"Phil & The Old Bush" joke
It’s 1984 and I am walking up Fifth Avenue in New York one summer afternoon when I am stopped by a police barricade at 51st Street. No one is allowed to cross over, and on both sides of the barricaded streets there are crowds of pedestrians.
“What’s going on?” I asked a bystander.
“The Vice President is coming by to give a speech,” I was told by the bystander, who pointed in the direction of a building opposite from us.
For those who don’t recall, the Vice President in 1984 was George H.W. Bush, who was elected President in 1988. We won’t talk about his offspring here.
While I was not a fan of the older Bush, the idea of actually seeing him in person was rather exciting. After all, it is not every day that you walk up the street and view the Vice President.
As I was waiting for the Bush motorcade to arrive, I heard a telephone ring. These were the days before cell phones, so a ringing telephone usually meant a street payphone was making the noise. Sure enough, I was standing next to a payphone. Since no one was taking the call, I picked up the receiver.
“Hey, is this the bakery?” said a gruff man’s voice from the receiver.
“No, this is a payphone,” I said. “You have the wrong number.”
Suddenly, there was a huge cheer from both sides of the street. Being I was ducked half-into the phone booth, I couldn’t see the inspiration of the cheering (Vice President Bush, whose motorcade came to a screeching halt before its destination). However, the noise clearly aroused the curiosity of the wrong number caller. “Hey, what’s that noise there?” he asked.
“The Vice President just pulled up on the street,” I replied.
“Bush?” the caller said. “Tell him to go suck my dick!” And then he promptly hung up in my ear.
As I ducked out of the phone booth, all I could see of the Vice President was his hand from the doorway of his destination. He waved a wacky-happy display of fingers and then disappeared into the building.
My disappointment in the moment was twofold: I never got to see the Vice President as a whole (just his hand), nor did I get to deliver the message that the caller asked me to share. Oh well....
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