Bethesda, MD - Earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was given a clean bill of health by Dr. Jeremy North at the Bethesda Medical Center following a prostrate cancer scare. However, all is not well in Mr. Rumsfeld's nether regions.
"I don't think that he's had a bowel movement in weeks," confided an aide on condition of anonymity. "After they had all those folks in there poking around, you'd think they would have caught anything, but I guess they didn't."
Mr. Rumsfeld's discomfort has become increasingly evident through his demeanor and facial expressions in public. Gone are the Secretary's breezy smiles and witty bon mots, so familiar to those who have watched him testify before Congressional subcommittees. Now he is stoic and stone-faced, clearly willing his sphincter to respond - even at the cost of a pair of underpants.
When asked directly about his regularity (or lack thereof), Mr. Rumsfeld responded through gritted teeth, "I have no comment at this time other than to say that my physical condition will not impact my ability to perform my duty to the President." Mr. Rumsfeld did not appear to recognize the irony of his use of the word "duty."
Habib al-Inari, a clerk at a 7-11 not far from the Pentagon was able to provide details that make the Secretary's plight much more poignant. "Two, three times a day he is in here," said Mr. al-Inari. "Each time he purchases ExLax, Metamucil, you name it. Often, he begins eating them right here at the counter. I feel bad for him. The other day, he actually ate a hot dog from our steam table - something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy."
The situation has been exacerbated by Vice President Cheney's crowing about a recent mammoth bowel movement on Meet the Press. "That was hard for Rummy to watch," continued the aide, "but Dick won't let a day go by without bringing it up again. He [the Vice President] walks into Cabinet meetings now and just looks at Don, laughing to himself. The other day, he said, ‘Don, you are one constipated-looking motherf**ker'. Sectretary Rumsfeld got so emotional that he had to run out of the room."
According to another administration source, the Vice President has offered to give the Secretary of Defense, "Turding Lessons" an offer that has not apparently been accepted.
Until it is, or until Mr. Rumsfeld can resolve this issue on his own, America will be deprived of one of its gladdest spirits.