Thank You for Calling the White House

Dateline: June 15, 2018

By Steve James

Thank you for calling the White House, working tirelessly to Make America Great Again.  If you know your party’s extension you may dial it at any time.

  • For the economy, the greatest it has ever been in the history of the world, press 1
  • For national security, the safest the country has ever been since the founding by Christopher Columbus, press 2
  • For the budget, which will be balanced as soon as we cut those useless programs like Medicare, and privatize Social Security, press 3
  • For immigration for white Europeans, press 4
  • For immigration from shithole countries, press 5
  • For health care, press GOOD LUCK
  • For how we will win the war on opioids, a very bad thing that is affecting lots of white people, press 6
  • For Office of White Supremacy, press 7
  • For kneeling during the national anthem, press SOB
  • For updates on the Mueller investigation, press HOAX
  • For the offices of the resident Russian oligarchs, press 8
  • For real estate investments and reservations at Trump hotels, press EMOLUMENT
  • For Fox News, press ALWAYS FAIR AND BALANCED
  • For all other news, press FAKE
  • For tweet of the hour, press 9
  • For the Grammar Department, press BE BEST
  • For creationism and the separation of church and state, press VP
  • For all other departments, press 0


The White House, home of the greatest president the world has ever seen, and Melania and the kids.  How may I direct your call?

I wish to speak with Donald Trump.

One moment please.


Mr. Trump’s office, a well-oiled machine run by a stable genius.

May I speak with the president?

He is not in at the moment.  He is out undoing all of the Obama administration’s accomplishments and insulting our closest allies.  How can I help you?

I’d like to get my old job back.

Where did you work?

There – at the White House.

Oh, another one.  Well, I’ll connect you to HR.




Yes, how may I help you?

It’s me, Bannon

Sloppy Steve?

Well, yeah. . .

I was wondering when you’d call.

You’re back?

Yep. Handling HR and providing employment to the best and brightest loyal non-swampy professionals we can find.

I, well, y’know, I was wondering . . .

If you could get your old job back?


I don’t think –

I’ll do anything.  I’ve learned my lesson.  Anything.

Have you been indicted?


Did you deny everything?  Remember: deny, deny, deny.

Only what was in Fire and Fury.

What about Devil’s Bargain?

Oh that.

The leader says you “lost your mind.”

He should talk.

There you go again.


Loyalty.  Above all else, LOYALTY. LOYALTY. LOYALTY!

It won’t happen again.  I deny everything.  See, I’m ready to beg, grovel, do whatever it takes.

Well, maybe.

He won’t remember what I said, or what he said, or what anybody said.


And you know he didn’t read any of that stuff.

Yeah.  Well, maybe.  [Pause] OK.

Oh thank you, thank you, thank you, Mooch. Thank you.

We can put you next to Mike Flynn.

He’s back?

Of course


Priebus, Manafort, Spicer, Tillerson, Cohn, McMaster, they’re all back.  We’re gearing up for 2020.


She never left.  She kept hanging around, so we gave her a desk.


Then there’s the big kahuna.

Who’s that?

I can’t say.  It’s still being negotiated.

Aw c’mon.  Gimme a hint.

It begins with the letter H.

Hope Hicks?

She’s already on board.  Dating some intern named Marty.

H? Hitler.

Already a consultant. You knew that.

Harvey Weinstein.

Small potatoes. He’s going to be co-director of the What Women Really Want Department.

Co-director.  Who’s the other one?

Anthony Weiner.

Good choice.  H . . . Gimme another hint

She’ll get her old job back.

Not Hillary.


Crooked Hilary’s going to be Secretary of State?!

No, her other job.


First Lady.

No!  What about Melania?

She’s going to spend more time with her family.


In Slovenia.

This is awesome.

And Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer.

What will they be doing?

Department of Normalization.

I want to be in on this.  I’ll do anything.

Alright.  Repeat after me.  I


Your name

Your name

Excuse me?

Ha ha.  Stephen K. Bannon

No, you must use the name that The Great Leader anointed you with.

[Sigh] I, Sloppy Steve

Pledge my undying loyalty

Pledge my undying loyalty

To The Great Leader

To The Great Leader

Who alone can save us,

Who alone can save us,

And Make America Great Again and Again and Again,

And Make America Great Again and Again and Again,

So help me God.

Er. I don’t necessarily believe

Say it

So help me God.

Okay.  Welcome aboard.

Reunion!  Wahoo!

You’ll need some new clothes, a shave, and a haircut.


And no talking to reporters or writers.


OK, come by tomorrow at 9.

Thank you, Mooch.  Yer a pal.

Don’t mention it.

Just one thing.  Remember when you were talking about me.  How did you know I could do that thing?

Which one? “Build your own brand off the f—ing strength of the president?”

No, you know, that thing that you said I do to myself when you said, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own —-,” How did you know I can do that?

Can’t everyone?  Say, why are you looking for a job?  I read that you have 48 million dollars.

Aw, that’s fake news.  You know how that goes.

Yeah.  I read that I’ve got 1.5 billion.

[They both laugh uproariously]

Say, how much has the boss got?

You know we don’t discuss The Great Leader’s money.

I know, I know, but c’mon.  Michelle Wolf says he’s broke.

Well. . .

Yes or no.  Is Donald Trump broke?

Ye – uh – what’s that noise?

That? Oh just people in the office. – Hey hold it down!  I’m on the phone!

Oh, you’ve got a new office?  Is this the number 404-827-1500?

Uh, no, I’m at a friend’s.

Wait.  I recognize this number.  You’re at CNN!

Yeah, well, y’know, I was being interviewed–

By whom?

Well, you know–

Wait a minute.  Is this call being recorded?

[Loud click]

No.  No.  I would never.  You know–

You son of a–

No, no

You’re a total scumbag.

No, Mooch.  Really.  It was Jared’s idea.  It was a a joke.  We were drinking champagne, celebrating Ivanka’s, you know, new China deal, and I said I was going to call, and, and, and . . .  Did you know she’s offering free shipping?  [Long pause]   Does this mean I don’t get the job?


* * *

Stephen James is a member of The Writers Collective.  He is the award winning author of American Stew: Hope in a Toxic Culture, is the president of Contemporary Heroism Initiative, Executive Director of the Humanist Society of Metropolitan New York, and is a member of the Ernest Becker Foundation and the New York Society for Ethical Culture.  He is a producer of communications media in the New York area.


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