“Hi, Dick. We’re taking a break from the G7 conference here in Genoa, and I thought I’d call and see how things are going back on the home front.”

“Sir, with Putin’s arrival, it’s now called the G8 Conference.”

“G8, D12, whatever. What’s up?”

“Big doings on the Hill, sir. The House is preparing to vote on one of your proposals.”

“Oh, yes, the Fan-Based Initiative. You know, Dick, I think that’s one of my finer programs. If private charity organizations subsidize tickets for the poor, the disadvantaged will be able to see shows like Electric Light Orchestra and Chuck Mangione. We can fill up those amphitheatres and arenas and give the concert economy a much-needed shot in the arm. Now that’s a legacy a president can be proud of.”

“To be honest sir, I thought it was called the Faith-Based Init…”

“Gosh, I’m excited. This administration is finally getting on track. How’s my other pet project, standardized school testing, going?”

“We’re meeting some resistance, sir.”

“Resistance? Do you realize just how many graduating high school seniors have no idea who the lead singer for Powerman 5000 is?”

“I hadn’t really noticed, sir.”

“Nor do they know the history of great bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd or Sevendust. And how many of them know that Livingston Taylor is James Taylor’s brother?”

“I’ve often wondered that myself, sir.”

“Well, make some phone calls, Dick. It doesn’t bode well for the current state of our educational system if our future leaders don’t know the difference between Phil Lesh & Friends and Ratdog.”

“Yes, sir. Uh, sir? There is one issue I should discuss with you. We’re getting a lot of pressure to green light stem cell research.”

“Yes, I know. Hmmm… Stem cell research. That is a tough one.”

“There’s growing support on both sides, sir. Even Nancy Reagan came out in favor of it.”

“Gee, Dick, this has to be one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever faced as president. I mean, if I come out in favor of it, I risk offending the right wing, as well as various conservative organizations.”

“It’s fast becoming a dilemma of Solomon-like proportions, sir.”

“Yet, if I come out against stem cell research, I risk alienating drivers all over the country.”

“Drivers? What the hell… er… I mean… excuse me, sir?”

“No matter where you go these days, you see drivers talking on their stem cells.”

“Sir, I think you’re confusing stem cells with cell…”

“On the other hand, I hate it when I’m at a good show like Laurie Anderson or Tone Loc, and someone’s stem cell starts ringing.”

“But, sir…”

“I can see this is going to take a lot of thought. Well, time’s up. I have to get back to the V8 conference.”

“That’s G8, sir.”

“Whatever. Today we’re going to discuss lower ticket prices for The Eagles and Ween. Er, Dick?”

“Yes, Mr. President?”

“If I get stuck on the service charge negotiations, and I need to call you, where can I reach you?”

“I’ll be in the office all day, sir, but if not…”


“Just call me on my cell, er, my stem cell, sir.”