SCENE: In January, White House Conference Room.

WHO: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

TO: President's executive team.

"OK people, listen up.

"I just came out of a meeting with Big Ears. He's all about the stimulus package and he needs our help. The marching orders are these. He needs the word 'stimulus' tattooed onto the brain of every man, woman and child in this great nation of ours.

"Do you read me?

"When I tell you we need to get the word out, I mean that literally. Himself wants to see the word 'stimulus' plastered across every newspaper, magazine, television screen and billboard from Bangor to Bakersfield. And from Minneapolis to Mexico City. We need people saying the word 'stimulus' in their sleep.

"The definition of the word 'stimulus,' for you wonky-tonks, is 'Something external that influences an activity.' We want the entire country starving for stimulus. Remember the 'I want my MTV' campaign? Like that on steroids.

"My brother the Hollywood agent is already all over this. I called in a favor. He's packaging a reality show for MTV called 'Pimp My Stimulus.' He's pitching a Robert De Niro/Billy Crystal sequel called 'Stimulize This,' and a "Terminator" rip-off called 'The Stimulator.' What are any of these shows or movies about? I have no idea. These are ideas from a guy who thinks 'The Deer Hunter' was great art. He's got the word in the title. That's all I need to make the Anointed One happy.

"Am I making myself clear here?

"Do any of your kids have a garage band? What am I saying? Do any of you have a garage band? Change the name of the band to Stimulus and I can get you a record deal. Got a dog, a cat? Bowser is now Stimmo, Mittens is now Stimmy. The first lady now has her own fragrance. That's right, Stimulus by Calvin Klein. He owes me, too.

"Who here knows people in magazine publishing? I want every fashion magazine with a pretty boy or girl on the cover to offer the provocative headline 'Stimulus Package.' Who knows sportswriters? Every time an athlete gets a whopping contract or bonus I want to read about the ... all together now. Did Nike go with us in the last election? Somebody call Phil Knight and tell him LeBron needs a new pair of Air Stimulus sneakers.

"You can't tell me some woman somewhere in these United States has not given birth to a child named Stimulus. Are you working the phones? Can we send an e-mail blast to hospitals? Where is that child? Can we make our Hoopster-in-Chief happy with that information and the AP profile that would surely follow right behind it?

"Second item on the agenda. Next week is Sasha and Malia's party. Has anyone vetted this Sparkles the Clown yet? Let's get the Secret Service on this pronto. Let's keep the Marlboro Man happy."  -Michael Heaton

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