Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Drilling for Oil

Faced with a stagnant economy, plunging approval ratings, and skyrocketing oil prices, the President took decisive action this week during a meeting with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah at Bush's ranch near Crawford, Texas.

Spies at the ranch were able to smuggle out these top secret photos along with transcripts of the meeting.

Subject: Meeting with Crown Prince Abdullah
Location: Prairie Chapel Ranch
Code Name: Operation Drill for Oil

Using his patented "stealth method" the President slips his arm around the Crown Prince. A detailed analysis of the photos reveals his cunning two-step process.

Step One: The President pretends to yawn and stretch.
Step Two: He smoothly brings his arm down and around the Crown Prince's waist.

"Just like the Fonz taught Richie Cunnigham on that episode of Happy Days." mumbles a smiling Dubya.

In an unfortunate blunder, the President leans in and compliments the Crown Prince on his "gorgeous brown dress." Ensconced in the While House and listening in via a microphone implanted in Bush's lapel pin, Vice President Cheney becomes apoplectic. "Hey moron, it's called a mishla, not a dress! We just spent a week going over this, you f***ing idiot!" he screams.

Upon hearing this via the micro transmitter in his ear, the President immediately shifts into damage control mode. He asks the Crown Prince to take a quiet walk with him so that they can spend time alone, away from the crowds.

After convincing Abdullah that it's quite common in the Unites States for men to hold hands, Dubya begins to show him around the ranch.

Making small talk along the way, Bush guides Abdullah towards the garden path that he uses whenever he wants to get Laura "in the mood."

"There's nothing like a romantic stroll through the flowers at sunset to get those juices flowing, if you know what I mean." the President says with a wink, dropping a not-too-subtle hint about his intentions. Back at the White House, Cheney cringes and advises Bush to "tone it down just a bit."

Quickly changing subjects, Dubya begins to talk about his workout regimen. He casually mentions the combination of interval training, squats, and lunges that does on a daily basis to tighten up the "ol' glutes." Intrigued, the Crown Prince tries to sneak a peek at the President's backside as they enter the garden.

Realizing that the Crown Prince is a somewhat husky man - and anxious to avoid another embarrassing faux pas - the President quickly adds "Now that doesn't mean I'm into gym rats. Nope. I like my men with a little bit of meat on them. It gives me a little somethin' to hold on to while I'm...uh, you know...'riding'."

Upon hearing this, Cheney begins having chest pains.

Meanwhile, trailing behind Bush and Abdullah, Condi Rice opens negotiations with a Saudi Arabian delegate. The 'price list' is long and detailed, calling for the Saudis to increase production capacity from their current level of 9.5 million barrels per day in return for certain acts that the President may be asked to perform. For example:

Kissing = 10 million barrels per day

Heavy petting = 10.5 million barrels per day

Oral Sex = 11 million barrels per day

Intercourse (Bush "pitching") = 12 million barrels per day

Intercourse (Bush "catching") = 12.5 million barrels per day

It quickly becomes apparent to the entire Saudi Arabian delegation that access to the President's "buns of steel" won't come cheaply.

While Rice continues to negotiate, Bush and Abdullah meander along the path. "Unchained Melody" plays softly in the background courtesy of the high-tech rock speakers that Secret Service agents have placed at strategic points throughout the garden.

Bush bends down to pick a flower. He hands it to Abdullah saying "I know Blue Bells are your favorite. I think of you - and that magical night we shared in Riyadh - every time I see them."

Using his best approximation of bedroom eyes, Bush gazes soulfully at the Crown Prince as Abdullah tells him that he, too, has fond memories of that evening. He confides to the President that he's spent many nights at his residence in Rawdat Khuraim reminiscing about their "special night of forbidden love."

Cheney excitedly urges the President to move in for the kill. At last, the moment that Bush has prepared for all week has arrived.*

He stops, takes the Crown Prince in his arms and looks at him longingly. "Have I ever told you how much I love the way the gold piping on your mishla brings out the color of your eyes?" he says, his voice low and thick with lust. "Or how I adore the way your gutra frames your face?" The Crown Prince smiles shyly and blushes. Emboldened by the positive reaction to his flattering words, Dubya begins ad-libbing.

"You know, Princey, I can do things with my tongue that will make your tagiyah spin. Maybe if you're a 'bad boy,' I'll use your agal to show you how we hog tie down here in Texas. You'd like that, wouldn't you?"

This exchange proves too much for Cheney. Enraged, the crimson faced Vice President launches into a tirade, sending spittle flying and causing the transmitter to short circuit. Finally, he collapses on the floor, spent and weeping.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

Much to everyone's surprise, Bush's strategy pays off. Abdullah leans in and gives him a deep and passionate kiss that rivals anything ever seen in the movies. Somwhat aroused - and sensing that there are still more production increases to be had - Bush presses his advantage.

