Anthony D. Weiner started calling my office Tuesday, asking for a consultation. Having taken off the entire month of July, I’ve been very busy lately, despite it being summer here in Washington DC, and Gretchen just couldn’t find an open spot anywhere in the schedule. So around six-thirty in the evening the next day, she popped her head into my office and told me Mr. Weiner was on the phone again, wondering what I could do for him, at which point I agreed to have him call my office number after eight-thirty. When I left at seven PM, I made sure to set up my office phone to forward all calls to the land line at my home in Great Falls, Virginia. Mr. Weiner returned the favor by calling me after midnight just as Cerise and I were getting amorous. At least Cerise was a good sport about it.
Weiner: Hello? Tom?
Tom: Yes, Anthony?
Weiner: Um, like I told your private secretary, could you call me “Representative Weiner?”
Tom: As I recall, you’re not a member of Congress anymore, Mr. Weiner.
Weiner: Yeah, that’s true. But don’t they call people who aren’t senators anymore “Senator” anyway?
Tom: I know, but that custom is not observed with former members of the US House of Representatives.
Weiner: But if I was a former senator, you’d call me “Senator Weiner,” right?
Tom: I suppose so.
Weiner: Then why can’t you…
Tom: All right, all right, Representative Weiner. To what do I owe the honor of this telephone call?
Weiner: Um… well… they say you’re the smartest person inside the Beltway.
Tom: Which is a lot like being the tallest building in Baltimore, Representative Weiner.
Weiner: Baltimore? Great seafood.
Tom: Uh-huh. You know how to make Baltimore steamed crabs?
Weiner: No, actually. How’s that?
Tom: Run from the Bromo Seltzer Tower to the end of Fells Point in August wearing rubber underwear.
Weiner: Oh, God… that’s… damn… that’s pretty gross, Tom.
Tom: As opposed to sexting someone a picture of you lying in bed with an erection, inches from your infant son?
Weiner: Oh, that, yeah… um… well, having a healthy interest in sex isn’t just for childless singles, you know. Married people with children can have it, too.
Tom: Maybe, but it’s not like you were using your smart phone to send that picture to your wife, Representative Weiner.
Weiner: Uh, yeah, okay, there is that.
Tom: If it had been your wife, it’s a safe bet that you would have received a severe scolding and be told to delete that horrid picture and never do a stupid thing like that again. But instead, the recipient turned out to be a middle aged Trump supporter.
Weiner: Yeah, and how do you like that, know what I mean? I sent that picture to her in privacy, just like, say, if some teenage girl sent a male friend of hers a picture of her, um… hooters, just for the two of them to share, and he posted it all over the Internet. Know what they call that? Revenge porn, that’s what! But for some reason, everybody’s just fine with that woman whose ga-ga for that idiot Donald Trump doing it to me!
Tom: I think a reasonable person might draw some salient distinctions between an experienced man of the world, such as yourself, Representative Weiner, and a teenage girl who is fixated on the rapid hormone driven development of her nubile young body.
Weiner: Oh, wow, stop talking like that – you’re giving me a raging boner. Oh, man… hormone driven nubile young body… whoa, you got a way with words there, my man.
Tom: Thank you, Representative Weiner. You see my point, though, I hope? If Suzie dumps Johnnie and he posts her… endowments… all over the Internet, that’s revenge porn. On the other hand, if a former member of Congress sends a woman he obviously does not know all that well a picture of himself in an engorged genital condition lying in bed next to his infant son, that’s a newsworthy event, particularly if there is a pre-existing situation regarding such behavior, not to mention a documentary about it which won an award at the Sundance Film Festival. There’s an obvious distinction.
Weiner: Hey, wait a minute there, okay? There was absolutely no pre-existing situation about me lying around in bed with my son while showing serious wood, much less a movie about it, got that?
Tom: The pre-existing situation to which I was referring, Representative Weiner, was you sending pictures of your throbbing meat missile to strange women. Although, with respect to the issue of your infant son, I do understand Child Protective Services is investigating you.
Weiner: The whole thing’s just a mistake! Look, my kid was sound asleep, for Christ’s sake, and I had my shorts on! It was just a bulge, you know? Could have been anything – I could have shoved a banana in my pants, for all anybody can tell.
