Sacramento, California - With the media still abuzz about the death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, a knocking came at the front door of the California governor's mansion early Sunday morning. As Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger arose, the knocking grew louder and more frequent as he wound his way down the stairs to see who it was at the door.
"Yes, what is it?" asked Schwarzenegger in his best intimidating Austrian accent as he opened the front door wearing a white bathrobe and fuzzy blue bunny slippers, while still rubbing his eyes and clearing his throat. "Tell me now girly man! What do you want from me!"
"The rent," modestly replied a man as he handed over to the governor a legal notice to pay rent or quit. The man wearing a gray windbreaker jacket with a company logo patch that read: "Swoosh Delivery and Process Servers Service and nametag baring the name, Michael Archer, written in golden calligraphy letterers, then turned to walk away.
"What are you taking about?" responded Schwarzenegger with his eyes now wide-open. "I paid the rent."
Archer then turned back around and walking up to the governor, pulled out from his jacket pocket the IOUs that the landlord -- The People of California -- received as payment instead of cash for the governor's rent due on the mansion, and through them at the governor's fuzzy blue bunny slippers.
"Hey, you. Why did you do that?" asked Schwarzenegger, bending down to pickup the IOU's, his rope opening, exposing that was not wearing any underwear underneath. "Don't you know this is like money, or something?"
Something is right. As the cash-strapped State of California issued IOU's instead of legal tender (cash) to pay the rent on the governor's mansion and the many other of the state's financial obligations to its venders and citizens in an accounting trick to forestall insolvency, as bankruptcy cannot be legally declared by a State of The Union.
As Archer again turned to walk away, Schwarzenegger called him back begging and pleading with him to come inside the mansion and talk the matter over awhile. Archer reluctantly agreed.
As Archer sat in a red leather chair in front of a lit fireplace of the drawing room of the governor's mansion, Schwarzenegger called for Maria to come down stairs, as he slowly walked over to the green marble mantle over the fireplace to reach into a humidor box placed on top. The governor pulled out two cigars, Cubans, offering one to Archer. But Archer declined.
"Listen," said the governor, as he lit his cigar in the fireplace and then placed his arm on the hearth, pausing a full minute or so as if posing for a still portrait painting, but really milking the moment for dramatic affect, before turning to face Archer again. "You look to me like a businessman. I mean you got your business suit on and everything."
"What? This jacket? It's the company's, not mine," said Archer, motioning to the company insignia and his nametag.
"Whatever," said the governor without looking, reaching instead back into his humidor box, pulling out a weighed unmarked envelope and tossing it onto Archer's lap. As he opened the unmarked envelope, Archer just shock his head in disappointment.
"Look," said a desperate Schwarzenegger at Archer's disappointed look. "Whatever they're paying you, I'll pay double...triple...no, quadruple what they are paying you. Just please don't make me go any higher."
"Why? Because you don't have any money any more to offer me?" Archer sarcastically rebutted.
"No, because I don't know what comes after quadruple," said Schwarzenegger.
"Why do you bother giving me these IOUs?" said Archer. "They're no different from the rest. Not worth the paper they're printed on."
"Yes these ones are," insisted Schwarzenegger, motioning to Archer to read the endorsement on the IOU's. "You see these IOU's are my very own. Privately issued and endorsed by me. Remember: 'The Terminator?' You could put these ones up on e-Bay or Craig's List and get some real money."
"No thanks," said Archer as he stood up to leave, letting the IOU's fall to the floor before his feet
"But you don't understand!" yelled out Schwarzenegger as he picked up his IOU's from the floor, running to the front door after Archer and frantically waving the IOU's in the air at the threshold. "See, I signed these IOU's on the front, just like I use to do with my checks! That makes them just as good, maybe even better because one body will want to steal them from you. Just like guy from the American Express commercials use to say, 'Don't leave home without them!"