Let ‘Em Eat Cake
Joanne Faries

Reporters lurked outside the main gate. “Any reaction from the former president?”  Not a window sash opened, not a slam of the front door, and not even a dog bark gave them anything to report.  

A final exuberant frenzy hung over streets, towns, and the nation as recognition of the impending stock market crash permeated the crevices of a cracked society. Flappers swigged champagne. Financial men studied numbers, gave up, and sought refuge in whiskey and wanton women.  

“Dad, why are you wearing your chieftain feathers today?” asked John Coolidge.  

“Good a day as any,” Calvin Coolidge replied. “Folks always thought I was so dry, that I never cracked a smile in the White House. They liked to photograph me in foolish outfits. Well, here I am… so delighted to not be president. Old Hoover, ha, has his hands full.”  

With uninhibited enthusiasm, Calvin kicked off his shoes as his wife entered the drawing room.  He removed the headdress, since the feathers tickled. Grabbing and twirling her about he said, “I’m dancing barefoot today. We’ll have dessert, maybe stoke an early Halloween bonfire tonight. Lucy, dear, I need to show you something. Son, go tell cook to bake a huge rum cake.”  

Calvin stopped mid-step, ushered her to the bedroom, and asked, “Trick or treat?”  He pulled a huge suitcase from his closet. His normally somber face smiled. “Honey, look. No stocks. All cash.” The un-zip revealed stacks of money. “It paid to be president.” 

First published: November, 2008
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