President of Turkmenistan
—Mr. President?… Mr. President?
—Hm? What’s that? Sorry, my mind was somewhere else.
—If you don’t mind me saying so, Your Excellency, you haven’t quite been yourself ever since you subscribed to that magazine about lighthouses.
—This Turkmen supermarket has every dairy product that a president could wish for!
—It’s an honor to have you in our modest emporium, Mr. President. Please help yourself to anything you’d like.
—Thank you, but I am only here to pick up a block of milk.
—I must be going now. I have to get back to the lab!
—Can I help you, Mr. President?
—No, I am just waiting for a phone call.
—Um… perhaps you should put the phone down while you wait.
—Absolutely not. The last time the phone rang, I was caught completely off guard. This time, I am going to be ready!
—Congratulations, Mr. President! You just won a gold medal in the Turkmen Olympics!
—I am elated. Would you believe that this is my third medal in the Slow Walking competition?
—Excuse me, Your Excellency?
—Yes? Were you saying something?
—You were thinking about lighthouses again, weren’t you, sir.
—Forgive me for speaking frankly, sir, but now is not the time to be daydreaming about lighthouses. You are the president of Turkmenistan, dammit! Now is the time for you to study laminated maps!
—Say what you will about Turkmenistan, but our toilet paper factory has no rival!
—…Why would you think I’d say anything bad about Turkmenistan?
—I’ve been reading your diary.
—But Mr. President, you already have so many pet lambs…
—Excuse me, sir. Would you mind…not prodding those with your cane?
—Ha ha! I almost tipped it over that time. What fun!
—I’m giving a very important presentation in a few minutes, and everything is set up just the way…
—Ugh, I hope it is not another lecture on how to laminate maps!
—Wha–well of course it is! You are the one who appointed me Secretary of Maps!
—Oh please, I appointed you Secretary of Mats and have just been too polite to say anything.
—Honestly. Who’s ever heard of a Secretary of Maps?