Joker, Flamingo, Phone

Sometimes Robert detested his job as a Presidential Aide, but perhaps the Boss would be in a good mood today. He took a deep breath, and knocked on the door of the Oval Office.

A voice called, “Come in.”

Robert’s nervousness increased with every step he took across the carpeted room.

“I have an Executive Order for you to sign sir. I’m told it’s urgent.”

“Come in, come in.” The Boss took his feet off the desk and beckoned him forwards. “Get on with it.”

Robert placed the bulky document in front of him.

“Sign here please sir. Where the little pencilled crosses are.”

The Boss picked up his Montblanc pen and obliged. Perhaps he was is in a good mood today.

The aide turned a few more pages.

“And here. And again at the foot of the page, if you don’t mind sir.”

“What is this?” asked the President. “My hand’s getting tired.”

“It’s an Executive Order.”

“I know that, idiot. What’s the Executive Order for?”

The aide shuffled from one foot to the other.

“It’s about the flamingos, sir.”

“Flamingos? Flamingos? Why should I care about flamingos?”

“They’re important sir. To the Everglades evidently. Tourism and so on. And the Governor requested… I believe he contributed a lot to your campaign fund sir.”

“Florida? They voted for me, didn’t they? What about the flamingos?”

“They’re not pink any more sir.”

The President glared at him.

“Prawns, sir. They’re supposed to eat prawns. Last week’s cyclone wiped out the prawns in the Gulf of Mexico, and now the flamingos are turning white. This EO confiscates all available shipments of prawns and diverts them to Florida.”

“This is great! More than great! Florida will have pink flamingos again. Better than pink. Maybe red. What do you think? Red flamingos? Reddest flamingos in the world!”

The President rummaged around on his desk, clearly looking for something.

“May I be of assistance sir?”

“My phone. Lost my phone. Must tweet about this.”

Robert spotted the phone behind some dirty dishes. “Here you are sir.”

The President accepted it, and began to type. “How does this sound? ‘Today helped turn all Florida flamingos red again. Fake news sites will not report!’ What do you think?”

“Sounds good sir. To the point.”

The President beamed.

“Take a seat son. I’ve got forty million followers. They love me. People love me. We’ll get replies soon. Lots of replies. You’ll see.”

Robert perched on the edge of a sofa that, in other circumstances, would probably have been quite comfortable.

The President stared at his phone.

It beeped.

“Here come the replies son! They love me, you know. I get a hundred thousand replies to my tweets. More. Two hundred thousand.”

The president tapped his phone.

“I’ll read you a few replies. Here we go.”

Robert watched the President’s lips move. He saw the familiar orange face turn a deep shade of beetroot. He ducked as the phone was hurled across the room.

“Out!” shouted the President. “Get out!”

Robert took the opportunity to run. At least the boss hadn’t told him he was fired.

He glanced down at the phone as he ran past it on his way to the door. A single reply was frozen in its screen.

“Joker! Flamingos live in Africa!!!”

(c) Jane New 2017

***

Thanks to Tanya Chris (@tanyachrs) for posting the Twitter challenge – joker, flamingo, phone – genre satire.

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