Now, one day the Goddess of Wise who looked over the doings of Capitol Hill was sorely depressed about it all, detecting precious little esteem for her at work. After some rumination on affairs of state, she called upon the Goddess of Love. “I want you to take care of Tom Delay, one way or another,” she said to Aphrodite.
The Goddess of Love went to visit Mr. Delay who was in the thrall of difficult times. Due to overbearing righteousness and an obsessive interest in the Whoring World’s Depraved Carnality–not to mention numerous accusations of ethics violations–Tom stood at the brink of crisis where the exterminator follows the stray roach into the sticky hotel where pursued and pursuer become one by definition of entrapment. Or, more prettily, obsession follows the flitting scarf around the corner into passionate personal embrace with an abandoned veil. Delay was feelingly mightily indignant at the very idea of of ethics violations, fiercely pressed, and was especially disturbed that his visit to lovely, tropical Saipan was under scrutiny, when all he’d wanted to do was help his friend Abramoff stop legislation cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops in the conveniently distant but ardently available American Territory. “Tom Terrific,” Aphrodite whispered, “have no fear, you’ll be no simpering, whimpering Jimmy Swaggart jacking-off in a seedy Mississippi motel room with a $20 a night prostitute. You are Texas, you are, as you have said, the Federal Government, and despite your five foot six, all right, maybe seven inches in heels, and your previous profession in pest control, you are no doubt Tom Terrific whom I love. Saipan may be good enough for them but not for you. You’d no desire to aid and abet sweat and sex shops; you are one of the good guys, advocate of the Culture of Love for Life and thus my Love Warrior. Besides which, I’m jealous that the church and capitalism have captured your black heart for as long as they have. If you willst serve them you must send a little of the goods my way, and pay more than a perfuctory visit yourself occassionally.”
Whither comes first the chicken or the egg is not to be answered here, but Hot Tub Delay (as he was known before being Born Again) was suddenly, disconcertingly vulnerable to Aphrodite’s advances, whereas he had previously ignored her in favor of inebriating martini spirits then spiritual reformation. “Ha,” he thought, “I dared redistrict Texas, and they think they will accuse me of ethics violations? Then, I’ll show them with a few moral indiscretions they’ll never know to parade before congress. They can read my passport and tax books but not my mind, no sir.”
He was watching “Seven Year Itch” when Love summoned him and so he called her Marilyn.
Aphrodite didn’t care what she was called as long as it was often and with appropriate vigor. Their private meetings were so successful in distracting from Tom’s anxieties that soon they were communing also while he was at his work, which didn’t interfere with his congressional performance on the job as during those hours he was pleased simply to appease Aphrodite, so delightful was her voice continually speaking his name. Aphrodite, admittedly going out of her way to keep Delay eager, involved and inspired, if his imagination was initially lacking, his vengeful and obsessed attention span was not, and he was soon educated in keeping her happily at hand right under the noses of his heinous, self-righteous, sinful colleagues. Which pleased him no end.
Tom was in love.
Tom took Aphrodite’s dedication to her art as a personal interest in him and began to divulge to her his thoughts and concerns, which was the reason why Wisdom had sent Aphrodite to Tom in the first place.
Late one night, alone with Marilyn-Aphrodite in a sweet apartment he’d acquired for their use, so that he may meditate upon her at will, Tom said, “You’re not at all like my wife. You understand I’m a man of deep and complex passions. My wife sees me as a meal ticket. That’s the real story of my wife and daughter and the $500,000 for campaign management.”
“My poor lambkins,” said Marilyn-Aphrodite.
“But I’m much more than a man with money and deep-pocketed lobbyists and special interest groups,” said Tom. “I’m a man with a mission. When I was elected to office, I knew I was putting myself on the path of self-sacrifice, a possible crucifixion, as happens with all righteous leaders, but I’ve been resolved that my god shall carry me through my travails and I will emerge victorious. It seems I have now entered it, my time of darkness, my night on Skull Hill. But they’ll learn, you can’t keep Tom Delay down.”
