Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Obama arrives in Riyadh, gives King Abdullah pink belly

Abdullah clutches still sensitive abdomen as guards stare in disbelief

President Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia this morning, and within moments was embroiled in a potentially damaging international incident when he broke the normal bounds of protocol by giving the eighty-four year old monarch a pink belly.

To the great relief of Secret Service agents, King Abdullah, who seemed bewildered by the incident, ordered his guards to resheathe their swords, and pretended to laugh the whole thing off.

"Such a young and lively leader," Abdullah said through a translator. "This, I suppose, is the change that I have been hearing about. I will tell you, however, that if I were thirty years younger, I would have given him quite a thrashing for such insolence. But now, with the wisdom of my years, I am able to see this behavior for what it is - totally bizarre."

Richard W. Erdman, the ChargĂ© d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, put a positive spin on the incident, noting that "it could have been a whole lot worse. You'll note that the President did not pull up King Abdullah's robe in order to administer the pink belly, but instead applied it directly through the cloth. Not only did that lessen any abdominal soreness, it also reduced the potential of embarrassment to the King which might have been caused by the exposure of his nether regions. I'm sure we'll be laughing about the whole thing pretty soon, all the way to the gas pump."

"President Obama came to the White House in the midst of multiple crises," said Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, by way of explanation. "He had to hit the ground running, and as a result, there are certain matters that he has not been able to explore to his complete satisfaction. Like protocol. I wish to God he'd had an opportunity to study protocol... You know, it seems like such a small thing... I think, and I don't want to be accused of putting words in the President's mouth, but I'm guessing that... you remember the last time he met King Abdullah? And everybody got so upset because he bowed? So maybe he figured he could balance that out by doing something disrespectful this time... Whatever... I got nothin'."

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