about it. It is no pone’s business. I want to get on with things. OK?” said Jennifer.

“OK. OK. A decision has been made. That is good. Sometimes you get to this place only after talking out the possibilities. So this is good. We go with the mutual separation story,” said Stephen.

Jennifer pulled out the gold lighter from her pocket.

“See, I have it. And I will use it. I like cigarettes. And that is the truth,” said Jennifer as she lit another Merit Ultra Light.

“OK. OK. Yes. Good. The truth is good. When it is good, that is,” said Stephen. Damn, he really should write a book.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Kate Moss And Pete Doherty Naked And On Heroin At The Sherlock Holmes Hotel

Kate Moss was naked. She had just stepped out of the white tiled shower that was part of the suite at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel in London, a four-story old wood building that had creaky floors and big puffy mattresses. The bathroom was small, and not the kind of place Kate Moss had grown accustomed. But it was suggested that the Sherlock Holmes was out of the path trodden by celebrities, and so it was unlikely anyone would find her or Pete Doherty. Pete was lying on the bed in his underwear. And Kate had decided to take a shower, the routine she had started to follow after she snorted heroin, a way to cleanse the outside while being savaged by chemicals on the inside. Pete had a Martin cutaway acoustic guitar in his lap, his skinny alabaster legs pocked with red lines and scabs were in the lotus position. Pete was plucking at the low E string in a slow beat, a droning sound that was hitting Pete’s ear as if it were music. Heroin does that. It makes everything seem like magic. Pete saw the back of Kate’s nude body as she stood on the scale while she held eyeglasses on her face so she could read the numbers.

“You’ve been looking a little porky lately,” said Pete.

Kate got off the scale with her tortoise-shell eyeglasses being the only thing hanging on her body if you didn’t include her breasts which, though small, had started to sag like small empty balloons.

“What?” asked Kate.

“I said you’ve been looking a little porky,” said Pete.

“Porky. You think?” said Kate.

Kate walked into the room. It was small, dressed with the same furniture that had been placed there over a hundred years ago. The drawers in all the cabinets were difficult to open. The floor boards must have been a foot wide with quarter inch seams between them. The mirror above one of the two cabinets was large and hanging with a wire cable that was suspended from a large brass hook an inch below where the wall met the ceiling. Indeed, the ceiling itself seemed like it was a mere seven feet from the floor.

Kate touched her naked belly which protruded without much fat.

“I am not porky,” said Kate.

“Your arms. Your legs. Your face. Your hair is starting to fall out,” said Pete.

“You get this way when you do junk. You get mean,” said Kate.

Pete thought about that. Kate had accused him of such before. But Pete was not feeling like he wanted to hurt Kate. He loved Kate skinny or fat. Well, maybe not fat, but a little fat here or there did not bother him. He was merely making an observation. Junk did that to him, he thought. You observe, you comment, you are honest. Pete believed that heroin made him a more honest chap. And one thing Pete had started to observe was that Kate Moss was getting old. The million cigarettes, the drugs, the late nights, the lack of exercise, the alcohol, the pills. The whole regimen had impacted on Kate’s face and body. Kate was in her early thirties but she appeared to be in her early forties. Not in the photographs, though. Pete was astounded at the wonders of photography and lighting and makeup and, he guessed, Photoshop. But Pete saw the Kate Moss that most people did not see. A woman aging fast from daily self-abuse. Pete was not stupid, of course. He was on a daily routine of self-abuse as well. But Pete felt he was not aging as fast as Kate. Maybe it was a guy thing.

“Sorry. You look great. Never better,” said Pete.

“You’re damn straight. I look fucking fantastic,” said Kate as she picked up a cigarette and lit it with a platinum lighter. Kate took a deep breath and smiled.

“Play me a song,” said Kate.

“How bout we fuck,” said Pete.

“You can never get it up on junk,” said Kate. Kate didn’t really want to have sex. She had not had an orgasm in over three years, though she faked it.

