At 15:00 hours the 43rd president of the United States paced back and forth in front of a stone fireplace, his torso swimming inside a deep blue fleece sweatshirt with the presidential seal on the front and the number "43" on the back.
"Now girls, we have not called one of these family counsels in many years," he said, twisting the Skull and Bones ring he wears on weekends. "You know why you are here don't you?"
"Yes, Daddy," said Jenna and Barbara smiling simultaneously, as if twins.
“You have brought shame and dishonor on this family. Your faces are splashed all over the press,” he said holding up a newspaper. “When people see headlines like HINDUS AND VEGETARIANS FIND SURPRISE IN MCDONALD’S FRIES, what are they supposed to think?”
The girls made no detectable response.
"Yes," said Laura, smoothing the folds in her skirt.
“Do I make myself clear,” said the president. “Is there any questions?”
Barbara raised her hand. “When the police found you wearing grandmother’s tennis dress claiming to be Captain Zog of the Performance Art People were you our age or younger?” she asked.
"Heed me, child!" her father barked. "I don't know what kind of high-flying falutinating you've been faluting up there at that high falutin Yale, but this is not about the past. We must remember our values and drinking under age are not one of our values.”
“You don’t need to get snippy,” Jenna giggled, adjusting her hip flask.
“Girl, don’t you sass me too. This is as serious as a heart attack."
"Mr. President," interjected White House Counselor Karen Hughes, "We don't use that expression."
"Oh yes," said the president. "Cheney. Fit as a fiddle."
From the corner of the room the 41st president stirred. "Oh George, don't be so hard right on the girls," said the elder President Bush, who wore a sweatshirt identical to his son’s but with the number “41” on its back. "When you were coming up you had a few too many high balls on your own self. Running around three winds in the sheets all hopped up. Hop hop hopped up, George! Shouting obscenities. Scaring your mother. Had to call old Judge Findlebacker to get you out of that IUD. Finderbacker a good man. Had a sensible sense about him. Sensible. Used to fish with a crooked hat on. That wasn't sensible. But he was a good man George and that's what your daughters are."
"The apple brandy doesn't spill too far from the snifter," hooted the elder Barbara Bush, smashing a walnut in between her palms. "Barbara," said the silver fox, "You've got my name. I am one of the most respected women in America. How could you?"
"Momma, please let us handle this," said George. "You see what you've done, girls? You don't want your grandmother to start slinging around her handbag now do you?"
"Yes," said Laura Bush smoothing the folds in her skirt.
"Drinking at home is a personal virtue," grumbled Vice President Cheney from the back of the room, hunched over a full plate of cheese fries. “You don’t get caught and you save energy for the production of new plants. ”
“Exactly,” said the president. “Have you got that girls?
“Yes Daddy,” they replied.