Land of smiles: Ye olde Curmudgeon’s imaginary interview

PHUKET: In the wake of the recent Republican convention, I thought I’d do an imaginary interview with US presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Imaginary interviews are always more fun than real ones, because you can make your interviewee say anything you want. This one would go like this:

Me: Our readers want to know what experience you have in foreign affairs.
Mitt: Well, gosh, my father was born in Mexico! I know all about those folks down there! I speak their language! Hasta la vista, baby! Hola, amigo! Viva la siesta! I eat their food, too: tacos, enchiladas, sombreros, hombres, senoritas—the whole delicious lot.

Me: Hmm. OK let’s talk about the economy.

Mitt: I want your readers to know that I have a secret plan for economic recovery that will restore the United States to its God-given role as supreme tyrant of the entire planet and leave those brick fellows choking on our dust.

Me: You mean the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, and China?

Mitt: Yes, and I know those fellows! I can deal with them. Among my many accomplishments as a venture capitalist, I once owned several brickyards. I understand brick people – I speak their language.

Me: Can you say something in Russian, governor?

Mitt: Sure can! (Thinks, takes a deep breath.) Nyet!

Me: Vladimir Putin is sure to be impressed. Now, tell me about your secret plan to restore the US economy.

Mitt: Ha ha! Good one! If I told you what it was, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, would it?

Me: Now, it’s been said that you have trouble connecting with the common people.

Mitt: Oh, that’s nonsense! Some of my best friends are common people. I happen to be good friends with Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. Steve Jobs was a close friend of mine. I’ve played golf with George Soros and the Sultan of Brunei.

Me: I’m talking about common people who aren’t billionaires.

Mitt: Oh, THOSE common people! (Scratches his head.) Well, let’s see, I connect very well with my butler, my maids, my driver, and my gardener every time I sign their paychecks. I’m connecting with YOU right now.

Me: Right. What would you do about the situation in Syria?

Mitt: I know about Syria! I understand the Syrians! Why, I used to own a hamster when I was a boy. A Syrian golden hamster! Hamsters are from Syria, you know. Although mine was a good, hard-working, God-fearing, patriotic, conservative American hamster… until the cat got him.

Me: That’s great, governor, but what would you DO?

Mitt: Well, I would call for a cease-fire between the opposing sides, stop the killing, and negotiate a settlement that would bring peace to Syria and the entire world.

Me: Easier said than done.

Mitt (sternly): Every great achievement begins with an idea. And I believe it was PT Barnum who said, “The man who most stands in the way of human progress is the man who says, ‘It can’t be done'”.

Me: Who would you send in to do the negotiating? Kofi Annan again?

Mitt: No. Kofi’s a fine man, but he’s too soft. We need somebody more hardheaded. I’d send in a select team of skilled negotiators headed by Dick Cheney and Oliver North, aided by Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin. They’d waterboard that Assol fellow and bring peace and harmony to Assyria.

Me: His name is Assad, and the country is Syria, governor.

Mitt: Whatever.

Ye Olde Curmudgeon can be flamed at, but not while he’s doing imaginary interviews. Any similarity with another writer who shares this same email address is purely coincidental. Kinda.

— Ye Olde Curmudgeon

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