"Good evening, Mr. President."
"Good, uh... evening?"
George Bush looked up from the dominoes he was setting up in a spiral around the center of the oval office, first at me, then at the window. It was clearly morning.
"Mr. President, the nation... is in crisis."
"No it's not."
"I don't have time to debate this!" I shouted, pounding my fist against his desk like I've seen done in far too many movies. "I need to make a jedi laugh by the end of the week or I'm toast! Do you have any idea what it's like to lose a challenge... on your own turf?!"
There was a long pause. Then he got mad. I could see it in his eyes, the subdued rage. He stood up, kicking over the carefully constructed domino setup.
"I take it Dick Cheney told you about the Laughter Barn?"
"He tells me many things." I pulled out my camera phone from my coat pocket, hoping he would show me some kind of easily reproducable stunt, similar to the "I'm a space alien!" prank he pulled at the U.N. last year.
He sighed. "I guess it was too much to hope for that Dick Cheney would keep his mouth closed."
"Yes. It was. Now, without delaying me further, tell me the secret to perfect physical and situational comedy!"
"Hah!" he laughed, leaning back in his cushioned swivel chair. "Not even I
know that. You'll have to take it up with Cheney."
"Noy jitat!" I slammed my angry fists across his desk, breaking his entire collection of porcelian dog figurines.
"Rover! Octavian! Nooooooo! Why did you do that?!" he cried, reaching down to pick up the shattered remains of his 19th
century antique My Little Doggie©
"I did it for the money. Dick Cheney and I have been talking for quite some time." I grimaced as tears flowed from his eyes as he tried to put together a poodle wearing a vest using krazy glue. "He already took me to see the Master of Comedy. I learned nothing that day. In fact, I forgot a few things."
"Elmer, why aren't you working?!" George sobbed at the glue bottle, the label starting to peel off. "Octavian! Hang on!"
"This can all be over, you know." I held a gallon tub of rubber cement in front of his tear-streaked face. "They'll be good as before. Just tell me what I want to know."
He sniffled and wiped the corners of his red, puffy eyes.
"Karl Rove! Go get Karl Rove! He knows funny, I saw him do a trick with a hat once!"
"Thanks for your help, citizen." As I walked out of his office amid the cries, I glanced a figuring that was only half-broken. Crunch!
"Ahhhhhhhhhh! Why?! Why?!"
"That was for the Canadian softwood lumber exporters."
"I can't believe he didn't smile once."
"Don't worry about it," said Karl Rove. The man's plan had backfired completely, covering Fluke in pig entrails. Why he thought the pig entrails were necessary, I'll never know. "I'm sure Fluke was laughing. Everyone else was."
"You've failed me, Karl!" I thundered. "And you already know what I do to people named Karl who fail me!"
"I believe we're finished here."
Even though I couldn't see his face, I knew what was written all over it: fear.
As I reached for the door to the convention center, I stopped.
"He's all yours, Oregon Trail."