“Yeah. Why have sex when being on junk is better than sex,” said Pete as he looked down at the neck of his Martin guitar and plucked the A string.

Kate agreed. Pete’s half-erect penis, which is the only kind of erection Pete was ever able to muster, was nothing like the massively throbbing organ of Johnny Depp. Depp’s penis was a surprise given Depp’s slight frame. But after Johnny Depp dumped Kate, Kate started to lose interest in sex. Drugs were better. And the mess of a man that Pete Doherty had become gave Kate Moss something to do. Take care of a man. It was easier than to take care of herself.

George Bush Clears His Head With Jack Daniels

The time was 2:32 AM eastern standard time. President George W. Bush could not sleep, so he slipped out of the king bed, leaving Laura sound asleep behind. He walked out of the room in his bare feet wearing navy blue satin pajama pants with a white t-shirt. George was having difficulty making it through the night without waking at least twice. Not to go to the bathroom. Not because of hunger or thirst. It wasn’t anything George could put his finger on. He remembered back to the months immediately following his election against John Kerry. Those were months where he slept through the night and felt strong and clear-headed every morning. That election was a shot in the arm for George, and everything, all his body parts, his sleeping, his eating habits, his sex life with Laura, his relationship with staff and his cabinet, his interest in following sports – it was as if he was back at college on one of those many drinking binges where his youth precluded hangovers and life was filled with possibilities. But that had all passed. In just two years, George’s body chemistry had changed. Little sleep, no sex, eating crappy food, the exercise stopped, the football and baseball fantasy leagues he secretly played were history, he talked with few of his staff, he felt distant from his daughters, his left hip had been stabbing him with a consistent dull pain.

He reached the end of the hallway where a man in a black suit and tie with a walkie talkie was standing. George did not recognize him. Or maybe he did. George did not remember.

“Good evening, sir,” said the man with the walkie talkie.

“Hi,” said George.

“Can I get you anything, sir?” asked the man with the walkie talkie.

“How about a bottle of Coca Cola,” said George.

“Certainly,” said the man.

“And those little airline bottles with whiskey. They have that in the kitchen. In one of the cabinets. You know about that?” said George.

“I did not know that, sir,” said the man.

“Yeah, well, they have them. Can you find two of them. Whiskey. Two little bottles of Jack Daniels. Pour both of them into a bottle of Coke. Of course make room for it in the bottle, and bring it to me,” said George.

“I’ll have to radio for it, sir. I cannot leave my post,” said the man.

“What’s your name?” asked George.

“Timothy, sir,” said the man.

“Timothy, look, I know you answer to the Service and not me. But can you radio for a someone to come up here and hold your post for you while you run this errand for me,” said George.

“Yes. I can do that,” said Timothy.

“I tell you what. Why don’t you grab a few bottles for yourself. We can sit down and shoot the breeze. I need to calm down so I can get some sleep,” said George.

“I am not supposed to do that, sir,” said Timothy.

“Yes, yes, I know, I know. But then just bring a few extra bottles with you. We’ll discuss protocol when we chat. OK?” said George.

Timothy paused briefly, then raised his walkie talkie and pressed the button on the side of the handset.
“This is Alpha One West. Send up a temp replacement. Request of of Alpha One,” said Timothy.

“Roger, roger,” said the voice on the handset.

“Thanks, Timothy. I feel better already,” said George. George sat on the chair in the hallway, waiting for the replacement and for Timothy to do his errand. He could have a few drinks. The Presidential pressure was enormous, and he made it almost six years in the hardest job of the world without touching a drop of alcohol. One drink was not going to kill him. But not sleeping was going to kill him. The Jack Daniels would help him sleep. It would help him forget about the state of things, and he could avoid the dreams. It was those damn dreams that kept waking him. That was it. Whiskey kills dreams. And that’s what he needed to do. It was the only way to be the leader of the free world. No dreams.