"Why don't we go upstairs?" he suggests. "So we can have some coffee and I can slip into something a little more comfortable."

* Secret Service Agent Flannery, who was forced to play the part of the Crown Prince during the numerous rehearsals that Cheney put the Dubya through, later confided to friends that "It might not have been so bad if the President didn't insist on slipping me the tongue whenever we practiced kissing."

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Defense Rests

They say that an attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client. I've always wondered who 'they' are and how the hell they know so much about everything, but at the moment I had no time to worry about that. I was too busy fighting for my life.

As I prepared for my closing argument, I couldn't help but to reflect on the brilliance of the defense I'd presented. It was with no small sense of pride that I realized that 'they' were wrong, for I would have been a fool to have hired an attorney to represent me.

I stood and addressed the court. "I respectfully submit" I began, "that I have proven beyond a reasonable doubt and, dare I say, beyond any doubt whatsoever that I could not possibly be found guilty of murder." I knew that it was arrogant to throw in the part about "any doubt whatsoever," but what the hell, I was feeling invincible.

"Allow me to summarize the facts of the case, your Honor," I continued. "I've shown that I never met the victim, was never observed near him, and, in fact, had never even heard of him before reading about the tragic killing in the newspaper." My momentum built as I played to the packed courtroom, knowing I held them in the palm of my hand.

"The coroner's report that I submitted as Defense Exhibit 'A' places the time of death as between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on February 27. However, as my plane ticket stub submitted as Defense Exhibit 'B' and my flight itinerary submitted as Defense Exhibit 'C' prove, I was on a flight from San Francisco to New York at that time. I also call your attention to Defense Exhibits 'D' through 'G', sworn affidavits from my fellow passengers confirming that they saw me on that flight."

My confidence was soaring and I could have gone on forever, but I thought it best to wrap up my closing quickly. Besides, I had saved the best for last and was anxious to get to it. "Most importantly," I concluded, "there is not one ounce of DNA evidence linking me to the murder. In fact, there is no evidence at all that I was at or even anywhere remotely near the crime scene!" I couldn't resist glancing at the police officer next to me as I delivered this last jab, and I noticed a look of utter confusion and dismay on his face. I smirked at him before continuing. "Your honor, I believe that this court has no choice but to find me not guilty of this murder and to allow me to go free."

Satisfied with my performance, I took my seat at the defense table. The judge stared at me for a moment, his mouth agape. I met his gaze with a sense of confidence born of a job well done. It appeared that he'd never been in the presence of an orator as skilled as myself and he was probably wondering how I, a man with no formal legal training or trial experience, had masterminded such a brilliant defense. He seemed barely able to restrain himself from stepping down and offering me his position on the bench in deference to my mastery of the judicial system.

The crowd in the courtroom began murmuring, forcing the judge to bang his gavel and demand silence. He glanced at the police officer next to me and shook his head in exasperation. I actually felt sorry for the poor bastard as I watched the judge silently fume over the police department's ineptitude.

Finally, after reviewing the charges before him for a moment, he looked down at me and began to speak. "Let me begin by saying that the court was entertained by your defense. You've submitted incontrovertible evidence to support your contention that you are not guilty of murder. However..."

He paused for a moment. The courtroom grew deathly silent in anticipation of the forthcoming crescendo to our little drama. Meanwhile, my heart sank and my mind began to race. In my mind, I replayed every detail of the trial, wondering what could I possibly have missed. Was there some legal protocol that I'd failed to observe, thus dooming my case? Had I somehow overlooked a key piece of evidence that was about to come back to haunt me?

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't think of a single thing I'd done wrong. After what felt like an eternity, the judge sighed and concluded his thoughts. "However," he repeated, "As I've told you a hundred times already, this is traffic court and we're here to talk about your speeding ticket. Now let's try this again. All I need is a simple plea of guilty or not guilty."

"Oh," I replied. "Guilty."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Passing of a Legend

A lot has happened since the last time I posted. Most of it wasn't worth writing about, but there was one piece of news about which I feel compelled to comment.

As the eyes of the world looked on, one of the most recognizable figures in the world - and one of the guiding lights of the late 20th century - passed away following a brief illness. He was admired by people all over the globe, regardless of their faith, and was believed by many to be the inspiration behind the "Chicken Soup" series of books. By most accounts, he was a tough man. However it's nearly impossible to remember him without recalling how his name was also synonymous with tenderness.

The world mourns his loss.