Since the policy of the federal government seems to be to snoop on the conversations of private citizens, I thought it would be appropriate if we turned the tables on them. So, I authorized my columnist commandos to infiltrate the White House disguised as teleprompters and get the real scoop on the latest developments in Ukraine.
Ring! Ring! Ring!
"Hi. Is Vladimir Putin in, please?"
"Speaking. And to whom do I have the pleasure of talking?"
"It's Barack Obama, President of the United States."
"Barry! How you doing, man?"
"It's not Barry. It is Barack, Vladimir. I hate it when you call me Barry and, frankly, I'm pretty ticked off at you."
"Aw, gee. I'm sorry to hear that. What have I done now?"
"What have you done? You've invaded Crimea. That is what you have done. You didn't even give me the courtesy of a heads-up and now the whole world is waiting to see what I am going to do. Instead of jetting around the country doing photo-ops, I've got to sit here and be all presidential and stuff. I hate that."
"Bless your heart, Barry. I feel like such a schlemiel. Will you forgive me?"
"No, I won't. And quit calling me Barry. It is obvious you don't respect me. I realize you were once a KGB agent. Big deal. May I remind you, Vladimir, that I was a community organizer in Chicago. You really don't want to mess with a community organizer."
"And to show you I mean business, I sent Vice President Joe Biden to Poland to talk to our allies."
"Unfortunately, he ended up in Muncie, Ind., where he told the crowd that we would protect them if they were invaded by Kentucky. Let's face it. Joe isn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier."
"At least this time he didn't tell a guy in a wheelchair to stand up and take a bow. You've done wonders with him, Barry. By the way, I knew you meant business when you headed off to a swanky resort in Key Largo to play golf while we were inviting ourselves into Crimea. Scared the dickens out of me."
"Hey, Vladimir, my job isn't all about foreign affairs. I have a domestic agenda as well. That includes getting my short game in shape. Like you wouldn't have invaded Crimea if I sat around the Oval Office twiddling my thumbs? Admit it: You were going to invade anyway, weren't you?"
"You are right, Barry. I've seen broomsticks that scare me worse than you do."
"Well, you leave me no choice but to freeze the assets of your inner circle and to cancel your American Express card. No more Frequent Flyer miles for you, buddy."
"I kinda figured that would happen so I have talked to the Chinese. They say they'll give me all the money I need and if I run short they would liquidate some of their holdings in your country. If I'm not mistaken, they own about $1.2 trillion of U.S. debt. You might want to rethink that one, Barry."
"I'm sorry, Vladimir, but you leave me no choice. It is time to consider the nuclear option."
"Whoa, Barry. Let's don't get too hasty here. There is no cause to be talking about nuclear options."
"Yes, there is. As soon as I hang up this phone, I am turning matters over to Michelle. From now on, you will be dealing with her. Mess with her and you will be sipping your borscht through a straw."
"Hey, man. Don't do that to me. Is there anything I can do to make up for treating you like a 98-pound weakling? Anything at all?"
"Well, since you mentioned it. Could I interest you in signing up for Obamacare? I promise that if you do, you can keep your current benefits."
"Barry, that is very kind of you. And, in return, when I invade Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Muncie, Ind., I promise I will call you as soon as the dust settles. I now have you on speed-dial. Good bye."
"Gee, that conversation went well. But I wonder why my teleprompters are giggling?"
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.