A tall dark man holding a cell phone approaches the President of the United States. The man’s mother is on the line, he says, and it would mean so much to him if the President would just take a moment to say hello. You see, so far he’s provided her no grandchildren. At least, by this act, she’d know that he hasn’t amounted to a total failure.

Normally, the Secret Service doesn’t allow the President to do this. In the Middle East, exploding cell phones are apparently a favored means of political expression. (“Hello, Mom?” Kabooom!)

But this is not a tent in the desert, it is a tent in the Hamptons, and this is a President who tries his level best to be accommodating.

The tall dark man’s mother’s name sounds something like Santa. She is Italian.

“Hello, Santa?” says the President. A conversation ensues.

Afterward, I see the tall dark man. So? Was she over the moon? Was she impressed? What did she say?

“She said, ‘It didn’t sound like the President.'”


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