briiiiing briiiiing

Donald Rumsfeld: Hello?

George W. Bush: Hey, Rummy! What's shakin'?

Rumsfeld: We're kicking back a few brews and playing Diplomacy. Condoleezza Rice is whipping everyone's ass playing Russia, but I've got a good alliance going on with Colin Powell in Turkey.

(long pause)

Bush: Uh-huh. Well, listen, I'm playing Civilization III here, and the Iroquois are being a pain in the neck. I just sent some musketeers against them, but they're hitting me with all these... these little horse things. (sighs) What should I do?

Rumsfeld: Jeez... George, you're doing it all wrong. You have to have more units, remember? Shock and awe, remember? We already went over this.

Dick Cheney: Is he losing again?

Rumsfeld: Dammit, Cheney, I know you're a Russian spy! Go over and eavesdrop on The Custodian. (grunts and takes a swig of Samuel Adams) Why don't you ask your dad for help? He's good at this stuff.

Bush: Hey, that's a great idea! You're a good guy, Rummy. Oh, and tell Condy that I think she would have made a much better president than Hillary Clinton. (hangs up, then shouts:) Dad, you busy?

George Bush enters the room. The studio audience applauds.

Bush Sr: What's wrong, son?

Bush Jr: (in a very petulant voice, with sad eyes) Can you help me with my game?

Bush Sr: Well, let's see. (peers at the screen) You're getting whipped by the Iroquois?! Son, history's supposed to wipe them out! Lemme see that mouse.

The elder Bush starts a new game.

Bush Sr: Now, you have to build a city on your first turn. (click click) Keep taxes low enough so that people will be happy and you can put all your production toward military units. But be sure to build a temple in every city.

Dubya nods, paying close attention.

Bush Sr: Science is okay, but don't forget luxuries. Rich people will always support you, no matter what you do, as long as they've got their luxuries.

Bush Jr: (taking obvious offense to something on the screen) Why are the Chinese being so angry?

Bush Sr: Just wait.

A few turns pass. Shanghai revolts and becomes American.

Bush Jr: Wow, that's cool!

Bush Sr: You don't want to go to war until the endgame... that's when you get F-15's. See how the Babylonians want to send their horses against us? We just have to wait.

Bush pays tribute for a couple of turns, then gets his F-15's and opens up on Babylon.

Bush Sr: And that's how we get another oil resource, which we trade to Australia (click click) for uranium!

Bush Jr: What do you do with that, Dad?

The doorbell rings.

Bush Sr: I'll tell you in a minute. Hold on.

He answers the door: it's an unshaven and rather haggard-looking Bill Clinton.

Bush Sr: Wife kick you out of the White House again?

Clinton: (nods, with a trademark goofy smile) Yup. Mind if I crash on your couch tonight?

Bush Sr: No problem. (motions toward the computer) Wanna help me teach Georgie to play Civilization III?

Clinton: Naw, I'm more of a SimEarth man myself.

A nodeshell "rescue." Incidentally, Condy wins the Diplomacy game after Cheney convinces Powell that Rumsfeld is plotting an alliance with The Custodian. They're all miffed at each other until Ari Fleischer proposes a game of naked Twister.

Clinton is lying, by the way. His favorite game is Leisure Suit Larry.

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