Late this afternoon, I concluded a long and arduous consultation with the representatives of former Icelandic banks. It seems the Icelandic authorities are about to try their former Prime Minister for raping their economy, and the people behind those banks are, let us say, extremely concerned. It was grueling; I was exhausted. But the first thing that happened when I sunk down into the chair behind my desk was, the damned phone rang. It was Gretchen, my private secretary, calling from the reception area on the other side of a pair of very thick oak doors.
“Who the hell,” she asked, “is Kathryn Limbaugh?”
“Rush Limbaugh’s fourth wife,” I informed her.
“Holy [expletive]!” Gretchen exclaimed. “You mean there have actually been four women human beings who have had sex with Rush Limbaugh?”
“Well,” I admitted, “I know that’s pretty hard to believe, but you have to take into account that he’s internationally famous, extremely wealthy, a best-selling author, not only of his brilliantly titled philosophical treatise, The Way Things Ought to Be, but also that apotheosis of human expression, See I Told You So. What’s more, he’s a four-time winner of the Marconi Radio Award, recipient of the inaugural William F. Buckley Jr. Medal of Media Excellence, an inductee into the National Radio Hall of Fame, the 2007 Human Events Man of the Year, and the Talkers Magazine pick for Greatest Radio Talk Show Host of All Time. His show is broadcast by over six hundred radio stations every day. He’s the most popular radio host in…
“There isn’t enough fame, money, awards or anything else,” Gretchen interrupted, “in the whole [expletive] world to make me touch that… that… that… grotesque, mindless, moronic, ignorant, bigoted, raving, blubbery monster! And any woman who would have sex with Rush Limbaugh must be a total slut with absolutely no self-respect, a completely shameless whore who’d suck a… ”
“Is Mrs. Limbaugh here,” I interjected, “or waiting on the telephone?”
“On the phone,” Gretchen growled, “asking to speak with you.”
“In that case,” I suggested, “why don’t you send me a tweet telling me how you feel instead of making her wait?”
“Okay,” Gretchen grumbled, “I’ll do that!”
Mrs. Limbaugh: Hello, Tom Collins?
Tom: At your service madame.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Uh, this is Kathryn Limbaugh.
Tom: Yes, ma’am, I know, my private secretary introduced you very… thoroughly.
Mrs. Limbaugh: I’m calling about my husband, Rush Limbaugh.
Tom: I presumed as much, ma’am.
Mrs. Limbaugh: His radio show attracted a lot of negative press last week.
Tom: So I’ve heard.
Mrs. Limbaugh: That could be extremely serious, you know.
Tom: Yes, I can imagine.
Mrs. Limbaugh: I mean, sure he’s has a fifty-million dollar a year contract with Clear Channel that runs until 2016, but practically speaking, if nobody will buy advertising on my husband’s show, that contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
Tom: Your concerns are quite understandable, ma’am.
Mrs. Limbaugh: So I decided to call you.
Tom: I’m very complimented that the wife of the most influential radio personality who has ever lived would seek out my advice.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Well, they say you’re the smartest person inside the Beltway.
Tom: Which is a lot like being the tallest building in Baltimore.
Mrs. Limbaugh: My husband says Baltimore is nothing but a stinking bucket of [expletive] full of stupid, shiftless [expletive], liberal queers and Democrat feminazis.
Tom: Not on the air, of course.
Mrs. Limbaugh: No, at home.
Tom: But what about Alan Keyes? He’s a highly intelligent, articulate, well-educated African American, who is, if anything, more conservative than your husband – provided, of course, that such a thing is possible – and he’s from Baltimore.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Gee, well, I guess this Keyes guy must be the exception that proves the rule or something. So anyway, I told Ron Paul about my husband’s problems and he suggested I contact you.
Tom: I must remember to thank Representative Paul the next time he calls. So – how can I help you today?
Mrs. Limbaugh: Um, yeah, ah, well… for how much, exactly?
Tom: Madame, despite the fact that you are married to a man who makes fifty million dollars a year to sit in front of a microphone for a grand total of eighteen hours a week spouting what most sane, reasonable people in this society regard, at best, as utter inanity, I nevertheless propose the same terms as I would for, say, the wife of a typical third world dictator, Capitol Hill floozy or the consort of a Silicon Valley robber baron, and offer my services for our initial consultation completely free of charge.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Oh, well, that’s a relief. If Rush knew I had called you, or anyone like you, for that matter, it could become… extremely unpleasant.
