Friday, May 28, 2010

Shaving While the World Burns

U.S. President Barack Obama said yesterday that while he was shaving that morning his daughter Malia banged on the bathroom door. He invited her to come in and she asked: “Daddy, have you plugged the hole yet?” The truth is, of course, that he has not done anything yet except a lot of shaving, which is I am sure why he left off telling the public about the rest of the conversation. Too embarrassing. We can reconstruct it easily enough, though, so I submit that this is what happened (this is a reconstruction):

President Obama: “Mmmm, mmmmm, mmmm. Yahhh, yahhh yahh.”

(Banging noise on the door.)

President Obama: “Come in.”

In walks Malia.

“Are you doing anything important, Daddy?”

“No, honey, I never do anything very important.”

“Gee, daddy, that’s what the Republicans say.”

“Yes, I know. I think they have my number, honey.”

“But what about the hole, daddy? Have you plugged the hole yet?”

No, honey. Mommy and daddy haven’t done that for years. We’re married, you know, and married people never do that. Only single people do that.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Oh, wrong hole. What hole are you talking about, honey?”

“The one in the ocean, daddy. What hole did you think?”

“I’ll tell you when you get older. Mmmmm. Hole in the ocean. Hole in the ocean. Oh yeah. I think I read about that in The National Enquirer. You mean the oil spill. They’ve been talking about that on TV, haven’t they?”

“That’s right, daddy. Have you done anything about that yet?”

“Of course not, honey. It’s British Petroleum’s problem. The president of British Petroleum is not doing anything about it. Why should I do anything about it?”

“Well, can’t you clean up the culture of corruption in the agency that oversees the oil business?”

“You are a precocious kid, aren’t you? Most adult Americans don’t know about the culture of corruption that pervades the entire federal government on my watch.”

“That’s what you think. Everybody knows about it. It reminds me of Warren G. Harding, daddy.”

“Now, now. Warren G. Harding was a Republican. The boss of whatever agency it is that is supposed to regulate things like the BP oil spill and did not regulate the BP oil spill has resigned. So I can take credit for that even though I did not know anything about it until some reporter mentioned it to me at a news conference.”


“I will. From here on in I consider myself the operative force behind his resignation even though I did not know anything about it until some reporter told me about it.”


“Her? It was a lady? OK, then I am responsible for her resignation.”

“Even though you didn’t know anything about it.”


“So what else are you going to do?”

“Well, we’ve bailed out everybody else. Maybe we can give BP a few trillion of the taxpayer’s money.”

“That is not a solution. That’s another hole that needs to be plugged, daddy.”

“Oh. Yes it is, isn’t it?”

“If I were you, I’d quit all this shaving you do and get on it.”

“I have been in here quite a while, haven’t I? But let me tell you, if you were president and things were as hosed up as they are, you would be spending most of your time in here shaving, too. Of course as a lady you would be shaving your underarms. But shaving is shaving.”

“It’s the way to escape from reality, daddy.”

“That’s right, honey. It’s your government at work.”