Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.
And now, for another episode of “I Love Barry,” the rollicking situation comedy about the bumbling but lovable chief executive. The episode, “Bo Needs a Walk,” opens in the White House living quarters, with President Barack Obama dozing on a couch, a briefing book in his lap.
Michelle: (Enters, stage left) Barry! BARRY! BAAAARRRY! (moderate laugh track for this familiar opening)
Barack: Mmmph … um … millionaires! Billionaires! Fair share! (laugh track chuckles)
Barack: Uh. Yes, dear. I’m on top of it. What is it?
Michelle: Did you feed the dog?
Barack: Of course, of course. Twice, I think.
Michelle: What’s that you say?
Barack: (Sitting up straight) I took care of it. (Grumbles to himself) If I didn’t do it, nothing would get done around here. (Aloud) You know, the girls really are supposed to take care of Bo.
Michelle: They have homework, Barry. I’m going to bed. I have to be fresh tomorrow for “The Nation” photo shoot.
Barack: Good! Good! You still have a ways to go before you have as many magazine covers as Laura Bush. (laugh track chuckles)
Michelle: (Huffily) Barry, she had eight years! (moderate laugh track)
Barack: (Slumping down again.) Of course, of course. Look, I have to get back to this briefing on Libya. Chief of Staff Bill Daley insists it’s important, even though we’re not at war there. And I have to meet with Tim Geithner first thing and … (He dozes off again.)
Michelle: And don’t forget to walk Bo around the Rose Garden before you go to bed.
Barack: Mmmph. (laugh track chuckles)
Scene 2: In the Obamas’ master bedroom. The rising sun shines through the windows as the president awakes.
Barack: (Stretching arms over head) Time to get up and create some more jobs! (big laughs)
Michelle: (Calling from off camera) Barry! BARRY! BAAAARRRRY!(bigger laughs)
Barack: What is it, Michelle?
Michelle: (Enters, stage right, fully dressed and looking beautiful) Barry, Bo has wet the carpet in the living room! I found it in my bare feet! (still bigger laughs)
Barack: (Laughing weakly) Heh, heh. Well, you knew when we got him he was a Portuguese water dog! (biggest laughs yet)
Michelle: Is this funny to you, Barry? Didn’t I ask you to walk Bo before you turned in last night?
Barack: I seem to recall that, but the dog is the kids’ responsibility, after all.
Michelle: I told you they were doing homework and …
Barack: (Interrupting) Wait a minute! You remember: George Bush had two dogs – Scottish terriers. I’m pretty sure that spot on the carpet was there when we moved in. Yes! That’s it! We inherited that wet spot from Bush! (uproarious laughter)
Michelle: (Hands on hips) Barry! We’ve lived here over two and a half years. Don’t you think that if Barney or Miss Beazley had soiled the carpet, it would be dry by now? (chuckles)
Barack: Not necessarily. Let me be clear: Just one of those terriers can do plenty of damage – could be it was worse than we first thought. (Mutters aside) Why did Bush need two dogs? Bill Clinton had only one, and he balanced the budget. (Aloud) Listen, Michelle, the kids can’t escape responsibility for this. Why, if they hadn’t held me hostage by insisting on doing their homework, this never would have happened.
Remember, there are three parts to this family: You, me and the children, with different powers and responsibilities – just like our nation’s executive, legislative and judicial branches have different powers and …
Michelle: (Breaks in) They have different functions, Barry, but under the Constitution they have equal powers.
Barack: (Peevishly) I know that. After all, I taught the Constitution – at a COLLEGE! And I went to HARVARD! (big laugh)
Michelle: I went to Harvard Law, too, Barry. (bigger laugh)
Barack: (Getting out of bed) Well, yeah. Say! You’re just complaining because I’m black, aren’t you? (uproarious laughter)
Michelle: Barry, we’re both black. Don’t get moody on me.
Barack: (Horrified) Please! Don’t say MOODY! (huge laughs, fade out)
Scene 3: Fade in to the Oval Office. The president is seated at his desk, speaking into the intercom. Bo lies at stage left.
Barack: Send him in!
(Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner enters, stage right.)
Geithner: Good morning, Mr. President! You wanted to see me?
Barack: Yes, Tim! Bill Daley said we just had to meet about … what was it?
Geithner: Was it about how well we’re managing the nation’s economic turnaround? Was it about the great job I’m doing over at Treasury? (laugh track chuckles)
Barack: That must have been it! You’re – we’re – doing a great job! But Daley said there was some unpleasant business I had to deal with and it had to do with you. Michelle reminded me, too. (He puts his elbows on the desk and his chin in his hands, thinking hard for a few moments.)
I’ve got it! Tim, before you go home in the evenings, would you please walk Bo around the Rose Garden?
(Cut to close-up of Bo as he raises his head and pricks up his ears quizzically. Really big laughs. Fade to credits.)