Washington D.C. - An embarrassed White House admitted today that First Lady Laura Bush had been inadvertently left behind in the village of Iximche while touring Mayan ruins during the President's Latin American visit.
A White House spokesperson said the incident was unfortunate, but not unprecedented. "Other members of the Presidential party have been left behind in the past. During a 2004 visit to Europe, we lost a senior NSA member for two weeks in Greece."
Asked how Mrs. Bush's absence could go undetected for three days, White House press secretary Tony Snow defended the President, saying, "This is the leader of the free world, ladies and gentlemen. A man with that amount of responsibility can be excused for misplacing his wife from time to time. Laura is a quiet, dignified woman who, on occasion, can make herself invisible. It's a Texas thing."
A spokesperson for the First Lady said that she is fine and in good spirits. "There was no panic on Laura's part. She was well taken care of by the lovely Guatemalan villagers, and wrote this 'thank you' note to her new Latin American friends: I want to thank everyone in the village of Iximche for your hospitality and kindness. You made my stay in your lovely country one to remember. I want to extend a special 'thank you' to the Dutch soccer team sightseeing at the ruins. Players entertained me for hours on end with their amazing ball handling skills and?glistening, finely chiseled athletic bodies. Franz, I'll never forget you?"
President Bush did not comment on the incident itself, but did thank the Mayan descendants who later purified the ruins for not ripping out Laura's heart on a stone altar.