“Reservation for Rockwell”
“Oui monsieur, a table for two in an intimate corner I see. Come this way.”
We follow the maitre d’ through the elegant dining room of Le Bec-Fin. If it’s not Philly’s finest restaurant it’s the most elegant by far. I wouldn’t normally spring for a $300 dinner on the first date but I’ve been lusting after Marsha for months while I gathered the courage to ask her out. I figure I’ve got this one shot, why not go for it.
“Will this table be to your satisfaction Monsieur Rockwell,” the maitre d’ says as he pulls out Marsha’s chair from this wonderfully decorated and beautifully set table for two.
“This is excellent,” I say as if I have a choice.
We order a cocktail and begin with all of the normal small-talk that kicks off every relationship. Where’re you from? Cheyenne, Wyoming. Where’d you go to school? Penn. What do you do when you’re not working? Go to the gym, work out, jog and just hang out. What’s it like in finance? Blah, blah, blah. I’ve done this mating ritual so many times I could put it on tape. Anyway, Marsha’s a sweet girl and I enjoy chatting with her even over these $16 a pop martinis.
We were taking a third sip of our martinis when the maitre d’ leads Bill and Hillary Clinton to a table not four feet away from ours. Bill looks at me and nods and gives Marsha a lecherous little wink. Hillary ignores us and goes immediately to her menu.
We don’t know what to do. The Clintons can obviously hear everything we say and we’re both too intimated to say anything. I fumble with the wine list and Marsha just stares off into space as if she’s afraid to make eye contact with our famous dining companions.
Thank God our waiter comes by and breaks the silence. “Have you chosen a wine, monsieur?”
“Yes we’ll have a bottle of the Dupont-Fahn 2005 Bourgogne Blanc with our appetizer and a bottle of 2004 Vin de Pays d'Oc, Le Roc, with our main course.” I say loud enough for the Clintons to hear as if I’m seeking their approval.
“Excellent choices, monsieur, would you like the Bourgogne Blanc now or would you prefer another martini.”
I figure a second martini will calm our nerves enough so that we can get on with our dinner without being intimated by the once most powerful man in the world and our current Secretary of State. How would you address Hillary anyway? Madam Secretary I think.
Half way through our second martini we overhear Bill when he says to Hillary, “I think we need a better policy for Pakistan. They’ve either been harboring terrorists or at least looking the other way while Al-Qaeda has been digging tunnels in their mountains for years now.”
“You know it’s our policy to diplomatically encourage and financially support Pakistan’s war on these terrorist enclaves. I was just there and I feel that they’re trying.” Hillary says in response.
“Yeah but is it working? I think not. I think we should quit playing patty-cake in Afghanistan and put our own troops on the ground in Pakistan. Give me the 1st Marine Division and I’ll have bin Laden swinging from a tree and our terrorist problems solved.”
“Bullshit, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You had your chance back when and you didn’t do a damn thing.” Hillary says in an elevated voice.
Marsha and I don’t know what to do in the middle of what is becoming a heated foreign policy argument. Our appetizers and the white wine are served and we dig in with our ears turned towards the Clintons.
“All I’m saying is we should take a much harder line with Pakistan and if they resist we should do it ourselves.” Bill says rather sternly.
“Fuck you Bill! You don’t know what it’s like in Obama’s cabinet. We’re all on pins and needles afraid that we’re going to pull a Biden and say something we’ll regret. I’m managing our Pakistan policy exactly as I’ve been led to believe I should and in some cases as specifically dictated to me by Barack himself.” Hillary retorts almost shouting.
I’m sure this is the first time any of us have ever heard America’s number one diplomat say fuck you to anyone let alone our ex-President.
“You know Hillary, I liked you better when you were a Senator, at least you were of your own mind and not off implementing some foreign policy that deep down you don’t agree with.”
“And I liked you better back when you were getting blow jobs in the oval office. At least you weren’t so critical of me then.”
There was total silence in the restaurant.
The Clintons looked as if they had declared a peace and were well into their entrées as I paid our bill and stood to leave. I glanced at Bill as I was pulling out Marsha’s chair. After ogling Marsha for a second he turned to me and winked as if saying, “Way to go Bob.”