President Obama slid out from beneath the rusting chassis of the banged-up Ford Explorer.
"Hey Geithner, can you pass me that pneumatic ratchet?"
"Which one is that again, Mr. President?"
A deep sigh.
"The one that looks sort of like a Jedi light saber, without any light coming out of it."
"Oh cool! That one! Sure, here you go, sir."
After some clanking and banging, the President pokes his head out again.
"I don't suppose you could hook up the diagnostic tester, could you, Mr. Secretary?"
"Um...how does that go again?"
Another deep sigh.
"You never learned any automotive engineering at all, Tim?"
"I'm sorry sir, they don't teach that at Johns Hopkins."
"Fine. I'll do it myself. Like everything else around here."
"Yes sir. Remember though, sir, what Jimmy Carter told you during the transition."
"And what was that, Tim?"
"That if you take on too much as president, they call you a 'micro-manager.' But if you wait until you get out of office to do that, they give you the Nobel Prize."
"Ah yes. Well, we need some hands-on government right now, Timmy, and I'm laying my hands on everything."
The president re-emerges from beneath the Ford, gets up and starts wiping the grease off his hands and face.
"Hey Emanuel! How does my schedule look for the rest of the day?"
"Well sir," says the Chief of Staff as he consults a clipboard, "we have two Buicks, a Pontiac, Bill Richardson's Camaro and Schwarzenegger's Hummer to fix. And then Ted Stevens just dropped off his Ford pickup. Very high mileage, lots of road salt corrosion. But I think we'd better squeeze him in. We owe him one."
Yet another deep sigh from the President as Rahm heads back out to customer service.
"Tim, do you think we made a mistake guaranteeing the warranties for all those American cars? When will I ever get to health care reform, or global warming?"
"No sir, I think we can handle it," says Geithner. "Right along with balancing every American's checkbook, doing their taxes, reorganizing their 401ks and hand-picking the boards of the Fortune 500. I have every confidence, sir. Remember," he says proudly, "I used to work at the IMF!"
"Yes, Tim, but how many times do I have to tell you," says the president wearily, "The one you worked for was the International Monetary Fund, not the Impossible Mission Force."
"Oh, right, sir. Sorry. Then why does everything I touch seem to self-destruct?"
The president gives him a blank stare as Emanuel rushes back in to the garage.
"Mr. President, Mr. President!"
"What is it, Rahm? An Iranian missile test? A dirty bomb? Another corporate titan caught with his bonus showing?"
"No sir. It's Ted Kennedy!"
"Oh my God! Is he..."
"Yes, sir. He just pulled in to the loading dock. Driving a 1967 Oldsmobile. Massachusetts plates. Says it has some pretty bad water damage. Wants to know if you could take a look - and is it okay if he pays cash?"