Barely reliable sources have revealed the following unedited transcript of a recent telephone conversation between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U. S. President George W. Bush:
Stephen Harper: Mr. President. Thank you for taking my call.
George W. Bush: No problemo, Damien. I hope you don’t mind me calling you Damien. I’m just trying out some nicknames for you and you kinda remind me of that scary kid in that "Omen" movie.
SH: Sure, Mr. President, that’s fine.
GWB: Hey, call me W or George there, Damien. Everybody else does. Except for Saddam Hussein and Maureen Dowd, that is. Heh, heh.
SH: Ah.....OK, George.
GWB: What can I do you for, Stevereenio?
SH: Well, George, I just wanted to thank you for that great advice last week. That surprise visit to Afghanistan really worked. The poll numbers are way up.
GWB: Glad I could help, Stevebo. I always found that chowing down with the troops with a fake turkey pays big dividends in the approval rating. Tends to make the voters forget about all the screw-ups. Heh, heh.
SH: I was kind of hoping that you could help me out with a few other issues.
GWB: You bet, Harper Valley. First off, I understand you don’t have a clear majority. Don’t worry about it; that never stopped me. But I would suggest you register as many of those Canadian voters in Florida as you can. You never know when that may come in handy.
SH: I’ll keep that in mind, George. But right now I’m more concerned with budget matters. What financial tricks can you teach me?
GWB: Piece of cake, NeoCanCon. Just stop running all those budget surpluses. What are you saving it for - a rainy day? Spend the money now any way you can - tax cuts, war, homeland security - you name it.
SH: But that’s going to cause a deficit and increase the national debt!
GWB: Bingo, Roboman. You must be one of them there economists. Look; forget all that fancy theory stuff. Just spend ‘til it hurts and guaranteed you’ll get reelected. I don’t know why it works but it just does. After all, look at me!
SH: OK. Sounds good. But what about healthcare? We’ve got a real problem up here with waiting lists and hospital beds.
GWB: What you gotta do, Cloneboy, is to create a diversion. Ever thought of starting a war? It’s real easy. You can declare war on fear or hate or something like that or you can just invade a country. But make sure it’s a small one. I kinda miscalculated on Iraq. But once you’ve got a war going, you can justify just about anything on the basis of national security, even privatising your healthcare system. And if anyone starts criticizing you, just call ‘em a traitor. Works every time.
SH: Sounds great, George. Come to think of it, Iceland has been looking at us kind of funny lately. But our military is spread pretty thin right now. What can we do about that?
GWB: Wish I could help you out there, Gladman, but ours is getting a bit thin, too. All I can tell you is to devote more of your budget to army stuff. Cut back on health, education and welfare spending if you have to. By the time anyone notices, you’ll be long gone anyway. Word to the wise, though. Don’t stint on levee building. That one’ll bite you in the ass every time.
SH: But that means I’d have to break some of my campaign promises.
GWB: Like not recruiting members from the other side or appointing only elected senators?
SH: Heh, heh. Oh yeah, I forgot.
GWB: Look, Droidguy, breaking promises is like making love or riding a bicycle. Every time you do it, it gets easier. Well, come to think of it, maybe not that bike riding thing.
SH: Thanks, George, for all the advice. It’s clear I still have a few things to learn about governing.
GWB: Oh, I think you’ll do fine, Minority Man. From what Dick Cheney tells me, you’re already half way to becoming a Canadian Bushman. Gotta go, Stepford. Still got some tax and brush cutting to do.