Dear Dry it in the Water,
I’m writing to you because I’m stuck in a situation, and I don’t know how to get out of it. I’m rather well-known, so forgive me if I’m being too vague. But I’m afraid that if I gave you all of the details then I’d suffer intense repercussions. Things are bad enough now. I don’t want to make them worse.
I’m old. More than two hundred years old, in fact. I got a bunch of work done almost seventy years ago, which gave me a new lease on life. I’m the same on the outside, but the outside is never the problem. (Except that time the British set me on fire, but I’ve let that go.)
It’s the inside. My insides are always subject to such hardships. I’ve been subject to the crudeness of LBJ, and the darkness of Nixon, and the aloofness of Reagan, and the stuffiness of the first Bush, and the cigars of Clinton. To say nothing of the other guys, none of whom were great to me. Except Ford. That guy was decent. They should have kept him around.
Anyway, my problem is with the new guy. I don’t want to be specific, but his name rhymes with Dump, which is what he’s turning me into.
You’ll probably realize that I’ve always been associated with a particular color, white. It’s classic and sophisticated. Subtle, but respectful. It says, “I’m important, but I don’t have to tell you that I’m important.”
For the past seven months I’ve been undergoing a change. It started when he came over before the ceremony. I heard him mumble to some guy, “Yes, all of the doorknobs.” I sort of ignored him, because I hear people say crazy things all the time, and I’m able to shut them out.
As soon as everyone left in their fancy cars a whole team came in and changed every single doorknob to a gold plated knob. Two guys spent four hours doing nothing but shining the knobs after they were installed.
It’s been downhill ever since. Gold cutlery, gold china, gold curtains everywhere, new gold-framed mirrors in every bathroom. He installed gold carpet throughout the residence. It’s atrocious.
And the smells!
Do you realize the amount of cologne in this place? Most people know that cologne isn’t a substitute for hygiene. Most people know that. Not all people.
The food is horrendous. The garden’s gone. Sure, it might still be somewhere out there on the grass, but they’re not growing anything. And if they are growing anything, it’s not making its way into the house. Stuffy Bush banned broccoli years ago, but he loved other veggies.
Not this guy. He loves Taco Bell, KFC, and the surf and turf dinner from Long John Silver’s. Every night around dinner I want to puke because I smell so bad, and then I remember that I don’t have a stomach. This stuff gets into my bones. I feel sorry for the next guy. They’re never going to get that stench out of the Lincoln bedroom.
But the worst thing I see—in fact, the worst thing I’ve ever seen—happens just about every night. At around two o’clock in the morning, he comes down from the residence.
His hair’s messed up. You should see it when it’s messed up. It looks that like ornamental grass that’s so popular in some neighborhoods now. It’s stringy, and long, you’ll have a bunch of it here, and then nothing over there, and then a bunch more over there. And from what I hear they cut it back every fall, and then just let it grow for another year until they cut it again.
He’s wearing a robe. It’s a gold cotton robe and it looks like it hasn’t been washed in two decades. It’s got his last name on the back, written in glitter. Most guys get something with the presidential seal on it. That’s a big deal. Not this guy. To him he’s the biggest deal.
He’s wearing slippers. Some things can never be unseen, and watching him meander around my halls, wearing a robe with no pants, black socks, and gold fuzzy slippers that look like they belonged to Charro in 1985 has scarred me in a way that no British soldiers could.
It is the absolute worst. And it’s only been seven months. I’ve got more than three years left of this. What am I going to do?
I make weird noises at night in the hopes that it’ll scare him off and he’ll resign just so he won’t have to stay here anymore, but it hasn’t worked. Instead it makes him wander the halls. Why do you think he tweets so much? Twitter is his cuddle blanket.
I’m lost. I don’t know what to do. I have no answers. Please help.
La Casa Blanca
Thank you for your letter. We’ve prepared a care package for you. Enclosed you’ll find Febreze, Pine-Sol, and a sleep mask. That should help you make it through.
I know this is a difficult time for you. You have our sympathy. There has to be a dungeon there, right? I mean Nixon. Clinton. There has to be a dungeon.
I’m not telling you what to do, but do the words “lock the door and throw away the key” mean anything to you?
Dry it in the Water
This was written as part of Blogapalooz-Hour, ChicagoNow's monthly writing exercise. Tonight we were challenged to choose any previous Blogapalooz-Hour topic, so I chose the first ever topic, from September 2013, "Give advice to a person, place, or thing."
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