Friday Night Story

  “Dick, calm down.”
“I, Christ, George, I don’t know what happened.”
“Just calm down, Dick. I’m the President. Whatever happened, we can make it go away.”
“No, George, you don’t understand… I shot him in the face.”
“Dick, it was birdshot. Quail hunters are begging to be shot in the face. It’s nearly as unsafe as going to Baghdad without body armor.”
“That’s the thing of it, George. It wasn’t an accident.”
“Where’s the damned punchline, Dick?”
“There isn’t one. I found out, see, he’s been talking to Lynn-”
“Jesus, Dick-”
“I know. Normally I wouldn’t have reacted, but… she’s been talking back. And I just found out about a trip she made, when she was supposed to be visiting her sister. She spent a whole weekend at his place in the mountains.”
“I know. I wasn’t going to do anything about it. I thought we could talk it over, you know, discuss things. But he wouldn’t talk to me. Any moment we were alone he’d hop up and find something to fidget about, or some damned tangent to take us on. And every time he looked me in the eyes and pretended to care when he asked, ‘What’s wrong, Dick?’ I just got angrier and angrier. The night before we went hunting I thought I’d given myself another heart attack, popped a couple of nitro pills, downed them with half a bottle of scotch and passed out. After that I actually felt better, but the next day, I don’t know… he was just ribbing me, about how back when we were kids I’d gotten the biggest, prettiest damn quail either of us had ever laid eyes on. He started talking about how it was his time, and that I might be Vice President, but he’d show me that he was the better hunter. So I yelled out ‘Quail’ and-”
“You shot a seventy-eight year old man in the face. With bird shot. And gave him a heart attack. Jesus, Dick. I think people are going to start to figure out that you’re the AntiChrist.”
“Well, we couldn’t keep it under wraps forever.”

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