The White House: A Short Story

You’d have thought bartender Mikey Hoyle hit the lottery when he asked the first drinker of the day the biggest question of his thus-far unsuccessful life.

You see what Scranton City Council did the other night?

Blinkers O’Malley looked up from reading the Times-Tribune obituaries to make sure he wasn’t in them.

Passed a resolution to burn the mayor at the stake as a witch?

No, smart ass, they voted anonymously to name the expressway after Joe Biden.

You mean unanimously.

When this is over I’ll bet every one of them wishes their names were secret, Mikey said.

They’ll never get all the words on the exit sign without misspelling at least one of them.

The President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Expressway is a mouthful all right.

The cops won’t write tickets because it’ll take too long. Blinkers said.

They changed Spruce Street to Biden Street, too, Mikey said.

At least that’s easier to say.

I know something easier to say than that.

Shoot, Blinkers said.

The White House.

You can’t call a street the White House, you goof.

No, but tell me it’s not the perfect name for our new strip club.

The White House on Biden Street? Jesus, that’s brilliant. The town hasn’t had a strip club in central city since they closed the Pub Charles.

That was only topless. Our Oval Office Dancers will be topless, bottomless and clueless.

The drunk college kid housing and them new young professional lofts are nearby.

We’ll run the club as a BYOB.

Bring your own boobs?

The two men laughed for a full minute before slowing down, coughing, wiping their eyes with the backs of their hands and getting back to business.

We’ll call lap dances flesh conferences, Blinkers said.

We’ll get Joe’s son Hunter to cut the ribbon on opening day, Mikey said.

Yeah, he cuts the ribbon and the girl’s clothes fall off.

Ladies and gentlemen, step right up to see bare naked democracy in action at the White House on Biden Street in the heart of the president’s birthplace, Mikey said.

Biden Street will be one of Scranton’s most prestigious addresses.

We can name drink specials after politicians.

Gimme a CC and Casey, Blinkers said.

I’ll have a Cartwright Colada, Mikey said.

Blinkers got so excited he spilled his glass of beer on his newspaper.

There gotta be an exotic dancer somewhere we can hire named Jill, he said.

Hey, hey, hey, knock it off, Mikey said.


Show some respect for the First Lady, OK? Those traditional Scranton values Joe’s always talking about mean something here. Never forget where you came from.

Sorry Mikey, I don’t know what I was thinking.

Mikey Hoyle stepped back, crossed pale, thin arms over his chest and put on the shit-eating grin that made him famous all over West Side.

I got a better idea, he said.

We get a Black dancer and call her Kamala.