It's been just about a week since a cluster of men in impeccable suits arrived at my urban public school and ushered me to the White House, where I was asked to serve as the president of the United States.
All sort of sudden, you know? I was still wearing my Vo Tech teacher ID when they escorted me into the Oval Office!
First thing I said was, "Take that painting of Andrew Jackson down! Put it in the attic." And it was done, just like that! Hey, I'm a school teacher. I'm used to spending five minutes just getting everyone to open their books to page 52.
Then some butler type sidled up and said, "Madame President, what would you like us to hang in the place of that painting?"
And I said, "Well, I have a picture at home with a California condor. Send for it, please. It will be the perfect backdrop for when I reinstate Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante as National Monuments in full. Oh, and while you're at it, grab my bedside Salmon of Wisdom that Olivia gave me. It will symbolize how the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will only be drilled over my dead and rotting corpse."
It's really daunting, suddenly being expected to lead the free world. My predecessor was unprepared for the task. As for me, well, if you've ever been able to command the undivided attention of 25 teenagers, you are eminently suited to running a cabinet meeting. That's a handful of adults! Think they're going to be texting in their laps?
Speaking of cabinet appointees, I was all ready to get to work on that when I remembered that this weekend was the annual Phoenixville Firebird Festival! I go every year with my daughter, Gumby. Well, we weren't going to miss this event, no sirree.
Kind of nice that I haven't done many public appearances yet, because the Secret Service gave Gumby and me leave to do our own thing. And it was snowing! Without expending one taxpayer dollar, Gumby and I drove out to Phoenixville, had supper at Speck's Chicken, and then went in the snow to watch the citizens burn down a giant bird they had built out of plywood! It was so magical in the snowstorm! I didn't get any good photographs, because my new government-issued phone had a faulty battery.
It's customary for presidents to keep their families close by as they govern. Heck, I could give Gumby her own office, or even make her attorney general. But not my Gumby. My gentle Gumby is going to live her life completely free from the limelight, a free bird like the Phoenix!
Gumby and I tend to do the same things over and over again, without expecting or wanting different results. We go to the Firebird Festival every year. The only novelty this year was that we spent the night in Phoenixville, so I wouldn't have to drive all the way back to Washington, DC after the bird burned. On Sunday morning, I dropped Gumby off in West Philly. We always have a swell time together.
I did ask her if she wanted to work in national government. She said no thanks, she didn't want to uproot her rescue cat. He gets nervous with any change and starts pulling at his fur.