The Fiction of Owen Thomas

Henry's Interview Corner


A Beagle Dreams of Finally Getting Some Answers

John Boehner

(Interviewed November 26, 2012)

H:   Speaker Boehner. Welcome to Henry’s Interview Corner.

JB:   Uh…

H:   Yes?

JB:   You’re a dog.

H:   I’m aware.

JB:   I thought…

H:   You thought what, sir?

JB:   I thought this was … an interview.

H:   It is an interview. Hence the name, Interview Corner. Sit, sit, make yourself at home. You’re our very first interviewee. We are all very honored you have taken time out of your busy schedule.

JB:   Uh…

H:   So, shall we begin?

JB:   Uh…

H:   Yes, well you said that already, so let’s try to diversify the responses a little. Let me start here: how many carrots have you had today?”

JB:   How many carrots have I had today?

H:   I don’t know how many carrots you have had today, sir. That…is why…I asked.

JB:   Uh…none?

H:   Hmm.  Interesting.

JB:   Why… Why is that interesting?

H:   Because you are quite … how do I put this? Orange.  I assumed it was carrotonitis.

JB:   I don’t have carrotonitis.

H:   Jaundice then. How’s your liver?

JB:   I thought this was an interview about politics, not carrots.

H:   What do you have against carrots?

JB:   I don’t have anything against carrots. Carrots are not political.

H:   So then you support Michelle Obama’s efforts to replace corndogs and pizzas with carrots.

JB:   …

H:   Mr. Speaker?

JB:   I don’t think…that is not really what the First Lady…

H:   Are you suggesting that this country does not have an obesity problem?

JB:   No. I’m sure on average we could be thinner as a nation but we are a free people and we cherish our liberty to make our own decisions including the things we choose to eat – look, why are we talking about…

H:   How much money has the pizza and corndog lobby contributed to your reelection campaign?

JB:   There is no pizza and corndog lobby.

H:   And you would know, right?

JB:   …

H:   Did you or did you not support a Congressional spending bill that would have kept in place a Department of Agriculture rule that equated two tablespoons…

JB:   Oh, for the love of…

H:   …THAT EQUATED TWO TABLESPOONS of tomato sauce on a slice of pizza with a serving of vegetables?

JB:   That’s an oversimplification. Changing that rule would have cost $7 billion over five years.

H:   Is that how the pizza lobby spun it?

JB:   No.

H:   Rush Limbaugh?

JB:   No.

H:   Chris Christy?

JB:   No.

H:   The Governor likes his pizza.

JB:   No.

H:   You realize our children’s health is at stake? Well, not my children; the puppies out there are doing fine. I’m really talking, Mr. Speaker, about America’s children. The ones with the doublewide asses. Why do you hate the children?

JB:   I don’t hate the children! I don’t! I love them! I love the children!

H:   Oooookaaayy. Moving on.

JB:   How is it I am being interviewed by a Beagle? What has happened to my career?

H:   Cigarette?

JB:   God yes.

H:   You’re going to have to light it yourself, there. No opposable thumbs. Let’s change the subject to something less controversial.

JB:   Let’s.

H:   Why do you hate women?

JB:   What? I don’t hate women. What gave you…

H:   How many bills introducing new abortion-related restrictions have you signed on to?

JB:   I’m proud to protect America’s unborn children.

H:   Is it more than fifty?

JB:   I’m protecting the children.

H:   A hundred?

JB:   I’m not discussing abortion with a dog. Next.

H:   Isn’t it true, Mr. Speaker that you proposed paying for the student loan bill by looting the prevention fund in the health care bill, a fund vital to women’s preventative health? Breast cancer, cervical cancer, that sort of thing.

JB:   That’s not because I hate women. I’m trying to pay for student loans. I love…

H:   I know, I know, you love the children. That’s getting a little creepy.

JB:   And I suppose that you, a Beagle, are a big supporter of women.

