Sunday, May 27, 2007

President Bush Collects Coke Bottle Caps

Lynn Swann waited for President Bush to finish touring the Harley-Davidson motorcycle plant in Springettsbury, Pennsylvania, a small town in York County. Swann, a former wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, was running for governor of the State of Pennsylvania as a Republican candidate, and wanted Bush to assist him with his campaign. Swann did not want Bush to get too involved, but just enough to satisfy the hard-line Republicans in the State. Swann, personally, thought Bush had screwed things up, and wanted to tell him a few things. Swann was waiting in the Harley-Davidson cafeteria, as pre-arranged, because Swann wished to have a few private moments with Bush. Swann sat at the Formica-topped table drinking a Diet Coke from a bottle, and had removed the red cap and placed it in his pocket because of the My Coke Rewards code that he wished to give his nephew who was accumulating these Coca Cola internet points that could be redeemed for God knows what. The door opened and President George W. Bush walked in wearing old-style motorcycle goggles.

"Hey Lynne. These are cool, don't you think?" asked Bush. Lynne Swann stood, not realizing that he was holding the Coke bottle in his hand. Swann was so started, he did not offer a hand for a greeting.

"Yes, Mr. President. They look very cool," said Swann. Bush removed the goggles.

"So you need some help with the campaign. Well, I'm here for you," said Bush.

"Sir, yes. Help would be good. I fear we Republicans are going to take a beating in November," said Swann.

"Oh, it's too early for that. Things change. Hey, do you think I can have the red cap of your Coke bottle. I collect those caps," said Bush.

"What? You do? Jeez, so does my nephew. But if you want it," said Swann.

"Yeah. I want it. I'm up to four thousand and some odd points," said Bush.

“Four thousand. You drink a lot of this stuff,” said Swann as he held up his bottle of Diet Coke.

“No. No. Mostly just collect the bottle caps. They are payback for all the stuff I do for people like you. I don’t ask much. Now, you got that red cap?” asked Bush.

"Yes," said Swann as he removed the red cap from his pocket and handed it to Bush.

"Thanks," said Bush.

"Sir, may I give you an impression I have about your foreign policy," said Swann.

"You know, Laura won't let me get a motorcycle. But after today, I am thinking about it. They are so cool," said Bush.

"Yes. Yes, they are. About your foreign policy," said Swann.

"You're running for governor, Lynne. What's it you want about foreign policy?" asked Bush.

"Well, my impression, sir, is that you were totally right to insist that the Israelis not leave southern Lebanon creating a power vacuum there," said Swann.

"Thank you," said Bush.

"But in my view, sir, America has created a power vacuum throughout the entire world because our tits are stuck in a ringer in Iraq," said Swann.

"Our tits?" asked Bush.

"Sorry. I mean to say that the world perceives that we are so mired in Iraq that we cannot cope with anything else. Iraq has shown our limits. Look at Iran. Look at Syria. Look at North Korea. Look at Russia. Look at China. Look at the insurgents in Iraq. They all think they can do whatever they want because —"

"Our tits are stuck in a ringer. I like the ring of that, no pun intended," said Bush, cutting off Swann.

"Yes. I do hope you agree with my assessment," said Swann.

"You're running for governor, Lynne. I get plenty of foreign policy stuff from my people," said Bush.

"Then may I suggest that you are not getting, well, that you are not seeing it from my perspective," said Swann.

Your perspective? Like I said Lynne, you are running for governor. Are we going to the Amish section of Pennsylvania today? I want to meet some Amish folk," said Bush.

"Yes, sir. You will meet some Amish folk," said Swann.

"Oh, good. I want to ride in one of those horse and buggy things that they have," said Bush.

"Then, Mr. President, let me see if I can put it to you this way. I suggest that you abandon making democracy the hallmark of your foreign policy and return to the tried and true power, military and economic alliance approach to foreign policy. Return to the good old fashion way of doing things. It will serve us best in the long run," said Swann.

"Never. I am establishing the Bush doctrine. It is hard work, Lynne. Like catching a hail Mary pass. It is hard work. And it is the right thing to do," said Bush.

"With all due respect, sir, America is weakened by the Bush doctrine, Mr. President," said Swann.
"Lynne. Lynne. There is no Swann Doctrine, now is there," said Bush.

"Excuse me, sir," said Swann.

"You are not even governor yet, and you are trying to come up with some doctrine to replace my doctrine. But you are not even in the position to have a doctrine. Only I can have a doctrine. Now, that horse and buggy ride. Let's go do it," said Bush as he turned and walked out of the cafeteria.

Lynne Swann stood there, holding his Diet Coke bottle, a bit stunned at the conversation. He finished the remaining Coke, put another $1.25 into the vending machine and got another Diet Coke. He twisted off the red cap, put it in his pocket and tossed the full bottle into the waste basket.

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