WASHINGTON—Saying she had a busy afternoon ahead and could use some time to herself, former First Lady Barbara Bush reportedly called the White House Wednesday to see if she could leave her husband there for a few hours. “I have to run some errands, and it’d be so much easier if I could just leave George somewhere he’s comfortable and not have to worry about him,” said Mrs. Bush over the phone, emphasizing that she would be back to pick up the 41st president of the United States before he became too much of a handful for anyone. “He’s already familiar with the place and knows a lot of the people there. You can just let him wander around, or if he starts getting in your way, just sit him down in the Blue Room with a book or the annual budget and he’ll be perfectly happy. Plus I’ll pack him some Fig Newtons, so you won’t have to worry about feeding him at all.” At press time, it had been five hours and Mrs. Bush had not returned.