May 042020
 

One thing I have noticed about working from home exclusively during the coronavirus crisis is that my clients have begun to figure that Sundays are as good as any other day to request an appointment. Back before the DMV regional lockdown, there used to be a distinction, but not any more. And strangely enough, I have found it doesn’t bother me as much as I would have expected – I, myself, have pretty much forgotten about the different characteristics the days of the week used to possess. Mondays, for example, don’t feel any different from Fridays, although I am sure I recall that they once definitely did. It used to be, of course, that when people sought consultation appointments on […]

Apr 042020
 

The global coronavirus pandemic has fully arrived in the United States in general and the Washington DC metropolitan area in particular. Breaking with our usual local traditions regarding foreign visitors, however, we did not throw it a parade. And while its arrival did not completely reduce Washington to a ghost town, the streets of the Nation’s Capital indeed became mighty sparsely populated, and very quickly at that. Social distancing was no problem for me, though, since I live in Great Falls, Virginia, where my nearest neighbor’s home is about a hundred and fifty feet away from my front door. Entering my imported sports car within the confines of my garage, I drove, by myself, to a reserved parking space in […]

Mar 012020
 

Thursday evening after work, I stopped by the Round Robin Bar, as I often do. About halfway through my Macallan 18 on the rocks, Higganbotham slid into the booth next to me and tossed an envelope on the cocktail table. “Count it,” he said. I knew Higganbotham, as most Beltway insiders do, as a notorious Republican bag man and fixer, so his behavior was hardly surprising. “I will,” I dryly replied, “but not here. This is a consultation fee, I presume?” “You presume right,” he growled. “Take that money, finish your scotch quick and follow me. We’re going for a little ride.” Outside in front of the Willard Hotel, a black stretch limousine with darkly tinted passenger windows and federal […]

Sep 222019
 

The biggest single problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw It was another working Saturday which found me at the Round Robin Bar after my final consultation ended at seven thirty in the evening. There, I saw Farquhar, a DC staffer for the Biden campaign and McLoon, who works at the Executive Office of the President. As might be expected, both of them were drinking scotch and engaged in a heated discussion. McLoon hailed me as I walked by with my Botanist and tonic. “Collins!” he brayed. “Come over here and talk some sense into this jackass!” “He’s a Democrat,” I reminded McLoon as I joined them at their table. “Being a […]

Aug 192019
 

The attendee at my regular consultation with the International Finance and Foreign Exchange Attaché of the Embassy of Denmark on Friday was replaced with a last-minute substitute – Dr. Arnapalaaq Iteq Ikiaqutit, the Cultural, Legal and Political Affairs Deputy at the embassy’s Greenland Section. She was visibly upset as she situated herself on the chair directly to the right of my desk and leaned in. “Mr. Collins,” she confided, “I don’t mind telling you I’m very, very concerned about your President Trump.” “Well, don’t let that bother you,” I replied. “There are at least one hundred and fifty million Americans who feel precisely the same way.” “Has he gone mad?” she implored. “Gone mad?” I responded. “Why no, he hasn’t […]