Monday, May 16, 2022 May 16, 2022
85° F Dallas, TX
Cover Story

President George W. Bush Comes Home (Yo, Dubya)

Five writers explore how the Bushes will affect our lives in Dallas—from why China might be our new BFF to how to survive an encounter with the Secret Service.
By  |
NECK AND NECK: Laura Bush straightens then President-Elect George W. Bush’s tie before his first speech after the Supreme Court ruling that ended the 2000 presidential election in his favor. photography by Brooks Kraft/Corbi

Table Contents
1. George Bush is Big in Asia Wick Allsion
2. Don’t Bum Rush the Bushes Trey Garrison
5. Dreaming of Laura Pamela Gwyn Kripke

An F-List Celeb Imagines What Preston Hollow Life Will Be Like For W

I, too, am a huge celebrity who happens to live in Preston Hollow. I expect George W. to drop by soon.
by David Feherty, illustration by Brian Ajhar

[inline_image id=”4″ align=”” crop=””]Given the events of the past eight years, once George the Second escaped from Washington, D.C., I think most of us here in Dallas would have understood if he and the former First Missus had moved someplace a little more secluded than Preston Hollow. Like Area 51, maybe, or some sandbar in the Galapagos Islands, just so they could catch their breath for a couple of years and take stock of their lives. I mean, what a nightmare of a time that was to be president of the United States! His two terms must have felt like the rest of the world had inserted the Washington Monument into him and it was his job to heave it out. Although there are those who insist that most of our problems were Dubya’s fault, having spent considerable time in the Middle East myself, I think it’s unlikely history will tell the same story.

But that’s another story. Right now, I have new neighbors about a par 5 away, just across the Tollway, which is far enough away from my place for me to act neighborly. I hate my neighbors because of their very proximity, or at least I hate the ones that want to talk to me who aren’t doctors or gun dealers or who don’t have their own airplanes. Doctors, gun dealers, and other people’s airplanes can be useful, but people who want to “visit,” whatever that peculiar Southern application of the verb entails, just get on my nerves. If I have to visit someone, he had better either be in jail or the hospital, and to be honest I’d prefer jail. I do golf commentary on CBS and sometimes star in television commercials wherein I jump on a trampoline while wearing a skirt. I’m an F-list celebrity at best. But for some reason an inordinate number of people want to talk to me, and always about blubbedy-blah-blah (imagine the sound of a single gunshot here) or Tiger Woods. No, when I make it home, I slam the door behind me and peek out the letterbox to see if I’ve been spotted by any of the bastards who live nearby.

So I was thinking: if it’s that bad for me, what is it going to be like for George and Laura? I mean, it’s not like they can stroll around Tom Thumb stealing grapes like the rest of us, is it?

Even with their Secret Service entourage, the Bushes are going to be besieged by herds of North Dallas McMansion-dwellers, more brown-nosed and full of BS than any longhorn. Nouveaux riche and face-lifted old-monied fossils alike will descend upon them like ants to the honeypot every time they set foot outside their door. The area that encompasses the Park Cities and Preston Hollow is home to roaming packs of these social climbers. I’m talking to you, the guy with the champagne flute, the stupid grin, and the trophy wife who, if she has one more facelift, will be wearing a triangular beard. You’re just the type who will want to show that famous hospitality for which Texas is renowned, and your nasty little dog will try to hump poor Miss Beazley  half to death. (Although that former First Scottish Terrier has shown some gnashers recently, so Fido beware.)

After George and Laura spend a few days wringing the unwashed hands of North Dallas’ finest, and, what, with Tom Hicks vaulting the fence and banging on their front door, looking for free advice on what to do with the Texas Rangers (who, incidentally, I believe will be useless until Chuck Norris is in charge), I suspect that Crawford will start to seem like a much better idea to G2, provided he can get planning permission for an alligator-infested moat around the ranch and a bigger wall than we have planned to keep everyone in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona from immigrating to Mexico when Iran takes control of the entire Persian Gulf and we’re paying $15 a gallon. Dick Cheney had enough sense to bury himself under 12 feet of snow in Wyoming instead of the 12 feet of concrete everywhere else he’s been stationed for the past eight years. And while I’m on the subject of vice, for my money, Sarah Palin came along too late. She’s waaay better-looking than Dick Cheney, and when she shoots at something, you can bet that at least the damn thing will be dead.

Sorry, where was I? Oh, yes. Here’s the thing: all of this visiting will be perpetrated by people who actually like 43! What about those who consider him the root of all evil? We have a few of those, and I can’t imagine what that bunch of self-righteous, indignant jerks might be like if they get the chance to visit. As for me, my politics are somewhere in the middle—and then way outside both wings. I believe in the death penalty, especially for pro-lifers, child molesters, those opposed to gay marriage, and for stupid dancing in the end zone. I believe in the abolition of estate taxes and the Pickens Plan. I’d lower the legal drinking age and raise the driving age to 18 nationwide, make Kinky Friedman governor of Texas, and make all schools, public and private, start earlier with one hour of physical exercise.

I’d have to say, though, that if I were G2, I’d have to consider the wisdom of that 30-year rule that applies to classified government documents. I’d wait at least that long before I moved to Preston Hollow. Thirty years seems to be about the length of time it takes Americans to forget really bad things. Look at Donny and Marie Osmond. Does no one remember how badly they sucked the first time around? Yet both of them are back on television for no apparent reason, other than one is fat and can’t dance, and the other is a Hollywood used-to-be who squeals mindless gossip on people who would rather dive into oncoming traffic than talk to him. If Dubya were to reappear at 92 years old, his first album would probably go platinum. And, anyway, it will be that long before any of us knows the truth about how and why he played some of the rotten cards he was dealt.

From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this, though: despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Osama bin Laden, there’s a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death. I’ve never met a soldier who didn’t love this president and this country, and I’ve met a bunch of them, at home and abroad, in hospitals and in theater. At Walter Reed, Bethesda Naval Medical Center, and the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, I have visited dozens of patients, and I always ask of them before I leave: “What do you want to do when you get out?” No matter how broken or burned, or how many limbs they are missing, they give only one answer: “I want to go back. I want to rejoin my team, to finish our mission.” They are rightfully proud of what they have done and want nothing more than to be with their brothers and sisters in arms, because they know the consequences if their job is left unfinished. Right here on American soil, we will end up with unqualified people having to do the job they have been doing over there so incredibly well, and with such extraordinary compassion. The fact is, Americans in America have been safe since 9/11, almost the whole length of G2’s term as president, and for that we should be thankful.

So I think I’m okay with my new neighbors. I’ve met George the First and the great Barbara a few times and have enjoyed their company immensely. I don’t think the apple fell too far away from the tree. G2 loves to ride bikes, and so do I. Maybe I could get a job in the Secret Bike Service, as the official drafter to No. 43. I’ve already taken a couple of vehicular bullets from behind (experiences I’ve chronicled in this magazine), so the safest place to ride in Dallas is apparently in front of me.

Call me, Mr. Prez. Your dad has Jim Nantz’s number, and now that you can’t surreptitiously listen in on my cell phone calls anymore, Nantz can get ahold of me for you. I’m just around the corner, and I promise not to do any dry-humping, although I can’t speak for my much-loved mound of hound, Ziggy, who is the worst beagle in Texas. You might want to have Laura put Miss Beazley up if I do happen to drop by to, you know, visit.

David Feherty is a golf analyst for CBS and the author of four books, including, most recently, An Idiot for All Seasons.