April 30, 2004


Telephone:                   Ring. Ring. 


Ned:                              “Hello.”


Voice on the phone:   “Is this Mr. Cheever?”


Ned:                              “Yes. it is.”


Voice on the phone    : “This is Harriett at the White House calling.  Hold please for President Bush.”


Ned:                              “Sure, Harriett...”




GWB:                            Yo, Nedro!  What’s up, man?”


Ned:                              “Good morning, Mr. President.  I’m doing well, and you?”


GWB:                            “Oh man, this job is driving me crazy.  That’s why I’m calling.  I’m doing a little personal telephone poll to try unearth some new thinking on this Iraq situation.”


Ned:                              “I’ll be pleased  to help in any way, sir.”


GWB:                            Lemme run a couple things by you...”


Call waiting:                 (click.  click.)


Ned:                              “Excuse me, Mr. president, I have another call coming in.  I’ll be right back.”




                                       (blah, blah, blah)


                                       “Sorry about that.  I’m back now.  That was the vet.  My daughter-in-law is visiting from Denton, and her little Jack Russell pup had a bad trip and she had to take him to the vet for tension management.  He’s OK now.  Sorry again.”


GWB:                            “Those pricey dogs are awfully hyper. You get the best ones at the animal shelter.”


                                       “Anyway, getting back to Iraq, what do you think we need to do in Fallujah.  Those guys have boxed us into a lose-lose situation, and we need some way to turn the tables on them.  Any ideas?”


Ned:                              “You need to get some help from Ariel Sharon to direct a few surgical air strikes.  That’ll solve the immediate problem.  Then you’ll face eternal retaliation unless you pound them back another three hundred years – that puts them about six hundred years behind western civilization.”


GWB:                            “Overwhelming violence is certainly not my first choice, but talk has gotten  us nowhere.  You just can’t reason with these guys.  As for taking them down a notch, I thought we could help them move into the modern age when I started this mess.  Now, the ingrates make you just want to bomb them into oblivion.”


Call waiting:                 (click.  click.)


Ned:                              “Excuse me again, Mr. president, it’s that damned call waiting again...”


GWB:                            “Uh, OK...”


Ned:                              “Hello.”


                                       (blah, blah, blah)


                                       “OK. Back again.  That was the Republican Small Business Advisory Committee wanting more money again.  Can you get that Tom Reynolds guy off my back?“


GWB:                            “Sorry about that.  You know how the money deal works.  Gotta’ keep begging to  keep this train rolling.”


                                       “Let’s see...what were we talking about?”


Ned:                              “I’m losing it, too.  By the way, how did the meeting with the 911 Committee  go?”


GWB:                            “Well, I thought it went pretty good, but you know what?  Kerrey and Hamilton left early!  I guess they had more important stuff to do, prior commitments.  I thought after ten months of  dickering to get this meeting done, they might stay ‘til the end!”


                                       “I gotta tell ya’,  things like these guys having more important business than a meeting in the Oval Office with the President and Vice President, I’m feeling a little insecure.  Then I call you and get put on hold for your incoming calls!”


                             “Gimme some help here!  I’m the President of the United States, man!”


Ned:                      “Aw shit, Mr. President, these are just signs of the busy times we live in.   Nobody’s jacking with you.  We just dart around trying to take care of everything as it happens – sort of life running the country, huh?”


GWB:                   “Still it hurts my feelings...really pisses me off.”


Ned:                      in your meetings.  It’s gonna be alright!”


GWB:                   “Thanks, man.  I need a little boost every now and then.  It ain’t easy stopping all  those bucks!”


                             “Sometimes I wish Harry Truman was still stopping them instead of me!”


Ned:                      “So, are you getting any turkeys down at Crawford?”


GWB:                   “No, they’re a little scarce this season.  But I can’t shoot ‘em, anyway – the  activists would have my head on a pike if I killed a wild bird!”


                             “Well look, I appreciate your comments.  I’ve got to get back to my poll.”


(aside)                   “Harriet!  Have you got the next call ready?”




                             (silent pause)


Voice from background:           “Harriett left early – something about a prior  commitment.”


GWB:                   “Nedro, it’s good talking to you.  I talk to Reynolds about the money hounding.   Come see us when you can.”


Ned:                      “Good to talk to you, Mr. President.  Have a good day.”