President Bush Paints Self Into Corner

Crawford, Texas, June 22, 2006 -- President George W. Bush recently suffered a harrowing experience at his ranch-like simulated country estate experience center in Crawford, Texas while redecorating the Glory Room, a large 42x58-foot space in the north wing of the main mansion dedicated to the display and preservation of President Bush's lone cheerleading trophy.

The Glory Room at President Bush's Crawford estateThe Glory Room at President Bush's Crawford estate

While attempting to repaint the floor of the room in a tasteful American flag motif, the president inadvertently painted himself into one corner. President Bush was forced to spend the next 36 hours alone, frightened and helplessly huddled against the wall until the flag-painted floor had achieved a sufficient level of tackiness that he could walk over it.

"It was a real nightmare for President Bush," said Chet Pert, a Secret Service agent assigned to permanent brush-clearing duty on President Bush's Crawford brush patch.

According to Agent Pert, President Bush, who normally outsources all planning and implementation tasks to others, decided in the case of his redecorating project to use his own resourcefulness and initiative.

"He gets a little infusion of self-reliance and chutzpah whenever he spends a few months down here in Crawford," said Agent Pert. "I think he saw the repaint job as something of a test of his resolve and strength of spirit."

Agnes Clerihew, a second sous-chef at President Bush's ranch-like country estate experience center, was the only eyewitness to the entire event.

"I clearly saw what was about to happen, but I was powerless to help," said Ms. Clerihew. "It was a horribly impotent experience for both of us, I'm sure."

According to Ms. Clerihew, President Bush began the project with "more enthusiasm, initiative and strength of purpose than I, or I think even the American people, have seen in a long, long while. He got his three buckets of paint and some brushes and marched straight into that room like a man on a mission. Some of the Secret Service agents offered to help, but he brushed them off pretty curtly with a profanation in that snippety, persnickety, spoiled brat manner he has. He's a wonderful man."

Mere moments later, Ms. Clerihew dramatically recounted, a disaster began to unfold before her very eyes.

"You have to picture the shape of the room," Ms. Clerihew said, "to understand how it—how it all… I'm sorry, it's painful to talk about. How it all happened. It's a big, long room, with a door at one end and a wide stretch of hardwood floor, and a sort of alcove or altar at the other end where President Bush keeps his cheerleading trophy from the Andover-Exeter Cheerleader's Jubilee Gala in 1963. I think it's the one thing in the world he's most proud of."

"Now, I think I would have started painting at the far end of the room and worked my way to the door," Ms. Clerihew continued, "but you know how impulsive, or decisive, I mean, President Bush can be. President Bush walked very straight and erect into that room with his paint cans and his brushes, set them all down as soon as he got through the door, and started painting right away. Right then I knew there'd be a problem. A serious, serious problem."

Ms. Clerihew explained that President Bush began painting a series of alternating red and white stripes from the door inward.

"When he had completed perhaps ten feet worth of the room, he suddenly stopped painting and sort of stood up and looked around with a puzzled expression on his face," Ms. Clerihew said. "I had had to run off to the kitchen to pull some flan out of the oven for his brunch, so I missed what happened during the first few feet. But then there he was, looking lost and helpless. His eyes met mine, and they were maybe the most droopy, pathetic pair of eyes I've ever seen, as we both mutually understood what was happening. I felt like Sylvester Stallone in that rock-climbing movie, where he's in the door of the helicopter and the cute little raccoon is dangling from the rope over the abyss and you can see the rope the raccoon is hanging from slowly, slowly coming untied. It was positively awful."

"I told him, 'Just walk across the paint, Mr. President. Maybe you'll ruin your shoes, but the floor can be fixed. Please, Mr. President, just get out before it's too late. It's better that way.' But he wouldn't listen. President Bush wouldn't listen," Ms. Clerihew recounted. "He said, 'Only cowards cut and run, Mrs. Clavicorn.' He says that as an answer to nearly everything these days, for some reason. I don't know why he calls me Clavicorn. Then he turned around and just kept painting, and painting, and painting, until he was all alone way over on the other side of the room with no way out. No way out at all."

For the next 36 hours, according to Ms. Clerihew and other members of the household domestic staff, President Bush remained in the corner of the room, mere inches from his cheerleading trophy but bereft of any other means of support, waiting for the paint, a particularly slow-drying variety, to dry.

"One of the estate carp—I mean, ranch carpenters made a little hole, a sort of little slot, in the wall near President Bush that he could use to serve the president Near Beer and pretzels from the other side of the wall. The president called it a 'glory hole', which I thought was kind of cute. And of course he had the paint buckets for his other needs. But I've never seen him so alone, so lost and confused, and that's saying a lot for someone like President Bush."

When the president was finally able to cross the flag-painted floor, safely dry after a full day and a half, he seemed harrowed but unbroken by the ordeal, according to Agent Pert.

"I asked him if there was anything he'd learned from the experience, like if it could be seen as a metaphor for anything in life, or anything like that," said Agent Pert. "We always do a lessons-learned evaluation whenever anything dramatic happens in the Service, you know. He was quiet for a minute before he answered: 'Not that I know of,' said President Bush."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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