WASHINGTON - Microsoft chairman Bill Gates received a boatload of honorary awards Tuesday, including the much-coveted Ninja of the Year accolade from the Japanese prime minister.
"I'm the world's luckiest man," said Gates, who recently proposed to end the war on terror by buying the Middle East. "Not even my money," Gates said, "can purchase global honorary appeal of this magnitude."
At a pompous ceremony held at the White House Rose Garden, Gates received honors ranging from medical doctor endowments to BET's honorary Rapper of the Year award. It's in the shadow of this international Gates euphoria that Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe named Gates Ninja of the Year 2007.
"Queen Elizabeth II recently made him an honorary knight, so I had to one-up her," Abe said. "A Japanese ninja is superior to a British knight," said Abe, who has pledged to restore Japanese militarism to pre-Pearl Harbor levels.
The surreal celebratory event kicked off with Microsoft's mogul being named Honorary Brain Surgeon of 2007 by the Society of Neurological Surgeons.
A. John Popp, president of the Neurological Society, presented Gates with the medical distinction. "Our studies show that Microsoft's Xbox 360 is the ultimate stress reliever," Popp said. "This is why Dr. Gates deserves to be acknowledged as MD."
"I'm having a hard time adjusting to being called 'doctor,'" Gates said. "I can handle knighthood, but I get a little shaky when I'm addressed as Dr. Gates."
The U.S. Congress passed emergency legislation to make March 27 "Honor Bill Gates Day." But in an unprecedented move, President Bush allowed Gates to sign the bill into law.
"Bill, you're the honorary U.S. president, so I give you the honors to sign this stupidous [sic] legislation," Bush said.
"It is certainly stupendous for me to be the honorary commander-in-chief," Gates said to thunderous applause. "It complements my knighthood and ninja-rank status."
Bush, who struggled in college as a C student, said he was "jealous" that Harvard University gave Gates an honorary degree last week. "I used to tell people I was better than you at business because I got my MBA," Bush said. "But you, Dr. Gates, is somethin' special."
Then Bush surprised even himself when he named Gates an honorary Medal of Honor recipient.
Reading from prepared remarks written by Karl Rove, Bush said: "You technically aren't a U.S. soldier, but your work at Microsoft qualifies as doing battle for the economic dominance of the United States of America. For that, you are now a Medal of Honor, uh, recipient?"
"Ninja, doctor, war hero, U.S. president. Geez, what next?" Gates asked.
At that moment rapper 50 Cent parachuted from a helicopter into the Rose Garden. The platinum-recording artist then wrapped up the ceremony by giving Gates the alias "1000 Dolla" and bestowing him with BET's honorary Rapper of the Year '07 moniker.
"Hey 50, tonight you can find me in da club," Gates said after receiving some gin and juice from the hip-hop star.