Obama awoke abruptly. He had been snoring in his chair in the Oval Office. He scraped his heels across the top of the Resolute desk and sprang to his feet. “Let me be clear,” he thought to himself. “I smell smoke!”
The commander-in-chief fled the West Wing and dashed upstairs to the White House residence. As he approached his eldest daughter’s bedroom door, his suspicions were confirmed.
“Open up, Malia,” Obama hollered. He knew that menacing odor personally: cigarettes.
“You’re smoking in there, aren’t you?”
“I will admit to no such activity, currently or as a matter of historical record,” the 17-year-old replied. “But I have every right to smoke tobacco — just as you used to do.”
“I have every right to see if you have cigarettes in there!” Obama insisted, pounding on Malia’s locked door.
“Okay,” she conceded. “You are welcome to ‘request access.’ Please write down your specific concerns and remember to ‘make available relevant information.’”
“What on Earth are you talking about?” Obama wondered, bewildered.
“I am quoting from your nuclear deal with Iran,” Malia explained. “I read the entire text to prepare for my Conflict in the Modern World class. After you take those steps, I’ll think it over for 24 to 78 days. If such stalling tactics are good enough for the ayatollahs, they are good enough for me.”
Obama heard Malia slam her desk drawer shut, rattling pens, pencils, and highlighters in the process.
“Malia, open up, this minute! I know you’re hiding cigarettes in your desk.”
“Dad, if you return in three to eleven weeks, I may let you search my nightstand and closet. Or I may delay even further. Regardless, under no circumstances whatsoever may you touch my desk. My medicine chest also is as off limits to you as an Iranian military site. If you really are dying to know what’s in there, I’ll take a few photos of it and e-mail them to you.”
“How absurd! Where did you get that preposterous idea?” Obama asked.
‘If you can unfreeze some $100 billion for the gang who kidnapped our diplomats for 444 days under Jimmy Carter, you can liberate my $1,000 in allowance money.’
“I read about it in Monday’s Wall Street Journal,” Malia answered. The students at Sidwell Friends School are nothing if not precocious. “If you trust Iran to collect soil samples from its nuclear-research facilities and hand them over to the International Atomic Energy Agency, then you can trust me to send you pictures of my medicine cabinet.”
“Malia, this is ridiculous!” Obama shouted. “I am your father and, in case it slipped your mind, I also am the president of the United States. Now, let me in!”
“Oh, and another thing, Dad,” Malia said firmly from behind her door, impressed by neither his vaunted rhetoric nor his lofty title. “You know that $1,000 in allowance money that you have locked up in the Situation Room vault since March? I want it all, at once!”
“What makes you think you have a right to that cash?” Obama quizzed his first-born.
“It’s so obvious, Dad,” Malia replied, her eyes rolling almost audibly through the sealed doorjamb. “If you can unfreeze some $100 billion for the gang who kidnapped our diplomats for 444 days under Jimmy Carter, you can liberate my $1,000. I want it all, and I want it now — no matter how well or poorly I may behave once the fall semester starts.”
#related#“Suit yourself, Malia,” Obama grumbled, grinding his molars and feeling thoroughly defeated. “You can stay in your room, barricaded as long as you like. In fact, don’t even bother to come out. Until you learn how to obey me, you can forget about having dinner tonight.”
Malia turned even sassier.
“Fine!” she snapped. “I can get by without another serving of Mom’s oatmeal with a side of celery sticks.”
Obama threw his arms in the air and sighed in disgust. He had been out-foxed, yet again.
As Obama stepped away from Malia’s door, he heard something familiar and unmistakable: the sound of a match being struck.