William Faulkner on the Bush White House.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Feb. 23 2005 5:05 PM

The Administration and the Fury

If William Faulkner were writing on the Bush White House.

Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty

William Faulkner February 23, 2005

Down the hall, under the chandelier, I could see them talking. They were walking toward me and Dick's face was white, and he stopped and gave a piece of paper to Rummy, and Rummy looked at the piece of paper and shook his head. He gave the paper back to Dick and Dick shook his head. They disappeared and then they were standing right next to me.

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"Georgie's going to walk down to the Oval Office with me," Dick said.

"I just hope you got him all good and ready this time," Rummy said.

"Hush now," Dick said. "This aint no laughing matter. He know lot more than folks think." Dick patted me on the back good and hard. "Come on now, Georgie," Dick said. "Never mind you, Rummy."

We walked down steps to the office. There were paintings of old people on the walls and the room was round like a circle and Condi was sitting on my desk. Her legs were crossed.

"Did you get him ready for the press conference?" Dick said.

"Dont you worry about him. He'll be ready," Condi said. Condi stood up from the desk. Her legs were long and she smelled like the Xeroxed copies of the information packets they give me each day.

"Hello Georgie," Condi said. "Did you come to see Condi?" Condi rubbed my hair and it tickled.

"Dont go messing up his hair," Dick said. "Hes got a press conference in a few minutes."

Condi wiped some spit on her hand and patted down my hair. Her hand was soft and she smelled like Xerox copies coming right out of the machine. "He looks just fine," Condi said.

Fine day, isn't it, Georgie, Daddy said. Daddy was pitching horseshoes. Horseshoes flew through the air and it was hot. Jeb looked at me. Stand back or one of his horseshoes is going to hit you and knock you down real good, Jeb said. Jeb threw the horseshoe and it went right over the stick and Daddy clapped. Run and get me that horseshoe, Georgie, Daddy said. I ran and picked up the horseshoe. The metal was hot in my hands, and I held it for a little bit and then I dropped it. I picked it up. It was hot in my hands and I started running away from Daddy and Jeb. Come back with that horseshoe, Daddy said. I was running as fast as I could. Jeb run after him and get me my horseshoe before he throws another one in the river, Daddy hollered. Jeb was chasing after me fast. Come back with that horseshoe, Georgie, Jeb hollered. But I was fast and I kept running until I got to the river. Dont you dare throw that horseshoe in the river, Jeb said. I threw the horseshoe in the river. Jeb fell on the ground. Jeb kicked and cried and then I cried.

"He needs his makeup," Dick said.

"I'll do it," Condi said. She put a little brush on my check and it tickled and I laughed.

Rummy walked into the room. "Jesus, what's he laughing about," Rummy said.

"Dont you pay attention to him, Georgie," Dick said. "They're going to be asking you all about Social Security. You just remember what we talked about."

"He cant remember anything," Rummy said.

I started to holler. Dick's face was red and he looked at Rummy. "I told you to hush up already," Dick said. "Now look what you've gone and done."

"Go and get him Saddam's gun," Condi said. "You know how he likes to hold it."

Dick went to my desk drawer and took out Saddam's gun. He gave it to me, and it was hot in my hands. Rummy pulled the gun away.

"Do you want him carrying a gun into the press conference?" Rummy said. "Cant you think any better than he can?"

I was hollering and Dick was turning red and then white and the room was tilted.

"You give him that gun back, right this minute," Condi said. Rummy gave me Saddam's gun back and I held it my hands. It was hot like a horseshoe.

"You got the gun, now you stop that hollering," Rummy said.

Condi patted me on the back. "It sure is hot in here," she said. She fanned herself and took off her jacket. She smelled like perfume.

Sam Apple teaches creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Schlepping Through the Alps and American Parent.

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