You are President Jones. It’s been six weeks since Agent Smith showed up at your door to inform you that you have been drafted. So basically, basic training is over now. And you realize that being in the military isn’t so bad. You can still go pretty much anywhere you used to go as long as you take Agent Smith and his clone army with you. Better, you can go places you couldn’t go, like Rome for Operation Gladiator. And, the Men in Black (code word for the Secret Service) come in handy in a bar fight. Even after the local police show up.
You are still part of the military however and that comes with all the drawbacks you can imagine. People, usually pissed off people, constantly want to come talk to you. Particularly the Vampires (code word for the Treasury Department) and the Werewolves (code word for Congress). Then there are the people who want to send you large volumes of boring paper to read, despite the fact that you have warned them about such things. And the worst part are the press conferences, one of which is scheduled for you in a couple of hours.
Ordinarily you blow these off. It’s always full of reporters who want to hear you make a speech about nothing and then ask a bunch of questions about less than nothing. However, since Vampire Bill (code name for the Secretary of the Treasury) wants to have an unpleasant chat with you about the Ferrari donated to some sheriff’s department, the very department that was neutralized by the Men in Black, you’ve chosen the lesser of two evils.
And since you don’t want to see him after the press conference you decide now would be a good time to tackle a few tough issues like illegal immigration, the budget deficit and the gulf oil leak clean up. Certainly you figure that making a huge dent in the budget will keep Vampire Bill pleased. And if it doesn’t, plan B means a lot of new voters who will be on your side.
Now this plan, which is codenamed Remember the Azamo, is not something you cooked up on short notice. No, you’ve been working on this since the day after the bar fight, when your hangover began with the sound made by the shaped charge that blew the jail cell door off its hinges.
As you were being quickly escorted to the Ground Rocket (code name for the Presidential Limo) by Admiral Bligh’s (code name for the Secretary of the Navy) personal SEAL team and you passed all those unconscious and moaning semiconscious cops you realize that you’re going to have to head this one off at the pass. So instead of going back to The Amityville Horror (code name for the White House) you stop by the local hospital and clear up the little misunderstanding with the sheriff. A Ferrari sheriff’s car is extremely effective at clearing up misunderstandings with the police.
So, phase one of the plan complete, you head back to New Jersey (code name for D.C.). On the way you work on phase two of the plan, pay for the Ferrari. Now since it’s not going to be you and the rest of America is pretty tapped out, you know you have to find fresh dollars. Or pesos. It occurs to you that there are millions of Mexicans who want to come into the country and pay some taxes. Right now they are coming over, under and around the wall to get into Arizona. A tear comes to you eye as you think about the insanity of digging a tunnel just to get into Arizona. It’s like tunneling into the Gaza Strip.
Opening the door to let them in is the easy part. The hard part is making sure each of them meet their own personal vampire on the way in. Now you can’t very well talk Vampire Bill into helping out since he hates you so much, so you realize what you need is the next best thing.
You put in a call to the Shrew, “Milli, get me Sookie on the line.”
A few minutes later the phone rings, it’s the Shrew, “Sir, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, is on the line for you.”
“Milli… you forgot to use the code name.”
With a heavy sigh, “Sir, Sookie Stackhouse is on the line for you.”
“Thank you Milli.”
There is a little click, “Sir, before you start, whatever it is, the answer is no. The last time I let you talk me into something, Vampire Bill… er Tim threatened to kill me if I ever talk to you again. And PLEASE can I have another code name? The press is even calling me that.”
“Oh come on, Bill’s not gonna kill you, he’ll just yell a lot.”
“He bought a gun, I saw it.”
“Hmm… Don’t make me start liking him. Anyway, you say you want a new code name? I’ll tell you what, you do this little project for me, and I’ll change it to, say, Lafayette. Whaddya say?”
“I’m not sure that’s better, Sir.”
“Ok, Sheriff Dearborne or Detective Bellefleur? How about one of those then?”
“How about Sam Merlotte?”
“No, I have someone else in mind for that one.”
“Then I want to be Eric Northman,” he says flatly.
Jack Daniels spews out of your nose and you cough a few times before you regain your composure, “My, you are ambitious.” You think about this for a second, “Ok, but you’re still gonna owe me after this project.
Here’s the deal: I need you to send a couple hundred or so of your ground pounders down to Arizona. We’re gonna call this a fact finding mission, that’s a dull enough name so that no one will bother to find out what’s going on till after it’s in play.”
