A NEW, ORIGINAL SHORT STORY: The Thrilling Adventures of Secret Agent Double-Oh Boener
The name’s Boener. John Boener.
While you may know me as the Speaker of the House in Congress and a Republican, by night I’m actually a secret agent.
I plopped down on the last open barstool and waited for the bartender to swing by.
It was getting harder and harder to find a bar in DC where I wouldn’t be recognized. After a careful check of an old AAA map, though, I’d found one that was certain to be off the political grid.
The big fat guy next to me was wearing a cheap suit and a clip-on tie. He rotated his stool 90 degrees to face me.
“Hey, Mr. Speaker! How’z ya doin’?”
“Eh, I’m not John Boener,” I grumpily intoned, “Get mistaken for him all the time. Name’s, uh, Smokey Smith.”
Before he got a chance to say anything more, the bartender ambled up.
“Give me a Southern Comfort and Ginger Ale with lemons, olives, and a maraschino cherry,” I said, “And make it shaken, not stirred.”
The bartender looked surprised.
“You want Ginger Ale shaken? But, sir –”
“You heard me, sonny! And put some elbow grease into it!”
Seeing the expression on my face, he hurriedly departed to make the Boener signature drink, one not found in any book.
What’s my mission as a secret agent? I’m out to build the federal government into the biggest, most powerful organization on Earth. Oh, and if I just happen to amass a tidy little profit while I do it, so much the better.
If that means partnering with the radical Left, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. We’re all adults here, right? If we’re not out for ourselves, who will be?
My goal is to retire with $50 million in the bank and I’m on track, provided I can close a few more sweetheart deals. To get there, I’m going to help create the biggest and most powerful lobbying firm in Washington.
I was biding my time in this bar where no one knew me, waiting to rendezvous with my contact.
I knew him only as ‘Harrison J. Bounel’, but a waiter had called him “Barry” once when we were sharing a flavored tobacco hookah in a bar he favored in Dupont Circle.
I had 20 minutes to kill, so I finished my drink and then pounded down three more while watching the talking heads on MSNBC. Finally, it was time to go.
I carefully made my way outside. I wasn’t drunk, just a little dizzy. Low blood pressure, maybe.
The valet pulled up a few minutes later with my White Cadillac CTS Coupe. I tipped him $5, climbed in and headed back down K Street to the Pavilion Garage.
That’s where I’d been told to meet Harrison by a secure email. There was no “from” name on the email, just the mysterious initials “VJ”.
Harrison and I were to rendezvous on the very top level of the garage. I was to flash my headlights three times. Or was it five?
Oh, screw it. “One — two — five.”
The startlingly bright lamps lit up an almost empty garage level three times.
Moments later, a large black limo silently drove the wrong way up the exit ramp to the same level I was on.
A driver wearing a dark suit got out and yanked open the rear driver’s side door. A thin, tall man — he was wearing a track suit with a hoodie and dark glasses to obscure his face — got out.
He looked like he could have been a dancer at one time. He gracefully sauntered over to the passenger side of my car, opened up the long door, and climbed in.
“Harrison,” I said, “how are you doing?”
“Just great, Smokey,” he replied with a grin.
“You heard that conversation in the bar?”
“Indeed I did.”
He grinned and his teeth were bright white, all the more startling in a darkened car.
“I’ve got my spies everywhere,” he said.
I blurted out the question I’d been dying to ask since I had met him nearly six years ago.
“Just who are you?”
“A friend, just a friend. And I have some extremely powerful colleagues who are interested in making you a very, very wealthy man.”
He continued, talking expressively.
“Look, just a few more years and you’ll be in a position to make millions from Obamacare consulting as co-chairman of the biggest lobbying firm in Washington with your partner Eric Bahlz.”
He grinned again, “Just think of it: all legislation of import funneled through Bahlz and Boehner!”
“That’s ‘Boehner and Bahlz’, thank you,” I replied.
“Fine. Look, John, your mission is simple. I want you to fund m-, I mean Obama’s, Executive Amnesty and Obamacare through October.”
“October? The Tea Party nuts will crucify me!
“Who cares? They don’t have any power. You, McCarthy and Scalise are all sensible gents. The Tea Party crazies can’t block anything. Work with the Democrats and get a CR passed for the entire fiscal year.”
“But how am I supposed to sell this? Everyone’s going to be pissed!”
“Tell ’em you’ll defund everything next year. Just like you did all the times before. It’s not that hard, John.”
“Oh, okay. I’ll get it done. I’ll have to lie to a few of the die-hard wingers, but that’s to be expected, I guess.”
“That’s using your noggin, John.”
He patted my hand and his touch lingered.
“I really like you,” he said. “I really do.”
“Me too,” I replied, getting a little uncomfortable with his warm touch.
“In a few years, you leave Congress. You start your lobbying firm. And ‘Boener and Bahlz” will be on every Democrat’s lips.”
“Okay,” I intoned, “I’ll take care of it.”
He opened the door and stared at me for a few long seconds.
“I’m proud of you, John. We make a good team.”
The door slammed shut and I watched him stroll back to his car.
I needed another drink. Or three.