By: David Kober  | 

Doomsday (Vol. 46, Issue 10)

Ronald Reagan was restless. He didn’t like being trapped in Camp David, even if he did have to rest and recover. He picked up the television remote control, and flicked the set on. The President began dozing off as the evening news began. 

“The is Dan Rather broadcasting live from the White House Situation Room. Just minutes ago, the Soviet Union moved into Poland. The NATO countries delivered an immediate ultimatum: ‘Get out of Poland or it means war.’ The Russians responded by sending five SS-50’s, each armed with ten nuclear warheads, towards the United States. An emergency Cabinet meeting has been called…”

HAIG: “I call this meeting to order, In the absence of the President, the Secretary of State takes over. The President is recuperating, so...” 

ALLEN: “Excuse me, Mr. Haig, but I believe that ...”

HAIG: “Shut up, Allen, can’t you see I’m busy. Why are you always questioning my authority? I am in control here, I am in control!” 

BUSH: “What do you mean you're in control? The President placed me in charge of crisis management around here, remember? Hand me that gavel.”

HAIG: “Will you keep .your voice down, George! You don’t have to scare the whole Cabinet half to death, There's no crisis at hand, everything is secure in the Situation Room. Why are you all ganging up on me? I’m the vicar of foreign policy. I can cope with a little distress.” 

BUSH: “A little distress? Alexander, the Russians have missiles winging their way towards Washington, D.C.!”

HAIG: “All right, we have to evacuate the capital. Get me some maps so I can plot troop movements and supply lines. And Allen, while you're at it, bring me a pointer.”

BUSH: “It’s too late for that now, the missiles will be here before anyone could escape. We have to make the decision on a retaliatory strike.”

HAIG: “I know what that is. I was the Commander of NATO. I used to be a general before I became a vicar.”

BUSH: “So what are we going to do?”

HAIG: “I don’t know, I suppose on one hand we could press the button and obliterate half of the world, but if I took the responsibility, it would probably kill my chances for the Presidency in ’84, What do you think, George?”

BUSH: “How can you ask the Vice-President what to do? I'm not familiar with the pros and cons, My biggest worry is what to wear to Prince Charles’ wedding next month.”

HAIG: “But you know foreign relations. You were Ambassador to China; you were the head of CIA.”

BUSH: “Oh, I just took those jobs so they'd look good on my transcript.” 

HAIG: “I know the problem. We're discussing this on an empty stomach, let’s get some lunch. I'll have the prime ribs. George, you always take the caviar...”

STOCKMAN: “Wait a minute, Haig, no more of that. I’ve cut the charge account for the White House catering service.”

HAIG: “Can I at least order a tuna sandwich?”

STOCKMAN: “No way; do you know what’s happened to the price of fish in the last ten years?”

HAIG: “Well, what do you suggest we eat?”

STOCKMAN: “The jellybean jar is full, dig in.”

EDWARDS: “Mr. Chairman, I’d like to make a statement for the Energy Department. Everyone seems to be looking at the dark side of this attack. I don’t think you gentlemen realize what a great opportunity this is to further this country’s nuclear research. Why, the power of just  one SS-20 could fuel Cincinnati for a year.”

REGAN: “Speaking for Treasury, I'd like to say that this assault might just give cur economy the jolt it needs to lift itself out of recession. Everybody knows war is good for business. Employment will rise, and factories will spend money on new equipment even without accelerated depreciation.”

BELL: “And I'm sure that Education will benefit. Young Americans will have to read up on the topic of radiation sickness, so more people will get interested in medicine. Bomb shelters will have to be built, so new engineers will be in great demand. And as for lawyers, I'm sure the United States will need a whole bunch of them once they decide to prosecute Russia in the World Court.”

WATT: “Hey, now the Department of the Interior won't have to go to the trouble of leasing out US land to be destroyed by American industry. Russian industry will take care of that for us.” 

WEINBERGER: “The Defense Department has no objections. Now I won't have to worry about whether to construct MX on land or at sea. There won't be any America left to protect.”

Nancy Reagan shakes the President, who has been muttering “no, no,” in his sleep.

NANCY: “Shh, shh, I’m here, darling, you just had a bad dream, that’s all. The doctors say you're getting better and better, and you should be able to take full charge again in ten days.”

REAGAN: “Forget the doctors, where are my pants?”