I have nightmares sometimes. Dark, sinister, gut-wrenchingly scary nightmares involving assault, murder and sometimes prison rape (I'm seeing someone about this last one), but not even in my worst nightmare have I been terrorized by a demon so diabolical, so merciless, and with such bad hair, as Kim Jong-un, the President of North Korea.
As the North Korean security crisis escalates and the nuclear threat to America mounts, the whole thing is beginning to look like a horror version of a Will Ferrell movie. I mean, what is Kim Jong-un thinking? Surely he realizes that a missile strike against America would start a war that would result in the complete annihilation of North Korea.
But then it hit me with all the force of a nuclear missile that all this posturing by Kim Jong-un isn't really about attacking America at all. It is about - well, the following conversation (which may or may not actually happen) between President Obama and Kim Jong-un should explain everything:
Obama: President Jong-un, I appreciate your taking my call.
Kim Jong-un: Call me PSY.
O (confused): The Gangnam Style guy? Isn't he South Korean?
K: Yep. He and I are brothers separated at birth and destined to collide. We look alike too.
O: All right then, let's get down to it. I need you to stand down, PSY.
K: Sorry, can't do that. Already told the hardliners here that I will destroy America. If I go back on my word, it will make me look weak.
O: But if you attack, we will have to retaliate with full force and believe me, you cannot withstand the might of the US Army.
K: I know that, but it's too late now. I needed to do something to establish my authority and so here we are. You know how difficult it is for a short guy like me with funny hair to be taken seriously around here?
O (in disbelief): So you need to kill Americans to show how much of a man you are?
K: Yes, just like your gangs in Los Angeles and Chicago. Call it an initiation ritual.
O: And there is nothing I can do to change your mind?
K (pauses thoughtfully): Well, if you are prepared to make some compromises and to tell the press that I am so mighty and scary that you had no choice but to agree to my terms, I might consider sparing you.
O: What type of compromises are we talking about?
K: A billion dollars in cash in a briefcase, delivered to me personally by your friend Beyonce.
O: Why Beyonce?
K: Because she is much hotter than the women here. I will give her a big mansion, many cars, pass a law making it mandatory for every North Korean to buy her new album, and I will rename Pyongyang in her honor.
O: I'll check into that but I'm not sure her husband Jay-Z will agree to it.
K (enraged): He will if he knows what's good for him. Maybe he can rap, but I can kill...
O: Good point. Anyway, what else?
K: Lift all trade sanctions and allow us to buy weapons from anywhere.
O: You know I can't do that, PSY. That's a deal-breaker.
K (sigh): All right, typical tall American trying to play hardball with the short Asian. Anyway, I am generous by nature, so I will compromise too. No lifting of sanctions but you need to make it ten billion in cash instead.
O: Ten billion? What do you want all that money for anyway?
K: To build more nuclear weapons, what else?
O: And if I say no?
K: Then I press a little button in the shape of a skull on my desk and bye, bye, rodeo.
O (exasperated): What the hell does that even mean?
K: Who knows but it sounds very manly. Anyway, yes or no?
O: Fine, you got the money. Could you please point your missiles the other way now?
K: We are not done yet.
O: What more could you possibly want?
K: John Boehner.
K: You heard me. I want the Speaker of the House of Representatives delivered to me in a FedEx package - 2-Day delivery is fine.
O: But why?
K: I don't like you but I like him even less. He looks wimpy to me. When he gets here, I will stand next to him on national television and I will make him cry, which I know he does all the time.
O: Let me guess. That will make you look more manly?
O: May I make a suggestion, PSY?
O: Why don't you just get a pretty girlfriend - someone who will make you feel like a man and so you will stop trying to destroy humanity because of your Napoleonic complex?
K: You better not be insulting me or I will LAUNCH MY MISSILES!!! You hear me????
O (weary): Yeah, I hear you. You really need a shrink, you know that?
K: Shrink? Is that a joke about my height again? You know what I will do to you? I will LAUNCH MY MISSILES!!!
O: Look, you want Boehner, I'll give him to you - I want that sonofagun out of my life anyway - but that's the absolute last thing I am willing to offer. Can we please just reach an agreement and go on with our day?
K: Why, you got something more important to do than to prevent me from LAUNCHING MY MISSILES?!!
O: No, but if I don't get back to governing, there may not be a United States left for you to bomb, so maybe we can both be men here and make a deal?
K (surprised): You called me a man!
O (wary): Yes...and?
K: That's the nicest thing anyone has ever called me, Mr. President. I am so grateful to you. You are truly a great man yourself.
O: Well, thank you.
K: And to show you just how grateful I am for your calling me a man, I hereby drop all my demands and will take my military off alert immediately. There will be no attack on America.
O (astonished): You sure about that? You sure you're not going to go back to making threats again after I put the phone down?
K: You have my word, Mr. President. I am officially making peace with the greatest President of the United States who has ever lived. As big men like us do...
O (after a long pause): That's very generous, PSY. I accept your offer, but I wonder if I could ask for a favor too? You know - man to man?
K (ecstatic): Of course, Mr. President. Anything you want. MAN TO MAN!!!
O: Could you take John Boehner anyway?
SANJAY SANGHOEE has worked at leading investment banks Lazard Freres and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein as well as at a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School and is the author of the financial thriller "Merger" (available below) which Chicago Tribune called "Timely, Gripping, and Original". Please follow him on Twitter and Facebook (Candid Politics & Business Blogs).
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