Tom: I am not a lawyer, Representative Weiner, but I’m pretty sure if you hadn’t had your shorts on in that picture, you’d be calling me from a jail cell. Be that as it may, however, how can I help you?
Weiner: Well, ah, first of all, I need to make sure of something else I’ve been told about you.
Tom: And what is that, Representative Weiner?
Weiner: That you, um… don’t charge your clients for their first consultation?
Tom: That’s true – it’s part of my marketing strategy.
Weiner: Oh, man, that’s a relief, for sure, because I’ve seen your rates, and well, tell me, do your regular clients actually give you that kind of money just for your advice?
Tom: As the old adage goes, Representative Weiner, you get what you pay for. Now – what’s up?
Weiner: Um, well, as you know, my wife wants to divorce me…
Tom: As well she might. Tell me, Representative Weiner, after being elected to Congress seven times, what in the world possessed you to start tweeting out links to pictures of your tumescent private parts to strange women in the first place?
Weiner: I… I… look, I explained all this back in 2011. I thought I was just sending the link to one particular… um… strange woman, but it turned out that’s not how Twitter works, that’s all.
Tom: And so you lied and claimed your account had been hacked and the picture was a fake, and when that fell apart, the Nixon Principal got you – the coverup was worse than the deed itself, and you had to resign from your seat in Congress.
Weiner: Yeah. But in the final analysis, in the fullness of time, at the end of the day, it was just a dumb tweet fumble, that’s all. And I had my shorts on. It could have been a kielbasa in there for all anybody could tell.
Tom: Speaking of telling, Representative Weiner, could you tell me if it’s true, that on your first date, you creeped out Huma Abedin so intensely that she excused herself from the restaurant table, went to the ladies’ room and crawled out the window to get away from you?
Weiner: That’s not true! She never crawled out the window!
Tom: She didn’t?
Weiner: No, no, of course not. She just… you know… said she was going to the ladies’ room, then just kind of, you know… sneaked out and caught a cab home. We laughed about it later, actually.
Tom: But her initial reaction, before your persistence and charisma changed her mind, naturally, was to run away, wasn’t it?
Weiner: Yeah, well, like they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression – whatever that means.
Tom: I’ve never really understood that one myself. Then, in 2013, while running for mayor of New York City, you were caught sexting women again, under the alias “Carlos Danger.”
Weiner: Just like always, I had my shorts on. There could have been a zucchini in there, nobody could have proved otherwise.
Tom: Needless to say, that was one election you didn’t win. Have you been getting any kind of… professional help with this obviously self-destructive behavior pattern?
Weiner: Sexting is not a psychological disorder. There’s really nothing wrong with sending out pictures of your pulsating schlong – just as long as you’ve got your boxer shorts on.
Tom: Still, it’s obviously not a good career move for a professional politician; probably not for any kind of professional, really.
Weiner: Well, while I certainly regret hurting Huma’s feelings and making her want to leave me, it’s not like I did anything evil, as far as I’m concerned. Inadvisable, yes; impulsive, yes; embarrassing, yes; foolhardy, yes; but bad, wrong, perverted, no, not in a million years.
Tom: Still, this latest scandal seems to have been the last straw for a lot of folks besides your wife.
Weiner: Yeah, I guess so.
Tom: The New York Daily News and the NY1 television channel both fired you from your contributor and commentator posts. And on the same day, no less, that your wife announced she was leaving you.
Weiner: Rotten day, last Thursday, no doubt about it.
Tom: And now, the media are calling you “unemployable.”
Weiner: Yeah, I know, which brings me to what I wanted to talk to you about – you have any ideas for where I can get a job now?
Tom: How about MWW Group, that PR firm you worked for in 2014?
Weiner: No way. I’ve put out the feelers already. They’re never going to hire me again.
Tom: Well, you used to do some consulting yourself, didn’t you? You had a firm, was it… let’s see now, it’s on the tip of my tongue… two Ws in the name… what was it now…
Weiner: Woolf-Weiner Associates. That’s not going to fly, either.
Tom: Really? Why not?
