It was always cold in the White House during the winter months. Barack Obama sat in the Oval Office, contemplating what to do. He had always loved flamingos. He loved the way that their long legs teetered, almost unable to hold their bodies. He loved that their pinkness directly correlated to the amount of shrimp they ate. And he loved their long, pink, swanlike necks. But he knew that his love for flamingos didn’t justify him buying thirty of them.
He had been researching his favorite animal one night after a long day of work. He had always found flamingo research to be relaxing after having to deal with Joe Biden derailing all of his meetings. But that Friday night, he had been drinking a little too much Jagermeister when he happened upon a site that illegally sold all kinds of exotic animals. In his drunken stupor, he had immediately purchased thirty of the magnificent beasts, with exactly no regard to the consequences. He hadn’t even remembered that he had done such a thing until he had awoken the next morning to an email from the site confirming that the flamingos had indeed shipped and would be arriving in three to five business days.
He sighed and laid his head in his hands. What was he going to tell Michelle? What kind of example was he setting for Sasha and Malia? He knew that he had gotten himself into deep trouble, but he couldn’t seem to justify his worry as the doorbell rang, announcing the arrival of his strange, all-consuming obsession.
Barack quickly set down his coffee mug and tossed the legislation that he had been working on to the side. He ran to the door, all worry fading as he hurried to meet the magnificent beasts.
When he opened the White House door, a large Hispanic man stood, wearing a hoodie and ripped jeans and chewing what appeared to be tobacco. He spit on the ground nonchalantly and held up a clipboard.
“Delivery for Thomas Jefferson”, the man read monotonously. It appeared that, even in his drunken stupor, Barack had had the wherewithal to use a fake name, even if it was that of a president who had been dead two hundred years.
Barack quickly signed the paper on the clipboard, and the man retreated back to his rickety white van. Where was he going? Barack wondered. But then the man began pulling out cages, each containing five flamingos. They were already squawking noisily. The delivery man had to make three trips, carrying two cages at a time, in order to deliver all of the birds.
Once the man had left, Barack quickly carried the birds to his office, where they began squealing at the top of their lungs. The birds were so noisy that Barack had to put his hands over his ears just to muffle the noise enough for it to be tolerable. He knew that it would not be long before his secret was discovered by someone in the house, and he ran to hide behind his desk.
Barack grew more and more suspicious as time went on. Surely someone had heard the birds squawking loudly. Why hadn’t anyone confronted him about them?
He gingerly unlocked the door to find Michelle standing on the other side. She didn’t seem surprised to find him locked alone in a room with a bunch of flamingos. As usual, she must have known what he was up to.
“How did you know?” he asked, resigned. She always knew everything that was going on. It was one of her best and most annoying qualities. She smiled and shrugged, not giving away any of her secrets.
“I arranged for a local bird expert to pick them up tomorrow. He knows how to properly take care of the birds, and I figured it was probably for the best. I know you love flamingos, Barack, but we really can’t adequately take care of them,” she explained gently. He nodded in understanding.
“But for today, you can spend time with the birds. I prepared a bowl of shrimp for you to feed them,” she said, handing him a bowl of the flamingos’ food of choice.
“Thank you, Michelle,” Barack said quietly before turning gleefully to his birds. He had one day to spend with his favorite animal, and he wasn’t going to waste a second of it.