One day Joe Biden’s mind left the building. It was days before the former vice president’s advisers noticed his mind had vanished from his Delaware basement. The dead giveaway was when he accidentally bumped into the basement wall and there was a hollow sound from inside his skull.
Interestingly, Biden without his mind could give speeches and make statements with much the same facility and originality he had always shown. The same foreign policy skills, the same pungent wit and brevity of thought. The lesson being that while a mind may be a terrible thing to waste, it’s not such a bad thing if it goes on a walkabout.
However, the advisers knew that eventually they would need to find Biden’s mind and return it to his head. You can’t have the new U.S. president taking the oath of office without a functioning brain. It is true that not every politician needs one. Nancy Pelosi hasn’t had one for years, and AOC never did. However a president is different.
Meanwhile, several advisers kept the former vice president company with brightly colored mobiles and water color projects. One remarked, “Everybody is excited about your choice for vice president!”
“Me too!” said Biden brightly. “Who did we pick?”
“Kamala Harris!” said the adviser. “She is a home run choice! Jamaican, Indian and a woman.”
“How does her hair smell?” asked the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“She checks a lot of intersectionality boxes,” said another adviser, but added wistfully. “It’s too bad she doesn’t have a false leg. It would have been even better if she just came out of the closet as a trans.”
“Damn right that’s important!” snapped Biden, and then his attention was distracted by a rustling in the rafters. “Squirrel!” he said, his eyes glassy and transfixed. His eyes cleared and he turned to his adviser. “After all that malarkey she raised during the primaries about me being racially insensitive, we need to establish right off the bat that I’m boss!”
“Oh, never fear sir! You’ll be completely in charge, and totally running things.” The aide added under his breath, “At least until the Twenty-Fifth Amendment kicks in.”
“I like running things,” said Biden. “I always have. When Barrack was president, it was really me in charge. He took my advice on everything. He spent his days with his feet on his desk. I was the guy everybody came to when they had a problem. Like choosing between two colors to paint the White House mess. That was a toughie, I’ll tell you, Pony Soldier.”
Noticing the former vice president doodling on fuchsia construction paper which was stuck to his other hand with Elmer’s glue, the aide asked him what he was doing.
“Come on, Man!” snapped Biden. “I’m coming up with campaign slogans. Somebody’s got to!”
“What have you got so far?”
“ ‘Make America about as good as anybody else again!’ ” he said with a wide grin. “ ‘Just OK is good enough.’ Here’s a good one: ‘If you vote for me, you ain’t white!’ ” Here’s another, “I pledge allegiance to the stuff.” He grinned his trademark Biden incandescent smile. And this is my best: “You could do worse.”
He spied the television in the next room where his rival, president Trump was being interviewed: “What do you think of George Washington?”
“I don’t know that much about him,” said Trump. “He didn’t attend my inauguration, so I haven’t paid much attention to him. Of course, he’s on the money, so that’s got to count for something!”
“That’s dumb,” muttered Biden. “Everyone knows who Washington was. He chopped down the cherry tree after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, stuck it in his hat, and took the name of the capital city for his own name! Oh and he threw a dollar bill across the Potomac while he was crossing the Delaware.”
Kamala Harris descended the stairs into the basement and Biden embraced her. He paused for a deep sniff of her hair and exclaimed, “I need someone working alongside me who is smart, tough and ready to lead! It’ll make for a great contrast!” He tried to end the hug, but the glue in his left hand was stuck to Senator Harris’s hair.
“Mister Vice President, you might want to rephrase,” said one of the advisers, but he spoke softly to Harris, “We know that you have all of those traits, Madame President!” and then grinned.
“Isn’t it a little premature to be calling me Madame President,” asked the senator archly.
Noticing that Biden was preoccupied with an internal debate over whether it was Tuesday or Saturday, the aide leaned in close. “Let’s just get through the election first. We can be fairly certain that our candidate on his way to the inauguration will probably trip and hit his head or eat something that REALLY disagrees with his digestion. Just be patient.”
At this point Biden’s mind returned from its walkabout, clambered down the stairs, stopped at the landing between two Secret Service agents and exclaimed, “Did I miss anything?”