At ten o’clock Friday morning, I received an urgent call from Dr. Harah Ben-Zonah, First Secretary of the Israeli Kus Emmak Party. Tom: Good afternoon, Dr. Ben-Zonah. Ben-Zonah: And good morning to you, Mr. Collins. Please, call me Harah. Tom: My pleasure. Call me Tom. How can I help you today? Harah: As a major figure in the Kus Emmak Party, the Central Committee has appointed me to investigate the circumstances prevailing in the United States which have lead to the… unnatural relationship… between Benjamin Netanyahu and your House Speaker John Boehner. Tom: Ah… I don’t think there’s anything… um… unnatural about their relationship, actually. A little bromance, maybe – some male bonding, snapping wet towels in the locker room, […]


It being the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the work schedule for Gretchen and myself was somewhat lighter than a typical Monday. This was good, because not only did it mean there was time for me to meet with my brother-in-law, Hank Palikowski, and his sister-in-law, Shannon, it also meant there were fewer regular clients in the reception area for them to give the willies to. Dressed in their usual survivalist outfits, the pair of them regularly prompt the security desk in the lobby to call and alert Gretchen of their impending arrival and inquire if DC Police backup might be required. “We have to talk,” Shannon declared as they strode into my office. “Back there,” Hank whispered as […]


My dear sister Rose’s oldest son, Hank Jr., came down to DC this week from Rhode Island, where he is studying art at Brown, in order to curate some recent modern art acquisitions for the Smithsonian. He brought along his current girlfriend, Lorelei, who is an English major. Hank Jr. dropped by my office on Friday for a brief visit between consultations and mentioned that while here in the Nation’s Capital, she would like to speak with me about “journalistic techniques for managing relations with powerful people in government.” I said sure, and had Gretchen book her for an appointment on Tuesday. Lorelei demurred, however, requesting a telephone conference instead, despite the fact that she was here in Washington. Her […]


Yesterday, I received a visit from Austin Houston Crockett Bowie Bonham III, Texan extraordinaire. He was his usual self, prompting the usual complaints from Gretchen, which I heard in full detail shortly after his departure. For his sake, I certainly hope Gretchen never gets the idea of telling Austin’s wife, Bluebonnet, about how he behaves when he comes to Washington. I would never do that, of course – it simply wouldn’t be professional. Austin’s mood was beyond ebullient, though, as he made amply clear when he strode confidently through the heavy oak doors leading from the reception area to my office and sprawled his rangy, lanky frame across the couch in front of the picture window overlooking the White House. […]


As the day after Christmas before a weekend, this Friday was a federal holiday, but to about half of my clients, that didn’t mean squat. For quite a few of them, it was just another Friday, either because they’re not Christians and they don’t care a fig about when Jesus was born, or, like Dr. Alexi Dermoikal Mudakovil Zukavich, First Under Assistant International Representative for Economics and Finance at the Russian Embassy here in Washington DC, the day after their Christmas is in January – or at least it is in our calendar. So, even as hundreds of thousands of lazy, bumbling, overpaid federal employees spared the American people from their incredible incompetence, amazing ineptitude, unbelievable ignorance, and astounding stupidity […]

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