Previously on The West Wing: Leo doesn't think the administration needs to cater to Republicans; Josh is diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Leo reminds Toby that Bartlet was elected with only forty-eight percent of the vote.
Donna, Josh, and Sam are in the Mural Room, wearing coats and sweaters. Donna's wearing a fetching toque. Donna is wondering whether Josh and Sam don't need some kind of permission or official supervision for the fire they're attempting to build in the fireplace. Josh is wondering what sort of supervision she's talking about; Donna replies, "FEMA, the American Red Cross..." Sam asks if Josh knows what kind of wood they're using. He doesn't. Josh complains that it's freezing in there. Hey, I can certainly relate; Professor Frink and I spent our Christmas/Eid holidays freezing our butts off as our furnace refused to work about seventy-five percent of the time. Unlike the White House, however, and despite the fact that we live in a big old Victorian house, we don't have a fireplace. Why previous owners took out the fireplaces, I have no idea. We have a lot of chimneys but no damn fireplaces. Anyway, Donna acknowledges that it's cold; Josh compares it to Ice Station Zebra, whatever that is. I'm sure someone in the forums will tell me. Donna's also worried that it may bother someone; Josh points out that it's half past midnight. Let me get something straight. It's 12:30 AM, and there's no heat in the White House, and instead of letting maintenance handle it and going home to your heated apartments (well, maybe not Josh's unless they've gotten around to fixing that window he broke) you're going to build a fire so you can do some more work? Are they paying White House staffers in crack these days? Listen, I love you all dearly, but you people need to get lives. Now. Sam natters on about how the wood looks like spruce to him, and spruce is a soft wood, which means it burns fast, and asks Josh if he knows what they need. Josh: "A hard wood?" Sam confirms this. Josh: "Interesting." Donna would like to know where they got the wood. Josh took it from a pile in the Mural Room. Donna indicates that she thinks it's supposed to be decorative. Josh gripes, "It's wood. We're not burning Benjamin Harrison's log cabin." Sam opines that they might be, since the dude's cabin was made out of spruce. Sam is a real font of such information. Josh asks where C.J. is; Donna indicates that she's in the Roosevelt Room doing the seating chart. Josh tells Donna that somebody named Jankowitz has a hearing aid that seldom works and asks her to tell C.J. that he needs to be seated somewhere near the centre. As she turns to leave, she asks, "You're not using lighter fluid or anything, are you?" Josh: "Nooooo. No flammable liquids of any kind to start a fire, ever." Sam hustles in happily with a kerosene lamp. Donna comes back to protest and Josh tells her to go.