I am one of President George W. Bush's gardeners. Mr. George likes to talk to me.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Mr. George Learns Karate

While trimming the shrubs on the west side of the White House, I was hoping that Mr. George would come visit me after his trip to France. I enjoy our daily chats. He likes to talk to me about his plans, and I appreciate being able to say things like, "Yes, I think you better rule out gay marriage in a constitutional amendment, because kids these days don't seem to care what homosexuals are doing in rest stops." In some small way, I feel like I'm helping to shape the President's views. I was concerned that he was going to be traveling around the country with Mr. Ronald's corpse, but to my surprise and delight, Mr. George approached me on the garden path.

"Good morning, Lenny!" said Mr. George. He was smiling and kicking his right leg out to the side.

"Good morning, Mr. George. Why are you in such a good mood?"

"First off, I've been learning karate," said Mr. George. He pronounced it kar-ah-TAY, with emphasis on the last syllable. He threw several forward twist punches, exhaling with each thrust, and then he kicked his foot dangerously close to my nose.

"My favorite motto is 'You can never— it's good to be prepared.' What would happen if some of Saddam's hijackers snuck onto Air Force One? Without karate, I'd be defenseless."

"Do you really think karate would do any good against trained assassins with box cutters and pepper spray?" I asked.

"Watch this. This is Osama's head—" Mr. George side-kicked the wooden watering can into the back of the bench, breaking it into splinters. Pat Nixon had given me that watering can as an Easter present.

"Most impressive," I said.

"My favorite motto is 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice— you won't, you're not gonna fool me a second time.' I'm not going to let evil overcome good. Not on my watch!"

On his way out of the garden, Mr. George continued to karate chop leaves and side-kick trunks of small trees. He is a determined young man.


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