"Karl....... Whoa, look at this thing, Karl... It's... It's beautiful."

"Let the tributes begin, boss. The sooner people see your visage cast in brass, the sooner they'll understand your true mettle."

"My true... aw, Jeez Karl, that's a terrible pun. I'm not even sure if I get it."

"Be a clown... be a clown... heh heh hey, just doing some presidential cheering up."

"Cheering up? What do I need cheering up for? I've got this great statue as a down payment on my legacy. Now old Dickeroonie, he could probably use some cheering up."

"You talkin about the Libby thing?"

"Yeah, looks like old Scooter may have gone and spilled the beans about that whole CIA leak. I guess it was bound to happen. I mean there's loyalty and there's blind loyalty, and... do you think I'll ever get a statue with arms? I mean, it's nice and all, but I think the American people would like to see something with arms and legs. Maybe riding on a horse."

"Oh, probably, although they don't usually put the president on a horse until after he's dead. But you know the word is that Libby didn't finger Cheney directly. He just said his 'superiors' told him to spread the word about Plane and Wilson."

"Doesn't matter. He's not in my chain of command."

"Well, boss, I'm afraid everybody's in your chain of command."

"Doesn't matter. 911."

"Yeah, you're probably right. It's old news. And we can always say that we need to..."

"Karl?"

"Yes, boss."

"What sort of chisel do they use with bronze? That's got to be a heckuva hard thing to carve."

"I don't know. But it is a fine piece of work. Say, you know who else is spilling the beans today?"

"Brownie?"

"Whoa, I am really impressed, sir. You got that on the first guess."

"I've always been a good guesser. That Brownie, I swear, I'm tempted to revoke his nickname. He's a bitter old man, he is. All filled up with false ambition and OxyContin."

"OxyContin? I did not know that."

"Well, make sure you keep it to yourself, wink wink, nudge nudge. I'd hate for the press to get hold of that one."

"My lips are sealed."

"You know, this statue is going to look real good in the Oval Office. I wonder if I could get it silver-plated."

 

2006, Mark Hoback