Greg A. Bruns
Phoenix, AZ 85018
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. 43rd President:
Congratulations on your new job! What a promotion, huh? All the way up to Commander In Chief – wow! You must have what the old-schoolers call “moxie.” Or is that money that you need to become president? I get those two confused sometimes since I seem to lack an abundance of either one.
When I put myself in your shoes, I feel sort of unimportant. I mean, my biggest concern heading into tomorrow is this dime-sized pimple I have festering on my forehead. You, on the other hand, have to worry about more than 200 other nations and territories, innumerable warring factions, 300 million of your own citizens, plus 5.7 billion other planetary residents, global economic status, peace in the terminally tumultuous Middle East, thousands of Social programs and problems, not to mention redecorating your new home, although I’m sure Mrs. President will help out with that.
I know you’re going to have your hands full over the next several days with all of the “settling in” stuff that we all go through when we move from mediocrity to supremacy. I hope you can take a moment from appointing Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices, and instructing White House cooks on your dietary preferences to read a few words of advice from one puny citizen of the greatest country in the world, which you now govern.
First of all, you’re not going to make everyone happy and you shouldn’t be afraid to tell people that every time you make a decision. Go down in history with the presidential slogan “I can’t please everybody.” When citizens express their disapproval, do nothing but nod, smile, and say, “I can’t please everybody.” You don’t have to be one of those “I can” guys because quite honestly, they’re overrated anyway.
Previous presidents have enjoyed unusual pets in the White House, from Calvin Coolidge (a bobcat) to John Quincy Adams (an alligator). Pets are a popular item for the chief execs, since you want to appear to be an ordinary man. Most presidents have dogs, but I would suggest harboring at least a hundred animals in order to take the spotlight off of you and your family. Start with a well-rounded collection of pygmy goats, ostriches, llamas, howler monkeys, sea lions, hyenas, parrots, camels, wolverines, badgers, bears, aardvarks, and giraffes. 100 shrieking, roaring animals means 100 engrossed reporters and photographers. Keep those folks at bay, sir. Half way through your term, release the official names of all of the animals. This will buy you a lot of time as publications nationwide attempt to profile the “First Pets.”
When sports figures visit the White House (World Series victors, Super Bowl champs, etc.) you need to understand that these people are merely entertainers. They may be fascinating athletes and swell guys and all, but they’re also just people, so don’t get all mushy and stuff. You, sir, are the most powerful man in the world. I would recommend that you remind everyone of this fact on a daily basis. It can be done quite simply with a bumper sticker or a lapel pin that reads “I Am the Human Equal to God.”
It may be the superhero equivalent of ingesting raw kryptonite, but I think you should have a roller coaster built that spans the Atlantic from Maine to London. 2929 miles of loops, corkscrews, dips, plunges, climbs and flat-out rocket-assisted blasts at 500 mph. C’mon – the French and the Japanese have been dueling for years for the fastest train, so why don’t we one-up them and put together the fastest roller coaster which doubles as intercontinental transportation? I bet JFK would say YES to this idea. Reagan had Star Wars; you can have AmeriCoaster!
I have many more suggestions, of course. I’d be happy to provide these noble nuggets of knowledge, but only if you’re willing to bring in the animals, chief. Because you can’t please everybody, and you can’t please me unless I work in an environment that is dominated by absolute chaos and perfect power.