Wasting Away in Tonyweinerville
The Big Tone always rings twice.


So the phone rang over the weekend, right on schedule, as I knew it would. I had just returned to my palatial pad in Echo Park and was about to pour a couple of margaritas for a special lady and myself when I heard his distinctive ring tone on my top-secret cell phone: Tweedily deedily dee, tweedily deedily dee, it chirped. All the little birdies on Jaybird Street, love to hear the robin go tweet, tweet, tweet.

“Sorry, dollface,” I said to the girl I’ll call Ginger, putting down my Wii joystick and reaching across her lissome body to gander at my next-generation Android. “It’s a member of Congress.”

“Not him again,” she said. “I told that pizzle never to call me here.”

“It’s for me,” I said. “You think you’re the only celebrity he follows on Twitter?” She made that little moue she’s justly famous for on stage and screen and flounced off to the hot tub. I tell you, I know all the best girls in North Hollywood and Toluca Lake.

Now, from time to time, I provide, shall we say, off-the-books services for various Democrats, assisting them with behind-the-scenes public relations whenever they get their todgers into trouble, hot water, or deep kimchi — think of Slick Willie and you’ll know what I mean.

“Hey, wait a minute, Dave,” I can hear you saying, “how are you any different from any other Tom, Dick, or Harry in Hollywood or in the media? Aren’t you all just tools of the international media machine?” And that’s true. For us lefties, being a Democrat is very nearly a full-time job, especially when we are between projects, as I unfortunately am at the moment, unless my agent can get me a whack at Pirates of the Caribbean V: Jack Sparrow vs. Predator vs. Aliens — This Time, It’s Personal.

But Tony is a very special friend, which is why I took the call and left my actress pal to fend for herself under the stars of Elysian Park, alone with my pool boy, Juan Tomás, whom I trust implicitly, although why he can’t clean the pool during the day I’ll never understand.

“How’s Huma?” I said. I always like to break the ice with a little chit-chat about the family before getting down to brass knuckles. “Hillary hoping haute hot-sheet humping its way over to Le Havre?”

“You’ve been reading too much James Ellroy,” he said.

“Little alliteration there,” I said. “We writers do that from time to time just to keep ourselves sharp. How can I help?’

“Houston, we have a problem. My manhood’s at stake.” I vibed the desperation in his voice from 3,000 miles away. I could practically sniff Brooklyn in the diphthongs and sense Queens in the sibilants.

“Save your breath, big boy,” I said. “It’s been in all the papers. Elvis has left the building. The bratwurst is out of the casing. The lead is out of the pencil. You get the idea.”

I could feel him stiffen at the other end of the line. “Enough with the cheap jokes,” said Anthony Weiner. “I’m talking to you in your capacity as a private dick.”

“Shoot,” I said.

“First of all, it’s not me. Second of all, it might be me. Third of all, I don’t know if it’s me, but if it is me I got hacked, or some wingnut framed me, and anyhow I have no idea how my junk got tweeted to some college girl — I swear to you I don’t even know where Seattle is, or what time it is there, give or take 15 minutes. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”

I thought for a moment. As Democrat scandals went, this one wasn’t that bad. After all, Bill Clinton got impeached and disbarred by the Supreme Court for getting a Lewinsky, and John Edwards — Mr. “Two Americas,” our veep candidate in 2004, remember him? — just got indicted for some alleged funny-money stuff with a rich honey named Bunny. Me, I was born well after the Johnson administration, but I gather before my naissance some donkey-kong named Wilbur Mills wound up at the Tidal Basin with a stripper not his wife named Fanne Foxe. And Gaia only knows what Thomas Jefferson got himself into. Generally, when we have sex scandals, there’s actual sex involved.