As he waited, a few of his voters saw him and went to talk with him. There were 75 people ahead of him in line, so time wasn't a real issue. One young man said, "Hey John, like I see that you didn't get the job after all. Too bad, man. That would have been the like perfect gig for you. Like what can you do now man?"
Mr. McCain, trying his level best to seem inconspicuous in the line said, "Well, my friend, it's like this. I need the cash these days too, you know. I've got all these people to provide for (gesturing at his drivers waiting). They all have families that need their mouths filled. Not to mention the college tuition that's going to be necessary in several years. Everyone deserves a good education. You know, a couple of guys have even told me that they are going to need extra work, just to get their children into the country, so they can go to college when they are old enough."
A female in the line, a waitress asked, "My goodness, John, you surely are in the wrong place here aren't you? Don't you have that fabulously rich babe of a wife who sells all the beer in the state? not to mention your naval pension and Social Security. Didn't I see that the pension was close to $56,000 a year, and Social Security hits you with about $2200 a month? And didn't you just announce that you are running for another 6-year senate term?"
Recognizing her from his favorite coffee shop, he said, "Yes, Wanda isn't it? Well Wanda, you do keep up on the news I see," said McCain through his grinning but gritted teeth. "My friend, there is that interim between my current term and if I win the next one, where I will technically be out of a job, you know. Unemployed. So I have to be thinking that even with my meager naval pension, it might be rough making ends meet in those depressed times ahead...I am just being safe here, cautious. Just as I advised everyone to be in my campaign. I said then many times, 'You all have to be cautious, make sure you are able to support your families if something happens to you. Use every tool available to bring in the money to raise your families.' I said that, I know I did." He smiled at the waitress through his bared teeth and threw in a quiet "you jerk" through pursed lips, just so she knew he was still the Senator in the group, unemployed or not.
"And, my friend, I think that you need to read the papers a bit more here," continued Mr. McCain, this time with a very sad face. "You see, Cindy dumped me for this much younger guy who used to drive the beer truck that stopped at the houses. Twice a week he came by, to change the kegs when they were empty. I was either in Washington or on the bus with the guys, campaigning. It never crossed my mind that this would happen. But she dumped me with one of those quickie Mexican divorces. Just like I was some cockroach to step on, I am always the underdog you know. She couldn't just hop over to Vegas with this one. No way. I had to appear in frickin' Juarez, Mexico in the middle of the night, and that was not easy. The c**t."
Thinking he might have found a friendly ear, McCain tried for her sympathy. "Hell, all I got were the 11 cars and drivers. Not a cent to keep the payments up, nothing, nada. Bupkus. She kept the houses. She kept the condos. She kept the ranch. She kept the airplane. And she's already married that truck driver guy. Those are my beds he's sleeping in now! Even made the jerk the president of her beer company too. He was just a frickin' beer truck driver, for Christ's sake. Double c**t."
The waitress smiled at him, but as he was warming up to tell more, the loudspeaker interrupted his thinking, "Please move forward in the line. Everyone move forward please, so no one has to stand outside in the heat, please."
Suddenly aware that it was just 2 minutes to noon, McCain asked the door guard "what time do you reopen here after lunch?"
The guard looked at him and said with a guffaw, "Ha-ha! You leave for lunch, Mr. Senator, and the wait starts all over for you at the end back there by the door there. And, hey, there's no place-saving allowed in this line, so you can trot your men out there with you for lunch if you want."
"OK, OK, I get it my friend," said Mr. McCain. "You've made it very clear that you have not a lot of interest on my behalf. You do know who I am, don't you?"
"Yeah, I know who you are Mr. Senator-who-wanted-to-be-President McCain, and I didn't vote for you either, as you might be able to tell." said the guard. "But, don't let me stop you from enjoying your lunch, sir. There's a nice Denny's across the street. No need to repark your posse."
McCain turned around in the line and faced front again, counting the people ahead. Even with his stomach growling, he decided that it would be best to wait in the line for this. The 75 people ahead of him had dwindled to 32. Not too bad for the short time he had been there, he thought. He'd wait it out.
Then, he heard the sounds that he immediately disliked as, one by one, the doors of the agency windows slammed shut, just like so many garage doors in a back alley. The public address system growled back to life with its raspy crackle, "Attention, Attention! A 45 minute lunch break for the agents at this time. Thank you for your patience." Then silence again.
McCain couldn't believe it - his government workers were going to lunch and leave him, their US Senator, standing in the line for 45 minutes. Damn that's outrageous, he thought! He pulled out his Blackberry and motioned one of the younger drivers to his side. "Get me in touch with the manager of this center on the phone here. I want to talk to him." he said to the driver.
The driver punched a few buttons and talked to someone on the phone. Then he took out a pen and scribbled a number down, hung up the phone and dialed the number. While it was ringing, he said "Mr. Senator McCain, you will be able to talk with the manager just one minute now."
Grabbing the phone, he yelled "Hello? Hello? Oh, it's still ringing-Oh, no, damn, it's a message. Says he's gone out to lunch and will be back in 2 hours. What a piece of s**t he is-he's gone and I have to stand here until they reopen. You'd think they would have some alternate thing for real people in my situation. I am this state's frickin' Senator after all."
The guard walked past McCain as he was shutting up the phone. "Well, well. I guess we will enjoy your presence here for the duration of the lunch break. Glad to have you here, sir." And he walked back to his desk-a rather nice looking sliced chicken and tomato sandwich in hand. Looking up and seeing McCain eyeing his lunch, he said "Hey Mr. Senator, you've got a phone, have something delivered. That'd be a first for us here. An Arizona Senator in line for his unemployment getting lunch delivered. What's next?" Smiling suddenly, he said, "I know, get measured for that new Neiman-Marcus suit while you are filling out the forms. Ha, ha, ha!"
McCain gritted his teeth and smiled towards the guard. "Hope you choke, jerk" he said out of the other side of his mouth. He made a quick mental note to have this guard fired when he got back to Washington, DC. He'd show him a door to guard.