This is a narrative of my time in D.C. yesterday. SOUNDS BORING?!??! We’ll see. BUT, before we move ahead with this business you can leave your guesses as to what highly influential D.C. politico I met in the comments below.
This is a narrative of my time in D.C. yesterday. SOUNDS BORING?!??! We’ll see. Let’s just call this a work of historical fiction, but more historical than fiction — I am no James Frey. BUT, before we move ahead with this business you can leave your guesses as to what highly influential D.C. politico I met in the comments below … seriously, that part is historical, not fictional. We’re going to do this like a basketball game — first half, second half, analysis/jokes.
I was invited to go on a West Wing tour of the White House. I left Richmond, proceeded to D.C. via trains and automobiles, and swiftly and efficiently found myself strolling about the Mall two hours before my appointed date with the President’s primary workspace. After viewing mind-blowing works of staggering genius in the Folk Art wing of the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery (including paintings by the inimitable Howard Finster!!!) I hiked down Pennsylvania Avenue and found my way, past the pillars of hope and promise that are the half finished inauguration construction, to the Northwest Gate. After some security mumbo-jumbo, I began my tour.
The tour was led by a charming, dark-haired Italian princess. The best part about that is if we were to make a list of the “historical” parts of the story and the “fictional” parts it would fall convincingly under the “historical” list. We strolled through a bunch of rooms: press room, cabinet meeting room, the oval office (?!?!), some secret James Bond/red phone/big red button looking room, made our way to the Rose Garden, and passed through the kitchen area as we made our way out. Of course, all of this was accompanied by a very compelling narrative about all things West Wing, and there are innumerable historical stocking stuffers that only serve the purpose of a) boring most of you to tears and b) extending my Trivial Pursuit winning streak for years to come. I exited as I entered: past the pillars of hope and promise that are the half-finished inauguration construction and into a McDonald’s where I ate the #9 chicken nugget combo that I am positive rivaled the chicken nuggets that I had seen on the West Wing menu (?!?) minutes earlier.
Here are some things I predict you will find intriguing.
- All the TV’s play Fox News
- This guy is President Bush’s favorite artist
- I saw maybe ten or so West Wing staffers (there are only 100-ish) and they were all hot chicks. When I say “hot” I don’t mean chicks that Justin Morgan thinks are hot, i.e. cutesy, glasses, nerdy, girl-next-door kind of hot. I mean “if Susan were a dude she would talk to me inappropriately about these chicks all the time” hot.
- W has three busts in the oval office (he chooses them): Churchill, Lincoln, Eisenhower.
- When I think “oval office” one of the first three thoughts is Bill Clinton had illicit sexual acts in there. Actually, that is not what I “think” but that is how my thought is translated to words in a reputable news magazine like RVANews. Is that just me or you guys too?
- iPhoners. Everyone there has Blackberrys … and they use them all the time. They are like weapons. Blackberrys are like guns and iPhones are like teddybears.
- GUYS I MET KARL ROVE!!!! NO LIE, I SAW HIM, HE ACKNOWLEDGED ME. The first two people I told said this: “Did you punch him the face?” No, in fact, I did not punch him in the face. However, I did wonder, in the brief few seconds we had together, what would ACTUALLY happen if I DID punch him in the face. Community service? Jail? Nothing? Maybe the charming Italian princess would have been fired. Funny thing about seeing Karl Rove is that he was with the Grim Reaper, like literally he introduced himself to me and the Grim Reaper was standing right next to him. I guess it is something everyone is used to.
I made my way back to Richmond, got out of my car, walked into the Bamboo Cafe Christmas party (that party is worthy of an entire article in itself), walked right up on stage, and played a set with Amazing Ghost. Not to be overly sentimental but as I made a few jokes about Karl Rove, through the melange of Bamboo Cafe Christmas party story lines that were occurring in real-time in front of me, I marveled at the difference between Karl’s life and mine. There are many things that inhabit the space between our lives, but the short story is that I am content. And I am especially content not being him.
I am happy to answer any questions about the inner workings of the West Wing, as I now know the intricacies of how our government works. I would be happy to put any of you in touch with Karl Rove. As is standard with all introductions, he was kind enough to pass along his cell number and email address. I am not willing, however, to put any of you in touch with the charming Italian princess, or any of the other West Wing princesses for that matter. They are all out of a job come January, and if I understand correctly there’s at least one job opening over here in the RVANews offices.