We would sit in Scalia's basement and discuss his philosophy of Constitutional originalism
over Canoli and an endless river of Wild Turkey as Spice TV flickers in the background. I imagine this as a weekly ritual that would begin early Friday afternoon and stretch through Monday morning. On Monday, delirious from sleep deprivation and sipping whiskey, we would return to our daily lives. No one other than Scalia and I would notice our diminished capacity, though. After all, we are both professionals in our chosen fields.
I picture Scalia and I starting our own personal book club. We would share the tracts that shaped our intellects and we would both benefit greatly from the experience. Nino would have me read Seperation of Church and State
by Philip Hamburger, while I give him my lovingly dog-eared copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Scalia would remark that he saw much of himself in Dr. Gonzo, the 300 pound Samoan attorney. Then we would chuckle and plan to include a bottle of ether in our next weekend.
From time to time, I would confront Scalia with the limitations of originalist thinking. For example, I would ask how he maintain orginialist purity while conceding that flogging is unconstitutional even though it was a common practice when the Eighth Amendment was ratified. the Justice would take a hearty swig of Wild Turkey, look at me over his glasses and mutter, "Yeah, I know, skippy, I know. But what are ya gonna do? There are some bastards that I'd like to order crucified,
but O'Connor would get the vapors." Then we'd laugh some more.
From time to time, our intellectual exercises would exhaust us and we would need a diversion to recharge our batteries. "Come on" Nino would shout. "Let's go to a titty bar." I would always be shocked whenever Scalia would drop any pretense of judicial propriety as it happened so infrequently. The Justice would register my surprise and declare, "skippy, always remember what I said at Harvard
. Sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged."
I would then respond, as I always do, "Indeed, Nino! Daddy needs a lap dance!"
"As does Scalia", he would cry before we both burst out into uncontrollable laughter.
The Justice and I would enjoy many lap dances and continue savoring Wild Turkey directly from the bottle. No matter how often we frequented the titty bar, the patrons would always be shocked to see the nation's leading judicial conservative consorting with a lanky, baldheaded Canadian and a mass of strippers languidly stroking his frame. Scalia and I would take great pleasure in the reaction of these jarheads. Often times, we would send a bottle of Wild Turkey to their table. When were feeling particularly generous, we would send one of our several strippers over to grind them.
As often happens when great minds meet, things would quickly degenerate into chaos. Once Justice Scalia and I get enough liquor into us, we demand a lesbian floorshow. This greatly agitates the management of the titty bar, and we would respectfully be asked to leave.
Of course, that would only mean taking the party home. Between imbibing the last of the bottle of whiskey, and my overwhelming lust, I would be confused and have to ask the Justice - the more level of our heads - how many strippers we would need to take with us to ensure a proper party.
Scalia would think for a moment then answer with a smile. "Presumably it is some number between five and the number of people required to fill the Coliseum." Then he would slap my cheek and remind me to call him Nino.
Obviously, being the virile men that we are, Nino and I would eventually exhaust the strippers. But once our appetite for decedance was satisfied, we could resume our discussions. Doing so in a room littered with sleeping, nude dancers of low morals would always have a calming effect on our debates.
From time to time, TEXAS v. JOHNSON (1989)
would come up. The flag burning decision haunts Nino like no other. To this day, he has a hard time resolving that he voted to permit the burning of Old Glory. As little as he liked discussing the ruling, it would always animate Nino."Scalia did not like to vote that way,"
he would say with an ironic chuckle. "He does not like sandal-wearing, bearded weirdos who go around burning flags."
Then he would add, "And the grief I got from my wife on that one was endless! Who needs that? But Scalia had to do it. Any originalist reading of the First Amendment demanded it."
"Nino," I whispered gently, knowing I was heading toward a delicate question. "How would Mrs. Scalia feel about this?"
as I would wave to the dozen or so sleeping strippers on the floor.
Scalia's answer would be a slow, deliberate whisper.
"skippy, Maureen knows that what happens in the basement stays in the basement. Mrs. Scalia is a lot like you that way. I can trust her, just as I trust you not to write about our weekends on your degenerate blog."
The way I imagine it, my friendship with Scalia would be the most important of my life.Permalink