Dig Deeper, Uncle Sam!

Friday, February 03, 2006 at 02:45 AM

The doorbell rang.

"I'll get it, honey," Uncle Sam said to Lady Liberty as he rose from his comfortable chair and strode towards the door. He peered through the peephole.

"Damn it," he cursed under his breath.

"Who is it, dear," Miss Liberty said.

"It's Rumsfeld," Sam groaned. "The guy working on our security system."

"Oh my," Miss Liberty gasped. "Don't let him talk you into spending any more money. We got an ESTIMATE for God's sake."

"I know, I know," Uncle Sam moaned as he opened the door. "What now, Rumsfeld?" he asked with a scowl.

"Er, uh, sorry to bodder youse guys on such a lovely evening," Rumsfeld said, "but we're gonna need a little more money to finish dis project of yours."

"How much is a little," Sam asked, rubbing his snowy white goatee.

"Not much," Rumsfeld said, looking at figures on a clipboard. "Just anudder $120 billion."

"You have GOT to be kidding me!" Uncle Sam gasped.

"Oh, this is ridiculous," Miss Liberty said, joining Sam at the door. "We got ESTIMATES from you people!"

"Dat's why they's called 'estimates', lady," Rumsfeld said. "They's best guesses, when you come right down to it."

"Another $120 billion? That brings the total cost for this project to about $500 billion now!" Uncle Sam shouted, his face turning red.

"Well, we gotta finish the project," Rumsfeld said, scratching the stubble on his chin. "You don't wanna leave yourself -- unprotected, now do ya?"

Lady Liberty stalked into the kitchen and opened a cabinet drawer, rifled through some papers and came back to the door with a fistful of estimates.

"This is robbery," she said. "Back in 2002 your own budget director said this thing would cost -- tops! -- no more than $200 billion, but likely not more than $60 billion. Then YOU told us that you could get this work done for around $50 billion."

"Well, like I said lady, those was 'estimates.' Now, ya got yer checkbook handy? I'm gonna need anudder $120 billion, or I can't be held responsible for what happens to yer safety and security and junk..."

Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty looked at each other and sighed.

"Just a minute," Sam said as he reached into his vest pocket.

"When will you people actually FINISH this project?" Lady Liberty asked. "When will our security system be completed?"

"Your guess is as good as mine, lady," Rumsfeld said, stuffing the check into his filthy overalls and trudging back to the truck.