Satire – By Kent Heckenlively
For the past six months my brother has been troubled by something.
“I think I know Adam Schiff,” he said, after learning President Trump’s least favorite Congressman grew up in our area. “Do you remember anything about him?”
I drew a complete blank. I researched the question of where Adam Schiff lived and all I could find was some vague references to him living in Danville, CA, the next town over from where we lived in Roundhill Country Club in Alamo. I could find some references to Schiff going to Monte Vista High School, which was where I would have gone if my parents hadn’t sent me to the private Catholic high School, De La Salle, located in Concord.
Besides, when I checked out his age it seemed to me that Schiff would have been a senior in high school when I was in eighth grade. He was more in my brother’s age group than mine. Not really much of an opportunity would have presented itself for me to have a play-date with Adam Schiff.
Then the other night my brother had a breakthrough.
He was talking to his best friend since he was five years old and our old next door neighbor, when his friend replied in answer to the question about Schiff, “Oh yeah, he lived in our neighborhood. His family lived right near the tee of the 17th hole.” We lived on the 14th hole. Yes, Adam Schiff grew up not more than half a mile away from me. I’m sure that when I rode my bike in the summers to the country club pool, I went right by the Schiff house.
My brother’s friend also added that Schiff and his family may have only lived there for a year or two.
The friend said he’d actually befriended Schiff during that time and had gone over to his house on a few occasions. But he didn’t continue the relationship because he found Schiff to be “kind of weird.”
And then . . . like Christine Blasey Ford . . . when she saw pictures of Bret Kavanaugh on television . . . it triggered long buried memories in me.
I’m not sure when or where it happened, but maybe it was the summer of 1976. (Imagine my voice suddenly dropping into that of a young boy, just like Christine Blasey Ford’s voice turning into that of a young girl when she testified at the Kavanaugh hearings.)
Imagine me at thirteen years old, end of August 1976, a summer at the Roundhill Country Club pool bronzing me to an orange brown, and my naturally curly hair standing up like a lion’s mane, making me look like Cha-ka, the prehistoric monkey boy from the children’s TV series, Land of the Lost.
I’d jump on my green three speed Schwinn bicycle at about ten in the morning, ride across the fourteenth hole and take the path between the 12,000 square foot Martinovich mansion with a stuffed polar bear at the entrance and the Greene house on the other side, where one time Timmy Greene chucked an enormous rock over the fence and nearly hit me in the head, which if it had found its mark would have caused enormous brain damage. (Some think that rock did hit me, which may explain a lot about me.)
At the pool I would have been meeting my friends, Johnnie and Jamie, two of the children of Dr. Don Rose, the famous radio celebrity of our area on AM radio, who was something like a younger, hipper, rock and roll version of Johnny Carson.
The path between the Martinovich mansion and the Greene house would have deposited me on Peak Place, then I would have linked up to Royal Oaks Drive, where I’d pass the home of Warriors basketball great, Rick Barry, the Michael Jordan of our era.
Adam Schiff most likely lived on Royal Oaks Drive, or maybe on Biltmore Avenue, and maybe that’s where I noticed my bike tire had gone flat. So, there I was, standing in front of the Schiff home with a flat tire, when eighteen-year-old Adam Schiff came out.
Do you have a problem?” asked Adam Schiff, walking out of his house towards me.
“I’ve got a flat tire,” I replied.
“I might have a bicycle pump in the garage. Let me check.”
He went into the house, opened the garage door, and I walked my bike up his driveway. He found a pump, attached it, and tried to pump, but it didn’t work. “I think it’s broken,” he said.
“It’s okay,” I replied.
“Why don’t you just throw it into my car and we’ll take it down to the Rotten Robbie gas station in town and fill it up?”
It was 1976 and people trusted each other, so I said, “Sure. That’s real nice of you.”
“I’m Adam, he said, extending a hand, “Adam Schiff.”
“Kent Heckenlively,” I said, shaking his hand, because when you grow up in a country club, this is what you do. It’s just good manners.
“Heckenlively, that’s a funny name. It just makes me happy to say it. Heckenlively. Have you ever considered going into politics? It’s a name people would remember.”
“Well, Schiff sounds like a terrible name for politics. Like people would say you were a lyin’ piece of Schiff. Have you ever had people say that?”
