It’s a balmy winter in Montgomery. Gov. Robert Bentley sits at his large, shiny mahogany desk. Lost in thought, he stares at an empty spot on the desk, thinks of her and sighs.
A smile spreads across his face as he sees a coffee mug she gave him when she snuck over late at night to see him before Christmas a couple of weeks earlier. “Luv Guv” is printed on the side of it. “Dang right I’m the Luv Guv!” he whispers. The memory gives him the strength to do what he must for her … for his Bekah.
The old-fashioned 1960’s style intercom on his desk makes a slight popping sound. It came with him to the governor’s office after decades of faithful service in his doctor’s office. Bekah always joked about it looking like something out of “Leave it to Beaver.” He giggles at the name of the show, trying to distract himself from what was coming next.
“Governor, Luther Strange is here to see you,” a voice crackles from the box. Though he had been able to hold it together after years of examining the hairiest of moles on the worst bodies Alabama could produce, the name of his political nemesis nearly causes Bentley to hurl the Grape-Nuts he had for breakfast.
“Send him in, Wanda,” he weakly replies.
On the other side of the door, Luther Strange smooths the front of one 64-inch pant leg and straightens his 75-inch tie. He grabs the crystal doorknob, making it look like a diamond earring in his massive hand. He starts to turn the knob, but hesitates for a moment as thoughts travel from one side of his humongous brain to the other. It takes time.
“I can’t believe I have to go and beg this horny old geezer for this job … for the job everybody knows should be mine,” he whines to himself, then calms a bit. “You can do this, you’re Big Luther! This pimple popper is all that stands between you and being the tallest U.S. Senator in history!”
For a fleeting second he remembers the nightmare he’s been having all week where he’s in law school and his professor is asking questions about a hypothetical situation in which a state’s attorney general wants to ask a governor his agency is investigating for a sweetheart appointment to a U.S. Senate seat.
“Big Luther, there are several ethical dilemmas presented here. Name them and explain why it’s totally unacceptable for an attorney general to act this way!” the professor demands.
But in his dream Big Luther doesn’t know why it’s wrong. He’d been doodling pictures on a legal pad of himself as President Strange and not paying attention when all of that pesky ethics stuff was covered. Suddenly he’s sitting in his gigantic boxer shorts in ethics class and doesn’t know any of the answers. He tries to make up some solid BS, but all that will come out of his mouth are the words “Senator Strange.”
He pushes the dream out of his mind, turns the knob, ducks his head and enters the room. “Governor,” he says, “I’m here about the job.”
“God, he’s so smug,” Bentley thinks as Luther walks over and sits in a chair in front of the desk. He exchanges pleasantries with the AG and thinks how nice it would be if Bekah was here and they could take a nap inside Big Luther’s giant suit coat. He realizes that’s kind of a ridiculous thought and tries to focus while Big Luther starts listing all of his lifetime accomplishments.
“Surely he’s got to realize what this is,” Bentley thinks, “Doesn’t this man recognize slimy, self-serving politics when he sees them? Is this his first day in Alabama?”
“That’s all well and good, Luther, but I’ll check your LinkedIn page later if I need any of that,” Bentley says. He leans forward, almost whispering. “I’m not making you senator because I like you. Get that straight. Now let’s talk turkey.”
Big Luther sits across from the governor. Bentley’s saying something about talking turkeys, but the words haven’t completely registered yet. That’s stupid, turkeys can’t talk. Luther starts wondering how many places in the office they “did it.” Was he sitting in a chair that had been defiled? That spot on the desk looks very suspicious. He can’t help picturing Bentley naked. “Do I have hand sanitizer in the car?” he thinks.
The old man is trying to talk about the “investigation” without mentioning the word. Luther chuckles to himself. “What investigation? Aren’t you paying attention, Gov. Horn Dog? The second I knew this job was a possibility I started changing that narrative,” Luther thinks. “You don’t believe I’d really want to take the heat from having this meeting while everyone knows my office is investigating you? Hellooooo! Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton already showed where that’ll get you.”
“Governor, let me assure you that whatever you may have thought was going on in regards to any so-called ‘investigation’ by my office into your actions while trying to find true happiness in life is simply a misunderstanding,” Big Luther says to Bentley, making air quotes with his fingers. “As I’ve said, I think the members of the Legislature simply misunderstood when I asked them to stop any impeachment activities against you while my boys completed their own investigation. That didn’t mean there WAS or IS an investigation. Now, if that misunderstanding keeps them from getting back onto this whole unfortunate impeachment issue, I say what does it matter? Catch my drift?”
“Boy, this guy really knows how to kiss ass,” Bentley thinks. “Bekah was right! He’ll do anything to be appointed senator, even if it does make him look like a total sleazeball. Wonder if I can get him to tap dance or sing ‘I’m a Little Teapot?’ I bet he would.”
Bentley smiles and says, “Big Luther, if these office walls could talk, they’d tell you I’ve had some exciting times in here before — especially right in the chair you’re sitting in — but this is the first time I may actually have to call my doctor in four hours! Hahahaha! Get it?”
A silent shudder travels down most of Big Luther’s body before running out of steam mid-thigh. “May have to burn this suit,” he thinks as the Luv Guv cackles. “But overall this is going way better than I thought. Gosh, I really, really, really want this — even more than when they picked me to play the beanstalk in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ in third grade. Sure this clown deserves to go to jail, but let someone else worry about that. Hello, D.C.! Can’t wait for Richard Shelby to teach me how to become crazy rich on a public servant’s salary? Don’t jinx it, Big Luther!”
Both men stand, Bentley reaches up to shake Big Luther’s hand.
“I hope I’ve made a good impression, Governor,” Luther says.
“Oh you have, Senator Strange … oops, I mean Attorney General Strange,” Bentley says smiling.