I was in the shower when I got the call, from a New England man with a monotone voice. The President wanted to talk to me, he said, and he wanted to do it alone. He wanted to set the record straight, and I was the only interviewer in the business professional enough to do it. The interview would take place the following night, in a seedy gin joint on the east side of town.

I agreed, naturally, although when push comes to shove I doubt I had any choice. Hell, would anyone? He's the President, and I'm just a hard bitten Rum Monkey, trying his best to make ends meet in this crazy place we call life.

George was there, as expected. That morning, he'd pulled out of the International Criminal Courts and expanded his definition of the Axis of Evil in one continuous, powerful stroke; a masterful exercise of policy that said to the world: "I'm a Republican President, y'all, and I ain't gonna take no shit".

I cautiously sat down at the bar next to him. He was having a gin and tonic with a slice of lime; I ordered a bourbon on the rocks. Without provocation - without a single question from his beer-stained interviewer - he started to speak.

GEORGE: This isn't who I wanted to be, you know. Everywhere I go, people hate me. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be a great leader, but everybody hates me. They say I'm dumb. Do you know how that feels? To have an entire planet think I'm stupid? I wake up every morning and I want to die.

RUM & MONKEY: Uh .. I'm --

G: Don't say anything. Please. Just don't say anything. You can't possibly know. You're just a Web site guy. I'm the leader of the Western world ... and the Western world hates me.

R: The entire Western world doesn't hate you. Think of all the conservatives ... the fundamentalist Christians, the racists, the insular egotists ... the oil companies, the energy companies, big business ... and hey, I bet Austria likes you.

G: Yeah, that makes me happy sometimes. I forget about them. But, y'know, I thought this'd be different .. Back when I was a "wild child", they hated me, so I converted to the establishment. Now I'm the leader of the establishment, they still hate me! It's like being flung into a pit of despair and never being able to crawl out. Did you ever see Return of the Jedi?

R: Yeah, a couple of times.

R: It's like being flung into that giant mouth in the desert, that devours you slowly and painfully over a thousand years. I always have that black cloud hanging over me and it makes me want to fold up and die - not just fold up and die but hurt, hurt the people who made me feel this way. I hate them. I hate every iota of their existence. Belgium, Germany, France ...

R: Oh, I thought you were talking about the Axis of Evil.

G: If they'd let me add Europe, I would. That's why I withdrew from their International Criminal Court. They just want to haul me up and make fun of me. Everyone always wants to make fun of me. Right from my school days. Do you know how much mileage high school kids can get from the name "Bush"? They called me Vagina Face for years. Some of my cabinet .. I still hear them calling me Vagina Face behind my back.

R: Children can be so cruel.

G: You bet your life! There was this one time I remember, when I'd been driving around in my Corvette before school, and I drove in to discover all the kids had these .. masks .. on their faces. Turned out the art department had been making prosthetic vulvas, and all the kids had stuck them on their faces, and were chanting at me, laughing ...

R: That's terrible. What happened?

G: My dad, who was, y'know, head of the CIA, had their mothers and sisters executed. He had each one of them sit in the viewing room, and watch as they were strapped into the table and lethally injected with a cocktail of poisons. I was there each time .. heh .. Kinda got a taste for it. It's fun.

R: I see. So, what do you like to read?

G: Like, books? I'm a big fan of Ayn Rand. "Man must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life." America is living for its own sake, and we're not sacrificing ourselves for anyone. Our business is sweeping the globe; we are withdrawing from international treaties like that environmentalist Kyoto thing, and the International Criminal Court, because they don't suit our purpose. Our success is our only purpose.

R: What about the bit about not sacrificing others to yourself?

G: Piffle.

R: In your "wild child" days, did you ever smoke a Cuban cigar?

G: ..... Might have. But that doesn't stop them from being evil. Castro is so .. so evil. Look at his beard. It's a beard that screams evil. One day that beard will come after you, your wife, your children, and where will you be? You'll be beaten by the beard. That's the kind of future that awaits us if we don't fight terror now, and if you don't want to be a part of the battle, then doom on you.

R: Wow. You've convinced me. I want to fight terror, George!

G: Great! Does that make you my bitch?

R: I'll have to think about that. I've never been a bitch before.

G: How about I make it worth your while, big boy?