Weiner: All my previous clients consider me to be radioactive, basically. One of them told me they’re afraid I’ll get caught sexting something to one of their female employees and get them slapped with a huge sexual harassment lawsuit or something.
Tom: Hmm… Your wife is… shall we say… very close to Hillary Clinton, isn’t she?
Weiner: Yeah, I guess… hey, wait a minute! Are you trying to insinuate something?
Tom: “Trying” implies that some degree of effort would be necessary, I think.
Tom: Well, at the very least, your wife is Hillary Clinton’s Gal Friday, right?
Weiner: Oh, I don’t know, maybe it could be put that way.
Tom: It’s said that she’s Hillary’s Right-Hand… Woman, so to speak, correct?
Weiner: Plenty of people have heard that.
Tom: And you’re the husband of the woman who is closer to Hillary Clinton than anyone, except, perhaps, her husband Bill.
Weiner: Huh. Yeah. I guess I must be. So?
Tom: So have you thought about writing a tell-all book about the Clintons?
Weiner: Are you kidding? Have you ever heard of a guy named Vincent Foster?
Tom: I have. But with the right agent working on your behalf, it could be a million dollar book advance.
Weiner: No, no, I’ve already told people that I’m not into doing that, actually.
Tom: So Carlos Danger isn’t willing to risk a little real… danger?
Weiner: Listen, Tom, I admit I may have done some really stupid stuff, but even I am not stupid enough to write a book about Hillary and Bill Clinton.
Tom: Okay, fair enough, let’s consider another option: how about becoming a lobbyist?
Weiner: A lobbyist?
Tom: Sure. I bet what you did when you were a partner at Woolf-Weiner Associates was pretty close to being a lobbyist, wasn’t it?
Weiner: I was never a lobbyist in any de jure sense of the word. I always kept below the twenty-percent rule for congressional contacts.
Tom: Understood. But why not just go ahead and become a full-fledged lobbyist?
Weiner: Okay, well, yeah, I can’t say I see any reason not to. But who’s going to hire a guy who likes to send pictures of his junk over the Internet once in a while, just to relax and have some innocent fun, naturally. But who’s going to hire that guy to represent their organization or trade group on Capitol Hill?
Tom: Why, the answer is obvious, Representative Weiner – the porn industry, of course.
Weiner: Wait a minute, did I hear you say, the porn industry?
Tom: That’s right – the porn industry.
Weiner: Wow… the porn industry. Holy consenting adults, Batman, that’s totally inspired! Yeah! Damn, I love it! I could stand up for the First Amendment like a sophomore’s dong at a stripper bar!
Tom: So you could, and make big bucks while you were at it.
Weiner: And hey, since it’s the porn industry, maybe I could even get in on the action, you know? Become a porn star myself! What’s a good name? I mean, “Carlos Danger” wasn’t bad, but how about something with a bit more attitude, you know, like maybe… “Dick Slaughter,” or “Randy Moneyshot,” or…
Tom: No, Representative Weiner, I don’t think so.
Weiner: Really? How come?
Tom: Well, let’s just say, everyone in the world has seen your… um… boxer shorts… and frankly, although you have been talking about kielbasas, zucchinis, bananas, and so forth, it’s kind of obvious that the, ah, subject matter is decidedly closer to… shall we say… gherkins… as opposed to cucumbers?
Tom: I’m certainly no expert on what makes commercially viable pornography, Representative Weiner, and I must admit I don’t own any and have not actually seen very much of it, but even I know that you gotta crack at least eight inches of grandiose gristle if you want to be a male porn star, and what you have there, sir, well, were he still alive, one look at your… assets…. and you’d probably make Truman Capote feel like John Holmes.
Weiner: Who’s John Holmes?
Tom: Never mind. For the record, my advice is, stick to lobbying for the porn industry.
Weiner: Think I can score with some of those hot porn industry babes, anyway?
Tom: Most likely. Just don’t use the Internet to send any of them pictures of your penis, inside your shorts or otherwise.
Weiner: Why not?
Tom: They see enough of them at work.
Weiner: Oh… yeah… I guess they do. Well, thanks, Tom.
Tom: You’re welcome, Representative Weiner. Goodbye.