Written by Lawrence J. Cohen
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Topics: Washington, Congress

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

WASHINGTON -- Determined to put a dent in the national debt, the House of Representatives has voted to sell the White House.

The Senate quickly jumped on debt reduction bandwagon but held out for the less radical idea of simply mortgaging the White House, using the Washington Monument as collateral. The House reluctantly agreed that mortgaging the White House made a lot more sense.

But the banks unexpectedly threw a monkey wrench in the works. A mortgage was impossible because the White House had no assets and, above all, was not a person.

"We'll see about that," said the Attorney General who immediately petitioned the Supreme Court to hear its arguments refuting the banks' contention.

The Attorney General was confident that the Court would respond favorably inasmuch as two of the Justices frequently visited his house for barbeque and swimming. The Justices saw no reason to recuse themselves just because they'd roasted a few goats with an old friend.

The Court instantly ruled that the White House was not only a person but a Brigadier General and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

But the banks, battered by previous shaky loans, threw a drill press into the works They insisted that because the White House was unique, no appraisal could establish its worth. No appraisal, no loan.

Still faced with the growing debt, Congress was forced to go back to the original plan and put the White House on the market.

The timing was perfect. If they acted quickly they could get it done before the explosive president and his hair trigger veto returned to the capitol. The president was in an undisclosed ashram hoping to control his volcanic temper through meditation and, if things went well, levitation.

Congress then tackled unforeseen, complex issues regarding the sale. Would they take back a second? Could they get a break on the commission? Furnished or unfurnished? Who would be the notary? Old timers predicted an all-nighter for sure.

Word of the impending sale soon leaked out. Third parties finally saw a way to occupy the White House. There were two leading contenders.

One was the "No Gridlock Party" whose single plank was, "Cave In Now!" Their main backer was billionaire Walter O'Brien Berman, whose best selling book, "Principles Shminciples " was being made into a reality show.

But as wealthy as the "No Gridders" were, they could never out bid the "Gun Rack" party, headquartered in Earhole, Alabama. It was founded by TV evangelist, the Reverend Screamin' Sam Suppertime. The Reverend's fire and brimstone sermons were so popular his church became the first in the country to sell franchises. At last count there were over three hundred "Screamin' Sam" churches in the U.S. and the Galapagos.

But all of Reverend Suppertime's prayers would be unanswered because there was an even bigger player waiting to pounce. A consortium of Wall Street titans and a giant theme park developer, with grandiose plans for "Washington Wonderland", couldn't wait to get its hands on the White House and tear it down.

Congress named someone's aunt as realtor and the property was listed, with the following ad:

EAT YOUR HEART OUT

First time on the market! Stunning one of a kind gem. beautifully situated on 18 pristine acres, beltway close to everything. Are you ready for 135 rooms with 35 baths? Three haute, gourmet kitchens including a diet kitchen for you calorie counters. Stay in shape on the running track, tennis court, swimming pool, and professionally equipped gym. (Only a dumbbell wouldn't love this stunning property!) Beat the traffic using the absolutely adorable heliport that comes with your very own anti terrorist system. Or take in a flick at the state of the art movie heater. Sale includes 3D glasses! Sale does not include Camp David, a rustic, companion getaway, or fleet of Lockheed Kestral choppers. Also excludes Marine Honor Guard.

MAKE AN OFFER! THIS ONE WON'T LAST!

The president returned to Washington at peace with the world and himself until he learned that he was being evicted. "What the fuck is this?" he asked, quite reasonably. "Where the hell am I supposed to live!?"

For once, Congress had an answer. The president would live in the vice president's residence. The Vice President would live on a plane, endlessly circling the globe on good will missions.

While the first family was preparing for the move, the president tried to go about his duties but was constantly distracted by movers and packers.

He finally found enough privacy to host a private lunch for Mexico's first female President.

But unbeknownst to the president's staff, the first broker's open house had been scheduled for that day.

As the president was on the verge of broaching the delicate issue of immigration, the door burst open and thirty real estate agents poured in, oooing and ahhing.

"This room is nothing, doo doo!" screeched the broker at the head of the pack. "Wait 'til you see the real dining room! Elegant! Elegant, Elegant!"

For the first time she noticed that there were other people in the room.

"Hi," she said to the two stunned leaders. She then turned to Mexico's President. "I really love your haircut. It's just perfect for such a long face."

The president was at his wit's end. " For God's sake, somebody sell this goddam house already!"

"We hope next week's garage sale will pique more interest, Mr. President," said his Chief of Staff.

"Do I have to do everything? Get creative!" shouted the President, "Try a lease with an option to buy!"

But the sale would never to come to pass. Before the White House even got an acceptable offer, a stealth White Knight appeared.

More precisely, a Red Knight. China would bail the White House out by floating a loan at bail bondsmen's rates. The People's Republic would simply tack on the new loan to the debt the U.S. already owed it.

Congress was ecstatic. It had saved the day through the novel idea of increasing national debt.

Make Lawrence J. Cohen's day - give this story five thumbs-up (there's no need to register, the thumbs are just down there!)

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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