“All the time.”
I put my bike into his car and we started to drive. “Who are your parents going to vote for in the presidential election, Ford or Carter?” he asked.
“I’m not sure. We’re Republicans, my mom and dad actually met at the 1956 Republican Convention in San Francisco, but they were shocked by what Nixon did in Watergate.”
“I’m going to vote for Jimmy Carter,” Schiff announced. “He’s a man who will never lie to us.”
“Yeah, my dad kind of likes Carter. People say he looks a little like Jimmy Carter, but he’s got better teeth. And my dad is also real honest.”
“Let’s play a game,” said Schiff. “It’s called the absurd improv game. In improv you can never say something doesn’t make sense, you just have to accept it, and add something else. I’ll start. Someday I’m going to be a Congressman and head up the House Intelligence Committee and we’ll have a President who used to be a real estate developer.”
“That really is absurd,” I said.
“In those days the Soviet Union won’t exist, and there will be a country called Ukraine, and this President will give them anti-tank missiles to defend against the Russians. But there will be a whistle-blower who says he didn’t give them the weapons quick enough because there was a former vice-president whose son got a million dollars a year from Ukraine, and the President wanted an investigation to be done to see if there was anything corrupt about it.”
“What’s the whistle-blower’s name?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know now, and I won’t know then.”
“That’s impossible,” I said. “My friend, Eric Ciarmella would ask, ‘Have you been smoking pot?’ You really shouldn’t be driving me if you’ve been smoking pot.”
“No, now it’s your turn.”
I wracked my brain. “Okay, in the future my kid will have some weird disease that nobody has heard about now, but then it will be 1 in 37 kids, but instead of people demanding answers, they’ll claim the parents are anti-science, because they all say their kids got the disease after they visited their pediatrician’s office.”
“Have you been smoking pot?” Adam Schiff asked me.
“No, but last year some sixth graders at my school were caught with 18 ounces of marijuana.”
“Okay, but in this absurd future, you and I need to end up on opposite sides and be enemies. Like Winston Churchill and Adolph Hitler. Let’s add in to this story that in the future there are big tech companies which for most people replace newspapers and television news.”
I was starting to get the hang of this game. “Yeah, and because I’m trying to cure this disease I’m using social media because it reaches more people than newspapers. But Big Pharma sees this is a way to gain control, so it starts blocking all my postings.”
Adam Schiff laughed. “You are getting the hang of this. Yeah, and since Big Pharma has so much money, they start buying off these tech companies and blocking people like you. And also Big Pharma starts to buy politicians like me and Richard Pan and we say that people like you shouldn’t be heard.”
“Won’t that run afoul of the First Amendment?” I ask.
“Big money trumps the First Amendment,” says Adam. “Don’t you know that?”
“Gee, Adam, you sound kind of cynical to go into politics. Maybe you should plan to do something else with your life.”
We stopped at the station, filled up my bike tire, and put the bike back in the trunk. I was just about to get back into the car when he drove away!
I had to walk the three miles back home!
And when I went to the Schiff home and asked to talk to Adam, a man I assume to be his father said, “Adam’s already gone to Stanford.”
Did I really want to say I’d had my bike stolen by an older guy who was likely going to be pedaling it around Stanford? I mean, the bike was fine for a thirteen-year-old kid, but a grown man?
Instead, I just said my bike got stolen at the pool and tried to forget it all.
And that was the last I ever thought of Adam Schiff, until my memory was triggered by my brother’s comment.
Okay, all of what I just wrote is complete garbage.
However, it’s a much better story, with more details, than Christine Blasey Ford ever provided about Brett Kavanaugh.
And I really did have a friend named Eric Ciarmella. He was kind of a slacker who said he was just BIDEN’ his time until he could really make an impact in the world. (I wonder what ever happened to him? I haven’t heard about him in the news at all.)
And maybe I didn’t reveal that Adam Schiff is a bike thief . . . but in today’s Democratic party I revealed an even bigger secret about him . . .
Adam Schiff grew up in a country club!
Satire by Kent Heckenlively (But the country club stuff is true!)
The book is co-authored with Judy Mikovits PhD. It is an indictment of the “Fake Science” we find so prevalent in the US.