The Presidential bedroom in the White House. Barack Obama stands in front of a full-length mirror, admiring his new clothes.
Barack: Ooooo, yeah, baby! So fine!
Michelle Obama [entering the room]: What the…? Barack, where did you get those silly-looking pajamas?
Barack: C’mon, Michelle. Any idi..er, I mean, anybody can see this is a uniform.
Michelle: A uniform? [She stares in wonder at the suit in question. Her husband is wearing a short, sky-blue military tunic, fronted with red and gold piping. Gold epaulettes the size of hub-caps rest on his shoulders, and dark blue trousers with double gold stripes run down the side of each pants leg. The presidential pontoons are shod in patent-leather jackboots, and, atop his head, an enormous shako resembling an overturned milk bucket teeters precariously. His face is enveloped in the shadow cast by the black leather visor, which is decorated with nearly a pound of “scrambled eggs”] Barack, take that damn thing off!
Barack: I intend to, love of my life. I plan to wear this only on special occasions.
Michelle: The only special occasion I can think of when that thing might be appropriate is if the people kick your ass outta here in 2012 and you land a job as a doorman at some ritzy hotel.
Barack: Not so! Those Taliban idiots are putting Afghanistan on the front burner again – at the worst possible time for me, incidentally, what with the economy being a wreck and elections coming up – and it’s likely that I’ll have to begin making more joint appearances with General Petraeus. Well, I’m not letting that guy outshine me! I’m the commander-in-chief, and I want people to know it.
Michelle: He sure isn’t going to outshine you, not if you wear that gaudy uniform. Hell, you’re flashing like a truck full of mirrors right now. Take it off, it’s hurting my eyes!
Barack: Ok, ok. [Obama begins peeling off his clothes]
Michelle [idly picking up the tunic]: Where did you get this outfit, anyway?
Barack: From Perfectly Authentic Costumes Online. It’s an exact reproduction of a French cavalry uniform from the Napoleonic era.
Michelle [Noticing a tag sewn into one of the breast pockets]: A cavalry uniform, eh? Then how come this tag says “Property of Ringling Brothers Circus”?
Barack: What?!? Here, give me that! Damn! You mean to tell me this is just a suit that used to belong to the calliope player in a circus?
Michelle: It might have belonged to a lion tamer.
Barack: Hmm. Could be. That would explain the big plaid patch on the trouser seat. *Sigh*. First McChrystal, and now this. Well, the week’s almost over. Not much danger of anything else going wrong.
A knock at the door. Invited to enter, the president’s gentleman’s personal gentleman – Gustave Napoleon Toussaint D’Orleans, late of Haiti, but now a U.S. citizen in good standing, and fondly referred to as “Gus” - walks into the room.
Gus: Pardon, Monsieur Le President, but Monsieur Le Vice President begs an audience.
Barack [brows frowning with the concern that always possesses him when Biden’s name is mentioned, in any context whatsoever]: What does he want, Gus?
Gus: Monsieur Le Vice President wishes to inform you about a small mishap zat, he says, may excite some comment in ze press.
Barack: What “mishap”?
Gus: As you know, Monsieur Le President, Monsieur Biden commutes via ze AmTrack train to an’ from Delaware. He eez also, eet seems, a bit of, how do you say, ze railroad ent’usiast. He was explaining to a fellow passenger how ze emergency brake works, an’ he absent-mindedly pulled on ze brake cord, causing ze train to stop ver’ fast. Several of ze pipples was injured, an’ Monsieur Biden heemself damaged one of heez valuable hair plugs. Zat is when ze mishap occurred.
Barack [he had buried his face in his hands; a muffled question emerged, as if from a tomb]: You mean to tell me there’s more?
Gus: Ah, mais oui, Monsieur Le President! Ze engineer was one of ze ones who got knocked out, so Monsieur Biden decided zat he would take ze train into ze station, an’ he wound up running into a cow.
Barack: A cow?
Gus: Oui, but she was not badly hurt. Ze driver of ze gasoline truck, on ze utter han’…
Barack [in a haunted voice]: Gasoline truck?
Gus: Ah, pardon! I failed to mention ze gasoline truck!
Barack: Is the driver…dead?
Gus: Oh, no, no, Monsieur Le President. Just a broken arm. Ze locomoteev, however, would appear to be of no further use to AmTrak.
The military tunic landed on Barack’s head, thrown by Michelle
Michelle: I know what it is, now; a ringmaster’s suit! Might as well put it on – and leave it on.