From one white house to another
March 12, 2008
Dear President Bush,
How're things goin' in the White House? I, too, live in a white house, so I'm curious—how's this winter working for ya?
I know you're busy and all, but in case you need a line on some wool socks or flannel shirts and long johns, give me a call. If your White House is anything like my white house, you'll need plenty of those things to layer up with these days. While I'm no cowboy, I've noticed that the 'lumberjack' fashion statement isn't unlike the 'rancher' ensemble, so I'm sure you'd feel downright comfortable should you get a little chilly sometimes.
In my white house, the thermostat hasn't been turn-ed up from the 62 degree mark once this year. Well, maybe once when I was really freezing and battling a cold I went out on a limb and cranked the sucker up to 65. Can you relate? I mean my little white house is just 1,300 square feet so I can't even begin to imagine how darned difficult it must be to stay warm in your huge White House.
So if you're lookin' for some commiseration these days when you're popularity is in the toilet, let's meet at the wailing wall. I know what it's like to be unpopular because of a job. Really.
Well, back to the white house. Unlike you, I'm only home a few hours each day, so I don't have to worry about the 62 degree thing for very long. I layer up, dive under the covers and leave the next day. I can't imagine how bad it would be if I had to be at my white house all the time this winter like you do.
Even still—and with the 62 degrees and all—I ran out of fuel oil. I sincerely hope you haven't run out of heat at your White House this winter.
I know you know what fuel oil is, but you're probably not "aware of" what's happening with it these days.
Running out of fuel oil ain't no thing. It happens to a lot of folks. From what I hear it's happening more and more these days, because people around here (no matter what color their houses are) can't seem to scratch up enough money to stay on top of the bills. You know how it is, right? Well, maybe not. You might not be "aware of" it. But every time I turn on the tube or pick up a newspaper I'm hearing all about folks like me.
I mean the last time the delivery guy came to my white house—January 28—he gave me the minimum amount required for a run: 150 gallons. Just in case you "weren't aware of it," the bill was $475. One month and three days later I was completely out of fuel. Bet that happens all the time in a big old place like yours.
Well, after a few days of burning wood to stay warm, the delivery guy came out again. He does that even though I haven't paid my last heating bill. It's the way things are around these parts—everyone is in the same boat. Still, people find a way to be generous and trusting and good—something you may have grown a little unfamiliar with what with all your years in politics.
Well, to get to the point and just so you're "aware of it," yesterday's delivery of 150 gallons now costs $530. I can only imagine what the bills at the White House must be!
It's enough to keep you awake at night. I mean I've lost quite a few hours with the whole mind-racing-tossing-turning-stressed-out-wheel-spinning-wondering how-I'm-gonna-pay-my-bills. It's bad, for sure, but at least I don't have to dwell on starting a quagmire of a war that's cost way more than $530 and priceless, irreplacable human lives. Getting a little shuteye for you must really be a challenge. Was it one of those nights that you came up with the "economic stimulus" tax rebate idea? Maybe sleep deprivation does pay off. I'm sure after just a few more weeks I'll come up with some sort of grand plan, too! Wish me luck!
I just sure hope it doesn't involve driving anywhere, what with the price of gas these days. I know it was news to you and I can really relate to the shock factor of it, but the $4 a gallon prediction that you weren't "aware of," seems to be becoming a reality. Just giving ya fair warning next time you pull up to the pumps, you know, to make you "aware" of things.
Anyhow, I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how much I'm thinking of you. Living in a White House can be a #*@!%, I know.
Well, it's almost spring. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I can't wait til November.
P.S. Drop me a line if you ever visit reality. I promise to write back.
Email Catherine at