Listen, the Economy is like a rack of ribs...

                                                   got it, Stretch?


Ribs Over Roswell

The setting: Roswell, New Mexico. Cue theremin. Pebbles dropping on a xylophone. Mist. Yeah, lots of mist.

The social issue: Job growth. Bad. Wheels off. Two and a half million less than three years ago. And that's just in Roswell.

Cut to the presidents limo, headlights battling the fog. Or is it mist? Yeah, lots of mist. The president is worried. He's been saying jobs are on the rise. Fuck it. They didn't buy it in Ohio, but Arizona was more responsive. They want to talk terrorism.

Suddenly the driver slams on the brakes, coming to a sudden halt, right smack dab in front of the Nuthin' Special Café. At the corner of 22nd and Main streets. In Roswell, New Mexico. It's a surprise visit at the NSC, and the cook doesn't have enough forewarning to even wash his hands.

The following is an unedited transcript of events as captured by Fox News video on 1/23/04. (A small portion can be seen here). The POTUS is followed by two reporters, Terry Morgan and David Gregory, who want to ask him about spending on Homeland security. There is not a third reporter named "Stretch". This is one of the many nicknames that Bush likes to use for reporters. I know. I don't understand it either.

POTUS: I need some ribs.

Stretch1: Mr. President, how are you?

POTUS: I'm hungry and I'm going to order some ribs. <People say you can't get an honest answer out of the man>

Stretch2: What would you like? <You've got to admit that the press is pretty dense here.>

POTUS: Whatever you think I'd like. <If you listen closely, you can almost hear Bush use another of his favorite nicknames. 'Asshole'.>

Stretch2: Sir, on homeland security, critics would say you simply haven't spent enough to keep the country secure.

POTUS: My job is to secure the homeland and that's exactly what we're going to do. But I'm here to take somebody's order. That would be you, Stretch -- what would you like? <Yeah, Stretch, what? Me, I'd like some ribs.> Put some of your high-priced money right here to try to help the local economy. You get paid a lot of money, you ought to be buying some food here. It's part of how the economy grows. You've got plenty of money in your pocket, and when you spend it, it drives the economy forward. So what would you like to eat?  <Guilt trip successfully completed, the president grabs a rib cuttin' knife and swings around, nearly poking Morgan in the eye>

Stretch1: Right behind you, whatever you order.  <The President glares and raises his rib cuttin' hand, for a moment appearing to be contemplating the slaughter of this friggin' moron who still hasn't figured out that he would like some goddamn ribs.>

POTUS: I'm ordering ribs. David, do you need a rib?

Stretch2: But Mr. President --

POTUS: Stretch, thank you, this is not a press conference. <Bush contemplates the legal implications of at least giving Stretch a couple flesh wounds but decides against it. Stretch is going to receive a good stiff lecture on ribonomics instead.>  This is my chance to help this lady put some money in her pocket. Let me explain how the economy works. When you spend money to buy food it helps this lady's business. It makes it more likely somebody is going to find work...............<pause> ......................... ...............................................................................
..........<pause>..........................................................
...........................................................<pause> ........ ......................So instead of asking questions, answer mine: are you going to buy some food?

Stretch1: Yes.

POTUS: Okay, good. What would you like?  <Could it be ribs? That's what all the cool kids are eating.>

Stretch1: Ribs.

POTUS: Ribs? Good. Let's order up some ribs.

Stretch2: What do you think of the democratic field, sir?

POTUS:  <Speaking to Juan, an illegal immigrant who is trying to refill the condiments and has no idea who Bush is, and couldn't speak English even if he did. Who nevertheless is sharper than Stretch>  See, his job is to ask questions, he thinks my job is to answer every question he asks. I'm here to help this restaurant by buying some food. Terry, would you like something?

Stretch1: An answer. <Bush looks over at Stretch1 with a pained expression>
Stretch2: Can we buy some questions?

POTUS:  <Turning back to Juan, who is nodding enthusiastically> Obviously these people -- they make a lot of money and they're not going to spend much. I'm not saying they're overpaid, they're just not spending any money.

Stretch2: Do you think it's all going to come down to national security, sir, this election?

POTUS:  <walking to a table with Juan and a tray full of ribs while the Secret Service engages Stretch in a little small talk>  One of the things David does, he asks a lot of questions, and they're good, generally...

 

©2004, Mark Hoback