LOS ANGELES, CA — During his first public speech in months, a visibly haggard and unkempt David Petraeus apologized for an extramarital affair just prior to asking a crowd of 600 attendees whether he could sleep on anybody’s couch once the evening drew to a close.
“Please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret, and apologize for, the circumstances that led me to resign from the CIA and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters,” a shaggy-haired and goateed Petraeus said to a group of mostly veterans at the University of California’s annual ROTC dinner last week.
“Also, please allow me to ask if I can crash on anybody’s couch tonight, because the wife’s got my nuts in a sling and I’ve been out on my ass since last fall,” he added.
Petraeus went on to allege that his wife Holly’s vindictive actions have left him broke and homeless since news of his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell broke last November.
“The old lady didn’t fuck around,” Petraeus told the audience as he scarfed-down an entire tray of complementary finger sandwiches. “The moment word of me and Paula doing the ‘zero-dark-dirty’ broke, Holly filed for divorce, kicked me out of the house, and had all my pension payments routed to some offshore account I can’t even touch.”
Petraeus went on to say that, once homeless, he attempted to seek any form of assistance available from the same government he spent his entire life working for, only to run into a brick wall because of difficulties he had in proving his identity.
“My retired-Army ID, my driver’s license, the credit cards — all that stuff was in my wallet … The same wallet Holly has long since shit-canned into the Potomac River.”
Since being banished to the streets, the former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan said he has been relying on his training as an elite Army Ranger to survive.
“I’m still on my feet,” Petraeus told the crowd, “but I can’t keep hunting rats and pigeons for food while sleeping under flea-ridden chunks of used carpet like some feral orphan child in the back alleys of Kabul.”
Overall reaction to the speech, which had been billed as focusing on issues facing America’s veterans, was mostly sympathetic.
“I had expected to hear him talk about his perspective on how the V.A. might be able to continue supporting our returning warriors in such a tough economy,” said Dylan Mahaney, an Army veteran of the first gulf war whose daughter is planning to enlist in the Navy after high school.
“But then, when he started talking about having to spend the night in that construction site’s overflowing Porta Potty to avoid freezing to death during a blizzard … Well, that was pretty informative, too.”
As Petraeus’ speech wound down, the retired general and former director of the CIA took a bite of cake served by a Navy midshipman and addressed the crowd one last time.
“Look, I get it. I banged some skirt that wasn’t my wife, and now I deserve all of the bad things happening to me,” he said. “But, for God’s sake, I was forced to give handjobs to a whole gang of homeless sex offenders last night just so they wouldn’t rape me bloody,” he said.
“So can’t I at least maybe stay in somebody’s garage?”
While it’s unclear whether Petraeus found anyone to take him in for the evening, one witness says he spotted the disgraced war hero the next morning inside a local pawn shop, where he appeared to be arguing with the owner about the monetary value of his Distinguished Service Medal.