Early morning in the Oval Office at the White House. President Obama is taking a few practice swings with his favorite driver. There is a knock on the door. Obama’s personal secretary appears
Secretary: Mr. President, Ms. Napolitano is here for the eight o’clock meeting.
Obama (completing a mighty swing): Whoa, momma! That one went 200 yards, easy! Er…heh…Yes, thanks, Ms. Jenkins. Please send her in.
Janet Napolitano: Good morning, Mr. President.
Obama: Good morning, Janet. Please, sit down (they take their seats on opposite sides of the presidential desk). I thought that we might want to discuss this business about the Nigerian bomber. It’s having a negative impact on the public perception of my national security savvy.
A knock on the door. The secretary enters.
Secretary: I’m sorry to interrupt your meeting, sir, but this package just arrived, and I knew you were expecting one.
Obama: Ah! That must be my new custom-made golf shoes. Yes, thank you, Ms. Jenkins. I’ll take it. Now, where were we Janet? Oh, yeah. We were talking about national security.
Napolitano: Well, Mr. President, it’s true that the system doesn’t work perfectly, but we’re instituting new procedures that should improve things considerably.
Obama: Mm-hm. For example?
Napolitano: One thing we’re thinking of doing is handcuffing airplane passengers to the arms of their seats during flight.
Obama: Say, what’s that sizzling noise?
Napolitano: I don’t know, but it seems to be coming from that box.
Obama opens the box and removes the contents, which he places on his desk.
Obama: Hey, that’s not a pair of golf shoes! What do you suppose it is?
Napolitano: Beats me. Anyhow, as I was saying, we’d like to do a better job connecting the intelligence dots, but the Suspicious-Looking Persons Anti-Defamation League has been complaining about profiling, so we’re kind of stymied, there.
The president’s gentleman’s personal gentleman - Gustave Napoleon Toussaint D’Orleans, late of Haiti - enters with a vase of fresh flowers. Spotting the bomb, he immediately throws the water from the vase at the burning fuse, dousing it - and the President – thoroughly.
Obama (spluttering and removing carnations from his hair): Gus! What do you think you’re doing?
Gus: My apologies, Monsieur le President, but I thought it my duty to put out ze bum.
Obama: Bum? What bum? This is Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security! Anyway, if you wanted to put her out, why did you throw water on me?
Gus: I am sorry, Monsieur le President; I fear zat I express myself badly. I am referring to ze exploseeve device on your desk.
Napolitano: Y-y-you mean, that was a bomb?
Gus: Oui, Madame. A bum. I had much experience wit’ bums when I was in ze employ of President-for-Life Baby Doc Duvalier, back in ze old country. La! But ze peeples were always sending to him ze bums! Zat is why I was able to recognize eet immediately.
The president’s secretary knocks on the door again.
Secretary: Pardon me, Mr. President, but Deputy Secretary Jane Lute from Homeland Security is here to see you.
Napolitano (eyeing the president suspiciously): What? Why is Jane Lute here?
Obama: Well…heh…you see how it is, Janet. Er, this screw-up with the Nigerian bomber has…um…forced me to make some tough decisions, and…er…actually, I was thinking of putting her in your slot and shifting you to another job. A very, very important job, I hasten to add.
Napolitano: What is this “other job”?
Obama: Janet, I want you to head up a special task force I’m putting together that will monitor U-boat activity in the Chesapeake Bay.
Napolitano: U-boat activity?!? But there aren’t any U-boats in the Chesapeake Bay.
Obama: That’s the point. I thought maybe you might be better suited to guarding against risks that aren’t out there than for risks that are.
Napolitano: You’re dumping me? For another woman?
Obama: I’m sorry, Janet, but what else can I do? The focus groups have spoken.
Napolitano (grabs the golf club from the president’s desk): Well, buster, what you’d better focus on is getting hold of the telephone number for Tiger Woods’ plastic surgeon!