“What part of Arizona?”
“Where ever the biggest door in the border wall is.”
“What they’re gonna do is meet with Mexicans immigrating to the country and collect a entry fee, let’s make it… twenty bucks.”
“Sir you won’t need a hundred guys for that, there’s only like twenty or so a day who even ask to come into the country.”
“I think it’ll be more like a few hundred thousand when I get done. I need your boys to pair up with my Guidos (codename for the boys from DHS), they’ll get the fingerprints, DNA, voice print analysis, or whatever those paranoid schizos feel they need and your boys will assign ’em tax payer IDs and collect the fees.”
“Ok… I know I’m going to regret asking this, but why Arizona?”
“Oh, we got a pool on how many more of my press conferences it will take to cause Bridesmaid (code name for Senator McCain) to stroke out. You wanna get in on that?”
“Who’s got one?”
“Me of course.”
“No thanks, I’ll be surprised if he makes it to two.” there’s a low sigh, “Ok. I probably can’t get into to too much trouble for just collecting taxes, it is my job anyway.”
“Great! Oh and by the way, on the first say, 25,000 guys coming through, let’s lose the paperwork and kind of accidentally send that cash over to my buddies at the Ferrari place up here.”
“You’re going to get me shot.”
“Eric! Come on, what’s a few little bullets to Eric Northman?”
Phase two complete. On to phase three, changing the immigration law. Seems impossible to a lay person, but really it’s very simple. All you need it one Senator on your side, a three thousand page bill for something so mundane it’s guaranteed to pass with no one bothering to read it. A bill loaded with enough pork to handle the world barbecue contest. The Senator? Why your good buddy Snake in the Grass, codename for Senator Schister. Even though you two got off to a rocky start, you’ve discovered that he has qualities that make him an excellent partner for you in the Stooges (code name for the Senate), mainly that he’s easy to get on film with hookers.
Back at The Amityville Horror, in the Jungle Room (code name for the Oval Office, oddly not one of yours, thanks President Bill…) you call up the Shrew, “Milli get me Snake in the Grass on the phone.”
“Yes Sir.” she says with that ever present hint of foreboding.
A few minutes later she’s back, “Sir, Senator Schister… er Snake in the Grass is on the line for you.”
“Snaky! Good to hear from you!”
“Yes Sir, good to hear from you, I heard you had some fun down there in Virginia.”
“Yep, sorry you couldn’t make it, we had a blast. Literally.”
“So, Sir, what can I do for you?”
“I need you to revise a bill to my liking.”
“Let me guess, the education bill? I told those morons you’d kill them if they sent that to you. Don’t worry, if I rip out all the pork, that bill will probably be nothing but a couple paragraphs…”
“No no, not this time, I want you to add just a little something to it. Something somewhere around page two thousand, so nobody will bother to read it.”
There’s an evil chortle, like the ones you seen on the films of the Senator, “I don’t know what it is and I already like it.”
“Here’s what I want, I want some verbiage that says as long as Latin Americans pay the twenty buck entry fee, sign up with the Guidos, get a tax ID and have a job prospect waiting for them here, they can immediately immigrate to the US via the Arizona entry port.”
“Woah… This is a big one even for you, Mr. President. I didn’t know we had an entry port in Arizona.”
“We will in few hours.”
“How are they going to get job prospects? Is that the loop hole to keep this from becoming a flood?”
“Oh no, they already got jobs waiting here.”
“Interesting… is it a secret?”
“No, Made Man wasn’t the only one I took to the cleaners at the World Cup. Slick Willy went down hard too. The jobs are to pay off his losses to me.”
“Oh, sorry, that’s the code name for BP CEO Tony Hayward. Those boys are all getting jobs cleaning up the gulf.”
“So… you intend for this to be a flood? A flood of people to clean up the flood of oil. For you, this is almost altruistic, you aren’t getting soft on me are you?”
You laugh, “No, I just need to pay for the, er, damages due to the party we had in Virginia.”
“I just remembered that I have number three in the pool for Bridesmaid’s stroke. This’ll probably do it.”
“Yeah… this job has it’s perks.”
“Sir, I do foresee one problem with your plan. I don’t think the Mexican President is going to like watching all his people heading off to the US. My guess is soon as it starts he’ll shut his side of the border like a bear trap.”
