President Obama, who is visiting BP headquarters in Houston to continue the BP ass kicking he began at the White House June 16, is led by BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg into a large banquet hall. The president is seated next to Svanberg in the middle of an extremely long table filled with pitchers of wine, whole fish, roasted fowl, immense slabs of beef, baskets of fruit, and platters of steaming vegetables. Retinues of White House and BP officials are seated to the sides of the two leaders. Before them is a large open floor area.
Svanberg claps his hands together.
“Bring in zee small peeeple!”
A group of BP rig workers, oil cleanup crew members, and gasoline station attendants enter wearing their work uniforms.
“Und now, Mr. President, our small peeeples will make show for you.
The workers variously begin to juggle, perform cartwheels and summersaults, dance, and engage in other theatrics.
“Look at zee small perzon ova zare, Mr. President. In honor of zee first lady, she dozz za hula hoop.”
Obama looks stunned.
“Don’t you like zee small peeple?
“This is an outrage!”
“Look, now zees small perzon ova zare is going to swallow zee big sword. Don’t make zee meestake! Bahahahahahaha!”
“Mr. President, at BP, we care deeply about zee small peeple. All zeez small peeples you see have 401ks. Of course if you keep punishing my company I may have to lay off some of zeez small peeples, but look, Zay ‘ave ozer talents.”
“Wait a second, I’m the one who cares about the small people – I mean average working folks – not you.”
Svanberg claps his hands.
“Dance! Dance for Obama, small peeples! Goot! Goot! Make a show!”
Obama is becoming publicly angry for the first time in his presidency.
A large, vertical, rectangular case covered in a drape is wheeled in and placed before Obama and Svanberg. One of the workers removes the drape from what they can now see is a glass display case with a perfectly still woman inside.
“Eeet’s za preserved corpse of Leona Helmsley, Mr. President!”
“Where did you get that? You’re a monster.”
“Her Maltese sold it to us for $100,000. Apparently the dog made some bad investments. I’ve always had za hahtz for her.”
One of the female workers stands next to Leona Helmsley and begins to sing the Dolly Parton song “Working Nine to Five” a capella for Obama and Svanberg
“I veesh I coot sing like zat boot I’m completely tone deaf.”
“I see your point.”
“You know, Mr. President, your moratorium on drilling is forcing me to pay zee small peeple to do nossing. Zees will have to end soon und zen zees small peeple will be fleepping zee burgers.”
“Your company has acted recklessly. You’re paying $20 billion to make everyone in the Gulf whole again, and that’s just for starters. Ken Feinberg, an independent auditor who works for me, will see that these claims are processed fairly. Then there will be billions in lawsuits, more claims, fines, new taxes, and so forth. You will pay for your arrogance and mistakes.”
“Zats fine, we will send zee small peeple who cannot juggle to zee federal worker training programs so zay don’t have to fleep zee burgers, und we will raise zee price of zee gasoline for zee small peeple to pay at zee pump. Und I will jump out of an airplane, you zee, und zen unfurl my golden parachute and float into my chateau in Goteborg.”
“No, you will pay.”
“Mr. president, zee beeg peeples don’t pay your penalties. Zat is for zee small peeples.”
* Thanks to Kathleen Silvassy for an assist!