A Conversation with Charlie Rangel

Charlie Rangel talksI sat down today for a conversation with Charlie Rangel (D-NY) on a wide-ranging series of topics.

My first question was “I know you are a movie buff.   What is your all-time favorite movie?”

Rangel’s eyes lit up.  “Papillon!  I love that movie.  I love Dustin Hoffman’s character, especially that part about how he hides his money from the man.  Why just last week I was in the Dominican Republic and they had a special showing of Papillon.   I was staying at my vacation villa, er, I mean I was staying in a hotel since I definitely do NOT own property in the Dominican Republic and the theatre was within walking distance so I went to see several showings.”

After answering my question Rangel got up and walked into his kitchen, making sure that the oven was not turned on.

“I was just checking.  I have a couple million in cash hidden in the oven, er, I mean I just wanted to check to make sure the oven wasn’t on.  I’m trying to keep down energy costs you see.”

The conversation returned to Papillon.

“I just love that movie.  The themes are timeless.  Self-preservation.  Injustice.  Man’s inhumanity to man.  Hiding your money up your ass.  Not that I hide my money mind you.  In fact I have sponsored legislation in Congress to punish tax cheats.”

Several pizzas were delivered.  Congressman Rangel offered me a couple slices.  As we ate Rangel talked about his new found love for pizza.

“I’ve been eating pizza and other low-fiber foods for awhile now.  Pizza, ice cream, potato chips.   It might not be healthy but they do tend to cause constipation.  And right now that’s in my best interest.”

I was slightly puzzled by this and asked him why?

“You’ve heard of the phrase ‘A run on the bank?’  Well, if I had a high-fiber diet there would definitely be a ‘run on the bank.’  Not that I’m implying that I have 1.3 million in income stored up my ass that I’ve hidden from the IRS.”

It was at this point that Congressman Rangel grabbed his stomach.

“Excuse me.  Just a little wave of nausea.  I don’t know how that could have happened.”

I mentioned that he looked a little stopped up so I had crushed a laxative and placed it in one of his slices of pizza.

“You what?  You fool!  You’ve ruined me!  You’ve ruined me!”

Congressman Rangel ran towards his bathroom.

“Get out!  Get out now” he shouted as he closed the door.

I had several more questions but Congressman Rangel seemed disinclined to continue the interview.  As I left his place I could hear him shouting “Call a plumber!  Stop the pipes!”



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