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Happy Accidents by David Wilk, Frank Ford, David Ahearn

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10 It Takes a Village, Idiot

No one has ever become poor by giving.

– Anne Frank

Building on one opportunity so that it leads to the next has always been our method of operation. In a practical sense, this approach keeps life colorful and interesting and it also puts food on the table. We are always looking for the next opportunity and it came courtesy of none other than former President George W. Bush.

We found ourselves at a rehearsal for one of our favorite corporate clients, Fiserv, in Las Vegas on September 10. The real show would take place on the following morning, on the anniversary of 9/11, with none other than former President George W. Bush as the keynote speaker.

On the day before his arrival, the show room was teeming with Secret Service agents. Security was tight and tension was high and we were there for one reason – to be funny…on 9/11…in front of President Bush. Who’s ready to laugh? As we were doing our walk-through for our performance that day, we were told in no uncertain terms by the Secret Service, and former President Bush’s liaison, the corporate relations team, and the hotel staff that we would not have the ­opportunity to meet with Bush. Our instructions were quite explicit:

When you are finished with your performance, you will exit stage left.

You will go to a holding green room area, where you will sit during the duration of the president’s speech.

You will not be allowed to go to the bathroom, and the room will be overseen by four Secret Service ...

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