Last Friday, while media hacks clambered over one another as well as fleeing evacuees in a mad-dash effort to add invaluable hurricane footage to their highlight reels -- if their hair's blowing wildly, then they must be, how you say, entrenched -- President George Bush decided his presence in his home state was as necessary as foreplay with Laura, and let that photo opportunity pass like a terrorist across the Canadian border. What with his "Mission Accomplished" landing on an aircraft carrier back when we tied up that whole Iraq thing in a tight little package, the shirtless White House lawn tae-bo workouts with Billy Blanks, and that grainy footage of Dubya pinning a calf in three seconds flat at the McLennon County Fair, the presidential highlight reel was plumb full, anyway (even without last week's National Enquirer report that Bush is boozing again). So Bush promptly flew to the Centennial State. Because everyone knows the best place to monitor a storm hitting the Gulf Coast is Colorado Springs.
Just like the best way to reform a mentally disabled criminal is to execute him.
All together now: Yeeeeaaaah, democracy!
Bush arrived at Peterson Air Force Base late that afternoon and spoke briefly with non-entrenched reporters -- he assured them that he and "his entourage" would stay out of the way -- before plunging into the gut of NorthCom's Joint Operations Center (formally known as NORAD) to watch Hurricane Rita alongside staffers from all military branches and sixty federal agencies. Their mission: to get really high and check out all the crazy shapes that the satellite imagery of the storm took on. At one point, Rita "kind of looked like a dragon, but, like, a friendly dragon. Or a goat," one report tells us.
By the time the weed had worn off, it was becoming clear that Rita wasn't going to hit with the Old Testament wrath that many had feared -- and by now, the poised state and federal response was already far superior to what they had been in the early days of Katrina, when their efforts essentially consisted of state officials sandbagging the levees with gumbo and federal officials waiting three days to suggest red beans and rice. Finding himself with time to kill in a new city, Bush took the boys out for a night on the town. An account of their evening:
7:35 p.m., Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame
Bush and company pull up outside facility in convoy of pimped-out Cadillac Escalades, Whitesnake blaring. Security footage shows Bush growing irate with night watchman at front door. President demands to see frozen corpse of Earl Bascom, legendary inventor of One-Hand Bareback Rigging. Night watchman informs him that Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame has no such frozen corpse and that museum closes promptly at 5 p.m. Bush sucker-punches watchman in stomach, spikes him with spurs in side as he collapses to the ground, makes way to performance ring. Laughter fills air until Bush forces each staffer on all fours and takes turns riding them bareback, at which point only president laughs. PBR twelve-pack inexplicably appears in his hands. Hootin' and hollerin' abound.
8: 42 p.m., Focus on the Family
At compound gates, president is greeted amiably by James C. Dobson, clad only in green velvet pants, swarthy shock of chest hair flowing elegantly in slight Colorado Springs breeze. Dobson hugs Bush for nearly two and a half minutes until Bush pushes him away, calls Dobson "fag." Both collapse in hysterical laughter, inducing furious hacking by Bush. Then vomiting. Dobson tells Bush of day's sermon, a warning of pornography's power to trap children and unleash predators; Bush demands to see such pornography. Bush enters compound and emerges one hour later, weak. Hootin' and hollerin' minimal.
10:02 p.m., T.G.I. Friday's
Bush and posse arrive and commandeer four booths. Bush orders Double-Stack Quesadillas, Southwest Jalapeño Burger and Ultimate Long Island Iced Tea. While waiting for food, he is heard to comment on restaurant's slogan -- "In here, it's always Friday" -- and note that they are actually there eating on a Friday. Comment induces slight chuckle from two aides. Bush begins swearing furiously, removes six-shooter and fires wildly, grazing Guatemalan busboy. All four booths howl with nervous laughter. Bush calms down. Food arrives. All eat. Hootin' and hollerin' non-existent.
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11:32 p.m., Colorado College
Bush's collar now upturned and he snorts wildly as gang moves in on Colorado College Ultimate Frisbee team party. Beirut tournament is taking place, and Bush pushes long-haired student off table, then tries three times to land Ping-Pong ball in pyramid of cups across it; each attempt unsuccessful. Six-shooter re-emerges and Bush fires at cups, tearing gaping flesh wound in thigh of a CC junior. President ushered out of party, placed in Escalade. Hootin' and hollerin' at fever pitch.
11:45 p.m., NorthCom's Joint Operations Center
Thoroughly tuckered out, President is carried into facility by Secret Service agent. Bush mutters adorably about not wanting to go to sleep, and agent shushes him sweetly and pats him on the head. Inside his command post, the president's night light has been turned on and his blankie folded carefully on his pillow. Bush nestles into bed, sucking thumb, as agent sings lilting lullaby. Exhausted and happy after his night out in the Springs, president's face still has slight smirk. Hootin' and hollerin' all finished. He sleeps.