Brian and Hillary swap war stories

    “I thought I had the beach to myself!” Hillary Clinton yelled, smiling in delight at the guy trudging her way, his famous face silhouetted by the sun rising over the Hamptons.

    “As did I!” Brian Williams boomed, brushing flecks of sand from his cashmere coat, his trademark portentous timbre making melody with the crashing surf. “Nothing beats a beach walk in the off-season. Though you wouldn’t believe what almost happened to me on the way here.”

    “I bet I can top it, but go ahead.”

    “You know that lovely street fronting the East Hampton Grill? That place where they grill the artichokes just so? A block from there, my limo nearly got blown up by an IED.”

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    “An improvised explosive device – here? Should I have my people call Spielberg’s housekeeper and warn her? And maybe warn my hedge fund friends?”

    “Nah, don’t bother. The device went off already. Consider this my after-action report.”

    “You sure about this? Wouldn’t I have heard the explosion – or gotten a call about it?”

    “OK, it was a very quiet explosion. It was muffled by the limo.”

    “I thought you said your limo didn’t hit it.”

    “OK, my limo didn’t hit it. But the lead limo in my convoy – you wouldn’t believe the mess in the road.”

    “Wait, you had two limos? What do you mean ‘a mess?’ You mean body parts?”

    “The driver, yeah. But I managed to save my lawyer and my agent. I dragged them from the wreckage and did triage.”

    “But the driver – what was his name? I hope you’ve called his family.”

    “OK, did I say there were two limos? Maybe there was only the one with me in it. I apologize, Madame Secretary. I would not have chosen to make this mistake, and I don’t know what screwed up in my mind. But in case I did in fact misremember some facts, rest assured I’m still America’s Most Trusted Newsman. Remember the brand!”

    “Brian, the real lesson here is, don’t hire a limo to get out here. Takes too long, even in off-season traffic. It’s way easier to fly here in a chopper. Though you wouldn’t believe what almost happened to me when I landed last night.”

    “Sigh, let me guess. Your aides forgot your bottle of water. I hate when that happens.”

    “Even worse. We touched down at the Bistrians Heliport, and right away I knew something was wrong. Bap-bap-bap! Snipers were laying down a field of fire – I know what that sounds like, from Bosnia – but I had to brave it, I had no choice, the fundraiser was starting in 20 minutes. So I just sucked it up and ran with my head down clear across the tarmac to the car.”

    “Wow, that’s amazing! Though I have to wonder. If you were under sniper fire last night, wouldn’t I have seen that on my newsfeed by now?”

    “Yeah, well, I got grazed by one of the bullets. Look at this little bloodstain near my mouth.”

    “Madame Secretary, I think that’s lipstick.”

    “OK, I’m positive that those were bullets I heard, unless maybe it was birds – you know those snowy owls that come here in the winter? – so perhaps I misspoke, or perhaps I’m just sleep-deprived, even though as best I can determine it was probably sniper fire.”

    “Madame Secretary, the real lesson is, don’t come here in a chopper. Just fly here on your own.”

    “You mean, like, in a private plane?”

    “No, no. Fly like a bird, like Peter Pan. My daughter is teaching me how. It’s a great way to avoid IEDs and RPGs. Have I ever told you how I almost died in Iraq?”

    “Maybe next time. I’m holed up this weekend reading biographies, and I’m anxious to get back to ’em. Hey, did you know that the young Lyndon Johnson went on a single bombing mission during World War II, just as an observer, the plane got engine trouble and had to turn back after 13 minutes – but for years afterward Johnson went around saying that he’d been under enemy fire on numerous missions? And did you know that my old friend Al Gore used to tell reporters that he’d been ‘shot at’ and ‘fired upon’ in Vietnam – when he was just a non-combat army journalist? You gotta laugh.”

    “You sure do, Madame Secretary. I mean, really – what the hell were they thinking?”


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