From my lips to your ear

Tony Fratto
Deputy White House Press Secretary

"One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do." - Me, Deputy White House Press Secretary Tony Fratto, speaking to nobody but my own reflection, which peers up at me from my coffee as I sit all alone in the press room on Christmas Day.

Not that I'm depressed, no, not me, not Tony Fratto, the President's Deputy White House Press Secretary, or as I like to call myself, The Tough Guy's Tough Guy. I am made of sterner stuff. I just think about our valiant soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq and how tough the holidays must be for them.

Still, I guess at least those guys have someone to talk to. Me, the only person I've talked to today was some low level FOX staffer around eight-thirty this morning. "What's the president having for lunch today?" she wanted to know.

"Roast turkey," I told her. "What the fuck do you think the President is having for Christmas? An All-American feast, that's what. You don't think he pardoned all the turkeys do you, moron? He's having cornbread dressing, and he's having green beans, and he's having sweet potato casserole, okay? He's being served fruit salad, but he's not going to eat it because it's got walnuts in it. Then, if you really want to know, he's having pumpkin and pecan pies and red velvet cake. Okay? And just in case you're wondering, Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto is having egg salad on a bagel and a bag of Wavy Lays."

Maybe I came off cranky, but what the hell, I never have had  to work on Christmas. This year, though, the damn Senate decides to not go on recess, so I've got to stay and man the press room while Jim Webb drives over to the Capitol every couple of days and bangs his gavel. I'd like to bang that gavel upside his head, that's what I'd like to do.

I guess the only good thing about today is having the time to work on my Photoshop skills again. I'm getting pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. I figure, who knows, maybe after this job I can get work at a media production firm or something while I negotiate with FOX.

Who's image will it be today? That's a no-brainer. It's none other than my boss lady, who is spending the holiday somewhere, I don't know, someplace nice, probably a spa somewhere that they feed you Cosmopolitans and little cocktail weenies while they slowly and thoroughly massage your nubile body, someplace a lot like that. Wherever she is, it's not in the press room like me, and that's a fact.

Look, I'll be the first one to admit that Dana is a total babe, so just what could I do to really get her goat? That's when I decide to try a little bit of the old reverse psychology. I'll make her look so good that she'll be embarrassed by the fact that she can't do justice to her photograph.

First off, we soften up the face, you know, lighten up the complexion, take out the wrinkles, bleach out the hair until her golden locks are a straw blonde, which really just does if for me, if you know what I mean. Straighten and bleach the teeth (and I really should have done that first, since I lost control of my mouse and pretty much took out her entire mouth without saving the damn file). Just a little more accent on the makeup, and let's change the black sweater for something more feminine. And those eyes. I'll just bet Dana would kill to have these green eyes I gave her over her ordinary hazel ones. One final touch - the halo. Ha!, she'll never look this good in real life.

Okay, I've got to run. The gal from FOX is calling back to find out what the president is having for dinner, and she won't take 'turkey sandwiches' for an answer. And then it's back to my Photoshop until six and then I'm out of here. Maybe even a quarter till six;  I deserve a little Christmas. After all, I'm Tony Fratto, Deputy White House Press Secretary, not a man to be trifled with.


2007, Mark Hoback