The lights burn. The makeup helps hide it, but he’s sweating. But maybe that’s not the lights. He is, after all, sitting in the most uncomfortable seat in America right now. Not that you should feel sympathetic; it is, after all, entirely his own doing.
“Congressman.” Larry King does not seem impressed. Then again, he has no reason to. He’s interviewed stars. He’s interviewed presidents. What’s a congressman, to that? Let alone one that’s… tainted.
But then, that’s exactly why he’s interviewing him. Because he’s shamed himself. Crashed and burned, spectacularly, but managed to keep his mouth shut for weeks as the storm raged around him. And now he’s ready to bare his soul, live.
Such a juicy morsel. Who could resist?
“You’ve thrown away a wildly successful decades-long career. You’ve thrown away a marriage that’s lasted even longer. Thrown it away for, as you so elegantly put in those now infamous emails, ‘a piece of tail’. Why? What could possibly drive a man to do such a thing?”
He looks Larry in the eye, as if he’s thinking. For a few precious moments, he does nothing but breathe. And then he starts to smile, and it’s a twisted, victorious smile.
“You know, Larry, I’ve always been a very driven man. Always had a plan. Always. And everything you mentioned? My marriage, my career, my affair, even? It’s all been leading up to this. This single, beautiful moment. I know you’re hoping that I’ll break down and say it was a stupid mistake. That I’ll cry on air and beg my wife’s forgiveness. That I’ll reveal my frail humanity for the edification and delectation of your audience. But this was not a mistake. Not even close.
Tell me something, what was the word that screamed across all those headlines? What have all your journalistic colleagues been calling this scandal? What have they been repeating every single time they mentioned my name?”
King takes a moment to respond.”Tailgate.” he replies flatly. He’s rattled. He’s seen a lot, but nothing like this. He doesn’t know what’s going on. He doesn’t know what this is. This was not expected.
The congressman smiles that twisted smile.
“Do you really think it’s a coincidence I used that turn of phrase twenty-seven times in those emails to my aide? That I picked up a waitress from Tails ‘n Scales restaurant, when anyone who knows me will tell you how much I hate seafood? That I always took her to the Whale Tail Lodge, when it was all the way across the city? I knew exactly how the media would react. I knew exactly what they would call it… So you want to know why I did it?
Basically, Larry? I really love puns.”