Tom: I can imagine. And the subject upon which you seek advice, I suppose, would be how to keep him from saying anything else in the future, that might again threaten to compromise your personal financial and social situations, such as were the unfortunate consequences of his recent remarks concerning a certain Ms. Fluke?
Mrs. Limbaugh: Wow. That’s a really long… um, er, ah…
Tom: I believe the word you are looking for is “sentence,” or, perhaps, “statement.”
Mrs. Limbaugh: Yeah, yeah, that’s it – a really long sentence with like, I donno, all kinds of… uh, ah…
Tom: Sematic sophistication? Grammatical constructions?
Mrs. Limbaugh: Okay, yeah, probably, and stuff, and I mean, I’m like, you know, a party planner, okay? From Florida? And well, uh, I flunked sentence diagrams, as I’m sure most people did, and I’d really appreciate it if you could express yourself more simply, okay?
Tom: Sure. You’re calling because your husband Rush called this Fluke woman a slut.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Yeah.
Tom: And a prostitute.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Right. He also called her that.
Tom: And because your husband suggested that she send him video tapes of her having sex for him to watch.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Uh, ah, um…. er… yes, that too.
Tom: And when your husband apologized, he said the reason he did that was, because he was trying to be funny?
Mrs. Limbaugh: All right, Mr. Collins. I can see you’re as smart as they say. The truth is, up until Saturday this weekend, my husband had never apologized for anything in his entire life. He had no idea how to write an apology. He had no idea what would go in an apology. Can I count on your confidence, Mr. Collins?
Tom: Madame Limbaugh, I can assure you the same level of security and confidentiality that everyone who contacts me enjoys.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Okay, in that case – I wrote the apology Rush posted on the Internet. I also wrote out some spoken apologies for him to read on the air.
Tom: In that case, madame, my compliments – you, at least, know how to apologize.
Mrs. Limbaugh: I think most people do. But, on the other hand, I think maybe the fact that Rush never learned how, or doesn’t know how, or couldn’t learn how – I donno which – but I think that it’s obvious, you know, that being able to say stuff like he does and never even consider the possibility of having to apologize to anyone, ever, no matter what he said, I think maybe that’s what made him great, you know?
Tom: Mrs. Limbaugh, you certainly know how to ask a question.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Thank you.
Tom: You’re welcome. Now, might I return for a moment to consider that part of the apology you wrote for your husband, in which his remarks are described as an attempt at humor?
Mrs. Limbaugh: Yes?
Tom: Can you tell me when, in his entire career in radio broadcasting, any utterance which issued from your husband’s constantly yammering cake hole could possibly be considered humorous?
Mrs. Limbaugh: What? Are you kidding? Why, Rush’s radio show is a laugh riot!
Tom: Seriously? Or, perhaps, should I say, humorously?
Mrs. Limbaugh: Either way, no doubt about it! I mean, if you’re from Florida, like I am, and you’ve seen your share of porch monkeys, beaners and queers, Rush’s show is the funniest thing you’ve ever heard! If you’re a Republican, that is.
Tom: Oh, golly gosh willikers, me-oh-my! Really?
Mrs. Limbaugh: Absolutely! We conservatives sit around our radios just howling, I tell you – laughing so hard, that tears are running down our cheeks! Laughing so hard, our sides hurt! Laughing so hard, the weak sisters are rolling on the floor begging for someone to shut it off before they wet their pants! I tell you, that’s how funny the great Rush Limbaugh is!
Tom: Strange – I never thought of him like that.
Mrs. Limbaugh: That’s probably because you’re a Godless liberal humanist who’s going to Hell – no offense.
Tom: None taken. There’s something else that puzzles me. Maybe you could help out on it.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Okay, sure, I’ll try. What?
Tom: When he was gratuitously insulting and denigrating Ms. Fluke, your husband made various remarks which indicated she was asking that the Georgetown University health care system supply her with free contraceptives because she was having so much sex, she couldn’t otherwise afford to pay for them.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Yeah, Rush said that, I know.
