What About Bush? A Play in One Final Act.

THE SCENE: The Oval Office. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH is absent from the seat behind the desk. VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY squats there instead, toad-like, hands folded on his stomach, chin down, snoring gently. A large box on the desk reads: “DC TRANSLATOR – PUSH RED BUTTON TO ACTIVATE.” There is a comfy-looking sofa on one side of the desk, and a couple of wing chairs rest on the other side.

The clock on the wall reads 8:59. It’s morning, and the windows are full of light.

The clock hits 9:00. BUSH enters through a side door, wiping a little extra powder from under his nose.

BUSH [walking over to CHENEY, amped]: Woo-hoo! [shakes CHENEY awake] That was some good shit, Dick. Paraguay again?

CHENEY: [grouchy] Grrrmmm-mmrrrm-prrrrmmmm! [CHENEY only speaks in sneers and mumbles.]

BUSH: God bless it, I forgot again. [presses red button on DC translator] Say what, Dick?

CHENEY: I said, no, that’s prime shit from Colombia. They’re upping their production lately.

BUSH: [crossing to sofa next to desk and lying on it, hands crossed behind his head] Well, shit, freedom isn’t free.

CHENEY: [rolling eyes] Sure, George, whatever you say. [brief, awkward pause]

BUSH: [fidgeting nervously] Heh-heh. Say, where’s Bolty with my daily briefing? You know how I hate it when people are late.

[JOSH BOLTEN, Bush’s Chief of Staff, enters through another door.]

BOLTEN [nervous]: H-h-hello, Mr. President. Mr. Vice President. I apologize for my inexcusable lateness, but there was a gas leak on my street, some houses exploded, and well, my wife and kids are dead. I had to make a few arrangements. [The clock on the wall still reads 9 am.]

BUSH: Gosh, that’s terrible, Bolty. I hope you know that your wife and kids died as heroes. We’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here! [Bush smiles expectantly. Awkward pause again.]

BOLTEN: Uh, thanks, Mr. President. That was, um, very inspirational.

BUSH: Of course it was! Now, just give me my briefing, and you can have the rest of the day off for the memorial service and golfing.

BOLTEN: G-g-golfing, sir?

BUSH: Sure! That’s what my parents did when my little sister died. Isn’t that what everyone does? Help me out here, Dick?

CHENEY [rolling his eyes]: Mrrrmmmm-hmphmmm-grmmmm!

BOLTEN: Darned thing! Here, let me, Mr. President. [crosses to desk, hits Cheney translator a couple of times, presses the red button again]

BUSH: Heh-heh. Never mind, we’ll catch you on the other side, Dick-o. So anyway, Bolty, how’s Operation Loose End going?

BOLTEN: [cheering up a bit] Excellente, sir! [His Spanish accent is impeccable.]

BUSH [threatened]: Say what now?

BOLTEN [contritely]: Oh, I apologize for my poor pronunciation, sir. I mean [butchering the word] excellente! [sits in one of the wing chairs next to the desk]

BUSH [relieved]: Oh. Okay then! So, we finally got that asshole Maliki to open the gates? [CHENEY smirks widely.]

BOLTEN: Yessir, that mission is accomplished. Iraq’s oil leases are ready for the taking.

CHENEY: Heckuva job, Georgie! Thank Halliburton that no one was able to get access to my secret energy meeting minutes before we invaded Iraq.

BUSH: Heh-heh. Yeah, Dick-o, wouldn’t have been too good if the American people knew how you guys were already divvying up the pot back in Oh-One, now, would it? [All three snicker knowingly.]

BUSH: All right, Bolty, what other good news ya got for me?

BOLTEN: Well, sir, now that the North Koreans are no longer on the Axis of Evil – good job there, Mr. President – we’ve only got two countries left to invade. Which one should we bomb?

[BUSH looks helplessly at CHENEY.]

CHENEY: Do you need to go to the bathroom again, George?

