Saturday, April 25, 2009

The night I talked Obama out of quitting

Travel with me, for a moment, into my subconscious and take a listen to this fabulous dream I had the other night:

I'm in a Presidential press conference, standing against the wall at the side of the room where all the really important people stand, right next to my BFF, Michelle Obama. Barack (and I can call him Barack now because my status as a press conference wall-stander indicates that we're tight) is standing at the podium talking about the latest jobless figures, the mounting Taliban threat in Pakistan, our over-dependence on foreign oil, yadda yadda yadda. A reporter stands up and asks "But Mr. President, what are you going to do about the pirates?" With that question, Barack pauses, looks down at his hands, then looks straight at me and says, "Pirates? Pirates?! That's it. I'm done." And he storms out of the room.

But wait -- it gets better: A number of people race after him, shouting "Mr. President! Mr. President! Come back! We're not done!" but he's just sprinting down the hallway now yelling "I said I'm done! I quit! This is too much!" This is where I come in. Somehow I'm now running at the head of the pack (which is how you know, for sure, that this is a dream) and we finally end up in a giant gymnasium with 30-foot-high ceilings and strange lacy bunting around the walls.

There's no way for the President to escape the crowd, so he just sits down on the floor and puts his head in his hands. I squat down in front of him and explain calmly that he's just having a bad day, that he can't quit because of the pirates -- they're just silly pirates, after all -- and there are a lot of people who need him to just hang on. I say, "Just tackle one thing at a time. At the beginning of every day, pick one thing, even if it's a small thing, and focus on accomplishing it." (Good advice, right? I really should be a Presidential advisor, I know.)

And then I leap. I jump straight up from where I'm standing and grab onto the lacy bunting at the top of the wall. It's easily 20 or 30 feet above the people who have gahered below, and they're all staring in varied states of amazement, panic, and fear. I look down, still grasping the lace, and I say, "See this? I couldn't do this a few months ago. But watch..." I then proceed to do chin-ups on the bunting. One after another after another, the whole time yelling "See this? See THIS?"


I woke up before I found out if the President actually took my advice and walked back to the podium to finish the press conference. I'd like to think, however, that after such a rousing and inspirational demonstration of chin-up prowess, he did.

You know the best part of this dream, though? I have never in real life been able to complete a single chin-up on an actual chin-up bar, let alone hundreds of them on lacy fabric bunting. Dreams rock.

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