Thursday, October 9, 2008

A conversation

"You did not," she said.

"Yes, I did!" I insisted.

"Did you record it?" she asked.

I just smiled and she laughed. "Oh my god, honey, you are SO funny. Okay, let's see it."

I popped the tape in and on came John Gibson, talking about Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton.

"So, what do you think, people? I'll be back in a moment to take your comments on the air and hash it out with you, right here on MSNBC," he smiled, tossing some papers behind his shoulder and shaking his head.

She fast-forwarded until the transition screen appeared and played.

"So here we are again, people," Gibson said. "Tell me what you think. Is Monica Lewinsky going to testify and if so, what does this mean for Bill Clinton? Frank in Humboldt County, 30 seconds."

"John, I think she has good representation and if she doesn't, friends of the administration will be finding some for here pretty darn quickly," I said.

It drew a smile. "So you think that the Clinton clan will circle wagons with her? Pretty bold, Frank," he said. "Hey, how are things up there in Northern California? I had one of my first anchor jobs in Ukiah."

"Well, not bad, John," I said. "I love the rain."

"You'll love it up there, then," he said. "There's never a shortage!"

Marcie laughed and looked at me, shaking her head. "You liar," she said. "You like it until you get tired of it, then you get mad at it."

I shrugged as John continued, "So why do you think the Clintons huddle up with the Lewinsky clan?"

"John, it's the presidency," I said. "You don't blow that position for the whole party if you can help it, especially over a little blue dress. You get a lawyer, or even a few. And your spread them around liberally. Let's not dre4ss it up, you hos ethis fire down with cash."

Marcie, her broadcast experience in high school rearing up, shuckled, "Ho ho ho, careful honey!"

Gibson smiled and paused on the television, waiting as he shook his head for a good disarming comeback to occur to him. He looked up and smiled broadly, "So you don't let this incident stain an otherwise good record?" he asked.

"Well," I said. "Depends on who you ask, but I say 'A dry cleaner! A dry cleaner! My kingdom for a dry cleaner!' seems to lack a certain panache, right?"

He guffawed as Marcie held her hand over her mouth, eyes popped wide at my Newschat bravado, then looked at me.

"Point well taken, Frank," he said. "Let's keep it clean, then, right?"

"A bit late, John, but hey... there's always another dress... I mean intern... I mean day," I said.

He was silent this time for a few seconds, smiling and staring at the camera, almost incredulous. Marcie slapped me as she watched, wide-eyed, red as a beet. John changed the subject.

"So you're a student journalist up there in Humboldt?" he said. "You're a pretty funny guy and you have some personality, maybe I ought to watch out for my chair?"

"No, no, I'll get my own, John, when the time's right," I said. "Maybe I'll have an intern, too? Do you have an intern, John?"

"HA! No comment Frank," he said, shuffling his papers and smiling, laughing with nods, open-mouthed, silent.

"Wow, Gibson without a comment?" I asked. "Can it be?"

"It can, Frank, it can," he said, mirthfully, even. "Hey, I have to take more calls, but call back after the show. If you get down to San Francisco, I have someplace you might want to visit for some really good Chinese. The best ever."

"I'll do that, John," I said. "Great show, man. I'll see you on the tube or in the studio someday."

"I don't doubt it," he said. "I'll talk to you later."

I hung up on the tape and Marcie stopped the VCR. "You are so crazy," she said. "I am so proud of you. You were so funny and smart."

She hugged me and I noticed she was blushing. I kissed her forehead.

"So we'll go to the restaurant someday?" I asked. "I did call and get it after the show. I didn't record that."

"Maybe," she said. "Maybe we will."

We never did, but it was still a sweet moment. Her pride in me always made me feel like anything was worthwhile, even playing hookie from college for a rest.

We had stir fry for dinner. It was great.