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

Monday, September 20, 2004

Mr. George

Mr. George hasn't spent very much time at the White House recently due to a number of concerns, including security, an over-inquisitive media, and the old campaign trail. But to my delight and eternal honor, he visited me yesterday near the East Wing garden, where I was pruning the young sugar maples after the awful cicada attack in May.

MR GEORGE: Hey buddy, I want to talk to you. You're like one of those everyman John Doe people out there who live for the weekend stock car races, right?

ME: I don't know about that, Mr. George, but welcome back, sir.

MR GEORGE: Good. I have some questions for you. Think of this as one of them galloping polls that they do out there, only with a 100% margin of victory.

ME: OK, fire away.

MR GEORGE: OK, Leon, first question: Do you think we're winning the war on terror?

ME: It's Lenny, sir. Yes, we're winning the war on terrorism. We haven't been attacked since 9/11, not on our soil anyway, and if we do get attacked between now and November, it's because the terrorists don't want you to be re-elected, because you like to hunt them down and they don't like that.

MR GEORGE: He he, that's right. I hunt them down like dogs. They're afraid of me!

ME: That's right. The terrorists have scattered. We have them right where we want them. Scattered, or fumbling around in Iraq.

MR GEORGE: Let's get back to our poll. Question number 2: Do you approve of how we've handled the reconstruction of Iraq?

ME: Absolutely. Iraq will be a democracy shortly, as evidenced by their soccer team's success in the recent Olympics.

MR GEORGE: That's right, I told Rummy to throw those ungrateful bastards in jail for badmouthing me, but he said no, we had enough bad publicity from that Abu Grabby situation.

ME: Torture is a tricky thing that should be kept out of the public's eye, if you ask me.

MR GEORGE: One final question. Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

ME: Well, that's difficult to say. On the one hand, I live in a more secure America, thanks to you and our brave troops. On the other hand, my company laid me off and rehired me as a contractor, so now I don't have health insurance.

MR GEORGE: Do your push-ups and stay off the sauce, and you'll be fine. I'll mark you down as a yes. OK, Leonard, I'm going to give my poll results to Karl so that he can rest easy about these debates. Thank you for your time.

ME: Sure thing, sir.


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