For Lease: The most unused piece of prime real estate in the Washington, D.C. area. Furnished. Spacious Rooms. Security system. Partial staff provided, including spokesmen who can make up the best excuses in the business. Conveniently located near most government buildings. Rose garden on the lawn. I keep waiting to see this ad for the White House, because someone who claims to work there as the leader of the United States doesn t seem to be spending much time there at all, and hasn t ever the dark day he was given the keys. No, last week while even more horrifying photographs and videos from the Abu Ghreib prison in Iraq were released, including American soldiers beating inmates, covering them with feces, making them eat out of toilets, and other lovely tactics of torture sure to make the rest of the world detest Americans even more and undermine our international credibility more than at any other time in history; and while other American soldiers he sent over there were getting killed and maimed; and while gas prices reached an all-time high; and while the American military bombed an Iraqi wedding and killed most of the women and children in attendance the ever hardworking President George W. Bush was having a little trouble of his own. He took a tumble and got scuffed up while mountain biking on his ranch, just before getting ready for the rounds of graduation parties in Texas and Connecticut for his daughters. Mountain biking. At his ranch. While the rest of the world falls apart. My, what a good president. Too bad he couldn t have been mountain biking in, say, the high Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where there are CLIFFS. Really high cliffs that, if you take a tumble, you might just tumble right off of and head down a mountain into a ravine or canyon below. Just like the time the woman in Olive Branch drove her car into the building where he was speaking but missed him, close but no cigar. But I guess it s better that he be off mountain biking than sitting in the White House deciding which country to attack and invade next. Or pushing through his Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to help save the country from all those dangerous, awful homosexual couples out to ruin life as we know it. It s a good thing he has that direct link to God, who speaks to him and tells him how to run the country. Too bad He wasn t around to tell Georgie to watch out for that rock in the path or whatever it was that made him go flying off his bike. Vacations can be so grueling. Just recently, I went on one myself that involved roughly 25 hours in an airplane; an encounter of a very interesting kind with a Peruvian Olympic finalist; eating a guinea pig cooked whole with its head on and its mouth wide open with teeth still showing; accidentally telling a bar full of people (while attempting to speak their native language) that I like to have sex with Monkeys ; being basically kidnapped and taken to a slum and forced to retrieve and hand over money from an ATM after leaving some catacombs full of bones and skulls all over the dirt floor; dodging wild pigs in the road; dancing with people from Minnesota; being told to fuck off at a college graduation because I am from the United States; white-water rafting and never really understanding why all of the directions are yelled out backwards; being set up with several single mothers looking for an American husband; having a hotel desk clerk ask if anyone tried to kill me; carrying a motorcycle part made of a mass of wires and fuses on an airplane; bathtubs full of fish; pimps and prostitutes; llamas,; limos; and, well, lots of other things to keep me occupied. Maybe next time I ll go mountain biking with Mr. Bush and a bunch of married homosexual couples and see if I can really distract him from what he s doing. In the meantime, here s a brief look at some of what s going on around town this week. Tonight, you can see one of the best views of the Mississippi River and downtown Memphis while sipping cocktails and listening to the live music of Carson and Pool at the Sunset Atop the Madison Series
party on the rooftop of the Madison Hotel.