|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Monday, August 22nd, 2005
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? email@example.com|
|There are few more important contemporary documents than the agenda of the President of the United States. History turns on what the President does, whom he sees, and when. The White House Chief of Staff generally controls the Presidentís schedule, but only when the chief executive is actually on the job. In the case of Mr. Bush, a President who spends much of his time in office on vacation, an obscure government agency has assumed most of the responsibility for the Presidentís daily doings.
VACUOUS, the Vacation Agenda Coordination Unit of the United States, is the government body entrusted with the important task of managing the Presidentís days when heís on vacation. Currently enjoying a month-long sojourn at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Mr. Bush takes his leisure seriously, hence the need for a full-blown government agency to organize his fun. Because tax payers have the right to know how their hard-earned dollars are being spent, The Nossiter Net, returning from its own vacation, examines the workings of this critical government department. We begin with a tour of VACUOUS headquarters in Washington D.C., where we are greeted at the door by Ms. Bermuda Shortz, Director of VACUOUS, and her assistant, Mr. Sun Myong Screen.
TNN: Very good of you to see us on such short notice, Ms., er, Shortz. Is that chilled towel for me? And the iced daiquiri too? Thank you. Very refreshing. Clearly yours is not an ordinary government agency.
BS: We strive to present a consistent message, and we take our mission very seriously here. Those palm trees you see waving in the artificial breeze? Those are not mere potted palms, but custom designed Bonsai versions of the Royal Palms you find along Wakiki Beach. The coconut matting underfoot is imported from Fort Lauderdale. Warm? Please feel free to take off your jacket. We all dress for the tropics here, and those sunlamps overhead do make things a little toasty, especially in August!
Indeed, Ms. Shortz is very fetching in a translucent wrap over what looks very much like a string bikini. The portly Mr. Screenís Speedo is perhaps ill-advised, but he certainly looks comfortable in the fierce heat of VACUOUS headquarters. A trifle concerned about sunstroke and burn, I ask for a hat and some sun block. A smiling, grass-skirt clad receptionist glides over with both items within seconds, and I compliment the VACUOUS chief on the efficiency of her staff.
BS: Our aim is to rival the type of service found at five star resort hotels, and without boasting Iíd say we do just a leetle bit better even than that. Of course, having the full resources of the United States government to draw on does give us certain advantages. Catering, for example. Why, when we stage our weekly luau, the meat is heirloom pork flown in by the United States Air Force from special farms in Iowa. Our fish comes twice daily from the waters off the Big Island of Hawaii. Choice vintages flow in from Mendocino and the Willamette Valley. In shortz, tee hee, only the best is good enough for us.
Mr. Screen rubbed his ample belly in appreciation. Clearly the officers and staff of VACUOUS did themselves proud in the commissary department. But what was the agencyís actual function?
BS: When the President goes on vacation, roughly 40% of his time in office, we swing into action. Our control room monitors the weather 24/7, in Crawford or Camp David or wherever the President happens to be, to ensure that his biking and swimming are optimal. In fact, we determine the absolute best times of day for all his outdoor activities based on air temperature, wind velocity, and so on. When the President goes fishing, we obtain high resolution satellite photos from the NSA to locate the very largest trout and salmon. We monitor ocean currents for the Presidentís boating, and greensí conditions for the Presidentís golf. In shortz, heh heh, this agency ensures that every Presidential vacation is a dream vacation.
TNN: But why the palm trees and grass skirts and sun lamps here at headquarters? Might those items not be seen as unnecessary government expenses?
BS [removing the little paper umbrella from her daiquiri]: Certainly not! How can we maintain the Presidentís perfect holiday mood if weíre not in the mood ourselves? After all, as Mr. Bush says, Iíve got a life to live.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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