By Wee Puppet Man
A smile flickered across Mark Halperin’s face as he removed his makeup with a cotton ball. He had seen the smirks of Brazile and Stephanopolous as he asserted that John McCain’s number of houses “gaffe” was going to be a disaster for Barack Obama, but he had managed to keep his focus and bat down their objections.
They would never guess his secret. John McCain knew EXACTLY how many houses he had, and Mark Halperin had visited him in every one!
His mind drifted back to the moment two years ago when a familiar, gravelly voice greeted him on the telephone. ”Mark - this is Senator John McCain. I’m going to be the next president of the United States, and I want you to write a blow-by-blow account. Can you come and meet me in my office?”
For the next month, the two got to know each other much better over late-night drinks, and the book idea really began to take shape. Halperin found himself thinking of McCain constantly, and he began to dread the end of the Senate session as the holidays approached.
On New Years Eve, Halperin’s phone rang. “Mark! John McCain! I was wondering if you could fly out to Tucson tomorrow? I have something for you.” His suitcase was packed an hour later.
When the taxi dropped him off, he was surprised to find the door to McCain’s house slightly ajar. ”John?”, he called out as he stepped in. ”I’m upstairs, Ensign Halperin. Can you please put on the uniform I left on the table for you?”
He looked at the crisp uniform, and picked up the trousers. Size 36 — he noticed! Suddenly light-headed, Halperin sat down on the step before starting to untie his shoes.