H:   This interview is not about me, sir. But, for your information, I love the women. Love ‘em. Next week I’m interviewing Oprah and I’m going to sit in her lap. So my record is clear. Did you support the Lilly-Ledbetter Act?

JB:   No, I…

H:   Paycheck Fairness Act?

JB:   No.

H:   You realize that women in this country make an average of seventy-seven cents for every dollar a man makes.

JB:   You’re oversimplifying again.

H:   That would be like the Piggly-Wiggly paying me one hundred cigarettes for guarding their store just because I’m a dog and giving you only seventy-seven cigarettes for the same job just because you walk on hind legs and cry on command. So true, yes?

JB:   No. No. No.

H:   Do you think it is true that in the shadow of Obama, the Republican Party has become the Party of No?

JB:   No.

H:   Given its opposition to even the 911 First Responders Health Benefits bill, is it fair to think of the GOP as the Party of No?

JB:   No.

H:   Are you willing to put country above party if it means siding with President Obama?

JB:   No.

H:   Let’s play the Yes or No game.

JB:   No. Really, let’s not.

H:   I’ll throw something out there and you just tell me either Yes or No, whichever word first comes to mind.

JB:   No.

H:   Exactly! Okay… so if I say I love my job as Speaker of the House, you say…

JB:   No.

H:   Great. And if I say, oh, I don’t know… let’s raise the debt ceiling rather than impair the country’s credit rating,... you say…

JB:   No.

H:   I say, let’s avoid doing a Thelma and Louise thing over the fiscal cliff, ... you say…

JB:   No.

H:   I say, my Tea Party colleagues are completely within my control and they do not resemble in the least a tribe of undisciplined, fact-resistant, mathematically-intolerant, fecal-flinging orangutans, ... and you say…

JB:   No.

H:   bipartisanship, compromise, eat your vegetables

JB:   No. No. No.

H:   Is ‘No’ your favorite word ever?

JB:   No.

H:   What is your favorite word?

JB:   We’re done here.

H:   Well, you’re two words over budget there, Mr. Speaker. That’s sixty-seven percent. A bit profligate with all of the belt tightening going on isn’t it?

JB:   I’m leaving now. Hey… stop, stop. What are you doing?

H:   Sniffing your leg. I caught a whiff of Cantor Musk. I think you’ve been sprayed.

JB:   Get away from me. Stop it. Sit. Sit! I SAID SIT! STAY!

H:    Sorry. I’m sorry. That was rude of me.

JB:   No kidding. Now I’ve got slobber all over my pant leg.

H:     It’ll dry clean. Can I just say something?

JB:   No.

H:   I think you’ve got the toughest job in Washington.

JB:   You do?

H:     Absolutely. You’re like a substitute teacher on a field trip with a busload of hyper-hormonal adolescents. I’m kind of amazed you managed to keep enough of your caucus on the bus to retain the Speakership for another term.

JB:   Well, I didn’t elect them. Some of them are, shall we say, common-sensically impaired.

H:     And most of those individuals, shall we say, like their TEA.

JB:   You might say that.

H:    I did say that. We need two substantive, constructive, reasonable parties to make this country work.

JB:    I agree.

H:    We need a credible Republican Party to hold the Democrats to their obligations.

JB:    I agree.

H:    Can I make a suggestion?

JB:   Can I stop you?

H:     No. You need to get yourself a reputation.

JB:   What kind of reputation?

H:    You know that enormous wooden gavel that Nancy Pelosi handed you when you took over as Speaker?

JB:   Yes.

H:   Start walking the halls with that thing hanging over your shoulder. And the next time someone suggests turning the Republican Party into an asylum for hysterics, ideologues, and vengeful fanatics who would rather set fire to the country than support meaningful compromise to make it better… Mr. Speaker…

JB:   Yes?

H:   I want you to swing that sucker.  Aim for the cheap seats.

JB:   You really think that’ll work?

H:   I think you’ll only have to do it once.  But … just in case… here.

JB:   What’s this?

H:   A list of names.

Next Guest: Oprah Winfrey


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