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Circle of Trust -- a One-Act Play:
Blair and Bush Get with the Program

05.27.2006 | CULTURE

[Deep in the White House basement, a meeting is called to order.]

Leader: Who'd like to speak first?

[A hand is raised.]

George: Hi. I'm George W., and I'm an alcoholic.

Everyone: Hi George.

George: And this is my friend Tony.

Everyone: Hi Tony.

Leader: Would you like to go next after George, Tony? We're all friends here.

Tony: Are you daft? I'm already on terribly shaky ground politically, thanks to my support of George. If I come out against whiskey, I'll be lucky if Scotland doesn't threaten to secede, and Her Majesty will go bonkers. At the very least, I'll receive a vote of 'no confidence' from Parliament before the day is out.

George: (aside -- Don't get your britches in an uproar, Tony.) I've been finishing up my Twelve Steps, some people say I have a creditibility problem, wanted my good friend Tony here to confirm what I'm saying.

Leader: I see. And how long has it been since your last drink?

George: Over seventeen years.

Leader: And you haven't completed your Steps yet?

George: I've been busy.

Leader: Very well. Proceed.

George: Step One, I admitted I'm powerless over alcohol. Step Two, I truly believe that there is a power greater than me and Step Three, I've turned "my will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understand Him." And I understand Him real good because we have a close personal relationship, been doing everything He tells me to.

Leader: What about Step Four, your moral inventory?

George: I'm as moral as they come, and I'm working hard to make sure everyone lives up to my personal values and moral standards. No cloning or human and animal hybrids is happening on my watch.

George: What about Step Five, admitting your wrongs?

Leader: Ask Tony. The other day at our press conference, in front of God and the world, or at least whoever has a TV set, I admitted that I maybe shouldn't have said 'bring it on' to old Osama, and that vowing to get him 'dead or alive' was not the best way to say it. Abu Grahib probably was way over the top. Gonna be paying for that one for a while to come.

Tony: Quite true. He did say all those things. Is coffee all you have available?

Leader: Would you prefer tea?

Tony: What I need is a good, stiff... tea will be fine, thanks ever so.

Leader: What about Step Six, George? Are you ready to have God remove your "defects of character?"

George: You can cross that one off the list as done. Ask Laura, whenever anyone says bad things about me she gets real upset, says they're wrong. She's a good woman, smart, librarian, reads books. She would know.

Leader: And do you humbly ask God to remove your shortcomings?

George: If He can find any. Not to brag, I can proudly say that I'm the most humble man on earth. It's just that God wants me in this job, and I've got a mandate from the American people, they expect me to do my best. That's why I don't pay attention to the polls, have ta make the tough choices, that's my job. I'm the decider.

Leader: What about Step Eight? Making a list of the persons you've harmed and being willing to make amends?

George: Only harmed our evil enemies. I've brought good people hope and democracy and freedom. If they can't appreciate it, that's their problem.

Leader: Step Nine is actually making these amends.

George: My friends at Halliburton are rebuilding Iraq and New Orleans. And everyone in Mexico will soon have a job working on my big old fence.

Leader: What happens after the fence is completed?

George: I'll be out of office by then. Tried to get Jeb to run. He's chicken.

Leader: Step Ten is taking ongoing personal inventory.

George: Despite setbacks and missteps, I strongly believe we did and are doing the right thing. Not everything has turned out the way we hoped.

Tony: He said exactly those exact words at our press conference.

Leader: Step Eleven is prayer and meditation, and knowing His will.

George: I'm real good at that. Pray all the time. Who did you think it was who told me to attack Iraq in the first place? God. I listened to Him, not my dad, 41.

Tony: [ Tragic moan]

Leader: Well, I guess that brings us to Step Twelve, "Having had a spiritual awakening." George, have you tried "to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all of your affairs?"

George: What affairs? Laura pulls better poll numbers than me; I'm not blowing that with any affair. Remember what happened to the last guy? I have values, good, decent, hardworking, pro-family American values. I try real hard because it's real hard work, real hard work, to carry my message to alcoholics. Lot of people out there aren't alcoholics yet, but don't you worry, I'm driving them to it fast and furious. You AA people oughtta be thanking me for the business.

Tony: Please bring me whatever it was that Winston Churchill drank.

George: You're in America, Tony. Here we say that about General Grant.

About the Author
Beth Birnbaum, who writes for Free Inquiry magazine, among others, has just finished a novel, SoundBite Religion.
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