Is P.F. Jones?

Rough Flight Home

by Shell Davis
Post Washington Reporter
October 3, 2009

I was startled awake with a loud crash and the words "What the FUCK?" being yelled in that familiar, authoritative timber from the office forty feet ahead of me.
I was on Air Force One, coming back from Copenhagen, Denmark, where President Barack Obama had helped pitch Chicago to the I.O.C. for the 2016 Olympic Games.
It was a thoroughly boring affair, other than the fact that Obama was gambling some of his political capital by doing this the same week he was supposed to be handling healthcare, Afgahnistan, the economy and the newly revealed uranium enrichment plants in Iran.
I had finally managed to fall asleep somewhere over the Atlantic when the ruckus woke me.
Secret Service agents were scurrying around while members of the press corp looked nervously at one another.
Dodge Enbern, my photographer, was clutching his bag.
Dodge had been elated to go to Denmark- to get out of the country, period, I think.
He had been restricted from international assignments since he'd had an "incident" with customs two years ago.
"Hey, can you get something out of a locker for me when we get back-"
"No," I said. It was the forth time he'd asked me.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd pointed to the TV screen, "Look."
The Brazilian delegation was dancing at the I.O.C.
Rio de Janero had won the Olympics.
Rick, the only agent who ever speaks to us, ran back to us.
Dodge flinched.
Rick tried to look casual.
"Everything's cool," Rick said.
"SERIOUSLY? Fuck!" came from the office ahead, almost in response, followed by another crash.
Rick ran back up front.
Dodge sank his filthy fingernails into my arm.
"They know!" he said.
"They know WHAT?" I asked.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs came back to talk to us.
"You know how you guys like to linger on the plane to ask the president one or two more questions?" Gibbs asked rhetorically. "Well, don't do that today. We'll be landing in a few minutes. I suggest you all depart immediately."
"I'm out!" Dodge yelled and ran to the hatch, where -despite FAA regulations- he stood and waited until Air Force One landed and rolled to a hault.
Another fascinating page in the history of international diplomacy.

Dodge did manage to see the Secret Service unloading broken furniture:
president's air throne one




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