Around seven on Friday evening, just as I was about to congratulate myself on a very long and profitable day which had begun shortly before six in the morning, I received a telephone call from Austin Houston Crockett Bowie Bonham III, Texan extraordinaire. Tom: Hello, this is Tom Collins. Austin: Tom? That you? Tom: Yes. Austin: Tom, this is Austin Bonham. Tom: I know – I’d recognize that voice anywhere. Austin: You would, huh? Tom: Absolutely. It’s unmistakable. Austin: Meaning what? Tom: Meaning you sound like a cross between Strom Thurmond, Lyndon Johnson, Foghorn Leghorn and Yosemite Sam. Austin: Well, I suppose I’ll take that as a compliment. Tom: You should – since nobody knows what Jubilation T. Cornpone sounded [...]


Thursday night, my dear sister Rose called me to chat – and drop hints. She observed, for example, that there was a significant cold front moving in on Washington that should arrive by the weekend, meaning that the weather on Sunday promised to be remarkably comfortable for August. Then she went on about the kids – her brood and Arthur’s, their cousins – and how they are all growing like weeds and so forth, and dropped a few strategic complaints about her husband Hank running off to West Virginia with Arthur’s wife Shannon to become survivalists awaiting the Apocalypse that they have convinced themselves Obama the Antichrist will surely bring any day now; and, of course, how difficult it is [...]


Yesterday, Gretchen had occasion to squeeze Dr. Bashafala Kumanina Kinuka Mkundu, Primary Under Assistant Secretary for Economic, Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Ugandan Embassy to the United States of America, into my consultation schedule. “Mr. Collins,” she complained to me via IM Chat from her computer in the reception area, “this Dr. Mknundu is totally obnoxious. He’s hitting on me, and his pickup lines are bordering on the psychotic.” “Such as what?” I IM’d back. “He says, in his country,” she replied, “he would pay twenty cows, forty sheep, sixty goats and a hundred chickens for me. Not only that, but he’s leaning forward right into my face, his breath smells like rotting garbage, and he’s got a bulge [...]


Things had been comparatively quiet here in Washington until a couple of weeks ago, allowing Gretchen and me to take Saturdays off. But as the planet’s various political herpes sores erupted everywhere upon it once more, like those which appear on nervous, lonely thirty-something women the night before the big two week Caribbean cruise with their prospective Mr. Right, my appointment calendar spilled over into the weekend yet again. My first consultation yesterday was with Dr. Nikolai Mikhailovich Otvali Mudakovich Kisov, a regular client from the Russian Embassy. For years, at intervals of four to six weeks, we have cordially discussed and clinically analyzed trade, environmental, scientific joint venture, natural resource and cultural exchange issues involving Russia, the European Union, [...]


My final consultation on Friday was with Richard Putzenkopf, a senior member of US Representative Jack Kingston’s staff. “These are great times for the Republican Party, Tom,” he observed as he sprawled on the couch in my office, threw his attaché case on the coffee table and fetched a Microsoft Surface tablet from within. After perusing it briefly, he looked up at me and grinned. “Impeachment, Tom. What do you think?” “Impeach whom?” I replied. “Obama?” “Who else?” Putzenkopf chuckled. “The Constitution,” I reminded him, “specifies that the President may be impeached only for ‘treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors.’ Never in the history of the United States of America, has anyone seriously accused an incumbent President of either treason [...]

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