The venerable question that has bewildered scholars and thinkers of the Bolshevistic persuasion since Peter the Great is: how many czars does a czar need, and does a czar need a czar to watch over his czars?
The urgency for an answer to the preceding query manifested itself in the most incongruous manner.
During a meeting in the Oval Office, while deliberating the necessity of appointing a start of life/end of life czar, Barack Obama, America's self inflicted czar, as well as Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff, and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, were startled by a man of mysterious carriage fumbling with an umbrella in one hand, a lightning rod in the other, and sporting a red pair of galoshes that squeaked with each step, who popped his head in the northwest door and asked where the men's room was located. An incredulous Obama, apparently in his patented high-state of cognizance, with mouth agape, pointed to the left. The following dialogue ensued:
Obama: who the hell was that?
Rahm: that's your new weather czar; he is supposed to figure out how to control the weather.
Obama: when did I...
Rahm: late yesterday afternoon, after basketball practice.
The conversation was interrupted by a cacophonous symphony emanating from the abutting corridor. Obama, already in a high state of agitation from the encounter with the red galoshes, bolted to the door and peered into the hallway. His corneas were assailed with the sight of what appeared to a poorly orchestrated parade of harlequins. He slammed the door, and walked haltingly back to his chair. Not a word, just the look zeroed on Rahm. "Czars, sir. Your czars. We are running out of room. They're everywhere."
With that, Obama, morphing once again into his patented high-state of cognizance, stated, "we are...ummm.... going to...ahhh....you...you...we are....as I have said before...hope and...." The following dialogue ensued after Rahm's interjection:
Rham: why don't you call Peter over at OMB and see if they can get a count and manage your czars?
Obama: good idea. You know, I was just thinking the same thing myself before you said it; in fact, I probably thought of it right before you did.
Obama hits the speed dial on the phone while on speaker.
Ring, ring, ring. "Peter Orszag's Office, how may I assist you?"
Obama: this is Barack Obama, to whom am I speaking?
Unknown answerer: this is Randi, with an 'i'. I am Mr. Orszag's secretary czar.
Obama: may I speak with Peter?
Randi: that's not within my capacity; let me transfer you my under-czar, his secretary.
Obama: thank you.
Peter: Peter Oszag.
Obama: Peter, Barack here. I thought I was being transferred to the under-czar secretary? What's the deal with your phone protocol over there?
Peter: Well, we don't quite have all the bugs worked out with the secretaries, secretary czars, and the under-secretary czar. Still a bit of confusion on overlapping responsibilities and whatnot.
With that, Obama picked up the phone, disengaging it from the speaker.
Obama: Peter, I need some help from your office managing my czars. Somehow, I have lost count and accountability of my czars, and I need to get a handle on the situation as there are many more necessary czars I need to appoint. I was... well, how busy are you?...well, you know I was think...how much time can it possibly take to calculate health care reform budge...oh, I see...what about if we...well, what if...ten trillion...that much?...OK, then, I understand. Hoops tomorrow?
The echo of the receiver's slamming down was still ricocheting around Oval Office, looking for a corner, when Obama turned to Rahm and Kathleen--who had been amusing herself the entirety playing a game of solitary hangman she had devised to occupy her empty hours at the HHS with what appeared to be a tiny stick figure with a pacifier--and said, " well, the OMB is swamped with whatever it is they do over there; I'm just going to have to eliminate some of my czars." Rahm stood up and with the greatest of enthusiasm, said, "No! Bad idea. You can't do that.
"Quite frankly, the only thing between this office and 10 percent unemployment are your czars. We...I mean you...need to appoint more."
"I can't manage what I have now, the hallway, and that weather czar with those red boots. Jesus! What am I going to do, what am I going to do?" said Obama, with his voice trailing off dejectedly."
"I've got it. A czar of czars. That's it. That's it. A czar to manage the czars. All the czars will report to the head of czars; we can call the position the Cardinal of Czars," ejaculated Rahm.
Obama stood up, and whooped, "perfect, let me get the ball rolling with some hope and change for the czars. I will alert the czar of appointments to get started on a short list of candidates." With that, Obama punched the intercom for his czar of White House secretaries, and vociferated most aggressively into the speaker upon hearing the czar's voice, "get me Gibbs, stat." Obama smiled, sat back into his chair, and rubbed his hands together with the deportment of one who just stumbled upon something that could, quite possibly, alter the course of the world.
The phone rang; Obama hit the speaker button, "Gibbs?"
"Call a press conference immediately. I want you to announce we will be appointing a Cardinal of Czars to manage all my czars." There was a very audible squeak and a muffled, "For the love of Pete, what the hell am I going"...with that Obama picked up the phone, winked at Kathleen and Rahm, and started in, "Now Robert, hear me out....