“Hell, no,” said Marilyn-Aphrodite, “can’t keep Tom Delay down.”
“I’m a man of virtures. On my watch we are founding a new Culture of Life, one that will return prayer to the schools, and sacred recognition to the unique institution of heterosexual conjugal unions. We will rout the gays and lesbians from their clubs, the abortionists and executioners of the helpless from their sterile dens of death, we will put them and the reign of the terrorist judges on the run, but they”ll have nowhere to hide. We’re on our way. Soon it will be the 50’s again, when the icicles on the Christmas tree had meaning and every kid had the joy of holding their very own pink or blue chick on Easter morning. Procreative sex will make our streets safe again.”
“Tom,” Marilyn-Aphrodite said, “how many abortions do you think I had?”
“We don’t need to talk about that,” replied Tom, “it’s behind you now.”
“No, seriously,” Marilyn-Aphrodite said, rolling off Tom. “You’ve got one hell of a cake you’ve been digging into here with liberal freedom. Have you ever once envisioned me as adorably pregnant?”
“Ah, Marilyn, it’s different with you,” said Tom. “I like my beef, but you’re not steak and potatoes or a cake and candles kind of gal, you’re cheesecake and cherries and hoppin’-poppin’ firecrackers.”
“You don’t get the disconnect here? You want what you want but you’re not willing to deal with it in real life? What do you think I am?”
“Honey that’s all behind you. You’re my sex goddess.”
“Oh, now I belong to you?”
Tom, momentarily rejected, became indignant. “I don’t need another wife, I’ve already got one. You’re a sex goddess. Everyone knows that. Don’t play innocent with me. You sold yourself as a sex goddess. No self-respecting teen-age girl takes her clothes off for the camera if she’s not ready to, y’know, carry through.”
“You hypocrite, you have the gall to criticize me?” Marilyn-Aphrodite was up now and tugging over her bleached blond head her famous white halter dress that had driven Joe Dimaggio to raging distraction, her communing with Zephyros on the sidwalk grate with a worldly cast of thousands ogling.
“Takes one to know one.
Marilyn-Aphrodite slipped on her heeled sandals.
“No, you can’t leave. You’re right, I must have you all to myself,” Tom said, increasingly jealous though pleased she’d chosen him of all men to honor with her attentions. ” I may enjoy the garden of immoral delights, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to legislate them so everyone can enjoy. Besides, if I’m a hypocrite then everyone in congress is a hypocrite. God isn’t what keeps the infernal machine oiled and pumping. That’s why it needs to be blessed. It needs the power of prayer more than you know. Now, get back over here.”
“Don’t order me around. I withdraw from you my compatriot Beneficence’s full protection until you acknowledge the error of your ways. However, the nasty devils you feed with your vengeful moralizing ways will no doubt encourage you to greater hypocrtical extremes, and you’ll never see me again.”
“If I can’t have you, no one will,” Tom shouted as Marilyn-Aphrodite flounced out the room via a conspiculous blue sky ascension into a company of grateful angels.
“See what I mean?” she called back.
Compatriot Beneficence’s full protection thus withdrawn, the next day the president’s mouthpiece said of Delay, when questioned as to if Texas Tom was a friend of G.W.B., “There are friends and there are friends.”
A threatened abdication of affection on this significant a scale not only created a monstrous insecurity in Tom Delay but reminded him of Marilyn’s warning.
Thus his apology.
Which Marilyn-Aphrodite rebuffed as insincere.
“So what’s his problem?” the Goddess of Wise consulted Aphrodite.
“Well, for one thing, he needs to get over the fact he was a lousy exterminator,” Aphrodite replied. “He doesn’t even mention it in his House biography.”
That evening Tom prayed a just deserts destitute humiliation of pregnancy on every fertile woman in the United States, for their role in tempting good men such as himself away from the strict and narrow.