BUSH: [getting up and pacing] No, no, waitaminute, I know this one – the other countries are, Iraq and Lebanon, right?

BOLTEN: Very close, sir! Mr. Vice President, can you show the President the chart again? I updated it myself after the good news from Kim-Jung Il.

[CHENEY sighs dramatically, then stands up laboriously, pulling down a chart from above the President’s desk. The chart looks like this.]

BUSH [squinting dubiously]: Oh, yeah! I remember those guys. Thanks, Bolty! [sits down in a wing chair next to BOLTEN, who gazes at BUSH adoringly] So, who do you think we should bomb, Dick-o?

CHENEY: Well, George, you know, I think we shouldn’t bomb either of them now. We’ve got the oil leases. Let’s just kick back and celebrate your glorious successes until they inaugurate McCain in 2009.

BUSH: You, uh, seem pretty confident that McCain is gonna win this thing. What about this guy Obambo?

BOLTEN: That’s Obama, sir. Barack Obama.

BUSH: Barack a-What-a? Jeezus Christmas, what a crazy name. Anywho, Fristy and Boney tell me the Democrats are gonna cream ’em in Congress in November. They’re so depressed, they’re thinking of spending time with their families, if ya know what I mean.

BOLTEN: They must be depressed, sir – have you seen their families? [All three chortle manfully.]

BUSH: Seriously, guys – I’m a little nervous that after the new President comes in, they might do that impeachment thing to me and Dick. I mean, if that idiot Kerry had been elected in 2004, we would have started impeachin’ him in February of Oh-Five!

CHENEY: The Democrats won’t win this one, George. Obama has, shall we say, religious problems. You know, that “God Damn America” guy? And he launched his Senate career from a terrorist’s doorstep.

BUSH: Terrorists? Where? Freedom is on the march!!! [awkward silence]

BOLTEN [jumping in]: Yes, sir, it sure is! Anyway, what the Vice President is saying, is that the Democrats nominated the one guy who couldn’t win this year. The Democratic base doesn’t like him, and he’s managed to piss off a lot of people so much that they started their own movement.

BUSH: Oh yeah – that PUMA stuff. Can you believe that some morons think those PUMA idiots are Republicans? We wouldn’t stand for that shit in our house, would we Turd Blossom?

[KKKARL ROVE steps out from behind a curtain.]

ROVE: No, we sure wouldn’t. The idiots in our party wanted Huckabee. We put a stop to that crap right away.

I agree with Dick. The Democratic Party won’t win the White House in November. We’ve got our ads all ready to go – we’re just waiting in case the Democrats come to their senses and nominate Hillary.

BUSH [flinching]: Jeezus, TB, don’t bring up that bitch’s name to me. I have nightmares about her sitting in this office and destroying everything we’ve done! My legacy could be in ruins! No more signing statements. No more torture. No more warrantless wiretapping. No more tax breaks for our friends and family. She could make the middle class strong again, and then who’d vote for us? And you know she is just DYING to impeach our butts. [pause]

Gimme a drink, Dick. [CHENEY reaches into a desk drawer and pulls out a bottle of Jack Daniels. BUSH takes a long swig out of the bottle and puts it down on the desk.] Whoooo-ee, that’s the stuff. Sorry for the freak-out, boys, but that woman scares the shit out of me.

[All three others in unison]: Me too!

BUSH: All right, Karl, you can go back behind the curtains again. You’re not supposed to be here, ya know.

ROVE: Right you are, George. [obeys]

BOLTEN: [clearing throat] Okay, so, to summarize, everything’s great, no threats on the horizon, and you’re set for a clear landing in January.

CHENEY: I’ll drink to that! [swigs from the same bottle as BUSH] You can go now, Josh. [BOLTEN salutes, then leaves the office.]

BUSH: [going back to the couch] Hey, Dick – you got any more of that stuff you gave me before? I gotta go clear Condi’s brush. Heh-heh.