Tim Barto: Overheard somewhere in a Washington, D.C. basement



The U.S. Marine sentry didn’t even turn his head to look at the last of the very important people to arrive at the room.

“Good evening, Sir,” he snapped while opening a door leading to the most secure conference room in the country.

“Bold of you assume my gender, Corporal,” replied the suit.

“No assumption, Sir. We’ve met several times.”

“Hmph,” the suit grunted without breaking stride and entering the hallowed grounds. He immediately addressed the 11 people already seated around the table with a shrug of his shoulders and just one work: “Traffic.”

“Traffic? You should’ve let me know. As Secretary of Transportation, I would have ordered the streets cleared for you.”

“No, it was traffic flying the wife’s private plane into the airport. They made us circle around for a half hour, as if we were commoners. Hey, what’s Transportation doing here? This is a national security matter.”

“Like you, Mr. Secretary—”

“Czar, if you please.”

“Yes, excuse me. Like you, Czar, I am one of the few cabinet officials with military experience.”

“Touche. I was in Vietnam myself; you know? Received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts.”

“Impressive haul in just four months,” replied Transportation. “But why is the Climate Czar attending a national security meeting?”

“Climate change is the number one national security challenge. Am I right?”

“Okay, enough of this,” shouted the boss. “My son, as you all know, lost his life in Iraq, so that trumps all of you.”

The collective gasp was audible, but Brandon didn’t notice his faux pas in uttering the name of his predecessor; the name is not to be heard unless blame is being assigned. “Mic drop.”

The boss looked around the table: “That’s what the kids say, right? Mic drop? Hehe . . . mic drop.”

This made the chief executive smile. “General—” he said with a nod towards the senior ranking military officer in the nation, “take it away.”

“Thank you, Sir.” The four star stood. “I appreciate you all being here the day before a holiday—”

“Holiday?” asked Number Two.

“Yes, Ma’am. Columbus Day is tomorrow.”

“Columbus Day? I thought we did away with that. It’s now called Indigenous People’s Day,” she said, with a smug smile and large dose of indignation. “And, yes, I am a Ma’am. She/her pronouns, and I’m wearing a blue business suit.”

Turning to the four star, Number Two continued, “We should have everyone in the room also introduce themselves. Don’t you think, General?”

“Well, we have a lot of important matters to cover. The world is on fire. Besides, everyone here has met.”

“The world’s on fire because of global warming,” the Czar chimed in.

“It was a metaphor, Sir,” said the General.

“Still, think it would be a good idea for . . . you know . . .” Number Two said as she nodded to the head of the table.

“Ma’am?” asked the four star.

Number Two widened her eyes and again tilted her head towards the boss. “You know, just to make sure we’re all properly introduced. Ya’ know?”

“I’ll go, I’ll go,” said the Press Secretary, raising her hand and waving it around like she was hailing a taxi in Manhattan. “As a historical figure, being the first black person and the first lesbian to—”

“Who’s a black lesbian?” asked the boss.

“I am. That’s why you hired me.”

“Is that true, Camaro?” asked the boss, turning to Number Two.

“It’s Kamala, Sir. And, no, it’s not true. Well, it’s not your truth. Truth is evolving, of course. You have your truth. I have my truth. Truth can be true or not true. Just because something is factual doesn’t mean it’s true.”

“I’m Pete. He/him, but I am gay,” said Transportation rather eagerly.

“Him, too, Carmela?”

“Kamala, Sir. We are a diverse bunch here. Remember after the election, we decided we were only going to hire people that weren’t white, cisgender males?”

“Malarky! I’m a white, cisgender male. Aren’t I Honey?” the boss asked as he turned towards his wife.

“Please address me as ‘Doctor.’ I earned it,” the First Lady answered. “And, yes, you are a white, cisgender male, my dear.”

“Thought so,” he said with a big grin. “Still got it huh?” He elbowed the Director of National Intelligence and winked. “Yep, I still got it.” DNI forced a smile and blushed.

“Of course you do, snookums, did you hear what that big, rotund man said about us at the debate?”

“I thought you all told me we weren’t going to have any debates this time,” Number One said as he waved his arms to the assembled.

“The other guys’ debate, Joey. You know, the . . .” Doctor looked around the room, leaned over the tabletop and whispered, “the Republicans.”

“Well, what did that . . .” the boss looked around the room, hunched over the table top, and whispered, “that Republican say about us, Jilly Bean?”

“Well, he said you were sleeping with a member of the teacher’s union.”

“Great coddly kooks! That’s absurd. I swear to you I did no such thing. It’s blatant character assassta . . . assnassa . . . attestata . . . assachastion—”

“Assassination,” eleven voices said as one.

“Duck!” yelled the boss as he fell to floor and hid under the desk. “Secret Service, get over here!”

“If only . . .”

“That’s enough of that, Chamomile,” warned the First Lady as she bent down to retrieve her husband.

“It’s Madam Pres–, I mean Kamala, Ma’am. She/her.”

The First Lady poked her head over the tabletop and squinted her eyes menacingly at she/her who would replace he/him in case something terribly awful happened. Doctor stretched out her hand to the commander in chief, whose eyes were darting right and left in search of the dreaded assassins.

“It’s okay, no one’s gonna’ hurt you. You can come on up now,” she said, smiling tenderly. 

Doctor Jill, it turns out, had been doing quite a bit of late night reading lately concerning Edith Wilson, the former First Lady during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency. She found it fascinating how Edith essentially ran the oval office after her husband had a stroke, and the good Doctor wasn’t about to let some starry-eyed opportunist try and take over what was rightfully hers, especially after what she had been through the past two and a half years, what with all the coddling, spoon feeding, and pointing in the right direction. It had been exhausting for a woman of such letters.

“Ladies and gentlemen, if we could please get back to the matters at hand,” pleaded the UN Ambassador.

“Again with the gender assumptions,” muttered the Czar.

“Not to mention outdated repressive stereotypes that further the patriarchy—”

“Enough!” It was a junior political advisor attending on behalf of his boss who couldn’t make it because he was arranging a fundraising dinner for millionaire Marxists. “There’s war in Europe. Inflation is out of control. Auto workers are on strike. Medical workers are on strike. Hollywood’s on strike. Thousands are pouring over the border each day. People are fleeing the cities because criminals are running rampant. And now the Middle East is at war.”

Brandon eased back into his chair with Doctor’s help. “Hollywood’s on strike?”

This conversation came to writer Tim Barto in a fever dream over the weekend. Back to work on Monday for Alaska Family Council.


  1. Funny parody! Brandon’s son who lost his life in uniform fighting the enemy didn’t get his posthumous Purple Heart yet. Or maybe the Medal of Honor…?…..Brandon’s crowning achievement. Of course, Brandon’s ex-daughter in law was getting schtuped by the high and mighty Hunter Boy for a few years afterwards. Left her a druggie too. This family is incredible. What role models we are treated to.

  2. Both of my sons are jealous.
    They keep saying “If only they were born a Biden” they would never have to do an honest days work in their life.

    • Seriously.
      You cannot even let what is obviously satire go without assuming it has some kind of delusion behind it.
      Tell me, do you make the same comment on all the late night talk shows? If not, you are the problem.

  3. Mr. Barto, men in black will surely visit your home shortly to ascertain, how you were able to thoroughly bug the “most unprecedentedly secure room ever in history”…….
    All joking aside, thanks for the laughs.

  4. Hilarious stuff, Tim. Well done.

    It does highlight however, the DC clown show and why our Allie’s don’t respect us, and our enemies don’t fear us.

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