An Octagon For The Oval Office

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October 13, 2010 by David Gillaspie

Stress makes people do odd things.  The stress of being a mixed martial author adds extra baggage, and someone has to pay.

After the Al Gore loss to Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton headed to his Harlem office for an expected phone call.  It came the next day.

The words poured out before the first hello.

“Clinton?  It’s Obama,” the President said.

“Mr. President, I’ve been expecting your call.”

“I’m sorry about what happened to Al.”

“No problem, Mr. President.  He’s been beat before when he should have won.”

“Call me Barack, Bill.”

“How about Barry?”

“Barack will be fine.  Let’s get on the same page here.  Michelle is scheduled to fight Oprah, right?”

“In the biggest Mixed Martial Author match of them all.”

President Obama remained calm and measured.

“Oprah wants it in Chicago.  Michelle wants it here in Washinton.  Which would you choose? he said.”

Bill Clinton looked out his window.

“I’d do it right here.”

“Where are you?”

“55 West 125th Street up in Harlem.  I could get it done right here with no problems.”

“I’ve got a problem.”

“Because I’m the first black president and my office is in Harlem?”

“You’re not the first black president, Bill.  I’m the first black president.  And I don’t need you promoting a girl fight in Harlem.”

“Why not run it by your wife first, buddy.  She might like the idea.  I’m sure Oprah would do it.”

A stern tone came over the phone.

“Let’s understand this.  Two black women are not going to fight in Harlem.  You’d say the same thing if it were Hillary.”

Bill laughed.

“Is that right?  I’m not so sure.  You’re not trying to get into the octagon with Hillary, are you?”

“Not a chance.”

“So why not make the fight here?  It’d be good for New York.”

“That may be, but it won’t be in New York, or Chicago.  The First Lady gets home field.  That’s not the problem.  As you know, Michelle has written books, one with Susan Jones and one with Lisa Rogak.  And she’s helped me with my books.”

“Are any of them over a thousand pages like mine?”

“They are not, but neither are Oprah’s.  In fact, I don’t see anything written by Oprah,” the President said.

“She’s got a magazine.  Her editors have written books for her.  That should count.  She has a book club that keeps people reading.  That’s not good enough?  It should be.”

“Let’s be frank.  Mixed Martial Authors is a good idea; Mixed Martial Ghostwriters is not.  I’ll make an exception, but only if the fight is held here.  It has to happen here according to my Secret Service guys.”

“They know best, Mr. President, most of the time.  I’ll make some phone calls.  In the meantime, if you change your mind about Hillary, I’m sure I could train her up for a fight.”

“Listen, Bill, we’ve both faced her and we’ve both lost.  It just looks like we won.  America doesn’t need to see any more of that.”

“Don’t I know it.  I’ll have a word with John Irving.  He seems to know more about this than anyone else.”

“The man knows his way around the octagon.”

“It’s best to keep on his good side, after all, he’s been to Iowa.”

“We’ve all been to Iowa, and will be there again.”

“Not the same Iowa as John, my friend.  He’s been in the wrestling room at Iowa, not the stump.”


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