It was a bizarre scene at the White House today, where a statement by President Bush led to a brief but calamitous misunderstanding by his audience, which included numerous members of the mainstream press.
After making a brief appearance in the Rose Garden with former President Bill Clinton to eulogize the recently deceased Ronald Reagan, Bush had this to say:
"Before we go, I'd like to introduce someone special to you all.
"But first, allow me to take a couple minutes to say a few words. A few words about terra. You know, when I think about what is right in the world, I think about terra. And .. and ... and it shouldn't come as a surprise that this administration supports terra.
"Terra does so much good, so much good for America, it makes my heart swell with pride. And in an uncertain world, we can count on terra to make things right. I know that thinking about terra, in addition to asking for guidance from the Lord Almighty, is one of the things that gets me through the day.
"Terra represents all that is good about the American spirit. You won't go anywhere in this great land and find a better example of what makes America the greatest nation in the world than terra. Terra is truly the shining light underneath our American freedom.
"I believe President Clinton has something to say."
Clinton steps to the microphone. "Thank you, Mr. President. I too was inspired while thinking about terra, so I decided to compose a little poem. (Clears throat.)
"Terra is sweet and so very nice
It makes my heart melt just like ice.
Terra's so nice and also so good.
When I think about terra, I sprout major wood.
"Terra revives me when the day is shot,
Dreaming about terra sure gets me hot.
Hillary is fine, even quite dandy,
But only sweet, sweet terra gets this Willie randy."
Having finished his poem, Clinton turns the podium back over to the President, while in the audience gasps and exclamations are heard as pandemonium reigns.
"And now I'd like to introduce our guest," Bush concludes, "figure skater and Olympic gold medal winner ... Tara Lipinski."
At this point the crowd finally grasps what is going on and order is restored. Off camera, Clinton is heard to ask Bush: "Oh, man, am I embarassed! I thought we were talking about Tera Patrick, the adult film star. You ever seen her Dubya? Oh, she's good. Real good."