“I got that worked out already, which reminds me, I need to make a call. How long before you can get that bill to my desk?”
“I’d say we can get it voted on right now, maybe an hour. Those guys are just itching to send you a huge bill just to piss you off. In fact, I think it’s an extra thousand pages for that very reason.”
“Excellent, get it to me ASAP. Watch the fear when I sign it a minute after they drop it on me…” You hear Snaky’s evil laugh again as he hangs up.
“Milli, get me Santa Anna aboard The Flying Lambada.” You learned from a re-run of NCIS that, unless the President is on it, it’s not really Air Force One, so it just seemed right to give it a new code name when you loaned it out to President Calderon.
A minute later, “Sir, President Calderon is on the line for you.”
“Oh all right, Sir, Santa Anna is on the line for you.” The click is almost violent.
“Mr. President! What can I do for you my friend?”
“No need to be so formal there, just call me Cheesy. I just wanted to check in and make sure Captain Tailhook and his boys are treating you well. How about Gucci Cucci? She keeping you warm and fuzzy?” Cucci is, of course, the code name for the Italian Special Ambassador to the President, AKA the bartender from Rome.
“How do you gringos say it? That’s a big ten four buddy. Really glad you let her fly with me.”
“Hey, I’ve never been to Acapulco, no idea what the weather is like there, didn’t want you to get cold. Anyway, I’d say that relations with Italy are at an all time high for us. Thought I’d work on helping you guys reconnect with them, so to speak.”
“Yes, reconnecting is fun…”
“Anyway, we have an expression, maybe you’ve heard it: tit for tat. So you’ve gotten the tit, I thought now would be a good time to ask for the tat.”
“Well, I’ve never had a free vacation before, so I didn’t figure this one was either, what do you have in mind?”
“Well, in a couple hours, I’m going to open our border to your people and let them come on in the country.”
“Dios mio, I don’t think I like that idea…”
“Wait now, think about this just a second. All those people that leave weren’t gonna vote for you anyway, so this will just strengthen your base for the next election. Less voting machine ‘enhancement’ for you to deal with. Besides, we don’t need all of them, I just need a little delay till say a fifty thousand or so make it through.”
“Dios mio, you’re crazier than than my intelligence service thought. I can’t wait to see what you are cooking up with that. I’ll give them a day or two ‘fore I shut down my side of the border.”
“Perfect, that will probably be just about long enough for the Stooges to read that bill they’re about to send me for signing. This could be historic, for the first time ever they’ll read all the bill they wrote.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, are you in on the pool for Bridesmaid’s stroke?”
“Crap! I have two in the pool. You’re opening the door in Arizona I suppose?”
You chuckle, “Of course, where else? Really can’t do it in Texas, no kind of federal law change makes those yahoos not shoot you.”
“And you have one in the pool?”
“Yeah, there is that.”
“I hope someone catches his reaction on film, can’t wait to see it.”
“Oh that reminds me, I have to make another call. Give Cucci some diplomacy for me.”
“Milli, get me Candy Cain at Certainly Not News please?”
A couple of minutes go by, “Sir, Candy Crowl… Cain is on the line for you.”
“Candy! How’s my favorite reporter?”
“Oh come on, you can call me Cheesy, we’re private here. Well, except for the NSA and maybe China, but none of them care.”
“What can I do for you?”
“Hmm… I was just making sure Operation Embedded Tick is on schedule.”
“It is. I have two cameramen in place, so we get it from two angles.”
“You sound angry, did I make you mad somehow?”
“I have four in the pool, Sir, and I’m guessing I’m not even close now.”
You bust out laughing for moment, “Four is highly optimistic I’d say. But don’t be mad at me. When the Mile High Club gets back I’ll take you on the next road trip with me and make it up to you.”
“I was in the bar in Virginia.”
“Yikes. I’m kinda fuzzy on that night. I didn’t come on to you or something did I?”
“No worse than usual. Not sure I want to be in another bar fight with your guys though. You know, when you are finally out of office, I really would like to hear the real story of how you got out of there.”
“You don’t believe that I… Hmm… I never read the story about how I got out of there. How did they say I got out?”
“The usual, terrorist attack, Secret Service team extracted you after the ‘heroic’ local police kept you in safe custody.”
“And you don’t believe that?”
