Sixteen people were seated around the conference table. Fauntleroy walked in and stood at the head of the table.
“Good morning,” Fauntleroy began.
Eight left arms reached up and a hand covered the microphone in front of their clients. Eight lawyers' heads moved close to their client's ear and whispered the correct answer. Seven staff members answered ‘good morning’ one abstained.
Fauntleroy sat down, glancing across the table. “I see a lot of new lawyers here this morning, are they issuing them at the door for all new hires?” He laughed at his own joke.
He continued, “I am hearing a lot of good things about our new candidate, a fellow named Jerry Mander. What can you tell me about him?”
Eight left hands rose at once and eight heads leaned toward their clients.
The new head of ‘Dastardly Crimes Against Humanity’ began to speak. His lawyer spoke up, “I object.”
“I can’t speak to you about gerrymandering, but I can say,” he paused and looked at some papers before him. “Detained children numbers look good. Up forty percent from this time last month.”
Fauntleroy smiled, “That’s more like it.” He rubbed his hands together, thinking of the commissions he made as kickbacks from the corporations providing tent cities in the desert. I hear there is a new restaurant in the city. Everyone is talking about it, The Calf and Gnaw. Anybody had time to investigate the place? It is all I have been hearing about.”
The head of Base Baiting and Plunder started to speak. His lawyer touched his shoulder and when he had his attention shook his head no.
The acting head of National Insecurity cleared his throat, “The Calf and Gnaw, I heard of that, instead of a tip, you get to hold the waitress down on the floor and cover her mouth when she tries to scream.”
The eight lawyers and Fauntleroy laughed. “Let’s get down to business. The tariffs are kicking in. Our plan has increased the price of many items everyday Americans need. Our plan to bring in inventory and then wait for prices to increase, will give all of us a thirty percent return on investment in the first year. After that, who cares?”
The head of The Department of Education laughed out loud and slapped the table, “The Calf and Gnaw, I just got it.”
Fauntleroy glared at her. He looked down at his list of things to cover. He looked over at the youngest man in the room, the head of Micro Bungling, nervously tapped on the table. “The next time you send me to the U.N. I want a piece of masking tape taped to my sleeve that says ‘U.N.’ They laughed at me. ‘ME’ the most powerful man in the known universe. I had to ad lib a response.” He blinked several times trying to remember what meeting he was attending. “Now, Mr. Micro Bungler, get me some Cheesy-Crunch and a diet soda.”
“Now, that Micro Bungler is gone, did you guys see the clips of my rally? I was good, ‘I don’t remember the neighborhood, I don’t remember, if this happened upstairs or downstairs, I don’t remember, and that was just the effort to get off the bus.’”
Eight hands went up and covered the microphones. The lawyers shook their heads no and whispered ‘no smiling.’
Micro Bungler returned with the Chessy-Crunch and diet drink and set the tray down next to Fauntleroy. “Now, it is said I did not vet the latest candidate, but once I heard that was necessary, I sent over a 2018 Vet and charged it to I.C.E. transportation expense. I suppose that you all heard about the 14,000 words in The NYT. Imagine using all the words in just one article. What are they going to do tomorrow. Well, the news is out, I got more than one million dollars as start up money to become the richest and most handsome man in the known universe.” He looked around.
“The article goes on and on. I know no one can read 14,000 words, no one. So, we are safe. My brand as the most big success is still bigger than the reputation for that very wet hurricane that hit these here former United States. I suppose, I have not heard the last of that one. Imagine the tax people getting peeved for some simple accounting errors.”
Fauntleroy looked around the table. “You! Tech guy, I sent out a message to every cell phone in the Consumer States of Fauntleroy. That is going to replace my Twitter account for sure. I heard there was one guy in Southern California that still does not carry a cell phone. Micro Bungler, send someone to knock on his door and deliver the message.”
Fauntleroy paused, “One last thing before we close,” he stuffed a hand full of Cheesy-Crunch into his mouth. “The blue-dumbs, keep talking about playing chess, what we just taught them is that we are playing panzer-blitz football.” He stood, signaling the end of the meeting. “If we lose in November I want a resolution prepared in advance, for the dissolution of the Senate.”
Eight layer’s arms reached forward and covered the microphone in front of their clients.