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Why did President Bush miss the festival?

Letter from White House
Click for full image of letter

Dubya had an assistant send us this letter. But that's not where the story ends.
When we learned that Streetplay would be in Washington DC, we were ecstatic. Of course, we knew that President George W. Bush credits his start in politics to being the "high commissioner of stickball" in his prep school days at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA (read our coverage). Being good citizens and lovers of stickball, we naturally invited the President to join us--just a few blocks away from the White House--at the Folklife Festival. As you can see from this polite letter, Dubya declined. We know GWB is a busy man, but we thought for sure he'd stop by for one of our daily scheduled stickball games. We soon discovered the true reasons for the President's actions.

One morning during the festival while opting to walk to the National Mall, a Streetplay staffer heard a man calling to him from the parking lot of the Washington Post office as he passed it. Identifying himself only as "Deep Gore" and hiding his face in the shadows, the broad-shouldered, stiff-backed man started a conversation in a patronizing monotone voice:

Deep Gore: You let Dubya slip away.
Streetplay: Yes. We invited him, but he declined.
Deep Gore: You've done worse than let Dubya slip away. You've got his mother feeling sorry for him. I didn't think that was possible. You've pushed back the introduction of stickball in DC by a factor of years.
Streetplay: Yes, we know that. What do we do now?
Deep Gore: Tell the real story.
Streetplay: Can you help?
Deep Gore: Follow the spaldeen.
Streetplay: What do you mean? What spaldeen?
Deep Gore: Oh, I can't tell you that. I don't know. But these documents might help. Get out your gym bag. There's more than fits in your hand.

Deep Gore then jogged away into the darkness muttering the words, "recount, my ass." What he'd given us were internal White House documents showing that the President not only planned to attend our stickball game, but was preparing to have Pennsylvania Avenue set up to host it--as well as using a side of the newly renovated Washington Monument for Ace-King-Queen. He'd also obtained a participant badge for the Folklife Festival so he could be a part of the Streetplay team.

Stuff from Deep Gore
Articles provided to Streetplay by Deep Gore

So what caused Dubya's change of heart? An internal White House memo explained all. Apparently, former First Lady and Dubya's mother, Barbara Bush, asked the coordinator of the President's schedule to tell her son that he was busy and couldn't attend or help plan any of the Streetplay games we'd planned for the festival. She apparently didn't want her son to "be seen playing in the gutter."

Well, it's not the first time an old lady has kept kids from playing in the street in front of her house.

Editor's note: Streetplay actually did invite President Bush to the Folklife Festival, and we did receive the letter as seen in this piece. However, Al Gore doesn't hang out in the Washington Post parking lot muttering inscrutable epithets, and we're sure Barbara Bush would love to have seen her boy playing in the street with us.

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