The Oval Office. President Barack Obama, the weight of the world on his shoulders, is trying to relieve stress by putting golf balls into his 1987 “Excellence in Community Organizing Award” coffee mug. He has lined up a 10-foot shot…he eases the head of his putter back a few inches…and, just as he brings the club forward…he chips the ball, thrown off his stroke by a loud, disembodied voice…
Voice: Mr. President, why did it take two years and the prospect of a government shutdown to finally draw your attention to our budget crisis?
Obama: Damn! Where is that noise coming from? Gus!
The president’s gentleman’s personal gentleman – Gustave Napoleon Toussaint D’Orleans, former valet to President Not-Quite-For-Life Baby Doc Duvalier of Haiti - is standing in the background, wearing a checked green and white Big Apple cap, tweed plus-fours, two-toned white and brown golf shoes (sans cleats), and carrying a bag of clubs over one shoulder, in order to lend an air of verisimilitude to the president’s putting exercise.
Gus: Oui, Monsieur le President?
Obama: Who is that out there doing all of that shouting?
Gus: I believe it eez Monsieur Paco, one of ze Republican presidential candidates. When I was taking ze air a half hour ago, I noticed dat he was walking back an’ fort’ along Pennsylvania Avenue, wearing – how do you say? – a sandwich board proclaiming heez platform. An’ he eez complementing heez written manifesto wit’ ze spoken word, ably assisted in dat regard wit’ what eez referred to as a “bullhorn”.
Paco: Are you afraid to debate the issues, Mr. President?
Obama [smacking his forehead in sudden recollection]: Ah, yes, now I remember. I had a telephone debate with him last week. I had to cut it off early because…er...
Gus: You were seven over par?
Obama: Because of urgent budget negotiations! Can’t we get rid of that guy?
Gus: I do not presume to be a constitutional expert on a level wit’ Monsieur le President, but I am t’inking dat Monsieur Paco eez seemply exercising heez first amendment rights, n’est-ce pas?
Obama: So, I don’t suppose…you know…the sniper on the roof…?
Gus: I radder t’ink not, Monsieur le President.
Paco: A few weeks ago, you proposed the biggest budget, not only in the history of our country, but in the history of any country or empire in the world. Now you’re preparing a speech that will emphasize the importance of living within our means. Does that include the government, Mr. President, or just those people who aren’t yet driving Chevy Volts?
Obama: Grrrr! What a confounded nuisance that fellow is. It’s a good thing he’s probably just viewed by passersby as some kind of nut.
Gus: But, au contraire, sir! He was gaddering quite a crowd a while ago, and dey seemed bien disposé to heez declarations, wit’ much of ze sympathique nodding of ze heads. Mmm, oui…eet was ver’ like ze excited pipples in Port au Prince in ze last days…
Obama: All right, all right! Maybe I should go out and talk to this Paco guy, show him up for the fringe player that he is. Let’s go.
The president snags a couple of Secret Service men and walks out of the White House; however, far from finding a small crowd of zany malcontents, he sees hundreds of protesters, standing beneath a sea of Gadsden flags, chanting a strange slogan.
Obama: Whoa! I wasn’t expecting this. What is that they’re saying, Gus?
Gus: Eet sounds like, “Paquismo, sí! Obama, no!”
Obama [sighing right down to the soles of his feet]: Gus, go pack my bags. I am suddenly overwhelmed by a need to retire to Camp David for some private meditation.
Doing an about-face and scurrying back to the White House, Obama casts one last glance over his shoulder, catching a glimpse of his foe, who is almost completely obscured by a sandwich board, save for his head, which is topped with an elegant Panama hat and is sporting a pair of “state trooper” shades. The president scowls as his opponent lobs another verbal grenade his way.
Paco: Hey, Mr. President! Where you running off to? Are you planning on running away and hiding until November of 2012? Is that going to be your campaign theme? “President Gingerbread Man”?
“Run, run, as fast as you can.
You can't catch me!
I'm the Gingerbread Man!"
The chant is picked up by the crowd.
Obama: Gus, so help me God…
Gus: Ah, laughing wit’ you, Monsieur le President, not at you.