by Jon Worley
"Yes, Mr. President?"
"How come I haven't heard from you in a while?"
"I've been talking to John McCain for the last couple of weeks."
"Wow. First Jerry Falwell, and now you. Dingbat must really think he's got a chance."
"Well, sir, to be candid, you got elected."
"Twice. I got elected twice."
"If you say so, sir."
"So how's Charlie doing?"
"You know, he was a North Vietnamese P.O.W., and the soldiers called the Viet Cong 'Charlie," so I just decided to call him Charlie."
"What happened to 'Dingbat'?"
"I like Charlie better. You can't call a President 'Dingbat.' It's not dignified."
"You might be right about that. But you just said..."
"Can't you tell when I'm fuckin' with you, Rover?"
"Not really, Mr. President."
"Rover, we've got to get you laid."
"Excuse me, Mr. President?"
"You seem so tense. What's there to worry about?"
"I dunno. Iraq?"
"Do you think there's a civil war over in Iraq? Condi and the generals say yes, Rummy said no and Whatshisname doesn't seem to have a straight answer."
"Gates? The defense secretary?"
"He's only gonna be around for a couple years. I'll never learn his name. But 'Whatshisname' is a great nickname, don't you think?"
"If you say so, Mr. President."
"So you think there's a civil war over in Iraq?"
"Well, Mr. President, that depends on what you mean."
"Rover, do you know what 'civil' means?"
"And you're familiar with the concept of 'war,' right?"
"So is there a civil war in Iraq?"
"With all due respect sir, the meaning of 'civil war' is something greater than that of its parts."
"Are there citizens trying to shoot each other?"
"Well, yes. But then, there are Fairfax County police officers who shoot at each other when they're bored."
"Well, that depends on how you look at it."
"Jesus H. Christ, Rover! Is there a civil war in Iraq?"
"Yes. There is a civil war in Iraq, and there has been for quite some time. Are you satisfied?"
"Sure. Now, do we want to end it?"
"Yes. We started it, remember?"
"So how do we end it?"
"You need a lot more--"
"Boots on the ground. Yes, the generals keep saying things like that. Something about a 'surge' of troops."
"Sir, have you been taking your vitamins lately?"
"Don't distract me, Rover. This is important. Seems to me I've heard this 'surge' term before. Like it had something to do with New Orleans."
"The storm surge, yeah. It topped the levees and they collapsed. Lower Ninth Ward and all that."
"So a 'surge' would be a bad thing."
"Look at it this way: the storm surge destroyed New Orleans. So maybe a surge of troops would destroy the insurgency."
"Hey! That's a thought. So you think this surge idea is a good one?"
"Sounds too wimpy. You need a better term. Like, um, 'hammer' or maybe 'thrust'."
"Yeah, thrust. It's a manly sort of term. Men thrust. Women surge."
"Rover, that's so fucked up I can't even believe I've been listening to you for the last ten years. 'Men thrust, women surge?' That's appalling. And it doesn't make sense. What do you mean, women surge?"
"I don't think I need to explain the facts of life to you, sir."
"If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, you need a refresher course. 'Women surge?' Aaaigh!"
"Are you really going through with the whole surge thing, Mr. President."
"Yeah. I like it. And I like your 'storm surge' suggestion. That's the old Rover I know."
"Thank you, Mr. President. Can I go back to my cubicle now?"
"Yeah. Say hi to Karen for me, will ya?"
"Sure, Mr. President. Good night."