[What follows is a transcript of the press conference held today on the West Lawn of the Java Zen campus. (Note: that would be the West Lawn just East of the Main Pavilion and not the West Lawn just South of and kitty-corner from the North Gazebo. For those of you who missed it, you really should learn to read a press release.) The press conference was called to answer questions in light of the disclosure Mr. Engel is up for the National Endowment for the Arts position in the Burge/Goldstein Administration (Come on, people. It’s gonna happen. Accept it and get on with your lives.) So. Having sussed this required some sort of obligatory deed of good word on behalf of Mr. Burge, the Java Zen Table, Desk and Counter Intelligence Teams were mobilized to do what ever it is they do and make something happen. Well, it took some time, what with the sheer volume of police reports and court depositions that had to be dug through, but find the good points they did and so prepared for the anticipated barrage of questions.]
Reporter: Is Dave loyal? I mean, can we trust the bastard?
Gregory Engel: Hell yes. Dave stood by me through that unfortunate “misunderstanding” with Queen Elizabeth II, just like he said he would once it was clear I wasn’t in as much trouble as originally thought. How was I to know the Queen couldn’t swim? And that hair really DID look like a wig. What this means for the country under a Dave Burge administration is clear. There’s, like, no way he’s gonna sit still and let some podunk despot pants the good ‘ol USA.
Journalism 101 Student With A Press Pass: What makes you qualified for the position?
GE: I happen to be a good authority on all things well endowed and I plan on bringing that expertise to a new definition of Art and revised criteria for what gets funded.
Guy Standing In Corner Holding A Broom: What kinds of cultural initiatives would you support while in office?
GE: In addition to National Talk Like A Pirate Day, I’ll have National Talk In Iambic Pentameter Day, National Bang On A Drum Day, National Paint By Numbers Day, and work to make Film Noir the national language. In response to our wildly popular Poetry Out Loud program, I shall expand that to include Pottery Out Loud, Carving Out Loud and, something I’m particularly proud of, Knitting Out Loud. As a collaborative effort with the NEA (The other NEA, National Education Association), I’ll initiate a partner program with the NEA’s “No Child Left Behind” program called “No Child Allowed Ahead.” Together, we shall achieve the perfect balance of mediocrity in education and the arts. I’ll work to see Antonio Vincenzo gets the recognition he deserves for painting the Sistein Chapel baseboards. And The Bean in Chicago…I’ll see to it that thing is spray painted gray. What’s up with that thing? You can’t even straighten your tie while looking into it.
Associated Press Shill: What date do you support for the full withdrawal of the imperialist pigs from Iraq so that the freedom fighters may once again enjoy the human right of killing each other at their convenience? Next Tuesday or Wednesday?
GE: That’s a difficult question. It will depend on whether or not Congress approves of my proposed plan to choreograph the withdrawal as run-away performance art. The costumes will be expensive as will be the extensive stage lighting required for the event.
Reuters Lacky: Can I get a picture of you with your finger up your nose?
GE: With what? You’re holding a banana.
Reuters Lacky: (Damn! Those office dweebs photoshopped the camera out of my hands again.)
Helen Thomas: To date, there are an estimated 700 million pictures without frames in the United States and another 3.8 billion exposed to excessive sunlight due to inferior quality window treatments, the condition of which is worsened by the effects of global warming and rising crime rates in all major metropolitan areas which it has been substantiated that the average Iraqi disapproves of highly in light of the ongoing and uncontrolled rise in health care costs but still the government insists on charging admission to view national treasures. Is that something you will change?
GE: Like changing a diaper on a baby, you bet.
Wolf Blitzer: Can you promise us a good scandal out of the NEA? This beat is sooooooo boring.
GE: I’ll see if I can rearrange the rotunda statuary to suit your needs. Thank you all for coming.