“Hell no. For one thing, I think the terrorists love you.”
“Hey what can I say, I’m apparently great at diplomacy. I did get Yahoo and the Mad Abbot to have a beer together.”
“Yes, Giacinta told me all about your abilities at ‘diplomacy’”
“Sorry, Gucci Cucci. She said you were pretty good at it”
“Oh… so that’s her name? Hmm… Well, I can’t really take all the credit for that, I learned a lot from watching the tapes of Snaky. For a fat old man he is pretty limber, you’d be surprised. Of course, judging by the volume of tapes, he’s had a LOT of practice.”
“As a reporter I can’t believe I’m saying this, but that is too much information.”
The Shrew knocks on the door and pokes her head in, “Candy, sweetie, I gotta go do bad things. Unfortunately not to you. Maybe next time at the bar.”
“Don’t hold your breath Cheesy, I don’t like you that much.”
You smile at the Shrew as you see she’s holding your bill. You get up quickly and meet her at the door. Behind her a couple of the Stooges are standing in the lobby with big grins. You take the bill from the Shrew, flip it to the signing page, sign it and hand it back, “Thanks Milli.” The grins behind her change to dropped-jaw gapes of horror. They know they are screwed but they just don’t know how yet. It’s a sight of beauty as the Shrew closes the door behind her.
A few minutes later the Shrew announces that Spin Cycle (code name for the White House Communications Director) has arrived to let you know that the dreaded press conference is about to happen. As he comes into the room, you try not to grit your teeth. You don’t like this guy, he’s one of those people who gets up at the crack of dawn and does aerobics before he goes out and attempts to spread morning cheer to people who don’t want any. Worse than that, he talks a lot, but never actually says anything. And probably most of what he does say is complete bullshit.
However, he is a very useful tool, and you decided to keep him around, “Hey, I just heard about the terrorist attack, thanks for that one.”
“Just doing my job Sir,” he says in that all too chipper tone. “We have about ten minutes, do you want to go over the speech I wrote for you, Sir?”
You glance back toward the trashcan by your desk, “No, I think I got it,” you say as you follow him out the door.
Backstage it’s just about time and you actually notice you have a few butterflies in your stomach. A belt of Jack Daniels kills them dead. Just Jack (code name for your makeup artist) gives you ‘the look’ as he comes over to fix your lipstick. I did say this part of your job sucks right?
On stage you hear Human Target (code name for the White House spokeswoman) giving your cue to come on stage, “As the President is very busy today I’m sorry but he won’t be taking any questions. Thank you.” She walks hurriedly off the stage past you and takes a big swig off of your bottle of Jack Daniels.
You enter the stage smiling, as if you were a nice guy or something. “Thank you ladies and gentlemen of the press corps. Are there any questions?” You can actually hear Human Target planting her face in her palms backstage. In the audience there is stunned, awkward, fearful silence. All of them look at each other as if they are telepathically deciding which of them should grow a pair and ask a question. You savor the moment.
Finally a hand goes up, it’s the wienie from Reuters. “Yes?” You point to him.
“Um…” he stammers and clears his throat, “Mr. President, we don’t know what the topic of the press conference is, Sir.”
You put on your disappointed-first-grade-teacher face, “I am very busy, if you don’t have a question please don’t raise your hand.” He gets about six inches shorter in the chair. There’s more silence.
At last, the idiot from Associated Press speaks up, “Sir, didn’t you have a speech to deliver to us?” You’d think that after having the Guidos disassemble his convertible corvette and put it back together, (well, sort of put it back together, the boys at DHS aren’t auto mechanics…) the last time he asked a question, that he wouldn’t be first to ask anything.
“No, those things never really say anything so I figured it would save time if I skipped it entirely.”
More scary silence. The reporter from BBC puts up a timid shaking hand, “Was there some news you had for us, Sir, Mr. President?”
“Why yes there is. Thanks to a mammoth bipartisan effort by our friends in the Senate, I signed the education bill into law. As a part of that bill, we will be allowing our Latin American neighbors to easily immigrate into the United States via our new Entry Port in Arizona. They will need only to prove they have a job for them here, pay the entry fee and sign up with the Department of Homeland Security. And thanks to efforts by BP, as many as a hundred thousand jobs are available for cleaning up the gulf spill.”
There’s another silence broken by the hand from Fox News, “Mr. President, I’m curious, why would that provision be part of an education bill?” You can see someone else needs to have the Guidos pay them a visit.
