By Gonz Blinko
After we rescued Blind Christian from the grip of Sy T. Greenbacks, he jumped straight back into his work, Samhara took a long island vacation with Brigitte (Moes former maid) and Heidi, a German friend of hers, the Angels, BPP, Chairman Mal returned to their normal activities and I negotiated a lucrative book deal about the story and we’ve already sold the movie rights. I hope they can get Johnny Depp to play me. I decided to move to a different part of Manhattan. After getting home, I had the feeling someone had been poking around in my place. With my movie money, I bought an entire building on Joey Ramone place in the Village and am having it tightly secured and redecorated before moving in. In the meantime, I’m moving quietly from hotel to hotel under the cover of darkness.
BC called and told me he got me the story of a lifetime.
“Better than the rescue story?” I asked.
“Better than the Da Vinci Source Code,” he replied.
“Ok, what is it?”
“I’ve lined up an interview for you with former President Bill Clinton.”
“Slick Willy?” I asked gleefully.
“One in the same.”
We chatted a bit longer and, when I had taken enough notes to get the gist of what he wanted from the interview we hung up. I immediately deleted the file with the assignment notes, “I’d rather improvise,” I thought, and called Samhara on her mobile.
“Sam,” came the familiar voice.
“You’re going to interview President Clinton.”
“How did you know?”
“BC called me first so I’d remind you not to bring any weapons.”
“Can I bring Teresa?” One of the friends I had made in Bellagio had come to New York and she and I enjoyed exploring the different hotels the city has to offer. It’s strange; you can live in a city most of your life and never really get a feel for its hotels. I mean, you go to the restaurants and banquet halls but never the suites.
“Sure, bring the Itialina, Clinton likes girls,” Samhara interrupted my derailed train of thought.
“Will you join us?” I asked.
“And leave these sweeties? No, I don’t think so. I still am recovering from powder burns and tinnitus from the rescue, I need a long break and our little international triple feels so good.”
“You still think you’re in love?”
“With Brigitte, very much. Heidi will never settle down.”
“Settle down? Samhara Akuba settle down?”
“It can happen.”
Teresa and I had camped out at the Paramount, an unlabeled hotel near Chelsea. The neighborhood remained funky but chic and, in spite of its nostalgic pull, I prefer cleanliness to the great Chelsea Hotel. I brought her to visit it for historical perspective but couldn’t imagine sleeping there again. I love the place and enjoy talking to its ghosts, Dylan Thomas, Sid Vicious, Tennessee Williams and so many of the greats who died there. The art collection that the proprietors accepted as payment from Jackson Pollock, Edward Hopper and others when they couldn’t make rent. The old blind couple who’ve been living their since the days when Joseph Heller wrote Catch 22 in his apartment next door. Maybe Paris has something similar but New York has the history of poor artists, writers, poets and others who made it big who, when poor, lived at the Chelsea Hotel.
I arranged to have our bags sent to another suite of rooms in a different part of town. We need to stay one step ahead of Greenbacks and the militia from Freeman Scientology. My old friend Myrna told me they wouldn’t come after New York but I reminded her that the value of her Brooklyn Heights co-op dropped when the twin towers were suddenly removed from the skyline. “I guess it’s possible but I think it’s not going to happen,” she admonished, “Those guys sell a lot of product through Chuck and I don’t think he’s in on the world domination thing.”
I thought about it for a moment and, remembering a memo secreted out of OATS Corporation, I said, “New York is full of glass and the combination of smashing windows and humans usually results in new sales of blindness products.”
“Well… Maybe but I usually get the gossip from the biz and haven’t heard anything about an attack on you and New York.”
“Maybe the information flows more slowly into Humidware?”
Teresa and I walked to the 22 nd St Subway stop over on 8th Avenue and hopped on the A train. I couldn’t remember if Billy had written lyrics to the Ellington song so I just started humming it. Then I stopped and wondered, “Am I humming Duke’s ‘Take the A Train’ or his later ‘Take the Coltrane’?” I realized it didn’t matter and found that a couple of people near me started humming along. Teresa added a Johnny Hodges sounding horn sound to the humming and we jammed our way uptown.
