Ring! Ring! Ring!
"Hello, Vladimir Putin speaking. How may I help you?"
"Vladimir, this is Barack Obama."
"Barry! How the heck are you? I haven't heard from you in ages. How's the golf game? Still shanking those sand wedges?"
"My golf game is just fine, thank you, but that is not the reason I called. And by the way, I have asked you not to refer to me as ‘Barry.' I will remind you I am president of the United States."
"My bad, Barry. I'll try to remember that. What's on your mind, fella?"
"It's those emails from the Democratic National Committee that got leaked. I've got it on good authority that you are responsible and as a result, Democrats have come across looking like a bunch of mean, underhanded political hacks. Furthermore, it has upset the New York Times who thinks our sweat doesn't stink. Not only that, but ..."
"Whoa. Hold on, Barry. I'm not sure I follow you. Are you accusing me of having some of my special hand-picked covert operatives hack the servers at the Democratic National Committee, which I am told was a piece of cake - assuming I knew what you are talking about. Besides, I have some problems of my own. I have been up to my eyeballs with the International Olympic Committee accusing our athletes of doping. OK, so a couple of female sprinters do have mustaches, but that doesn't prove anything. People just like to pick on us because our borscht is better than everybody else's."
"Thanks to you, it is all over the papers that the DNC was trying to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders. It is very embarrassing to our image as progressives. One email from DNC Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall read: ‘It might make no difference, but for KY and WVA' - that's Kentucky and West Virginia, Vladimir - ‘Can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.'"
"C'mon, Barry. So Bernie doesn't believe in God. That's because he thinks he is God. Big deal. By the way, what is a ‘Southern Baptist peep'?"
"I don't know and I don't care. I am president of the United States. I have people on staff to know that stuff."
"Does that include the staffer who complained that you wouldn't travel 20 minutes to help the party get $350,000 in donations? She said, ‘He really won't give up 20 minutes for $350K? THAT'S stupid.'"
"It just so happens I was playing golf that day. I have priorities, too."
"And somebody - I'm not saying who - told me that DNC Finance Chair Zachary Allen wrote National Finance Chairman Jordan Kaplan and said, ‘Are we back to the point I can say I love you?' Kaplan responded, ‘I love you, too. No homo. Phew.' What was that all about?"
"That was a typo. Kaplan meant to say, ‘no home brew,' in case Allen was planning to come over to the house for Kaplan's famous homemade beer. He didn't want to disappoint his pal. Heck, these guys love each other."
"Barry, I'm having a bit of a problem following that logic. But, that's OK. I'm still trying to figure out how my female sprinters grew mustaches."
"Look, Vladimir, all I want to know is did Donald have anything to do with this?"
"Donald? Donald who? I know a lot of Donalds. Donald O'Conner. Great actor. Terrific dancer. I really miss him. And Donald Duck. I love that rascal. His performance in ‘Trombone Troubles.' was a classic. And then there was ... "
"C'mon, Vladimir. You know who I am talking about. Donald Trump. Did he put you up hacking the DNC? You might as well confess because we are going to blame the two of you, anyway."
"Barry, I've just been funning with you. You know Donald and I would never allow some special hand-picked Russian covert operatives to hack the Democratic National Committee's servers. The White House, yes. But not the DNC."
"Well, OK. That makes me feel better. Thanks for your time, Vladimir. I knew I could count on you."
"Think nothing of it, Barry. Have a great day and please give my best to the Southern Baptist peeps, wherever they are."
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at email@example.com; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.