Cole, Sharon, Rusty, Moses, Felix and Professor Lambert, dressed in their best finery, milled about in a waiting room just outside the Oval Office. The doors opened and Buck Breckenridge poked his head out.
“I’m sorry,” Breckenridge said. “The President is on a very important call.”
President Stugotz’s voice traveled out of the office and into the waiting room. “Look, just because I’m the leader of the free world doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have my own private account on bigtimeknockers.com…yeah…uh huh…security risk? So make it secure, nerd. God Almighty, this shouldn’t be that hard…yeah well just shut up and make it happen. POTUS needs his big time knockers or else he’ll get very cranky and when I’m cranky I start posting on Lifebox and then my super hot wife and my super hot daughter chew my ear off and then after that it’s all I can do to keep my finger off the nuke button, OK?”
“Excuse me,” Breckenridge said as he shut the door.
Sharon chuckled. “Big time knockers?”
Moses spit into the palm of his hand and slicked down a cowlick on the top of his head. He then straightened his tie. “Woman, you laugh but that man in there is a true patriot and a saint and if he looking at big time knockers helps him get the job done then by God, he should have big time knockers.”
Cole sighed. “Ugh I just want to get this over with and get back to the hotel.”
“Why?” Sharon asked. “Hun, you’re a hero.”
Cole puffed out his chest. “I am, aren’t I?”
“Oh well,” Professor Lambert said as he pulled out a joint and a cigarette lighter. “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”
“What are you doing?” Sharon snapped. “Put that away!”
“Dude,” Rusty said. “How did you get that through security?”
“My butt, a string, and a whole lot of patience,” the Professor said.
“If you can’t take a break from pot for an hour to meet the President of the United States then you’ve got a problem,” Sharon said.
The Professor sparked up and puffed away. “No one’s arguing with you, sister.”
The doors opened all the way this time. Buck made a weird expression as he sniffed the air. “What’s that smell?”
The Professor quickly dabbed the joint out against the leg of the priceless antique chair he was sitting in, then stashed the evidence in his pocket. “Smell? What smell?”
“It smells like Bill Clinton’s second term out here,” Buck said. “Strange. Oh well, follow me. The President will see you now.”
As the Chief of Staff led the gang into the Oval Office, they marveled at the sights, taking in the breathtaking architecture and artwork, including a giant portrait of former President Teddy Roosevelt. President Stugotz was sitting behind the historic resolute desk, engaged in yet another tense negotiation session over the phone.
“I want a large cheese pizza with extra cheese, OK?” the President said. “And when I say, ‘I want extra cheese,’ I mean, I want a whole hell of a lot of cheese. Don’t skimp out on me, OK? I’m serious. Don’t be like one of those pizza chefs who hears ‘extra cheese’ and then just puts a tiny dab of cheese on my pie, OK? In fact, I’ll tell you what, when you think you have put enough cheese on this pizza to comply with my request of extra cheese, go all out and shake some more cheese on it anyway, just to be safe. Believe me, nobody explains how to make an extra cheese pizzas better than me, OK? I am the best at ordering pizzas. Goodbye.”
“Mr. President,” Breckenridge said. “The heroes who defeated the toilet gator are here.”
“Fantastic!” President Stugotz said as he stood up and walked over to greet his guests. “Let me get a good look at them.”
The gang formed a line for the President to review. As he walked down the line, he gave each hero a handshake and a kind word.
“Officer Yates,” President Stugotz said.
“It’s actually Chief Yates now, sir,” Rusty replied.
“No one gives a shit son, and believe me, I know what people give a shit about, OK?” the President said.
“Yes sir,” Rusty said.
President Stugotz slapped Rusty on the back. “Job well done. You’re the coolest redhead I have ever met, and I’m including those Irish supermodel twins I plowed while I was on my honeymoon with the second Mrs. Stugotz.”
“That means a lot sir,” Rusty said.
“I know it does,” the President said as he moved on. “And you must be the guy with the Apache attack helicopter.”
Moses and Felix snapped to attention and saluted the President.
“Yes sir,” Moses said. “Sergeant Moses T. Malone, United States Marine Corps, retired and this is my hetero life mate Felix Howard. If I may be so bold, we love you sir. We both voted for you in 2016 and we can’t wait to do it again in 2020. Wild dogs won’t be able to keep us away.”
“Moses,” President Stugotz said. “I know smart people when I see them and believe me, I’m the smartest person I know. If you two voted for me then that makes you a couple of real smart cookies.”
