You should have stopped me at the dinner roll Armand C. Hale
Once upon a time, a business woman was invited to the White House for a private dinner with Obama. She is a respectable woman with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that her industry was being scrutinized by the administration. She paid it no mind. She lives in a free country. There's nothing the government can do to me if I've broken no laws. Her wealth was earned honestly and an invitation to dinner with Obama is an honor.
Her coat was checked and was greeted by the Chief of Staff then joined Obama in a yellow dining room. They sat across each other at a table draped in white linen. Uniformed staff served dinner. The meal was served. She startled to eat when her waiter suddenly reached out and plucked a dinner roll off her plate. He consumed it as he walked back to the kitchen.
"Sorry about that," said Obama. "Andrew is very hungry."
"I don't appreciate..." She began, but she looked into the calm brown eyes across from her. She felt immediately guilty and petty. It was just a dinner roll. "Of course," she concluded and reached for her glass. Another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed her wine in one gulp.
"And his brother Eric is very thirsty." said Obama.
She didn't say anything. Obama is testing my compassion, she thought. She played along. She didnâ€™t want to seem unkind.
Her plate was whisked away before tasting a bite.
"Eric's children are also quite hungry."
With a lurch, she crashed to the floor. Her chair had been pulled out from under her. She brushed herself off and watched as it was carried from the room.
"And their grandmother can't stand for long."
She excused herself, smiling outwardly, but inside felt like a damn fool. She had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. She reached for her coat, to find that it had been taken. She turned back to Obama.
"Their grandfather doesn't like the cold."
She didnâ€™t shout, â€œThat was my coatâ€! She looked at the placid smiling face of the host and decided she was being a poor sport. She spread her hands helplessly and chuckled. She then opened her purse and realized her wallet was gone. She excused herself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. She learned shortly that her credit cards had been maxed out, bank accounts emptied, retirement and equity portfolios vanished, and her husband had been thrown out of their home. The waiters and their families were moving in. Obama hadn't moved or spoken as she learned all this, but finally she lowered the phone and turned to face him.
"Andrew's whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven't planned for retirement, they need a house. They recently defaulted on a subprime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do."
Her hands were shaking. She felt faint and stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor. Obama cheerfully cut his â€œfilet mignonâ€and drank his wine. She lowered her eyes and stared at the small grey circles on the tablecloth that were water drops. "By the way," Obama added, "I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I'm firing you as head of your company. I'll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind.â€
She looked up. Obama dropped his spoon into the empty small ovenproof dish which had been his crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e. He drained the last drops of his wine. As the table was cleared he leaned back in his chair. He stared at her. She clung to the edge of the table as if she were on a ledge hanging over an abyss. She thought of the years behind her and the life she lived. The life she earned with a lifetime of hard work, risk and struggle. She was punished. All was taken away from her family. She looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between them.
â€œWhat had I done wrongâ€? She thought to herself.
As if answering the unspoken thought, Obama suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to her, and bared a smile, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands.
"You should have stopped me at the dinner roll," he said.
â€œObama has nationalized most of the banks, the auto industry and wants to absorb the health care industry that makes up one sixth of the total U.S. economy. At the time of this article the monies for the cash for clunkers program that gave you up to $4500 towards buying a new car is now taxable. Donâ€™t forget to add it to your 1040 form next year.â€