How the Mueller Report Fixed Everything
FRANK STAMISH, journalist: We were in the bullpen at the Washington Post, kicking around that day’s headlines when I saw it—the searchlight on top of the Department of Justice building had lit up, splaying the chiselled silhouette of Robert Mueller across the clouds over D.C. Its message was unmistakable: the report was out.
DEEANNE RICE, administrative assistant, White House: I was watering the plants in the entrance hall when every alarm seemed to go off at once. The office was bathed in flashing red light. People were shouting, running for the exits, pulling art work off the walls. The Vice-President tilted back a copper bust of Woodrow Wilson, leapt into a chute that had opened in the floor, and disappeared.
MAX HARDING, zoologist: I was adjusting the irrigation system in one of the pens and, like an idiot, forgot to engage the safety door. Suddenly, I was alone with three adult tigers. Even long-habituated animals like these can sense a shift in the hierarchy. They started to approach me. I was about to call for help when a colleague noticed my situation and tossed a copy of the Mueller report through the bars. The cats retreated, realizing that things were different now.
PATRICIA CAVENDISH, child psychologist/parent: The light would fade from my Jeremy’s eyes at the mention of school. You think you understand bullying, but, when it’s your own son, all you feel is anger and helplessness. Then the Mueller report came out. Jeremy invited the boys who had been bothering him to the house so that he could read it aloud. “I . . . I never knew my actions could cause that kind of pain,” one said; another tore the cover page from the report to wipe away tears of regret. Now all four of them spend time together, after school, building model ships.
RENEE CORTEZ, executive chef: The Michelin people were coming and I had lost my way. My signature approach to American cuisine, which had captured the world’s attention and launched my restaurant, no longer excited me and would fail to charm the critics, I was sure of it. A sous-chef handed me the Mueller report, whispering “Trust me.” There it was, Chapter 41: a reimagining of vegan entrées that was brave, health-conscious, sexy. I tried out Mueller’s candied chili Brussels sprouts that evening, and you could hear the cries of delight all the way from the kitchen. We were saved.
GREG AND PAM SUMMERS, husband and wife: The magic in our marriage was gone and we both knew it. GREG: It was late, and I was sitting at the kitchen table, unable to see a way forward. Pam appeared in the doorway, holding a copy of the Mueller report. PAM: I said, “One more try? For Robert?” As we studied the table of contents, I could feel the gap between us closing. We were going to be O.K. GREG: We even tried some of the sexual positions illustrated in the glossary.
CHERYL HARDING-SALLIER, environmental scientist: The last few years haven’t been easy, and that day was no different. I was monitoring sea levels in the Northwest Passage when I heard an enormous CRACK!—one of the largest glaciers had started to go. I was running like hell to higher ground when a researcher across the gorge raised a series of colored semaphore flags. His message translated to “The report is out.” As I stood and watched, wonderstruck, the fracture in the ice healed, the glacier stabilized itself, and the ocean began to recede. Reports spilled in from around the world: new rain-forest growth had doubled. The bees were returning.
SIMON NORTH, NASA engineer: We’d all been feeling low since the end of the Mars-rover mission. I was reviewing data from Opportunity’s final broadcast when someone down in analytics shouted, “PAGE 77! TURN TO PAGE 77!” and there it was: Mueller had found a way to retrofit the rover’s power supply and make it virtually indestructible. After transmitting the fix, a message from Oppy came back loud and clear: “My battery is full, and I see the first light of day.”
ANNE CARVER, political analyst: Trump? No, he’s still in office. We’ll just have to defeat him the normal way.