Tom: Could you explain where Rush got the idea that a woman has to take a birth control pill every time she has sex?
Mrs. Limbaugh: Rush… um… ah… he doesn’t actually know that much about… feminine… er… functions and stuff.
Mrs. Limbaugh: No, not really. I mean, he knows what goes where to make babies, but that’s about it.
Tom: But that doesn’t matter to you because he’s… funny, huh?
Mrs. Limbaugh: He’s the funniest man who ever had his voice broadcast on radio, that’s what he is! And I’d say, it sure looks like that [expletive] liberal [expletive] Democrat [expletive] [expletive] Sandra Fluke has no [expletive] sense of humor at all!
Tom: I guess not.
Mrs. Limbaugh: And so, after Rush posted the nice apology I wrote for him on the Internet, what does that [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] do? She goes on The View and tells the world that it wasn’t enough!
Tom: So I’ve heard.
Mrs. Limbaugh: And so Rush goes on the radio and starts reading the rest of the apologies that I wrote for him, but it does no [expletive] good! The advertisers are pulling out – AOL, Sleep Number Beds, Tax Resolution Services, ProFlowers on-line florists, Quicken Loans, LegalZoom, Carbonite, Citrix… Christ Almighty only knows who’s next! There’s a… clamor… yeah, that’s what it is, a growing clamor, getting bigger by the moment, for him to resign! Don’t you see? He’s going to end up just like Don Imus did when he said “nappy-headed ho!” You’ve got to help me!
Tom: Well, your husband is an independently wealthy individual if there ever was one, so why worry about…
Mrs. Limbaugh: You don’t understand! Without the radio show to distract him, he’s going to be hanging around the house all day, looking at me, ogling… panting… drooling… it’s practically unbearable just to think about it!
Tom: But he’s your husband. You vowed before the Lord to be man and wife. And you’re both conservatives, so you must have meant it, right?
Mrs. Limbaugh: You can’t be serious!
Tom: Of course not. Prenup?
Mrs. Limbaugh: Without going into the gory details, let’s just say my lifestyle more or less depends on his radio contract. So tell me, please, how can I keep him from losing it?
Tom: Oh, that. Nothing to it. Tomorrow, announce that you and Rush are… expecting.
Mrs. Limbaugh: You mean… tell everyone in America that I’m… pregnant… with… his child?
Tom: Sure – think about it. Here you are, pregnant, married to – well, let’s not put too fine a point on things – Rush Limbaugh. Public sympathy will immediately shift to you. Then, you go on The View yourself and plead your belly – the panel will lap it up. Then you do the rest of the talk shows, and start making the rounds on the lecture circuit…
Mrs. Limbaugh: Wait-a-minute-wait-a-minute-wait-a-[expletive]-minute! It just so happens… that… I’m… not… pregnant!
Tom: Oh, well, a month one way or another – nine months from now – who’s going to make a federal case out of that? All you have to do is…
Mrs. Limbaugh: Get pregnant by Rush Limbaugh!
Tom: Well, duh, yeah… so?
Mrs. Limbaugh: Get pregnant by Rush Limbaugh?
Tom: Come on now, you’re married to the guy. What’s…
Mrs. Limbaugh: Listen to me! You are suggesting that I get pregnant by Rush Limbaugh!
Tom: Am I missing something here, Mrs. Limbaugh?
Mrs. Limbaugh: [Expletive] right, you are! The man’s walking birth control on a [expletive] stick! Isn’t there anything else I could do instead?
Tom: Um… well… you could have a terrible accident.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Like what?
Tom: You could… um… say, drink a fifth of good gin, beat yourself up with a pillowcase full of grapefruit and then go lie down at the bottom of a nice long staircase and tell everybody you slipped and fell down.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Wouldn’t that be fraud?
Tom: No more a fraud, apparently, than your marriage to Rush Limbaugh.
Mrs. Limbaugh: Okay, all right. I get the idea, but I don’t think I can beat myself up with a pillowcase full of grapefruit, no matter how drunk I get. Got any other suggestions?
Tom: Ah… I have another consultation coming up in about two minutes. Could I e-mail you some ideas in about three hours or so?
Mrs. Limbaugh: Okay. Do that.
Tom: Right. Will do. Leave your e-mail address with my receptionist. Gotta go. ‘Bye!