“Well, while we all understand that your news organization’s viewpoint is different on this subject, the Senate and for that matter myself as well, feel that cultural education is important for our young people, certainly our young people in the great state of Arizona. We also think that especially the cultures of our nearest neighbors are important. And we can think of no better way to get that education than to have many of their culture visit us right here in our country.”
In a the clubhouse of a golf course somewhere in Arizona, a couple of TV cameras are sitting pointed at Senator McCain as he sits watching the Presidential Press Conference live on TV. The cameraman to his left looks at his watch and estimates the Senator’s heart rate to be 135 by watching the throbbing artery in his neck. The cameraman bites his lip, because he has number five in the pool.
Back at The Cow Pattie (The White House Press Room) you see Vampire Bill off to your right, back stage. You realize you should have started a pool on his mental meltdown, cause he certainly looks like he’s about to have one. “If you have any further questions,” The looks of horror on the press corps tells you they do, in fact, have more questions. “I have brought Vamp… er the Secretary of the Treasury here today to answer them.” You clap him onto the stage, thus trapping him there.
As he walks onto the stage he’s a little slow at the practiced maneuver of changing expression from one of homicidal rage to one of pleasant, I’m-here-to-supply-you-with-bullshit expression. Since he really doesn’t know what is going on, he stammers at getting some help, “Sir? I er?” as you blast past him, smiling as you shake his hand quickly saying, “Tell ’em all about it, Bill.”
Backstage, you find your bottle of Jack empty. Just Jack is there ready to wipe the makeup off of your face. You point to the bottle, “Just? You’re pretty skinny to knock that much whiskey off.”
Just Jack grimaces and shudders. “Ewww… I would NEVER drink that. I have a very sensitive pallet. That was the Target, she drank that like a shot,” he says as he starts wiping your face off.
“I guess I should try to console her huh? Where’d she go anyway?”
He points to a wardrobe rack full of suits, “She’s right there, sir.”
It takes a second, but you realize that one of the suits hanging up has a person in it. “Oh well, guess she could use a nap ‘fore I do the consoling.”
“Oh I expect it’s going to be a lot more than a nap, sir.”
You mentally count that Vampire Bill is about to take the third, meaning the last, question so you grab another bottle of Jack out of the fridge and pat the unconscious Human Target on the head lovingly as you rush to get to the Ground Rocket. You timed it slightly wrong (makeup takes longer to remove than you planned, no wonder women are always late…) and you’re not quite safely in the Ground Rocket when Vampire Bill comes homicidally rushing out of the door behind you.
Fortunately the Agent’s Smith on either side of the walk way have a reflex that reacts strongly to people “rushing” toward you and Vampire Bill looks shocked for a moment before he is face planted onto the concrete. You grimace as you step into the Rocket and yell to the Agent’s Smith, “Hey, make sure he gets right to the hospital, that cut on his head might need stitches.” Even if it doesn’t, taking him to the hospital will give you plenty of time to finish your escape.
Major Tom, codename for the limo driver, turns to you as you sit, “Camp Stinkie Winkie, sir?”
“As my Mexican buddies say, that’s a big ten four buddy.” And off to Camp David you head, smug in the knowledge that your work week is done and done well. As the Limo rolls out from the Amityville Horror, you note the Guidos getting some more automotive repair practice out in the reporter’s parking area. It appears that they think the carburetor of that Cadillac is part of the brake, but they did a nice job of air hammering onto the wheel anyway.
A while later you get the sad news about Bridesmaid. You are informed by Santa Anna that it appears that the stroke was just a panic attack. Specifically he said, “In your face, Mr. President! I’m up next! Hahaha, can’t wait till your next press conference…”
You reflect as your nurse your glass of whiskey that you should have known Bridesmaid is tougher than you thought. After all, he was a POW and worse, he spent several months listening to Sarah Palin’s voice up close and personal. Perhaps number four wasn’t so optimistic after all. Fortunately you get news from M.A.S.H. (codename for George Washington Hospital) that the medics had to put Vampire Bill in a straight jacket and sedate him so they could get the stitches in him. It didn’t help that he was carrying a gun and kept yelling something about needing to get to Stinkie Winkie…
You decide to start a new pool.
As president, you really should be better at gambling. Jones is 2 and 2.
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