Scene: The White House. Oval Office. President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are discussing the looming budget crisis.
BOEHNER (gesturing to a steward): Hey, Garçon! How about another Cutty? And easy on the ice cubes. I’m drowning over here. What about you, Harry?
REID: Give it up, John. I’m tired.
BOEHNER: Well, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Harry, we’re all tired. I’ve been working my effin’ keister off since January trying to resolve this thing to our mutual benefit, and you —
OBAMA: Gentlemen, please. We don’t have a lot of time this morning.
BOEHNER: I’m sorry, Mr. President, but Senator Reid doesn’t seem to understand the gravity of my situation. My caucus isn’t exactly playing tiddlywinks. I might go out of there feet first one of these days, and I don’t think either of you wants that.
OBAMA (smiling): Now let’s not get dramatic, John. Remember, I’m from Chicago.
BOEHNER: Well, Mr. President, I’m from Cincinnati, and I envy you. I’ll take a stone cold gangster over a teabagger any day. They’re a lot more reasonable.
REID: Mr. President, I really think we need to wrap this up. If we can’t do business with the Speaker, then I’d like to know it now.
OBAMA: Fine, Senator Reid. Let’s do some business. Now, John, I believe you when tell me you don’t want a shutdown. I really do. Harry and I don’t want one, either. But you know what? If there is a government shutdown, only one of us in this room is going to come out relatively unscathed. And that person is me.
BOEHNER: I know that, Mr. President. Jesus Christ, that’s what I keep telling the teabaggers. They’re not listening. Lord knows what line of crap that snake Cantor is feeding them. I’m about ready to hire a food taster.
OBAMA: I feel your pain, John, but those people are your problem. Perhaps you haven’t noticed — being so busy and all — but the Tea Party wants to send me on a slow boat to Kenya. I may have reached the limits of my famous equanimity.
BOEHNER: Understood, Mr. President. But all I need —
OBAMA: John, here’s the bottom line: Harry and I aren’t going to throw you any more bones. We’ve got our post-shutdown strategy in place, and frankly, we feel pretty good about it. Why, I’ll bet you can even guess what it is.
BOEHNER: I think so. You’re going to have your people beat me like a rented mule while you go around looking presidential. You’ll take few swipes at ol’ Harry here, but nothing will draw blood. Meanwhile, the crazies in my party will think they just won the friggin’ Super Bowl. End result: more headaches for moi.
REID: By George, Mr. President, I think he gets it. Can I go now?
OBAMA: Absolutely, Senator Reid. Now, how about one for the road, John? Garçon! Another Scotch for the Speaker.
BOEHNER: Thanks, Mr. President. Make it a double.