I walked into the room. Nobody let out a peep. They pulled back and I could feel hot, frightened eyes on me. Lea Anne McBride was standing by the big desk trying to steady her boss. The vice president's body was convulsed with the dry heaves. I walked over and put my hand on his shoulder.
"Take it easy, Dick," I told him. "Why don't you take a little lie down." I pointed to a couch against the far wall and he sat down. Cheney looked like hell. One of his Secret Service guys arranged a throw pillow down for him and he stretched out.
I could barely think. Guilty on four counts! Twenty-five years. I was wound tight and ready to explode. All I could focus on was the man on the couch. Suddenly Cheney's Staff Assistant, Adam Guzzo, grabbed me and started with the questions. I'd had a bad day and wasn't about to take any more. I launched my right fist and he hit the rug groaning, doubled up in a ball. I laughed but nothing was funny.
Somebody yelled, "I'll get you for that, Scooter!" but before he could bust a move the door opened and all you could hear was groaning from the floor and I knew the president had arrived.
"Well, well. Dubya to the rescue," I said.
He didn't look very happy to see me. "What happened to this man?" Nobody said a thing. The staffer on the floor groaned again.
"He punched me. Scooter punched me ...right on the nose."
McBride piped up, "That's right, Mr. President. Adam was questioning him and Scooter punched him."
The president grunted and bent over Guzzo. "All right 'Ad-man,' get up, get up."
"Jeez, I feel just awful," I cracked.
"I'm afraid you're gonna be feeling a whole lot worse," the president replied.
I just stood there for a second considering the crud he was made of. I said, "Enough. No more, Dubya. Pardon me."