April/May 2003 (v5 i6)
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Letter from a Nut: a date with Lynne Cheney
by Rob Curran, Resident Irishman

My editor rudely interrupted Downtime the other night. I was in my kimono, slinging a Singapore and boning up on American Idol. The boss has never been good with answering machines, so I broke my creed and picked up.

"Curran, you've got a political dignitary Friday," he said. "No funny business. Nice restaurant. 1000 words. Got it?"

"Don't tell me, Arnie's on the campaign trail again," I quipped.

"Don't you read the papers? It's the second lady."

"The second lady?"

"Lynne Cheney."

"La Cheney? Oh, Ed, you've brightened my little world."

As all regular readers will know, I have long considered the Vice Presidentess the sexiest woman on the international circuit. We met during the bouffant era at a hairdressers in Houston. I asked for a Barbara Bush. She asked for the head of Jesse Jackson and a platter of caviar. We were instant rinse buddies. I called my Siamese after her husband. Poor Dick Cheney, he was run over by a bicycle race. In empathy, she took me shopping.

Nobody, but nobody can shop like Lynne Cheney.

So Thursday I picked up America's Duchess at Austin-Bergstrom and whipped her via Neiman Marcus straight to Texadelphia, an adooorable steakhouse on Guadalupe. The place was jammed with the young and the homeless. But Lynne outshone them all in her gold Versace gown split to the hip on both sides and topped with conical iron bodice-work.

"Isn't that the armor Madonna wore in the 'Vogue' video?" I asked.

"You know the Vice President and his fantasies."

"Does he really make you teabag him and his literary friends?"

I had the philly cheesesteak and she had the sloppy joe. Mm. Second Executive is the only person I know who can fit an entire sloppy joe into her mouth without so much as a lick around her mouth or between her fingers. That, my friends, is class.

Like her husband, the Countess of Casper is a political animal so I had to ask the difficult questions.

"What do you think of Prince Harry?" I ventured.

Lynne's eyes bulged, and the tassles on her iron brassiere flapped frantically. I had never known her to be so fond of a royal. Was it his sandy hair, I wondered to myself, or perhaps his monkeyish grin?

All the color left Lynne's face as she tossed her perm back and drummed her Dr. Pepper bottle on the tabletop. Only then did I spot the sloppy joe-shaped blockage in her throat.

Acting on Tai Chi instincts, I threw Lynne to the ground and jumped on her back. The sloppy joe squirted out of her mouth like a glob of tomato ketchup, spraying the wall of Texadelphia.

The iron bodice was a crumpled wreck. But Lynne was alive and indomitable.

"Happens to Dick all the time. Now what's for dessert," she said. "I'm fucking starving."
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