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John Ensign

Imagined conversations: Ensign chats with the Devil, God, and his family

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133 C Street S.E. is registered as a church and affiliated with a secretive Christian group known as The Family. It is the Washington home of several influential conservative politicians, including Sen. John Ensign of Nevada.
Photo: JACQUELYN MARTIN / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Imagined conversation 1

Late one night on C Street: A prayer goes sideways

Ensign: Lord, why did you put so many obstacles in my path? I was well on the way to running for president. Sure, I wasn’t exactly doing a bang-up job for Nevada, what with the rising unemployment rate, massive cuts to schools, health care and public programs, but I’m good-looking, white and well-off, so all that other stuff was just politics. But now I’ve got a scandal on my hands. I’m seen as a hypocrite, and I’m possibly looking at ethics charges. What’s more, my family’s been dragged into this mess. Why, Lord? Why?

Devil: Why are you assuming it was God? I mean, give a homeboy some credit.

Ensign: Whoa! I forgot about you. I just thought you were the one screwing up my golf game. I never figured you for something this obvious.

God: Actually, John, it was neither of us. You kinda did this to yourself. I mean, it’s not like you found a wallet on the street and didn’t return it.

Devil: Yeah, normally I’m glad to take credit for these things—Sanford, that was all me, dude. That guy couldn’t find Argentina on Google Maps.

But you’ve made such a mess out of this thing that now it’s just … sad. I mean, you even got your parents to pay money out of their own pockets to hush this thing up? Even I couldn’t imagine something that evil, man!

Ensign: But I’m not evil. I pray every day. I even wrote Cynthia a letter talking about our relationship with God and how we need to honor him …

God: After which you chased her anyway? Thanks a lot, buddy.

Ensign: So, let me get this straight: This was all my fault? You guys assume no responsibility?

Devil: Hey, I just helped you win the elections. After that, I don’t have to do much. The bad behavior tends to take care of itself.

God: And I put enough challenges in your way with the political decisions you have to make every day. I figured that would be enough to keep you busy. Guess I was—yes, I’m going to say it—wrong.

Ensign: Your ways are truly mysterious, Lord. By the way, are you saying that the devil put that wallet on the street for me to find? Because, well, I was going to return it …

God: Talk to the hand, John. I’m out of here.

Devil: Me, too. Gotta get this Palin speech ready.

God: And I’ve got to proofread it. Okay, my son. There but by the grace of me go … you.

Hey, Mama. Can you pass the pie, please?

Hey, Mama. Can you pass the pie, please?

Imagined conversation 2

Dinner at the Ensign house: A heartwarming family moment

Ensign: Mom. Dad.

Mama Ensign: Son!

Papa Ensign: Hey, we never see you anymore. What’s up—got something going on the side? [Winks]

Ensign: [Coughs] Wow, everything looks great. Is this a new tablecloth?

Mama: No, I just brought out the good table setting. Since we hardly see you anymore, we wanted this to be special.

Ensign: You shouldn’t have. Really.

Papa: Eh. Gives her something to do. That is, when she’s not getting out the checkbook to go shopping.

Ensign: Yes, I agree, spending money makes you feel better. No matter what you spend it on, right, Mom?

Mama: Hm? Now, did I remember to put everything on table? Oh well, let’s just start eating. I made your favorite. Would you like to say grace?

Ensign: Sure. “Dear Lord, thank for you for Jim Gibbons. Thanks to him, the media has paid almost no attention to me, even though it hasn’t been an easy year [under his breath] and it’s not going to get any easier. And thank you for the most kind, understanding, patient, forgiving, loving parents a boy could ever want. Amen.”

Papa: You forgot “rich” and “quick to forget!” [Hearty laugh]

Ensign: Yeah, especially that. [Feeble laugh]

Papa: Pass the potatoes, please. So, what’s new with you?

Ensign: Not much. Having a bit of a ... to-do with a former staffer. Gravy, please.

Mama: Oh, I can’t imagine you having a problem with anyone. Like the potatoes? I used extra butter!

Ensign: Well, it’s not so much a problem as a … situation. Mmmm, love this ham. Honey-glazed?

Papa: Situation? We’ve been through plenty of those, haven’t we, son? Biscuits, please.

Ensign: This one’s going to be a bit rougher than most, Dad. Is this fat-free butter?

Mama: Who and how much? And should I bring out dessert now or wait?

Ensign: Several $12,000 payments, staggered so as to not draw attention. You remember I’m allergic to strawberries, right?

Papa: You know, whatever you’re mixed up in has to stop now. I think it’s Boston cream pie, actually.

Ensign: You guys are the best parents ever—Boston cream pie is my favorite!

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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