WASHINGTON (AP) President George W. Bush was taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center today just after his staff finished the morning news briefing. The president was listening to Karl Rove read the main headlines in USA Today - the only paper Mr. Bush is able to have read to him without constantly interrupting Rove with, "What's that mean, Karl?"
The morning's presidential news briefing had been progressing normally. President Bush giggled several times and exclaimed, "Blowed up!" as he listened to Rove describe the latest casualty reports from Iraq.
President Bush also laughed when Karl Rove read the news about Dick Cheney wearing a parka to a solemn international gathering at Auschwitz. "I told him not to wear that silly parka… that might be alright for surprise visits to Baghdad and maybe even a Bar Mitzvah, but Dick should have worn a nice topcoat to that Polish thing."
The president is in the habit of sleeping through any newspaper article that mentions Alan Greenspan, Jacques Chirac, global warming, or the Christian Coalition. A low level staffer nudged President Bush and informed him that Rove had finished reading about all that boring stuff. "OK, OK. Will someone please get me a jelly donut - one with colored sprinkles, please?"
As the president was scarfing down his jelly donut, Karl Rove said, "Mr. President, here's one you'll like… it's about a goat… I know you like animal stories."
"Ohhh! Tell me about the goat! Tell me about the goat, Karl!"
Mr. Rove then read to President Bush a short news item about some goat in France that died from contracting Mad Cow disease.
Bush listened to the news about the dead goat and, instead of laughing about it the way he giggles about everything, he began to get a very worried look on his face. Bush listened to one or two more news clippings and then ordered all his staff out of the Oval Office.
A short time later the White House physician was called to the Oval Office. Within an hour the president was taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
First Lady Laura Bush was at the president's bedside. "Laura, I've got something to tell you about that time we visited France. Remember at that big state dinner, the men all gathered after the meal for cigars and…? Well, I really don't know how to tell you this, but they brought in this goat, and I just don't know what got into me, but when Jacques got finished with the goat and invited me for seconds, I just went and…. Oh Laura, I'm so sorry! Do you think I might have caught Mad Cow disease from just two minutes with that goat? I know you told me to be careful about staying away from cows, so I thought it would be OK to have a little fun with a goat. How did I know...?"
Laura Bush: I should have known what
Jacques and George were up to!"