He's all hot and bothered and blurts out - I'm not comin' to that dang PPS meet'n'greet, Steve.
I ask him why, and he says - I freak you not - that his brain's gone and he can't come without his brain.
There's kind of a stunned but respectful silence on my side.
Rovey, you know, my big brain, is leaving - don't you follow the news up there Steve?
Oh Karl Rove, I say, but he's not leaving until the end of the month so he can come with you to the meeting next week, Sir.
No, no, says George - Rovey has way too much work to do before he leaves - in the shredded wheat department. Anyway, I still can't believe he's going. I mean Rummy, Wolfie, Bolty, Scooty, Harriet, Cardi, Ari, Kenny - they all left me high and dry, and Gonzy's on the ropes. Who's left - just Condi and big Dick. I can't just do this job all by myself, you know Steve.
So I say but Mr President we really need you in Quebec next week. The Security and Prosperity Partnership is everything we've always worked for and because it's National Security we don't have to put it to a vote or even say what's in it. We can't do it without you, I lied, trying to cheer him up.
And he's like, Quebec - that's where Ahmed Rassambo came from. You still got a passel of terrorists coming out of the woodwork up there don't you - like that Kotter kid in Gitmo. What if some sleeper cell gets me Steve - you'd feel bad then, huh?
I'm try to calm him down because he's getting a bit hysterical. No worries, Mr. President you'll be surrounded by hundreds of Seals and Green Berets who are up here on exchange programs or train and advise missions so they can wear Canadian Forces uniforms. And the protest-freaks will be miles away - you'll never even see them. Just ask the Vice President, we've been through all this.
He sighs. Well I guess I have to come Steve. But I was hoping to clear some really tough brush in Crawford next week. The ranch is going to h-e-double-hockey-sticks because I only can only get max two months holiday there a year since 9-11.