Low Concept

George W. Bush’s 2014 State of the Union Viewing Party

The view from Dubya’s living room.

“The state of our viewing party is strong.”

Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker

Thank you. Thank you. All right now, settle down everybody. Have a seat. I want to thank you all for being here. Miss Beazley, Bob the cat, 50 or so neighborhood pets and stray animals that I’ve adopted and/or stolen over the years, Jimmy Carter—it just wouldn’t feel like home without each and every one of you drooling on the quail-skin rug.

I know a lot of you were disappointed when I said we’d be watching the State of the Union tonight, and I’m with you on that. Heck, I don’t even remember most of the big-room sweaty-suit speeches I had to give. But let me start by saying this: The state of our viewing party is strong. Laura’s off organizing all the books in my Presidential Book House, and I finally convinced Dick to give me the password so we can unblock the Democrat channels on the TV. Still, I know there’s been some bellyachin’ around here lately, and I want to get a few things straight before we get going.

First off: the doggie cams. A lot of you have been pretty upset about the idea of being watched all day, but that is no excuse to start breaking the cameras. Snowball kept peeing on ’em, and that’s why he’s an outdoor cat now. But if you’re a good dog, you have nothing to worry about, and if you’re a bad dog, well, you’re gonna be brought to justice. Unless you’re one of those bad dogs that you can totally tell did it because they’re making a funny face or they have a trash can on their head. Then you’re gonna end up on a YouTube, and, you know, at that point it’s out of my hands.

While I’m being the bad news bear, let’s knock a few more out of the park. The new vet: He’s here to stay. I know his system is confusing, and I’ll admit it’s taken him longer than I expected to figure out which of you are cats and which of you are dogs and which of you are Jimmy Carter, but I have faith that in the long run, most of you are gonna be too easily distracted to figure out whether he’s really any better or any worse.

Now, let’s talk about food for a second. Lately, you cats have had your whiskers all in a cradle over this “food inequality,” but I just don’t see what you expect me to do about it. Truth is, when I give you food, you act like you’re too cool to even want it. Then you act all surprised when one of the dogs eats it. They’ll eat anything! I’ve been bundling in a healthy amount of cattle dung with their Purina for months now, and they just keep eating it and throwing it up and eating it all over again.

Dogs, we gotta talk about this bone situation. You’re burying bones faster than I can bring ’em home, and I can’t go on borrowing bones from Jerry Jones’ yard next door. Eventually, I’m going to find out why he has so many bones in his yard in the first place, and then we’re all headed for the back room of the pound. I’ll talk to Laura about raising the bone budget again for a few months, but you guys are gonna have to stop burying and start digging if we don’t want a full-blown bone shutdown on our hands again.

But hey, you know, guys, it’s not all bad news. We’re headed for a real solution on doggie door reform. A smaller door will hopefully keep out new raccoons, and we can make the raccoons that are already here into productive members of the household. Also: Syria. I still haven’t figured anything out on Syria, but Jimmy’s the only one who really cares about that stuff and he’s been asleep for the past 20 minutes.

All right now, everybody hush up. The beginning’s my favorite part. Right before they introduced me, I would always close my eyes and pretend the whole thing was just a big ol’ surprise party that somebody had accidentally told me about. I wonder if the Big O ever does that. Poor guy. I should really send him a painting.