“Mr. President?”

“This newspaper article in the Post, Dick. How can they print such garbage?”

“It’s called ‘freedom of the press,’ sir. We’re working on it.”

“I mean, did this reviewer see the same show I did? Ooooh, how I hate music critics.”

“I know sir.”

“I should ban them from all the shows coming to Washington, like Green Day and the Tom Tom Club. Where are my executive order forms?”

“We ran out, sir. I’ll have your secretary order some new ones. Meanwhile, why don’t we look at today’s agenda?”

“If you insist. What’s on tap today, Dick?”

“We’ll be meeting with Ticketmaster at 10 o’clock to negotiate prices and seats for John Tesh and The Cult.”

“Well, I hope we do better than we did with U2 and Fugazi. What about Madonna and R. Kelly?”

“Tickets arrived this morning. Also Eric Clapton and Melissa Etheridge.”

“Fine. But what’s that checkmark next to 9 o’clock? I thought the 10 o’clock meeting was the first appointment of the day.”

“The 10 o’clock is the first business meeting of the day, sir. The 9 o’clock is for your daughters, Barbara and Jenna.”

“Oh, that’s right. You know, Dick, being president and a father isn’t easy.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I mean, how will I be able to enjoy Mary Chapin Carpenter’s show at the this Wednesday? You know how I worry.”

“Yes, sir.”

“On the other hand, I know what they’re going through. After all, Dick, we were kids once.”


“But I’m afraid I’m gonna have to lay down the law, Dick. I’m going to have to ground them.”

“Isn’t that kind of drastic, sir?”

“Drastic, smashtic, Maybe sitting out Widespread Panic and will make them think twice before doing something stupid.”

“But, grounding? Think of the bad press. Leno would have a field day with this.”

“I’m sorry, but my mind is made up. Tough love, Dick, it’s time to show some tough love. Sure, they’ll hate their old man when they find out they’re grounded for a month. But they’ll thank me someday. You just watch.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Fair but firm, Dick. That’s what being a father is all about. It’s just like being president. Fair but firm. Remember that, Dick.”

“Yes, sir. Fair but firm.”

“Oh, and one more thing…”

“Yes, sir?”

“When you give my daughters the news, tell them I said hello.”

“Of course, sir.”