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Live Free or Die

My Super Sweet Sixty!

“I have a Nintendo. Cheney doesn’t. Advantage: Dubya.”

The crowd roared with delight as President Bush shot his hands into the air. In them was something glorious — a new Nintendo DS Lite, fresh from its box, smelling slightly of packing foam and dreams made real. “Look!” he continued. “The Japs even gave me some brain game that’s gonna make me smarter!”

Excitement reached a fevered pitch. Fellow politicians engaged in a mosh-pit of policy-making while lobbyists with frosted tips and soul patches began stomping the floor in adulation. Between the wild screams one could hear the madding crowd exclaim their jealousy — even though the party was for an obnoxious oaf whose popularity was based entirely on his family’s material wealth.

Not that it mattered. As one partygoer screamed to another: “Holy s–! George is throwing the party of the year!”

And as if on cue, John Fogerty took the stage and began playing “Centerfield.”

Sweet sixty
Gonna spread my wings
Sweet sixty
It’s my chance to shine
Sweet sixty
Discovering
Sweet sixty
So much more to life
Sweet Sixty!

· · · · ·

The Oval Office. July 3.

“My name is George W. Bush and I’m having my Sweet Sixteen!” A pause. “Wait, can we do that again? I’m not sixteen — am I?”

The President of the United States reached off camera and pulled his only friend close to him. Jack was a strong and seductive force in his life and Bush didn’t like to be without him any longer than was necessary. And even though every third word was already a slurred mess, Jack was definitely necessary now — particularly since the room was spinning and the flying turtles were everywhere.

“So I’m sixty and I’m having a party,” Bush continued. “I figure, what the hell, right? It’s not like I don’t deserve it.”

“Deserve, Mr. President?” the interviewer asked.

“Right!” he managed. “I mean, I’ve coasted through life as a sponge and a failure — doesn’t that merit some kind of extravagant reward?”

“Not particularly, sir — sir? Are you trying to sleep? Your eyes are closed.”

“I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW I’VE BEEN SOBER FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS.”

“No one was suggesting that you were drinking –”

“Quit when I was forty. And that was in the twentieth century.”

“Right, now about the party –”

“I thought I told you — get the damn flying turtles out of here. I AM NOT KING KOOPA!”

· · · · ·

The White House Rose Garden. July 4.

“All right, sorry about yesterday,” Bush enthused as he took a seat on a nearby bench. “Super Mario just gives me nightmares…”

A series of fireworks could be heard in the distance. “Pretty neat that today’s Independence Day, isn’t it?” he asked. “I could’ve been born on the Fourth of July — just didn’t feel like comin’ out.”

“A shame,” the interviewer laughed. “But let’s talk about the party. Pretty fancy celebration, eh? The American people must really love you!”

Bush snorted in laughter. “Pfft! The electorate is totally out of touch, are you kidding me? They think they’re the greatest because they let me run around with all their money but they aren’t. You really think this is about love? They’re paying through the nose so their spoiled do-nothing ˜leader’ can have a brief spike in popularity. That sound like love to you?

“But you better believe I’ll bitch n’ moan like there’s no tomorrow if they try an’ exert any level of discipline against me, y’know? Or did you forget about the illegal wiretaps and wars? Man did I raise a stink!”

The interviewer pressed on. “But the party –”

“The party will be fabulous,” Bush countered. “My people let me do whatever I want. It’s easier for them to just give in than to take any kind of stand. Nobody wants to be held accountable for anything — it’s the American way!”

“But does that really make you happy? Running through your benefactors’ billions and complaining about it the entire time? Do you really think that’ll buy you the happiness you’re looking for?”

“Hey,” Bush snapped. “I’m the most hated man on the planet. Can’t a brutha buy hisself some love for a few hours?”

“Not when you consider that there are poor people in this country without a decent meal, home, or education.”

Bush scoffed. “Nothing’s better than blowing money on a gala event that benefits no one.”

“But do you really think we should be wasting money on arming the Middle East and – ”

“Can we stop talking about Holla-bollah and start talking about the catering?”

· · · · ·

The East Room. July 6.

The party in full swing, sycophants offered forth tribute:

“The amount of money the people spent on this — it’s unbelievable!”

“Who needs educating our young or rebuilding our economy when we can blow up a bunch of crap all over the place?”

“The President loves being spoiled by his rich Congress! And they love giving him whatever he wants — even if it violates our Constitutional rights!”

After John Fogerty left the stage, Bush returned to the mic. “Thanks y’all for coming out and celebrating the waste that is this administration! And hell, you don’t like it, there’s always a No Speech — er, Free Speech — Zone two or three miles from here!”

A nearby waiter stood transfixed by the sheer excess. “The president spending all this money on himself and his selfish whims is like one of those ugly and unpopular 15-year-old brats on MTV who runs through $200,000 to celebrate their 16th birthday. Self-absorbed, friendless and completely out of touch — except he’s not playing with daddy’s pursestrings, he’s playing with the world. If reality ever smacks him I don’t know what he’ll do. He certainly won’t be able to cope.

“At least not without a bottle.”

A scream erupted as the president flew past the waiter. “I AM NOT KING KOOPA! I AM NOT KING KOOPA!” he yelled as Secret Service rushed him from the throngs of onlookers.

“What happened?” one asked.

“Dunno, said another. “The Nintendo people brought out a Mario cartridge for his Game Boy, and all hell broke loose!”