We got off in Harlem, a block or so from Clinton’s offices. Satan and Adam jammed outside of a building across the street and I yelled a greeting. When their song, “My Baby Done Changed,” ended, Adam yelled something about a party/jam and I yelled that I’d call him.
Clinton’s building made me nervous. Its tres hip but much of West Harlem has become that way. All of the secret service guys spook me out. I never know which team they work for. They searched me and my lovely Italian companion about as thoroughly as possible without doing an anal probe and, I think a few of them took some extra gropes at Teresa. They cleared us and we got on the elevator where the attendant asked, “Y’all here to see da president?”
“Sure thing,” I replied and we rose to the floor where William Jefferson Clinton keeps his offices. When we stopped on his floor, the elevator operator took his time opening the door and I remember that this is New York and that I should take care of him. I pulled a twenty from my pocket and the elevator dude thanked me with a smiling “Thank you very much Mr. Blinko.”
I wondered how he knew my name but chose not to ask questions. One of the former President’s flunkies came and walked us into his office where he had been waiting for us.
I had the great fortune of meeting Nixon once, my parents owned the condo upstairs from him and we shared an elevator. Clinton, however, was the first ex-president I actually got an invitation to meet.
“Welcome to my new digs,” said the former president. “Make yourselves at home. We have coffee and Dunkin’ Donuts, lots of them so feel free to help yourselves.”
“It’s an honor to meet you Mr. President,” I said, “This is my friend Teresa.”
“And quite a ‘friend’ she must be,” said Clinton with a bit of a whistle in his voice.
Teresa went to the table at the side of the room and poured us coffee as I set up my recording equipment. “You don’t mind if I record our conversation,” I asked.
“Not at all, I have no secrets, hell, most of the world has heard conversations about my penis so what’s left to hide?” Replied Clinton laughing.
Our official interview commenced as I took a bite from a jelly donut and sipped the coffee. Moes serves much better coffee than Clinton; I made a mental note and started my questioning.
Gonz: The war in Iraq and on terrorism seems to dominate the news, if you could have kept the presidency, what would you have done different?
Clinton: The Bush family doesn’t understand Islamic fundamentalists. As late as April 2001, after I specifically warned him not to, George W. Bush, Bush the Lesser I like to call him, sent forty or fifty million dollars to help the Taliban buy weapons so they could fight the war on drugs. A couple of months later, Colin, a real classy guy who never should have gotten so caught up with those extremely white people, announced that opium traffic from Afghanistan had decreased. I called the White House, sat on hold for a half hour so George could finish his stationary bike ride, listening to really bad music on hold, we had rock and roll during my administration and told him that the Taliban had slowed the opium supply because the price of heroin had dropped and they wanted to get the price back up – basic supply and demand.
Gonz: How did you learn that?
Clinton: I don’t want to reveal my sources but, suffice it to say, that living in Harlem can provide better intelligence than the NSA sometimes.
Anyway, he disagreed and told me to keep my mouth shut so I sat quietly up here in the hood while he sent money to Ben Laden. The last thing I sent Osama came on the tip of a rocket and took out some of his assets in both Afghanistan and Africa. Bush sent him and his crony’s money to buy guns, dopey fellow.
Gonz: You were accused by the press and republicans of “wagging the dog” when you did that.
Clinton: I might have waxed the dolphin and flogged the bishop but I never included Buddy in anything other than photo opportunities. I tried to convince Monica, well; we needn’t go there but, let’s just say that I didn’t wag any dogs during my presidency.
Gonz: So, what made you different on terrorism from Bush?
Clinton: I’m a southerner and proud of it. Bush is a Texan. I brought real southern values to the White House and American foreign policy and Bush brought Texan values to the Oval Office.
Gonz: Is there a difference?
Clinton: To begin with, true southerners, male and female alike, value tail above everything else.
