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To all White House staff:

Well, our budget surplus has vanished and so has the Lincoln Memorial. Congrats to everyone on keeping quiet about the latter.

In other news, recent polls reveal that the President’s approval ratings are slipping to levels not seen since the first President Bush. Perhaps in catering to the richest 1% of Americans, we have forgotten about the richest 2-5%. Whatever the cause, the situation has grown so dire that even the President has become aware of it. God help us all, he has an idea.

President Bush would like to give every American citizen a nickname. He believes his gift for coining folksy epithets has eased tensions with prickly leaders like Vladimir "Rootin’ Tootin’" Putin and Yassir "That’s My Baby" Arafat. He also thinks it has cemented his political alliances with Tom "United Airlines Regrets This" DeLay and Trent "I Fart A" Lott.

Under the President’s plan, each American would receive a nickname based upon broad character traits as follows:


Tall Stretch

Short Mini-Me

Thin Slim

Fat Slim (but with a wink)

Native American Chief

African American Cool Breeze

Hispanic Frito Bandito (if deemed offensive, then Speedy Gonzalez)

Chinese Chinese Charley

Japanese, Korean, Thai,
Filipino, or Aleutian Islander
Chinese Charley

Millionaire Buddy

Billionaire Good Buddy

Citizens who fall under more than one category will receive compound nicknames. For example, Tiger Woods is a wealthy man of African/Thai/Native American ancestry. Hence, the nickname "Chief Chinese Charley Buddy Cool Breeze" would replace the more formal "Tiger." As for Americans who belong to none of these categories—we must use all resources at our disposal to shield the President from them.

I estimate we can implement the Federal Nickname Project at a cost of $800 million. Funds could be raised through a stiff excise tax on electric cars in general, and those of Ed Begley Jr. in particular.

The President believes the nicknaming of America will result in a warmer, friendlier, more accessible Bush administration. And so I am drafting mandatory sentencing guidelines for those who resist it.


Dick "The Sicker Ticker" Cheney

More White House correspondence:
My First Presidentiary

More by Mike Reiss:
Poems That Missed Their Deadlines
A Tour of the Trask Museum
Meet the New Five Dollar Bill

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