I just finished meeting with Arizona Senator John McCain to discuss my planned stump speeches on his behalf this weekend, and the man gave me a serious case of the heebie jeebies. I hate to say it, but I think Macca may have finally snapped.
Some aides escorted me into what they referred to as “the isolation chamber” shortly after my arrival at McCain’s top-secret reelection compound. The Senator was sitting cross-legged on the ground with his back to the door, making strange whirring noises as he methodically rubbed his time-ravaged head.
Not wishing to embarrass him any further, I coughed loudly to announce my presence. He jumped up in a rather feeble-looking fighting stance, fixing me with a confused stare.
“Oz?” he said, slowly lowering his arms. “Is that really you?”
“Of course. Who else would it be?”
“But… no. It can’t be. You’re dead, man! I went to your funeral in ’81! Jesus! Am I losing my goddamn mind?!”
“I assure you I’m not dead. You must be thinking of my father.”
“Your father..?” he muttered, then flashed a death’s-head grin as recognition struck him. “Oh. Oh! Ozzy! You’re Ozzy, right?”
I grimaced and gave a curt nod. “Technically, yes. Though no one has called me ‘Ozzy’ since I was 13. ‘Oz’ will do nicely. Or, if you prefer, ‘Mr. Carver.'”
“Geez. Ozzy. After all these years…” he said, smiling dreamily. “How’ve you been? How’s your mom?”
“It’s ‘Oz,’ Senator. And my mother is… hmm. She’s alive.”
“That’s great to hear. Great. So, what brings you to Arizona? Don’t mean to sound rude, but I hope it’s not just to catch up. I really have my hands full these days with that J.D. Hayworth asshole breathing down my neck.”
“Well, no. I’m here to help with your reelection bid. Remember? You called yesterday.”
“It was either you or an uncanny impersonator.”
“But I… I thought I called your dad.”
“Senator. My father’s dead.”
“He is? When did that happen?”
“Back in ’81. You went to the funeral.”
“Aw, Jesus! That man was like a brother to me!” he screamed. He kicked the floor savagely and screamed again. “Motherfucker! I think I just broke my foot!”
At that moment, a squad of burly Secret Service agents rushed into the room with their weapons drawn. The following minutes were quite tense; I was wrestled to the ground and Macca was spirited away to parts unknown. Once everyone had settled down, I was instructed to return to my hotel until further notice — an order that I gladly accepted.
Honestly, I’m not sure that I’ll go back even if they do call. I feel as if I’ve already suffered enough abuse for one day, and it seems that McCain is going to need a lot more than support from professional talking heads like me if he hopes to retain his Senate seat. I guess I’ll play it by ear.