Clinton: Yeah, tail, poon, ass, flesh, buns, tits, whatever you wanna call it, we value it.
Gonz: Isn’t that a bit sexist?
Clinton: Maybe up here in New York where all of this political correctness reigns supreme but, in Arkansas, both men and women whoop and holler when something they consider a fine sample of the human form bends over in a tight pair of jeans or whips his or her shirt off. Hell, Larry Flint, he’s a great southerner, Bush is a Texan.
Gonz: What is it that Texans value?
Clinton: Oil. They’ll sell their mothers, sisters, anything for oil. A lot of Islamic fundamentalists sit atop oil. So, Bush senior, a real good guy, and his dopy son send money to appease these people to make sure we get their oil.
Gonz: Isn’t oil more important to our economy than tail?
Clinton: You damn white New Yorkers. Go out here and ask any red blooded American in Harlem what he or she thinks is more important and you will quickly learn that my people would take a bit of ass anytime.
Gonz: What does tail have to do with Islamic fundamentalists?
Clinton: The first thing these Taliban did when they got control was to wrap all of the women up in those sheets. Now, you go to Kabul and you can’t tell a hottie from something they sell at the 4H pig auction. It’s horrible; they closed down the whorehouses, beheaded the proprietors and covered all of those hot Central Asian babes. Hell, the Soviet invasion was the best thing ever to happen to that country.
Gonz: Didn’t fellow southerner Jimmy Carter object to the Soviet invasion, canceled the Olympics and all?
Clinton: Jimmy is a gentleman southerner. He is not representative of real southerners. If his brother Billy had been president and learned that the Islamic people fighting the Russians banned beer, he’d of sent a pile of whoop-ass to fight alongside the Russians to stomp out fundamentalism. Beer, you see, is another major southern value. Billy Carter understands the need for a regular flow of beer and he understands that Osama could stand between him and a six pack. Add the lack of beer to the lack of nudie bars and we’re looking at a severe constraint of civil rights.
Gonz: President Bush doesn’t drink.
Clinton: I respect recovering alcoholics but W. did go to Hunter Thompson’s legendary 1972 Super Bowl party so he should appreciate the Beastie Boys right to party.
Gonz: Are there any other basics of Islamic fundamentalism that fly in the face of American southern traditions?
Clinton: Yeah, they have some bizarre belief that God hates dogs. Every southerner, even the gentlemen like Jimmy Carter, have dogs. Dogs are part of being southern, part of hunting and, because dog is God spelled backward, they have a definite relationship to the divine.
Gonz: I think the Bush family has some dogs.
Clinton: But, as I said, they are Texan so they put oil before breasts, beer and a big old yellow dog sitting out on the porch.
Gonz: Are there any other Texan values that would lend them to support Islamic ideals that would have been stopped by your southern values?
Clinton: Yeah, the eat beef barbeque, which is pretty damn good but, we real southern folks know that pork barbeque reigns supreme. Islamists don’t eat pork and smoked, salted, fried and especially barbeque are all southern sacraments. The Catholics got wine and wafers; we southerners got beer, poon, pork and yellow dogs. Bush doesn’t feel strongly enough about these major values that he lets himself get real close to the Saudi royal family, the Taliban and such. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t believe in the American Trifecta of Rolling Rock, Ribs, Rock and Roll, Tush and hound dogs.
Gonz: Isn’t a Trifecta three things?
Clinton: I trust Jews and they skip the pork unless it’s in Chinese food so I figure I can trust any group that takes three out of the four.
Gonz: Thank you very much Mr. President.
Clinton: Good to have you. Want to bring your luscious lady friend to the soul food place up the street for lunch, my treat? Its pork chop and greens day.
We enjoyed our lunch with the ex president and his entourage. The little restaurant was fun and everyone in there really loved Bill and treated him like an old friend. I really think he was our first black president.
On the subway back to our new hiding place, I sang ZZ Top’s “Tush” at the top of my lungs. Teresa laughed with a bit of a blush and everyone else stared at us like we were nuts.