(This story is continuing only because Dave Miller was kind enough to express some interest. This is for you, Dave!)
The President was staring woozily at his speech's working title, "Fuck This Shit, Solve Your Own Goddamn Problems: An Act of Political Suicide" when he heard the beep from his desk.
"Do you have the weed, Frank?"
"May I see you in your office, sir?"
"Unless I've cunningly concealed myself beneath the desk, you may. C'mon in."
Macklin set the speech aside and went to straighten his tie, then remembered that he no longer gave a damn. Frank came through the door with a stack of files and plopped them into the overstuffed chair by the Oval Office door. One of Macklin's predecessors had gotten his knob slobbed in that chair, rumor had it. Macklin had never even sat in. He used it as a staging area for paperwork.
Frank was a tall, sandy-haired man with pretentious little spectacles that he wore on the end of his nose, making him look much older than he was. Macklin liked him. Frank had worked for him since Macklin was a rookie representative. It was Frank who'd taught him the ropes. Good assistants are to politicians like good caddies are to golfers, he thought, not for the first time.
Frank pulled a baggie out of his chinos and placed it on the desk. "Here you are, sir. I don't want to know."
"What's there to know? I haven't smoked pot since high school, ok, maybe since college. I just needed the stress relief, you know?"
"Sir, are you intoxicated?"
"No, Frank, I'm drunk. Knee-walkin', bitch-slappin', piss-yourself drunk. And I'm about to be high, too. Did you bring some papers?"
"I..." Frank sighed. "Let me run to my car."
"Good man, Frank. Prepared. Were you a Boy Scout?"
Frank turned at the door and made a face. "They don't like 'my kind' in the Boy Scouts."
"Scout leaders only bugger the straight ones, huh?"
Frank opened his mouth, shut it again. "I'll be right back. Shall I send the non-essential staff home?"
"Jesus Christ, there are still people here? Yes, yes, send them off. It's a special night, Frank."
Macklin turned to the rapidly depleting decanter and thought better of another swallow. He didn't want to pass out, just get good and wasted to work up the courage for what needed to be done. He stoppered the bottle and replaced it on the sideboard, then thought better of it and put it back on his desk. Frank might want some, and Frank was essential to the plan. Hell, once Frank heard the plan, Frank would NEED a drink.
He wrote a few more lines of the speech, then reread what he had written. It was no Gettysburg Address, but so far so good. It was quiet in his office. Depressingly so. A powerful man alone with his thoughts in this quiet office might begin to think very strange things. Macklin shook his head.
"Man, am I trashed. Need some music." In one of her few thoughtful acts, Ol' Sparky had bought him one of those whizzy Bose CD player thingies a few years ago. It was on a shelf, buried beneath stacks of position papers and spreadsheets. He dug it out and was trying to figure out how to work it when Frank returned.
"Make this play music." He stabbed fruitlessly at the little white buttons on the CD player thingie.
"Sir, let me." Frank interceded and soon the office was filled with a honey-voiced tenor singing Schubert.
"That's gay. Sorry, Frank. Got any good CDs?"
"Do you like metal?"
"I like old metal, like Sabbath and Priest and Metallica. I don't like that Cookie Monster stuff."
"I've got just the thing. It's in my desk."
President Macklin wondered briefly about his gay metalhead assistant. He'd known Frank for twelve years, almost as long as he'd known Ol' Sparky, and he'd never known the guy liked heavy music. Live and learn, die and forget it all.
Frank came back with a stack of CDs. "Pick one."
"Are you running a radio station out of your desk? Christ, Frank. Let's see what we have. Marilyn Manson. That's so yesterday. Candiria. Never heard of them. Dillenger Escape Plan. Great name. What do they sound like?"
"A garbage truck running over a pack of dogs. Repeatedly. Very growly."
"OK, maybe later. Aha! Put this in. I like this."
A moment later the opening strains of Megadeth's "Peace Sells, But Who's Buying?" shook the office. Macklin turned it down a bit, picked up the rolling papers Frank had left on the desk. "How do you roll a joint?"
Frank cracked his knuckles. "Shall I do the honors?"
"Be my guest."
(Be sure to tune in for next week's episode, wherein the plot actually advances and we get to the point of the whole thing! Yay!)