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Should this conversation be taken seriously?

Leonard Pitts Jr.

So this president and this football player meet in a bar ...

“O.J. Simpson, is that you?”

“Yeah, who wants to — George W. Bush? Hey, how you been?”

“Real good, Juice. So, what you been up to lately?”

“Well, George, I’m still searching for the real killers. If I can bring them to justice, maybe people will ... ”

“Man, do you hear yourself? You know perfectly well most people think there was one killer and his initials were O.J. Every time you start with this ‘searching for the real killers’ stuff, you make yourself sound foolish.”

“Fine. Let’s talk about you. What have you been doing?”

“Still searching for those weapons of mass destruction. We’ve been turning Iraq upside down, but ...”

“Wait a minute! I sound foolish? What about you?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, I’m a lot closer to finding the real killers than you are to finding any weapons of mass destruction.”

“That's cold, O.J.”

“I’m just saying: If people don’t take me seriously, why should they take you?”

“I’m glad you asked that, and I’ll be happy to explain. The first thing you have to understand is — Hey! Look over there! Isn’t that Marcia Clark?”

“What? Where? I don’t — George, get back over here!”

“Uh ... I was just stepping out for a smoke, Juice.”

“You don’t smoke, George. Look, you think I don’t know how it is searching for something nobody else believes is there? I’ve spent years looking for whoever killed Nicole and that restaurant guy. Every time I think I’ve got them cornered, they slip away. I had a tip they were at the Doral golf resort, but by the time I got there, they were gone. Next I heard they were at the Cocoa Beach Golf Club, but I had no luck there, either. Delray Beach, Key Biscayne, Lake Worth, same story. But I’ll get them, even if I have to visit every golf course in Florida.”

“Wow, Juice. I had no idea. You do know what I’ve been going through, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do. I mean, except for the spending billions of dollars and getting thousands of people killed, it’s exactly the same.”

“That’s eerie.”

“But hey, at least you’ve got the CIA to help you.”

“The CIA? Don’t get me started. That darn CIA couldn’t pour water from a bucket if the instructions were printed on the bottom.”

“That bad, huh?”

“Worse. But you know the one thing that keeps me optimistic? The American people.”

“Because they’ve been forgiving?”

“Because they’ve been forgetful. Or else, they honestly don’t care anymore why we went to war.”

“You think they’ll stay that way, George?”

“Juice, I’m counting on it.”

“But George, we’re losing soldiers every day.”

“Oh, really? Did you think I hadn’t noticed that?”

“Calm down, George. I’m just saying that ... you know, you have to be right about this. It’s not about the votes. It’s kind of a moral thing now, isn’t it?”

“That’s a mean thing to say. What kind of friend are you?”

“But we aren’t friends. This is just a device some smart-aleck newspaper guy is using to make fun of us.”

“Well, we’ll never be friends if you keep up like this. Just like Condi. Nag, nag, nag. I’m telling you, those weapons exist and we’re going to find them.”

“You know, George, I just had a crazy thought.”

“Speak to me.”

“What if the real killers are hiding the weapons of mass destruction?”

“... Juice, that is crazy. Crazy like a whatchamacallit. You say you’ve got a line on these people?”

“I got a tip they were on a golf course near Tampa.”

“Well, what are we waiting for? Boy, this is going to be great. You know, people have been saying we’re either deceitful or deluded. Well, we’re going to make them eat their words, aren’t we?”

“Yup. Just as sure as I’m innocent of double homicide.”

Leonard Pitts is a columnist for the Miami Herald. Readers may contact him at:

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