"You wanted to see me sir?"

"Yes I did, Colin. I want to get something off my chest. That really wasn't very nice what that Egghead fellow said, about us being cheap and all."

"Egeland, sir. And no, it wasn't. Would you like me to tell the press that we're offended by his insinuation?"

"Yeah, Colin, do that. Just where do these UN assholes get off, anyhow? We're not stingy. We're the most compassionate country on earth. You tell them that. And just to prove it, I authorize you to add another 20 million to sweeten the pot."

"Wow. Thirty-five big ones. Most impressive. That's almost half as much as Prince grossed on the Musicology tour."

"I like that guy Prince."

"So do I sir, so do I. Particularly now that he's not as nasty."

"Well, I've got to say that the nasty stuff was pretty good too. I like the song about the Corvette, you know the one, and he's got a lion in his pocket and it's ready to roar. That's a good song."

"Indeed it is, sir."

"And pretty much anything off of Purple Rain."

"Yes sir. That's a classic."

"Did you say he made 35 million on tour this year?"

"Way more than that, sir. The actual figure is 87.4 million, and that's not even counting merchandising."

"Wow. The free enterprise system in action. That would probably just about pay for the whole tsunami thing, wouldn't it? Maybe we should institute a one time only Prince tax."

"Not a bad idea, sir, but I'm afraid that would only be a drop in the bucket. To make a real difference we would probably have to tax all the rock stars, and probably the country singers as well."

"Now you're talking crazy, Colin. You start after Toby Keith and the red states are just gonna go crazy. Like in that Prince song."

"I suppose so sir..."

"I wonder if Toby Keith and Prince would ever do a song together. Now that would be something that I think most everybody would like to hear. What do you think?"

"Hmm. It's an interesting idea. Would you like for me to feel them out on the topic?"

"If you would. Tell them the whole world would be a little brighter with their aid."


2004, Mark Hoback