Imagined conversation 1
Late one night on C Street: A prayer goes sideways
Ensign: Lord, why did you put so many obstacles in my path? I was well on the way to running for president. Sure, I wasn’t exactly doing a bang-up job for Nevada, what with the rising unemployment rate, massive cuts to schools, health care and public programs, but I’m good-looking, white and well-off, so all that other stuff was just politics. But now I’ve got a scandal on my hands. I’m seen as a hypocrite, and I’m possibly looking at ethics charges. What’s more, my family’s been dragged into this mess. Why, Lord? Why?
Devil: Why are you assuming it was God? I mean, give a homeboy some credit.
Ensign: Whoa! I forgot about you. I just thought you were the one screwing up my golf game. I never figured you for something this obvious.
God: Actually, John, it was neither of us. You kinda did this to yourself. I mean, it’s not like you found a wallet on the street and didn’t return it.
Devil: Yeah, normally I’m glad to take credit for these things—Sanford, that was all me, dude. That guy couldn’t find Argentina on Google Maps.
But you’ve made such a mess out of this thing that now it’s just … sad. I mean, you even got your parents to pay money out of their own pockets to hush this thing up? Even I couldn’t imagine something that evil, man!
Ensign: But I’m not evil. I pray every day. I even wrote Cynthia a letter talking about our relationship with God and how we need to honor him …
God: After which you chased her anyway? Thanks a lot, buddy.
Ensign: So, let me get this straight: This was all my fault? You guys assume no responsibility?
Devil: Hey, I just helped you win the elections. After that, I don’t have to do much. The bad behavior tends to take care of itself.
God: And I put enough challenges in your way with the political decisions you have to make every day. I figured that would be enough to keep you busy. Guess I was—yes, I’m going to say it—wrong.
Ensign: Your ways are truly mysterious, Lord. By the way, are you saying that the devil put that wallet on the street for me to find? Because, well, I was going to return it …
God: Talk to the hand, John. I’m out of here.
Devil: Me, too. Gotta get this Palin speech ready.
God: And I’ve got to proofread it. Okay, my son. There but by the grace of me go … you.
Imagined conversation 2
Dinner at the Ensign house: A heartwarming family moment
Ensign: Mom. Dad.
Mama Ensign: Son!
Papa Ensign: Hey, we never see you anymore. What’s up—got something going on the side? [Winks]
Ensign: [Coughs] Wow, everything looks great. Is this a new tablecloth?
Mama: No, I just brought out the good table setting. Since we hardly see you anymore, we wanted this to be special.
Ensign: You shouldn’t have. Really.
Papa: Eh. Gives her something to do. That is, when she’s not getting out the checkbook to go shopping.
Ensign: Yes, I agree, spending money makes you feel better. No matter what you spend it on, right, Mom?
Mama: Hm? Now, did I remember to put everything on table? Oh well, let’s just start eating. I made your favorite. Would you like to say grace?
Ensign: Sure. “Dear Lord, thank for you for Jim Gibbons. Thanks to him, the media has paid almost no attention to me, even though it hasn’t been an easy year [under his breath] and it’s not going to get any easier. And thank you for the most kind, understanding, patient, forgiving, loving parents a boy could ever want. Amen.”
Papa: You forgot “rich” and “quick to forget!” [Hearty laugh]
Ensign: Yeah, especially that. [Feeble laugh]
Papa: Pass the potatoes, please. So, what’s new with you?
Ensign: Not much. Having a bit of a ... to-do with a former staffer. Gravy, please.
Mama: Oh, I can’t imagine you having a problem with anyone. Like the potatoes? I used extra butter!
Ensign: Well, it’s not so much a problem as a … situation. Mmmm, love this ham. Honey-glazed?
Papa: Situation? We’ve been through plenty of those, haven’t we, son? Biscuits, please.
Ensign: This one’s going to be a bit rougher than most, Dad. Is this fat-free butter?
Mama: Who and how much? And should I bring out dessert now or wait?
Ensign: Several $12,000 payments, staggered so as to not draw attention. You remember I’m allergic to strawberries, right?
Papa: You know, whatever you’re mixed up in has to stop now. I think it’s Boston cream pie, actually.
Ensign: You guys are the best parents ever—Boston cream pie is my favorite!