UnNews:Thinking the "T" stands for "tree", Bush gives NATO chief a ranch tour
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22 May 2007
CRAWFORD, Texas -- Having daydreamed through his morning briefing as usual, US President George Bush missed a few facts about the imminent visit of NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. Thinking that the "T" in the acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization actually stands for "tree," Mr. Bush got excited at the prospect of taking a day off from politics and discussing nature instead.
Welcoming Mr. Scheffer to his Crawford ranch, Mr. Bush donned his finest jeans and cowboy hat, and picked up the chief in a pick-up truck. "Contrary to what those environmental wackos say, I do love nature," the President told him, but added, "still - I need to keep my big-oil buddies, which is why this truck only gets five miles per gallon." The NATO official looked a bit surprised at these remarks, but didn't realize the full extent of Mr. Bush's confusion until a press conference soon afterwards.
Standing in a clearing of a forested area of the ranch, the President began his speech by welcoming "the head of the North Atlantic Tree Organization." With his trademark chuckle, he added, "we've prepared some nice treehouse accommodations for him." The stunned visitor quickly responded that he "came to talk about Kosovo," which Bush thought was some species of tree and thus replied, "this here is a desert climate - in other words, it's a desert - so we have different kinds of trees than you do in Europe. Now, lets go do some brush clearing!"
Mr. Scheffer was reluctantly forced to grab a chainsaw and join the US President in the latter's favorite pastime. His attempts to explain the intended nature of the visit were drowned out by Mr. Bush revving his chainsaw. In an added affront to the guest, the President - famous for giving out nicknames - kept referring to Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as "Hoops." For his wife, Bush coined the name "Treehugger."
Embarrassed White House officials tried to focus attention away from the gaffes, and lured reporters into asking questions about other topics. Press secretary Tony Snow suggested, "Come on Helen Thomas, don't you want to know more about how Alberto Gonzales snuck into an ailing Ashcroft's hospital room in order to get him to sign off on illegal wiretapping programs?" He also encouraged the press corps to delve deeper into the ongoing Iraq crisis, thus hoping to keep photographers away from the President's planned "tree planting" ceremony in honor of the NATO leader.