Sep 222019
 

The biggest single problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw It was another working Saturday which found me at the Round Robin Bar after my final consultation ended at seven thirty in the evening. There, I saw Farquhar, a DC staffer for the Biden campaign and McLoon, who works at the Executive Office of the President. As might be expected, both of them were drinking scotch and engaged in a heated discussion. McLoon hailed me as I walked by with my Botanist and tonic. “Collins!” he brayed. “Come over here and talk some sense into this jackass!” “He’s a Democrat,” I reminded McLoon as I joined them at their table. “Being a […]

Aug 192019
 

The attendee at my regular consultation with the International Finance and Foreign Exchange Attaché of the Embassy of Denmark on Friday was replaced with a last-minute substitute – Dr. Arnapalaaq Iteq Ikiaqutit, the Cultural, Legal and Political Affairs Deputy at the embassy’s Greenland Section. She was visibly upset as she situated herself on the chair directly to the right of my desk and leaned in. “Mr. Collins,” she confided, “I don’t mind telling you I’m very, very concerned about your President Trump.” “Well, don’t let that bother you,” I replied. “There are at least one hundred and fifty million Americans who feel precisely the same way.” “Has he gone mad?” she implored. “Gone mad?” I responded. “Why no, he hasn’t […]

May 222019
 

Arrogance in full bloom bears a crop of ruinous folly – Aeschylus, The Persians 472 BC My 3:00 PM consultation this afternoon was with Haroom Zade Kooni-goh Ahmagh, president of the Iranian Patriots Society, a neoconservative group composed mostly of wealthy Iranian expatriates and headquartered in Los Angeles, California. He is in Washington this week on one of his regular trips here to lobby for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, also known as the Mojahedin-e Khalq, the MEK, the MKO or the PMOI. Since I knew he was coming, I had my private security contractor sweep my office for surveillance devices twice, once at 6:00 AM and again at 2:30 PM. Due to the nature of my business, I […]

Mar 172019
 

On Friday, March 15, my ten o’clock morning consultation was with Sir Percy Hampton Churchill Saxe-Coburg Hanover Blithering-Snipe Smythe-Smith-Smythe Kensington VI, PhD OS FHS KCVO LLE OBE HFRS BYOB, Economic Attaché to the Royal Embassy of Her Majesty, Elizabeth II of the Court of Saint James’s, by the Grace of God, Queen of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to the United States of America. We were supposed to discuss analyses of natural gas price elasticities under data-driven tariff scenarios based on heuristic Monte-Carlo models under various climate-change assumption vectors for the period 2021 through 2026, but midway into the first set of partial differential equations, be broke down bawling like a baby. “Jesus Christ, Percy,” I […]

Jul 202018
 

This afternoon, I had a consultation with Dr. Runkkari Paskanaama, Special Attaché for Political Affairs at the Embassy of Finland here in Washington. He brought a bottle of Lakka, the Finnish Lapponia Cloudberry liqueur, which isn’t easy to find in DC. “From the embassy’s own stock,” he confided as he placed it on the coffee table by the couch. For a moment, he turned to gaze past the couch, out the picture window behind it, which overlooks the White House. A visible shudder ran through him, after which he shook his head and took a seat in the chair immediately in front of my desk. “Mr. Collins,” he began, leaning close toward me, “Ambassador Kauppi asks that I convey our […]