“Thank you sir,” Moses said. “Sir, I don’t mean to bother you, but is there any way you might pull some strings so I can, you know, keep my Apache attack helicopter and also, if possible, not go to jail for all the laws I broke while I was flying it around?”
President Stugotz stroked his chin. “Hmm. Well, all the crooked lawyers in my employ tell me that you literally broke thousands upon thousands of laws by flying that thing around but…you know what? I don’t think you should go to jail for that. No one should ever have to go to jail for daring to fight a toilet gator. This is America. We don’t run from toilet gators here.”
“I couldn’t agree more, sir,” Moses said.
“You know what?” President Stugotz. “You’re off the hook. I’ll take care of it.”
“Oh, thank you sir,” Moses said. “But uh…do I get to keep it?”
“You want to keep an Apache attack helicopter?” President Stugotz asked.
“If possible, sir,” Moses replied. “It would mean a lot to me.”
“A piece of military hardware like that in the hands of a civilian?” the President asked. “I don’t know.”
“I promise I’ll never take it out again, unless of course there’s another violent animal attack,” Moses said. “Had the toilet gator not reared it’s ugly head, that fabulous helicopter would still be in my hangar, getting a fresh coat of wax applied to it every Sunday by yours truly.”
“Give me one good reason why I should let you keep it,” President Stugotz said.
Moses shrugged his shoulders. “Second amendment?”
President Stugotz looked up at the ceiling and pondered the proposition for a bit. He then turned his attention back to Moses. “Sold!”
Moses and Felix exchanged high fives as President Stugotz moved on to Sharon.
“Mrs. Walker,” President Stugotz said. “I was so glad to hear that you and your husband patched things up. I mean, it’s one thing to want to live a wild, carefree life and another to be impractical and well, you being forty and all…”
“I also love him,” Sharon said.
“Whatever you need to tell yourself, dear,” President Stugotz said. “Listen, I watched you on TV, tearing ass down the highway in that Diablo and I was impressed. In fact, I was so impressed, that I turned to the First Lady and said, ‘You know what we need, sweetheart? We need more vaginized Americans doing things that people with vaginas don’t normally do, like becoming doctors and lawyers and politicians and astronauts and police officers and toilet gator killers.”
“Thank you sir,” Sharon said. “That’s touching, in an odd way.”
“You’re an inspiration to ever little girl who ever dared to look out her bedroom window and up to the stars and proudly declare, ‘One day I will help end the life of a desperate, psychotic animal.’”
“That’s probably enough now, sir,” Sharon said as she pulled her hand out of the President’s grasp.
President Stugotz faced Cole. The two men stared at each other for a moment, then the Commander-in-Chief gave the renowned gator hunter a warm embrace.
“Cole Walker,” the President said as he stepped back. “A star is born.”
“Thank you, Mr. President,” Cole said.
“You know I was the first person to post on Lifebox that you would defeat the toilet gator,” President Stugotz said. “I was the only one who believed in you. I believed in you so much that I pushed aside a meeting with a bunch of wishy washy do-gooders who want to pass some cockamamie legislation about giving kidneys to junkies with AIDS or some such nonsense.”
“I appreciate your confidence in me, sir,” Cole said.
“Remember that, Bob?” President Stugotz asked.
“Yes sir,” Breckenridge replied.
“I was all like, ‘All you do-gooders figured out how to get kidneys for junkie AIDS patients on your own, I have got to write at least ninety-seven posts about how Cole Walker will most definitely beat the toilet gator because that man is a winner and believe me, I know a winner when I see one.’”
“Thank you,” Cole said.
“I should know,” President Stugotz said. “I’m the biggest winner the world has ever seen, but you wouldn’t know it because I’m so ridiculously humble. I go out of my way to avoid bragging about myself. Truly, I do. Being a braggart is very unbecoming. Believe me.”
“I’m just honored to be here, sir,” Cole said.
“Cole,” the President said as he shook the gator hunter’s hand. “For offing that filthy, rotten, dirty, disgusting, degenerate toilet gator, this country will be forever in your debt. If there’s anything I can do for you, just ask?”
As the President began to walk away, Cole stepped up. “Anything?”
The President turned around. “Anything except, you know, gay stuff. I mean, I don’t judge and I suppose if you want a dude to do stuff to your butt, I could make some calls and make it happen, but be advised that ‘anything’ did not include me doing anything to your butt, capiche?”
“I capiche sir,” Cole said. “And no, I don’t want any butt stuff but there is one thing you could help my wife and I with…”
“Name it,” President Stugotz said.